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What do you think of the state of this stylus?


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I'll try to get some better pictures, but interested in thoughts on how worn this stylus is? It's an old nagaoka mp-50

Disgusted at the filth the (pretty crappy) microscope has revealed. Any tips for cleaning the stylus and cantilever? Isopropyl & qtip? 

 

808675764_Screenshot2020-07-2319_32_49.jpg.e086bd4192c31b20dbef046e8d680e3f.jpg

 

1010646910_Screenshot2020-07-2321_50_36.jpg.9cbee84bfdb11b0207adb6942d51d0ca.jpg

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Not really able to tell much from the photos. And even with better photos it is quite a skill to identify wear.

If you believe it has had a lot of use, best not to use it 

 

I find the best thing to use, to clean dust and muck from a stylus is Magic Eraser.

Just lightly drag the pad forward, across the stylus and it will remove everything .

I have looked at my stylus with a  x 60  magnifying lens , before and after cleaning and the result is easy to see.

Use the pad dry, as any fluid may cause the tip to come loose.

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Magic-Cleaning-Sponge-Stain-Eraser-Remover-Pad-Home-White-Cleaning-Supplies-N4D8/184327028091?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

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I've heard that it's not good to drag the magic eraser across the styli, better to just lower the styli up/down.  The loops in the construction have been reported to pull the diamond from the cantilever.

 

I would use a stylus brush.  Lower the styli onto it and move the brush in a forwards motion.  I don't think the dirt on the cantilever will affect the sound. 

 

Edited by audiofeline
typo
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40 minutes ago, audiofeline said:

'I've heard that it's not good to drag the magic eraser across the styli, better to just lower the styli up/down.  The loops in the construction have been reported to pull the diamond from the cantilever.

I have to admit I was reluctant  to drag the ME across the stylus to begin with so tried it  on some old styluses that I was not too concerned about first and found no problems. I have now been using it for about two years on a AT440Mlb with no issues.

I have previously tried using a stylus brush but after checking with a  X 60 lens'  I could see that not much of the dust / fibers had been removed, only the ME got it totally dust / fiber free.

For me, it is not really possible to see if the stylus needs cleaning, unless really contaminated, with out a lens and dust that can't be seen can, with the naked eye,  can still affects the sound, so I just clean after every few records played.

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/30x-60x-Dual-Lens-Jewelers-Eye-Loupe-Illuminated-LED-Metal-Body-Glass-Magnifier/333484244876?hash=item4da535bf8c:g:zfEAAOSwt69eIsXL

 

s-l1600.jpg

Edited by EV Cali
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Once I had a MP30 that filthy what work best is multiple dipping to a magic eraser and multiple dipping to Blue tack. it work quite well and clean it up. Caveat it was a cartridge I didn't mind breaking. But looking at the current state of your cartridge don't think you have anything to loose. careful using any solvent since it can dissolve the glue/cement that hold the stylus

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28 minutes ago, mloutfie said:

But looking at the current state of your cartridge don't think you have anything to loose. careful using any solvent since it can dissolve the glue/cement that hold the stylus

And wick up the cantilever and destroy the suspension. I would use a fluid type cleaner with a brush very rarely. You can also get vinyl stuck to the stylus and a solvent could remove that.

If the stylus is gunk free and you only have fibres on it, just use a stylus brush. I use a brush before every record played.

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4 hours ago, EV Cali said:

Not really able to tell much from the photos. And even with better photos it is quite a skill to identify wear.

If you believe it has had a lot of use, best not to use it 

 

I find the best thing to use, to clean dust and muck from a stylus is Magic Eraser.

Just lightly drag the pad forward, across the stylus and it will remove everything .

I have looked at my stylus with a  x 60  magnifying lens , before and after cleaning and the result is easy to see.

Use the pad dry, as any fluid may cause the tip to come loose.

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Magic-Cleaning-Sponge-Stain-Eraser-Remover-Pad-Home-White-Cleaning-Supplies-N4D8/184327028091?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

You don't have to drag the stylus and risk damage

Just dab it onto a pad of the ME and it does the job.

