Boron Cantilever and Ruby Cantilever, Why Ruby?


I have noticed that many of the better cartridges use Boron cantilevers. I know that Soundsmith uses a Ruby cantilever. I was thinkin of having my Benz Wood Body cartridge retipped but was not sure if the different material used for the cantilever will impact compliance and even sound. Why not boron like the original?
tzh21y
A Ruby cantilever is much stiffer.
I have a Dynavector Ruby 23 and love it.
If you are worried, get the original type.
If you are adventurous, get the Ruby.
The only problem with the Boron is it is environmentally toxic
This was one reason Shure stopped making the top of the line Shure cart with the Boron cantilever.
Dear Tzh21y:Compliance is more a cartridge suspension function that cantilever build material, what is true is that different cantilever build material change the cartridge signature sound and not necessary for better sound but different one.

Your cartridge was voiced with that kind of cantilever build material if you change it then you will have a diferent cartridge sound maybe not better but diferent. Obviously the stylus will be changed too and here things have a similar behavior: different stylus shape different sound and tracking cartridge habilities.

Btw, Elizabeth the cantilever build material that is very well know for be toxic is berillyum not boron.

Regards and enjoy the music,
R.
I wonder what is the human toxic dose of boron, in terms of cubic cantilevers.
Non-audio curiosity: I know that Berylium is toxic,
but I've not heard that Boron is toxic.
No arguement, just curious.
Raul is correct about Be. But nearly all heavy metals are toxic, if enough of any one of them enters one's system. Some, like Be, more than others, like boron, of course. I was originally just jesting as regards the tiny size of a cantilever in relation to the potential for actual toxicity.

And I agree with Raul on the qualitative effects of changing the material structure of the cantilever, although I would not claim that I can listen to a cartridge and tell you whether it has a Boron or a Ruby cantilever.
Tzh21y, If you just need a retip and have not broken your cantilever then Soundsmith can replace the stylus only. It cost more because it is more difficult to do. I believe it is $450. Probably still cheaper than a trade in though.
Sorry about my error. I just remembered one of the reasons Shure discontinued the V15 was the toxic material in the catilever...
Both Berylium and Boron are toxic, but in two very different doses. You actually do need a certain amount of Boron and you'll get that through apples, leafy greens, grains, certain level in drinking water and/or multivitamins. In large doses, it does get toxic.

Berylium is really only dangerous when airborne, so machine shop working with beryllium will have very strict safety policies and safety procedures. Otherwise, you'll be fine (unless you decided to chew on the beryllium cantilever, but that amount probably won't do you too much harm although you may want to have your head checked if you do chew on it)
One of these days I'd like to compare my SoundSmith rebuilt XX-2 (snapped cantilever, so replaced with SoundSmith's ruby) with an orginal boron cantilever XX-2.
I am interested in the difference in sound. I like the way the Benz wood sounds. Soundsmith must be very busy as I have had a difficult time getting in touch with them. Do anyt other cart manufacturers use Ruby cantilevers in their better cartridges? I noticed that Lyra and Benz both use Boron.
Ruby is just a red Saphire. I am sure they use synthetic Corundum why not the blue or yellow??
The Ruby catilevers ar synthetic. I guess that is the easy way to make perfect Ruby rods.
Usually Ruby cantilevers are short. ALA my Dynavector Ruby 23 And the even shorter diamond one in the Dynavector 17D3
(I own both Dynavectors)
There is the old notion of 'connotation' and the more modern one of the 'emotional meaning'. This may explain the association with jewels . No harm is done with Peter's Ruby cantilevers considering the price but think of those + 10 K Koetsus 'tuned' in synthetic precious stones. However even if those are 'real' or 'natural' one should never try to sell them as separate merchandise.
Elizabeth, those Dyna 'diamonds' are those also, uh, not real?
Changing from a beryllium cantilever on the stock V15VxMR to a solid boron rod with the JICO SAS replacement stylus drastically changed the tonality of the cart. The original sounded rolled off in the high end while the SAS made it closer to neutral, but still is subtly bright (comparisons were made with vinyl that had a CD counterpart released at the same time). So... it can't be stressed enough that changing any part of a cartridge will potentially change the tone in a fundamental way.
Lewm, Beryllium has an atomic number of 4, Boron 5; hardly qualifies either as "heavy" metals. As to the toxicity of Boron compounds, borax is used as a detergent booster and boric acid as an eye wash and a "safe" insecticide.
Sorry, John,and anyone else. I did not check the periodic table or even think hard before calling them heavy metals. My bad. Your point about the relative lack of toxicity of Boron (at least in ionic form) was exactly what I was inferring to begin with.
I'm getting sick reading this...maybe I'm having a boron or Beryllium reaction to too many LPs being spun....
With respect to Be, its the oxide(s) that are toxic. For years and years the electronics industry commonly used BeCu (Be copper) alloys in connector pins and relay contacts. But, as with lead (solder), our big brother EPA and other regulatory agencies have decided to ban its use for "our own protection".

