Forums :: NEW! Web Resources :: Features :: Photo Gallery :: Vintage Radio Shows :: Archives
Support This Site: Contributors :: Advertise


It is currently Feb Tue 07, 2023 4:05 am


All times are UTC





Post New Topic Post Reply  [ 11 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Diamond Vs Sapphire needles
PostPosted: Jul Tue 22, 2014 3:10 pm 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Aug Fri 16, 2013 10:39 pm
Posts: 493
Its there really any difference in sound? or is it just one will out last the other?

_________________
-Mark


Hear this all the time ,"its just needs a belt thingy and a new needle" lol


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Diamond Vs Sapphire needles
PostPosted: Jul Tue 22, 2014 3:38 pm 
Member

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 12:00 am
Posts: 3188
Manufacturers claims vary but Pfanstiehl used to claim 65 hours playing time for a sapphire an 1,000 hours for a diamond.

There is a difference in sound as the tip wears, usually a loss of high frequencies. Record wear increases dramatically with a worn stylus.

_________________
That warm tube sound can usually be overcome by turning up the treble.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Diamond Vs Sapphire needles
PostPosted: Jul Tue 22, 2014 7:56 pm 
Member

Joined: Apr Wed 09, 2008 2:37 am
Posts: 12736
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas 72210
When I was a kid, I bought nothing but sapphires since the diamond needles were $5 each, even back then. I didn't realize that a diamond needle would have actually been the best buy since it lasts 15 times longer than a sapphire. I would go through a sapphire needle every few months. I played the heck out of my 45 records!!!

I now have diamond needles on all my players. I alternate playing time among three LP players and I figure I might not ever have to buy another phonograph needle.

Back to the original question, I haven't seen any sound quality difference between sapphires and diamonds.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Diamond Vs Sapphire needles
PostPosted: Jul Wed 23, 2014 4:28 am 
Member

Joined: Jan Mon 25, 2010 6:51 am
Posts: 2948
Location: Toledo, Ohio
Here is some interesting ways to look at it.

Sapphire is a far softer material then diamond and lasts only about 100 hours (supposedly).

Diamond is much harder and lasts up to 1000 hours.

Ok from the needle replacement point of view the Diamond is probably a better deal.

Here is what I take into consideration as well something most people glass over. The harness of the needle substance compared to the vinyl itself. When we are talking about a modern component turntable with a magnetic cart that tracks at 1.5 grams there is probably not much cause for concern between diamond or sapphire but older players like `50s era changers track and sickeningly heavy weights. If you can get a RCA 205 to 5 grams and still function you are one lucky man. They seem to like 6-8 grams much better. I don't think I have EVER seen a RCA 205 come across my bench with less then 11 grams sometimes up to 18 before I get to em. Even at 6-8 grams one should think about the hardness of the needle they are using.

When I first got into these units I bought a SHF-6 from DVC. Excited about it I went out and bought a couple NOS diamond tipped 89Ts. Once they arrived I promptly installed one on the 6. As the needle touched down on my original copy of the first Let's Active EP (which I bought new) I saw the grooves change color and vinyl curls roll away from the stylus....NOOOO!! I promptly yanked the new diamond 89T and tried another one I bought on an old record and same thing! I swapped back to the old Sapphire 89T that came on it when I bought it from DVC.....NOTHING...no vinyl shavings or changing the groove color. I soon there after found the tracking on this SHF-6 was like 12 grams! I bought a gram scale and have corrected tracking on everything I own since then.

My point is....yes a Sapphire has a shorter life span...but it can be a wise choice to use on certain old heavy tracking changers. It seems to me the Sapphire is so soft it will give before your vinyl does. Now diamond (the hardest substance known to man) is going to be far stronger then your vinyl records, between the two substances which one is going to give? Probably not the diamond needle more then likely your vinyl record's grooves.

All that being said...I do use diamond needles on most of my players that track I can get to track around 5-6 grams. I don't seem to have any wear issues with the diamond needles IF my tracking is around that. If tracking is higher or has a low compliant 3V crystal I stay with Sapphires.

I think both work well and both have pluses and minuses for different situations.

T

_________________
https://www.youtube.com/user/bastardbus


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Diamond Vs Sapphire needles
PostPosted: Jul Wed 23, 2014 3:29 pm 
Member

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 12:00 am
Posts: 5084
Location: Boston, MA
Either diamond or sapphire is far harder than the vinyl the record is made of. The vinyl deforms to the stylus, not the converse. Record wear is caused by the stylus wearing to the point that the nice round ball-bearing surface becomes a sharp chisel edge. This will happen faster with a sapphire stylus than with a diamond. This is true regardless of tracking pressure.

