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Keeping track of turntable play time
System92
post Jun 25 2011, 01:48
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Hey,

They say it required to change a stylus after so many hours of play, but how do you keep track of said time? Do you keep a timer near the turntable and clock its play time? Do you guess it, or simply judge by the look/sound of the needle?

Thanks!
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AndyH-ha
post Jun 25 2011, 07:56
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I rather doubt you can estimate the time to change the stylus by examining the stylus. If it ever got the point where you could actually hear something, it would be way past time to make the change.

One method, if you can keep a record sheet near the TT and remember to update it faithfully, is to count sides played. There is considerable variation from LP to LP but about 45 minutes is a common album length. Therefore half that for one side. If you think your music tends to run to some other standard time, use that.

With a piece of graph paper of some kind for the record keeping, making marks within each square, such as the standard five marks per set, would allow you to easily calculate the number of sides played and come to a total estimated time by a simple calculation.

It seems to me that an effort to actually time each side would be extremely difficult (who is going to consistently set around with a stop watch every time they want to play some music?) and, if you did manage that step, you would then need to add up a large number of irregular time intervals to know where you are.
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System92
post Jun 26 2011, 00:20
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Thanks AndyH-ha! I'll give that a try!
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kraut
post Jun 26 2011, 01:30
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QUOTE
The MT10 keeps track of true motor running time for all types of AC or DC electric motors. The unit is powered by an internal lithium battery. No external power connections are required. The operation of the Hour meter is triggered by a sensor attached at the end of 4 ft. external cable



Howsabout that: http://www.worldquip.com/servlet/the-18580...mt101R10/Detail
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AndyH-ha
post Jun 26 2011, 05:06
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something like that might work pretty well, if you consider it worth the cost, but motor time and stylus time can be quite different on some TTs.
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kraut
post Jun 26 2011, 08:03
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QUOTE (AndyH-ha @ Jun 25 2011, 21:06) *
something like that might work pretty well, if you consider it worth the cost, but motor time and stylus time can be quite different on some TTs.


That is definitely a possibility - if I run the motor without playing a record, what I sometimes do to keep all parts in running condition, or on an automatic player where the run time of the motor might slightly exceed the stylus time.
Overall I cannot conceive this to be a major problem.

I also am convinced from experience that the useable time for a stylus is much more than the advertised hours.
In the past I used systems for several years playing typically 2 hours/day for at least 200 days a year (no TV, just records and reading) for up to ten years without detrimental results.
I used to and am still playing wet (except for the sl 10) on my other three players, which through cooling of the stylus while playback and lubrication likely enhances lifetime.

BTW - the stylus was still ok when after 15 years I reinstalled the TT and used the same stylus for another 100 hours or so. I then (a ortofon mm system) replaced it with a used shure V15VxMR.
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DVDdoug
post Jun 29 2011, 21:01
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They say it required to change a stylus after so many hours of play..

I'm just curious, how many hours is a stylus rated for?

Back in the "vinyl days", I never replaced a stylus... I just upgraded the cartridge every couple of years. Since "going digital", I haven't felt the need to upgrade as often. wink.gif
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AndyH-ha
post Jun 29 2011, 21:16
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Many cartridges cost quite a bit more than a stylus.

I think the figures from Shure are 500 to 1000 hours, which is a fairly big margin or error. Actual wear rate is going to depend on how clean one keeps things and on the condition of the disks played and whether or not the tracking force is adjusted correctly, etc.
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pvc_to_pcm
post Jul 20 2011, 05:59
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QUOTE (System92 @ Jun 25 2011, 10:48) *
Hey,

They say it required to change a stylus after so many hours of play, but how do you keep track of said time? Do you keep a timer near the turntable and clock its play time? Do you guess it, or simply judge by the look/sound of the needle?

Thanks!


This link may be of interest to you:

http://www.audioinvest.no/tt_vinyl/ttv_styl.htm

I have a microscope with a 500 x magnification and use it to check my various sylii regularly. You will see a malformation of the stylus tip shape using the microscope.

Distortion to higher frequency sinewave sounds (higher volume, higher piched piano sounds) is the best indication of wear of a stylus otherwise.

The microscope will also show you if dirt or debris has accumulated around the stylus tip and cantilever. Dirt is often the cause of distortion to sound.
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