Eye of the needle: See what your turntable stylus looks like under the microscope

Originally posted on The Vinyl Factory.

Zoom in on turntable mechanics.

Last week, artist and DJ Trevor Jackson unveiled an exhibition of huge prints showing the grooves on vinyl records at microscopic level. Seen so close up, they take on an organic quality, almost resembling plant cells rather than mechanistic technology

But while records look almost biological, the needles you need to play them are totally different under the microscope – more geological, like jagged crystal formations.

Although one stylus tends to look much the same as the next to the naked eye, needles do come in different shapes and sizes – as a true audiophile will tell you, the bigger the contact surface the better for reducing wear on your records, while the smaller the side radius, the better a needle will be at reading high frequencies.

The needles pictured below include brands like Ortofon, Audio Technica, Shure, Denon and Stanton. If you fancy yourself as an expert, have a guess at which is which, and mouseover to reveal the answers.

Denon-DL16 Adcom-XCMRII Ultra-Magnetics-4000D VDH-MC1 Ortofon-OM30 Ortofon-om30  ShureV15 NOS ADC RZL Shibata Dynavector Karat 23r Dynavector-17D2



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