Vinyl Wear abd Groove deformation


WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
Metro DC
Audiophiles have long known about record wear and groove deformation. Some are acting as th9ugh it is a recent discovery. Most audiophiles have dealt with it by allowing records to "rest." The question is how damaging is it?. One would expect that wear is "linear." It might be appropriate to start a discussion about this . Is anyone aware of any studies?
Record wear could can be limited by restricted play, minimal VTF and proper cartridge alignment. Perhaps wear levels off.
Any thoughts or discussion.



Active Member
May 24, 2010
If your Turntable and cartridge are correctly aligned, record wear is not a problem. I stress that if the cartridge is not aligned correctly, record wear is real and a problem.
I have records literally played 100's of times and they still sound great.

It is an old wife's tale in allowing the record to rest for 24 hours. When testing tracks I frequently play a couple of tracks over and over.
Vinyl is very durable and as the vinyl deforms when the stylus goes through the grooves, it quickly goes back to its prior state.


Oct 26, 2015
Eastern WA
Heavy vintage arms wear them out, because despite the tracking force they still peridocially exert a ton of force.

Good stylus, proper tracking weight, modernish arm, they last a long time. Its the jerks with Crosley's, cranked up tracking weight, etc that are destroying a wealth that will never come back.
Dec 26, 2011
No matter how well aligned your cartridge(stylus) is, there will always be perceptible sonic changes the second time the same portion on the record is played shortly after the first play. In a system that relatively "untweaked" and not choked full of metallic objects, the sonic changes are usually audible.

However the sonic changes are not merely due to groove deformation.

There is also the element of stylus/vinyl surface contact interaction creating different static condition the second time around.

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