Diggin’ In The Dirt 05.03.13

I can’t seem to find the right needles to scratch 45’s with, I’m wondering what needles you’d recommend? Help!!- F.N., Long Island, NY

That is a question that I’ve gotten more than once, so today I asked one of the best traveling DJs out there today, Skeme Richards from Hot Peas & Butta to field this one. Here’s what he had to say:

“Excited to be apart of Flea Market Funk’s new Q&A segment and equally excited to begin answering some of the questions new and old DJ’s alike might have. Let me start by saying that not everything works for everyone and that some people have become comfortable in their methods in which they can’t break. The first question, what are the best needles for scratching 45’s.

Answer: For me personally I prefer to use Ortofon DJ S needles when scratching because of it’s weight which makes it so that I bounce around or fly off especially on off centered pressings. Some DJ’s attach them to regular Technics headshells but I prefer the direct Ortofon connection combined with very little weight applied to the tonearm. About 5 years back I learned Shure White Labels worked perfect for playing and scratching and also cause less cue burn on those precious and rare 7″ (which you shouldn’t be scratching on anyway). The White Labels are heavier than the 447’s but lighter than the Ortofon’s. So I guess in the longrun it’s trial and error on what might work for you but for me it would be the DJ S or White Labels.”

So there you have it. From a guy that not only knows records and DJing, but has been down with the 45s since day 1, before it got trendy.


Skeme Richards aka “The Nostaligia King” is a DJ, vinyl record collector, Hip Hop historian and member of the World Famous Rock Steady Crew. Representing Philadelphia, you won’t find a realer dude in the DJ game. For more information about him check out his often imitated but never duplicated Hot Peas & Butta site.

Keep Diggin’!

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