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Needle Help!

Not sure of what needle you need? If the guidance on this page still leaves you wondering, Contact us by email with as much information as possible so that we can help you determine what you need and avoid the nuisance of returns. If you email, please put us on your "safe list" so that you will get our reply - or Contact us by phone.

Voice of Music Products
If you have a Voice of Music brand phono, there should be a sticker inside the tone arm (as shown at left) with needle and cartridge replacement information. If missing, please email with V-M model number of phono.

If you have a V-M built record changer in another brand phono, the V-M model number of the record changer is usually all we need. Click on Do I have a V-M record changer? to locate where to find the model number.

Other Phonographs and Turntables

For all other needs, Contact us by email with as much information as possible:

    • Phonograph or turntable make and model number (may not be important for upscale ‘70’s and 80’s turntables as many were sold without cartridges and the dealers installed their own).

    • Replacement needle information from Owner’s Manual or the paperwork that came with your cartridge. Sometimes replacement information can be found on the machine itself.

    • Brand and markings on the cartridge (eg Astatic Mod 146) – and color of cartridge body

    • Markings on the needle (eg T5HD) – and color of needle body

Please note that use of the needle pictures should be used only for confirmation that the needle you think you need is the right one. Many needles look very much alike but are not interchangeable. Conversely, an effective replacement from V-M Audio Enthusiasts in some cases may look a little different than the original needle but it will work just fine.

Needle Product Information

Current production needles are almost all from Pfanstiehl®. If the needle has a “4” prefix, it is a Pfanstiehl® generic needle. Example: 766D7 is a genuine Shure needle. 4766D7 is a generic replacement. We also have a huge inventory of obsolete needles to be sold, while quantities last. These may be Pfanstiehl®, Astatic or other brand packaged. Some needles are not available but an effective substitute is, and these will be indicated in the listings.

Below is some additional helpful information based on the type of needle and cartridge you have:

Single tip needles – Magnetic cartridges

There may be more than one choice under a basic needle type. Sometimes, the descriptions are identical! For example, a 542DEX and a 542DEV are both elliptical diamond tip needles for 16,33,45 rpm records and have only minor differences in compliance for different cartridges. Some of these variations are no longer available but can be substituted as indicated. Otherwise, if available, go by the replacement notes provided. Cartridge or needle model number is the best way to identify the best choice; with some brands, original needle body color is also helpful to identify the exact needle within a family of similar looking needles.

Dual tip needles or cartridges with two individual needles – Crystal, ceramic cartridges

With older phonos, here’s the key question: Is the cartridge that the needle fits into still good? Before ordering a needle, make sure the cartridge still has output and the needle cradle, retaining strap, or other cartridge hardware is not damaged. Please see the Cartridge Help! page for more information.

Many needles for crystal and ceramic cartridges have flip over needles with two tips! You may have found you need an 800- needle for your Sonotone cartridge. When you go to the page to order this needle you will see many choices or variations of the 800- needle that can be ordered. Make your choice based on the following information:

    - Diamond tips last about 400 hours and sapphire tips about 60 hours before replacement. However sapphire tips track cooler and should be used on older cartridges that track heavier.

    - Needles with tips for LP on one side and 78 on the other were the standard years ago and it is a specialty with us to carry these for customers who want the capability to play all types of records.

    - However, if you only play 16,33,45 rpm records – you may want to order a needle where both tips are for these type of records (generically known as “LP/LP” needles).

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