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 Post subject: Possibility for better Diamond Stylus?
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 3:29 am 
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Victor V
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Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:23 am
Posts: 2421
Location: NW Indiana B-19;VV-IV; VV-VI;VV-XVI; Edison Home B; Amberola 30; Col. BK; Magnola;
I just saw this article, Would this make for a better Edison stylus?

https://www.thevintagenews.com/2019/01/ ... -sapphire/


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 Post subject: Re: Possibility for better Diamond Stylus?
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 4:19 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Wed May 20, 2015 1:55 pm
Posts: 392
If it is harder than diamond then it be a better material to use but will it be economical? Note it is very rare. There is not an established cost and to make a stylus you would need it in dust form to shape the stylus. I would think there will be some time before a stylus is made but at that time we may know if it is financially a go. The largest stone may be 33 carrots but what is the average size and what do they think the total yield of the mine will produce? There seems to not be a lot of information at this time.
Sorry this is of the top of my head and how you think is you worked as a Mechanical Engineer.
Allen


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 Post subject: Re: Possibility for better Diamond Stylus?
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 9:22 am 
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Victor IV
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:44 pm
Posts: 1497
Finally after several years of attempts Steven Medved has found a company that will make improvements to the existing Bruce Design which hopefully will end up so that we can again have a source for a decent diamond for our disc players. The sapphire ones for cylinder machines from Bruce are fine. He mailed me a test version yesterday. It will be a bit of time before we can say for sure that the issues that came about on some of the Bruce stylus has been corrected. Its odd to me that the first batches from them worked very well and I have one I am still recording with after quite some time and a lot of plays. So I am happy as I had three reproducers that no longer had safe to use diamonds in them.

As to the cost, it will be considerably more than the earlier Bruce product. It will be some more that Experts, but then that was never a good experience in my situation. The way I look at it is this. We often see lots of collectable Edison Disc go for well over a hundred, sometimes far over that. So why would we want to complain about a stylus to hear them and play them safely with good sound when it cost a reasonable price in comparison to the records? A stylus that won't produce good sound is pretty worthless no matter how cheap it may be.

After seeing the OP's article it struck me that a fine material still has to be successfully shaped to the exact Edison requirements which is where a lot of the trouble comes from. The expert owner told me they made a change to the shape of the diamond as an improvement. However I never heard any of the diaphragms play without some distortion until we put the Bruce sytlus into use and then almost amazingly it didn't display that same issue, it was gone.


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 Post subject: Re: Possibility for better Diamond Stylus?
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 4:39 am 
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Victor V
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Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:23 am
Posts: 2421
Location: NW Indiana B-19;VV-IV; VV-VI;VV-XVI; Edison Home B; Amberola 30; Col. BK; Magnola;
larryh wrote:
Finally after several years of attempts Steven Medved has found a company that will make improvements to the existing Bruce Design which hopefully will end up so that we can again have a source for a decent diamond for our disc players. The sapphire ones for cylinder machines from Bruce are fine. He mailed me a test version yesterday. It will be a bit of time before we can say for sure that the issues that came about on some of the Bruce stylus has been corrected. Its odd to me that the first batches from them worked very well and I have one I am still recording with after quite some time and a lot of plays. So I am happy as I had three reproducers that no longer had safe to use diamonds in them.

As to the cost, it will be considerably more than the earlier Bruce product. It will be some more that Experts, but then that was never a good experience in my situation. The way I look at it is this. We often see lots of collectable Edison Disc go for well over a hundred, sometimes far over that. So why would we want to complain about a stylus to hear them and play them safely with good sound when it cost a reasonable price in comparison to the records? A stylus that won't produce good sound is pretty worthless no matter how cheap it may be.

After seeing the OP's article it struck me that a fine material still has to be successfully shaped to the exact Edison requirements which is where a lot of the trouble comes from. The expert owner told me they made a change to the shape of the diamond as an improvement. However I never heard any of the diaphragms play without some distortion until we put the Bruce sytlus into use and then almost amazingly it didn't display that same issue, it was gone.


The Expert Stylus seemed to give off a surface noise in playing, it sounded like “whish whish” on every revolution. Steve rebuilt my Edison DD and Amberola C reproducer with the Bruce stylus and the new diaphragm by Larry, and both do not have that “whish whish” surface noise. The sound is amazingly clear.


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 Post subject: Re: Possibility for better Diamond Stylus?
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 9:37 am 
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Victor III
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Richards Laboratories http://www.richardslaboratories.com producing high quality cylinder blanks
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:28 pm
Posts: 820
I had not heard of any problems with the Bruce DD stylus.

What sort of a problem do some of the Bruce styli have?

My experience with DD is somewhat limited.
I have tried an Expert DD stylus, and returned one of
them as defective when it was seen to be marking
the DD records in the runoff area.

Expert took it back and gave me a new one.

I use that new one very seldomly.
Those Expert DD styli are in my opinion very sketchy
at best.

Later on I found some good working Edison original
DD styli. Got a few spare DD reproducers and a handful
of parts. Figured out how to successfully "re-string"
old DD diaphragms that have the broken braided silk link.
"Sustained success depends on searching
for, and gaining, fundamental understanding"

-Bell System Credo


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 Post subject: Re: Possibility for better Diamond Stylus?
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 10:59 am 
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Victor II
Joined: Wed May 20, 2015 1:55 pm
Posts: 392
Hi all, Steve has rebuilt and installed new Styluses and in several cases new diaphragms in one of my DD reproducers, the A reproducer of my 1-A, and the O reproducer of my Standard. They all work and sound fine. I also expect they will never fail in my lifetime but then I am 80. Many original diamond styluses are sill functional with minimal ware which gives me hope that the Bruce styluses will last many years and thousands of plays. It should should be noted also that Larry has accumulated many, many plays on his replacement Bruce DD stylus.
Allen


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 Post subject: Re: Possibility for better Diamond Stylus?
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 3:47 pm 
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Victor V
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Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:23 am
Posts: 2421
Location: NW Indiana B-19;VV-IV; VV-VI;VV-XVI; Edison Home B; Amberola 30; Col. BK; Magnola;
Chuck wrote:
I had not heard of any problems with the Bruce DD stylus.

