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Audio-Technica VM540ML Phono Cartridge

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Audio-Technica VM540ML

The VM540ML MicroLine® stylus cartridge is the premier 500 Series model in Audio-Technica’s new VM cartridge line – a line that harks back to A-T’s early days as a manufacturer primarily of high-end phono cartridges, while also incorporating today’s advanced technology. Like all VM cartridges, the VM540ML is equipped with dual magnets that are positioned to match the left and right channels in the stereo record groove for outstanding channel separation and extended frequency response. The cartridge’s MicroLine® stylus allows it to trace the record groove with incredible accuracy, resulting in nuanced audio reproduction that elliptical and conical styli simply can’t match. The stylus’s multilevel shape also wears better than other styli, while reducing the wear on your records. Includes mounting hardware.

Audio-Technica VM Technology - Closer to the Cutterhead

A cutter head carves out the record grooves. The modulations in the groove are “analog” mechanical equivalents of the original audio signals. To “read” these modulations, Audio-Technica developed the patented Dual Magnet design which duplicates the structure of the cutter head. Instead of using a single, large magnet, the two magnets are arranged in the shape of a V. The two magnets are positioned precisely to match positions of the left and right channels in the stereo groove walls. Consequently, the VM design provides outstanding channel separation, extended frequency response and superb tracking. All models feature high-purity 6N-OFC (99.9999% pure oxygen free copper) wiring for maximum sonic purity and extraordinary resolution of fine musical detail.
  • VM dual magnet cartridge with MicroLine® stylus
  • Aluminum cantilever
  • Center shield plate between the left and right channels reduces crosstalk
  • Durable low-resonance polymer cartridge housing

  • Technical:
  • Frequency Response: 20-27,000 Hz
  • Channel Separation: 28 dB (1 kHz)
  • Vertical Tracking Force: 1.8-2.2 g (2.0 g standard)
  • Stylus Construction: Nude square shank
  • Recommended Load Impedance: 47,000 ohms
  • Output: 4.0 mV (at 1 kHz, 5 cm/sec)
  • Channel Balance: 1.0 dB (1 kHz)
  • Stylus Shape: 2.2 x 0.12 mil MicroLine®
  • Cantilever: Aluminum tapered pipe
  • Mount: Half-inch
  • Replacement Stylus: VMN40ML
  • Coil Impedance: 2,700 ohms (1 kHz)
  • DC Resistance: 800 ohms
  • Load Capacitance: 100-200 pF
  • Coil Inductance: 460 mH (1 kHz)
  • Static Compliance: 40 x 10-6 cm/dyne
  • Dynamic Compliance: 10 x 10-6 cm/dyne (100 Hz)
  • Vertical Tracking Angle: 23° Dimensions: 17.3 mm (0.7") H x 17.0 mm (0.7") W x 28.2 mm (1.1") D
  • Weight: 6.4 g (0.2 oz)
  • Ratings & Reviews

    1 review

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    High value modern stylus-cartridge. Exceptional clarity and ambient soundstage.


    Equipment is Dual 1218, and Pioneer SX 950. Cartridge properly aligned following turntable leveling and maintenance. Description of test recordings is: Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F Major. Recording is cut in record's inner grooves; is slightly warped, high range brass and woodwinds in innermost grooves. High end clarity, definition crisp and bright, tracking superior to Shure M97Xe (the VM540 tracks heavier than the M97Xe-contrary to popular views on tracking force as stylus shape contraindicates this notion. Yes,Close To The Edge,1972 (George Piros), familiarity. Pink Floyd,Dark Side Of The Moon,remaster,180g vinyl,deep resonant bass. Santana, Abraxas, M.F. OMR, complexity. Fullness and depth abundant in low end, not detracting from midrange and high end. No distortion perceived. Jonah Jones,Muted Jazz,1957,original release,monophonic. Small ensemble. True test for modern stylus, (mono). The soundstage the VM540ML creates is as if sitting in a small venue. Intimate,clear.