LOMC; Life expectancy

Hi All.

What would you consider the "typical" useful life of a LOMC to be.

Would different brand/design and models within a brand, age at the same rate under similar circumstances. I understand that a poorly adjusted cartridge in a given tonearm will age prematurely.

IE: would an Ortofon A90 age quicker than an Anna. Lyra Atlas vs Titan.

I refer to life expectancy in terms of hours of play. In other words when a cartridge reaches 1500hrs of play it is time for a rebuild/re-tip.
1500hrs is an arbitrary number. It could be more or less. I am sure that i have read in one of Michael Fremer's columns that at 1500hrs it is pretty much the end of any LOMC cartridges. I believe the he was referring to his Titan i or his A90 or both.

I have an A90 mounted in a Phantom II since May 2010 which i would estimate its play life at 1500hrs. I also have a Dynavector XV1's that was re-tipped by Soundsmith around the same time i got the A90 but never played it although i have it mounted in another wand. Yesterday i decided to swap cartridges/wands and perform all the required initial adjustments using a Mint LP for overhang and zenith, digital microscope for VTA/SRA, Spectrum analyzer for azimuth, DFG for VTF, Wally skater for AS.

When i dropped the styli onto Duke Ellington Jazz Party in Stereo (45rpm) i was floored. The most detailed sounding cartridge i have heard. Did i hear the same when i first used the A90 in 2010? My guess is yes but last night when i played this record, the XV1's stomped the A90 is every possible ways. There was no contest.

However, i will re-install the A90 and perform all the adjustments again just to confirm my findings but it appears that the A90 may need a rebuild or re-tip. The saddest part i am now retired and will likely be unable to afford a complete rebuild so I will just enjoy my new found fame until it goes bust as the wheels of audio life keeps on turning.

Mileage will vary based on lots of variables. Some stylus styles do wear faster based on stylus shape from what I have read. Also, I am a firm believer in clean records and I feel that has a big impact on life. I have an 8 yo airy3s that I used extensively before I got a UNIverse and looking under the microscope appears to have very little wear. It has close to 1500 hrs and still performs well.
Apparently stylus wear is in fact very low. What in fact gets worn/damaged tends to be the cantilever. For this reason it is highly recommended that you use an arm lift - I do this religiously now.
I will also add that some theorise that cartridge treatment solutions creep up the cantilever and can damage the coils - therefore try the ultrasonic cleans on the cardas test record, and/or that stylus grunge cleaner that looks lie a bit of blue tack.
Generally, stylus wear is very similar to tire wear, linear in nature, although stylii occasionally cleave as they are a crystalline structure and that is catastrophic failure.

But assuming linear wear this becomes somewhat of a judgement call; looking at the stylus under magnification not really telling much about the problem. Best is to decide how much harmonic distortion is acceptable say at 15K and call it quits at that point.

IMHO very few radical cut stylii are operating properly at 1000 hours and most are ready for replacment at 800 hours or so. On a more positive note, this is better performance than most conical stylii which last longer than typical elliptical stylii, assuming grain oriented, nude mounted stylii of comparable tracking force.
Thanks Lohanimal. I always use the arm lift and use the Cardas frequency sweep record regularly. Also, i use the magic eraser technique as part as my styli cleaning regiment.
Some of the worst sound I ever heard came from 100K + systems where the owner was trying to get more mileage out of his 5k+ MC Cart.
Better off buying a Nagoka MP-3oo and changing the stylus every year .