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Can playing playing poor quality records damage my stylus?
Can playing playing poor quality records damage my stylus?
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Old 14th February 2020, 02:32 AM   #1
HarryY is offline HarryY  United States
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Default Can playing playing poor quality records damage my stylus?

I've been away from LP's for 20 years and I recently picked up a new turntable
with an Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge and the replacement stylus is about $175

This may be a silly question but Can playing playing poor quality records damage my stylus?

I do wash any old albums that I've purchased to remove any grime and dirt.
But some are less than optimal (light scratches etc) and I would hate to cause
extra wear on the stylus. My turntable does have a removable headshell so if
need be I could have a second cartridge setup with a less costly stylus.

Thoughts and suggestions?

Thank you

Last edited by HarryY; 18th February 2020 at 01:06 AM.
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Old 14th February 2020, 02:44 AM   #2
rayma is offline rayma  United States
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Scratches on a clean record can't harm the stylus.
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Old 14th February 2020, 02:54 AM   #3
HarryY is offline HarryY  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayma View Post
Scratches on a clean record can't harm the stylus.
Thank you
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Old 14th February 2020, 03:00 AM   #4
rayma is offline rayma  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryY View Post
Thank you
Watch out for your speakers, though. Some scratches can play very loudly.
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Old 14th February 2020, 07:41 PM   #5
Mark Tillotson is offline Mark Tillotson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayma View Post
Scratches on a clean record can't harm the stylus.

Well _very_ large scratches can, as the stylus can catch on them, but that's extreme, a small scratch is just a large audio transient, some recordings already contain large transients...

All playing wears the stylus and the record. Dirt makes it worse for both, abrasive dirt is even worse.

Decks without auto-stop can wear the stylus in the run-out groove if left unatteded, and the run-out groove can collect a lot of dirt as its deep and the stylus dumps junk there at the end of every play.

Coloured vinyl and picture discs promote more wear as they don't contain carbon-black which is uses to lubricate standard black vinyl.
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Old 14th February 2020, 09:48 PM   #6
Galu is offline Galu  Scotland
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I'd certainly agree with you that you should purchase a second headshell and cartridge combination for playing your sub-optmal records. That's certainly what I do. I recommend a budget Audio Technica cartridge such as the ATVM95C which is available fitted in a headshell as the ATVM95C/H. AT-VM95C/H - VM95 series Conical stereo cartridge on AT-HS6 Headshell | Audio-Technica
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Old 15th February 2020, 05:00 AM   #7
HarryY is offline HarryY  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galu View Post
I'd certainly agree with you that you should purchase a second headshell and cartridge combination for playing your sub-optmal records. That's certainly what I do. I recommend a budget Audio Technica cartridge such as the ATVM95C which is available fitted in a headshell as the ATVM95C/H. AT-VM95C/H - VM95 series Conical stereo cartridge on AT-HS6 Headshell | Audio-Technica
I have that cartridge on my Wishlist, so it looks like I should get it.

Thank you

.
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Old 15th February 2020, 05:01 AM   #8
HarryY is offline HarryY  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Tillotson View Post
Well _very_ large scratches can, as the stylus can catch on them, but that's extreme, a small scratch is just a large audio transient, some recordings already contain large transients...

All playing wears the stylus and the record. Dirt makes it worse for both, abrasive dirt is even worse.

Decks without auto-stop can wear the stylus in the run-out groove if left unatteded, and the run-out groove can collect a lot of dirt as its deep and the stylus dumps junk there at the end of every play.

Coloured vinyl and picture discs promote more wear as they don't contain carbon-black which is uses to lubricate standard black vinyl.
All good information.

Thank you
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Old 18th February 2020, 01:08 AM   #9
HarryY is offline HarryY  United States
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I wound up getting the ATVM95C and mounted in the same type of headshell
that my Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge is in. I then added a 1.4 gram weight so it
would weight the same + .2 grams (for the hevier required tracking) so
I wouldn't need to reset the weight when I swapped cartridges.


.

Last edited by HarryY; 18th February 2020 at 01:11 AM.
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Old 18th February 2020, 03:30 PM   #10
Galu is offline Galu  Scotland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryY View Post
...so I wouldn't need to reset the weight when I swapped cartridges.
Exactly what I did! The new Audio Technica AT-VM95C may be upgraded, if/when necessary, simply by substituting a more advanced stylus profile from further up the range. However, the conical stylus is probably the best profile for playing LPs of unknown or sub-optimal quality.
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