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Audio Technica At440mla Dual Moving Magnet Phono Cartridge (at-440ml) Reviews
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Average Customer Rating:
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(based on 11 reviews)

100% of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Customers most agreed on the following attributes:

How long have you used this product?:

Over A Year (3)

Pros:

Archiving (7), Casual Listening (11), Other (3)

What best describes your level of audio knowledge?:

Audiophile (4)

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Great "Budget" Audiophile Cartridge

By cmeister92 from Rogers, AR on 03/20/2015


Pros:

Archiving, Casual Listening

Cons:

A Tad Bright At First Until Fully Broken In

I've had this cartridge over a year and typically use it as a backup on more worn lps. For newer discs, I usually use my AT150MLX. The AT440MLa is what I really consider the beginning of what some might call "audiophile" cartridges. The stylus is of a very advanced shape that Audio Technica calls "MicroLine". It tracks the record grooves better than any other shape I have ever used and slightly warped (and very warped!) records don't usually phase it. The sound is clear and what you might call analytical or detailed. You can pick out individual instruments or voices that would just all seem to run together for me using other cartridges. As cliche as it may seem, I really did hear certain aspects of music on my records that weren't obvious before I used this cartridge. The break in period is about 40 to 50 hours. At first the cartridge tends to be a little "bright" focusing on the highs a tad excessively, but after break in it mellows off and isn't neutral, but is a lot more even. I enjoy the sound a lot. The only other cartridge I have used that sounds smoother and more relaxed is the AT150MLX. I also think the specs might be a little better in real use because a friend has also successfully used his 440MLa for quadraphonic records that require a very high frequency response over what this cart is rated to. If you are looking for a good cartridge and don't want to spend too much, this is a great option. It has a great sound and is very easy to live with if you only wanted one cartridge. It is a great upgrade for the AT-LP120 turntable and other vintage Japanese direct drive turntables that use a similar medium mass tonearm.


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Great "Budget" Audiophile Cartridge

By cmeister92 from Rogers, AR on 03/20/2015


Cons:

A Tad Bright At First Until Fully Broken In

What best describes the environment the product was used in?:

Casual Listening

How long have you used this product?:

Over A Year

Pros:

Casual Listening, Archiving

What best describes your level of audio knowledge?:

Intermediate

I've had this cartridge over a year and typically use it as a backup on more worn lps. For newer discs, I usually use my AT150MLX. The AT440MLa is what I really consider the beginning of what some might call "audiophile" cartridges. The stylus is of a very advanced shape that Audio Technica calls "MicroLine". It tracks the record grooves better than any other shape I have ever used and slightly warped (and very warped!) records don't usually phase it. The sound is clear and what you might call analytical or detailed. You can pick out individual instruments or voices that would just all seem to run together for me using other cartridges. As cliche as it may seem, I really did hear certain aspects of music on my records that weren't obvious before I used this cartridge. The break in period is about 40 to 50 hours. At first the cartridge tends to be a little "bright" focusing on the highs a tad excessively, but after break in it mellows off and isn't neutral, but is a lot more even. I enjoy the sound a lot. The only other cartridge I have used that sounds smoother and more relaxed is the AT150MLX. I also think the specs might be a little better in real use because a friend has also successfully used his 440MLa for quadraphonic records that require a very high frequency response over what this cart is rated to. If you are looking for a good cartridge and don't want to spend too much, this is a great option. It has a great sound and is very easy to live with if you only wanted one cartridge. It is a great upgrade for the AT-LP120 turntable and other vintage Japanese direct drive turntables that use a similar medium mass tonearm.


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Typical Audio Technica quality and Perfo

By Blister from Chicago on 06/19/2012


Pros:

Minimal Inner Groove Dist, Excellent Build Quality, Functional Design, Excellent Sound, Easy To Use, Professional Features, Consistent, Versatile

Describe Yourself:

Experienced

Best Uses:

Home Studio, Amateur Recording, Professional Recording

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

The AT440mla is probably the best cartridge available for less than $300.


