With our "GrooveForce Tracker Jr." electronic digital stylus force/pressure gauge you will never doubt your actual stylus tracking pressure again!
While adjusting your counter-weight is good and necessary, there are several variables that cast doubt about the actual amount of pressure the diamond tip is exerting on the vinyl. Not the least of which is operator unfamiliarity. Additional factors such as a new cartridge of a different weight, & how far the cartridge sticks out beyond the headshell can also make you wonder what is really happening at that tip.
NOTE: The stylus platform is made of ferrous metal. This can affect the reading with some modern
modern moving coil (MC) cartridges. We've tested Grado MC cartridges and
it works fine. But the magnetic field of:
>Audio Technica AT-F7
actually pull the stylus platform up thus creating a negative reading
before the stylus could rest on the platform. This effect does not
occur on the immensely more popular MM (Moving Magnet) cartridges.
Armed with precise information, one can keep notes as the stylus tip goes thru it's life cycle, you can confidently know when it is time to replace the tip without having to try to learn what it should look like under a microscope. A jeweler's loop is not enough, you must have experience under a special microscope with side lighting to really properly see tip wear.
But, by taking a 'baseline' reading when you 1st setup your stylus and then checking the tracking pressure with your digital gauge as soon as you notice a problem that is not fixed by cleaning the tip, you can then gauge if a big jump up in tracking pressure is necessary to continue 'proper' playback. When this happens, your finely polished diamond tip is on it's way to becoming, well basically a chisel dragging through your grooves. By replacing the needle not too soon & not too late you will confidently know when to invest in a new needle and also not be chiseling out your records for a while until it becomes completely obvious to all that it's time to replace the needle.
Video of product below is of our main digital stylus force gauge listed here
. Same principles apply.