Mistracking zyx after hibernating?

After about 6 months of rest, my Zyx 4D gold now breaks up on some piano notes and vocals. I had about 250 hrs on it when last played and it was tracking perfectly. I'm pretty sure that it sounded perfect the last time i heard it.

It sounds quite similar when it had less than 20 hrs on it. I haven't touched the tracking force (1.9 g) since then. Tonearm is SME on a michell deck.

Is it possible that it would need some breaking in again? Anyone with the same experience? I'm getting a bit Impatient and would really appreciate some input and reassurance so i can get some sleep again.

thanks in advance for your responses
Re-measure tracking force if you have not already done so to make sure it is still 1.9.
Then make sure stylus and records are clean.
Let me know.
I don't know that particular cartridge that well, however, ALL parameters of a good cartridge setup must be proper or the setup is wrong. Recheck overhang, azimuth, cartridge mounting, as well as VTF. The next step is to send it back to the importer for checking and possible repair. It could be that the suspension just hardened over time.
This has happened to me before, you just have to break it in again with more vtf.

I did check the vtf and it was still 1.9 g. I have some particular records which I use to check tracking and they are pretty quiet but i'll let them go thru an RCM again.

I'll double check the other mounting parameters and will let you guys know.

BTW, I forgot to mention that I've been using an electric room dehumidifier. It's been raining here frequently and I'm getting this funny smell in my room so it's been on twice a week. Could this possibly affect the cart suspension?

I'm also thinking it could be the suspension firming up again after a bit of rest but as I said I'd rather hear your opinions and experiences.

Thanks again,
Got a Cardas Sweep, and Burn LP?
Run the burn in tracks for maybe 15 minutes a track, and then more importantly, run the Demag sweeps.
Thos should clear the cobwebs. Mark
What gauge are you measuring tracking force with? ZYX is very sens. to even the most minimal of adjustments. Don't just use a Shure scale. Get a nice digital guage.
Make sure your gauge is accurate to a tenth of a gram (preferably to a hundredth) and increase tracking force to 2 gms. and let me know. My ZYX sometimes mistracks at 1.9 but i have never had it do so at exactly 2 gms.
Excellent advice from all the above and yes, your 4D's suspension has firmed up from 6 months of non-use. My UNIverse can firm up audibly and require a slight VTF adjustment after a few hours of non-use, never mind months.

Run it in on the Cardas tracks as Markd51 suggested. Play some energetic stuff that's easier to track than piano or high quality vocals - hard rock or big cathedral organ both exercise a cartridge well, while being easier to track.

Then revisit the tough-to-track stuff with a willingness to tweak every parameter, every day. A ZYX, especially a higher end model, is not a set-and-forget cartridge. Like a Stradivarius, regular play and careful fine tuning are required to maintain its exceptional responsiveness.


P.S. Make sure your stylus is clean. The ZYX stylus has the smallest contact radii on the market. That contributes to its clear and extended HF response, great detail retrieval and the lowest inner groove distortion on the market. But this also means it takes less stylus grunge to send a ZYX sonically downhill. Magic Eraser + dry brush is the most reliable and effective method. Most commercial stylus cleaners are either ineffective or unsafe for maintaining this superb instrument.
..just a bit of disagreement with Bnrlaw. The Shure scale registers a bit heavier than actual. If however, you situate the scale on the edge of the turntable with the 2 front feet of the scale off of the platter, it is very accurate. Also, It has been my experience that not 2 cartridges of the same manufacturer/model require the exact same VTF...every cartridge is different..and too, as the suspension ages/breaks in, the preference changes. Manufacturers have a range they suggest, but within that range there is one and only one setting for the best sound for that particular cartridge. A scale simply allows you to be within the necessary range, but it's up to the installer/owner to listen and decide where the VTF sounds best.
Here's my report guys,

Yesterday I checked the mounting parameters. I was surprised that the overhang was a bit off. I do have the old Dennesen protractor but I used the feickert protractor and Hi-Fi news test record to verify alignment. I ran the cart 3 times thru the Hi-Fi news test record as additional burn-in. I don't have the cardas burn-in Lp but I'll try to borrow from a friend who has one.

Quite embarrasing as it is, I use a rather cheap digital scale to verify the readings on my shure force gauge but Like what Stingreen said I decide on the basis of what sounds best to my ears.(Again I'll try to borrow a more reliable vtf scale to check my readings)

I did some very carefull stylus cleaning (dry brushing and zerodust, but I'll try to get some of that magic eraser tomorow). After about 4 hrs of play, Mistracking was almost non-existent. I had a big Sigh of relief after hearing it tracking smoothly again. Music was floating in the air again without the annoying break-up on some notes.

It took me about 10 hrs of playing before I could stop myself ( I usually put on a spoiler LP to break my mood and sign off for the night) and Thanks to you Guys I had some quality sleep.

This morning after waking up and gathering my thoughts I went straight to my music room and played some records. Well I don't know if its teasing me but about half of the mistracking yesterday was back again but What's important is that you guys were right all that time, "Everything counts even in small amounts". I was pretty stubborn and was denying that the rest of the set-up was OK.

I'll be breaking it in some more for the next few days and post some follow-up on the changes.

Really Appreciate all your coaching guys,
Thanks Again- Bnrlaw, Stingreen, Storyboy, Markd51 and to you Doug.