Support Header Image


Identifying the correct headshell for your turntable

Audio-Technica offers a wide range of headshells but it is important to understand which one is correct for your turntable. All the headshells attach to the tonearm with a universal H-4 bayonet (SME type) mount, which is 8mm in diameter and 12mm in length, but even though they may mount to your tonearm they may not be the right choice.

The range of Audio-Technica headshells come in two main forms, straight and angled. The shape of your tonearm dictates which headshells are compatible. The straight headshells work with S or J shaped tonearms as the bend in the tonearm places the cartridge at the correct angle in relation to the vinyl. The angled version is specifically for a straight tone arm, as the angle of the headshell allows the correct alignment of the stylus relative to the vinyl. Though it isn’t quite that simple, as not all angled headshells are the same.


Angled headshells

Before purchasing a new headshell check which model of turntable you have. The AT-HS3 headshell is designed for the AT-LP2X, AT-LP3 and AT-LP3XBT turntables as this creates the correct effective tonearm length for these models. AT-HS4 provides correct alignment for all variants of the AT-LPW30, AT-LPW40 and AT-LPW50 turntables.



AT-HS4 angled headshell


Straight headshells

Straight headshells are compatible with Audio-Technica’s AT-LP120XBT-USB, AT120XUSB, AT-LP140XP and AT-LP5X models.

The LH range of headshells comes in two forms, one with through-holes and the other with captive screw threads. Note: the number in the product name denotes the weight in grams.

The AT-LH11H, AT-LH13H, AT-LH15H and AT-LH18H have through-holes for mounting the cartridge, whereas the AT-LH13/OCC, AT-LH15/OCC and AT-LH18/OCC have captive screw threads.


AT-LH11H straight headshell with through-holes


It is important when choosing a headshell to take into consideration which cartridge you wish to mount to it. The OCC variants cannot be used in conjunction with cartridges with an integral thread as it won’t mount correctly. All of the LH series of headshells allow for adjustment of azimuth (horizontal alignment) and overhang. Details on setting overhang and aligning your cartridge can be found in this article.

The AT-MG10 has captive screw threads with 3 set positions so you can get the correct overhang for the particular model you own. Again, as with other headshells with captive threads, this cannot be used with a cartridge that has integral threads. Details of your turntable’s effective tonearm length can be found in your user manual.

The AT-HS1, AT-HS6 and AT-HS10 have through holes for cartridge attachment. The slots allow the cartridge can slide back and forth, so overhang adjustment as per the specifications set out in your turntable’s manual can be achieved.


AT-LH13/OCC with captive screw threads



Third party turntables

If you are not using an Audio-Technica turntable then using the manufacturer supplied headshell with a compatible Audio-Technica cartridge would ensure that you can set up your tonearm correctly. If this is not possible then use the dimensions of the supplied headshell to identify an Audio-Technica headshell that matches its specifications. Audio Technica headshells are not compatible with either the micro-SME or ADC type fittings.

If you have any further questions about headshell compatibility please contact us.