Stylus for Grace F9

the thin end of the wedge
jc3
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Re: Stylus for Grace F9

Post by jc3 » 06 Jun 2019 15:30

Thanks Dmitry - appreciated. From what I've measured from your old photos just doing some ratios knowing that the outer brass tube is 2mm in diameter, it looks like the entire cantilever length (right through the magnet) is approximately 6.5mm with an exposed length of around 6mm. Naimiki's maximum cantilever length is only 6mm, so looks like I'm going to have to make them a bit shorter than they were.

Dennis - got your package yesterday - many thanks! Have not had time to make an examination of anything yet though - and probably won't today. Off to try and get a roof on our barn today. Thanks again - can't wait to check out those styli and document the differences and similarities!

jc3
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Re: Stylus for Grace F9

Post by jc3 » 06 Jun 2019 23:26

Well, the 1/32" silicone sheet in 30A shore sure feels a lot like the original F-9 doughnut suspension when I give it a slight squeeze with the tweezers. I made around 20 suspension doughnuts this afternoon. I'm getting better - nearly all of the inner holes are centered now. Can't do all that much until I get my magnets now. I've got a bunch of brass stock cut, got some suspensions cut. I have a conical aluminum-cantilevered el-cheapo special to dissect and make my first insert, but can't do that until the magnets get here. So now it's hurry up and wait.

In other news, I made a very quick dissection (with no pics right now - phone was dead) of the F-14 stylus that Dennis sent along. The magnet looks like it's in the same place and the diameter of the brass tube that slides up into the cartridge body is the same, so looks like the F-14 and F-9 styli are compatible. There is something interesting to report here though - no tie-wire in the F-14 stylus. It is constructed just like the ruby stylus for the f-9 is so far as I could tell - the rear of the insert tube is just plugged with a brass bung. The magnet is affixed (have not fully taken apart yet) to the end of the cantilever and the cantilever floats in the elastomer bearing block only. Seems a bit of a wonky design to me. If the only thing keeping the alignment of the stylus is the friction between the aluminum cantilever and the elastomer bearing block, how many F-9 ruby and F-14 styli have been thrown out because of misalignment when a bit of a twist with some tweezers could have fixed the problem. Dunno - maybe there is some kind of fixative helping to keep the alignment, but I didn't see any. Will take some pics and do a full teardown of the F-14 later on tonight.

bra10n
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Re: Stylus for Grace F9

Post by bra10n » 07 Jun 2019 00:27

Good stuff!

It is important to keep in mind that at the time the F14 'replacement stylus' (black one) probably cost recording/radio stations around 30 bucks a piece, and perhaps not even that much :shock: It would be great to know if the F14's construction was any different (excluding Ruby) across the various other offerings.

I like the look of the new clothes by the way :D

ripblade
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Re: Stylus for Grace F9

Post by ripblade » 07 Jun 2019 00:51

jc3 wrote:
06 Jun 2019 05:27
Grace has new clothes.

https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_f ... 648/source

https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_f ... 649/source

I think this is what the aluminum-line contact will wear.
Looks interesting. You mentioned earlier that you had issues with casting these. Have you resolved them or are these made with a different process?

jc3
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Re: Stylus for Grace F9

Post by jc3 » 07 Jun 2019 01:55

Yep - I could not get castings that didn't have bubbles - I tried two low viscosity casting resins and one medium viscosity. I made three separate molds to try and eliminate the areas where bubbles were collecting. The low viscosity formulas were too rapidly setting for the bubbles to evacuate - actually had better success with the 600cps medium viscosity stuff - but that had problems too - required 24 hours to demold, was still soft up to 72 hours, only one usable casting out of 3 tries. So I gave up. Now, I'm using the same material - this is Alumilite resin, but it's resin that has been colored and with sheets of white acetate added that separate color layers and are swirled around. I don't make these - they are pen blanks that are sold in lots of places on the web. I'm milling them with my cnc now. I also have a cool purple blank with white swirls that I'm going to try this week some time. It's a 2D operation on each of 3 sides to generate the holder, and a 4th 2D operation to part the pieces from the blank. I'm thinking of trying lacewood as well. They got a sand with 800, 1600, then a buff with flannel.

https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_f ... 655/source

jc3
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Re: Stylus for Grace F9

Post by jc3 » 07 Jun 2019 06:50

Here are some photos of Dennis' F-14 stylus giving up details of its construction.

https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_f ... 659/source

https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_f ... 657/source

And if you look down the neck there you can just see the magnet. No tie wire in there that I can see.

https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_f ... 658/source

Compare to the F-9 ruby I took apart last year...