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No more inner groove distortion!

By OldStyle from Milwaukee, WI, USA on 04/02/2012


Pros:

Archiving, Tracks Like A Boss, Casual Listening

Cons:

Tiny Cantilever! Be Careful

I bought this cart to replace a well known competitor's cart that I found my self re-setting up about once a week. No matter how I tweaked it, the last two tracks on each side of the record were terrible sounding: sibilant, distorted, etc. I even updated my turntable " the cart's manufacturer assured me I must be doing something wrong! Well, I finally did some research and decided to get this cart. It's only got about 3 hours on it, but already I can say this: my inner groove distortion is gone. GONE. I didn't believe this was possible! But what's almost cooler is that I had a stack of records I was ready to trash because they sounded totally worn out on my old cart. Distorted, treble all gone, etc. I threw an especially "trashed" LP on my turntable to see what the AT440mla would do with it. To my COMPLETE surprise, the rumors about this cart are true: it dug down deep in the groove and found undamaged vinyl. EVERY record I was ready to throw out sounded good enough to hang on to with this cart. Some sounded good, others sounded FANTASTIC. Additionally, especially with newer, cleaner records, this cart has extremely low surface noise! Some call this cart bright. And while it does show a rise in the treble, its reproduction of music is faithful. For example, an LP whose CD counterpart is also mastered on the warmer side sounded spot-on; same as the CD, no extra treble. Records that had previously sounded like they were lacking high frequency detail came alive with this cart. I have yet to feel like I need to roll off the highs as I listen to the AT440mla. Its sound is not fatiguing to me in the least. And it's not even broken in! So, to summarize: If this cart hadn't worked, I was ready to give up on vinyl. All this talk of LPs being able to rival CDs in sound quality was sounding a bit ridiculous to me UNTIL I tried the AT440mla. I never knew vinyl could sound so clear, full, natural, and dynamic. If you have a decent turntable and an amp/speakers that can do justice to the increased detail this cartridge reveals, the investment will be well worth it! Just be careful with it! I've never seen such a tiny cantilever in my life, and I can't even make out the diamond. You'd only have to drop this cart on a record once to do some damage. Respect it, and it'll respect your records!


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No more inner groove distortion!

By OldStyle from Milwaukee, WI, USA on 04/02/2012


Cons:

Tiny Cantilever! Be Careful

What best describes the environment the product was used in?:

Casual Listening

How long have you used this product?:

Less Than A Month

Pros:

Casual Listening, Archiving, Tracks Like A Boss

What best describes your level of audio knowledge?:

Audiophile

I bought this cart to replace a well known competitor's cart that I found my self re-setting up about once a week. No matter how I tweaked it, the last two tracks on each side of the record were terrible sounding: sibilant, distorted, etc. I even updated my turntable the cart's manufacturer assured me I must be doing something wrong! Well, I finally did some research and decided to get this cart. It's only got about 3 hours on it, but already I can say this: my inner groove distortion is gone. GONE. I didn't believe this was possible! But what's almost cooler is that I had a stack of records I was ready to trash because they sounded totally worn out on my old cart. Distorted, treble all gone, etc. I threw an especially "trashed" LP on my turntable to see what the AT440mla would do with it. To my COMPLETE surprise, the rumors about this cart are true: it dug down deep in the groove and found undamaged vinyl. EVERY record I was ready to throw out sounded good enough to hang on to with this cart. Some sounded good, others sounded FANTASTIC. Additionally, especially with newer, cleaner records, this cart has extremely low surface noise! Some call this cart bright. And while it does show a rise in the treble, its reproduction of music is faithful. For example, an LP whose CD counterpart is also mastered on the warmer side sounded spot-on; same as the CD, no extra treble. Records that had previously sounded like they were lacking high frequency detail came alive with this cart. I have yet to feel like I need to roll off the highs as I listen to the AT440mla. Its sound is not fatiguing to me in the least. And it's not even broken in! So, to summarize: If this cart hadn't worked, I was ready to give up on vinyl. All this talk of LPs being able to rival CDs in sound quality was sounding a bit ridiculous to me UNTIL I tried the AT440mla. I never knew vinyl could sound so clear, full, natural, and dynamic. If you have a decent turntable and an amp/speakers that can do justice to the increased detail this cartridge reveals, the investment will be well worth it! Just be careful with it! I've never seen such a tiny cantilever in my life, and I can't even make out the diamond. You'd only have to drop this cart on a record once to do some damage. Respect it, and it'll respect your records!