I have checked it under my 'scope.

If you have some heavily modulated piano music on on inner track a worn stylus will mistrack on certain notes.

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Thanks everyone for the replies. 

I had been using the ME trick, although in this case some debris had built up on the cantilever itself too. 

Anyway, the cartridge is pretty long in the tooth, so I've decided to err on the side of caution and not use it. Will just order a replacement for it when funds allow. 
 

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On 24/07/2020 at 12:37 PM, Wimbo said:

And wick up the cantilever and destroy the suspension. I would use a fluid type cleaner with a brush very rarely. You can also get vinyl stuck to the stylus and a solvent could remove that.

If the stylus is gunk free and you only have fibres on it, just use a stylus brush. I use a brush before every record played.

It really is not a problem, I have been using a damp isopropyl alcohol stylus brush for about 30 years, I currently have many 60 carts never had any issues.

Chris

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13 hours ago, jack_b said:

Thanks everyone for the replies. 

I had been using the ME trick, although in this case some debris had built up on the cantilever itself too. 

Anyway, the cartridge is pretty long in the tooth, so I've decided to err on the side of caution and not use it. Will just order a replacement for it when funds allow. 
 

How does it sound?

A stylus has to be VERY worn to hurt a record, as it ages wear patches polish and wear vinyl less, but the bigger wider patches are not as detailed, then distortion starts, eventually (when damage to records occur) the bottom of the stylus touches the bottom of the groove and this is when damage happens, the stylus will sound terrible well before this point though.

Chris

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3 hours ago, cafe latte said:

It really is not a problem, I have been using a damp isopropyl alcohol stylus brush for about 30 years, I currently have many 60 carts never had any issues.

Chris

Same with me, but cartridge designers do recommend against it.

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37 minutes ago, Wimbo said:

Same with me, but cartridge designers do recommend against it.

Cartridge designers recommend against anything that extends the life of a cartridge, not shortens it. After all, they're in the business of selling new ones.

 

To the OP, I think the state of that cartridge is Victoria, look at the distress it's in.

Edited by t_mike
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1 hour ago, Wimbo said:

Same with me, but cartridge designers do recommend against it.

Cartridge designers say a lot of things that are nonsense. stylus lasting 3,000 hours is one, 600 hours is probably upper limit. They they say how lightly worn damages records when actually opposite is true. Alcohol wont hurt rubber suspension, but to be honest if someone is putting so much alcohol on the stylus that the suspension is getting wet they are using WAY too much.

Chris

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I hate to admit it, but I have used one of those interdental brushes that you get at the chemist (to use instead of floss), under my USB microscope, dampened with isopropyl alcohol. You do have to be careful, but in the case where you are considering binning the stylus anyway, what have you got to lose? It can be useful to remove goop that may have accumulated from dirty records that doesn't come off easily with the previously mentioned methods. (I know all records should be passed through a vacuum record cleaning machine, then an ultrasound bath, dried,  and placed in a fresh MoFi sleeve in a climate controlled vault before being played. That said, who hasn't had the occasional slip up where you just had to play that second hand gem that you found down at the local vinnies?)

 

It is probably worth mentioning that not all manufacturers caution against liquid stylus cleaners- I imagine that not all adhesives are the same. 

 

Justin

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18 minutes ago, Juzbear said:

I hate to admit it, but I have used one of those interdental brushes that you get at the chemist (to use instead of floss), under my USB microscope, dampened with isopropyl alcohol. You do have to be careful, but in the case where you are considering binning the stylus anyway, what have you got to lose? It can be useful to remove goop that may have accumulated from dirty records that doesn't come off easily with the previously mentioned methods. (I know all records should be passed through a vacuum record cleaning machine, then an ultrasound bath, dried,  and placed in a fresh MoFi sleeve in a climate controlled vault before being played. That said, who hasn't had the occasional slip up where you just had to play that second hand gem that you found down at the local vinnies?)

