It seems like there was a problem with the new stylus I’d put in. I’m not sure, but I think maybe it was a little bent so it was touching part of the cartridge where it shouldn’t have been. I did a bunch of playing around today and everything seems to be good again. I’m still using that new stylus but I straightened it out and so far, no hum/rumble. I’ve tested it compared to the old stylus and to another new stylus, and it sounds way better than either. That’s actually a bit of a bummer, since I was planning to use the other new stylus once this one wears out.
Does anyone have a source for type 500-S25 styli? In the past I didn’t have any trouble finding them, but when I tried a few weeks ago I had no luck at all. I ended up having to get a diamond stylus instead of sapphire. When I just tried it out compared to either my old, worn out sapphire tip or the new (formerly messed-up but now good) sapphire tip, the diamond one sounded pretty awful. I suppose it would still be better than nothing, but I’d love to be able to get the right kind again.
As a progress update, as I write this I’m recording disc #155. I have 101 16″ records left. I may skip some of them, as it looks like they might be what we’d now call mixtapes. If it’s obvious that the material on them is just copied from commercial records that are available elsewhere I won’t waste my time with them. I’m sure there will also be a few that aren’t playable due to condition problems. In addition to the 16″ records there are 24, 12″ records (at least some of which are 78s) and two 10″.
So I’m making progress, but still have a way to go. Now that the player’s working again I should be able to pick up the pace.