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EMT Cartridges

EMT cartridges are some of my all time favorites. I am currently spending a lot of time with the JSD 6 Gold. I love it and thought that the factory history of the Company would be of interest.

EMT Studiotechnik GmbH

The history of the EMT pick-ups

As is commonly known, the history of EMT’s pick-ups started with an OEM relationship with Ortofon, whereby EMT bought their pick-ups from Ortofon, but then replaced them with their own development later on. However, this is not the complete story and with the help of former EMT employees, now in retirement, the following paragraphs outline the start and development of EMT’s pick-ups in a lot more detail:

  • 1950/51 : Broadcast record players R35, R80 and successor 927
  • 1956 : EMT 930
  • 1968 : EMT 928
  • 1977 : EMT 950
  • 1979 : EMT 948
  • 1982 : EMT 938

I) Monophonic pick-ups (commonly referred to: “Tondose”) Specifically designed for professional use in the EMT Studio record player. In the first EMT Studio turntables cartridges from Ortofon have been used: Ortofon mono Pickup type C, with sapphire or diamond needle and 65 6m roundness, or also with 25 6m for (mono) long playing records.

In 1959/60 a licensed production started with specific focus in improved playability of long playing records with microgroove, smaller tracking weight, extended frequency response and reduced distortions.

Type designations were: EMT OFS/D 25/65, Bakelite housing with magnifying glass, sapphire and/or diamond with 25/65 6m roundness. The needle carriers with sapphire could be replaced by the customer. Special designs with tip roundness radii of up to 120 6m, for reproduction of old shellac plates were available.

— From approx. 1988 all OF-systems received the modern light alloy housing from the TSD. These monophonic cartridges are still available today, are technically genuine mono systems and evaluate only horizontal deflections.

II) Stereophonic sound cartridges

The very first Stereo Studio turntables EMT 927 St/EMT 930 St – launched in 1958 – were equipped with cartridges from Georg Neumann: DST 61, DST 62.

In 1961 EMT started its own development and manufacturing of pick-ups with the designation:

EMT TSD 12K. They had Bakelite housing with round magnifying glass.

– Compatible mono systems followed: TMD 25 and TND 65

The technology of these systems was crucially improved in 1965 with the launch of the EMT TSD 15, which had a new damper system, vertical tracking angle/VTA 15Åã and 156m spherical diamonds.

Starting from 1966/67 the production of EMT pick-ups took place at the EMT Geraetewerk in Lahr.

The pick-ups of the T-series received not only a new housing with large angular magnifying glass, but also a light alloy system body with improved system adjustment possibility


TSD 15, TMD 25, TND 65

The mono OF series have not been changed up until 1988 and have then been available only on special order.

Starting from 1974 also a TSD 15-System was available for the direct connection to SME Tonearms (or others with appropriate connection):

XSD 15: The TSD 15 housing received a longer connection tap, a different guide pin and 45-degrees rotated contact pins. These systems were also manufactured with silver-colored housings for THORENS with appropriate designations.

Starting from 1984 further improvements took place:

TSD 15 with Super Fine Line diamond (characterized by the gold-colored identification plate).

The special elliptical diamond form in connection with the change of the vertical angle to 23 Åã provided for a very linear frequency response well beyond the audio band, and mostly a substantial reduction of the distortions at high frequencies.


Already back in 1975 EMT started custom developments and production runs for OEM partners such as ROKSAN, Tubaphon and Brinkmann.

1992 saw the market introduction of the HSD 6, this a version of the TSD 15 in an aluminium body, built for the Fi-Fi market, and standard 1/2 inch attachment.

It wasn’t before 2006 that something new came to the marketplace: Developed for the occasion of EMT’s 66th Anniversary, the JSD5 and JSD6, 2 audiophile MC-systems were launched. The characeristics were: visible, gold-plated system components and normalized 1/2-inch standard fastening for use with every high-quality tone arm. Both types use a bare diamond stylus, the JSD 5 in Gyger S, the JSD 6 in Super Fineline version. And the half-opened casing is made milled out of massive aluminum of the purest kind.

OFD 25 TSD 15 off 1965 JSD 5/6 Jubilee Series 2006