Grado MF1 Stylus Bent... - diyAudio
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Old 14th March 2004, 09:24 PM   #1
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Unhappy Grado MF1 Stylus Bent...

Hello everybody. Just getting into "audiophiling" in baby steps. This thread is kind of a help thread...what a way to start off here, but hey! Whatyagonnadoo!

I recently attained a Denon DP-30L, a really nice direct drive turntable, I believe from the early 80's at a GREAT deal!

I was detailing/cleaning it up, because it was of course used, not abused, but slightly dusty and dirty. I buffed up the cover...aircanned it, very clean in and out (insides were dustless!), took my time, now its nice!

BUT! BUT! Here's the effed up part. The cartridge, its a tan Grado MF1 cartridge with matching original stylus. It came with a little stylus protective clip which I think Grado stylus' come with, anyway, since I'm new to this stuff and I didn't have any instructions on how to put back the little protective clip, I pressed it up onto the cartridge so I would snap in place for protection as I was going to do some final details.

Then the suddenly the stinking clip snapped in two right down the middle and I ended up pushing the needle up against the body of the cartridge! It left the stylus/needle misaligned. The pain, you can imagine. I had to sit it off for a while...

I used tweezers to straighten it out carefully. I slightly dented the cantilever but didn't bent it. The stylus is now slightly crooked from its base/rubber gromet, the cantilever is not bent. When I look at it straight on from the front the cartridge, the stylus leans slightly curved to my right.

Now, I hooked it up and played a Jazz record (Madhouse 6), a spare promo LP copy I had, to test it out. And much to my amazement, the sound was fabulous! There was no audible noise that was out of norm.

Before this I cleaned the needle with stylus cleaner and its nice and clean (bright aluminum) with no defects from what I can see and its still sounds great.

So I'm wondering, its $75 bucks for a new stylus (Grado Silver), okay, kind of pricey understandably, but I really wanted to keep the deal sweet...Will the stylus in this condition ruin records?

Should I adjust the tracking force because of the slight crookedness?

Oh and the cartridge rides a little low, is that normal? In inches I'd say its about 1 to 2/16ths above the record as it plays. With the counter weight adjusted so its not forcing the arm down too much and not too light.

Thanks for your suggestions and help!
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Old 14th March 2004, 10:00 PM   #2
SY is offline SY  United States
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Bite the bullet and get a new stylus. The bent/straightened one might sound OK, but not compared to an undamaged one. And that straightened-out cantilever (or the now-deformed suspension) will suddenly fail at the worst possible time, if there is a Murphy in the universe.

You won't be the first one of us to be faced with this; I think anyone who's done analog has killed a stylus or two.
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Old 14th March 2004, 10:01 PM   #3
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It all depends on how valuable your records are. I would rather throw it away immediately or mount it on a secondary table to play thrift shop finds.

Don't despair - all of us ruin carts once in a while, usually under the influence, or delegate it to maids and children. You were just lucky to get away so cheaply.
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Old 14th March 2004, 11:46 PM   #4
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Thanks for your reply's, I'm starting to feel better now...I'm not alone....

But, I had a bit of free time this afternoon and decided to mess with it a bit. Very carefully I removed the headshell and then the stylus.

I examined the stylus under a bright lamp and with clean tweazers proceeded to study the thing and make very small adjustments...as best as I can.

After two attempts at straightening the cantilever out, I think I succeeded!

It looks straight, the needle after magnifyingly staring and analyzing it looks right as well. The cantilever was the bent one, what I did was just pinced ever so gently a milimiter or two before the stylus needle and it straightened up. I also looked closely while its playing vinyl and it sits just like before as far as I (the non-expert-just-getting-back-into-vinyl-with-no-spare-75-bucks-music-lover) can tell...

I am guessing these styli and most styli are made of what, aluminum? I always thought they were made of very strong metal or something, like...a needle.

Right now I'm playing Chicago's Greatest Hits and as far as I can tell, it sounds fabulous!

I just have to get that Stylus Tracking Guage and I should be okay.

And yeah, I'll use it for thrift shop finds, maybe on some brand new records, but I don't plan on putting on too many of those all the time. I'll get a new stylus in time.