https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_f ... 660/source

The cantilever in the F-14 is definitely affixed into the rubber suspension block well. It will not rotate or freely push out like the ruby F-9 I dissected previously did quite easily. Interesting that Grace took this tack - cheaper to produce? It's also interesting to note that in both the F-9 ruby and the F-14 with the aluminum cantilever, there is no angle between the cantilever and the long axis of the cantilever-brass-assembly. All of the other F-9 styli (including Dennis' donor) have a slight angle at the connection between the cantilever and the brass tube that holds the tie wire. This can be seen in the following photo as well...

https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_f ... 114/source

Delta667
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Re: Stylus for Grace F9

Post by Delta667 » 11 Jun 2019 11:02

Joe,
This is not Grace, but sizes can always come in handy.
Victor X-1:
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Delta667
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Re: Stylus for Grace F9

Post by Delta667 » 12 Jun 2019 05:58

Grace F-9L
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jc3
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Re: Stylus for Grace F9

Post by jc3 » 12 Jun 2019 15:50

Perfect, Dmitry - just what I needed! Many thanks!

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Re: Stylus for Grace F9

Post by Vadgr » 13 Jun 2019 19:20

Tell me please. I correctly understood that the stylus from f 14 is suitable for f9? I recently bought in a Japanese auction F9 but she had a rectangular inset gray. I find it difficult to determine.c
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Collux
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Re: Stylus for Grace F9

Post by Collux » 13 Jun 2019 22:40

I have very limited knowledge regarding the Grace F9.
If nothing forthcoming from the experts here; then try Soundsmith:
https://www.sound-smith.com/parts/grace ... ent-stylus
Also
Official Grace cartridge lovers thread.
https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_f ... 19&t=83409
Last edited by Collux on 13 Jun 2019 23:12, edited 1 time in total.

bra10n
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Re: Stylus for Grace F9

Post by bra10n » 13 Jun 2019 23:07

I'll weigh in but by no means an expert. To my eyes someone has frankensteined an F14 stylus on an F9 body. The cantilever angle just looks completely wrong to my eye, perhaps Dimitri or Joe might give their opinions.

jc3
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Re: Stylus for Grace F9

Post by jc3 » 14 Jun 2019 02:36

I think it should work fine. In fact, to my dissection, the F-14 stylus that Dennis sent me from Oz (thanks again, mate!) appears to be identical to the F-9 ruby stylus (other than the ruby cantilever, of course) in that they both have a cantilever that is directly (or nearly so) aligned with the brass tube that inserts into the cartridge body. I have seen other folks around the internet since I started digging a bit more also say that the F-14 was compatible with the F-9 body and vice versa. When I build my styli for the F-9, they will not have any downward bend like most of the F-9 styli do (minus the ruby, which as previously stated is perfectly in line with the insert tube). But, to confirm this anecdotal evidence, I will put Dennis' F-14 donor back together after dinner and confirm it does indeed work. Stay tuned.

jc3
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Re: Stylus for Grace F9

Post by jc3 » 14 Jun 2019 04:55

Okay - so Cage the Elephant's 'Too Late To Say Goodbye', a track that I am pretty familiar with, sounded pretty darn good with the (I think) generic F-14 replacement that Dennis sent along for testing in my F-9 body. It has an opaque black plastic grip - all the F-14 styli I have seen are transparent plastic in various colors denoting which 'model' they are. But, the thumb grip (on both Dennis' donor and F-14 stylus) is identical to the later '2nd generation' F-9 plastic thumb grips. I have heard rumors on the net that the reason Grace shifted from the rounded (and I think better looking) 'first generation' F-9 stylus grips to the more triangular-rectangular Gen-II type is because the first mold was broken or damaged. Anyhow, it looks like the F-14 used the same plastic holder. The sound from the F-14 Dennis sent along is really quite good - not as good as my SAS, but it might be worn, or might be conical, or the suspension might need to be worked to regain proper pliability - likely a combination of all three. It also had a slightly lower output. BUT... because my retip uses a Jico SAS stylus assembly from a Pioneer stylus, I cannot comment on whether the output is higher, lower, or the same as a working original F-9 stylus - which I do not have on hand.

jc3
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Re: Stylus for Grace F9

Post by jc3 » 14 Jun 2019 05:01

Vadgr wrote:
13 Jun 2019 19:20
Tell me please. I correctly understood that the stylus from f 14 is suitable for f9? I recently bought in a Japanese auction F9 but she had a rectangular inset gray. I find it difficult to determine.c
To me that looks like an F-14 stylus. Bear in mind that that style thumb grip was used on later F-9 styli as well, but if you look at the cantilever, you can see that it tapers toward the stylus where it is quite thin. I don't think there were any F-9 specific styli like that. See how it sounds!

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