What sort of a problem do some of the Bruce styli have?

My experience with DD is somewhat limited.
I have tried an Expert DD stylus, and returned one of
them as defective when it was seen to be marking
the DD records in the runoff area.

Expert took it back and gave me a new one.

I use that new one very seldomly.
Those Expert DD styli are in my opinion very sketchy
at best.

Later on I found some good working Edison original
DD styli. Got a few spare DD reproducers and a handful
of parts. Figured out how to successfully "re-string"
old DD diaphragms that have the broken braided silk link.


Those Expert Stylus were not that good. There was a very poor quality stylus put out for the Amberola machines, it was made by Pfanstiehl many years ago, it was 20.00 and the cross bar always broke on mine.


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 Post subject: Re: Possibility for better Diamond Stylus?
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 7:32 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:44 pm
Posts: 1497
A Ford 1 wrote:
Hi all, Steve has rebuilt and installed new Styluses and in several cases new diaphragms in one of my DD reproducers, the A reproducer of my 1-A, and the O reproducer of my Standard. They all work and sound fine. I also expect they will never fail in my lifetime but then I am 80. Many original diamond styluses are sill functional with minimal ware which gives me hope that the Bruce styluses will last many years and thousands of plays. It should should be noted also that Larry has accumulated many, many plays on his replacement Bruce DD stylus.
Allen



I probably got 3,000 plays out of one of the Bruce Diamonds, maybe more. The one I am recording with now has been used for at least 5 years or more, I can't remember when we even started with the new Bruce Stylus. As to what happened to them that caused a problem, that seems a bit up in the air. Steven seems to think they weren't polished as finely as they might have been. When I put in the last one that I sent back it seemed alright but one night when I was playing a disc, I noticed from the lamp sitting on the top of the console that the record was changing the goove to a slightly lighter tone. However the last batch he got for some reason left lines in the surface right off. Several were returned for that. I believe that Bruce still produces the basic stylus, but then its sent to a company that can do a finish polish on them to prevent issues. I might have that wrong, but it is how I recall the conversation.


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 Post subject: Re: Possibility for better Diamond Stylus?
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 9:21 pm 
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Victor III
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Richards Laboratories http://www.richardslaboratories.com producing high quality cylinder blanks
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:28 pm
Posts: 820
I've come to the conclusion that the whole
technology of Edison DD all operates at the absolute upper limit of weight and wear.

The material that the records are made of is very hard.
The playing stylus is made of the hardest material on
the planet.

Yet, we all see that unless conditions are absolutely
ideal, either one or both items (the record or the stylus)wears badly and prematurely.

Again, there is a very valid reason that this technology
was superseded by much lighter pickups, electronic
amplifiers, then tapes, CDs, and now all digital.

Edison DD technology operates at the very edge
of what can be expected even from the hardest materials
known to man. It's a miracle that it even works at all. It's even more noteworthy that it can even be made
to work rather well with enough constant fiddling around and attention.

Just have a close look at that massive weight.
Lift it with your fingers. Then, imagine that entire
weight being concentrated on the very tip of that microscopic diamond cone! The unit pressure (PSI)
just has to be enormous.

No materials can be expected to stand up to those
conditions.

It is literally a diamond-grinding machine!
"Sustained success depends on searching
for, and gaining, fundamental understanding"

-Bell System Credo


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 Post subject: Re: Possibility for better Diamond Stylus?
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2019 8:59 pm 
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Victor V
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Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:23 am
Posts: 2421
Location: NW Indiana B-19;VV-IV; VV-VI;VV-XVI; Edison Home B; Amberola 30; Col. BK; Magnola;
Chuck wrote:
I've come to the conclusion that the whole
technology of Edison DD all operates at the absolute upper limit of weight and wear.

The material that the records are made of is very hard.
The playing stylus is made of the hardest material on
the planet.

Yet, we all see that unless conditions are absolutely
ideal, either one or both items (the record or the stylus)wears badly and prematurely.

Again, there is a very valid reason that this technology
was superseded by much lighter pickups, electronic
amplifiers, then tapes, CDs, and now all digital.

Edison DD technology operates at the very edge
of what can be expected even from the hardest materials
known to man. It's a miracle that it even works at all. It's even more noteworthy that it can even be made
to work rather well with enough constant fiddling around and attention.

Just have a close look at that massive weight.
Lift it with your fingers. Then, imagine that entire
weight being concentrated on the very tip of that microscopic diamond cone! The unit pressure (PSI)
just has to be enormous.

No materials can be expected to stand up to those
conditions.

It is literally a diamond-grinding machine!


Chuck:

I have came to that conclusion, you said it best. I honestly think overall that the Victrola may have had the advantage in this area. If you change the needle every play, you really get a lot of plays. That thin condensate on a Edison Disc could not last that long. There must have been many experiments and lots of broken diamonds and worn discs in the testing process.

While it is another topic, I have advocated for years that Diamond Disc machines sound better than a Victor, and I still believe that. But I think my personal preference has changed to Victor due to the cost of these styluses, and that they really do wear a Diamond Disc. There are not a lot of options in stylus and they are just very expensive. Oh yes, I will keep my Edison B-19, but many of the records in my collection will be thinned down with it being more of a curiosity. I concern with the day that we may find ourselves without access to styluses and the price increasing.

Jerry


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