The Finish Line For Your Phonograph Stylus...

the thin end of the wedge
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Tetonbound
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The Finish Line For Your Phonograph Stylus...

Post by Tetonbound » 09 Jun 2019 01:38

Earlier this year, I began to hear distortion, specifically sibilance, on my Ortofon Cadenza Black MC phonograph cartridge. Since I have the ability to adjust SRA, I fussed with it to no avail. I kept playing my cartridge, but wondered if something might be changing for the worst with the stylus tip. Religiously, I clean my records on a VPI17 using AIVS solutions and more recently, I employ a 80kHz ultrasonic cleaner, sometimes I use both to clean a record. But no record is every played on my system without a cleaning first, even new ones. I also use a Onzow ZeroDust to keep the stylus clean, and use it every time I play a side. I also clean the stylus with a Magic Eraser, but less frequently. I work hard to properly align my system, having benefited from templates here. I use Baerwald alignment, employing a DB protractor. Also, I use Ortofon's recommendation on VTF, in my case at 2.3 grams set with a Riverstone digital scale. Without fail, I also keep track of how many sides of records I play with a hand-held counter. I was at 2,400 sides or roughly 800 hours of play.

So I reached out to a US dealer of Ortofon cartridges about typical number of play hours for a Shibata-tip that my cartridge employs. I had read earlier in FAQ on the Ortofon website that these styli last about 2,000 hours. The dealer confirmed that but added that with a unipivot tonearm, the hours could be 1,600.

At the same time, I asked the same question to the manufacturer of my phono preamp, and also to the designer and builder for my tonearm. In fact, I secured the cartridge through him. His answer put me in a tailspin. He said that somewhere between 400 to 500 hours, the Shibata-tipped stylus was worn sufficient to create inner groove distortion, and at 700 hours, the worn stylus was capable of damaging vinyl. He told me the telltale early signs are sibilance and distortion on higher register voices, particularly in the inner grooves. Those were precisely the types of distortion I was hearing. And that surprised me because I thought this stylus had another 800 hours of useful life.

After I recovered from the shock, I began to research this topic of stylus wear with a vengeance, finding this forum in particular a gold mine of information. My research on stylus wear was driven in a large part by a desire to better care for records in my own collection, i.e., to do no harm with a worn stylus. As I collected more and more data and information and opinions. I amassed a lot of material and I organized that into a file. I made a bunch of phone calls too, taking careful notes, and in the meantime I sent my cartridge off to Expert Stylus & Cartridge Company in the UK. They got back to me in a few weeks with a written report. That report stated that the stylus on my cartridge was "badly worn" and it needed to be replaced. How could that be? I was at 800 hours on records as clean as I can get them, not at 2,000 hours. So I called the owner of Expert and he told me his views. Given the sum of what I heard and read, I began to create a narrative on this subject of my odyssey, drawing from many disparate sources.

One of my contacts is Bill Hart, who owns The Vinyl Press. Last August he publish a paper I wrote on the development of ultrasonic cleaning for vinyl records and a survey of commercial machines available at that time. He said that this subject of stylus wear was of particular interest to him and that he would like to publish a paper on it.

Given all that I had collected and organized, I began to think about how I would write that story, my discovery as it were. A few weeks ago, I completed that article and I wanted to share it with the folks on this forum. I drew from a lot of work that in one way or another stemmed from the Vinyl Engine.

What I have written is a white paper of sorts. A "white paper", a British term, is a guide that informs folks concisely about an issue, meant to help them understand it, solve a problem related to it, or even to make a decision. I wrote what I learned, and how I interpret the sum of all the information I collected and pulled into one place. I'm sure there is more, but at some point, I was satisfied I had a serviceable answer to the question of how long will a stylus last.

The paper is published here: https://thevinylpress.com/the-finish-li ... ph-stylus/.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/479 ... 2615_c.jpg

I need to give a shout out to Ray Parkhurst, a regular here, since he agreed to my use of his images. The image above is his, while I did take some liberties with it that he approved. He also proved to be a great editor and for that I am both grateful and thankful.

