Note that although we list mostly modern(ish) pickups here we also list some classic early 78 style pickups as these are collected and used by some people, electronic reproducers are not listed here however (there may be a few on the Discontinued Arms page). Readers should note that when the word mil appears in specifications it is not a shortening of a millimeter but an archaic measuring standard used in the USA, or a fraction of an inch, these are usually not converted since technical specifications are typically displayed vertabim and specs. for equipment only or mostly sold in the USA is best displayed using a format that the natives understand.
Accuphase Had a range of mid/high end MC cartridges on the market as late as the mid 90's, including the AC-2 model.
ACOS Made the Hi-Light cartridges in the 60's, I think they would only mate with ACOS Tonearms by the same name, appears t be MI but impossible to say without taking it apart. If you have problems finding stylii for ACOS carts you can try Musonic.
Acutex The company is still going but it's difficult to find accurate info on their current products so I'll list these pickups here (are from the 80's and were available in the early 90's) rather than in the Pickups page. All the Acutex pickups used a propriety variant of the MM system the company called "Tri-Induced Magnet System", it's unclear what difference, if any, was/is between this system and a normal MM but the company claimed the best channel separation in the business. The range started with the M110E that featured a simple "line contact" stylus (actually a elliptical variant), slightly more expensive was the M210 IIE and the M310 IIE, those 2 had an elliptical stylii and all three above carts had the same frequency range or 20Hz to 22KHz. The updated M310 IIIE model does not appear to have replaced the IIE model in the catalogue but rather augmented it, it uses the same stylus as the IIE but has an improved frequency response of 20Hz to 25KHz. The top range of pickps from the company all featured Shibata STR line contact stylii, the cheapest one was the M312 IIISTR, then came the M315 IIISTR that had a quoted frequency range of 20Hz to 40KHz but I have not been able to find the specs for the top of the line M320 IIISTR model.
ADC The company started off a revolution in cartridge design in the 60's with the introduction of low weight Moving Magnet cartridges such as the Model 25 that the company referred to as "induced magnet" designs, these sounded excellent, especially in the top frequencies and had typically 1/4 of the tracking weight of competing MM carts. The problem was that finding an arm that suited was close to impossible until the early 70's (ultra light unipivots mate best with light MM's). And mated with the heavier arms of the time the pickups from the company often had problems especially with warped records, playing them with this combination often produced ghost bass notes and other distortions. The company introduced a bunch of improved designs in the 70's and early 80's but stopped the manufacture of cartridges shortly after the introduction of the Compact Disc. The budget QLM Series, the budget/midprice VLM series and the mid price XLM Series were some of the most popular cartridges of the late 70's and early 80's. Note one oddity, while the original QLM 3x series were replaced with Mk II and Mk III models as usual the Mk II and III's of the VLM and the XLM series were just higher priced versions of the same carts (and my understanding is that the only difference between a MkI, II and III are the stylii), there was also a line of cartridges in the early 80's that were integrated into a headshell and called Integra, these were popular with DJ's, I believe that the basic cartridges inside them were QLM MK III series. I lack info on the early 70's carts such as the 10E MkIV and models such as the K 8.
The technical specification of an XLM MkII is : Frequency response: 15Hz~20Khz +-1.5dB. Output @ 5cm/s: 4.5mV. Tracking force: 3/4 to 1 1/2 grams. Channel separation: 28dB. Channel balance: +-1dB. Stylus Tip: Nude elliptical. Inductance: 350 mHy +-10%. Resistance: 625 ohms. Max recommended capacitance: 275 pf. Load: 47k ohms. Cartridge weight: 5 3/4 grams.
The technical specifications of the VLM MkII are : Frequency response: 15Hz~20Khz +-1.5dB. Output: 4.5mV 5cm/sec. Tracking force: 1 to 2 grams. Channel separation: 26dB. Channel balance: +-2dB. Stylus Tip: Elliptical 0,0007 x 0,0003. Inductance: 350 mHy +-10%. Resistance: 625 ohms. Max recommended capacitance: 275 pf. Load: 47k ohms. Sensitivity: 0,9 mV/cm/sec
The technical specification of QLM 34 MkIII are : Frequency response: 20Hz~20Khz +-2dB. Output @ 5cm/s: 7,8mV. Tracking force: 1 1/2 to 3 grams. Channel separation: 24dB. Stylus Tip: Elliptical 0,0003 x 0,0007. Max recommended capacitance: 275 pf. Load: 47k ohms. Cartridge weight: 5,75 grams.
