Stylus Tip Shapes

Conical or spherical. This tip shape resembles the tip on a ball point pen. Because of the symmetrical design, needles with conical design are the least costly to manufacture. However, they also produce the lowest level of fidelity and the greatest record wear. This is because the contact area of the diamond is restricted to two very small points, one on each side of the diamond. This places the entire downward pressure (commonly referred to as tracking force) on the two very small areas of contact, resulting in increased record wear. Conical needles are also not conducive to accurately retrieving the smaller groove modulations that represent the higher frequencies. Conical tipped needles are best used when ruggedness and economy are the deciding factors. This type of stylus cut also minimizes the amount of surface noise, ticks, and pops that you will hear and is a good choice for those who are playing very old and beat up records.

wpe1.jpg (2386 bytes)  Szlif stożkowy lub sferyczny

 

Elliptical Diamond Tip

Also called bi-radial, this tip shape presents a knife edge to the record. This very popular tip shape provides a good balance between performance and cost. In the elliptical cut, the diamond's contact area is elongated vertically and made more narrow front to back. The greater vertical contact area distributes the tracking force over a larger area of the groove wall. This results in less pressure per square inch—hence less record wear compared to a conical shaped tip. The narrower front to back facing provides the diamond with a shape better suited to recovering smaller high frequency groove modulations.

 wpe3.jpg (4010 bytes)     Szlif eliptyczny

Line Contact

Also known as "Shibata," "Hyperelliptical," "Fine Line," "Stereohedron," this shape is a further extension of the basic elliptical design. This stylus shape was originally developed in Japan and provides much greater contact with the record, offering the combination of high trackability with less record wear. Carefully aligned, this type will offer a better high frequency and improved trackability. This type of cut will give you three times the footprint area within the record groove walls as other stylus cuts. Besides lasting approximately twice as long as other styli, the Line-Contact stylus tip will significantly reduce record wear. As your records are the one part of your music collection that is irreplaceable.

wpe5.jpg (4010 bytes)    szlif "Shibata", "Fine line" etc.

Microline

Also known as "Van Den Hul," "Microedge," this is a sophisticated, computer designed diamond shaped stylus, designed to reduce skew error and the resulting harmonic distortion and phase error. Like the "Shibata," this stylus requires meticulous alignment to realize its full potential. it is currently the best stylus cut that you can buy and is the type used by the Library of Congress in their playback rooms.  The graphic below demonstrates the superiority of the of the Microline stylus.  One can see how there is less pressure on the record walls as well as a larger contact area.

Groove.jpg (15518 bytes)    szlif "Microline" (zdjęcie prawe)