In a message dated 4/7/2004 11:20:41 AM Eastern Standard Time,
[log in to unmask] writes:
What's the best way? An economical way?  When do you replace?

After how many hours of use should one check and re-check.

For 78s? For LPs For "Acetates"?

I asked this question a while ago on the 78-l list and was essentially told
not to worry about it.  My experience is that I can't see any wear on my styli
with the greatest magnification I can muster even after thousands of records
have been played.

The old rule for diamonds was 1000 hours. However this was in the days of ten
to fifteen gram tracking force.  Wear rates are an exponential function of
force, so at the modern one to two gram range it probably takes much more than
10,000 hours to show significant wear.

Of course styli can be damaged.  I always clean records and use a silicone
treated cloth to reduce surface friction on records.  Styli should be examined
occasionally for possible damage, especially if used to play cracked or dirty
records or if any change in the sound quality is noticed.

Mike Csontos