Customer Reviews: Audio-Technica AT311EP Universal Mount Phono / Turntable Cartridge
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Style Name: AT311EP Phonograph Cartridge|Change
Price:$41.46+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on December 20, 2013
This cartridge will work just fine on MOST turntables using the 1/2" mounting adapter. On those that have an issue of the bottom of the cartridge body hitting the record surface. . . it is usually because the turntable had no, or very poor VTA (Vertical Tracking Angle) adjustment. Also, this cartridge has a pretty high "compliance" so even when tracked at 1.25g to 1.5g, it rides pretty low as the tracking force compresses the rubber cantilever pivot quite a bit. This is not unusual and some other more costly cartridges have stylus assemblies that also ride very low to the record surface. The high compliance contributes to it's excellent sound.

There is a very simply solution I have used. To remedy this, all you have to do is cut out a small piece of "cereal box cardboard" shim in the form of a little rectangle or trapezoid shape, about 3/8"x 3/8" in size. I use the trapezoid shape. You can then mount the cartridge, but do not tighten the screws all the was on the 1/2" mounting adapter. With the adapter mounting screws loose, you simply slide the tiny piece of cardboard under the front edge of the 1/2" black mounting adapter enough to lower the front edge down a bit. This essential tilts the front down and rear of the cartridge up a bit. You can experiment and see how much you need to slide the cardboard under the mounting adapter, then tighten the screws. Try it then on a record and usually you will see you have a perfect angle with no bottoming. Very rarely, you may have to use two layers of cardboard "shims" to get te good Vertical Tracking Angle.

I've used this cartridge on 7 turntables so far. Only one needed the "shim" under the front. It depends on your cardige head and some turntables are designed to "stack" records or need a thicker mat. check if your turntable HAS the proper mat thickness that was original. If not. .. . vertical tracking angle is off.
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on October 23, 2009
Decided to get back into vinyl and break out my old turntable and records. My turntable was set up for DJ use and had a shure m44-7 cart installed. After buying some new vinyl, I noticed that the shure really colored the sound, way too much bass and muddy mids. The shure was definitely not made for critical listening. After a lot of research, I decided to try this cart because of the great reviews and low price. This cart made a huge difference, the music now sounds alive and smooth. The bass is tight without the overbloated sound the shure produced. I am no vinyl audiophile but know good sound, and this cart produces. A definite thumbs up for someone on a budget.

My audio system:

Panasonic xr57K on bi-amp mode
arcam diva cd73
axiom audio m80 speakers
technics sl1200mk3 with at92ecd cart
behringer pp400 phono amp
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on August 6, 2010
A friend of mine who is a recording engineer recommended I get this one to go with a Technics turntable (sl-5 linear tracking, p mount only) rather than the Shure someone had put on it. I was hesitant because of the lack of reviews online and the price point. I thought it was too cheap to be really good. I have to say its the best thing I could've gotten. My main musical interest is rock, and some of it gets really hard and heavy. This cartridge makes music really come alive. The bass is full, without overpowering, all of the musical details are crisp and clean. Its dynamic, warm, spacious, vibrant! I haven't felt vinyl in a long time. I could totally feel it with this. I just can't believe that its so underrated. Well, maybe that keeps it nice and affordable.
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on October 28, 2003
This particular Audio Technica cartridge will suprisingly enough yield very crisp and clear audio quality. Bass response is tight but not overwhelming nor weak. The wonderful thing about this type of cartridge is that it's basically a plug and play set up (just have to tighten a screw to hold it in place with most P-mount systems). The elliptical stylus or tip is designed for better contact with the stereo groove walls in a record resulting in better frequency response and clarity. The user does not have to worry about how much stylus pressure,weight, or anti-skating to provide to get the most from this cartridge;that's the beauty of using this cartridge on a P-mount tonearm instead of as a standard one...This cartrdige will perform admirably when used for regular record listening conditions. This is not a DJ stylus to scratch with as you may damage the needle and the record ("burn"). Also, it is more suitable for playing any kind of music except classical or jazz where a high end audiophile cartridge/needle would be needed. Such a high end cartridge and needle would bring out extreme musical detail as well as the ambiance or "air" of the instruments. Also, that would allow for better stereo separation as well... This is only a better than average cartridge meaning that you will only get about maybe a little over a year's worth of use from it (if you played one or 2 records a day or every 2 days respectively). That is also the difference between a basic low priced cartridge/stylus versus an audiophile grade one (those can usually go for about 5 years---but you would be talking anywhere from hundreds to maybe thousands of dollars).
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on May 31, 2011
I bought a Technics SL-Q350 from a local seller on craigslist that advertised the turntable to be complete and ready to play (w/preamp included). Well, I showed up ready to take it home only to find out the preamp he promised did not come with it and even more disappointing, that there was no AT (not sure what model) cartridge included either. After talking him down to almost nothing (after explaining how much it would cost me to buy these two items), I got the player home and began a hunt for a good cartridge. After searching and finding recommendations (my particular model was tough to find), I found that the 92ECD was the most recommended one, so naturally I went to Amazon and purchased it (along with the preamp) and had it in two days....just in time for the weekend. Install was a snap and I especially like that it came with extra screws, a screwdriver, a stylus brush and a stylus guard in the package. I'm not sure what higher quality cartridges (or more expensive) sound like, but I do know that the sound is just so sweet and smooth from my turntable, and that is all I expected to get from this little gem. What I wasn't prepared for, however, were the compliments I received from friends who came over to hear some classic vinyl on how much better my player (and records) sounded compared to others. Even my wife said that "the instruments sound so real" when we were listening to Dark Side of the Moon. That says a lot for someone who never sits down to listen to music...ever.

