AT OC9 tracking problem. Worn out?

I've got an Audio-Technica OC-9 that I've had for just about a year now. Recently I've been having some tracking problems on the innermost tracks on a couple records that are new (or almost new)and blemish-free. I've looked at the records under magnification and been unable to see any marks. The stylus is well cleaned with an Onzow Zero-Dust usually every record, and with fluid about once a day or so. I spin a lot and I'm going to guess that the cartridge has somewhere between 1000 - 1200 hours on it. The alignment on the cartridge is spot on and the VTF is set properly at 1.75G.

Can anyone tell me what the ordinary useful life is for one of these cartridges? Any other thoughts on other things I should try?
The highly polished diamond on the OC9 tends to wear evenly, so you probably wouldn't notice any "wear" in the sense that your car's brakes or tires might be damaged.

But, at 1000-1200 hours, the stylus is likely at the tail end of its useful lifespan and in danger of damaging your records. Replace it. I had an OC-7 and OC-9 and replaced them both around the 800 hour mark just to be safe.
If you really want to know, you could consider sending the cartridge to Acoustic Sounds or Soundsmith, and have them inspect the stylus under a special microscope. They'll tell you exactly what kind of shape it's in.
I really believe that the old rules may no longer apply. Yes, 1200 hours is a lot under the tried and true rules of thumb for analog, but these rules were written when cartridges tracked at 25 grams.

Ok, maybe not 25 grams. But you get the idea. I wouldn't be surprised if your stylus had little or no significant wear.

What I can't understand is how you can last 1200 hours without catching the upgrade bug...

Eko - Would a worn stylus account for the bad tracking? It actually still sounds very nice.

Tfk - You are right about the upgrade thing, but I've been very happy with the sound of the OC9 so there hasn't been any compelling sonic reason to do it. But if I have to....