Every audiophile knows that a worn-out stylus can’t deliver the type of audio quality it should. If you fail to replace the stylus, over time it can even degrade your vinyl. For some, it’s not so much a matter of the stylus wearing out, they simply want to upgrade from the stock stylus that came with their portable record player. In either case, replacing the stylus is a simple process, especially if it’s an easy to use model such as the 1byone turntable replacement stylus needle. However, some consumers reported that swapping out the needles was tricky because the needles are easily bent. This is actually a common issue you’ll run into regardless of the brand or type of stylus you purchase. Fortunately, the 1byone needles offer better durability compared to competing models.
Turntable Replacement Stylus by 1byone Assessment and Features
As we mentioned, switching out the needles can be a complicated process, especially if you’ve never done it before. Just be careful not to bend or touch the actual needle, which can damage it.
This pack comes with two diamond stylus replacement needles. 1byone guarantees that their needles will provide users with thousands of hours of play time.
When you receive the replacement needles, make sure you examine them first for any visible signs of damage that may have occurred during shipping.
Before you remove any of the parts, switch the turntable off. Switch off any built-in features, such as the preamp and speakers. Next, you’ll need to locate the lever or lock function on the tonearm and remove it in order to release the arm. If the headshell or cartridge carrier is removable, you must unscrew it from the tonearm for easier needle access.
Lift the tonearm in order to expose the old needle, and pull it out by hand by gripping the side of the needle and gently wiggling it free. If the needle seems stuck you can use a pair of needle nose pliers to carefully remove it from the cartridge.
Take the old needle from the cartridge and carefully set it aside, just in case your new needle doesn’t fit or it’s damaged. You can use compressed air to spray the area where the old needle came out in order to ensure that the area is free from dust and debris.
Follow the directions provided by 1byone to install it into the cartridge. Generally, this process is the same for most brands. You’ll need to hold the top of the needle and ensure that the point is facing down. Gently press the needle forward into the cartridge and apply a steady amount of pressure. Make sure that you don’t force the needle in, which can bend it.
For the final step, test out the turntable. Listen closely to the music and take note of any skipping, popping, or snapping noises. This is very important, especially if the old needle you were using was also making these sounds.
If replacing the needle doesn’t fix the skipping or popping then there may be an issue with another portion of the turntable or with the record you’re playing. You can try adjusting the counterweight of the arm to attempt to fix these noises, but if that doesn’t work, you may need to try reinserting the needle.
Signs of a Worn Needle
The needle is the heart and soul of a turntable. With its tip made from industrial diamond, the needle works by tracking the grooves in records. The vibrational energy it produces is converted into electrical energy using a moving magnet assembly that’s found inside the cartridge, which houses everything that’s needed to create a signal. When the needle is repeatedly pulled through fifteen thousand feet of grooves on both sides of an LP, the stylus eventually wears out.
Here are some basic signs that your needle’s lifespan is at an end:
The total playing time exceeds a thousand hours. Additionally, the life of a needle will also depend on how well it and the vinyl have been maintained.
If you notice a sudden, major change in audio quality, this will be a big indicator that it’s time to replace the needle. The first indication will be a loss in higher frequencies. Over a period of weeks, the sound will also become fuzzy or distorted. At this point, the needle must be taken out immediately in order to prevent it from damaging your records.
1byone Stylus Pros and Cons
Pros: Like any other type of stylus, these needles must be installed carefully. When inserted correctly you’ll immediately notice the change in sound quality. These needles provide thousands of hours of beautiful, crystal clear sound quality that will encourage you to continue using this brand in the future. Consumers also reported that the 1byone customer service team is quick to respond and very helpful when it came to troubleshooting installation issues.
Cons: One consumer stated that these needles do provide better than average sound, however, you have to be extremely careful when you’re installing a needle because they tend to bend very easily. Fortunately, these needles come in a pack of two. Other consumers complained that the needle caused their records to skip, but as we mentioned earlier this is often due to not installing the needle properly, the record itself, or there may be an issue with the turntable. A new needle should not cause this type of issue.
Turntable Stylus Conclusion and Rating
This two-pack of replacement needles will work best with 1byone turntables, although consumers have reported that they seem to work well with other brands of record players as well. For an affordable price, you’ll get a couple of needles, each of which is designed to provide thousands of hours of high-quality sound. We felt that the needle’s overall durability was about average. With every brand and type of needle, you’ll find that they’re very delicate and can be difficult to install if you’ve never done it before. All in all, by following the included instructions you should have no trouble installing these needles correctly in just minutes. We gave this set a rating of four out of five stars considering the low price and the fact that the manufacturer throws in a free spare.