I hope you get it sorted for reasonable money. Having accidentally damaged prized possessions myself, I do know how painful, and needless, it feels. You aren’t anticipating replacing a stylus, even if you know they’re delicate things. You know how your deck feels to use, and can’t work out how the thing happened.
I usually break a thing just after buying it. The latest was spending about 8 days solid sanding and treating a wooden floor. Within a week someone plonked a chair, with little plastic feet, down on it, multiple times, leaving 4 patches of dimple marks in it
I’m also sure no-one means harm by the comments above.
I am intrigued by @Innocent_Bystander 's question though, where was it leading to, if I may ask?
I’m trying to think through the mechanics of the damage. For what it is worth, the following is my assessment, but please note this is is not definitive, but simply my thinking purely based on the physics involved as I see it: I am not an expert on cartridge cantilever failure. In this description left and right are as viewed from in front of the cartridge in use:
The groove is pushing the stylus to the left. The bias is seeking to balance that force by pulling the arm to the right. These two forces are applied across the length of the cantilever, so the cantilever is under stress when playing, being pushed left at the tip and right at its pivot. I would therefore expect a weak point in the cantilever to result in a bend to the left (and or a vertical bend due to the tracking force pressing down at the pivot of the cantilever). However, the OP says that it has bent to the right towards the stylus end. This is not what I would expect, and so it seems to me that it may have been caused by mechanical force not directly associated with the playing process, whether or not a weakness in the cantilever existed.
It is feasible that a bent cantilever may track and play up to a point - which might depend od the closeness to the disk centre, the decreasing radius of curvature altering the force across tge disk, and eventually causing the stylus it to misstrack and eventually leave the groove.
The thing I find curious is the behaviour after the failure, how the arm moved inbound and if there was any part of the stylus or cantilever in contact with the record whilst it did so. And whether that implies an issue with the arm? What was happening to the applied bias and VTF whilst the cartridge was wandering towards the center of the record??
Yes, I’m puzzled by that as well. If not in contact with the surface the bias force would be expected to swing the arm out towards the rest point - but for that there would need to be zero tracking force. The only thing I can think is if the stylus was forced or bounced out of the groove, and no longer a stylus protruding downwards to re-enter the groove, but perhaps instead the cantilever contacting the groove (without the stylus dropping in) sufficient to drag/bounce it inwards. But that would suggest the failure bent or twisted the cantilever sufficiently to make the lowest part something other than the stylus tip. Not convincing - it would be interesting to see photos of the cantilever both from in front and the side.
Rega will rebuild their cartridges for approximately half the price of the new cartridge. I’m sure they will be sympathetic if there is any possibility that it was not an accident even though out of warranty.
In my case it was the inquisitive nature of a young child that switched me back to a mm cartridge fr a while… Fortunately it was getting on towards stylus replacement time so not as bad as it might have been.
@Mr.Paws how’s it going? I owned a P8 and P10, and the Apheta 3 always seemed rather vulnerable, out to the right with no plinth beneath. I saw what happened when my dealer caught their shop one with a jumper cuff!
You’ll never know what happened, so for your peace of mind it’s probably best to sent the complete deck back to Rega so that the bias can be checked over. It seems unlikely to be that, but it would be good to know that the arm is working as it should. Rega replaced the dealer’s Apheta for free. Obviously you are a customer so it’s different, but Rega are really nice, so you never know.
My change was to revert to using the DV 10X series, from using Linn MC carts. Coincided with a pre amp (supposed) upgrade from a NAC72 (with K boards) to 102, so a set of N boards was spec’ed. More recently, I have put E boards in, still with the 10X - but now in an 82.
My DV10X is now quite old (2001…). Almost wish it would break so I could justify a newer one…