For any vinilovoda range of the cartridge — it is always responsible and difficult process. Of course, if the budget allows anything in any quantity, then easier. But these are isolated cases. And all the rest have to think and calculate options.
Now I will discuss another very vital question: whether or not to be limited to the new heads or can be, and can, and should be submitted to the vintage and how to do it, what to pay attention. More precisely, not only in the vintage, but even whether to purchase heads bind to the secondary market.
I must say — in my opinion, worth it. But with knowledge of the case and taking into account a lot of things. Why is that? If you look at today as a kind of community head, the picture is very colorful. There are cheap and average, and very expensive, but not always now the price says that the head will sound adequately costs for its purchase. Many models of luxury, with some specific features such as shells of rare wood or gold wire coiling. By the way, there are examples of just such heads, and, moreover, great-sounding, and there are instances of a weirdo. In general, in my experience, is now sold more heads is a weirdo, rather than with objectively good even-tempered sound. 25-30 years ago, this «esoteric» was much less, competition is forcing manufacturers to work on the sound, and not on some mysterious enticing components. However, even among modern heads again, there are great models, though not always with a humane price tag. But the first conclusion is already there — given the price-quality ratio, head of the days when vinyl was the main carrier to write off is not necessary. Although I would not venture to more than 70 years (the same head of the ’50s — a completely different story for them stretch players and tonearms of the same age, and younger vinyl in such tracts feels weird). Of course, this technique has lovers, but that’s another story.
If it is considered vintage still alive as it is possible to find plenty of interesting options, though not necessarily to hunt for any religious model — it may be more expensive than buying a serious head today. In addition, the risks of needle wear, loss of elasticity of dampers and other defects that are not going anywhere. And when we are talking about something on which there is a high demand and where to turn not the smallest amount, the probability of finding a dishonest seller above. Rate as the state head in absentia difficult, even for very good photos. Also not for the fact that the premise would be exactly what was pictured. Therefore, hesitating to buy something «in absentia», should take into account all possible risks and to explore opportunities for the reputation of the seller.
But the rest — seriously approach the matter, you can buy a lot of interesting, also in a completely operational, even unused head — not such a rarity, although a lot depends on the specific model.
Also, it is noteworthy modern head, but b / y — still the head of such a thing, even if it is toyed 50 hours, it is simply indecent to sell more than half the price. It is evidence of 50 hours does not exist. To determine the degree of wear — a second question after the selection of a particular model that you need. However, there is no 100 per cent check all options. Even listening can reveal the perfect sound, but does not prove that the sound remained at 200 hours. It is necessary to take into account the indirect evidence — the appearance of traces repeated mounting, contamination of internal structures, and, once again, the reputation of the seller. But, in my experience and observations of numerous friends, the correct approach problem probability of 10%. In other words, the risk is there, but it is often justified.