I see folks just in the last few weeks on this forum asking the same question I did. I hope they find this paper and it proves useful to them.

Alec124c41
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Re: The Finish Line For Your Phonograph Stylus...

Post by Alec124c41 » 09 Jun 2019 02:34

This might be the worst case scenario:
I became acutely aware of stylus wear back in the '70s, when my V-15 III began acting like a cutting tool in the grooves of my records. The flats worn on the sides of the stylus has reached the point where they formed too sharp an angle with the front (back) of the diamond, and began ploughing the groove, leaving the played area looking grey.
It was promptly replaced.
Ray Parkhurst's images of styluses are far better than I ever made, but I do keep a microscope for visual inspection.

Cheers,
Alec

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Re: The Finish Line For Your Phonograph Stylus...

Post by chgc » 09 Jun 2019 02:41

It is my understanding that magic erasers are made of very hard and abrasive material, although they look like marshmallows. Could that have contributed to faster than expected wear of your stylus? I’m sure this has been discussed at great length, although I haven’t followed any of those discussions. (Also, I did a quick scan of your article and it looks interesting. I look forward to reading it.)

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Re: The Finish Line For Your Phonograph Stylus...

Post by Delta667 » 09 Jun 2019 10:44

You have collected a large amount of information in one place, thank you very much for this! ))
But the theme does not seem to be fully revealed without photographs of your hopelessly worn stylus.
Very different figures on the life of the stylus are easily explained, one has to sell a product - the numbers are overstated, others are interested in frequent replacement - the numbers are underestimated.
Marketing, no more. ))
I know for sure that the styluses are made by the Japanese company Adamant Namiki Precision Jewel Co., Ltd., their products are used by cartridge manufacturers. Why not ask them about the quality of the diamonds that they use. On the coefficient of hardness, on the correct positioning before processing.
Who else produces styluses? Expert Stylus Company? It's them
do styluses for London Decca?
Why have I never met the worn-out "Replicant-80" on the old Ortofon and "MR" on Victor L1000?
Which diamond is preferable to use on vinyl, "hard" or "soft"?
Could it be better to use sapphire to play your rare records?
There will always be more questions than answers to them.
Probably for this we communicate here? ))

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Re: The Finish Line For Your Phonograph Stylus...

Post by goatbreath » 09 Jun 2019 11:36

Interesting,but,scary and expensive because of stylus replacement having to happen more often,plus it makes it harder to keep old cartridges running,not just the styli being bought up,but the variability of aftermarket replacements..Some are beyond abysmal..Some are obviously a personal service and very good....I've just spent an arm and a leg saving up and buying quite a few microline styli 10 of them,thinking,well they should last me 20 years..My health aint great,I am 51 now,so they might outlast me....I have about 4'000 L.P.'s though,, so I might as well keep playing them...At the time when I expanded a big part of my collection,it was cheap because everybody wanted CD's and I was getting their vinyl cheap,some of it in great condition..It seems the running costs can end up being quite high though..I'm sure there are a few folk that would look down their noses at me that think playing vinyl is an exclusive club..That you should have to pay,they wouldn't use anything less than,something I can't afford...I know a lot of people on this forum aren't like that though..There is a nice cross section of folk..

CD now is way better than it even was in the late 1990s..
Pity about Brickwalling..
I find my vinyl has better bass,but that's probably bloom and sounds more real,probably caused by some sort of distortion..I like the sound though..
CD can sound very good though..I last bought a LP 2 days ago..
I already had it on CD,I find I prefer it on vinyl..
Vinyl done well can be magical,that magic may be distortion that doesn't happen on digital formats..
I do ask myself if I am a masochist from time to time,,paying for what may be distortion..
Folk say that 70s recordings were awful,maybe I like them because I like some of that music..
Then again I don't kid myself on that Led Zeppelin albums have amazing quality recording..
performance yes,but recording no..Something special was captured though..
Then again having been in a few recording studios,I can hear what folk think is an amazing recording is very EQ'ed and processed..
After sitting in on mixing and being partly on the desk..I can still find that parts that were easy to hear on the studio monitors get lost on my home system,and that is on CD..There is no variability of cartridge loading or cartridge sound signature with CD..Yet like a masochist,I like the fact that cartridges sound different from eachother..