Anyways, the cartridge works as advertised and I think that the many positive reviews are absolutely true. If you're in the market for a new cartridge and don't want to shell out a lot of money, especially if you have a Technics SL-Q350, give this one a shot. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
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on March 30, 2012
I was given a record player by my father Year ago. Unfortunately it had no stylus on it. It is a Technics SL-Q350. I use it almost everyday now because all the best songs are on classic Vynl. All I need now is a nice slip mat and ELP's brain salad surgery album and I am set.
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on April 29, 2014
I used this in a Realistic LAB 2100 linear track turntable. It mounted very easily. The tracking force was right on, as it should be for any P-Mount cartridge.

The sound is quite good for an inexpensive cartridge. It successfully tracks all of my torture test albums including the Fennel/Cleveland Winds recording of Holst's Suite for Military Band.
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on June 15, 2014
I am going to say upfront that I have been playing records for over 50 years - I know turntables inside and out and even restore them. This is the cartridge I install in many turntables I restore for the following reasons.... the conical stylus is more forgiving of surface noise, granted at a sacrifice of ultimate detail. It's a trade-off that you need to weigh out. One key aspect of this cartridge that you need to weigh is the weight that it tracks at... a modest 1.25 grams. That is less than ANY new turntable on the market.

The sound character is neutral. No pumped-up bass like a DJ cartridge, but no brilliant sizzle top end like many cheapies in the same price range. This is an excellent, well balanced cartridge for a vintage turntable - both S shape arm and the lower mass straight arms of the 1980's.

If you have a collection of really clean records, consider stepping up to AT92E with it's .3 x .7 mil tip. More midrange detail and wider imaging for around the same money.
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on August 15, 2012
This cartridge was easy to install in the tonearm of my Empire 598 II turntable from 1973. I used to run Shure V15-III and IV cartridges, back in the day, but this Audio Technica sounds every bit as good to me listening to the old vinyl. I plan to buy another as a spare soon. This has a universal mount, so you can use it on modern tonearms, too. I think you'd have to spend $60-100 more to really notice any difference in sound quality versus a "better" cartridge, which would be a minimal difference.
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on March 27, 2005
This is an excellent all around solid performer. When compared to a stock Shure 92E, this Audio Technica 92ECD stands head and shoulders above the stock Shure in terms of high frequency response-cymbals etc. I'm sure the narrower elliptical stylus helps. However, a Shure M92e with an upgraded stylus gives this AT a good run for the money. No, the AT's not as "neutral" sounding as the Shure, but, to my ear anyway is also quite balanced. This is a good basic upgrade cartridge. It's not an "audiophile" contender but reproduces music nicely, well beyond most basic cartridges. Good "universal" value especially in that it can be used as either a P mount or standard. Have a listen, you can't go wrong for the price.
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