Posted on Leave a comment

Beware the unnecessary accessories!

A very old stylus! Still in excellent condition.

Okay, I might be ‘unselling’ here. Still, it bugs me when I see devices that take your money and don’t add any value to the quality of your sound experience.
Stylus lifters are one. I don’t believe that they are a worthwhile addition to any turntable. I’ll explain…

Folks see their stylus swishing around in the centre groove, and guess that they’re wasting hours of stylus life – click, click, click – but that’s not how stylus-wear works.

Music, pressed into your vinyl record, is like sandpaper to a stylus. The music is recorded in a jagged line that has between 20 and 20,000 ‘bumps’ per second. Soft sandpaper, mind you, it takes about 1000 hours of playing (average 36 million bumps) to wear a diamond stylus.
The centre groove, in contrast, is relatively smooth. It has 33 1/3 bumps per minute –not even 1 per second! – so it has no lasting effect on stylus wear. Compared with 20-20kHz (let’s say an average of 10kHz), you could swish your stylus around a centre groove for 18,000 hours and do as much damage as 1 hour of playing music.

Stylus lifters and dust-bugs, record treatments… they’re more about add-on sales and money in the till than genuinely helpful devices.

Sorry if I curb your enthusiasm.

A better stylus, on the other hand (Ortofon 2Mblue, OM20, etc.), now that’s worthwhile… more about that later.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.