How does everyone keep track of their stylus hours?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by colby2415, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. colby2415

    colby2415 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Canada
    Just installed a new Nagaoka mp110 cartridge the other day (the one in my picture), and I was wondering about this. I heard of some people using a little counter each time they play a side of vinyl, but I dunno how to manage singles, as 1 count per single is kinda inaccurate. is there a better way of doing this? I was thinking of creating an excel spreadsheet or something, but I feel like that might be too much work. Also on a somewhat related note, my cartridge manual said the stylus needs to be replaced every 250-300 hours. Seems a little much and I figure that must just be marketing? At that rate i'd need 2 styli per year, and that seems crazy. Excited to see how the naga sounds after break-in.
     
  2. raq0915

    raq0915 Forum Resident

    Location:
    \New Jersey
    I feel like I might get a lot of hate for this, but its very simple: When there is a noticeable difference in quality, its time to replace the cart. I think its kinda silly that people would actually count the hours
     
  3. Bob_in_OKC

    Bob_in_OKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    Ortofon estimates 2,000 hours -- FAQ & Installation

    I've never put enough hours on a stylus to wear one out. I just change once in a while for fun or to upgrade.
     
  4. colby2415

    colby2415 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Canada
    No problem, I am open to other's opinions on the matter. Isn't the change in quality very gradual such that many may not even notice it? That's really my concern when it comes to this as I don't wan't to unnecessarily wear my vinyl.
     
  5. raq0915

    raq0915 Forum Resident

    Location:
    \New Jersey
    Thats 83 days of straight listening. I'd be impressed if someone could hit that in under 5 years
     
    Manimal likes this.
  6. colby2415

    colby2415 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Canada
    Yeah, my ortofon only lasted me 5 months so probably not really a problem. Hopefully the naga lasts me longer than the red (changed it cause the IGD was bothersome)
    Yeah, and by then I would probably want to get a new cartridge anyways lol.
     
  7. Eigenvector

    Eigenvector Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Southeast PA
    I worked in a regulated laboratory environment for many years so I am quite used to keeping a log of equipment usage! I keep a small notebook by my turntable and just log the date and the hours of play for each day I use it. When I reach about 1,000 hours, or when I hear a drop in sound quality, I replace the stylus. At the rate I play records, that equates to a new stylus about once a year. It only takes a few seconds a day to log the activity and it gives me some peace of mind since a new stylus is a lot cheaper than trying to replace long out of print LPs.
     
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  8. colby2415

    colby2415 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Canada
    Yeah, i was thinking I was being kinda obsessive about this but I figured "someone out there must do this". However, isn't it true that by the time you notice an audible change, the stylus should have already been replaced?
     
  9. Eigenvector

    Eigenvector Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Southeast PA
    That's probably true. The changes I notice are an increase in IGD or slight mistracking of difficult passages. If I hear this, the stylus gets changed immediately. This seems to be consistently around 900-1000 hours with my Rega Exact 2. I've gone through 5 of them on my current RP6.
     
  10. colby2415

    colby2415 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Canada
    Consistency is always good, however with my previous ortfon red I had seemed to start degrading in sound quality very quickly. I had nearly 300 hours on it when I noticed the IGD getting worse and worse, as well as the tracking overall. Dunno if some of my mishaps shortened the life of the stylus, but it seems kinda extreme. Maybe I just got a dud?
     
  11. Eigenvector

    Eigenvector Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Southeast PA
    That does sound pretty premature but the Internet (and even this forum) is full of reports of the Ortofon 2M red not being a very good tracker. Apparently the 2M Blue is worlds better. The blue stylus fits the red body so maybe you could get a blue replacement stylus, if your budget allows that.
     
  12. colby2415

    colby2415 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Canada
    Well, as of now the Blue is kinda out of my budget, but I will end up keeping the 2m red until such a point that I can swap in the 2m blue stylus. Till then I hope the naga serves me well.
     
  13. bluesky

    bluesky Forum Resident

  14. Eigenvector

    Eigenvector Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Southeast PA
    I've never used a Nagaoka MP 110 but it seems to be a highly praised cartridge. I'd say you'll do well with it. How do you like the sound compared to the 2M Red? I've heard so much good about this line that I'm tempted to try a Nag myself at some point.
     
  15. colby2415

    colby2415 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Canada
    So far, I'm really enjoying the sound it puts out. WAY better than the 2m red for sure. It has more of a balanced sound than the red did, which I really appreciate. I found bass lacking on the red. so far I do like it, and I imagine you would as well. I can hear your wallet cringing from my suggestions, lol. How much money you can spend in this hobby is insane.
     
  16. Eigenvector

    Eigenvector Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Southeast PA
    Nice! I have heard the 2M red and I was not impressed. It sounds like you are happy so don't worry about changing!

    And, yes, the money you can spend on this hobby is crazy!
     
  17. colby2415

    colby2415 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Canada
    Yeah, wholeheartedly agree with you! Between cartridges, vinyl and all the inner/outer sleeves, the costs really start to add up.
     
    Eigenvector likes this.
  18. This Heat

    This Heat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I work a lot from home so I listen to a lot of music. So I can only estimate and go by ear. I probably had about 1600 hours on my Jico after 19 months. It was starting to sound bad and I noticed it was also starting to bend a bit.
     
  19. colby2415

    colby2415 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Canada
    Yeah, by that point I think I would have replaced long ago haha. That's odd about the bending though, Maybe the forces on the grooves weakened the metal over time or something?
     
  20. Tim Irvine

    Tim Irvine Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    My jaw drops when I read someone who says "I have 50-60 hours on...". How do they know that? I have no idea. If it doesn't sound right or track right I'll look at replacing it.
     
  21. colby2415

    colby2415 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Canada
    It's gotta be an estimate at best, unless there is people who sit there with a stopwatch or something to keep accurate count. Seems insanely obsessive.
     
    Tim Irvine likes this.
  22. This Heat

    This Heat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Yeah I don't know. My table is level and the anti-skate is set fine. It's a slight misalignment so I suspect the suspension was probably starting to wear. Like I said I had at least 1600 hours, likely more
     
    showtaper likes this.
  23. colby2415

    colby2415 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Canada
    Yeah, at 1600 hours or more I would have been happy to "retire" the stylus personally. That must have been at least 2 years of constant use. Do you still have the shure listed on your profile? Enjoying that JICO stylus?
     
  24. This Heat

    This Heat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    About 1.5 years but a lot of listening
     
    Gavinyl likes this.
  25. colby2415

    colby2415 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Canada
    Yeah, I think at an average of 2-3 records per day would probably be AT LEAST 2 years, maybe 3.
     

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