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johnmarkp 8th April 2006 05:36 PM

Now many hours does a stylus last?
I have been trying to find some kind of estimate on this. I am looking at several used cartridges that say they have been used 100 to 200 hours. I know that an exact answer is impossible, but I am wondering what the normal range is?


vinylkid58 8th April 2006 06:48 PM

I did a quick search on the Vinyl Asylum and found a varirty of answers. Some manufacturers say as little as 800 hrs (synthetic diamond), while others say 2000-2500 hrs playing clean records at 1gram tracking force.


gypsielectro 9th April 2006 12:46 AM

When the BBC used Decca cartridges
for broadcast quality playback, their recommendation was an inspection at 500 hours and replacement at 1,000 hours

I've had a Decca professionally retipped that lasted 12 years of dailly use before it expired; stylus life depends on how well the cartridge is setup, how good the gear is you're playing this on, how clean your records are ( and not the least: how clumsy the DJ is! )

El Gippo

Salas 1st October 2008 10:48 PM

Resurrecting this 2 year old short thread, I wanna ask:

1. What is your experience of average life time for elliptical or exotic shape true diamond styli on well set up systems playing cared for record discs?

2. What to look for as early wear signs? Is a normal magnifying glass enough? I mean the size and grade of the one we could burn bugs by focusing sun rays on them when kids.:D ...Well not all of us, I was doing that. Older I focused on voice coils.:hot:

d to the g 1st October 2008 11:28 PM

I started hearing some mistracking after about 1400 hours on my AT 440MLa (Shibata/line contact stylus). Just enough to notice, but much more than that and you'll be doing irreperable damage to your records.

edit: I'll also add that I did NOT notice any changes with a magnifying glass. I still have the old stylus and could put it under a decent light microscope and do a side by side comparison with a ~200 hour cart.

Salas 2nd October 2008 12:32 AM

Probably we need a microscope for that...Thanks for your info. So hark for mistracking after the first 1000 hours is the sure path.

Any other experiences with more mundane shaped styli?

SY 2nd October 2008 01:46 AM

Interestingly, I've not had many styli wear out so much as deteriorate because of the suspension. The elastomers stiffen and shrink, causing mistracking and eventually collapse.

Salas 2nd October 2008 02:46 AM

True, that is why I ask. All my past styli had failed there before I could ever hear them screech first.

d to the g 2nd October 2008 02:56 AM

Sreten, we both agree on the sympton: misstracking, but disagree with the cause. How can you show that it's the suspension that's causing the misstracking?

Salas 2nd October 2008 03:02 AM

I am not Sreten neither SY is,:) but I can tell that all the MM cartridges I had (high compliance) Stantons and Ortofons failed by suspension sag. My MCs haven't been used that much yet so to tell.

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