An Experiment with Platter Mats- the MyMat Introduction Until I performed some recent experiments with a product called the MyMat, offered by a long-time member of the Audiogon community, I rarely thought about changing out platter mats. I’ve owned a number of good turntables over the years and figured: (a) that the manufacturer knew what was best, and (b) going down this rabbit hole was yet another potential morass—that the results would vary considerably based on a number of factors, including the particular turntable design and platter. How “projectable” would anyone’s... Read More
“phono”- is a new section I’ve added to the archival categories here, meant to capture articles that deal with the business of phono cartridges, styli and associated machinery of playback, including set-up, stylus wear, retipping and other matters concerning the first point of contact with the record. Some of those pieces may appear on the homepage but at a certain point, need a home when new content displaces them. That’s here.
A Running Experiment on Stylus Wear The Finish Line article by Mike Bodell has generated a fair amount of attention on various audio chat boards, including the Hoffman forum where I posted the article. One outgrowth of that thread was Ray Parkhurst’s decision to do a bit of informal testing, using a fresh stylus and examining wear at different time intervals. (Ray, as you may remember, helped Mike with the macrophotography in his piece). Here’s where that part of the discussion and Ray’s reports begin:... Read More
Stylus Wear in Vinyl LP Playback- Mike Bodell’s “The Finish Line for Your Phonograph Stylus” One thing all of us who play vinyl LPs share, no matter how basic or esoteric the turntable/tonearm and phono stage, is our reliance on the phono cartridge. These intriguing little devices not only make a significant contribution to the sound quality we experience, but are the first interface with the record, functioning as a transducer to convert tiny inscriptions in the groove into an electrical signal that eventually gets equalized, amplified and re-transduced from an... Read More
Worldwide List of Phono Cartridge Retippers and Rebuilders Compiled By Rob (with an introduction by Bill Hart) In connection with the publication of Mike Bodell’s study on stylus wear, I thought readers might find value in the attached list of phono cartridge retippers and rebuilders. These folks can repair most phono cartridges and bring them back to life. I do think it makes sense to consult the original cartridge manufacturer first for advice on stylus life and options for inspection.This may prove particularly important if there is any possible warranty coverage, since... Read More
The Finish Line for Your Phonograph Stylus… By Mike Bodell, May 23, 2019 Based on an informal survey of friends who predominately play vinyl records, I believe the most neglected part of their audio system is the stylus on their phonograph cartridge. The stylus is a key component in an audio system and is subjected to the most wear. Yet when I asked folks in my network how many hours of play their cartridges have seen, they could not tell me with any accuracy; all ventured educated guesses. I’ve been there too. Given the value of records today, particularly rare and collectible jazz... Read More
A Legend Confirmed- The Koetsu Jade Platinum Though this site is devoted to the medium and the music rather than the machinery it is played on, I have had to reckon with cartridge aging recently. I tried an inexpensive stop-gap in the form of an older, rebuilt cartridge while my Airtight Supreme goes off for surgery. In the meantime, I finally got my hands on a Koetsu stone bodied cartridge, a Jade Platinum. Much has already been written about these newer Koetsus, which take the legendary midrange sound of the old Sugano-made Koetsu and extends the frequency range through some changes in... Read More