Hi, Melissa,

At least one source of cartridge magnetization is static electricity.  I use a Zerostat to discharge static from records and the same device aimed at the cartridge.  I've no idea how to measure theresults but suggest the process a part of your "good housekeeping" routine.  That inexpensvic elittle device can really make a difference.

It just occurred to me to wonder how it affects tapes, particularly in fast-forward and reverse which is where static electricity is most intensively generated.  ?  Might the discharge cause noises on the tape?  Gotta try it.

Steve Smolian

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Melissa Widzinski
Sent: Monday, June 06, 2016 10:52 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Cartridge demagnetization

Hi ARSC-listers!

I'm curious about the idea of cartridge demagnetization for turntable cartridges. On the Analogue Productions "Ultimate Test LP" there are lateral and vertical pink noise tracks that one should play "5-10 times after every 300 hours of normal LP playback." I'm having trouble finding any credible information on this topic by searching online - just finding opinions and the usual forum chatter.

Does the cartridge actually become magnetized during playback? I understand that there already is a magnet in the cartridge, but is using the cartridge to play back discs causing a harmful increase in magnetization or magnetizing other parts of the assembly?

If the cartridge is gaining magnetization, does changing out styli on a routine basis reduce that magnetization? Does playing pink noise from the test LP actually demagnetize the cartridge?

I should really have done some test transfers before and after running the pink noise tracks 5 times, but alas, I did not. The anecdotal comments on cartridge demag are that high frequency response is improved after demagnetizing. Does anyone have recorded examples of this, or commentary or reference material on the matter?


Melissa Widzinski
Audio Preservation Engineer
Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative Indiana University