Do you mean "better than average performance" for a dangerously-worn styli, haha ? Or are you suggesting it may not be damaging discs at all ?ripblade wrote: ↑15 Jan 2019 00:48I'd hesitate to use it on new records, but it may still offer better than average performance on damaged discs where you wouldn't risk a new stylus.
How did it sound when you replaced it? Was the decision to replace it a precautionary measure or was the sound noticeably degraded?
Well, for stylus "2", I remember hearing a real or perceived loss of higher frequencies; I was never sure if this was just the 'break in' that many reviewers mentioned "taming the out-of-box brightness" or not, but having a backup stylus around, I didn't want to take any chances. It actually still sounds good, just a bit less treble-centric: there was no distortion I could hear, and peak levels read even for L & R channels playing a 1khz stereo tone using Analogue Productions' Test Disc. I say peak levels because I use the "Rec. In" of a cassette deck to check levels (no fozgometer, etc.). Also, if I'm remembering correctly, stylus "2" came, new, out-of-box, with the cantilever slightly skewed. I cannot recall if the skew grew with time or not. Interestingly, it sounds better than "Q".
With stylus "Q" there is not only a buzzing distortion in one channel (Left, if I remember correctly) using the above test track, but also an imbalance with the Left channel being softer than the right, again, using the meters on the cassette deck as reference. This cantilever seems straight, however.
I'd heard stories surrounding AT's implementation of Nakimi's setup that led me to believe there were definitely some production inconsistencies, quite possible leading to the discontinuation of this product altogether. However, I assumed it was still within spec, and didn't worry about it. Some folks in various forums suggest always returning skewed or rotated cantilevers --- other folks say it's no big deal, and just align the cart to compensate. Couple that with my "good enough" attitude toward setup, and here we are, heh.
One of the biggest questions I have is this: for those who cannot or will not invest in the tools required to see their stylus up-close in high resolution (probably the average buyer of, even these, advanced stylus profiles), how does one gauge, other than hours, wear on their stylus? The gradual changing of the sound quality, outside of channel imbalance and slight loss of high frequency really went unnoticed. Maybe it didn't Help that I am not a regular listener of vinyl. I have gone months without spinning a record before. The thought that, under ideal conditions, these styli can last well beyond 1,000 hours is staggering. To hear that there are those with many-thousands of hours on a stylus from the 80s, (less advanced shape, mind you) that "still sounds like it did when new" is downright unbelievable. Maybe I'm being unreasonable, considering the forces at play here ?
Anyway, to return to the topic of this thread --- I look forward to learning more about these advanced shapes, how they work, and the pros and cons of using them. I hope others are able to learn, as well, from my experiences.
Concerning the 'design doing what it's supposed to do', is anyone able to elaborate? Where is the "line of contact" on a flat surface that once had a MicroRidge ?