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  1. #1

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    Default Turntable question

    I was reading on some other forum where one of it's members said a stylus needs a period of break-in time. 30-50 hours IIRC. Something about smoothing out the emphasis on vocals, S and T's specifically. Any truth to this?

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    Yes. A brand new cartridge will not sound as good as one that's been played for about 50-100 hours. They just get smoother and open up with more detail.

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    It is actually not the stylus that breaks in per se it is the suspension of the cantilever that loosens up and if a moving coil cartridge the coils but Bill hit it on the head time wise but it does vary from cartridge to cartridge. How you know it is in need of breakin is that you will hear at times a harshness in the highs, thin almost absent bass and the midrange will sound bloated. You will also notice during the breakin period that these symptoms occur at differing times on differing LPs. E.g.; you play the first cut of LP A it exhibits all the symptoms above, you play that same cut again and none of the symptoms are present . . . classic signs of breakin.

    My cartridge distributor says that it takes 75 hours for my cartridge to break in. I've read some reviewers say 100 hours and one other say 300 hours. I know that each time I play an LP the musicality is better and better each time and I've got to be close to the 75 hour time period.

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    Thanks gents for the info. Theoretically Joe I kinda thought as a stylus wears it would degrade the sound quality but your explanation of breaking in the suspension of the cantilever makes sense. I have noticed at times where my vinyl sounds a little harsh while other times it's smooth as silk. The cartridge (Audio-Technica) is still fairly new. A conservative estimate would be around 20-30 hours. Lately I've been so involved with super audio discs I've gotten lazy spinning records. Time to motivate. ;)

    Mahalo Nui Loa,

    K

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    Are there any short cuts to break in?

    Could you let it play at the end of a records overnight or something?
    Home Theatre: Epson 5020ub, Elite Screen Sable Frame 100", Onkyo 818, Oppo BDP-103, Tivo Series 3, Xbox 360, Sealed Dual Sound Splinter RL-p 15" DIY sub powered by Behringer EP2500 with FBD, QSC RMX1400 powering LSi15, LSiC, LSiFX sides, and Lsi7 for the back, Technics SL-1200M3D

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    Keiko,
    You'd be surprised to know that the actual stylus does not wear much at all unless you are playing dirty records, OR, if your turntable is not adjusted properly. It is diamond after all. By adjustment I mainly am talking alignment, azimuth, VTA, anti-skate, and tracking force. You can look at a stylus from a properly adjusted table after 3000 hours of playing time and it will look essentially new. It is the suspension that gives out over time, mainly because it is usually made of rubber and it gets deteriorated by ground level ozone over time. Eventually they bottom out too easy stylus angle goes to crap, kinda like a car with bad shocks and worn springs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fumoffu View Post
    Are there any short cuts to break in?

    Could you let it play at the end of a records overnight or something?
    NEVER let the record continuously play at the last groove. That will wear a stylus quickly because of the uneven force on the inside edge of the stylus. I've heard stories from credible sources about a stylus getting ruined in one night because the owner fell asleep with a record playing.

    Whether it works or not, Cardas sells a Burn-in record.

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    Quote Originally Posted by billbillw View Post
    NEVER let the record continuously play at the last groove. That will wear a stylus quickly because of the uneven force on the inside edge of the stylus. I've heard stories from credible sources about a stylus getting ruined in one night because the owner fell asleep with a record playing.

    Whether it works or not, Cardas sells a Burn-in record.
    Ouch! I think I have enough patience for normal breakin...One other quick question. Direct drive vs belt drive? My Audio-Technica is dd but I read that belt driven tt's are better. The problem suggested is w/direct drive that motor vibration can travel up through the spindle/platter which is picked up by the cartridge. I have not detected this with my table but the thought is curious. I have a vintage Pioneer belt drive that I used for many years but gave up on it for this Audio-Technica dd. I got tired of changing the belt on it every couple years. Any input on this?
    Last edited by Keiko; 03-13-2008 at 10:15 PM.

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    Virtually all mid to high end TT's are belt drive. There's your answer.
    Lots of Carver stuff and a pair of LSi9's

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keiko View Post
    One other quick question. Direct drive vs belt drive? My Audio-Technica is dd but I read that belt driven tt's are better. The problem suggested is w/direct drive that motor vibration can travel up through the spindle/platter which is picked up by the cartridge. I have not detected this with my table but the thought is curious. I have a vintage Pioneer belt drive that I used for many years but gave up on it for this Audio-Technica dd. I got tired of changing the belt on it every couple years. Any input on this?
    DD turntables have a bit of a following in the vinyl crazed world. From what I've seen they are more likely to transmit vibration from the motor due to the direct coupling. There are plenty of things to try if you wanna play around a bit. IMO you can make either design work pretty well.
    Wris****ch--->Crisco

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