Cartridge Stylus Checkup

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by preston1000, May 17, 2017.

  1. preston1000

    preston1000 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
    Orange County CA
    Is there someone around my area that can inspect a Nagaoka MP-50 to see if the stylus is worn out? I don't have a stereo microscope and if I did, I wouldn't know what to look for. I'm in Orange County CA.
     
  2. preston1000

    preston1000 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
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    Figured out a way to use my microscope to take some snap shots of the stylus. Will post more snap shots from my microscope camera in a few moments, need to go on my desktop.

    IMG_20170517_191956.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  3. preston1000

    preston1000 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    145
    Location:
    Orange County CA
    Here's some snap shots of the stylus and let me know if the stylus is worn out and also how you can tell in detail would be greatly appreciated, thanks.




    20170517185902.jpg 20170517190308.jpg 20170517191014.jpg 20170517191222.jpg 20170517191222.jpg 20170517191505.jpg 20170517191705.jpg
     
  4. preston1000

    preston1000 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
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    And a few more......................



    20170517192458.jpg 20170517192131.jpg 20170517192826.jpg 20170517190303.jpg
     
  5. needlestein

    needlestein Addicted Member

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    You can't tell from those photos
     
  6. c_dk

    c_dk Addicted Member

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    Location:
    West Michigan
    You need to mount the stylus with the dismnod tip pointing up at the lens, cantilever at 0 degrees.

    With two lights perpendicular to the cantilever and a rotating stage you can then rotate the stylus through the lights observing the reflections off the wear surfaces.

    My Wild scope uses 10x, 25 or 50x with a 1.5 multiplier. The pictures I have posted recently used a 10x USB eyepiece. More will follow as time allows.
     
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  7. Old Guy8

    Old Guy8 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    In the DIY sticky threads there is a Sparky's stylus inspection thread. How to setup microscope and lighting.
    I'm part way there. I have lab scope with 50x for aligning, 200x to inspect wear. Yet to setup lighting. Trick will be knowing what your looking at.
     
  8. c_dk

    c_dk Addicted Member

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    Without a rotating stage it is all guess work. Back in the day many dealers abandoned the Shure, took major gulps, and sprang major dollars to outfit heir shops with the Wild M5a because with the rotating stage you could determine the beginning and end of the wear surfaces. From that trig would allow you to calculate the width of the worn contact surfaces.

    I have posted pictures in the Mac forum of a worn Denon 103 MC conical where you can see the changed contact reflections.
     
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  9. preston1000

    preston1000 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Orange County CA
    All my objectives are for phase contrast and only a 4X/0.10 plano with a 1.25X binocular photo tube which was used in the snap shots above. Will look for a 10X and 20X objective and some lighting for my next photo session.
     
  10. c_dk

    c_dk Addicted Member

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    Location:
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    Looking at your first two pictures you are almost there magnification wise.

    Does your scope manufacturer offer a rotating stage. It is needed to properly measure wear.

    Your lighting needs to be perpendicular to the cantilever and contact surfaces.

    You are looking to see the two "headlights" that are the reflection off the wear surfaces.
     
  11. preston1000

    preston1000 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
    Orange County CA
    The manufacturer of the microscope did make a roaring table but not certain it will fill my model. Will have to look at the catalog to know for sure.

    I had a light run parallel to the cantilever and got a few good snap shots. Will look for another light source and run both perpendicular and see what I get.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  12. c_dk

    c_dk Addicted Member

    Messages:
    5,275
    Location:
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    I have been using this particular type microscope for almost 40 years, it took a substantial investment from a high end audio dealer back then to use these on their sales floors.

    If a modern less expensive solution is out there it will take a effort, hopefully including those with microscope knowledge, to find a solution. Then maybe this service will be available at say your local record store.

    Using this USB eyepiece is a learning experience but I sure would have enjoyed being able to display a high resolution image on a TV screen back 40 years ago!
     
  13. preston1000

    preston1000 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    145
    Location:
    Orange County CA
    Hopefully this is all the snap shots I need to take and to me, this stylus is worn out. But what do I know, this all new to me.







    20170520131046.jpg



    20170520130550.jpg



    20170520131204.jpg



    20170520132418.jpg
     
  14. c_dk

    c_dk Addicted Member

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    Location:
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    Last picture is closest to the traditional way to measure wear. Cantilever would ussually be N-S with the lighting from the E-W.

    If you look at the pictures I have posted, where you can see the light reflected off the contact surfaces, then you will be getting close. No reflection and there is nothing to observe or measure.
     
  15. preston1000

    preston1000 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
    Orange County CA

    It took a while but with holding two flashlights at 90 to the cantilever, this is the image I got.

    20170521142929.jpg


    20170521142927.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2017
  16. preston1000

    preston1000 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    145
    Location:
    Orange County CA
    Now the question is, "Will the Nagaoka MP-50 be worth keeping if I was to put a new MP-500 stylus on"?
     
  17. c_dk

    c_dk Addicted Member

    Messages:
    5,275
    Location:
    West Michigan
    Are your lights pointing south and north? Can you rotate the stylus 90 degrees? Lights then E and W. That is the traditional image.

    I can barely just see two reflections but they seem to be coming off the surfaces that would never touch the record being being at the front and back of the diamond, not the sides that contact perpendicular to the cantilever.

    You also need a bit more magnification. Without the reflections your pictures are just long distance beauty shots.

    My scope uses Osram medical device lamps.
     
  18. preston1000

    preston1000 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    145
    Location:
    Orange County CA

    The lights are pointing east and west to the cantilever and cartridge, just some low powered LED flashlights.
     
  19. c_dk

    c_dk Addicted Member

    Messages:
    5,275
    Location:
    West Michigan
    I have this SoundSmith retipped Grado wood body on a Luxman in the shop right now. Have not dialed it in for a wear estimate for the owner but this beauty shot sure does show the radical mass reduction of the diamond.

    It has not been cleaned, just pulled the SME tonearm mount and put it under the scope for a quick look. You can see the contact surfaces in the first pic, rotated 30 degrees they disappear because the diamond is not straight up.

    A very interesting minimalist diamond shape.

    GradoWood wSoundSmith.jpg GradoWoodwSoundSmitha.jpg
     
  20. preston1000

    preston1000 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    145
    Location:
    Orange County CA
    This is a learning curve for me, lighting and angle are very important to get the right image.


    20170521134845.jpg
     

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