It's time to replace your cartridge.
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Get a loupe or magnifier and carefully examine the stylus. Sometimes you'll find dirt is the issue. A layer of grunge may have built up that does not come off with normal light brushing.
It may be difficult for an untrained eye to spot mild wear, but it's still a pretty good habit to visually check the stylus periodically.
Ballpark is 1000 hours I believe. Your way over that average. It probably will be different with every setup. Tracking distortion happens in a lot of cases. Sometimes, it will show up more in the inner most track. It has been said if you have damaged grooves from one shape of stylus, using a different type of stylus shape may still sound ok as it will ride higher or lower that the damaged part of the grooves.
I thought a typical stylus lasts about 2000 hours and it usually outlasts the suspension. Is this not case?
I could be wrong as I'm going by long term memory. I looked around the net, and Shure says about 1000 hours, and people were saying 500 hours or more on VinylEngine. I think some times they used to have timers that went to 999 hours from what I can remember. They're aren't all the dealers like we had in the vinyl only days, that used to have a good microscope to check to see how it actually was worn. I wonder were those good microscopes went? They might be in storage somewhere being wasted, or in someones collections that knew better than myself. Links to what I found.
Here are a couple of links to those old stylus microscopes some dealers had in the 70s. Mcintosh dealers had to buy a lot of gear back then. The Wild Heerbrug was $4000 back then. That's about $17,000 in today's dollars. Audio Classics said theirs cost them $6800 dollars. I can't find what the Shure microscope cost back then. Links.[http://www.roger-russell.com/phono.htm] [http://www.shure.com/idc/groups/tech_pubs/@global_managed/documents/webcontent/us_pro_sek-2_ug.pdf]
Stylus microscopes - while it's always nice to have a specially designed, dedicated professional tool for a job, it's a classic mistake to assume that having nothing is the only option if you can't have the fancy one.
Some magnification is better than none. I've got a little 8X printer's loupe that lets me see all kinds of things I can't with the naked eye and I doubt it cost $15.
Same story with sound level meters. Depending on the specific abilities, calibrated meters start at hundreds of dollars and quickly go much higher. Yet the $50 Radio Shack model can be extremely useful to the home listener.