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Mike Richter wrote:

> I've experience with cactus and thorn needles, largely from the yucca 
> that used to thrive just off my front porch. They have few audible 
> resonances and a pleasing, soft sound. The volume they produce is low, 
> too low for those accustomed to electronic reproduction. Of course, they 
> also tend to leave resin in the grooves.

According to Welch and/or Read in From Tin Foil To Stereo (1976 
edition), they also tend to leave bits of themselves in the grooves, 
often catching on the next needle on a subsequent play and wearing a 
path through the sidewall of the groove. I've never even seen them but 
my dad told me that when he was a kid (1950s) he had an old tabletop 
Victrola in the basement of his house with thorn needles AND a 
sharpener/recutter.

Michael Shoshani
Chicago