When it comes to turntable cartridges, the Goldring E3 and the Audio-Technica VM95ML are two popular choices among audiophiles. Both cartridges offer high-quality sound and are often recommended for those looking to upgrade their turntable setup. But how do they compare? Let’s take a closer look.
The Goldring E3 is a moving magnet (MM) cartridge that features a spherical stylus and a high output voltage of 3.5mV. It has a frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz and a tracking force range of 1.5-2.5 grams. The E3 is known for its excellent detail retrieval and imaging, making it a great choice for those who prioritize clarity and precision in their music playback.
The Audio-Technica VM95ML is also an MM cartridge, but it features a nude microlinear stylus and a slightly lower output voltage of 3.5mV. It has a frequency response of 20Hz-27kHz and a tracking force range of 1.8-2.2 grams. The VM95ML is known for its excellent tracking ability and low distortion, making it an excellent choice for those who want to get the most out of their records.
In terms of build quality, both cartridges are well-made and durable. The E3 has a plastic body and a metal cantilever, while the VM95ML has an aluminum body and a tapered duralumin cantilever. The VM95ML also features Audio-Technica’s unique dual magnet design, which is designed to improve channel separation and reduce crosstalk.
When it comes to installation and setup, both cartridges are straightforward and easy to mount. The E3 comes with a standard screw-on mount, while the VM95ML uses Audio-Technica’s proprietary four-pin bayonet mount. Both cartridges require careful alignment and adjustment of tracking force and anti-skate to achieve optimal performance.
In terms of sound quality, the Goldring E3 and the VM95ML have different strengths and weaknesses. The E3 excels at delivering precise, detailed sound with excellent separation between instruments and vocals. It’s particularly well-suited for classical and jazz music, where intricate arrangements and dynamic range are essential. The VM95ML, on the other hand, has a slightly warmer sound that’s well-suited for rock, pop, and other genres that prioritize groove and rhythm. It also has a more forgiving sound that can smooth over rough or worn records.
So which cartridge is right for you? Ultimately, it depends on your priorities and preferences. If you prioritize clarity, detail, and precision, the Goldring E3 is an excellent choice. If you want a cartridge that excels at tracking and low distortion, the Audio-Technica VM95ML may be a better fit. Both cartridges offer exceptional value for their price and are excellent upgrades from entry-level cartridges.