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Buddha's picture
Last seen: 5 years 11 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Stylast and LP physics...


I was reading about the physics of LP playback today, and ran into to some old stuff that gave me new questions.

According to some sources, a stylus tracking an LP at 2 grams can generate the equivalent of "12-14 tons of pressure" on the groove at the microscopic level.


I also read claims that the temperature of the groove/stylus nexus reaches 315 degrees F, temporarily liquefying the vinyl as the stylus tracks it.

Then I was reading about Stylast, and it made me wonder.

If you put Stylast on your stulus, how does it continue to stick to the stylas as 12 tons of pressure and friction, and 315 degrees hot?

At the point of contact, you'd think it would rub right off!

I looked around at the Stylast site, but this is not addressed.

Also, if it is that tenacious, and you are dragging it through a sea of vinyl, I wonder why it wouldn't stick the stylus to the vinyl.

Does anyone know the physics involved?

On the same note, do we really know this 315 degrees stuff?

You'd think that after playing back an entire album side, the stylus would also be too hot to touch - but I've tried it, and it weren't.

Seriously, a 315 degree temp at the stylus vinyl interface would also heat up the cantilever and maybe melt the bushings.

I remain dubious as to the veracity of the temperature claim, but could be wrong.

How about the claims that it takes 24 hours for the vinyl to "recover" from being played. If that were really the case, you'd think you'd have to wait a few hours after playing an LP before being able to touch it.

Maybe "Smokin' with Miles Davis" was really about the stylus and record!

Lots to wonder about with the miracle of LP playback.

Elk's picture
Last seen: 1 year 10 months ago
Joined: Dec 26 2006 - 6:32am
Re: Stylast and LP physics...

Point pressure translated to force/square inch can lead to scary numbers. The first version I saw of this was translating the force of a high heel worn by a 125 pound woman. Suddenly it makes sense how a high heel can put dents in a wood floor.

I don't know about the temperature claims. Certainly there is heat generated. It's possible that on an incredibly small level there is a single friction point generating that much heat but clearly this point is meaninglessly small as LPs sound great great after many playings.

I think that Stylast however actively repairs the vinyl as it plays. It remembers where the vinyl was before the tip passes and repairs it immediately after.

Buddha's picture
Last seen: 5 years 11 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Re: Stylast and LP physics...

So, the Stylast leaves sort a resotrative "snail trail" as the stylus passes over the vinyl?

I bet you were thinking of the LAST fluid applied to the LP. That stuff is intriguing, and has been around long enough that we should be out of the "Armour All Window," if ya know what I mean!

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