Moving Coil Cartridge Lifespan

default -- Mon, 12/15/2008 - 12:06

I currently have a Shelter 501 cartridge with approx. 1500 hours.  It still sounds great but when is a good time to change or re-tip?  A very reputable cartridge maker mentioned that 2500 to 3500 hours is common when the unit has a real diamond tip. They mentioned a sure way to tell the cartridge has given up the ghost is when extra dust becomes apparent on the record and on the cartridge.  This is not from the normal dust build-up.  I would rather not spend the $$$ on another cartridge or retip unless needed.


pederb -- Thu, 12/18/2008 - 18:56

It's hard to say, it depends how well you take care of you records and stylus, how often do you clean your records and how often do you clean your stylus? 2500 to 3500 is quite common lifespan of a cartridge.

Peder Beckman
Director of Sales
Musical Surroundings

levinsje (not verified) -- Fri, 12/26/2008 - 23:25

Thanks for the response.
I clean my records with a record vacuum-type cleaner when purchased (new or used, then put them in a new high quality sleeve) and then about once every five plays.  Every time I play the record I clean with a carbon fiber brush.  The needle is dry cleaned with a soft brush before every record side and cleaned periodically with a liquid cleaner (LP #9) using the supplied brush.

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