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Re: [ARSCLIST] Mostly for laughs

In a message dated 10/22/2006 9:20:46 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
dlennick@xxxxxxxxxxxx writes:
Hey..I had an epiphany that cost me five cents. A 2.0 mil Truncated Elliptical
stylus from Expert that I got a couple of years ago had never given me 
fit, too much chatter, variable results, but as a last resort I tried it this 
on a difficult disc, and added a five cent piece to the tone arm (the Stanton
styli won't take that much extra weight). It played gorgeously. I ended up
re-doing two projects this weekend because of the improvement.


I've recently had a somewhat similar experience. 

I use a GE VR cartridge on a Webster-Chicago changer for casual listening to 
the kind of junk records I play. It sounds great with most 40s and great with 
50s 78s using a 2.5 mil diamond stylus. 

However I occasionally come across an old, somewhat worn single sided Victor 
or Columbia that sounds unbelievably weak and distorted. I assumed it was 
because the record was worn or a poor pressing, but one day I almost literally 
leaned on the tone arm and the sound cleared up beautifully. It took four 
quarters stacked above the cartridge to get this effect. 

The records in question also show relatively high distortion when played with 
a Stanton cartridge, but of course I can't try an ounce or two of tracking 
force on it. At least once before on the list someone said he could only get 
good reproduction of acoustical discs only with very high tracking forces. 

There didn't appear to be any change to the record surface or the stylus 
after repeated playing of a section, and the distortion returned when the coins 
were removed. I don't see how the groove or the stylus could be changing shape. 
The vertical compliance of the GE stylus assembly is so slight that its 
geometry doesn't change much and would be the same for other records.  

Perhaps if the stylus was bottoming on a rounded groove, the extreme force 
would make it comply better, otherwise I am at a loss to explain what is going 
on here. Perhaps using a cartridge with a high tracking force is an alternative 
to the expense of a 3.5 mil stylus for those very early discs. A tracking 
force of an ounce or so was what they were made for.

Mike Csontos

(According to my scale, a dime = 2.3 gm; nickel = 5 gm; quarter = 5.7 gm.)

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