Aro cart list

Hi, sorry if this has been covered before. Can anyone point me to a definitive list of carts proven to work (I.e mounting holes to stylus distance) with the Aro? Cheers.

I wouldn’t get too hung up on that one. I’ve used a number of carts successfully on the Aro with varying stylus to mount hole distances. But if you want it perfect and you’re not using a Troika, then I think the Dynavector DV17 is closest.

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To get the overhang perfect the mounting hole to stylus distance needs to be 7mm, - like a Troika. A couple of the DV cartridges come close. I use a DV XV-1s which is 8mm and seems fine playing across the whole arc of the record surface.

Personally, I wouldn’t want to go much more than 7mm +/- 1mm.

Mark Dunn

I had a very good experience with a Dynavector Te Kaitora Rua on my aro. This was replaced with another Dynavector also fitted by Peter at Cymbiosis, which sounds fab. I suspect Peter might have been a significant factor in this mix!


The Dynavector 20x2 and XX-2 are both 8.5 mm; I can confirm that they’re great on the Aro!

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Kiseki Blue NS is perfect on an Aro.



Hana sl works fine in my Aro.

Probably more important to find the tonal balance you prefer than worry about a millimetre


I could add transfiguration, there’s probably no point now but replacing a 17D3 with a proteus gave the same overhang.

Bunch of answers here of stuff that works well, but to your original question, the only current production carts that match the 7.5mm stylus-to-mounting hole distance would be the Linn MCs (Krystal and Kandid) and the Denon DL-103.


That’s great to know, I have a couple of friends who run the Hana Sl on there decks, really good sounding cart In imo. Great bang for the buck. In fact jaw dropping at times.

Thank you, ‘twas what I was looking for. I had forgotten about the DL 103. Intriguing choice at that price. Any users on here?

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Yup, I have used a DL-103 on the Aro, albeit mostly one with an ESCO re-tip. It’s a nice inexpensive choice and works surprisingly well in the ARO, but it’s not the panacea that some will have you think. It is “musical” but coloured; very “widescreen” in presentation, but coloured too (improved greatly by removing and replacing the plastic body); It has firm and weighty bass but can also come across as somewhat slow unless balanced elsewhere (suits a strong idler drive TT well here). In most modern turntables, more modern and more expensive MC carts will likely show it a clean pair of heels, but in the right setting, the DL-103 can surprise for very little outlay.

Thanks, that’s very informative.
I have a Troika on the way back from NWA, Dom has given it the once over for me after many a decade in storage. He has fitted some linking pins. What is your method for handling the excess wiring that will result from attaching to the Aro’s flying leads? Looks to me like the cart will ride quite low and all that wire will need to go somewhere!

Probably worth having a look through this thread;

I actually like the aluminium-bodied Zu-DL-103s on the Aro, especially the R version (I had the regular one as well). It gives it a bit of a modern edge without losing the inherent fun in the design. You do need the heavier counterweight, though.

That said, I preferred the OC9-ML/II to it at a much lower price point, despite the “wrong” geometry.

I tried - hard - to live with a Zu 103 on my Aro, but it just didn’t work. End-of-side distortion was a deal-breaker, though I heard and appreciated the nice “tone” the Denon brought to things, especially jazz. The Dynavector 20x2L was a significant improvement, to these ears.

Funny you’d mention that. The DV is not one I particularly rated for its tracking ability (I had one on the Aro at some point). I had 3 different Zus over the years (one standard mk1, one R mk1, one R mk2) and none of them were particularly good or bad at tracking - I would say about on par with the DV I had, if not slightly better.

It was ultimately one of the reasons I moved on from them, but again not because they were bad, but rather just average at it. I also consider it a deal breaker, but that is why I’ve moved on from many DVs, Linns, etc., not just the DL-103.

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You mention the AT OC9MLII; I found it was very adept at minimising end of side distortion. It could also play shallow cuts and long LPs sides really well.

I have an AT OC9MLII and it is a super tracker. Great sound and great value too at the upper end of MM money.

I thought Transfiguration were discontinued? But they were superb!