Identifying uneven stylus wear

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by LitHum05, Nov 24, 2021.

  1. LitHum05

    LitHum05 El Disco es Cultura Thread Starter

    If, under microscope, I’m seeing the left side of a stylus more flat then the right, can I blame too much skating force as the culprit? If so, my turntable must be applying more force than indicated.

    Might there be a different reason?

    Thanks in advance. Love this site. :goodie:
  2. Phil Thien

    Phil Thien Forum Resident

    Milwaukee, WI
    If more wear on right side, too much anti-skating. If on left, too little.

    Which is it?

    And what tonearm?
  3. LitHum05

    LitHum05 El Disco es Cultura Thread Starter

    Left side as in facing left while looked at with microscope. If that side is worn, would that not mean too much pulling away from the center?

    Vintage Denon turntable.
  4. Thorensman

    Thorensman Forum Resident

    Soundsmith has an interesting article
    On anti skate and uneven stylus wear.
    Test records can be misunderstood
    And lead to excessive biasing.
    The article came about due to the high
    Numbers of cartridges suffering uneven
    Stylus wear.
    He advises on an alternative method
    Of setting the anti skate
  5. Mike70

    Mike70 Forum Resident

    I use the Soundsmith method and then ... ear method :) ... trying +/- with .2 / .3 grams.
    Using a well known record and with some attention, you can do a fine tuning.
    Danilo likes this.
  6. LitHum05

    LitHum05 El Disco es Cultura Thread Starter

    Do you have a link? So, there is no way to know from sight alone as I described in opening post?
  7. Mike70

    Mike70 Forum Resident

    But what you propose is to see damage in the stylus ... we were talking about doing a good antiskating setting from the beginning.

    Damage in the stylus doesn't happens only for bad antiskating ... you can have a bad azimuth, adding bad VTF, malformed cantilever, etc etc.
  8. LitHum05

    LitHum05 El Disco es Cultura Thread Starter

    I don’t know it’s damage so much as it’s wear on one side. I suppose I was looking for a common sense affirmation that anti skate was the culprit (flat in one side, not the other).
  9. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    If the stylus was mounted way off axis on the cantilever, that could also lead to uneven wear. More commonly, too much or too little AS would cause uneven stylus wear.
    LitHum05 likes this.
  10. Mike70

    Mike70 Forum Resident

    if you're looking for an specific answer ... why to question? I prefer to have an open mind, maybe i can learn something new. I said the same concept as patient_ot.
  11. Thorensman

    Thorensman Forum Resident

    Its actually on youtube.
    He does a few discussions.
    As, has been pointed out as viewed from front of turntable left of cartridge is left
    Channel. Right side right.
    So if, as viewed from front left side is definately worn in advance of right side
    This would indicate too little bias .
    I use band 1 of hi fi news test disc 300hz
    At +12db and a combination of soundsmith method and my ears.
    It soon becomes obvious where optimum
    Point is.
    You can think about bias( antiskate,)
    In this way.
    If a record contains very little high transient signal then little bias is needed.
    such a record, if bias set to accomodate
    300hz+14db or 300hz + 16db signals
    Could be said to be over biased .of course,
    If high levels are prevalent then its set

    I.usually find that arm, set as per manufacturers reccommendation.
    And bias set as per arm makers instruction works fine, in that no
    Mistracking can be heard.
    Now, a test record might suggest otherwise.
    Which is right?
    LitHum05 likes this.
  12. Ripblade

    Ripblade Forum Resident

    The Six
    An optical microscope reverses the image, so you have to be clear on which way the cantilever is pointing when you're looking at it. When I place one under the lens the cartridge pins are pointing away from me, but the cantilever tip appears also to be pointing away from me. If the wear is on the left side then there's too little antiskate; if on the right, too much AS.

    AS is an averaging process type of wear, like VTF. The method described by Peter Lederman of Soundsmith works well as an approximation. Only periodic inspections can confirm whether it's set correctly for the particular equipment and records in use.
    LitHum05 likes this.

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