Options to inspect a cartridge from below - mirrored loope, endoscope?

I would like to order a device to look at the underside of my cartridge without pulling the cartridge off my tone arm

Just staring from the side doesn’t cut it. One with a light would be ideal although I can point my snake arm turntable light in the area I am looking at.

If there is the option to transmit the image to my ipad, phone, etc (wireless or broadcast / snapshot, usb) - that would be great

Does anyone make a mirrored magnifying

High magnification would be great, variable nice too

Has anyone used an endoscope? Digital flexible inspection camera? DIno lite hand held microscopes?

I don’t mind spending some nice coin (but not too nice) as I can use it in some science projects as well.



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I use the Adonstar USB microscope. Under $60 on Ebay. It works with both PC and Mac (plug-n-play with Photobooth). Search 2MB USB digital microscope


just what I need.  Major thanks!

Just want to get some good magnified views of my cartridge from various angles, especially below.

I was looking at $200 alternatives (to use for science demonstrations too)

i would have liked a mac version, oh well, drag out the old retired laptop

here is an insightful review of this and another cheap usb magnifiers (you can skip forward to the good stuff)


he likes the Andonstar, looks good

thanks again

I would like to order a device to look at the underside of my cartridge without pulling the cartridge off my tone arm
Unfortunately the problem you are likely to have with any USB microscope is getting enough room to mount the scope under your tonearm. Unless you have 6-9" of clear space under the stylus I don’t see how you can get a USB scope to fit. I use a Dino plus I have a robust stand (Dino Lite RK-10) to position it but even with this it takes a lot of work to get reliable side on shots with the arm in situ

The USB scopes are great devices and excellent for setting VTA but I don’t see how they will help with your original problem given how large these devices are and how difficult it is to get close up on a stylus


thanks for the insights

i really just want a crude view of the condition of my stylus

funny - the dino lites were just what I was looking at quality/price wise as I was narrowing things down (also might still buy one to use for kids outreach science education) but I decided to buy this based on price for an quick view - 80% / $50 solution.

it looks like both units can go hand held  as shown in tthe photo link wluke linked to.

Thanks for discussing the limitaions of doing this. yes I considered groung clearance.  I use an SRA stand on an SRA rack.  Total clearance to cartridge is 7".

lets see how this works


Good luck Tom, it does sound like you have some room to work.

 If you search my use name (FolkFreak) on Vinyl Asylum you can find my documentatiom and experience with using a USB scope to set VTA if that helps (sorry it seems AudioGon won't allow cross linking)

one thing you may need to do is remove the lens guard from the scope to allow you tp get it close enough, of course you them risk fouling the stylus so be careful!

Thanks folkfreak

i’ll check out your thread

i can't wait to see if there is anything on my cantilever
or if anything is left after magic eraser
My Adonstar came several attachments including a 45 degree mirror that snaps on the end.  It's a great tool. The link is to photos I posted at the VPI forum.
Amazon has several identical products branded under various names other than Adonstar.   The one with the flexible gooseneck instead of the solid stand gets low marks on stability so stay away.