[78-L] 78 rpm stylus question

Christopher Steward chris.1picc at yahoo.co.uk.invalid
Wed Aug 27 01:41:15 PDT 2014

Hi Bryan,
I know your post was a long time ago, but for some reason I kept it, and have just looked at a spectrogram of your files. There's a very strange hf glitch in the recordings using your 2.8 mil stylus which I also have recently encountered. If you would like me to send the spectrogram feel free to contact me off-list.

On Monday, 7 January 2013, 15:36, Bryan Wright <bryan at claxtonola.com> wrote:

Occasionally when I buy new 78 styli (either from Esoteric Sound or  
Expert Stylus), I get one that sounds "different." I usually order  
truncated elliptical styli in sizes ranging from 2.0 mil to 4.0 mil.  
I'm accustomed to the general "sound" these styli provide, and I know  
what I should be hearing. However, once in a while I get a new stylus  
that produces sound with a light constant "hiss" and a greatly pinched  
frequency range in which the highs seem to be greatly reduced or  
virtually gone. I've encountered this same general "altered sound" on  
about one out of every three or four new styli, and it can affect any  
sized stylus. Rather than try to describe it further, I've posted an  
audio sample with four brief clips:


1. The first 15 seconds is played with a "normal" 3.0mil TE stylus
2. The next 15 seconds is the same record with a stylus as I describe  
above (in this case, a 2.8mil TE stylus)
3. The next 20-25 seconds is another record with the "normal" 3.0mil  
TE stylus
4. The final 20-25 seconds is the same record with the "problem"  
2.8mil TE stylus

I don't have a microscope to examine these two styli carefully to see  
what might be causing the different sound. Does anyone here know? Is  
the 2.8mil stylus in the audio excerpt defective? It isn't always  
"worse" (sometimes, the reduced frequency range is a blessing on  
really worn records), but in general, I much prefer the sound of the  
stylus in the first example above. It sounds much more "open" and  
"natural" to my ears.

Bryan W.

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