Is it dumb to upgrade to AT440 now that it's discontinued?

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by DesertTwang, Mar 11, 2017.

  1. DesertTwang

    DesertTwang Member

    Messages:
    62
    I'm finally ready to upgrade to my first "nice" cartridge, and after watching every YouTube shootout video and reading countless threads, I feel the Audio Technica AT440MLa would do nicely in my system.

    Except at the very end of my research, I found out that the entire 440 cartridge line has been discontinued as of last month.

    Would it still be a good idea to pick one up? My only concern would be to get stuck without replacement styli.

    What usually happens in this kind of scenario? Do manufacturers continue to make replacement styli for discontinued cartridges, or are the owners SOL? I couldn't find aftermarket styli for this cartridge, for some reason, so I'm not sure what to do...
     
  2. tubewade

    tubewade Super Member

    Messages:
    1,891
    Location:
    Outskirts of Oklahoma City
    Not dumb at all. The AT440 is a very good cartridge/stylus and the family of styli that fit the cartridge is large and long lived. The new VM cartridges that are replacing those are compatible, essentially part of the same family, so you will still be able to get replacement styli down the road. I wouldn't hesitate for a moment.
     
    62caddy and cratz2 like this.
  3. vincei

    vincei aka MasterControlMedia Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,330
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Not a problem. There are plenty of stylus choices. Replacements should be around a while. The new replacement cartrige is the VM540ML. I would grab a 440 before the price rises, but that's me. :D
     
    tubewade likes this.
  4. Alobar

    Alobar Flight of the Cosmic Hippie. Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,910
    Location:
    SE Alaska
    Probably still possible to pick up some replacements, and depending on how much vinyl you plan to spin having a few replacements for it could last you for years. I really like my 440mlb and believe it makes some of the used LP's I have inherited sound better than they should.
     
  5. DesertTwang

    DesertTwang Member

    Messages:
    62
    Thank you! That sounds very encouraging. Any reason to get the AT440MLb over the MLa? (I can get the MLa quite a bit cheaper). From what I've read, the two are extremely similar.
     
    cratz2 likes this.
  6. needlestein

    needlestein Super Member

    Messages:
    4,604
    Location:
    West Hartford, CT
    image.jpeg

    I just upgraded to a Sonotone 9TAF-S. This is absolutely my favorite cartridge. It hasn't been made in forty years or more. Don't worry about it. If it sounds good, use it. Lots of this stuff will still be around in a hundred years. You won't be.
     
    DesertTwang, bluemooze and cratz2 like this.
  7. needlestein

    needlestein Super Member

    Messages:
    4,604
    Location:
    West Hartford, CT
    Nope. Go for the MLa, then.
     
    cratz2 and tubewade like this.
  8. DesertTwang

    DesertTwang Member

    Messages:
    62
    Just pulled the trigger. Thanks again! Very excited.
     
  9. danj

    danj modern primitive

    Messages:
    4,274
    Location:
    Somewhere in Oregon
    You won't regret it.
     
  10. 808_state

    808_state Member

    Messages:
    73
    I can't imagine Uranium coated Rubidium with a microline stylus ever being a bad choice...enjoy!:D
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2017
  11. Alobar

    Alobar Flight of the Cosmic Hippie. Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,910
    Location:
    SE Alaska
  12. lini

    lini just me...

    Messages:
    5,056
    Location:
    Munich, Bavaria
    That's false info from AT Britain/Europe, which doesn't apply to the AT440MLa or -MLb (and neither to the old AT140ML or the AT440ML/OCC). In fact the ATN440MLa for the most time used to have a tapered, anodised alu cantilever - just the last batch already had the tapered, non-anodised alu cantilever of the AT440MLb.

    If you want a needle with gold-coated beryllium cantilever and ML tip for the AT120/102P family, you need to search for an ATN160ML.

    Greetings from Munich!

    Manfred / lini
     
    Bootbox likes this.
  13. 808_state

    808_state Member

    Messages:
    73
    Bummer to that...at least it's microline then.:rolleyes: Corrected!
     
  14. DesertTwang

    DesertTwang Member

    Messages:
    62
    Thank you, Manfred! Much appreciate the information. I'm not too worried about it, because to be perfectly honest, I have no idea what "gold-coated beryllium" actually means, and why that's important for a cantilever. I'm still learning about this stuff, so my technical background is very limited at this point. Likewise, I have no clue what anodized means or why it matters. I would be very interested, however, in figuring out which type of cantilever my copy of the AT440MLa has, once it arrives. What would I be looking for?

    Greetings from a Landsmann from Arizona! :)
     
  15. WaynerN

    WaynerN Super Member

    Messages:
    3,452
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I just put on the ATN150Sa stylus on one of my (6) AT440MLa bodies. Zowie! And you can get it for $168.88 free shipping. SHIBATA stylus.............gets deeper into the grooves then the microline......Oh, I ordered another ATN150Sa on Saturday. May order 4 more this next Saturday.

    Hoarding, party of one.......
     
    Decibel_116, Alobar and grillebilly like this.
  16. DesertTwang

    DesertTwang Member

    Messages:
    62
    Cool, thank you! I remember reading that shibata styli are extremely sensitive to being set up 100% accurately, though. Since my TT (Pioneer PL-540) does not have a VTA adjustment, I'm a bit hesitant to use a shibata as I'm under the impression it can damage records unless it's set up exactly right. Is that information accurate?
     
  17. Balifly

    Balifly Listening Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,418
    Location:
    Vancouver, B.C., Canada
    Lots of changes afoot!

    Do you a link to this information? :idea:
     
  18. DesertTwang

    DesertTwang Member

    Messages:
    62
  19. Balifly

    Balifly Listening Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,418
    Location:
    Vancouver, B.C., Canada
  20. onepixel

    onepixel .

    Messages:
    30,427
    I really like the AT 440MLa.
     
    DesertTwang likes this.

Share This Page