Vinyl is such an imperfect medium,so is CD etc,but those tiny bits of diamond can end up being expensive..

Some folk say a record is worn out after 10 plays..
Me I have records in various states,none that have gouges out of them that would rip your stylus off..I have seen some really really trashed vinyl in my life.I don't know how they managed it to be honest..

Maybe I should count sides etc,but I change about styli and even turntables..
How do you keep track without getting OCD about it..

Sorry,I am kind of rambling saying,,Why do I do this stuff to myself??

The answering myself a bit...lol

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Re: The Finish Line For Your Phonograph Stylus...

Post by lini » 09 Jun 2019 12:54

Tb: 800 hours would seem quite ok for a 50 µm Shibata run with a not exactly low tracking force of ca. 23 mN.


gb: I think there simply is something irresistibly charming about record playback - so neatly primitive and tangible, but nevertheless capable of offering decent hifi quality.

Well, and regarding cost reduction, digital recording and playback became sufficiently transparent already many yeas ago - and storage capacity is pretty cheap these days, and the downwards trend in price still continues (occasional highs aside). So at least for those, who'd like to have the sound, but don't necessarily need the complete usage experience (or "ritual", as some choose to call it...), listening to decent digital recordings of the vinyl playback definitely is a viable option to consider - so maybe that would also be an idea for you? Personally I deem it inevitable anyway, because even though my collection is way smaller than yours, I certainly don't see myself having enough space for all my records and CDs, when I'll move into a home for the elderly one day...


Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini

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Re: The Finish Line For Your Phonograph Stylus...

Post by goatbreath » 09 Jun 2019 14:29

Lini,No I am addicted to analogue..
But when not listening..I get all practical
However when listening,like just now..
The running costs seem like a bargain..
Just had to break there to fiddle with the Anti Skating . :lol:
just put a Nagaoka MP110 on a Thorens TD 160 mk 2 B with Rega arm..
Sounding very good,very detailed for a 4x7,it catching all of the percussive sounds sharply..
Maybe sounds a touch shouty..
That bit of of Tubular Bells sould go Clanggg,not clank..
Needs a little tweaking still.

You just can't do that with CD..
You are stuck with one sound..
It is great for background music,plus convenient.
Plus some original albums are worth insane money that are cheap on CD..
CD has it's benefits..

I had a CD recorder,which broke down quite quickly unfortunately that recorded on CDRs..
I done some recordings of some LPs though,they sound great on my CD player,maybe better than commercial CDs..
I find computer stuff full of bugs and things,it all becomes a bit of a battle to use things on it..
You just don't get that with vinyl..

HMMM!! The Thorens is sounding great with Cannonball Adderley.. :D
I think since I got a metal armboard it sounds a bit brighter though.. :lol:

Not how you think about a CD player..

After this some Booker T and the M.G's..

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Re: The Finish Line For Your Phonograph Stylus...

Post by Tetonbound » 09 Jun 2019 15:30

chgc wrote:
09 Jun 2019 02:41
It is my understanding that magic erasers are made of very hard and abrasive material, although they look like marshmallows. Could that have contributed to faster than expected wear of your stylus?
Here is what Magic Eraser is made from, all the details on its chemistry and form: https://www.wired.com/2015/09/whats-ins ... ic-eraser/. It is a micro-foam imbued with chemicals that clean.

I use it every few weeks in the same way I use the Onzow. I've cut a small square of Magic Eraser and inserted in a small 1"x1"x.75" plastic box. The Onzow is my go to, but occasionally I ensure no debris has stuck to the stylus, I raise the box-Magic Eraser up until it touches the tip, then lower it. All done in two seconds. No back and forth, just touch it.

To test Magic Eraser's abrasive properties, I used it on a piece of glass, there quite aggressively and for a minute. More use on that test than I would put on a diamond tip in a decade. I see no change, while in full disclosure I did not send the glass in for SEM review. Glass is made is silicon dioxide, the same as quartz, only not crystallized.

