With the announcements of Phase, the Rane Twelves, and Shure retiring from the DJ needle game it seemed as if the days were limited for DJ cartridge and stylus products. Ortofon is the last remaining prominent brand in the DJ needle game, until recently. We first noticed LP Tunes/Jicoas a cosponsor to the 2019 USA DMC DJ battles as they offered every competitor an opportunity to try out a complimentary pair. We tried out a pair of the replacement Ortofon concord OM-Pro stylus and were very impressed with our results.
In the picture above you’ll notice a sturdy needle that fits snugs into the grooves of any record. It continued to feel strong and sturdy after using this replacement cartridge for practice sessions and gigs over a 3 week period between receiving them and writing this review. As you can see in the photo below the stylus does not sit completely flesh against the cartridge which should be somewhat expected being a third-party provider. Other than an aesthetic issue, this does not seem to have an effect on performance.
In Serato, if you head over to the settings and check out the diagnostics scope view (see below) you will find all the signs of a strong signal. Optimal performance is indicated by an inner ring that is close to circular and our test runs revealed a consistent circular shape. The replacement needle was performed and sounded great on both vinyl and DVS. LP Tunes/Jico seems to have a replacement stylus for almost every model of the Shure and Ortofon styli as well as replacements for several other brands such as Stanton and Audio-Technica.
There has been plenty of talk about the decline of the DJ needle yet it is important to note that many consumers (especially DJs) have brand loyalty and a “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. This means that the transition to the newer technology may not be as rapid as one would initially believe. There are still folks that use Serato Scratch Live (or vinyl records) if that says anything. We highly recommend LP Tunes/Jico for your DJ needle replacement needs so head on over to their site to keep your needle game strong.