Help me fix my cartridge

This was my first cartridge installation experience and it went very bad. I was installing my new Dynavector 20x on to the tonearm of my Pro-Ject 9.1 by screwing the screws into the threaded holes when I noticed that they were getting tight. I tried the other hole and the same thing occurred, oh oh I thought, better unscrew these screws, they're slightly too big. Then things started to really go bad. The screws inexplicably became very tight as I unscrewed them. I had no choice but to apply more force since the screws were only halfway in and the cart was dangling from the tonearm. Unfortunately the aluminum screw wasn't designed to take that much torque so it broke off in the hole! Darn! I tried to gingerly remove the other one but snap, the other screw broke off also. Man, now I'm screwed I thought. (no pun intended) I have two broken screws stuck in my cart with no way to remove them. I thought I didn't have anything to lose at this point so I tried to drill through them with a tiny drill bit. The first one worked, great, now to do the second one. With great precision I drilled clean through the center of the screw, but now the outer edge of the screw was attached to the threads. So now I can't screw in any screws. Do you have any solutions to removing the remnant of the screw? Can I tap the hole somehow? Right now the cart is attached to the tonearm with one screw but I'm sure two are ideal for the best sound.
Go to the hardware or auto supply store and see if they have a set of easy outs ( I think thats the name). You already have your hole drilled, the easy out is tapered and has a left hand thread, as it bites in to the screw it will turn it out. I'm just not sure if they come in that fine a size. I'm wishing you lots of luck on this one!

Drill it out to the next size if you need to and mount with a bolt and nut.


Did you have the problem with your existing screws or the ones that came with the cartridge? Dynavector uses a screw that is different than what is typically used for mounting the cartridge. The correct screws should have been supplied with you cartridge.

Feel free to contact me if you need any help or advice once the broken screw is out. Gregg's suggestion should work for you as far as removing the screw goes.

Best wishes and good luck.

Jim Pendleton
Osage Audio Products, LLC
If you read his post he got both screws drilled out but some screw threads remain in one hole, that's a problem. He can tap it but good luck finding a tap that size, that is why I would mount with a screw and nut even if he has to drill to the next size. You can contact me for help also and I won't try to sell you anything.

I'm not trying to sell anyone anything here. In fact, I don't have anything to sell that would help the situation. However, a small easy-out will probably remove the remainder of the screw. Getting the screw out would be the biggest help. As Gregg mentioned, they normally will have easy-outs at any good auto supply store. If you take the drill bit in they can help find the right size for the job.

Because of the offset of the headpiece it would be very difficult to drill the holes through without hitting the cartridge body below. It would be difficult to get a nut on the bottom or to run a bolt up through the hole.

Getting the rest of the screw out would seem to be the best recourse based on the description of the problem.

Let's focus on trying to help the guy.

Best regards.

Jim Pendleton
Osage Audio Products, LLC
OK, back to the advertisement free help.
An easy out that size might be hard to find, but I did see a 2.5mm drill and tap. You might even have some 2.5mm screws.
Thanks Mjglo, do you know if the 2.5mm drill and tap is the right size for the cart?

When I read Jependleton's response I don't think he's trying to sell me anything, he's just trying to help, so please cut the guy some slack.

The reason why this problem arose is because I used to have a Dyna 10X5 and I foolishly thought all Dyna screws were the same size so I used the 10X5 screws. Turns out they are slightly wider. So let this be a warning to others...
I think your're going to find you are dealing with either 2.5 or 2.6mm screws, either one is available on the web, if you don't already have them I can point you in a direction.

Slack Granted
Dang Mikey, what a horrible set of circumstances!
An innocent mistake for sure, and one anyone can make, by assuming a Cartridge Maker would at least use the same sized screws for "all" its Cartridges, not some mix, and match affair.

This is something I see as a fubar by Dynavector themselves, doing something as dumb as this.

In truth, I feel even though you made the mistake, Dynavector should come to your rescue, take the Cartridge back, and supply you with another new Cartridge. Maybe now though, with the drilling etc, they may say you went too far. I would've sent them back the Cartridge with the two snapped screws intact, and kindly, but firmly requested them to either fix it, or replace it. I'm betting virtually no other good brands do this?

I could see if you were using some screws that were on an old Shure, but there's no reason why Dynavector uses different size screws? Would they say the design variances required this difference, I'd be very skeptical believing this?

Wish you the best of luck rectifying this issue. Mark
Mark, yes I agree why use slightly different screws for carts so close in price, its not like I was installing a XV 1S or something? Unfortunately I bought it from a fellow Agoner so I didn't have the original bill of sale so I thought I was SOL. Someone else also advised me to try contacting Dynavector to see if they can help. I'll let you guys know how things work out.

Thanks again for all the suggestions.
The automotive store might not have anything that small, but I would think a good hobby shop that sells RC cars and planes would have everything. They are also used to working on small parts and might be a great help.
Finding taps that size is not a problem, but finding extractors that size may be tough. It is going to be really tough to fix the cartridge correctly while it is still attached to the tonearm. It may be worth trying to contact Peter at SoundSmith and see if he has any ideas. Or, perhaps you could send the whole mess to him. Just lift the tonearm and send it all to him. He could check out your cartridge at the same time. Proceed carefully and you may just be able to recover from this screw up. ;-) (I couldn't resist.)
I checked my local Home Depot but they didn't have any taps or extractors that small. I also called up my local Dynavector distributor and they basically said that I was SOL since I bought it used. So it looks like my only alternative now is to drill a larger hole and use a nut to hold it in place.
You'll have to go online to get taps that small. Here is one place, for example.

precision taps

Then again, many cartridges are attached with a screw and nut. Just be careful not to over-tighten.
So there is a happy end to this story after all! I tried calling the Canadian Distributor of Dynavector and explained my situation. However, when I told them that I bought it used off Agon, they basically said I was SOL, they didn't give a hoot even though the cart was still in the warranty period since I didn't buy it from them. However, Jim Pendleton of Osage Audio Products saw my post above and did some calling around and contacted Mike Pranka, of Toffco-USA in St Louis, the US distributor of Dynavector. Mike has experience repairing these carts so Jim suggested that I send it to Mike for him to take a look at it. After receiving it, Mike promptly re-tapped the cartridge mounting block, cleaned up the stylus and even gave me two sets of new (proper fitting) screws. He refused to charge me for his service and postage and sent me back the cart, good as new. Wow! talk about going above the call of duty and what service! I don't know these two guys and they went out of their way to help a stranger in another country. Needless to say I'm very grateful that there are still some nice guys in this world. Thanks again guys for all your suggestions and especially to Mike and Jim for helping me out of a jam.