Thanks for taking your time to read my calamity!
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Old 15th March 2004, 12:00 AM   #5
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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The cantilever is usually made of hollow aluminium alloy.

Weight is a crucial issue, thats why steel isn't used.

With a second-hand cartridge its best to assume the stylus is worn out.

As far as I can tell you could fit any of the current grado styli.
But as you say the Silver is the recommended replacement.

A Green or even Black should be fine IMO.

sreten.
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Old 15th March 2004, 12:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by sreten
The cantilever is usually made of hollow aluminium alloy.

Weight is a crucial issue, thats why steel isn't used.

With a second-hand cartridge its best to assume the stylus is worn out.

As far as I can tell you could fit any of the current grado styli.
But as you say the Silver is the recommended replacement.

A Green or even Black should be fine IMO.

sreten.
REALLY!?!?!

I could use the Green or even Black?! I went to gradolabs.com and looked up the history of the MF 1 and it said to use Silver which is the $75 dollar one!

Hmmm, so I can use the more affordable ones? Whats the difference?

The Black one is within my current budget at only about $30! Just to play old records that as a teen I might have abused and some new sealed eBay purchases, nothing really high in value or rarity or "audiophile"-ness.

Thanks for your input Sreten!
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Old 15th March 2004, 11:25 AM   #7
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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http://shopping.netsuite.com/s.nl/c....it.A/id.244/.f

The black stylus is $20 from here.

At the bottom it states that the 78C & 78E styli fit all prestige
bodies, so I surmise all the Prestige styli are interchangeable.

sreten.
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Old 15th March 2004, 11:38 AM   #8
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Hi Modernaire,

You just did what most of us would like to do under the circumstances. Mainly avoid any additional expense.

The problem with Aluminum is that if you bend it and then straighten it ( or so it seems ) it will weaken the metal. In fact it cracks on the surface. Just try it with with some aluminum tubing. Your cantilever cannot be in OK condition.
If it does fail it will collapse on your record while playing and Murphy says it will be your best album on which this will happen. AND it will also say that you will not be able to get a replacement album easily. Is that enough ?

Now get cracking and replace that stylus. You get what you pay for and the more expensive stylus is not expensive for nothing. Just decide how much you want to spend. If you really want it to sound as good or better than what you have now , buy the Silver. Just confirm with someone who knows if there is a substantial ( audible ) difference between the different stylii available for your cartridge.
Have fun.
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Old 15th March 2004, 08:24 PM   #9
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Well JMO but i'd expect a nude mounted diamond tip for $75.

All the prestige series use a bush mounted tip, fine at $20,
but IMO pushing the limit at anything over $40 for a stylus.

I think the Black in america is fantastic value, but the rest
of the series IMO are poorer value the more you pay.

I can't see any differences in the Red/Blue and Gold/Silver styli.

sreten.
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Old 16th March 2004, 06:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by sreten
Well JMO but i'd expect a nude mounted diamond tip for $75.

All the prestige series use a bush mounted tip, fine at $20,
but IMO pushing the limit at anything over $40 for a stylus.

I think the Black in america is fantastic value, but the rest
of the series IMO are poorer value the more you pay.

I can't see any differences in the Red/Blue and Gold/Silver styli.

sreten.
Steten, whats the difference in a nude mounted diamond tip and a bush mounted tip? What is that?

I contacted Grado Labs and they of course suggested the Silver Stylus and when I asked what can I expect performance wise if I used the Black or Green Styli with the MF1 Cartridge they responded with this:
"Would not be as accurate, the soundstage would not be as open and musical."

Huh?

Okay, accurate I can understand maybe...but what the heck is a "soundstage" and what do they mean by "open" and "musical"?

I've read those terms before but can you translate to a person like me, a newbie who's just learning about this stuff, pleeease?

Oh and a few more questions Streten, you have experience I gather in using the Grado cartridges?

If I can use the Black Stylus with the MF1 Cartridge, then if my wallet allows a little more, then maybe I should get the Green or Blue or even the or if my wallet can allow the Red Stylus then?!

See them here:
http://shopping.netsuite.com/s.nl/c....LOlQzNp65In0__

Thanks Streten and others who have responded!
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