 

It is probably worth mentioning that not all manufacturers caution against liquid stylus cleaners- I imagine that not all adhesives are the same. 

 

Justin

I have yet to have a problem with any cart using alcohol to clean and I have 60 carts so safe to say most (if not all) are fine with alcohol. I know Ortofon advise against it but dont currently own one to test with alcohol.

Chris

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5 hours ago, t_mike said:

Cartridge designers recommend against anything that extends the life of a cartridge, not shortens it. After all, they're in the business of selling new ones.

So they recommend alcohol when listening.

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5 hours ago, cafe latte said:

Cartridge designers say a lot of things that are nonsense. stylus lasting 3,000 hours is one, 600 hours is probably upper limit. They they say how lightly worn damages records when actually opposite is true. Alcohol wont hurt rubber suspension, but to be honest if someone is putting so much alcohol on the stylus that the suspension is getting wet they are using WAY too much.

Chris

Couple of Moot points there. Don't understand what your saying there about records.

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Just now, Wimbo said:

Couple of Moot points there. Don't understand what your saying there about records.

Even the best new stylus are not smooth, not perfectly, but 50 hours in they are very polished and they stay this way. My point is stylus companies would have you believe even a half worn stylus in not good for records, when the truth is the new one will likely wear the record more.

Chris

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3 minutes ago, cafe latte said:

Even the best new stylus are not smooth, not perfectly, but 50 hours in they are very polished and they stay this way. My point is stylus companies would have you believe even a half worn stylus in not good for records, when the truth is the new one will likely wear the record more.

Chris

Now thats interesting. Stylus burn in😀. I've never noticed it. But I suppose you won't unless you are made aware of it. I bought a lot of my LP's back in the 80's and after Nitty Gritting them back then, they are still wonderful. Only problem I've has with my Vinyl was the hazeing effect but that Plastx fixed that. Hard work though.

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On 24/07/2020 at 10:50 AM, EV Cali said:

 

I have to admit I was reluctant  to drag the ME across the stylus to begin with so tried it  on some old styluses that I was not too concerned about first and found no problems. I have now been using it for about two years on a AT440Mlb with no issues.

I have previously tried using a stylus brush but after checking with a  X 60 lens'  I could see that not much of the dust / fibers had been removed, only the ME got it totally dust / fiber free.

For me, it is not really possible to see if the stylus needs cleaning, unless really contaminated, with out a lens and dust that can't be seen can, with the naked eye,  can still affects the sound, so I just clean after every few records played.

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/30x-60x-Dual-Lens-Jewelers-Eye-Loupe-Illuminated-LED-Metal-Body-Glass-Magnifier/333484244876?hash=item4da535bf8c:g:zfEAAOSwt69eIsXL

 

 

What's the Chromatic Aberration like with the lens?

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9 minutes ago, Honreekea said:

What's the Chromatic Aberration like with the lens?

I always use the lens with its light on and I cant really say Chromatic Aberration is really noticeable to me.  

But I am not an expert.

 

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9 minutes ago, EV Cali said:

I always use the lens with its light on and I cant really say Chromatic Aberration is really noticeable to me.  

But I am not an expert.

 

Non issue with good optics, same with scopes. I bought a Nightforce BR for my club gun and after being used to the stunning optics of the NF competition the blue flare on edges was annoying.

Chris

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  • 5 weeks later...
On 24/07/2020 at 12:06 PM, mloutfie said:

Once I had a MP30 that filthy what work best is multiple dipping to a magic eraser and multiple dipping to Blue tack. it work quite well and clean it up. Caveat it was a cartridge I didn't mind breaking. But looking at the current state of your cartridge don't think you have anything to loose. careful using any solvent since it can dissolve the glue/cement that hold the stylus

Dissolving the glue of modern stylus tips is very unlikely unless you are cleaning with acetone. Test of VE ages ago someone put a few old stylus in a jar of alcohol for weeks, all tips stayed very much intact at the end of the test.

Chris

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