Quartz is a 7 out of 10 (10 being diamond) on the "relative" non-linear hardness Mohs scale that measures where minerals fall in relation to one another. On the absolute hardness scale, diamond is actually 15 times harder than quartz. See this: https://gemfame.com/gemstone-hardness/. Diamond is 1500, quartz is 100. Tempered glass has a Mohs hardness of ~5.5 or about 70 in absolute terms.

My point is the wear is not from use of a Magic Eraser, while I completely understand your point, it is from 700 miles of travel on a vinyl record that while clean still has embedded dirt in it, as well as dust from the wear of the diamond stylus itself.

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Re: The Finish Line For Your Phonograph Stylus...

Post by Tetonbound » 09 Jun 2019 15:52

Delta667 wrote:
09 Jun 2019 10:44
But the theme does not seem to be fully revealed without photographs of your hopelessly worn stylus.
I asked Expert Stylus if they would image my worn tip. They will not take the time, so the answer was no. To do that they need to take 10 to 20 images in photo stacking due to depth of view issues with photomicrography. Then the final "fully in focus" image is created using program software. Mr. Hodgson is quite busy and made that quite clear to me; it took two months to get the cartridge back, delayed twice from his other commitments. He has several companies. One of his companies manufactures over a 100 different ruby and diamond stylus tips. I had then as one of my sources on stylus wear the man who designed Decca's first stereo phono cartridge.

But yes, I also wish Expert was willing to include an image of the worn stylus as part of their written report.

In advanced stylus tip shapes, line contact and Micro-Ridge stylus are still made of diamond. Regardless of shape that wears too. Not at a slower rate either. But because they are designed to have a flat in essence from the get go, they sound better longer with less initial groove wear on super clean records. But there is nothing magical about advanced tip shapes that make them somehow immune to the same frictional wear.

The number of vinyl lovers I know who own a vacuum or ultrasonic record cleaning machine can be counted on one hand compared to many, many, dozens of others who frequent the local vinyl shops where I live. Folks play their precious records when they are dirty deep in the groove making damage to them worse actually with a long-contact stylus tip. And that accelerates wear on these advanced tip shapes.

Advanced stylus shapes sound better longer until they don't. And that transition can be fast. They also bottom out in the record groove just as spherical tips and are not contained by it. I worked to make the point about how in a stereo groove, the diamond moves back and forth, up and down, and in a groove that is constantly changing its width. The tip of advanced shapes in diamond styli get worked over. We see in Weiler's work, that for spherical tip shapes, wear enlarges the flats. That process of wear enlargement is quicker initially, then it slows, but proceeds at the same wear rate because of the properties of diamond against vinyl.

That is why JICO found the number of hours to critical wear are progressive with more advance tip shapes. They last for 500 hours± instead of 200 to 300 hours.

We need to see the data. My main takeaway is that most of us don't really know what is going on and many of us, too many, overuse our stylus until it does real damage to our precious records.

You may want to look at some additional material I posted on the Steve Hoffman Forum (see this link to page 4, https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/ ... 572/page-4), some of which I plan to add to this thread.

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Re: The Finish Line For Your Phonograph Stylus...

Post by H. callahan » 09 Jun 2019 15:56

@ Tetonbound:

A very informative and nice article, some going beyond my knowledge/horizon!

But i think the main reason for stylus life numbers varying that much is that the manufacturer of a stylus does not know what records the user will play. Friction between stylus and groove not only will vary with VTF or quality of vinyl the record is made of or condition of the record, but also with modulation of the groove and how loud a record was cut. The louder a record is cut, the more friction there will be and vice versa.
One can easily test by switching off the tt when a record is played and see how long it takes for the platter to slow down. I once tested a K-Tel-record vs. a very loud 45rpm Maxi - both running at 33 1/3rpm before i shut down the tt. The K-Tel took double as long to slow down the platter than the Maxi - so there must have been (a lot) more friction with the Maxi.
Also wear of stylus does depend on whether you play 45rpms all day long or if you only run 33 1/3s. Play-Time will be the same, but wear on the stylus...

