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Dual Moving Magnet Cartridge

U.S. One-Year Limited End-User Warranty

*Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price. Actual selling price may vary; please check with an authorized Audio-Technica dealer.

  • Overview
  • Features
  • Specifications
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

  • Overview

    The VM540ML MicroLine® stylus cartridge is the premier 500 Series model in Audio-Technica’s new VM cartridge line – a line that harks back to A-T’s early days as a manufacturer primarily of high-end phono cartridges, while also incorporating today’s advanced technology. 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’s multilevel shape also wears better than other styli, while reducing the wear on your records. Includes mounting hardware.

  • Features

    • VM dual magnet cartridge 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 cartridge housing

  • Specifications

    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 Half-inch
    Replacement Stylus 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: 17.3 mm (0.7") H x 17.0 mm (0.7") W x 28.2 mm (1.1") D
    Weight: 6.4 g (0.2 oz)
    Accessories Included: Four cartridge installation screws (5 mm x 2, 10 mm x 2), two washers, two hexagon nuts, non-magnetic screwdriver, brush, lead wire set

  • Reviews

    Easy to Setup


    I have owned this cartridge for a few months, now, and am using it on a Pioneer PLX-1000. As I am no turntable setup expert by any means, after reading information in audio and hi-fi forums, I was able to install and calibrate the cartridge rather easily. The only adjustment I found to be a bit tricky to setup was the correct VTA for the turntable I own. After completing calibration, the sound this cartridge puts out is a drastic improvement over the AT95E it replaced. Highly recommended.

    United States


    VM540ML Dual Moving Magnet Cartridge

    4.0 1


  • Q & A

    Hi, I would like to upgrade my cartridge for my AT-LP120-USB, I am curious about the VM540ML cartridge. I have a few questions, please. To confirm, this cartridge is compatible with the AT-LP120-USB? Could you please tell me how to you install this new cartridge? Is it relatively easy to install for a very cautious and nervous user? I'm scared that I may screw it up! Also, I currently have my tone arm / cartridge setting to 2.0, do I have to change this setting as well? I was looking online for any sort of video to explain the installation and I was not successful in finding anything. Thank you in advance!


    Please contact our Audio Solutions Department at (330) 686-2600 ext 5000 or at for assistance with this.


    I want to mount this in a latest generation Rega 3. Do I need a shim to optomize the tonearm height. If so, which size?/


    The VM540ML Cartridge is 17.3 mm in height. We have not been able to determine what the acceptable cartridge height is for the Rega P3 Turntable. Please contact the turntable manufacturer for this information. Thank you.


    Is this cartridge suitable for playback of CD-4 (QuadraDisc) 4 channel records (Audio Technica was an early supporter of the JVC CD-4 disc system)? Kirk Bayne


    Thank you for your inquiry. I believe it will. Quad records need a cartridge that can reproduce sound of to 20K Hz and this will.


    Do you think the 540ml would be compatible with a Denon DP-51f and DP-47f turntables? Thanks in advance.


    Thank you for your inquiry. Yes it will.


    Has anyone had an issue with the cantilever on the VM540ML? After 2 months (of course out return period from where I purchased) my cartridge began dragging across my records. I don't want to send it away to customer service if this isn't the problem.


    Thank you for your inquiry. Make sure that you do not have the tracking force set too heavy. Otherwise, please contact our Service Department at 330-686-2600 ext. 5009. They would be happy to help you.


    Hello, I use Dual CS-455 turntable with DN 251E cartridge with elliptical stylus. I'm thinking about upgrade - replacing it with some AT cartridge but I have no idea if I should use some with elliptical stylus (like VM 530) or some with MicroLine (VM 540?). Would it be major improvement of sound using cartridge with ML? And also - is VM-540 improved AT-440MLB or do these have the same specifications? Thanks.


    Thank you for your inquiry. If you are interested in upgrading your current elliptical cartridge/stylus and want to hear a noticeable difference in improved audio quality and detail, then you will want to go with the MicroLine VM540ML. The VM530EN still sounds great, but would be similar to what you have currently. The VM540ML is the current version of the AT440MLb and are similar, but not exactly the same in specifications.


    Hello, I will be purchasing an SL-1210GR turntable and am thinking of buying this cartridge for it. I have 2 questions. 1) If I infrequently back queue, (no scratching) will this damage the stylus or my record? 2) Will the MicroLine stylus damage my styrene 45s? I have seen numerous claims and demonstrations claiming that it will prematurely wear styrene 45s. If this is the case, I want to buy an appropriate head shell and cartridge just for those. Thanks!


    We do not recommend back-queing with anything other than a conical or larger size elliptical shape tip. Do not back-que with the MicroLine tip. Use only conical or larger size (say 0.4 x 0.7 mil) elliptical shaped tips to play styrene 45s.


    I have an old vintage DUAL 1237 turntable with and AT-88E. I want to upgrade. I see the VM540ML is the 1/2 mount so I know it will fit but ill it work with this older turn table.


    Thank you for your inquiry. Yes the VM540ML will work with your turntable.


    I've recently added the ATVM540 ML to my ATLP120-USB what are the proper settings I got the combo headshell and cartridge


    You will want to insure your cartridge is properly aligned and rebalance your tone arm prior to setting the proper tracking force, which for the VM540ML cartridge is 1.8-2.2 g (2.0 g standard.)


    Hi, Will the pre mounted VM540ml/h be compatible with a technics SL 1200 mk2? Or would it be better to mount the cartridge to the Technics headshell? Thanks


    You may use either with your listed turntable.