Everplay tungstone needle - a review

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richardh

Everplay tungstone needle - a review

Post by richardh »

I have recently purchased an “Everplay tungstone needle” and as these are not too common I thought I would review the needles performance for other board members.

Basically the Everplay is a metal needle in which there is a small hole at the tip. Through the hole is threaded a strand of “tungstone” wire. There is a small spool of the wire behind the white star wheel and a small turn of the wheel extends the wire a little more. It is said that one of these will play more than 27,000 disks. In case the wire should ever run out I have an extra supply of the wire of the right guage to re-thread it with.

I have tested the performance of the Everplay against the following types of point:

• Medium tone steel needles
• Medium tone tungstone needles; and
• Cactus needles

At the end of the review are pictures of the instructions and some close up pictures of the Everplay itself. For comparison several of the pictures feature the Everplay next to a medium tone steel needle.

First up, I must say that I have been very impressed with the Everplay. I have tried it on my HMV 163 as well as a Columbia portable and found the sound to be very good. The volume you get depends on the length of the “tungstone” wire extended. A very short length means the sound is much louder and a longer length is much quieter. Thus the volume of the Everplay with a short wire tip is easily as loud as a medium tone steel needle. I haven’t yet tried the Everplay with the smallest amount of wire extended but I suppose it could be as loud as a loud tone steel.

Whilst easily louder than a cactus, you do get the same kind of hiss and needle scratch noise with the Everplay that you get from a standard steel needle. The sound of the Everplay is also crisp like steel rather than the more rounded and mellow tone of the cactus.

When compared against the standard “tungstone” needle there was no difference apart from the ability to adjust the volume of the Everplay through altering the length of wire extended.

The only disadvantage with the Everplay I have discovered so far is that the wire tip is very fragile. You have to lower it gently onto the record otherwise you bend it. However, I am informed that they are robust enough to use in autochangers - although I have yet to put that to the test. The wire tip is also easily damaged by imperfections on the disk. So you can’t play a disk with a needle drop on it with the Everplay – or you will shear the tip off.

Those are my thoughts so far. I would say that the many advantages easily outweigh the few small disadvantages. I would certainly recommend them based on my experience so far.

RJ 8-)
Attachments
everplay 010.JPG
everplay 009.JPG
everplay 001.JPG
everplay 005.JPG
everplay 006.JPG
everplay 008.JPG
Last edited by richardh on Sun Mar 08, 2009 6:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

richardh

Re: Everplay tungstone needle - a review

Post by richardh »

An additional comment I would make is that if you use the Everplay to play a disk with a wide groove and then switch to another disk with a narrow groove cut then I have noticed that you get distorted sound for a short while. I guess this is due to the tip of the wire getting used to the wide groove and then the point develoing shoulders which do not fit comfortably into a narrow groove. However it soon clears and the sound is crisp one more.

RJ 8-)

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Re: Everplay tungstone needle - a review

Post by MordEth »

Interesting. Out of curiosity—how many records have you tried it on so far, and are they accurate about the claim of 20 records before it needs adjustment?

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Re: Everplay tungstone needle - a review

Post by barnettrp21122 »

I agree with the above comments. I use my Everplay in my 10-50, and though the mechanism lowers the soundbox gently enough, the wire will bend if it's too long. So you have to keep the wire quite short, which gives you good volume, but also limits the number of sides you can play without extending the wire again. I find myself removing the entire reproducer to do this, since it's awkward to be leaning in and trying to do this with reading glasses! Sometimes I'm not sure if the occasional distortion is due to the wire tip adjusting to the groove width or if the wire's gotten too short, thereby having the nose of the needle shank start to make contact with the record surface. I always end up checking the wire before loading up a group of records.
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Re: Everplay tungstone needle - a review

Post by gregbogantz »

Richard and Barnett, apart from the loudness and fragility of the wire, you haven't commented much about the sound of this Everplay. Although it is pretty small, it is still quite a lot more massive than an ordinary needle, either steel or Tungstone. And the mass is hung out pretty near the end of it. All of which should make it sound noticeably "softer", that is have less treble than a conventional needle. I would expect that the vocal sibilants and the higher frequency percussive sounds should be noticabley muffled with this needle compared with a standard one. Especially when the wire is extended a little more. You'll probably need to do the comparison with an electrical recording that actually HAS some sibilance on it to hear the difference. Recordings with muted trumpet are also good for comparison as the muted trumpet sound is chock full of upper harmonics. Any observations?
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Re: Everplay tungstone needle - a review

Post by barnettrp21122 »

gregbogantz wrote:Richard and Barnett, apart from the loudness and fragility of the wire, you haven't commented much about the sound of this Everplay. Although it is pretty small, it is still quite a lot more massive than an ordinary needle, either steel or Tungstone. And the mass is hung out pretty near the end of it. All of which should make it sound noticeably "softer", that is have less treble than a conventional needle. I would expect that the vocal sibilants and the higher frequency percussive sounds should be noticabley muffled with this needle compared with a standard one. Especially when the wire is extended a little more. You'll probably need to do the comparison with an electrical recording that actually HAS some sibilance on it to hear the difference. Recordings with muted trumpet are also good for comparison as the muted trumpet sound is chock full of upper harmonics. Any observations?
Now that I think of it, I've never used anything but this Everplay needle or a soft-tone steel needle (of course I don't play more than one or two sides with this), so I haven't compared the sound to what you've mentioned. I just started a 30-day business trip, so I won't have any chance to make comparisons right now. Maybe Richard can help!

As a sidenote, I've noticed that the Orthophonic soundbox on the 10-50 is turned 180 degrees so that triangular fiber needles can't be used.

Bob Barnett
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Re: Everplay tungstone needle - a review

Post by WDC »

Richard, Thank you for your detailed report on this, plus the close-up pictures.
I've never seen one so far and had asked myself how they'd actually work, now I know. :)

Btw. if you ever happen to use all of the wire I could imagine to find a tungsten supplier to equip the needle with new wire.

richardh

Re: Everplay tungstone needle - a review

Post by richardh »

Greg,

I have so far tried a slection of records but hadn't really noticed any loss of treble...however I think I probably need to do the test again and listen specifically for that. I'll report back what I find and will again compare an ordinary tungstone needle and a medium steel.

MordEth, I must of played about 30 sides so far and have not needed to adjust the point further yet...but it was quite long when I did originally extend it out. Again I will report back on how well the point lastes between adjustments.

I have been after one of these needles for ages, so the novelty to me is great. I would add that as I have two HMV 5B soundboxes for my HMV 163 the Everplay is now inserted in one and I just swap soundboxes if I want to use either a steel or cactus needle. I am nervous about removing and re-inserting the Everplay and then using it on half decent records. I dont want the point to act like a chisel on my records!

RJ 8-)

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Re: Everplay tungstone needle - a review

Post by Moooperator »

Rich,

you'll want to keep the wire on the very short side and that will help with the bending if set down too hard on the record. That is a must with the 10-50.

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Re: Everplay tungstone needle - a review

Post by MordEth »

richardh wrote:I am nervous about removing and re-inserting the Everplay and then using it on half decent records. I dont want the point to act like a chisel on my records!
Richard,

I don’t know if that’s a valid concern or not, but that’s something that I would consider also. Is this something that one worries about with Tungs-Tone needles, as well?

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