Using 40 to 80 times magnification on a microscope it is possible to check the wear. The tip of the cartridge should be an ellipse but when worn, the sides of the tip get flat either side and then into concave with a point on the tip–this means the tip of the stylus touches the bottom of the groove resulting in mis-tracking.
Damage can occur to the Cantilever if it is accidentally caught while cleaning or knocked sideways etc. This type of damage can usually be seen on the visible portion of the cantilever as a crease in the otherwise tubular shape of the cantilever.
My Cartridge Sounds Bright
Always allow at least 40 hours of running in before forming a judgment on some cartridges – some of the best cartridges sound harsh and bright to start off with and take a long time to burn in. This takes place gradually so give it time.
The other possibility is that your chosen cartridge is not well suited to your tonearm. Ensure that the compliance of your cartridge is suited to the effective mass of your arm. Ask your cartridge supplier about this or go to their website for information.
Favoured cartridges are Dynavectors, Micro Benz, Kouetsu, Ortofon, Lyra and Goldring.
Further information is available on our FAQ’s page.