Cartridges...do they need running in?

OK So just got my LP12 back home and just unpacked and set up…and just occurred to me…does a cartridge need running in? Its a DV20x2. If so how long does it take?

As a mechanical device with a flexible suspension, it would be unsurprising if there is some change in its compliance over an initial period of use, and possible long term change as it ages, especially if it is susceptible to effects like oxidation. (Unlike some things about which people believe can ‘burn in’.) So cartridges may be similar in that regard to speakers. How much difference it may make audibly is another question.

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I think it would be 20-30 hours will usually be about right for the suspension to work optimally. In my case, I noticed that my Lyra cartridge takes about 35 to 50 LPs or maybe around at least 35 hours to run in.

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Depends what you need by “need”. If a cartridge didn’t sound good from the start, I would say it’s a bad one to purchase since they have such short useful lives anyway.

That said, there is certainly a change in performance some tens of hours in.

You may also find that even longer term the first side played in a listening session will sound slightly worse than the other ones as it “warms up”. I recall this being very obvious in my previous Linn cartridges, for example.

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yes
I generally give it 50 hours before finalising setup but the worst is over in a few sides.

Definitely. the first 50 hours is a good general time frame during which you may well experience some development in the performance of a cartridge. Some carts definitely need this period before they really reveal their full potential - for example, the AT OC9 MLII.

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@Richard.Dane, @Yeti @Quinn_MIT, @ricsimas@Innocent_Bystander… OK thanks…just wanted to get a feel as the 82 has K phono cards in at the moment and wanted to make sure that when I switched over to the S cards i was hearing them and not a change in cartridge performance…so 50 hours…that’s got to be around 60-70 LPs?

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Or about 750 singles :wink:

Interesting topic, after some searching turns out you can get running in records of various locked tracks of noise, does the stylus get hot? Not sure id be happy leaving a cartridge in one groove, although it would ready in just 2 days.

Clearaudio do one

Thanks…but i think I will just let in run in naturally and wonder at the delights as it beds down!

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I would too, something off-putting about a 50 hours lock track!

cardas & clearaudio make test records with cartridge run in tracks

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OK Thanks…but I’m enjoying the process of the cartridge slowly revealing itself! :wink: