The passion for turntables never dies, as more and more people indulge themselves with this past technology.
As curiosity brews interest, people also wonder about a turntable’s maintenance routine, specifically how often its user should replace the cartridge.
Thus, this article focuses on cartridge replacement, causes of wearing, and recommendations to answer that.
How Does Cartridge Get Worn Out?
The tearing of a cartridge is inherent to its function within the turntable. A stylus mounted on the cartridge traces the record’s grooves as it spins, which vibrates the stylus.
The cartridge will then pick up any vibrations from the stylus, converting them into electric signals before an amplifier increases the output signal.
With this setup, cartridges wear out because friction is essential for the turntable to function. Any stylus would dull at the sheer contact from its everyday uses.
It’s also due to the friction that damages the overall shape of the stylus, which at some point will render the whole cartridge unusable.
Indications of a Worn-Out Cartridge
There are a lot of indications in the cartridges that point to the parts wearing out. Users can look out for visible wear and tear in the needle.
Check if the stylus seems jagged or has an obvious deformation on the hand. Apart from the visual cues are audio deformities that users must be cautious of. These come in interferences, no matter how subtle they are.
Users experience distortion of noise, fuzzy background statics, and intolerable feedback. The worst of these manifestations are skipping and bouncing of the music’s portion, which indicates a serious deformity.
When to Replace the Cartridge?
The replacement of the cartridge and the stylus depends on how often the music enthusiasts use the turntable. Obviously, the more the stylus touches the disc’s grooves, the more friction there will be that will tear down the cartridge.
Thus, the average use of one hour of the turntable per day will render cartridge durability for 200 hours. The results are even better for premium cartridges, with some lasting for about a thousand hours.
Of course, if there are damages beyond tolerance in the cartridge that makes the turntable unusable, that shall be the optimal time to replace it.
Stylus vs. Cartridge Replacement
A cartridge is a crucial turntable component that converts vibrations into electrical signals. On the other hand, a stylus is a part of the cartridge that rides along the disc’s grooves.
Usually, cartridges are far more durable than their stylus. Users can also buy the styli that are separate from its cartridges. In this way, cartridges will often need less replacement than stylus does.
However, with the cartridge-mounted stylus, any damage in the stylus can deem the cartridge overall to be unusable. Cartridge replacement becomes crucial, as the stylus is a fixed component in cartridge mounts.
Speaking of cartridge replacements, let’s talk about a potential cartridge replacement part: the Nagaoka cartridge.
Nagaoka cartridge understands the need of avid turntable users for a high-quality, top-performing cartridge.
This cartridge features a sturdy diamond-tip mounted stylus that lasts for almost a thousand hours’ worth of music sessions.
The cartridge also includes powerful magnetic contraptions that aid in a more detailed audio output conversion.