The technical specification for the QLM 33 MkIII are : Frequency response: 20Hz~20Khz +-2dB. Output @ 5cm/s: 5,8mV. Tracking force: 1 to 5 grams. Channel separation: 24dB. Stylus Tip: Spherical 0,0007 R. Max recommended capacitance: 275 pf. Load: 47k ohms. Cartridge weight: 5,75 grams.
The specs for the QLM 32 MkIII are : Frequency response: 20Hz~20Khz +-2dB. Output @ 5cm/s: 6,6mV. Tracking force: 2 to 4 grams. Channel separation: 20dB. Stylus Tip: Elliptical 0,0004 x 0,0007. Load: 47k ohms. Cartridge weight: 5 3/4 grams.
The technical specification of the QLM30 MkIII are : Frequency response: 20Hz~18Khz +-2dB. Output @ 5cm/s: 1.1 mV per channel at 1 kHz (note not the same format as other specs above). Tracking force: 3 to 5 grams. Tracking ability: 80 µm at 315Hz at recommended tracking force (3gr). Compliance: 9 µm/mN dynamic, lateral. Tracking angle: 20°. Channel separation: 23dB @ 1KHz. Channel balance: +-3dB @ 1KHz. Stylus Tip: Brushed Spherical 0,0007. Load: 47k ohms. Cartridge weight: 5 3/4 grams.
ADCOM Although mostly forgotten by now the first products from this company in the early 70's were in fact MC pickups. These were dubbed "Crosscoil" and were some of the first affordable high output models to reach the market. For a time the range was quite successful and they even supplied them as an OEM but the audiophiles of the day were never very convinced by the sound and the range disappeared when better high output carts such as the Dynavectors came on the scene. The only cart from them that I have been able to dig up some info on is the XC/MR, it had a 2.35mV output and recommended tracking force was 1.8 grams or so but there was also a plain XC version..
AKG Made a range of pickups in the 60's and into the early 90's, some of their MM's were very popular amongst the European producers of players as OEM part to ship with their players as standard (this means that they must have been rather a good value, especially the ones near their top of the range), all Revox players were supplied with them for instance. Some of their last line of pickups were the included the budget P4 , it was also available as a p mount as P4DP it had cheap conical 0,0008 stylus and sported a frequency range from 20Hz to 20KHz, basically if you have one in your record deck now consider getting something better. The P5ED was also a budget model but had a much better Elliptical stylus (0,0008 x 0,00018) and a 20Hz to 22KHz response, this is the model that was shipped with a lot of Dual decks in the 80's. The mid range P8-MF is much more like it and the P 8ES featured a type II Van Den Hul stylus and was considered one of the better MM's in the 80's especially value wise, getting a stylus for that particular model might be a bit difficult (beware of sellers selling replacements with another type of stylii, they will work but the tracking will be much worse), but if the cantilever is good consider getting a new VDH-II stylus glued onto it as an alternative.
Andante Various models of this make keep showing up as NOS (New old stock) and they appear to be low priced MM's with cheap spherical stylli (but reasonable audio spec) dating from the late 80's early 90's, if anyone has further info I would be keen to hear from them. Earlier models bearing this name like the F9-E and the E and S are rebadged Grace Pickups, the E and S models were considerably cheaper thatn the F-9.
ARCAM Made (or rather sold) the E-77 and P-77 MM pickups in the 80's, for a replacement stylus you should be able to use one intended for a Garrott Brothers P-77.
Arista Dutch company that made low/mid range crystal pickups in the 50's/early 60's.
Audio Note/Kondo The company has produced a one model of an high end MC pickup that has evolved since it's introduction in the late 70's, the original model was called Io and later models included the Io-II, note that both Audio Note companies offer rebuild service for the older Io cartridges, but not for the more modern ones.
