Originally Posted by PaulR
I am thinking of joining the modern era - I have just ordered some steel needles for my phonograph to save me having to sharpen the bamboo ones.
Can anyone tell me if the new ones will give a harsher sound than the mellow tone imparted by wood?
You will find that there is a considerable volume increase with steel needles.......
I have found that a rolled up 'Gentlemans' short sock gently pushed into the phonograph horn can be used to control the output volume.
Now for the tonal quality:
Woollen socks seem to give the best results as they produce a softer accent on the high notes....
However there is a new fangled material called "Nylon" that will not reduce the stentorian bellow of your machine quite as much as wool but can produce surprisingly good Bass qualities
And finally if you notice that the output quality reduces after 5 or 6 renditions of the platter simply rotate the needle, axially, through ~30 degrees and retighten the locking screw. This will extend the life of the latest steel needles and the process can be repeated at least 3 times.
I would however caution you that these new steel needles have been reported to wear out your platters within 30 - 40 listenings
Lastly, always use an "HMV Instantaneous Speed Tester" to ensure that the platter rotation is exactly 78 rpm