Sunday, December 7, 2014

The crap side of being an LP lover

I've done it again -- in a moment of minor inattention I brushed the back of my middle finger against my cartridge as I changed sides on a recently cleaned and wonderful sounding used LP that I was pleased to have found (Duke Robillard's Swing on Rounder Records, as a matter of fact) and 'pop'..there goes the cantilever. "Oh" went my first reaction, "how did I touch that?"...assuming no real damage as the touch was so light. But my eyes soon revealed the full horror -- the cantilever was shorn completely off the body and was lying dead on the platform of my SME 20.

Now I could go on about how rare this is but I did it less than two years ago with a previous version of this same, rather extended-cantilever cartridge. At that time, I blamed my overzealous efforts at trying to position a magnifier close enough to see VTA but this time I had no excuse - not alcohol, not careless handling, not hurrying, just plain accidental hand positioning as I went through a routine, habitual physical act of changing a record.  I've played records for 40 years, I never damaged a cantilever until two years ago, I look after my gear.  I could scream since I have just completed a series of reviewing and adjustments that had the table sounding about as well as I have ever heard vinyl in my home. This $2800 cartridge had only 200 hours on it, carefully logged, carefully cleaned and usually, carefully handled. Right now, I am sitting in silence as I cannot bear to put a CD on and I am contemplating the decimation of all the plans I had for the upcoming holidays to binge clean and wallow in vinyl. I was even contemplating investing in an ultrasonic record cleaner. Not now. I don't know if I have the money or the inclination to do this all over again.

Sometimes being a vinyl lover just f^*k+n# sucks!


6 comments:

Andrew awsmone said...

poor bastard

been there done that lol

Anonymous said...

similarly did the same with a clear audio DaVinci. Luckily, distributor was kind enough to give me the next one at cost ....

PatrickD said...

Thank Andrew -- that makes me feel a lot better :)

Mr Anonymous - if I did it to the DaVinci I think I'd stay anonymous too but I've got to wonder if the Clearaudio design is just asking for trouble - several others have told me they had similar mishaps.

Anonymous said...

Feel for you Patrick.

I have done it too! I definitely recall the very sick feeling I had.

Well, accidents happen....just don't make a habit of it.

Mark Wieman said...

Dang, that sucks man! I have a $99 Ortofon 2M Red stylus on my 2M Black cartridge most of the time just to hedge my bets. But accidents are always just around the corner it seems. I scratched a nice $300 record with my fingernail while cleaning it a while back. I also severely scratched all the windows in my car by cleaning them with a dirty wash mitt earlier this year. Don't let it get you down too much!

Anonymous said...

My sympathies. It's not something I have seen mentioned in the many digital vs. analogue debates, but it is certainly a valid criticism of vinyl: that every time you use it, you run the risk of spoiling your day.