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VM540ML or ML140/OCC

Posted on August 29, 2023 at 14:22:12
Posts: 109
Location: Ct USA
Joined: August 12, 2016
What would you buy a new Audio-Technica VM540ML for $279 or a used AUDIO TECHNICA VM AT-ML140/OCC ML for $256, in excellent, tested condition, from a vendor in Japan with 100% feedback? I think the ML140 with a much lower tracking force of 1.25gram, better channel separation and greater frequency response is enticing.


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RE: VM540ML or ML140/OCC, posted on August 29, 2023 at 14:39:55

Posts: 441
Location: Northern Colorado
Joined: November 4, 2006
My vote would be for the ML140.


what's the stylus hours on the 140? /nt, posted on August 29, 2023 at 14:44:04

Posts: 9316
Location: NJ
Joined: December 11, 2000


I've used both cartridges, the 540 wins hands down., posted on August 29, 2023 at 16:43:24
ghost of olddude55

Posts: 29354
Joined: July 14, 2017
Sweeter sounding, better bass. Not as sensitive to capacitance loading.
IMO, the 540 is the best cartridge I've ever used, better than many other carts that I spent twice the money on or more.

The blissful counterstroke-a considerable new message.


RE: VM540ML or ML140/OCC, posted on August 29, 2023 at 17:34:07

Posts: 2517
Joined: January 11, 2011
Fresh is best. Materials age and with a mechanical component like the stylus/suspension/elastomer, the sound quality is very dependent on the damping materials performing as intended.
Also, buying used is a risk...especially with a MicroLine type stylus as the ridge is easily chipped or damaged if it has been consistently used on dirty records in its previous life plus you have no real idea how many hours have been put on the stylus prior to your purchase. You should therefore factor in a retip as part of the potential true cost of the 140ML should it turn out that the stylus is worn or damaged.

I would strongly advise going for a new VM540ML.
Regards Anthony

"Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty.." Keats


follow Flood's good advice, posted on August 29, 2023 at 17:54:57

Posts: 9316
Location: NJ
Joined: December 11, 2000
this is what I was trying to get at. New is NEW and having to get it re-tipped or get a new stylus would be a bummer


RE: VM540ML or ML140/OCC, posted on August 29, 2023 at 20:46:20

Posts: 4183
Location: New Jersey
Joined: March 22, 2006
I've spent time with Harry Weisfeld using the VM540ML and he had nothing but great things to say about it.


RE: VM540ML or ML140/OCC, posted on August 31, 2023 at 06:20:08
John Elison

Posts: 23727
Location: Central Kentucky
Joined: December 20, 2000
January 29, 2004
> What would you buy

I would never buy a used cartridge. I always buy brand new cartridges.

I also always buy moving coils.

However, to each his own!

Good luck,
John Elison


Don't be afraid of used cartridges, posted on September 8, 2023 at 10:49:38

Posts: 2609
Location: Wisconsin
Joined: March 22, 2002
a third of my cartridge lot is used. It allows you to afford something well beyond your price point and is great for trying something you're not sure of. Also a way to get a good vintage cart(my DL-109R and 103D, had both retipped). My Grado Ref Ref and Benz Ruby3 are my favorites, both used, and for those two together i paid about a third of a Ruby's list price. I would never have heard these had I needed to purchase them new. Just try and get a good feel about the seller and the hours and condition. If you get a bad vibe or it doesn't seem just right....forget it. Consider retipping and you can factor that into a purchase price. Curious if anyone on here who won't by a used cartridge has ever sold a used one.


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