Posted on

How does Stylast extend the life of the stylus? How does it work?

Dear Walter,
Three year user of your record preservative and Stylast here!
I can identify with all of the preservation benefits of these products, but one thing escapes me.  I’m about to buy a cartridge that’s much better than my current.  When factoring in cost per hour I came across this for Stylast:
  • Stylus life extension up to 10 times
Wondered how you reached this conclusion, what affects “up to” (assuming new releases, cleaned and preserved before first use); finally whether you did any available research similar to the groove wear study.
I’m sure my current stylus has had a benefit from sStylast, but without a stopwatch and OCD I can’t say by how much.
Thanks in advance, P.
Dear Mr. P.,
As part of the original R&D project in which we developed the Record Preservative, we were getting strong indications of increased stylus lifetime, both wear and suspension. Once the record preservative was on the market, we began an exhaustive series of test and experiments that eventually led to Stylast. We now have a collection of cartridges and replacement styli in which we are comfortable claiming stylus life extension of 10 times (and more).
Stylus usefulness and lifetime are determined by two characteristics: One is physical wear of the contact faces of the stylus, and the second is the condition of the stylus suspension system. Over time, wear of the contact faces becomes apparent as noise, distortion, and can be seen with microscopic examination. Stylus suspension failure can be of two types: The first is hardening of the elastomeric components, and the other is collapse of the suspension during use. Both of these failure types are addressed by Stylast.
Although Stylast is applied to the stylus tip, it does work its way upward along the cantilever section of the stylus.  The suspension has rubber/elastic components, and Stylast absorbs into the material and prevents it from hardening (due to age, exposure to dry air, or even isopropyl alcohol, which you should never use to clean your stylus).
We can measure the lifetime of a stylus not just through careful listening, but from observing oscilloscope images of the sound waves. As the stylus deteriorates we can see distortion appear in the wave form. We were able to perform side-by-side tests of treated and untreated stylii, and compare the wave forms to prove that Stylus did prevent deterioration by a factor of 10. We also took pictures of the stylii with an ordinary microscope to document the contact face degradation. Stylast delayed that damage as well.
Exhaustive listening, and the microscope/oscilloscope studies in our lab support our claims for increased stylus lifetime. 
Thank you for your query, and we wish you much enjoyment with your music!
Walter and Christine