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Thread: Phonograph Stylus Tip Wear & Potential Damage to Vinyl Records

  1. #1
    Join Date: Jan 2018

    Location: Bend, OR

    Posts: 11
    I'm Mike.

    Default Phonograph Stylus Tip Wear & Potential Damage to Vinyl Records

    I did not see a thread on this subject so I'll start one.

    The subject of stylus wear has captured my attention recently. My interest was piqued when I learned that my Ortofon Cadenza Black MC cartridge with its line contact tip shape was deemed "badly worn" by an expert in retipping and needing to be replaced. The cartridge had precisely 800 hours on it and those came from a trip on records as clean as I can get them, using religiously either a VPI RCM or an ultrasonic tank cleaner. But I had for the last 100 hours of its use noticed distortion and I feared I was damaging my records. That caused me to learn something about the subject because I was led to believe by Ortofon that this cartridge would last for 2,000 hours prior to needing to be replaced/retipped. A consequence of that sojourn of discovery is codified in this article that I wrote and was published on May 23 on The Vinyl Press. There is a lot of information packed into that article and I want to share it with you.


    A stylus on a phono cartridge is a bit like tires on your car. Where the diamond meets the vinyl is like where the rubber meets the road. At least for tires, manufactures will tell you right up front that if you align your front end, rotate the tires, keep them properly inflated, and don't burn rubber, the tires will last say 40,000 miles. And most are reliably close.

    Getting hours of wear for a phonograph cartridge stylus tip, however, is not as simple. All I will say is that I am now at the point where I want purveyors of cartridges to show me the data for modern diamond styli.
    Last edited by BendBound; 25-05-2019 at 15:10.

  2. #2
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: north wales

    Posts: 512
    I'm peter.


    Great to read pete

  3. #3
    Join Date: Nov 2011

    Location: Seaton, Devon, UK

    Posts: 3,061
    I'm Adrian.


    I have read it and very interesting too. I am just about to buy another cartridge to improve SQ and keep the current in reserve. thanks for posting.
    Listening is the act of aural discrimination and dissemination of sound, and accepting you get it wrong sometimes

    Pro-Ject Signature 10 TT & arm, Benz Micro LP-S & Michel Cusis MC cartridge, Furutech AG-12-R4 High Performance Phono Cable, LFD MMC special phono stage, Rothwell MCX SUT, RaspberryPi/HifiBerry Digi to Beresford Caiman SEG DAC, Sony 3d blu-Ray for CDs to Caiman SEG, ALLNIC T1500 MKII SET 300B amp, Tannoy Legacy Arden speakers and JBL L100 Century's , Chord Epic speaker leads, & signature links, the Eccose Conductor CA1 cd to pre, I think I am at audio nirvana, but donít tell anyone

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