Boron is a very common environmental element, and its oxides are harmless for the most part (boraxes). If you measure the composition of "dust" particles, you will find boron as one of the major components besides silicon dioxide. So your are breathing these Boron containing particles in whether you realize it or not.

I am amazed they are using sapphire (ruby) or even diamond as a cantalever material. Besides the cost, these are very brittle and fragile materials.
Berylium is toxic if it is inhaled only. Thus you can have Be tweeters and so on because the Be does not become airborne.
Dhl93... I used to work in the Jewelry business and have a GG. Niether Saphire or Diamond as a crystal is particularly " very brittle and fragile." How many Diamond rings have you seen break apart? Diamond cantilevers must be the crystaline form to be called "Diamond" otherwise it is just carbon.
It is fine Berylium particles that are toxic. These get lodged in the lungs and will cause berylliosis a chronique lung disease. Small dosages appear to be sufficient to cause the disease, i.e. exposure to concentrations in the range of 1mg/m3 of air.

This is a serious issue in the mining at metals industries where the beryllium is mixed in trace amounts with other less toxics dusts.

As for exposure to a cantilever made of beryllium, I would not worry.
All this expertise is less impressive in the internet era than it once might have been. We can all Google. It might be more fun to get back to discussing cantilever materials and their effect on LP reproduction. (I apologize to all for starting this sidebar about toxicity.)
Mechans:

Diamond and sapphire are extremely brittle, in that you cannot bend or flex them without breakage. I did not mean they were not strong materials.

In a long needle shaped (ie length>>>diameter) structure like a cantalever, they would be very fragile. As used in jewelry in bulk crystal form, of course not.

In a cantalever, they are probably attached to an elastomer of some sort to allow flexing and movement. This allows some degree of freedom but I still suggest that these must be handled with the utmost care.
Elizabeth, could you comment on the differences between the Karat 23 and the 17D3?

I have the 23RS so am familiar with that - just curious about the difference with the latest 17D3...

I believe the 17 refers to a 1.7mm cantilever where the 23 refers to a 2.3mm cantilever ?
So there is more than one difference - material (ruby vs diamond) and cantilever length.

Heck even basic aluminium cantilever at 1.7mm would provide magic I would have thought!
Original question does not appear to have been answered?
04-19-12: Dhl93449
Mechans:

Diamond and sapphire are extremely brittle, in that you cannot bend or flex them without breakage. I did not mean they were not strong materials.

In a long needle shaped (ie length>>>diameter) structure like a cantalever, they would be very fragile. As used in jewelry in bulk crystal form, of course not.

In a cantalever, they are probably attached to an elastomer of some sort to allow flexing and movement. This allows some degree of freedom but I still suggest that these must be handled with the utmost care.

While any cantilever should be treated with care, my experience is that sapphire/ruby are not particularly fragile.
My Talisman Sapphire survived many years of heavy use without needing to exercise 'utmost' care (its still in one piece). I've been using my Denon 103R with a modded Soundsmith ruby cantilever for about 18 months - and that 'feels' quite robust too.
On the other hand I've managed to snap a few boron cantilevers over the years.
Although this is not solid data, I suspect boron cantilevers are more 'fragile' than ruby/sapphire.
I think aluminium cantilevers are quite fragile too - they won't 'snap', but they will bend, after which they're ruined. YMMV.