Diamond styli were used widely and considered highly superior back in the earliest days of hi-fi, when stylus pressures of 8-10 grams were common. They were, however, very expensive because the technology for man-made industrial diamonds was not yet available so mined diamonds had to be used. When I was a kid, my dad's Webster 356 with GE RPX cartridge had a costly diamond stylus, while my RCAs got sapphire. The records played on the RPX still exist and sound like new.

If there was a record wear problem with a diamond tipped 89T it was likely that the tip had been installed at the incorrect angle. This is not unusual.

-David


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Diamond Vs Sapphire needles
PostPosted: Jul Wed 23, 2014 5:24 pm 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Mar Mon 24, 2014 4:19 pm
Posts: 2071
Location: Eugene, OR
How do 78's compare to vinyl regarding wear and tear?

_________________
Handyman of the apocalypse


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Diamond Vs Sapphire needles
PostPosted: Jul Wed 23, 2014 11:33 pm 
Member

Joined: Jan Mon 25, 2010 6:51 am
Posts: 2948
Location: Toledo, Ohio
dberman51 wrote:

If there was a record wear problem with a diamond tipped 89T it was likely that the tip had been installed at the incorrect angle. This is not unusual.



David, once the tracking pressure was reduced to the correct pressure on the aforementioned player with the NOS diamond 89Ts the wear issue disappeared. Thus there was nothing wrong with the diamond tip's installation, the tracking weight was far too heavy.

Obviously in the rare case you get a faulty needle with incorrect installed stylus it will cause damage your records but excessive tracking pressure is a major factor that WILL cause wear issues and damage with a diamond or sapphire needle for that matter.

One can use either a diamond or sapphire but just make SURE your tracking pressure is set within correct specifications especially for the harder diamond needles.

_________________
https://www.youtube.com/user/bastardbus


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Diamond Vs Sapphire needles
PostPosted: Jul Tue 29, 2014 6:27 pm 
Member
User avatar

Joined: May Mon 12, 2014 5:48 pm
Posts: 60
I have a Webcor changer from about 1953 maybe 1954 with a sonotone repro and diamond turnover stylus. There is no way to adjust the tracking on the arm, I would have to fiddle with rubber grommets and try and get the tonearm to hover over the platter by vertical mechanical adjustment-and that just messes up the changer and the arm hits the records still stacked. I have referbed this deck and I was not able to get it to track less than 12 grams without it moving the arm too high on the return and scraping the records...that said, I have the same issue that bastardbus had. The tracking force on vinyl with the smaller diamond side of the stylus "shaves" the top half of the record grooves clean off! So I don't use this player for 45's or LP's EVER!
BUT
it play's my shellac absolutely wonderful! Shellac is much harder than vinyl and the 12 to 18 grams of tracking force is not a big deal in this configuration. The shellac records do wear, and you have to make sure you don't play them with a worn 3mil stylus but I have been using the current diamond stylus for about 500 hours now and no issues. I play all my 78's like this. The tracking force also helps it not skip on some damaged records with needle gouges.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Diamond Vs Sapphire needles
PostPosted: Jul Tue 29, 2014 7:33 pm 
Member

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 12:00 am
Posts: 2865
Location: Carlstadt NJ USA
ttbccw wrote:
I have a Webcor changer from about 1953 maybe 1954 with a sonotone repro and diamond turnover stylus. There is no way to adjust the tracking on the arm,


I believe there is a drawing of the tracking force adjustment for your Webcor record changer toward the bottom of this page:
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=190783


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Diamond Vs Sapphire needles
PostPosted: Jul Tue 29, 2014 7:43 pm 
Member

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 12:00 am
Posts: 5084
Location: Boston, MA
A 1953 Webcor changer should track at 8 grams maximum.

-David


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Diamond Vs Sapphire needles
PostPosted: Jul Wed 30, 2014 5:26 pm 
Member
User avatar

Joined: May Mon 12, 2014 5:48 pm
Posts: 60
That changer is a slightly different model...I think I have a 124. BUT The drawing of the hinge with the spring looks familiar! :D I'm going to see if there is that spring adjustment on my arm tonight! I have a very similar cart to the one in that post as well. It's really a great changer! Let's see if I can get to 8 grams!
Thanks guys!


Top
 Profile  
 
Post New Topic Post Reply  [ 11 posts ]  Moderator: Alan Voorhees

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: diskcopy and 5 guests



Search for:
Jump to:  
Privacy Policy :: Powered by phpBB