ld wrote: Rather the stylus surfs the surface no matter what profile
A while back I read a post by Peter Ledermann from Soundsmith - in which he put this forward...
That styli in fact "surf" the groove, and further, that they are therefore taking a "sampling" of the groove wall, and not "tracking" it per se!
Which led to a further interesting comment that the system is prone to jitter, same as digital, based on variations in sampling rate, except in the case of vinyl it is generated by variations in tracking changing the sampling rate...
(I am paraphrasing and quoting from memory)
So various techniques that improve the sound, are designed to either improve tracking (sort of self evident) or to make the tracking more consistent... ie: not necessarily better at all points on the record, but more consistent across the entire record under all conditions - eliminate change, which itself is audible.
In any case, the Shure focus on trackability does appear to be correct in terms of wear, the higher the trackability the lower the wear, as most wear and tear issues appear to happen when mistracking and even micro-mistracking happens.
Sure there is a combination of "weight" (VTF), stylus profile, suspension compliance, suspension damping etc... which minimises wear - but does that combination serendipitously coincide with the same combination of parameters that provide the highest possible tracking ability?
bye for now