Audio Technica Much of the second hand AT products that you see on the market are low budget MM designs that is not worth going after, however their MC designs are worthwhile but it should be noted that none of them were extremely expensive when new so while they will definitely warrant a new stylus it might not be worth giving them a complete rebuild. Some of those MC's include the low outut AT24, the budget high output AT3200X EII or variants thereof, the classic low output AT33E or other variants of that design (an extremely good design that has withstood the test of time), the AT36ML was a mid/low output cart, an older design so do not pay too much for it, the AT-OC10 was a more expensive version of the AT-OC9 itself a classic and although a variant of it with a Microline stylus is still available some prefer the original elliptical stylus version that was introduced in the early 80's and discontinued in 1995 or so, also note that early OC9ML version do have the Microline stylus even though the packaging says BiRadial and the specifications for the ML versions are the same as for the old version, the cheapest MC cart in that lineup was the AT-OC5 and was considered to be quite a bargain in it's day, it has a predecessor in the AT-F5 but the body is the one from the OC series rather than from the old F series. Of the Moving magnet designs from the company you should be on the lookout for are the AT150 although that design is getting a bit long in the tooth so a more modern variant like the AT150MLX is perhaps a more dependable buy, there was also a range of MM carts from the company that was called the Lab Series with models such as the LS300, these were supposedly fairly good but I have been unable to find further info. The Mid/top range MM pickups listed here below are also interesting if you can get them cheaply.
The technical specification of the AT120E are : Frequency response: 15Hz~25Khz. Output @ 5cm/s: 5mV. Tracking force: 1 to 1,8 grams. Tracking ability: 70 µm @ center value VTF, 80 µm at upper value VTF. Tracking angle: 20°. Channel separation: 29dB @ 1KHz, 20 @ 10KHz. Channel balance: +-1dB @ 1KHz. Stylus Tip: BiRadial 0,0004 x 0,0007. Stylus Construction: Bonded. cantilever: Thin Wall Tube. Load: 47k ohms. Recommended Capaistance: 100 - 200 pF. Cartridge weight: 6,5 grams.
The technical specification of the AT125LC are : Frequency response: 10Hz~28KHz. Output @ 5cm/s: 5mV. Tracking force: 1 to 1,8 grams. Tracking ability: 70 µm @ center value VTF, 80 µm at upper value VTF. Tracking angle: 20°. Channel separation: 29dB @ 1KHz, 20 @ 10KHz. Channel balance: +-1dB @ 1KHz. Stylus Tip: Linear Contact. Stylus Construction: Titanium Bonded. cantilever: Tapered Tube. Load: 47k ohms. Recommended Capaistance: 100 - 200 pF. Cartridge weight: 6,5 grams.
The technical specification of the AT130E are : Frequency response: 10Hz~30KHz. Output @ 5cm/s: 5mV. Tracking force: 0,8 to 1,5 grams. Tracking ability: 80 µm @ center value VTF, 90 µm at upper value VTF. Tracking angle: 20°. Channel separation: 30dB @ 1KHz, 20 @ 10KHz. Channel balance: +-0,75dB @ 1KHz. Stylus Tip: BiRadial 0,0002 x 0,0007. Stylus Construction: Nude. cantilever: Tapered Tube. Load: 47k ohms. Recommended Capaistance: 100 - 200 pF. Cartridge weight: 6,5 grams.
The AT20SLA was a limited edition MM made in the early 80's, very impressive but you might have to have the stylus made for it, the technical specification are : Frequency response: 10Hz~50KHz. Output @ 5cm/s: 2,7mV. Reccommended Tracking force: 1,5 grams. Channel balance: +-0,75dB @ 1KHz or less. Stylus Tip: Shibata Line contact. Reccommended Load: 47K to 100K ohms. Coil Impedance: 370mH. Cartridge weight: 8,5 grams.
Audio Quest Sold mid end MC cartridges in the late 80's and into the late 90's these were actually made by the Scantech company of Japan, the MC 404I L is a low output (0,5mV) cart with a Boron cantilever, a line contact stylus and a recommended load of 100 ohms. The MC-5 however was a high output design and the AQ-7000 FE5. Older models included the AQ-B100MH a mid output (1,6mV) cart and the AQ-7000 NSX.
Azden This Japanese company was until recently one of the biggest OEM supplier of cartridges. Unusually the company made low budget Moving Coil pickups such as the GM-1E that featured a user replaceable elliptical stylus. Other recently deleted products from the company include the YM-10 pickups, these are budget MM's with a reasonable audio specification of 10Hz to 22 KHz, there were 3 models available all electronically identical but with differing stylii and cantilevers, the C and E version that had aluminium cantilevers, the C version had a spherical stylus, the E version had a elliptical one and the VE version featured tapered cantilever and a "Vital Elliptical" stylus. Amongst the Azden low budget models were the YM-P50C, a typical example of the genre with a frequency response of 10Hz to 20KHz, a weight of 4,5 grams and featuring a spherical stylus. One US company has some original styli supplies but rather expensive.