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How often do you replace your needle and why?

the thin end of the wedge

For what reason did you last replace your needle/cart?

Just fancied a change.
Had an accident - doh!
It went past its best before date.
It didn't match my new arm.
No votes
Upgraded to something better.
Hey! This is my first cartridge.
Total votes : 16

How often do you replace your needle and why?

Postby Arfa » 15 Mar 2008 15:33

I'm curious as to how often you replace you cartridge and why? Was it age, an upgrade, worn out, an accident etc.

I currently have an Audio Technica 440MLa, about 18 months old. Not got kit to look at it up close, but I was wondering just how much life it has left. How do you keep track of playback hours, do you guess or clock it accurately? How long should this cart last? What tell tail signs/sounds indicate damage or nearing end of life?
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Postby Mark E Smith's Dentist » 15 Mar 2008 15:46

Hi Arfa, I try to change cart before it's too worn so I can still sell it and recoup something.

You can tell when they're getting worn out because they start to misbehave towards the end of a side - vocals start to sound "kazoo" like - that's the way I've always thought of it, a bit comb and paper.

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Postby JollyJeweller » 15 Mar 2008 15:57

I've just changed (sold) my Kontrpunkt C due to boredom, just fancied a change.
Previous to that the Kontarpunkt B had the cantilever removed due to some heavy handed plier action :-(

As I am so mechanically in-adept the thought of removing the cartridge gives me cold sweats, I once had to have my Excalibur arm rewired as i'd snapped the wires trying to remove the cart.
Because of this, the Cart is the one item of the HiFi I tend to install and never touch until absolutely necessarry...unlike the rest of the system which you've probably noticed changes almost every season!
You'll hear Angel Trumpets and Devil are invited.
Delphi/SME/Shelter/Whest/Trigon Pre & Powers/McCormack/NEAT Ultimatums/Squeezebox
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Postby andyr » 16 Mar 2008 05:13

jon tiltman wrote:Hi Arfa, I try to change cart before it's too worn so I can still sell it and recoup something.


Have you thought of getting a retip instead? :?


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Postby markcass » 16 Mar 2008 13:47


I think I'm shifting towards replacement as an excuse for an upgrade! I always used to hang on to the existing stylus until I thought it had had enough. This was usually about 18 months - 2 years for the Goldring 1042 with its line contact stylus. I stuck with that for quite a few years.

When I changed to MC with an Ortofon MC15, I was tempted to exchange it for an MC25FL after only a year or so. However, replacing a stylus at that level costs more than I'm used to, so the MC25 had probably had something like 2 years' use when I exchanged it for a Rondo Red, at which point I had the impression it was due for a change. Plenty of life in the Red still, but I am already feeling tempted to go up the range. :)

OTOH, the Red sounds really good!:D
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