So for a stylus-manufacturer its not that easy to predict stylus life, even if you assume that all the vinyl played is perfect condition etc. . Also there once was "wet-play" invented in the 70s i think, this is said to reduce wear of stylus+record by about 30%.
...

What i´d like to know is if stylus life does vary with the tt used. Mainly because i have a linear player and i want another reason to sniff at radials ( :wink: ), but thinking about it there should be a difference:

Inspired by this topic

https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_f ... 8&t=112299

there indeed should be a reason for linears wearing a stylus less at same VTF. Because as they discuss in this topic, VTF will be the same with anti-skate set at 0 or another number, but lateral force on the stylus will not.
This means, on a radial tt, in addition to the VTF which is wearing the stylus, the skating force and the anti-skating-force also will wear the stylus - as these forces represent lateral forces which also will increase friction of the stylus because the groove walls have a 45° angle.
This also might explain why wear of a stylus does increase non-linear above VTFs of 1.5g, as with increased TF anti-skate also needs to be increased.
And the problem with skating force is that it is not constant, but depending on friction of stylus and groove. This means skating force not only is greater at the beginning of a record, because more groove-length per second is passing the stylus, but skating force also is depending on modulation of the groove. So if there is a silent groove, friction between stylus and groove will be fewer than when there is modualtion of the groove.
Basically this means the perfect anti-skate-mechanism had to adjust anti-skating depending on friction between stylus and groove in real time - which shouldn´t be possible.

Now i think that advanced anti-skating-mechanisms are able top compensate for more friction at the beginning of a record, to fewer friction at the end of a record - but still there is an ongoing "fight" between skating force and anti-skating force, as depending on friction between stylus and groove sometimes skating force will be stronger than anti-skating force and vice versa - and sometimes both forces are able to just cancel each other.
This of course is no good for wear of the stylus. On a linear player though there are no to negligible skating forces and no anti-skating device, which should result in fewer wear of the stylus at same VTF.

This also should make it more difficult for manufacturers to estimate life of their styli.
...

I always considered shibatas to be tracked at pretty low TFs, so i guess you were having bad luck having to track it at 2.3g, because then you also had to increase anti-skating which again did increase wear of your stylus. If you had been able to run it at 1.5g on a linear tt things should have been different.

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Re: The Finish Line For Your Phonograph Stylus...

Post by Tetonbound » 09 Jun 2019 16:01

Delta667 wrote:
09 Jun 2019 10:44
Very different figures on the life of the stylus are easily explained, one has to sell a product - the numbers are overstated, others are interested in frequent replacement - the numbers are underestimated.
Marketing, no more. ))
If the cartridge manufacturers are oblique about stylus wear, it is because of nominal costs to play a record album with moving coil cartridges. The costs are very high, as you will see below. I’m not accusing these companies of hiding anything, but I can guess that they would rather you think an expensive cartridge equates to longer life. It does not, certainly not based on the research I did on this subject.

Most styli today are made of diamond, the hardest known natural material. Diamond wears at the same rate more or less based on contact area to a groove, VTF, and how clean the groove is from deeply embedded dirt. Cost is no respecter of diamond wear. Expensive cartridges may use the best diamonds, the longest contact with the record, and manufactured to take advantage of the hardest face in a diamond's crystal structure. That may gain you 15 to 20% more life on the diamond. That is to say, you get to 620 hours versus 500. Any play above about 800 hours is likely taking it out on your vinyl records in progressive permanent wear.

If JICO and Shure are correct—I personally believe they are—different tip shapes can last a bit longer, but really the difference is between say 300 for an elliptical shape to 500 hours for a Micro-Ridge shape. Not 1,000 hours, not 2,000 hours, not longer than about 500 to 600 hours for advanced stylus shapes. This conclusion is supported by at least two companies that perform retipping (personal communication). And anecdotal evidence from users like us, who can hear distortion and are religious about stylus wear examination, confirm this.

