running carts in

the thin end of the wedge
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backtotheblack
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running carts in

Post by backtotheblack » 15 Jan 2020 01:05

who else hates running cartridges in?

yes i'm running the mother of all carts in a 1042. just when you think.. yes thats it, it shouts at you.

can you hire people to do this.......

how do you do yours? i just play album after album...

AsOriginallyRecorded
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Re: running carts in

Post by AsOriginallyRecorded » 15 Jan 2020 01:59

Serendipity is my solution. If a stylus needs time to "run in" (usually just taking a set for the suspension and assorted flexible parts of the mechanism), I rather enjoy essentially watching the development of the cartridge from fresh out of the packaging newborn to thriving, mature sounding component. By somehow methodically pushing a cartridge to some poorly defined point where it comes on stride seems fruitless (it is a short moment), and takes away much of the pleasure of experiencing all that the cartridge is. That "aha!" moment is short and fleeting, in my opinion not worth the angst of searching for it. JMO, but life is too short. :roll:

pivot
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Re: running carts in

Post by pivot » 15 Jan 2020 02:16

I bought a Schiit Loki Mini tone control. When I put a fresh stylus on my AT 440 MLa I was able to knock down the highs for the first 50 hours or so. Maybe not the perfect answer but allowed the break in period to be listenable. Set to flat now.

lenjack
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Re: running carts in

Post by lenjack » 15 Jan 2020 03:09

I don't believe in it. I know others will swear by it, but I'm convinced that it's all placebo.

Erin1
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Re: running carts in

Post by Erin1 » 15 Jan 2020 05:37

It is absolutely not placebo.
The rubber suspension needs to soften up.
The same happens with new speaker drivers. The measured Thiel and Small parameters change between a new driver and a driver that is run-in.

If you run the cartridge on a slightly warped record it will exercise the suspension and hasten the running in.

Alec124c41
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Re: running carts in

Post by Alec124c41 » 15 Jan 2020 05:45

Agreed. Not a placebo.
When a $700 cartridge sounds like an early '60s transistor radio to start, and sounds as it should after a week or two, there is no doubt.
I have one cartridge that needs a side to warm up for a playing session.
Yes, I have had cartridges that sounded pretty good out of the box.

Cheers,
Alec

Agrippa
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Re: running carts in

Post by Agrippa » 15 Jan 2020 07:18

I've only ever heard tiny, tiny before/after differences with any new cartridge I've used. Could be just luck I guess, but I've never been lucky 40-50 times in a row in any other pursuit.

33audio
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Re: running carts in

Post by 33audio » 15 Jan 2020 08:41

The suspension in most any cartridge does seem to warm up after about 20 minutes. If you have tube circuitry then the tubes will also be heating up which will also improve the sound after a little while.

As for breaking in a cartridge. During manufacturing it surely takes a lot of effort to actually have a smooth tracing
surface on a new diamond.

The manufacturer can polish it, and probably take extra time to do the best job possible (cost will be higher), but only
the groove wall can actually smooth out the high spots and let the diamond make full
contact with the groove wall. IMHO

raphaelmabo
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Re: running carts in

Post by raphaelmabo » 15 Jan 2020 08:45

It's quite cartridge dependant. My Sumiko Pearl sounded boring, dark and dull during the first hours, then after about 30 hours or so it cracked opened like a flash from an open sky and it started to bloom like flowers in the spring. But with my Benz MC Silver this didn't happened, not in the same way. The Benz was already open and blooming from factory, it opened up a little bit more gradually when playing.

And the way I do it, I just play records. Vinyl records.

Agrippa
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Re: running carts in

Post by Agrippa » 15 Jan 2020 09:06

33audio wrote:
15 Jan 2020 08:41
The manufacturer can polish it, and probably take extra time to do the best job possible (cost will be higher), but only the groove wall can actually smooth out the high spots and let the diamond make full contact with the groove wall. IMHO
This I don't get at all.

An excerpt from a 60s text on diamond stylus polishing I once read mentioned a fineness of 0.5 microns. Whether that was common or exceptional I can't remember, but it really doesn't matter - this was in the 60s, with very different equipment than what is available today.

In other words the polished diamond, even if barely polished at all, has a vastly more even surface than the groove wall of an LP and won't be smoothed one bit by playing them. It'll certainly wear down, extremely slowly (given a good quality diamond), but the the moment you first lower it onto a record (and the time prior to that happening) is when the stylus is at its very smoothest.

goatbreath
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Re: running carts in

Post by goatbreath » 15 Jan 2020 12:23

Even a good old AT 95 E..
The tracking improves after a certain amount of hours..
You have to try it with something difficult to begin with though..
I guess you won't notice a difference if you aren't playing demanding material..

The Tonal balance thing,the tracking would affect that to some degree I imagine..
I notice a difference in the volume of a cartridge between the start of a playing session
and once I have played 2 albums..
Again I suspected this,got one of my play to death copies of an album,
I am convinced it was at least a click louder on my Quad 44 Preamp..
I keep my amps on constatly usually,same with any phono stages..
It could be the amps warming further with use,or it could be the suspension moving easier..

pivot
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Re: running carts in

Post by pivot » 15 Jan 2020 16:31

AT 440 MLa new stylus goes through a "harsh and bright as hell" stage till about 50 to 100 hours in. It's not subtle at all. The word on street is the newer 450ML does not need the same run in. Have not heard it yet.

Pauw
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Re: running carts in

Post by Pauw » 15 Jan 2020 17:21

With my Ortofon OMs it seems to take around 40 hours. The most noticeable feature is in the bass which seems clearer and more extended.

wolfie62
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Re: running carts in

Post by wolfie62 » 16 Jan 2020 17:34

I thought is was placebo too. I've since found out it's a real phenomenon. Running in a new stylus for the ADC 770 now. It sounded tinny and was lacking bass at first. It has blossomed into a delicately thundering cartridge now!

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