Locating a new record player stylus for your record player or turntable can be a headache inducing task, especially considering the hundreds of manufacturers out there. The record player has been around for more than a century (though most models in use today wouldn’t be more than 30 years old), and dozens of manufacturers have come and gone during this period. Locating a stylus that fits your player perfectly, thus, isn’t exactly the easiest of things.
The first thing you need to know is that the brand name of your player and the record player stylus need not be the same. In fact, if your player was purchased from somebody else, or inherited/gifted by some older relative or friend, then chances are, it already has a needle/stylus from a different manufacturer than the player itself. Hence, an Asiatic player may have a Zenith needle and vice versa.
Next, you need to find out everything that you can about your record player or phonograph. This includes details such as the manufacturer, model name and no. year of manufacture (if possible), color of the stylus, and other details mentioned on the cartridge or needle. These things will help you locate a stylus that fits your player perfectly.
You should know that the stylus or needle is not the same thing as the cartridge. A needle plugs or clips into the cartridge.The cartridge, in turn, is hooked on to the tone arm.
A store specializing in phonograph equipment should be able to find a needle that fits your instrument perfectly. Most stores would have a ‘picture chart’ that can help you locate the right needle.
Because most manufacturers have either gone out of business, or have stopped making phonographs altogether, it is quite hard to find stylii that will fit your instrument perfectly. Therefore, it is advised that you buy as many needles as you can if you find a perfect match – you never know when the manufacturer may stop producing them.
You may have to put in some effort to locate the right record player stylus, so be sure to take care of the needles, cleaning them periodically with warm water, and keeping them in a clean, dust free box.