We can argue that cartridge manufacturers would rather leave the topic of wear alone. It is fine if someone thinks their advanced stylus tip will last 2,000 hours. Just have it checked at 500 to 600 hours. See for themselves. On the other hand, if your business is to retip cartridges, I can see the cynic arguing that they have a vested interest in 500 or fewer hours. All I am saying is that I have thought this through from just about every angle.

What I know is that my Ortofon Cadenza Black MC cartridge was never played on a record that was not first cleaned on a VPI17 using AIVS cleaning solutions or a Vibrato 80kHz ultrasonic machine or both. I align my system well, Baerwald alignment on a very good turntable and a very good tonearm. I count every side I play, religiously. At 700 hours, perhaps a bit earlier, I heard sibilance distortion. At 800 hours, other folks who were not familiar with my system could hear distortion. I sent the cartridge to Expert Stylus & Cartridge Company. They examined my stylus and told me the Shibata tip was "badly worn" and need to be replaced. Like so many others here and on other forums, as referenced in this paper, I thought this tip would last at least 1,500 hours if not 2,000 hours.

At this point in my discovery, a cartridge company needs to supply me with real data and progressive photomacrographs of particular cartridge stylus tips to convince me they last longer than 500-600 hours. Show me the data. I hate to be so blunt. This is not rocket science. But any claim of longer life needs to come with proof. Because I have already experienced what others experienced in spades. Diamonds are not forever, and likely do not survive beyond 500 hours of record play. And that is what researchers learned 60 plus years ago.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/480 ... 80ce_b.jpg

Economics Phono Stylus
by Mike Bodell, on Flickr

I should point out that for more expensive cartridges, as shown above, the cost to retip is not $500, it is $1,000 to $2,500.

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Re: The Finish Line For Your Phonograph Stylus...

Post by Tetonbound » 09 Jun 2019 16:09

H. callahan wrote:
09 Jun 2019 15:56
A very informative and nice article, some going beyond my knowledge/horizon!

I always considered shibatas to be tracked at pretty low TFs, so i guess you were having bad luck having to track it at 2.3g, because then you also had to increase anti-skating which again did increase wear of your stylus. If you had been able to run it at 1.5g on a linear tt things should have been different.
First off, thank you. I also own the Ortofon 2M Black, a Shibata-tip where the recommended VTF is ~1.5gms. That MM cartridge has I think a tubular aluminum cantilever. For the Cadenza Black MC, the recommended VTF is between 2.1 and 2.5gms. I use a mid weight. The cantilever is boron. I don't understand the differences in recommended VTF between the two. Likely due to the differences in signal strength between a MM and MC, but I really don't know.

I've had that conversation with Ortofon about stated stylus tip life. Under FAQ, Ortofon has 2,000 hours, while I was told I better have the cartridge checked by at least 1,000 hours. Based on my conversations, Ortofon knows the issues you bring up, about so many, many variables on turntable, tonearm, cartridges, set up, VTF, anti-skate, and record condition. In my view, they also know that for the average user, its not 2,000 hours, or even 1,000 hours. That is all I care to say about my conversations with Ortofon. Just saying.
Last edited by Tetonbound on 09 Jun 2019 16:48, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The Finish Line For Your Phonograph Stylus...

Post by H. callahan » 09 Jun 2019 16:45

I guess this also is due to competition between manufacturers. They know that stylus life is heavily depending on the playback conditions, but they also know that not-so-experienced users will be put off their cartridges if they see conservative stylus life numbers.
So they state stylus life for best conditions, to not look old in comparison to their competitors.

On the other hand these numbers show what can be gained under ideal conditions. Now wet-play is controversal as some say you cannot play a record dry which has been played wet once, but you can get (or at least could get) a wet-play-arm for like 25$ a few years ago. If this really does save you 30% wear on an expensive stylus (and your records)...

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Re: The Finish Line For Your Phonograph Stylus...

