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Customer Reviews

Audio-Technica VM540ML/H

Dual moving magnet phono cartridge with MicroLine® stylus and headshell

MFR # VM540ML/H

Audio-Technica VM540ML/H

Audio-Technica VM540ML/H

Dual moving magnet phono cartridge with MicroLine® stylus and headshell

MFR # VM540ML/H

35 reviews
View this product

Music to my ears

Jeremy from Summerland Key, FL on 11/27/2022

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Everything I was hoping for. and then some! This cartridge/headshell is crystal clear right out of the box. Beautiful soundstage and separation. I'm extremely impressed.

Pros: Price Sound quality Clarity

Cons: Nothing

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0 of 0 found this helpful

What a difference!

Geoffrey from Garfield Hts, OH on 9/14/2022

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I didn't know my stereo could sound so good. This cartridge was transformational to the albums I have been hearing all my life and makes new stuff sound clear and fabulous. It didn't occur to me that by purchasing a good-grade cartridge was a critical part of my signal chain for my turntable but I'm glad I found out. I got the one on the shell so I could easily swap back and forth between the new and the old. This one cost ten times the cost of my original and it is easily ten times better. Don't cheap-out on your cartridge - you'll never know what you are missing.

Pros: Fabulous sound Ease of installation Integrated stylus guard

Cons: none

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0 of 0 found this helpful

Great Cartridge

James from Henrico, VA on 8/20/2022

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Excellent cartridge. A step or two above my Shure M97XE. Hearing new things with every LP I've played. Very crisp, clear sound.

Pros: Easy to set up since it was pre mounted on headshell.

Cons:

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0 of 0 found this helpful

Audio-Technica VM540ML/H

John L from Candia, NH on 8/8/2022

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Makes a big difference in terms of clarity with vinyl.

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0 of 0 found this helpful

Extremely easy plug and play upgrade

Joseph from Greenville, SC on 4/25/2022

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An extremely easy plug and play upgrade to my Audio-Technica AT-LP120XUSB-BK and its entry level cartridge. I like having the cartridge already mounted to the headshell. That gives me the option of switching back and forth easily to compare. A tad bright on a few recordings but very clear improved detail, warmth, and separation on the majority of my vinyl collection. Sound staging is noticeably improved. Overall Very pleased with my purchase.

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0 of 0 found this helpful

Worth the pricie over the AT95E

Ora from Mount Vernon, OH on 3/25/2022

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Very nice upgrade over an AT95E on an Audio Technica LP120 turntable. 95E is a nice inexpensive cartridge/stylus combo, but the VM540ML improves highs and mid range. Vocals are now better and there is more clarity in complex multi-instrument pieces, i.e., you can hear individual instruments better and music overall no long sounds a little muffled. Seems less noisy, too, but I don' t know why that should be. Very pleased with the purchase and IMO worth doing.

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1 of 1 found this helpful

Superb Stylus

Eric from Denver, CO on 3/22/2022

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This is a neutral and open stylus that provides an ocean of detail without fatiguing the ears. The catch is that you, the listener will need to maintain your records in a very clean state to fully enjoy the sound of this product. The results are astonishing. I love this product, and it punches above it's weight.

Pros: Price to performance ratio is unequaled.

Cons: None.

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1 of 1 found this helpful

What I needed, when I wanted it.

Michael from Mays Landing, NJ on 3/20/2022

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Easy to install, already aligned. Very nice sounding cartridge/needle combo.

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0 of 0 found this helpful

What an excellent cartridge!!!

Chad from Locust Grove, VA on 1/17/2022

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Amazing sound!! This also does very well at reducing hissing and crackling on older records. Very happy with this purchase.

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2 of 2 found this helpful

Great sound

Crutchfield customer from Toledo, OH on 12/22/2021

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Now that both channels work I love this cart. Having it allows me to not have to use the expensive Shure V15 Type IV/Jico SAS. It sounds great and its not really broken in yet! Very balanced throughout the freq range. It is a steal at its price. Just buy one, the reviewers are not wrong about this!

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2 of 2 found this helpful

Audio-Technica VM540ML/H

Crutchfield customer from Merritt Island, FL on 9/25/2021

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Well worth the money. Put on my old Sanyo TP1020 and dramatically upgraded the highs.

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2 of 2 found this helpful

Audio-Technica VM540ML/H

Crutchfield customer from Auburn, MA on 9/19/2021

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I replaced my Ortofon 2M Blue with the AT VM540ML. To my ears, as well as my listening buddy,the Audio Technicia has a fuller sound. The 2M Blue was very bright for lack of better words almost to the point of fatigue. Loving the AT VM540ML so far and feel it's only going g to sound better the more I play. My system is made up of the following: Fluance RT85 TT Elac U i-Fi 2.0 bookshelf speakers Emotive A300 amp Emotiva PT100 pre

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10 of 10 found this helpful

Hits the sweet spot.

