Selecting The Right Stylus


Selecting The Right Stylus

Now you need to think about the "needle".

Your 78s require different styli compared to your 45s and LPs.  Though you may be able to get them all to play with the same stylus, the performance of one or the other will suffer greatly.  It's easier to anticipate a recording session of 78s or the others and make sure you have the equipment necessary to do it right.  In order to prepare, you can simply have 2 with the correct 78 stylus and one with your 45/LP stylus.  It's not that expensive, it's a matter of snapping in the one you want and the results will be quite noticeable.  In order to see the selection of styli at Tracer, simply Click Here

You can find charts everywhere that outline the type of records and the best recommended styli.  Unfortunately, because these charts can't really take into account the wear and tear factor on your recordings, you may be doing a bit more trial and error than you'd like.  If you want to at least get in the ball park, we've included a chart below that outlines popular types of records and our best guess at what will be the optimal solution.

Modern LP's and 45s: 0.7 mil elliptical stylus.

Edison 80-RPM Diamond Discs: 3.7 mil spherical or non-truncated conical stylus.                                                                                        

Wide Groove Acoustical 78 RPM Lateral Discs: 3.8 mil truncated elliptical stylus.

Edison White Wax, Brown Wax, Concert, and Gold Molded: 7.4 mil Spherical stylus.

Edison Blue Amberol Cylinders: 3.7 to 4.2 mil non-truncated spherical stylus

Edison Wax Amberol Cylinders: 4.2 mil spherical stylus.

Pre-1935 Lateral Cut Electrical 78's: 3.3 mil truncated elliptical stylus.

Transcription Recordings: 2.3 mil truncated elliptical stylus.

Late 1930's Lateral 78 RPM Discs: 2.8 mil truncated elliptical stylus.

Narrow Groove 78's such as Polydor: 2.4 mil truncated elliptical stylus.

Standard Groove 78 RPM Discs: 3.0 mil truncated elliptical stylus.

Early LP's: 1.5 mil truncated elliptical stylus.

1931 to 1935 RCA Pre-Grooved Home Recordings: 5.0 mil spherical stylus

Pathe´ 78's: 3.7 mil truncated conical stylus

Aluminum Instantaneous discs: 6.0 mil conical

Etched Label Pathe´ to 14 inches in diameter: 8.0 mil conical

Etched Label Pathe´ over 14 inches in diameter: 16 mil conical