Post by Delta667 » 10 Jun 2019 07:42

In my discussion of the durability of the stylus, I want to rely only on the personal experience and experience of those whom I know and can trust their words as myself.
I was always interested in this question and began my own research on how much my opportunities allowed me))
From the micrometer I built a micropress and began to press them vertically positioned stylus. Rarely did a diamond break up vertically, it happened at a sharp angle. Sometimes (it was) the diamond did not crack, but exploded into dust.
My conclusion was unequivocal - in the manufacture of the manufacturer’s styli, the right position of the diamond crystal lattice to the maximum resistance to wear is of little concern.
So why ask the manufacturer of cartridges about the life of the stylus, if it does not produce them?
Above, I mentioned Replicant from Ortofon and MR from Victor. I am sure that these styluses will split vertically. I had to see MR from Victor three times with a vertically chopped stylus, at a small acute angle and never with a worn “lip”.
The form of the Replicant is so successful that it cannot even be chipped.
Next: When processing the stylus, I see that an obsalyutno transparent diamond is melting like ice. So quickly it is erased on the abrasive. The opposite situation with colored diamonds. Diamonds with a yellow shade are especially strong. I rummaged in the reference book and really found confirmation of this. Synthetic diamonds are superior in strength to natural and uncolored.
I also have the results of research of stylus interested in their purchase side. This research is not a manufacturer or seller.
From the ethical point of arousal, I cannot brand the manufacturer of styli and their name.
Studies have shown and confirmed the ability of the stylus, after 3000 hours of work declared by the manufacturer, to perform its functions.
The test did not pass only 2 of the 25 stylus. These styli were placed in conditions with the presence of dust in the room.
The results were taken, both visually, for wear, and on the spectrum analyzer for distortion.
The test was successfully passed.

Not everything is so clear in the life of the stylus. :)
38920
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Re: The Finish Line For Your Phonograph Stylus...

Post by Tetonbound » 10 Jun 2019 16:01

Delta667 wrote:
10 Jun 2019 07:42
I also have the results of research of stylus interested in their purchase side. This research is not a manufacturer or seller.
From the ethical point of arousal, I cannot brand the manufacturer of styli and their name.
Studies have shown and confirmed the ability of the stylus, after 3000 hours of work declared by the manufacturer, to perform its functions.
The test did not pass only 2 of the 25 stylus. These styli were placed in conditions with the presence of dust in the room.
The results were taken, both visually, for wear, and on the spectrum analyzer for distortion.
The test was successfully passed.

Not everything is so clear in the life of the stylus. :)
Thank you for sharing and I am still digesting what you have written. By that I mean, yes, the diamond is still on the cantilever, but has it worn to the point where it is scouring out the vinyl groove and permanently damaging the record? So it is a shame you cannot tell us more while I completely understand the need to maintain confidentiality. I have the same issue from some of my sources. So this man-behind-the-curtain intrigue is why this subject creates intense debate and controversy. It should not be that way.

That noted, everything you just wrote–apparently stemming from proprietary information and assuming I understood you correctly–goes against what Shure and JICO have actually shown in research. JICO is a stylus tip manufacturer, by the way. Shure when they did their research was the largest manufacturer of phono cartridges in the United States.

More importantly to me, a current stylus tip manufacturer told me directly and I paraphrase, "I do not agree that advanced stylus tips last longer than 500 hours." This same manufacturer also said that synthetic diamonds are inferior to inclusion-free natural diamonds for use as phonograph stylus tips. I did not read this, I was told this by someone who knows what they are doing. I have no reason whatsoever to create doubt over their claims, assertions, research and experience.

Another current cartridge manufacturer also told me that claims of longer life (>1,000 hours) were wrong.

As I clearly established in my paper, and as I have clearly stated in my posts here and elsewhere on the subject, I will not accept nor will I believe that an advanced diamond stylus tip will last longer than 500 or so hours unless that research is made public. Full stop. The risk to the integrity of my records will not rely on hearsay.

My writing made it clear that the issue of stylus life is like "how long is a piece of string" where different cartridge manufacturers publish different hours or publish in some cases nothing at all. I was confused, sought an answer. You have my take. And I recognize that folks may think some of what I have written here falls into the hearsay category.

I've shared my experience, Delta667. I've shared the experience of many others. They all point to a shorter life and not a longer life before a worn tip damages records. All I can do responsibly is report what I found and learned. I leave it to the reader to sort this out for themselves.

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