The Broadcasters' Desktop Resource

The Broadcasters' Desktop Resource

Great Phono Carts: The Audio-Technica AT-3600L

Barry Mishkind
[September 2022] Probably the majority of stations no longer have turntables in the control room. However, many do have them – and many more in the production room, to either load songs or sound effects into the automation, or to audition part of the station’s library.

But, when a stylus gets bent or worn out, what can you do? The workhorse Staton’s are hard to find unless you are prepared to pay a lot, even if you take a chance on used ones. There is a very good alternative, as Dana points out.

This just has to be the most popular phonograph cartridge in the world circa 2022 – The AudioTechnica AT-3600L.

The AudioTechnica AT-3600L

At the same time, it also has to be one of the best kept secrets in HiFi.

SEE THEM EVERYWHERE

How can it be so popular?

Just about every turntable under $250 includes this cartridge. Millions of them are made every year. These are rugged, spherical styli. Sound-wise, in terms of reproduction, they blow the Stanton 500 and 681s away.

… and you have never heard of them, have you?

PRETTY GOOD SPECS

Take a look: here are the specifications for the Audio Technica AT3600L Phono Cartridge:

– Output voltage: 4.2 mV
– Frequency response: 20Hz-20kHz
– Channel balance: 1.5dB
– Channel separation @ 1kHz/10kHz: 24/15dB
– Tracking force: 2.5 – 3.5 g
– Stylus type: Highly polished and shaped .0006 inch conical diamond
– Stylus construction: Bonded round shank
– Weight: 5.7 g
– Dimensions: 17,0 (H) x 16,3 (W) x 31,0 (L) mm

Many higher end (up to $500.00) turntables also use this series of cartridge with elliptical styli. If this implies to you that the base cartridge can be upgraded by using a better needle – you are correct.

By the way … the “plain” AT-3600L still costs around $25 bucks … or less, when on sale. The stylus itself is the ATN-3600L.

So now you know what to buy if and when you need a phono cartridge.

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Over the years, Dana Puopolo has been in markets large and small. His emphasis on audio purity is well-known. He is also the source for Dana’s Daily Deals on the BDR. You can reach Dana at dpuopolo@usa.net

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