Record players use a needle, also known as a stylus, to read the grooves on a vinyl record. The needle vibrates as it moves through the grooves, and these vibrations are converted into electrical signals by the cartridge. The electrical signals are then amplified by the amplifier and sent to the speakers. The speakers convert the electrical signals back into sound waves, which we can hear.
There are two main types of needles used in record players: moving magnet (MM) and moving coil (MC). MM needles are more common and less expensive. MC needles are more expensive, but they offer better sound quality.
Moving Magnet Needles
Moving magnet (MM) needles are the most common type of needle used in record players. They are made of a magnet attached to a coil of wire. As the needle moves through the grooves, the magnet moves through the coil. This movement of the magnet creates an electrical signal.
MM needles are less expensive than MC needles and are more durable. They are also easier to replace. However, they do not offer the same level of sound quality as MC needles.
Moving Coil Needles
Moving coil (MC) needles are more expensive than MM needles. They are also more delicate and require a higher-quality phono cartridge. However, they offer better sound quality than MM needles.
MC needles are made of a coil of wire attached to a magnet. As the needle moves through the grooves, the coil moves through the magnet. This movement of the coil creates an electrical signal.
MC needles are more sensitive than MM needles, which means they can pick up more subtle details in the music. They also have a wider frequency response, which means they can reproduce a wider range of sounds.
Which Type of Needle is Right for You?
The best type of needle for you depends on your budget and your listening preferences. If you are looking for the best possible sound quality, then MC needles are the way to go. However, if you are on a budget or if you are not as concerned about sound quality, then MM needles will be fine.
Here are some additional tips for choosing a needle for your record player:
- Consider the type of music you listen to. If you listen to a lot of classical music or jazz, then you may want to consider an MC needle.
- Consider your budget. MC needles are more expensive than MM needles.
- Consider the quality of your record player. If you have a high-quality record player, then you will want to get a high-quality needle.
- Talk to a salesperson at a record store. They can help you choose the right needle for your needs.