Crutchfield customer from Cleveland, OH on 9/6/2021

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This cartridge is the best bang for the buck MM cartridge I have heard in a very long time. A little less clinical than Ortofon red, but more detailed than Grado Gold. this hits the sweet spot with punch, air, drive and soul. I couldn't be happier at this price point.

Pros: Tracking, cohesive and dynamic sound.

Cons: Nothing at this price point.

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7 of 7 found this helpful

Audio-Technica VM540ML/H

Crutchfield customer from Gold Canyon, AZ on 9/5/2021

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Really digs out the sound that's been unheard easy install good product

Pros: Quality in sound

Cons: None

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3 of 3 found this helpful

Audio-Technica VM540ML/H

Crutchfield customer from Redway, CA on 8/30/2021

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Superb sounding cartridge!

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0 of 0 found this helpful

Audio-Technica VM540ML/H

Crutchfield customer from Brooksville, FL on 2/18/2021

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Very nice mm cartridge with a Tech 1500c turntable. Utilizing a Schitt Mani phono stage & upgraded cables. Sound is toe tapping good.

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4 of 4 found this helpful

Audio-Technica VM540ML/H

Crutchfield customer from Johnson Lake, NE on 2/8/2021

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This is a great cartridge, the pricing is good also.

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0 of 0 found this helpful

Maybe a defect but the one I was sent is ear-splitting shrill

Crutchfield customer from Harrison Twp, MI on 9/26/2020

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I love the Audio Technica brand and the interchange stylus idea is genius. I have many of the AT products at home and thought I would upgrade my beloved AT100e cartridge. I really love the look and feel of the headshell on the VM540ML/H and the detail it pulls from the records is stunning. However, after maybe 10 or more records I expected the shrill high-end to subside. It did not. On some records it was not that noticeable, but on others, an ear bleeding experience. It could be that the stylus has a manufacturing defect or something. Not sure. I'm suspecting the VM520E will be better suited to my taste since the AT100E has been so great. I will likely try the Microline again at some point, maybe for the VM95 line. I'm not saying I don't recommend this product. I'm assuming I have a defect on my hands. I'll keep buying Audio Technica products, just not this one.

Pros: Really nice headshell, great upgrade options, legendary cartridge, stylus plays with intense detail

Cons: Microline stylus can be very unpleasant with shrill highs on some records

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6 of 13 found this helpful

The best sounding and reasonably priced cartridge I have bought.

Wayne from CHAMPLAIN, NY on 9/22/2020

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This is a great sounding cartridge. I couldn't see paying a lot more money for the 740 or one with a Shibata sylus. I play mostly pop and rock 180 gram records. I honestly have to say that I have heard more detail in the songs than I did with my original elliptical stylus. It was a little bit to set up. So make sure you have your turntable specs handy. I wanted to have the tangency set on this cartridge, riding right in the groove. I didn't find that it was overly bright in sound like some have found. It was pure music. I am very particular at keeping my records clean and this takes advantage of that! You won't regret this purchase. Very happy!

Pros: Excellent sound and rides nice in the groove and pics up additional sound off the record (music wise) that you may have missed with an elliptical stylus.

Cons: Just make sure you set it up properly for whatever turntable you use it on. May take some reading up on.

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6 of 6 found this helpful

Love it!

Tamas from Sarasota, FL on 8/22/2020

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Very good sound! I upgraded my Denon DP 500`s cartridge. Little too loud on treble sound, but on this price range, I think the best you can get! Really happy to buy it!

Pros: Clear sound

Cons: Little too much high... can control it

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2 of 3 found this helpful

Crisp and Clean Sound

Robert from SHALIMAR, FL on 5/21/2020

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Crisp and clean sound, strong bass and awesome high frequency reproduction. The difference between my Shure cartridge and the VM540ML is like night and day. AT did everything right with this one.

Pros: Easy to switch cartridges with the head shell included, plug and play.

Cons: You might need to turn the treble down a notch, if think it's too bright.

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3 of 3 found this helpful

Audio-Technica VM540ML/H

Crutchfield customer from Odessa, TX on 3/5/2020

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Great sound from my new cartridge. Easy to install and setup. Listening to all my vinyl now.

Pros:

Cons:

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1 of 1 found this helpful

Sleeper Alert !

