Truncated is generally better than not.  You usually want to stay out of
the very bottom of the groove.  And as a very general matter, elliptical
beats conical.  Also, an even more general rule--the loudest result is
often the best one--but here you want to compare carefully as this is not
always true.  The amount of noise can make you look for the quietest
playing where the sound is still good, as opposed to the loudest.

As for procedure, altho it is not quick, I generally record my samples so I
can look at the WAV files and compare back and forth without playing the
record.  It can help too see it on the computer screen.  If several
candidate styluses seem good, I will dub the whole side with all of those
so I don't have to record the record again once I have picked the best.
Also, it is possible to edit together the best parts of different playings
if there is a reason to.

I have noticed a funny thing that I can't explain--sometimes using
different stylus sizes will reverse the polarity of the resulting WAV file,
which you see by looking at it.

For many pressed 78's in good condition, I will start with 2.75 truncated
elliptical, and then try 3.0 and 2.5 etc.  It seems like often enough the
decision comes down to 2.75 vs. 2.5.  Of course there is huge variety among
78 records as a whole.

Very worn records can be special cases, because here you are not looking at
optimal "fit" but rather trying to play the least worn part of the groove

For instantaneous records, such as radio transcription discs, it seems like
there really are very few reliable general rules.  They are all so
different.  Many of course play at 33 RPM but with 78 sized stylus.

Please take special care with trying to pitch your results, either upon
playback or as corrected on the computer.  It seems like no 78 really plays
at 78.26 RPM (if that is right decimal number).  If the pitch is way off
when played at 78 RPM, then you want to adjust the speed (pitch) on
playback, not on the computer, so phono EQ "decoding" is more accurate.

Obviously, you will get far better results with a special preamp that lets
you select an appropriate phono EQ curve, and here you must often use
judgment as to which setting is "right."  For the majority of 78's, the
RIAA setting that is fixed in most phono preamps is NOT the right setting,
and often it not even close.  Remember, acoustic records do not have
phono-EQ added.  Getting the "right" EQ setting for an instantaneous disc
is often just an exercise in pure trial and error. There is often no way to
even guess.

Hope some of that is helpful.


On Tue, Dec 1, 2020, 9:46 PM Benjamin Roth-Aroni <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Thank you.
> I guess what you're saying is that *there's no rule*.
> The ears have it - whatever sounds best is the right stylus to use.
> I have at least 8 sizes and configurations from which to choose: conical,
> elliptical, truncated or not truncated.
> I also have a GE VRII and the GE RPX-050.  Sometimes, those two save the
> day.
> Regards,
> Ben
> Regards,
> Ben
> On Tue, Dec 1, 2020 at 5:28 PM Corey Bailey <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> > Use your ears!
> >
> > When I am unsure about which stylus is best, I will spend some time with
> > a microscope & then, I will make three transfers; Above the wear, in the
> > wear area & just below the wear area, avoiding the bottom of the groove.
> > The styli that I typically use for this are 4mil, 3mil & 2mil. I will
> > also try elliptical & conical & pick the best sounding transfer. When
> > trying a stylus on a commercial disc, I will usually transfer about 30
> > seconds & transfer the same 30 seconds for each stylus. For lacquers &
> > other instantaneous discs, I will select a stylus based on my microscope
> > observations in order play the disc or a section of ti as little as
> > possible.
> >
> > Cheers,
> >
> > CB
> >
> > Corey Bailey Audio Engineering
> >
> >
> > On 12/1/2020 1:31 PM, Benjamin Roth-Aroni wrote:
> > > Thanks, but what about elliptical/conical/truncated, etc?
> > >
> > > Ben
> > >
> > >
> > > On Tue, Dec 1, 2020 at 4:12 PM Mickey Clark <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > >
> > >> Ben-I would use a 3 mil. I don't have a 2.5, and 3.5 I reserve for
> early
> > >> electric Victors-Mickey
> > >>
> > >> -----Original Message-----
> > >> From: Benjamin Roth-Aroni
> > >> Sent: Tuesday, December 01, 2020 10:19 AM
> > >> To: [log in to unmask]
> > >> Subject: [ARSCLIST] Best width and configuration for a 1946 Victor 12"
> > 78
> > >>
> > >> Greetings,
> > >>
> > >> Please tell me the Best width and configuration for a 1946 Victor 12"
> > >> 78rpm, specifically DM-899 (Dvorak's 5th with Iturbi and the Rochester
> > >> Phil) in good condition.
> > >>
> > >> Thank you.
> > >> Ben Roth
> > >>
> >