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Audio-Technica VM540ML

Dual moving magnet phono cartridge with MicroLine® stylus

Item # 057VM540ML

This cartridge features an advanced stylus that gets deep into grooves and reproduces the smallest details of music.

This cartridge features an advanced stylus that gets deep into grooves and reproduces the smallest details of music.

California customers:
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Item # 057VM540ML

In stock

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About the Audio-Technica VM540ML

Get in the groove

What makes one stylus better than another? The shape and mounting of the stylus — the tiny diamond that traces the grooves of the record — is where small changes make a big difference in sound quality. The Audio-Technica VM540ML phono cartridge features an advanced 2.2 x 0.12 mil MicroLine stylus that gets deep into the cut and reproduces the smallest details of the music. When you're talking about the warm, natural sound of great vinyl, that small difference can mean everything.

Product highlights:

  • dual moving magnet design for excellent stereo separation
  • center shield plate between left and right channels reduces crosstalk
  • durable low-resonance polymer cartridge housing
  • 2.2 x 0.12 mil MicroLine stylus traces grooves extremely accurately
    • multilevel shape reduces wear on records
  • all-metal cantilever
  • frequency response 20-27,000 Hz
  • output voltage: 4.0 mV
  • stereo separation: 28 dB
  • channel balance: 1.0 dB
  • tracking force range: 1.8-2.2 grams
  • recommended tracking force: 2.0 grams
  • load impedance: 47k ohms
  • 3/4"W x 3/4"H x 1-1/8"D
  • cartridge weight: 6.4 grams
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • MFR # VM540ML

What's in the box:

  • Dual moving magnet stereo phono cartridge
  • 4 Lead wires
  • 2 Long screws
  • 2 Short screws
  • 2 Nuts
  • 2 Washers
  • Brush
  • Non-magnetic screwdriver
  • User Manual
  • Disposal Note

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More details on the Audio-Technica VM540ML

Stacey B.

Product Research


Dual Moving Magnet Stereo Cartridge: The VM540ML MicroLine stylus cartridge is the premier 500 Series model in Audio-Technica's new VM cartridge line. Like all VM cartridges, the VM540ML is equipped with dual magnets that are positioned to match the left and right channels in the stereo record groove for outstanding channel separation and extended frequency response. The cartridge's MicroLine stylus allows it to trace the record groove with incredible accuracy, resulting in nuanced audio reproduction that elliptical and conical styli simply can't match. The stylus' multilevel shape also wears better than other styli, while reducing the wear on your records.

  • VM dual magnet cartridge with with MicroLine stylus
  • Aluminum cantilever
  • Paratoroidal coils improve generating efficiency
  • Center shield plate between the left and right channels reduces crosstalk
  • Durable low-resonance polymer housing
Note: Mounting hardware is included, along with a brush & non-magnetic screwdriver.


  • Frequency Response: 20-27,000 Hz
  • Channel Separation: 28 dB (1 kHz)
  • Vertical Tracking Force: 1.8-2.2 g (2.0 g standard)
  • Stylus Construction: Nude square shank
  • Recommended Load Impedance: 47,000 ohms
  • Output: 4.0 mV (at 1 kHz, 5 cm/sec)
  • Channel Balance: 1.0 dB (1 kHz)
  • Stylus Shape: 2.2 x 0.12 mil MicroLine
  • Cantilever: Aluminum tapered pipe
  • Mount: 1/2"
  • Replacement Stylus: Part # VMN40ML
  • Coil Impedance: 2,700 ohms (1 kHz)
  • DC Resistance: 800 ohms
  • Load Capacitance: 100-200 pF
  • Coil Inductance: 460 mH (1 kHz)
  • Static Compliance: 40 x 10-6 cm/dyne
  • Dynamic Compliance: 10 x 10-6 cm/dyne (100 Hz)
  • Vertical Tracking Angle: 23°

Dimensions: 0.75" (w) x 0.75" (h) x 1.125" (d)

Weight: 6.4 g (0.2 oz)

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Customer Q&A

3 questions already asked

Will it fit the tonearm of my Music Hall USB-1 turnable?
[ Miguel  Jul 08, 2022 ]
1 answer
This Audio-Technica VM540ML is compatible with your factory headshell on your Music Hall USB-1, Miguel. It is a considerable amount of work to unbolt the old cartridge and carefully re-mount this unit and connect the four tiny lead wires. Since your Music Hall USB-1 has what I would call a "traditional" tone arm, you can also grab one of these Blank Audio-Technica headshell's I've put in the link below for you with your new VM540ML to make easy work of the replacement, essentially making it quick change! We also offer a pre-mounted option in the link below that, for the easiest possible install.
[ T  Jul 08, 2022 ]  Staff
Does this go well with the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Espirit SB?
[ D  Jul 09, 2020 ]
5 answers
I would say yes, because it sounds great with my Thorens TD 190.
[ MICHAEL  Jul 12, 2020 ]
I own a vintage Technics SL-1900 and am happy with the Audio Technica match-up. I am familiar with the Pro-Ject Esprit SB T.T. and don't own one but, I don't want to mislead you either. I can't answer your question.
[ Jesse  Jul 10, 2020 ]
I would say yes. I am going to try it on my new Pre-Ject turntable. I presently have it installed on my Marantz Reference turntable and the sound was incredible. It replaced my old Signet Black Widow cartridge. Highly recommended it!
[ Patrick R.  Jul 10, 2020 ]
Your turntable has a relatively light tonearm and no vertical tracking adjustment. Given that, I read good things about this cartridge with your turntable. It's a stunning improvement for me with an modified AT-LP120 and pioneer pl-540. I'm buying another one soon.
[ Richard  Jul 09, 2020 ]
It is an excellent cartridge that will greatly outperform the Pro-Ject turntables. I would spend money on a used Thorens or Dual turntable instead, both of which have far better tonearms. Also, get a real phono amplifier like the NAD PP-2 if you don't have a preamp/receiver that has a phono section. The Pro-Ject phono amp is not nearly as good as a real audiophile phono amp.
[ HUNTER C  Jul 09, 2020 ]
Is this a good match for the Rega Planar 3?
[ Jim  Dec 08, 2019 ]
1 answer
Yes, that would be an excellent option for the Rega Planr 3 turntable.
[ Cosmo  Dec 21, 2019 ]  Staff

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Better housing

The Audio-Technica VM740ML offers these features:
  • durable low-resonance die-cast aluminum alloy housing
  • weight: 8 grams
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