Crutchfield customer from Columbia Falls, MT on 1/20/2020

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This stylus performs as well at others at twice the cost ! The clarity and frequency response is huge. Detail is very clear and alive ,but not edgy. So far it is as my ortofon bronze stylus ,warm and natural. The price is amazing.

Pros: An amazing value to performance

Cons: It wasn't free : < } ha ha

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3 of 4 found this helpful

Audio-Technica VM540ML/H

Crutchfield customer from Citrus Heights, CA on 1/12/2020

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Great cartridge. Replaced an AT VM95E. Brought out better detail, soundstage and bass. Great tracking. I have nothing else to compare to. But it's currently being used on a Thorens TD318 and I'm really enjoying it. Should've bought cartridge only, but I purchased this when I was looking for a technics SL-1200.. And ended up finding a Thorens TD318 which has a fixed headshell.

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2 of 2 found this helpful

Amazing upgrade vs. prior cartridge

Chris from Cincinnati on 6/17/2019

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I upgraded in 2018 from the original cartridge that came with my Audio Technica AT-LP120-USB to an Ortofon Red. There wasn't much of a difference, unfortunately. I had major issues with sibilance and wobble/wavers in the vocals, which I thought were attributed to bad power into my apartment. Nothing solved this issue.....power conditioners, unplugging everything, etc. That was until I got the VM540ML. Not only is the sound much better than the Ortofon, the sibilance is completely gone. I first off began listing to records that sounded terrible, and they are now back to sounding amazing as they should. I did use a proper protractor and a gram scale and spent two hours making sure the headshell and cart were perfectly weighed and aligned. I couldn't recommend this cart more and look forward to only purchasing this one for years to come. WORTH THE MONEY. no sibilance

Pros:

Cons: Zero

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8 of 10 found this helpful

Audio-Technica VM540ML/H

Crutchfield customer from Guaynabo, PR on 4/29/2019

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Good definition and clean sound for the price. Maybe a slightly bright, but did not cause listener fatigue.

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3 of 4 found this helpful

Audio-Technica VM540ML/H

Crutchfield customer from Sacramento, CA on 4/14/2019

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Exceptional sound quality, improved high end

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3 of 4 found this helpful

Worth every penny.

Robert from Kalamazoo, MI on 2/24/2019

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This was an upgrade for the cartridge that came with my Audio-Technica. The sound is crisps and clear from the bass to the highs. Some vinyl now sounds better than the CD version.

Pros: Great tracking, and even sound.

Cons:

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5 of 5 found this helpful

Audio-Technica VM540ML/H

Crutchfield customer from Midland, TX on 1/21/2019

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great cartridge!

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0 of 2 found this helpful

Audio-Technica VM540ML/H

Chris from Hoosick Falls NY on 10/24/2018

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I was looking for a new cartridge to replace the one that came with the same turntable was directed to buy this from your counselor and I couldn't be happier sonically it sounds better than I ever could expect.

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2 of 3 found this helpful

Audio-Technica VM540ML/H

Crutchfield customer from Syracuse, NY on 10/16/2018

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Sounds as great as advertised.

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Cons:

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1 of 3 found this helpful

Audio-Technica VM540ML/H

Crutchfield customer from Plymouth, WI on 7/1/2018

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The quick answer is, no sibilance. I tested it on , Black water by the Doobie Brothers from Best of The Doobies. All my other cartridges had terrible sibilance. With the vm540ml it played back with no harsh ssss sounds. I'm only giving 4 stars since I have no other cartridges in this price range to compare it with. I wanted a cartirdge without sibilance and I found it.

Pros: No sibilance.

Cons:

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6 of 10 found this helpful

Great Cartridge

Eric D from Olive Branch, MS on 4/6/2018

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Amazing separation. Very low noise.

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2 of 3 found this helpful

Audi-Technica VM540 Stereo Carteridge

Martin from Manasquan, NJ on 1/30/2018

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Wonderful carteridge, great sound

Pros: Great sound.

Cons: Upgraded an AT95EX carteridge that came with an AT-LP5 turntable. I don't hear much difference between the two.

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2 of 6 found this helpful

Very fine sounding cartridge

Joe from Scottsdale, AZ on 8/14/2017

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The AT cartridge itself is great. Seems to track new and old vinyl with the same responsiveness, in fact older albums have never sounded better and I've only got a few hours on the setup. However, the head shell is inappropriate for the Denon turntable I bought it for. The thread size is correct, but theangle seems wrong, as if it's designed for a curved tone arm while my Denon is straight. I should have just bought the cartridge alone. I wound up remounting the cartridge in the Denon headshell.

Pros: Great cartridge

Cons: Wrong headshell

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3 of 6 found this helpful

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