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Very good sound & avoidance of record wear

By zenith2134 from New York, NY, USA on 01/19/2012


Pros:

Other, Serious Listening On A Real Hi-fi System

Cons:

Pricey Styli(not Really A Con)

This cart is high-quality for a number of reasons. 1. the tracking force is kept to a low number(1.4gr nominal) 2. Ohno Continuous Casting Copper used in the internal wiring=better detail retrieval and imaging. 3. dual magnet for separation 4. Perhaps most importantly, the MicroLine stylus is very easy on the grooves and keeps wear of your records to a minimum.


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Very good sound & avoidance of record wear

By zenith2134 from New York, NY, USA on 01/19/2012


Pros:

Other, Serious Listening On A Real Hi-fi System

What best describes your level of audio knowledge?:

Audiophile

Cons:

Pricey Styli(not Really A Con)

What best describes the environment the product was used in?:

Other

How long have you used this product?:

Up To A Year

This cart is high-quality for a number of reasons. 1. the tracking force is kept to a low number(1.4gr nominal) 2. Ohno Continuous Casting Copper used in the internal wiring=better detail retrieval and imaging. 3. dual magnet for separation 4. Perhaps most importantly, the MicroLine stylus is very easy on the grooves and keeps wear of your records to a minimum.


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The best value for your dollar

By McintoshNut from So. Calif. on 12/17/2011


What best describes the environment the product was used in?:

Casual Listening

How long have you used this product?:

Over A Year

Pros:

Archiving, Casual Listening

What best describes your level of audio knowledge?:

Audiophile

I have owned many cart's over the last forty years, this one is the best value of them all. The overall balance of the response is it's biggest asset. The soundstage is wide and open. This is mounted on a mid priced 20 year old Technics TT that has never sounded better. I have only heard two cartridges that sound better than this one. One is the AT-oc9/lll which I have on another TT, the other is on the Mcintosh turntable which at $12,000 (yes I said TWELVE THOUSAND) is still on my wish list.


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Truly excellent cartridge

By DiscoStu from San Fran on 11/12/2011


Pros:

Archiving, Casual Listening, Superb Product

Cons:

Replacement Stylus Hard To Find At Retailers

I've had this cartridge for at least 5 years. It's very musical sounding, captures fine details and delivers expert tracking. It also works quite well with the less expensive and easier to find AT120E replacement stylus.


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Truly excellent cartridge

By DiscoStu from San Fran on 11/12/2011


Cons:

Replacement Stylus Hard To Find At Retailers

What best describes the environment the product was used in?:

Casual Listening

How long have you used this product?:

Over A Year

Pros:

Archiving, Superb Product, Casual Listening

What best describes your level of audio knowledge?:

Audiophile

I've had this cartridge for at least 5 years. It's very musical sounding, captures fine details and delivers expert tracking. It also works quite well with the less expensive and easier to find AT120E replacement stylus.


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Searchin' for the sound

By Bill from Lockport, NY on 02/13/2009


Describe Yourself:

Novice

Pros:

Excellent Sound, Easy To Use, Consistent

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

The Cartrige sounds great, My old cartrige came with my record player and my son broke it. I can't say for sure that this sounds better. It does sound great and the low tracking weight and shape of needle should save the life of my vinyl.


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