bent stylus questions

the stylus cantilever on my Grado Statement Reference is bent to the side about 15 degrees, seemingly right where it is joined to a slightly larger tubular thing (which is oriented straight). I have no idea how this happened, but it is bent in the direction toward the spindle. Once I started aligning with the cantilever, using a Mint, and ignoring the cartridge body (which you have to ignore with the wooden Grados anyway, due to their funny shape), things improved greatly, and may even be about right. Is the sideways stylus nevertheless a concern? Is it out of the question to try to bend it straight with tweezers and magnification, or would I just inevitably destroy it? As far as I know, Grados are apparently never rebuilt, only good for tradein.
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If you bought it new within warranty period, you should ask for a replacement. The stylus should be straight. If you bought it used, you may consider a trade in. I would feel uncomfortable with a bent stylus.
Leave it alone. IF the stylus is vertical in the catilever, and you have the small bent part tracking in the groove at the right angle, don't worry about the body being angled. It is OK.
As long as the bend does not tilt the angle the stylus is in the groove, I would go ahead and use it.
It is crtain to break off if you mess around trying to straighten it.
Use it until you can feel comfortable buying a replacement.
months years from now...
(PS any cart warranty certainly does not cover a bent stylus...)
I would be concerned with damaging your record collection

To respond to worry about damage. If you cannot hear any problem when playing.. the stylus is seating in the groove, and you can play your records without damage.
Worrywarts would not ASK if it is OK, they would replace it. Someone with sense can ask will it be OK?.. For that person, I say keep it, use it, and buy a new one when you feel like it. That is what i would do IF the stylus seemed to be tracking Ok after realigning the body.
Lloyd, alignment is a tricky business. We know there are two parameters, overhang and offset.

Overhang is relatively simple to set. It should position the stylus tip in position to trace the proper arc for a given arm (distance from pivot point to stylus tip).

Offset can be more difficult to set correctly. It is critical for any stylus, other than a conical design, whether it is a simple elliptical or one of the more modern narrow profiles. This sets the profile of the stylus at a right angle to the groove so it reads right and left sides of the groove directly opposite one another. Said another way, it "traces" the groove more closely to the way the cutter stylus created the master groove, thus lowers tracing distortion. This relationship may not be perfect across the record with a pivoted arm but will be very close when set up carefully.

Depending on whether the cantilever is bent, the suspension failed, or it was not manufactured correctly, small errors may be corrected by aligning the stylus end of the cantilever with the appropriate line on most protractors (note here the cantilever is used for alignment, not the cartridge body). This is the best way to set the stylus tip relative to the groove, unless you have an oscilloscope and appropriate test record.

But there is one more consideration. If the cantilever does not appear to be straight out of the cartridge body, the other end could be offset inside the cartridge. If this is the case, the proper alignment between coil and magnet may not be correct, then balance and crosstalk may suffer. This may only be corrected by rebuilding the suspension for the cantilever. Also, if the cantilever is bent, an angled alignment may correct at the stylus tip but that may in turn push the magnet/iron or coil toward one side inside the cartridge body. Here is where I disagree with Elizabeth, you may align the stylus tip correctly relatively to the groove but depending on the problem with the cartridge, the coil/magnet alignment may not be correct.

I just worked through all this because I bought a used cartridge with an angled cantilever. And in answer to your last question, I believe a Grado rebuild is actually a replacement.

Good luck.

If you're serious enough to purchase a Mint protractor, why would you consider using a badly damaged cartridge? The possibility this cartridge can still play as designed is now zero.

Aligning the outer end of a bent cantilever makes the best of this bad situation, but no alignment can nullify the problems Pryso described in his 5th paragraph. The imbalance of vectors at the inner end of the cantilever means that the movement of coils relative to magnets can no longer be as Grado intended. That guarantees uneven channel balance, uneven dynamic responses and perhaps uneven frequency responses.

Further, any bent material is necessarily less rigid than the same material unbent. A less rigid cantilever weakens dynamics and bass. It may also exhibit resonance issues at some frequencies, depending on exactly how the molecular bonds were damaged at the bend.

I'm afraid it's now a junk cartridge. Use it knowing that or have it repaired/replaced.


P.S. to all, Lloydc has a bent cantilever, not a bent stylus (unless his stylus is a pre-LP era type made from something other than a gemstone). Diamonds wear, diamonds break, diamonds don't bend.
thanks for the cogent responses. I don't think it is damaging records at this point, but will replace it as soon as finances permit.