Digital stylus microscope

In a period of boredom I read up on stylus set up.

I have decided I like the idea of being able to see the stylus up close and make sure it is at the right rake angle (and straight). Which means a digital microscope.

Having a browse they range from a hundred to double that for a decent usb type.
Anyone used one and can comment on the usefulness? I suspect it is one of those things that is best borrowed and tried before splurging. In theory it should tip a decent cart from sounding decent, into a decent cart sounding amazing.

There’s quite a few on here who need to keep one on their bedside cabinet, along with the tweezers…


A faff too far for me. Just can’t be arsed with test records, microscopes and fancy protractors. I just use the SME tools and if it looks ok and sounds ok then I tell myself it is ok. Got to keep the OCD tendencies at bay.



You’ve got pretty horrible depth of field with those things unless you get pretty spendy (price of a half-decent cart).

Got a set of these recently (Lightcraft):

Mostly for PCB / SMT stuff, but the 3X mag would be good for you purpose.

I still feel kinda lucky the Cadenza Black is easy to setup by ear.


I’ve got a cheapie USB one which is good enough to see if the tip is damaged or clogged with detritus but I wouldn’t start making decisions on things like SRA based on it…

Wed Mar 17 21-54-57

ADC conical (barely used)
Thu Apr 15 13-42-58

Clag round an old AT tip
Thu Apr 15 15-50-48

Nude elliptical, ie all diamond
Thu Dec 09 13-16-21

Bonded Elliptical
Where the actual tip is bonded to a short steel shank which in turn is fitted to the cantilever. I didn’t even know this was a thing until recently. Saves money & doesn’t even compromise performance/life that much.
Thu Dec 09 13-18-31


Would it not be possible to set up the stylus with a test record and a 2-channel oscilloscope?

I keep meaning to try it, but can’tbearsediness gets in the way.

If you want to look at tip wear find someone with a spendy microscope that can have a look at it.

Is that first picture an AN Io I?

Yes, it was. I had one here to check over. It was fine.

What make/model is your cheapie USB scope, please?

Not exactly expensive but good enough for this.

1 Like

Did you manage to clean the at one, or not bother?

Ive got an oscilloscope :grimacing:.
Weird ebay purchase.

My ultimate aim (fettered by similar motivation issues) is to do the full test of my set up with azimuth and rake angle tests. Just because.

My system sounds great, but sometimes curiosity makes me wonder how far out of kilter it is compared to the optimal setting.

I’ve got a Fozgometer and test record somewhere if you’d like to give it a whirl?

If I can work out how to use the oscilloscope I have a test record (thanks).
Or do I need the foz as well?

If you are looking at channel separation and balance with your scope the Foz will do much the same. There’s some bumf here

1 Like

Actually, looking at it again, it was an old Ortofon VMS5E and no. I nearly had all clag removed & then carelessly dislodged the diamond.

1 Like

It is the AA way. ‘Nearly right’


Checking the Amazon advert for that microscope, I’m not sure how accurate its rendition actually is. :laughing:



Stung by Chinesemicroscopeman