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Awsome Stylus Groove Photo and good read


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I saw this photo on the web and at first it looked way out of scale, like those grooves seem to small compared to the stylus. Probably due from seeing many close ups of just the tip. I'd like a higher rez version of the file.

 

Then I started reading up on stylus type and found this article by Shure. I think anyone that is into vinyl needs to read this, its a must read. Well it might be boring for some but I found very informative. Made me want to look at my stylus under a scope.

 

Stylus Wear and Record Wear | Shure Technical FAQ

 

 

So then I got to thinking, I need a scope. I starting looking at the cheap USB scopes on Amazon but I knew they would all have plastic optics with high abbe values and chromatic aberrations. But they might be good enough.

Then I starting to look at better microscopes and found this really cool old B&0 from 1973. They used it in many HS and University labs. They were built to be abused, they tested them over 200,000 times. Features like retractable lens so you can't smash it into the slide were put in with students in mind. I included some photos of it.

 

The optics in it are crazy, at least 12 glass ground lenses with two front surface mirrors were used to obtain the ability to zoom from 100x to 500x. Most scopes have 3 or 4 fixed focus lenses on a ring mount that you rotate. To make a zoom close to the clarity of the fixed focus types you need a more complicated array of lenses, its just not seen much today because of the cost complexity and fixed focus are cheaper to make and perform better for a given focal length as they don't try to be all things like a zoom does.

 

But it was only $40.00 and too cool to pass up.

 

When I get it I'll see if I can't take a few photos through the lens using my phone or digital camera, I'll post them if they turn out.

record_1000x magnification_01.jpg

s-l1600.jpg

scope2.JPG

scope1.JPG

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For an amazing video of a stylus tracking a groove check out this
around the five minute mark.

 

Excellent find! That is amazing.

 

Remember that old Maxell ad with the guy being blown away by the speakers? I took that original poster to a shop and had it framed and wet mounted. Looks good in my retro stereo room. I'd love to have a high resolution photo of that stylus video or the one I posted and dry mount that as well. I dunno, something about that photo strikes me as something that needs to be in a vinyl stereo room.

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  • 3 weeks later...
For an amazing video of a stylus tracking a groove check out this
around the five minute mark.

 

thanks audio.bill. Most people just don't get the resolution capability of vinyl... the signal resolution capability is that tiny that an electron microscope is needed to see the groove tracking scale. In the picture shown the visible groove undulation are likely low bass notes as higher frequencies are smaller and would require greater magnification and tricks to show the actual stylus contact area tracing the smaller high frequencies. Note that he quotes 50 microns as the distance he moved the stylus for 60 frames of just a second or 2 showing 1 sine wave cycle of the lowest frequency

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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Very interesting video audio.bill

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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thanks audio.bill. Most people just don't get the resolution capability of vinyl... the signal resolution capability is that tiny that an electron microscope is needed to see the groove tracking scale. In the picture shown the visible groove undulation are likely low bass notes as higher frequencies are smaller and would require greater magnification and tricks to show the actual stylus contact area tracing the smaller high frequencies. Note that he quotes 50 microns as the distance he moved the stylus for 60 frames of just a second or 2 showing 1 sine wave cycle of the lowest frequency

 

That is all purely conjecture and fabrication on your part Dave. You don't know if they are high or low frequencies as you had not even seen them before this photo or pseudo video. I would caution people reading into things like this.

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That is all purely conjecture and fabrication on your part Dave. You don't know if they are high or low frequencies as you had not even seen them before this photo or pseudo video. I would caution people reading into things like this.

 

RAJ1... these are not new pictures to me as they were stock in trade when I worked in audio in the 80's. And as for expertise, I spent 4 years professionally diagnosing bad stylii multiple times a day with a high magnification microscope. Even with a $5K microscope you couldn't see the contact area of a stylus... all you could see was the mirror flat reflection from wear when the stylus edge was no longer curved. So no fabrication here... I lived this professionally which you never have.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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RAJ1... these are not new pictures to me as they were stock in trade when I worked in audio in the 80's. And as for expertise, I spent 4 years professionally diagnosing bad stylii multiple times a day with a high magnification microscope. Even with a $5K microscope you couldn't see the contact area of a stylus... all you could see was the mirror flat reflection from wear when the stylus edge was no longer curved. So no fabrication here... I lived this professionally which you never have.

 

I agree you can't see the grooves like that with a standard microscope. You did not have a electron microscope. I've seen a stylus under a microscope and they don't look anything like the electron microscope photos. I've not seen the grooves in that much detail with a standard scope. So without ever having seen them under electron microscope how can you see which is high or low frequency or that even with a electron microscope you could not see the high frequencies. They can see orbital structure of atoms so I think vinyl grooves are a little bit larger than that.

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I agree you can't see the grooves like that with a standard microscope. You did not have a electron microscope. I've seen a stylus under a microscope and they don't look anything like the electron microscope photos. I've not seen the grooves in that much detail with a standard scope. So without ever having seen them under electron microscope how can you see which is high or low frequency or that even with a electron microscope you could not see the high frequencies. They can see orbital structure of atoms so I think vinyl grooves are a little bit larger than that.

 

An electron microscope has molecular resolution only....Heisenberg uncertainty principle/quantum dynamics kicks in when you start trying to take static snapshots of atomic structure. As to understanding what you are seeing in the picture of a vinyl record groove, anyone who has used an oscilloscope to look at an analog microphone signal will instantly understand what they are seeing on a record groove... its a physical transcription of the analog electrical signal they see on an o-scope. I don't think we need to get down to Fourier transforms to understand this.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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Scanning electron microscopes start around $200,000 and run around $1 million for a really good model. So who is using them to check stylus wear or take photos of LPs playing?

 

Or was I misunderstanding?

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Scanning electron microscopes start around $200,000 and run around $1 million for a really good model. So who is using them to check stylus wear or take photos of LPs playing?

 

Or was I misunderstanding?

People who work in labs with such equipment sometimes just want a bit of fun. Could also be a publicity thing.

 

Since electron microscopes require the sample to be coated with metal, they're not useful for diagnostic work.

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People who work in labs with such equipment sometimes just want a bit of fun. Could also be a publicity thing.

 

Since electron microscopes require the sample to be coated with metal, they're not useful for diagnostic work.

 

Yes! We do like to look at some stuff for fun like flies eyes, etc. Also, a wet SEM does not need to have the sample coated.

 

Light microscopes are limited to a few hundred nanometers resolution.

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Yes! We do like to look at some stuff for fun like flies eyes, etc. Also, a wet SEM does not need to have the sample coated.

 

Light microscopes are limited to a few hundred nanometers resolution.

I didn't know about wet SEM. Doesn't seem like it would work for the type of images seen here though.

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Isn't standard black LP vinyl conductive, anyway, with all that carbon in it? The wet SEM would work. But, we sure aren't going to fit a very big piece of the LP in any SEM I'm aware of! I do know of a couple industrial CT scanners that you can fit a whole auto engine block into, though!

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  • 2 weeks later...

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