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 Post subject: Re: tungs tone needles usable?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:51 am 
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Victor O
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:09 pm
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I'm curious as to why Victor would have pushed these needles in the way they did, including making claims that they "cannot wear the record" and they the needles were god for 300 plays, if in reality they wore the records more than steel. Wouldn't this marketing lie have backfired on them very quickly?

<perhaps poking a skunk here>


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 Post subject: Re: tungs tone needles usable?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:16 pm 
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Victor III
Joined: Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:01 pm
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Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
It is important to point out that Tungs-Tone needles should never be used to play any acoustic recording, or any vinyl recording.

Like Peter, I prefer to use the Tungs-Tone needles in automatic phonographs (early record changers).

Here's what I have found when using them: They do not seem to wear the record quickly, however it is obvious the wear is slightly faster than with steel needles. New, or good condition records seem to last longer than ones that were worn before being played by a Tungs-Tone needle. Depending on the condition of the record, they will last about 200 plays. I've never had one last 300 plays, though that is what their advertised life was.

I measured the wire on several needles and found their diameter to be about .004 of an inch (4 mil). Under microscopic examination, I found the playing tip to not be a radius, rather a chisel point, which seems to have been worn (from playing) to conform to the groove of the record.

According to Wikipedia, steel has a Moh harness of 4, while Tungsten has a Moh hardness of 7.5 on a scale of 10.


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 Post subject: Re: tungs tone needles usable?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:40 pm 
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Victor IV
Edison, Columbia, Victor, Pathé...and oddball makes
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:06 pm
Posts: 1338
Seems to me that Victor advised to unmount and rotate the tungstone before remounting it every so often, to allow that tiny chisel point to get evened out.

With the contact point being so much smaller than a steel needle, it's playing a different, deeper, part of the groove anyway. So even if it does wear the record unpleasantly, subsequent play with a regular needle should be relatively unaffected because it rides up higher in the groove. It's fun to play records with clean and freshly sharpened cactus and bamboo needles, and see the gunk they dredge up from the deep part of the groove where a steel needle doesn't reach.

Earlier I sarcastically said that all my records are new old unplayed dealer stock. Of course this isn't true, with my contrarian point being that most of our decades-old records have been played with steel and tungsten and whatever else quite a few (or many more) times, and so playing them a few more times that way will make zero difference. There are exceptions to that philosophy, usually based upon rarity and value, but one would use modern equipment to play such items - if at all.


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 Post subject: Re: tungs tone needles usable?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:53 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:00 am
Posts: 15
I did a search on google for tungs tone Victrola needles and found where someone said they found a source for brand new(recently manufactured) they just added a link to an ebay auction that ended in 2017. I havent found many places to get any tungs tone needles at all online except 1 listing on ebay lately(I thought I had some found but was mistaken) anyone know anywhere I might find some?


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 Post subject: Re: tungs tone needles usable?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:08 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:12 pm
Posts: 1467
Wolfe wrote:
Tungstone needles have about 7 mil radius at the tip when new. Tungsten wire doesn't wear as fast as steel either, so the question is moot. If you want to wear out your records, play them with Tungstone needles.


It was always my understanding that tungsten is softer than steel, which is why Victor used it as a alternative to the steel needles starting in WWI, when steel was needed for war production.

According to the original patent data, "a new tungsten stylus wears more rapidly than does a steel needle."

Tungsten Needle Patent --
Attachment:
US1080924.pdf [538.47 KiB]
Downloaded 14 times


I've avoided using Tungs-Tone needles after reading "From Tinfoil to Stereo" by Read and Welch, (1977 edition). I remember that there's a passage about tungsten needles causing undue wear, especially when reinserted, because as they are "ground to profusion" to fit the groove, bits of tungsten are left behind, scouring out the groove walls. (I've looked through the index, but can't find the exact paragraph.)

OrthoFan


Last edited by OrthoFan on Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: tungs tone needles usable?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:24 pm 
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Victor O
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The patent makes for a very interesting read. The specific claims seem to reflect what Victor said in their advertising too.


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 Post subject: Re: tungs tone needles usable?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:13 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:12 pm
Posts: 1467
mick_vt wrote:
The patent makes for a very interesting read. The specific claims seem to reflect what Victor said in their advertising too.


I noticed that too, especially the part about 300 plays. (Maybe they were talking about "Little Wonder" records :lol: ?

There have been quite a number of posts on this forum about tungsten needles over the years. I found this one especially interesting -- viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3757

OrthoFan


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 Post subject: Re: tungs tone needles usable?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:31 pm 
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Victor I
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Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 5:52 am
Posts: 123
Location: St. Albans, UK
johnnybgoode1959 wrote:
I did a search on google for tungs tone Victrola needles and found where someone said they found a source for brand new(recently manufactured) they just added a link to an ebay auction that ended in 2017. I havent found many places to get any tungs tone needles at all online except 1 listing on ebay lately(I thought I had some found but was mistaken) anyone know anywhere I might find some?


Back in 2017 I was making tungsten needles and selling them on eBay so this was maybe what you tried to find. It was actually the positive comments from customers that kept me going. I conducted numerous tests with slightly different thicknesses and lengths of wires and post material over a long period. In my experiments I found I was getting less record wear than from an ordinary steel needle. This was, however, on a machine with minimal tracking error and rebuilt soundbox etc. It could well be that they cause more wear on a poorly tracking machine, worn records and hardened gaskets in the soundbox etc. I can only speak as I find and appreciate opinions vary on this subject.

I found that with steel needles the diameter of the point was gradually increasing during play causing extra pressure and wear on the groove walls the further to the end it got. This is, of course, compounded by the fact that records often get louder and more sound is put into a smaller space towards the end of the record. I didn't get the same level of distortion as I would with a steel needle as a tungsten wire keeps a constant diameter throughout the record. The thickness of the wire is important lest it chew up the trough of the groove.

A tungsten needle should never be turned or reused without conditioning. The chisel edge will damage the record. It should first be played on a junk record or on the runout groove for at least a few minutes. For safety this should be done even with a new/unused tungsten needle. Understandably some people don't like tungsten needles because of these problems.

Johnnybgoode1959 I still have a few packs left for my own use but I'm happy to send you a set if you want to forward me your address.

Jamie

PS about a BS. A tungsten needle never did 300 plays! The wire would need to be too long which would cause low-volume, distortion, and would likely bend.
PS the link to the thread above is excellent for anyone planning to have a go at making their own.


Last edited by jamiegramo on Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: tungs tone needles usable?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:51 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:00 am
Posts: 15
not sure how to forward. can I send you an email?


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 Post subject: Re: tungs tone needles usable?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:21 am 
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Victor I
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Posts: 123
Location: St. Albans, UK
johnnybgoode1959 wrote:
not sure how to forward. can I send you an email?

Through the forum messages should be fine. These are free since you raised the topic but I don't have any more to sell at the moment.


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