Do phono cartridges need a rest?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Old Zorki II, Nov 23, 2021 at 10:52 AM.

  1. Old Zorki II

    Old Zorki II Storm Watcher Thread Starter

    Location:
    near Tampa, FL
    I know it is a bit insane of a topic. Why? Why phono cartridge would need a rest? They are not working 24/7 anyway. And yet...
    I felt that my carts sounds better after 2 weeks rest. Preferably dismounted (easy with removable headshell).
    Then it is fine for a month, then rest again. I have many carts, and such rotation is not a big deal for me - but it does not make any sense.
    Psychoacoustics probably the main reason, but why it sounded better after 2 weeks rest then for example after one day?
    Can it be that some demagnetising happening during the rest, which is not possible while cart is in some type of circuit with a pre? Suspension getting stiffer? Who knows..
    Just wonder if anyone feels the same way )).
     
    doctor fuse likes this.
  2. Davey

    Davey NP: Broadcast ~ Haha Sound (on repeat, as usual)

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    There's no way I'd have the confidence to claim I could tell whether a cartridge sounded different after giving it a 2-week vacation, especially with listening to different ones over that period. You can also tell when they are in need of a rest? I have a hard time telling when my cartridges are in need of a retip or exchange, even though I've found on occasion it is clearly obvious when directly compared to a new one. But I'm not a very critical listener these days :)


    But more on topic, I don't ever rest a cartridge, and I generally just use one, though occasionally I listen to the other turntable and it has a different cartridge. But I'm not much of a cartridge swapper.
     
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  3. elvisizer

    elvisizer Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Jose
    apparently that's how long it takes for your auditory memory to forget the subtle aspects of that cart's sound you don't like
     
    coolhandjjl, mackat, Gregalor and 6 others like this.
  4. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Fish tacos.

    Location:
    San Diego
    I have read to never use a demagnetizer on a moving magnet cartridge. It will ruin it. At least from what I've read.
     
  5. Old Zorki II

    Old Zorki II Storm Watcher Thread Starter

    Location:
    near Tampa, FL
    Same for MI cartridges. But because you should never use demagnetizer does not men that cartridge itself does not benefit from reducing/changing some type of residual magnetism


    .
     
    Boltman92124 likes this.
  6. Old Zorki II

    Old Zorki II Storm Watcher Thread Starter

    Location:
    near Tampa, FL
    This is the most plausible explanation, but from what I read this memory is very short, hours the most... Or may be I am mistaken.
     
  7. elvisizer

    elvisizer Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Jose
    generally, yeah! so the 2 weeks thing is a bit interesting :)
     
    Leonthepro likes this.
  8. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Fish tacos.

    Location:
    San Diego
    I have one of those metal black 3g weights/spacers. The one with the serial number on them. At any rate, I discovered it attracted to the front of my DL-103 LOMC one day when mounting it up. Made me think the DL-103 is magnetized. It does not attract to various MM carts I have. Needless to say I stopped using it with the 103.
     
  9. Davey

    Davey NP: Broadcast ~ Haha Sound (on repeat, as usual)

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    MC carts like the DL-103 have big strong magnets inside, whereas MM carts just have a tiny magnet (or two) on the cantilever.
     
    Cody B and Boltman92124 like this.
  10. Oelewapper

    Oelewapper Plays vinyl instead of installing it on the floor.

    To me that observation sounds similar to my experiences with using gear in general.
    I found that if I use a piece of gear often, it becomes normal... taken for granted.
    For example playing CD/files in my case.
    I mostly play digital, so I get used to the sound.
    After either playing records or not playing music at all for some time, I reappreciate how nice digital sounds.
    Similar experience with a beginners cartridge I bought a few weeks ago (AT-VM95E).
    I went back to basics in a way, because like so many of us, I also started out with that level of quality years ago.
    I was really surprised how good it sounds, while I remembered those entrylevel cartridges to be “meh not that interesting”.
    Reappreciation of a beginners cartridge - have a listen
    Of course, it can’t beat any midrange cartridge, but it’s surprisingly close.

