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 Post subject: Modern elliptical diamond examination
PostPosted: Apr Mon 11, 2022 6:48 pm 
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Joined: Nov Thu 09, 2006 11:24 pm
Posts: 3151
Location: Thornhill, Ontario, Canada
What is the best way to examine modern elliptical diamond stylii for wear?
Are any of the electronic microscopes on Amazon usable for this?
I'm trying to use a 10X jeweler's loupe but, even with an extra 3X lens, I can't see well enough to even see the stylus shape, let alone any developing flats.
Thanks for all replies.
Cheers,
Roger

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Thornhill, Ontario
Ontario Vintage Radio Assoc. http://www.ovra.ca


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 Post subject: Re: Modern elliptical diamond examination
PostPosted: Apr Tue 26, 2022 7:26 pm 
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Location: Thornhill, Ontario, Canada
Interesting that there are no replies!
Possible reasons:
    Modern elliptical diamonds are not vintage (enough), so topic is of no interest
    No-one here knows how to do it!
    You all play your vinyl records so little that the stylii never get near to 1000 hours use!
    No-one cares if they play their old, disposable vinyl with a "chisel-like" stylus!
What have I missed?
I'm still looking for a cheap, electronic microscope in the x500 or x1000 magnification range.
Best to all.
Cheers,
Roger
EDIT: typo

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Roger Jones,
Thornhill, Ontario
Ontario Vintage Radio Assoc. http://www.ovra.ca


Last edited by engineer on May Tue 03, 2022 10:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Modern elliptical diamond examination
PostPosted: Apr Tue 26, 2022 7:51 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 12:00 am
Posts: 4949
Location: Boston, MA
I have an inexpensive hand-held 30X microscope with integrated illuminator I got at Radio Shack years ago. It seems to have enough magnification and resolving power to display a stylus for inspection. I think for anything more you would need a conventional lab microscope with a stage to hold the stylus in place.

-David


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 Post subject: Re: Modern elliptical diamond examination
PostPosted: Apr Wed 27, 2022 2:17 pm 
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Joined: May Thu 14, 2015 3:15 pm
Posts: 4337
Location: Dallas, TX
I think you will be spending more money on a microscope than a new stylus.
Getting proper illumination would be very important, with other structures like the mounting around the tip it is very tricky to arrange.

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It's not the Destination, It's the Journey.


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 Post subject: Re: Modern elliptical diamond examination
PostPosted: Apr Wed 27, 2022 7:28 pm 
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Joined: Sep Thu 20, 2007 2:16 am
Posts: 1102
Location: Winter Park, Florida
You need over 200x magnification and very precise lighting to see stylus wear.


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 Post subject: Re: Modern elliptical diamond examination
PostPosted: Apr Wed 27, 2022 8:41 pm 
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Joined: Oct Tue 27, 2020 9:10 pm
Posts: 88
Location: Kirkland, WA 98034
I've used a 200x USB microscope (Insize ISM-PM200) to compare a microgroove stylus to a 78 stylus. The resolution would probably be fine for examining wear. Here's a cellphone pic of my computer screen. The image on the screen looked better.
Attachment:
stylus comparison.jpg
stylus comparison.jpg [ 126.99 KiB | Viewed 875 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Modern elliptical diamond examination
PostPosted: Apr Sat 30, 2022 2:29 am 
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Joined: Jun Mon 24, 2013 2:00 pm
Posts: 1873
Location: Champaign IL 61822
The problem is illumination and how to hold the tip.

I have a fairly good 30x stereo microscope and a Zeiss absolute top
of the line biological scope (i.e. resolution suffers if over 100 power
if no cover slip).

I've never been able to hold tips well enough with good illumination to
do better than that two-tip comparison pic.


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 Post subject: Re: Modern elliptical diamond examination
PostPosted: May Tue 03, 2022 10:35 pm 
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Joined: Nov Thu 09, 2006 11:24 pm
Posts: 3151
Location: Thornhill, Ontario, Canada
Thanks for the replies... most informative.
My conclusion... so far: I'll stop looking for a microscope and simply change the stylus "regularly" on each of my four turntables on guessed usage!
Cheers,
Roger

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Roger Jones,
Thornhill, Ontario
Ontario Vintage Radio Assoc. http://www.ovra.ca


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 Post subject: Re: Modern elliptical diamond examination
PostPosted: May Tue 03, 2022 11:17 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 12:00 am
Posts: 2800
Location: Carlstadt NJ USA
Seems to me that the first noticeable sign of stylus wear on a decent turntable with an elliptical stylus is that the scratches get louder. This seems to happen before distortion sets in. When distortion first happens, it seems to be most noticeable on styrene 45s. When I changed my elliptical stylus last year there was an obvious improvement in the sound of crappy old styrene 45s.

Attachment:
good morn sty.jpg
good morn sty.jpg [ 149.17 KiB | Viewed 678 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Modern elliptical diamond examination
PostPosted: May Sun 15, 2022 7:54 pm 
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Joined: Nov Thu 09, 2006 11:24 pm
Posts: 3151
Location: Thornhill, Ontario, Canada
Ken Doyle wrote:
... the first noticeable sign of stylus wear on a decent turntable with an elliptical stylus is that the scratches get louder... before distortion sets in...
Not rebutting, but I have no experience of this. My concern is that a vinyl disk could be damaged by a worn stylus before it was apparent from any sound quality change.
Cheers,
Roger

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Roger Jones,
Thornhill, Ontario
Ontario Vintage Radio Assoc. http://www.ovra.ca


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 Post subject: Re: Modern elliptical diamond examination
PostPosted: May Fri 20, 2022 9:07 pm 
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Joined: Mar Thu 19, 2009 3:00 pm
Posts: 526
Location: Mid Michigan
Based on an average of 20-30 minutes for a 12" lp side, you would need to play 2 - 3 thousand sides to get to your 1,000 hour limit for a diamond stylus. With 45s, you could figure 2 sides in 5 minutes. Of course, if the diamond has been damaged, that is another thing entirely.


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