Keeping your stylus at peak performance

Maintaining your stylus needle properly is important to prevent performance degradation and lengthen the life of your records.

A client recently sent us an £800 cartridge, requesting it to be checked for a manufacturing fault because it had suddenly ceased to perform it’s usual magic. We duly had the cartridge inspected by the importer, only to be told that it was in fact fine.

The problem was due to a very small but tenacious lump of gunk which had attached itself to the stylus needle. Once removed, everything behaved perfectly.This story is an example of where performance degradation was dramatic.

However the same thing can occur slowly over time with a stylus which is not maintained well. Here, it‘s not so easy to recognise the change in performance.

To understand the best methods of stylus cleaning without causing damage, you want to hear from a seasoned authority in the field. There should be a health warning attached to some of the stuff you read on the internet. Credit for the below information must go to John Burns who distributes Dynavector cartridges in the UK. John has seen and tested countless used cartridges for many years since his early days of working for Linn and then starting up on his own. He also has complete access to cartridge manufacturers and has developed an intimate knowledge of the subject.