I’m somewhat paranoid about using my record stylus for longer than I should and causing damage.
I use tally counters and keep comprehensive records. This tells me it’s time for a change. Now that I have some data, It’s interesting to see how my listening habits stand up to scrutiny.
I fitted the rather nice Audio Technica AT-VM95EN back in mid February 2020. The world was a simpler place back then. A couple of weeks later and I was working at home. My desk is within arms reach of my turntable and in the sweet spot for the speakers. Well, it would be rude not to take advantage of the situation.
Here we are 6 months later and I have exceeded the recommended 300 hours for that stylus. The chart shows quite a straight line. I have been consistent in my listening over this period. It approximates to 5 sides of an album per day, or about 1.6 hours.
The preceding cartridge, a Goldring E3 was in service for 1025 sides, about 340 hours. That time though it took 2 years to get to 300 hours. That approximates to 0.6 sides per day. About 12 minutes on average.
So, working at home I have listened to 8 times as much vinyl.
At the time of writing I have added another 40 hours to the AT-VM95EN. that’s certainly nothing to worry about, but the research for it’s replacement is well under way.
I have also been working on the next generation of tally counter. This one is all hi technology and fully automatic. More on that story later ..