The Audio Technica ATN120E's diamond surface is polished to a glass-like finish. Thus, providing exceptionally precise audio clarity by closely following the groove wall fluctuations. Standard quality diamonds have more of an 'orange peel' finish when viewed under the microscope. That roughness your fingers feel on an orange peel when compared to the smoothness of an apple skin will cause more friction if dragged down a V-shaped track to simulate a record groove. So, in this case, when comparing apples to oranges, the apple-like tip smoothness is what you want.
Note: The aftermarket tip, while 0.3 x 0.7 mil, is bonded, not natural diamond, and noticeably orange-like in appearance. It works fine for the majority of stereo systems and budgets but in this case there is a difference to the trained ear on demanding tracks.
•"DE" =Diamond 0.3 x 0.7 mil polished "NUDE" (Natural Diamond) tip Elliptical tip needle. Aftermarket version is not a "NUDE" version.
• for use at 16, 33 or 45 speeds. NOT for 78 rpm speed.
• 1 - 1.8 grams tracking pressure.
• Elliptical needles have more efficient contact with the surface of the record than a conical tip.
• Original needle color is usually: CARAMEL(burnt orange)
• AUDIO TECHNICA CARTRIDGES AT-120E/T AT120E/T AT-120E AT120E AT430E
• AUDIO TECHNICA NEEDLES/ STYLUS ATN-120E ATN120E
• ASTATIC NEEDLES N1696
• EVG NEEDLES PM2301DE
• FILDELITONE CARTRIDGES 165E-843 165E843
• HITACHI NEEDLES DS-ST17 DSST17
• HITACHI CARTRIDGES MT-17 MT17
• RECOTON 163E-950 163E950 165E-952 165E952 172S-970 172S970
• SHARP CARTRIDGES C-12
• SIGNET TK1Ea substitute for obsolete SIGNET TKN1Ea