Elliptical or Spherical Stylus on cartridges, what’s the difference?

When it comes to turntable cartridges, the stylus plays a crucial role in determining the quality of sound reproduction. Among the various types of styli available, elliptical and spherical are two of the most common options. Understanding the differences between these stylus shapes and their respective applications can help you make an informed decision based on your listening preferences and usage scenarios.

In addition to these, Ortofon also uses advanced stylus shapes such as Fine-Line, Shibata, Ortofon Replicant 100, and Fritz Gyger 70 diamonds. These specialized shapes offer superior tracking ability and enhanced sound quality, catering to audiophiles who seek the best possible performance from their vinyl records.

Stylus shape of a Hifi:

  • Spherical stylus: a spherical stylus features a rounded tip that makes direct contact with the grooves of a record. This design is simple and effective, making it suitable for general listening purposes.
  • Elliptical stylus: an elliptical stylus has a more complex
    shape, with a narrower front radius and a broader side radius. This
    design allows for greater contact area with the groove walls, resulting
    in improved tracking ability and higher fidelity.

Sound quality on your stylus:

  • Spherical stylus: while spherical styli offer reliable performance and durability, they may not provide the same level of detail and accuracy as elliptical styli. However, they can still deliver enjoyable sound reproduction for casual listening.
  • Elliptical stylus: elliptical styli are renowned for theirsuperior tracking ability and ability to extract finer details from the record grooves. This results in clearer highs, tighter bass, and overall improved sound quality, making them ideal for audiophiles and enthusiasts seeking the highest fidelity.

Curious to learn even more about diamonds and their cuts? Watch this educational video and get an in-depth look at all the different diamonds Ortofon uses in their cartridges.

Application of your cartridge:

  • DJ Use: for DJs who prioritize robustness, durability, and stability during back-cueing and scratching, spherical DJ styli  with a dedicated rubber suspension are often preferred. Their sturdy construction and forgivingtracking characteristics make them well-suited for the rigors of DJing. Discover Ortofon’s dj cartridges
  • Listening to music on vinyl: when it comes to critical listening andextracting the utmost detail and fidelity from your vinyl records, elliptical  Hifi styli  with their dedicated rubber suspension are the preferred choice. Whether you're enjoying classical music, jazz, rock, or electronic genres, the enhanced resolution and accuracy of an elliptical stylus can elevate your listening experience. Discover Ortofon’s 2M series.

Considerations for Hifi stylus upgrading:

  • If you're currently using a turntable cartridge with a spherical stylus and are looking to upgrade your listening experience, consider switching to an elliptical stylus cartridge. The improved tracking ability and sound quality can breathe new life into your vinyl collection and reveal nuances you may have previously missed.

In summary, the choice between an elliptical and spherical stylus ultimately depends on your priorities and usage scenarios. Audiophiles and enthusiasts seeking the highest fidelity and detail from their vinyl records, an elliptical Hifi stylus is the
preferred option. Regardless of your choice, both stylus shapes can provide
enjoyable listening experiences when paired with a quality turntable cartridge.

Find the right cartridge for you by.

Happy listening!