If I thought that a stylus shape/type was only good for 600 hrs, I'd have to think long and hard (pun intended) before I purchased a cart that used it. They ARE made of DIAMOND for goodness sake!
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That's what I'd think! It only started with the A90 cart... I can't find anything about it from before, although they were using the same stylus profile on their Previous MC 3000 and Windfeld models (plus some current ones), I haven't find the stylus longevity to be a discussed matter in regards to the older cartridges using the same stylus profile.
I understand and appreciate the cleanliness matter and I do clean my records after each play, so that a clean LP goes back into the sleeve, it was just this stir about the R100 that seems to go on and on...
My A90 got to about 1200 hours. I no longer use it, which is a pity as it sounded great.
My two dynavector XV-1s have lasted for around 3000-3500 hours, currently on my 3rd and my current Atlas is rated to last at least 2500 to 3000. only time will tell on that, however both stylus profiles of the XV-1s and Atlas are similar - but not the same.
I believe the lack of longevity is due to its extreme stylus profile.
No more replicant 100 cartridges for me as they do not last log enough.
Dear Janhavjar: Always is important to know that cartridge spec by the manufacturer and obviously from cartridge users but IMHO could be more critical and important one fact:
almost any today top cartridge as the A90 you own could last over 2K hours ( the manufacturer of my Allaerts proclaim that last over: 6K+ hours!! ). The subject here for me is not how many hours could last but HOWM MANY HOURS COULD LAST WITH OUT START/BEGIN MAKING ANY DAMAGE TO OUR PRECIOUS LPs.
This is IMHO the important subject about. I posted twice on this regards and seems to me that almost no one gives the importance to the subject.
I have not any evidence or facts that could confirm this: I think that over 500 hours the stylus tip could start to show the wear/erosion that not only could start to make some kind of damage to the LPs but that could make that the cartridge performs with lower quality performance.
Many of us can't hear those tiny performance changes not only because are a tiny ones but because we are accustom to the cartridge and equalized over time, so we only be aware of changes in quality cartridge performance when those changes are higher.
I would like that stylus tip manufacturers could come here and put some light about or that any one of them could take this subject and make a research through scientific tests to achgieve results and give to all their avid customers this information.
Gentlemans, remember that the more precious " gems " in our audio system hoby are the LPs and we need that the cartridge stylus tip be always in PRISTINE condition/shape to make the lower/less damage to the LPs.
Regards and enjoy the music,
I believe it is the folks at Benz that state that the inherent longevity of a stylus is principally determined by the quality of the diamond. Higher quality natural diamonds being much superior to synthetic diamonds because of the better crystal lattice structure. The particular shape of the diamond is less of a determining factor. Benz quotes a life expectancy well above 2,000 hours if the stylus and record are kept reasonably clean.
I have found that most records are surprisingly durable and can be more or less undamaged even when they are played with a mildly worn stylus (as evidenced by mild mistracking on highly modulation parts of the music). I have gotten records from people that had that kind of gear that played with no obvious wear. It is possible that the wear/damage is on a different part of the groove than my cartridge contacts--microgroove, ogura, replicant, etc. styli contact the walls of the groove deeper down conical styli--so that may account for why I don't hear damage when a record is played by a mildly mistracking cartridge.
Still, for the sake of my collection, I would never play a record when my cartridge shows obvious signs of damage or wear.
Dear Larryi: +++++ " Still, for the sake of my collection, I would never play a record when my cartridge shows obvious signs of damage or wear. " ++++
I'm with you and I would like to add that many times our cartridges are damaging our LPs when for us there is no obvious stylus tip wear but if that cartridge stylus tip is analysed by an expert thighs are way different.
That's why I posted several times that maybe the stylus tip of your Titan could be in pristine condition ( wear and performance level. ) perhaps between 500-1000 hours and no more.
Yes, we can follow hearing it through 2k-3K hours with out be aware not only the damage is doing but even with out be aware of changes in the quality performance ( that exist for sure. ) and this is the real problem/subject. That that top cartridge is doing a damage for ever to our precious LPs.
Only an expert as J.Carr from Lyra can put some real " light " on this critical subject.
I own several cartridges and I'm not accustom/equalized to any one of them and through the years I noted changes in the cartridge quality performance of several cartridges even the top ones.
Of course that if we are " married " with just one or two is extremely dificult if not imposible to be aware of it.
Anyway, IMHO an interesting " land " to explore.
Regards and enjoy the music,
FWIW, I talked to my Ortofon dealer yesterday about the life of the A90. The "official" position appears to be: sonics will begin to change on the Relicant 100 at around 1,000 hours because of "changes in the molecular structure of the diamond" (whatever that means), resulting in less detail. By 1,500 hours, the stylus is basically shot.
Ortofon will rebuild the entire cartridge, retaining only the housing from the original, for $2,100 (here in the US) and it takes 6 weeks. Essentially, you get a new A90. But they could discontinue the rebuild program within a year or two unless demand is significant.
I think mine has around 800 hours on it. I'll probably go for a rebuild some time next year. I can't think of a $2,100 MC cartridge I'd prefer, even with it's all-too-short lifespan.
I don't go beyond about 1,000 hours myself. I am currently running a Transfiguration Orpheus L, and it does not have that many hours on it. I still have the Titan, and it too is well under 1,000 hours. I did run a Helikon to about 1,000 hours and gave it to a friend. He has used it quite a bit, and it does not show any obvious audible signs of wear. I can't say there is no extra damage being done to his records, but, his collection generally sounds great. I don't think he plays his records over and over, given that he has more than 5,000 records (pared down from closer to 10,000). I tend to play my favorites a lot more than he does, and my collection is in very good collection (aside from used records that came pre-damaged), but, like you, I don't push the limit on wear.
Many years ago, when I used cartridges like the Shure V-15- IV, V, I noticed drop off in sound quality MUCH sooner than I hear with the cartridges I use these days. Perhaps it is aging (me, not the cartridge) that partially accounts for this, but, I think those cartridges probably did not use as high quality diamonds. I had them examined by "experts" who never saw visible signs of wear. That makes me a bit wary of visual inspection. I've looked through microscopes at styli myself and I personally cannot judge what consistutes significant wear. The only kinds of pictures I saw that were clear enough, to me, were SEM photos. I bet not too many shops have access to that kind of gear.
Great to have the input from an actual user!
i've owned 3 A90's, and now own an Anna.
i did compare one of my low hour A90's to a friends (a tonearm designer who plays his all the time) high hour one (well in excess of 1000 hours) and no difference in performance that we could hear. we did it so he could know that his was still ok to use as a reference.
Downunder and i have had this back and forth a couple of times on multiple forums. until he actually compares his 1200 hour A90 to a low hour one he/we won't know what is up.
all diamond stylus's wear at the same rate. the issue is that the wear is even, not that one shape wears less. if your cartridge is not aligned properly then un-even wear could reduce effective life.
the whole Replicant 100 wear 'buzz' is baloney....and partially a result of mis-leading info on the Ortofon website related to the fact that Ortofon makes cartridges at so many price points that they did a corporate CYA statement. some people picked up on it, connected the dots, and started the buzz.
I own one A90 and have 3 Anna's on order :-) I also have a good old Ortofon MC70 that I have used regularly over the years it just recently started to show some signs of being old and tired so it has been put to pasture, it "used" to have a early form of the replicant stylus shape and have preformed wonderfully over the years - I bet +3000 hrs although I'm not that good at keeping track.
As always, good listening