Read our DJ FAQ

The path to success often begins with a question. Find answers to the questions posed below through our web resources. Contact our support team for further assistance.


1. Problems with skipping
2. I am only getting one channel out of my cartridge‚ is there a way to fix this?
3. I have noticed that the cantilever on my Q.Bert stylus is very flexible. Is this normal?
4. The sound is clipping with the Q.Bert needle. Why is this?

1. Problems with skipping

  • Verify that all of your adjustments are set optimally - this includes Tracking Weight, Tonearm Height, Anti-Skating, and Overhang (OM models only).  Remember that each one of these factors directly influences the performance of the cartridge, both in sound and in tracking. Read Set-up.
  • If your cartridge has just recently been purchased, it is necessary to allow a "break-in" period of up to 20 hours of normal playback, in order to get the best performance.  

Special for S-120: because the S-120 cartridge uses an asymmetric suspension, it has different physical characteristics than other conventional DJ cartridges on the market. Although all cartridges require break-in to reach their rated performance, the S-120 relies more heavily on this process. This is because the suspension is designed to provide an extraordinary level of flexibility in the horizontal plane while still remaining extremely rigid in the vertical plane. We recommend 50 hours of DJ use for optimal performance, but if this is not possible, try leaving the cartridge sitting on a stationary record at maximum tracking force during times the turntable is not in use.

We do not recommend allowing the stylus to play the lead-out groove for these hours as this will leave significant residue on the diamond.

2. I am only getting one channel out of my cartridge‚ is there a way to fix this?

Firstly, it may be worth investigating if there is any buildup on the contacts on the cartridge or inside of the tonearm.  A common eraser on top of a pencil is usually able to remove light oxidation from the terminals.  It is also possible to use rubbing alcohol to clean the contacts inside of the tonearm, but never lick the contacts on the back of the cartridge, as it will corrode both the contacts of the cartridge and the tonearm.  Secondly, there is a seating procedure which usually remedies this issue:

  • Place the cartridge into the tonearm and apply firm, steady pressure.
  • Turn the locking nut in the opposite direction, as if you were loosening the cartridge to remove it. 
  • Continue to turn the locking nut until you feel the cartridge being forced out of the tonearm.  After the cartridge is nearly forced out of the tonearm, continuing to turn the locking nut will result in the cartridge forcefully popping back into the tonearm with a clicking sound.
  • At this moment, tighten the locking nut in the appropriate direction, and the cartridge should be seated optimally.

3. I have noticed that the cantilever on my Q.Bert stylus is very flexible. Is this normal?

Yes, the Q.Bert stylus has a much higher compliance rating, which equates to having more flexibility when scratching or backcueing. In contrast to more rigid products, this adds extra tracking ability in demanding conditions. Because of this, it is critical that the Tracking Force Range must not be exceeded.

4. For some reason, the sound is clipping with my Q.Bert needle. Why is this?

With some equipment with inadequate headroom, the output voltage of the Q.Bert is too much.  This is a rare circumstance, but is known to happen occasionally.  This is not a flaw on the part of Ortofon, but instead a problem with the equipment being used in conjunction with the cartridge. 

If your turntable has a built-in phono preamp (offers a line-level output), try disengaging it and using your DJ mixer for preamplificaton. 

Conversely, if your turntable has a built in phono-preamp, you can also try the opposite - engaging the built-in preamp and using the line input on your DJ mixer.


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