Listening to a vinyl record is a special musical experience. As vinyl record enthusiasts, nothing beats the sound of our favorite albums played on a turntable. It is a conscious choice where we carefully select exactly the record we wish to hear; we remove it from its sleeve, dust it off, and place it on our turntable. It is like a ritual, a magical moment. We take our time, and the music matters. It allows us not only to listen but to feel the music.
At the core of this music experience lies the stylus. The stylus, or needle, is the small, delicate component responsible for reading the grooves on your records and transforming those tiny vibrations into the beautiful music we hear. Over time, the stylus will inevitably become worn as it comes into contact with the rough surface of your records - in the worst case, it can cause significant damage to your collection.
The wear of your stylus happens gradually and can be difficult to notice, as the sound quality will slowly lose its accuracy and authenticity. You might notice increased surface noise or distortion, a loss of high-frequency detail, or a general lack of clarity in the sound.
Rediscover your vinyl collection
If you have an old phono cartridge or notice that your music doesn't sound as it used to, it might be time to consider investing in a new one or replacing your existing stylus with a new one. By replacing your worn-out stylus with a new one, you will immediately notice a marked improvement in the sound quality of your records. Not only that, but a new stylus can also extend the life of your vinyl collection by reducing unnecessary wear and tear caused by a worn-out stylus.
Should I upgrade or replace?
Replacing a worn out stylus will, on its own, deliver you a better musical performance. If you like your existing cartridge, you will be rewarded by just replacing your existing stylus. Our award-winning 2M series even allows you to upgrade the stylus. This allows you to reap the benefits of replacing your worn out stylus, upgrading to a better performing stylus, and saving money because you don't have to buy a whole new cartridge. Replacing the stylus within our OM Series and the Concorde Series is also possible.
When should I change the stylus?
We have created a simple matrix to assist and guide you in determining when to replace your stylus. This can be challenging because it depends on several factors, including how frequently you listen to vinyl, the condition of your records, and the care you take of your cartridge and records. The matrix categorizes vinyl listening into three stages based on the time spent listening, the size of the record collection, your music "profile", and record maintenance habits.
Placing yourself in one of the three columns will help indicate when it is time to replace your stylus.
Extend the life of your phono cartridge
As you listen to music, your stylus will inevitably become worn at some point. You can help extend its life in different ways. First of all, it needs to be installed correctly. It is not difficult, but make sure that you use the recommended tracking force.Watch our helpful setup videos here. Second, always handle the stylus with care, as it is a delicate part of the phono cartridge. Avoid touching it with your fingers, and use a stylus brush to clean it.Third, keep the record clean and free of dust and dirt, as this can cause excessive wear on the stylus. Use a record brush to clean the record before playing. Also, use a dry stylus brush to remove any debris from the stylus. Finally, avoid playing records that are visibly damaged, such as those with scratches or cracks. These can cause excessive wear on the stylus.