    I think all of these things have the same reason in common: it’s experienced as (almost) new again
     
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  11. RemyM

    RemyM Forum Resident

    Maybe your ears need rest.
     
    Fishoutofwater, tin ears and Danmar like this.
  12. plastico

    plastico Forum Resident

    Location:
    ontario canada
    I know my AT ART 9 could be used to pick up nails from a roofing job! LOL!
    Cheers, Doug
     
  13. harby

    harby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    "Do phono cartridges need a rest?" Yes, time to move on to other topics. Wait, you meant something different..

    If I was to come up with a theory nobody has heard of but at least has plausibility, it might rather be that your cartridge that has sat with an unloaded cantilever suspension hanging for weeks might instead need to "warm up" when you play a record again - the suspension needing to again settle in to being under the tracking force.

    BTW, there are some phono preamps that would have you believe they have a "demagnetize" function, which instead advertise that they are scammers or have no concept of physics. A tape head needs demagnetization (from an external device) because magnetic charges that can build up also serve like a permanent magnet erase head found on cheap old decks, or at least will affect the bias in the same way that DC bias circuits worked.

    Demagnetizing your phono cartridge would instead turn "moving magnet" into "moving nothing" (although it would take the strength of the gausser used to create the magnet).
     
  14. VinylSoul

    VinylSoul Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lake Erie
    There's an accessory we don't hear of used or sought after any longer.
    Not recommending it but I thought Audioquest said the DM 1000 was safe for MM as long as the stylus could be removed
    Don't use mine anymore.
    Sumiko flux buster seemed to be a popular unit 35yrs ago.
     
  15. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Sweden
    We need to get more used to the idea around here, that if something is observed that seems strange or illogical, that we should suspect our own senses before anything else.
     
    NettleBed and BillWojo like this.
  16. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Sweden
    This

    Which is exactly why I distrust peoples accounts of cartridge break in happening so clearly over 20, 50 even 200 hours in.
    Its just not humanly possible to be that accurate.
     
    Fishoutofwater likes this.
  17. Oelewapper

    Oelewapper Plays vinyl instead of installing it on the floor.

    200 hours break in! :biglaugh:
    That’s about one fifth of the total stylus tip lifespan...
     
  18. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Sweden
    Indeed, even more if its a worse stylus like Conical. At that point youre more likely to hear stylus wear over anything else Id assume.
     
    Fishoutofwater and Oelewapper like this.
  19. SteveFord

    SteveFord Forum Resident

    Location:
    Shnecksville PA
    Keep it down, please.
    My stylus is taking a nap.
     
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  20. Old Zorki II

    Old Zorki II Storm Watcher Thread Starter

    Location:
    near Tampa, FL
    I am totally fine with idea that i is 100% psychoacoustical phenomena. I would keep them taking some rest regardless ))
     
  21. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Sweden
    At the very least youre not paying for it unlike many other HiFi products, placebo is best free.
     
    Old Zorki II likes this.
  22. April Snow

    April Snow Forum Resident

    Hahhahahahahaha totally cracked me up !!!!:D
     
    SteveFord likes this.
  23. NettleBed

    NettleBed Forum Resident

    Location:
    new york city
    This is the first known mention of "de" break-in."

    Anyway, the notion of installing and aligning a cartridge every few weeks seems very unappealing to me. If I damage the stylus, then no amount of hours non-use will bring it back to life...
     
    Leonthepro likes this.
  24. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    unless you keep notes and a log of hours played. if all of a sudden you notice more bass on a track or less top end edginess you can reference the hours log and be within 10 hours or so.
     
  25. Old Zorki II

    Old Zorki II Storm Watcher Thread Starter

    Location:
    near Tampa, FL
    This is not an issue with removable hard shell arms.. all you need is adjust VTf and vta
     

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