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How to Replace a Turntable Cartridge, Stylus, and Headshell

What you need

  1. How to Replace a Turntable Cartridge, Stylus, and Headshell, Cartridge, Stylus, Headshell: step 1, image 1 of 1
    • Identify the headshell by opening the turntable dust cover.

  2. How to Replace a Turntable Cartridge, Stylus, and Headshell: step 2, image 1 of 1
    • Identify the stylus (needle housing) on the headshell and gently remove it from the cartridge by wiggling it carefully. Dispose of the stylus.

  3. How to Replace a Turntable Cartridge, Stylus, and Headshell: step 3, image 1 of 1
    • Locate the tonearm weight located at the base of the headshell. While holding the headshell, turn the tonearm weight to the right to disconnect the headshell from the tonearm.

  4. How to Replace a Turntable Cartridge, Stylus, and Headshell: step 4, image 1 of 1
    • Use a Phillips #0 screwdriver and remove the screws to free the cartridge. Retain the screws for reinstallation.

    • Use standard turntable head screws found at a local audio shop if missing.

  5. How to Replace a Turntable Cartridge, Stylus, and Headshell: step 5, image 1 of 1
    • Locate the wires on the underside of the headshell and carefully disconnect the wires from the pins of the cartridge.

  6. How to Replace a Turntable Cartridge, Stylus, and Headshell: step 6, image 1 of 1
    • Replace with a new cartridge by plugging the pins of the new cartridge into the wires.

    • Match the color of the wires to the color of the pins.

    • Using the Phillips #0 screwdriver, re-screw the cartridge into the headshell the same way it was removed.

  7. How to Replace a Turntable Cartridge, Stylus, and Headshell: step 8, image 1 of 1
    • Insert a new stylus (needle housing) into the cartridge before remounting the headshell onto the tonearm.

  8. How to Replace a Turntable Cartridge, Stylus, and Headshell: step 9, image 1 of 1
    • Connect the newly assembled headshell into the tonearm and tighten until secure.

    • Do not overtighten.

  9. How to Replace a Turntable Cartridge, Stylus, and Headshell: step 10, image 1 of 1
    • Test the new needle and allow for a break-in period.

Finish Line

9 other people completed this guide.

Javier Torres

Member since: 02/24/15

385 Reputation

1 Guide authored

Team

Cal Poly, Team 23-3, Green Winter 2015 Member of Cal Poly, Team 23-3, Green Winter 2015

CPSU-GREEN-W15S23G3

6 Members

13 Guides authored

2 Comments

"on any turntable"? These instructions are only for one specific tonearm and cartridge and apply to a minority of cartridges. This claim is plainly bogus and anyone with a different cartridge is likely to find the instructions useless and potentially hazardous to their equipment.

Howard - Reply

Just commenting to disagree with above. Excellent tutorial and my audio technical cartridge and headshell are similar so it solved my issue. Thanks for the article.

Craig Smith - Reply

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