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How to determine condition of diamond on stylus, On a AT-90 cartridge
post Jan 23 2011, 22:55
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Have a Technics turntable - Mod. SL-B1 w/ a Audio-technica AT90 cartridge. Not sure if needle / stylus is replaceable on that model? Appears not, so raises issue of quality of cartridge / stylus, in my mind.

Main Question: Determining condition of the diamond (tip) on diamond stylus.
I'm digitizing some LPs. Seems to play OK, but don't have anything to compare to & haven't listened to LPs in so long, can't remember what sounds good or not so good.

I looked at some (hi power) pics of diamond styli here.
Have a much lower power geology / rock magnifier. Looking at the AT90's stylus w/ strong light, appears much same as pic on linked page - just less magnified. Diamond tip at my lower power appears sharp - but at that power, who's to say?

Son gave me the Technics, after I dug out my old Dual & discovered, years ago when he was a teenager, he & buddy "borrowed" the Pickering cartridge out of my Dual. biggrin.gif

Looked up current prices of AT-90 cartridge with stylus (whole cart) & is only $29 at Vintage Electronics.
Prices may have DROPPED on cartridges vs 1970's - but the Pickering I bought then was ~ $50. It was one of V15 models (don't remember exact one) - that an old Pickering needle I have fit in (DAT 2). BIG diff in price. Some current prices on the very lowest end V15 cartridges (sans stylus) are $30. I'm sure my old Pickering would have been mid priced one in that V 15 line.

So, don't know much about quality of that cartridge, or if it's even matched to this Technics table.

Here's specs on AT 90 cartridge from a retailer - assume came from mfg -for what ever mfg specs are worth smile.gif
Dual Moving Magnet Cartridge

* Stylus Type: Bonded round shank.
* Stylus Shape: Conical.
* Cantilever: Alloy tube.
* Frequency Response: 20 Hz. - 20 kHz.
* Output Voltage: 3.5 mV at 1 kHz, 5 cm/sec.
* Channel Separation: 24 dB. at 1 kHz. / 21 dB. at 10 kHz.
* Channel Balance: 1.5 dB.
* Vertical Tracking Force Range (Grams): 1.0 grams - 1.5 grams.
* Recommended Load Impedance: 47,000 Ohms.
* Mounting: Universal mount system incorporates Standard 1/2" (12.7mm) mounting centers and P-Mount Applications.

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post Jan 28 2011, 18:18
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I forgot diamond doesn't like much heat and breaks down pretty quick when heated because of friction. If kept cool they might last forever.
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