Stylus just falls off?

A couple of years ago, I had a Van den Hul Grasshopper serviced and upgraded at the factory. A few days ago, I had it mounted by a well-respected local tech. I went to his shop today and listened to the cartridge. Then we disassembled the turntable for transport back to my home.

After the tonearm was removed from the turntable and placed on a shelf, I noticed that the stylus was missing from the cartridge. It is clear that no one and nothing touched the cartridge as it was moved. It seems that the stylus just fell out.

Has anyone experienced anything like this? (My understanding is that the stylus on these cartridges is easily removed and replaced, so perhaps it was not properly affixed to the cantilever.)
Yes, I have heard of this happening and I think it happened to a cartridge of mine long age, it might have been a friends cartridge. It is not easy to get the correct amount of adhesive on the cantilever to hold the stylus.
Dear Jimjoyce25: I experienced that kind of " event " only onece in an Ortofon MC cartridge but never in any of my Van den Hul cartridges.

I read and " heard " that some other people already had similar experiences but it is not often.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Just to be clear - has the stylus fallen off the cantilever, or has the cantilever broken off the cartridge?

The stylus is usually attached with adhesive to the cantilever, so it's possible the adhesive has failed....but in over 30 years of vinyl listening I've never had this happen to me (though I've heard of it happening). I have however broken a few cantilevers through carelessness/lack of attention.

If the cantilever is totally undamaged, and assuming you haven't been using any dodgy solvents to clean the stylus, then I'd say you have grounds for a warranty repair by VdH. No idea what VdH's policy would be on this.
Thanks everyone. The cartridge had never been used until mounted a few days ago, and had been played for some number of hours by the tech to determine the best set-up. He is exceptionally careful, and I watched him move the tonearm, and there was no contact with the cartridge whatsoever. Assuming it is just the stylus, hopefully VdH will just repair it under warranty, but in any event it should be an inexpensive fix at worst.
Are we talking Stylus or Cantilever? I have a hard time believing as you were preparing the table for transportation one of you looked over at the arm and cart, and noticed the stylus missing. Its difficult to glance at a cartridge and see the stylus missing from the cantilever. Again assuming the gentleman removed the arm and set it on the shelf and at that moment you noticed the stylus missing. How did he set a tone arm on a shelf with the cartridge still mounted to it? Most tone arms dont sit up right easily, with out being mounted.

Now if you transported the table to your home set everything back up and lowered the arm on a record to listen and the arm, cart and cantilever skated across the record, then how do you know what happened? Transporting a turntable arm and cart is risky business. I would not of removed the arm and cart from the table. I would of taped it in place. Thats simply unnecessary work. Transporting only an arm with a cartridge attached is dangerous. How do you orientate the arm? The arm mounted to the turntable is a much better situation for driving home.

Anyways I hate to be doubtful, but if you were moving and dismantling the table, chances are one of you made a mistake and failed to realize it. If the table was sitting at home, unplayed, with no children, wife or maid around, you come home and the cantilever or stylus are lying right below where the arm is resting... That sounds like it just fell off. The fact that you were in fact removing the arm from the table with the cartridge still mounted, leaves me to believe a mistake occurred. If I have to remove a tonearm, I remove the cartridge first. Tonearms are much harder to break than cartridges, but they also have a bunch of moving parts, that makes them buggers to hold, mount and remove. Always take extra steps to protect the cartridge.


I have no personal experience on this, but the several posts I have read over the years about diamonds falling off all cited VDH cartridges.
Rudolffzigray: I have a Basis turntable. The tonearm mounts to a very heavy and solid insert that sits in the chassis of the table. I have transported it many times this way without incident. In any event, the stylus was found to be missing at the tech's shop, after we had disassembled the table (removed the belt, the platter, and the tonearm + base) and moved the pieces to the front of his shop for loading into my car. I noticed the tip was missing, he confirmed this, and we were both struck by how bizarre this was, since I had watched the entire process, and nothing had touched the tonearm (he handled it by the base).

I share your sense of disbelief, since that was my initial reaction as well. But it happened.

The VdH cartridges are relatively easy and inexpensive to re-tip, and I believe this is because the stylus is part of a "sleeve" that slides over and attaches to the cantilever. It makes sense that if the adhesive was not properly applied, or otherwise failed, the sleeve could fall off. And this did occur after only the relatively brief number of plays needed to mount and test the cartridge. If in fact there was an adhesive failure, it would be more surprising if this had occurred after several hundred hours.
The reason I replied is because you paid for a service and they are responsible. Im sorry, but again the table was being taken apart and moved. Again, I can see removing the platter for transport, but why remove the arm with the cart still attached. This is poor judgement on the tech's part, he should be held liable for the cartridge. It sounds like a bunch of busy work, taking a table completely apart for transport. Again, just my two sense, I wasnt there, you were. Based on your posts it looks like you and the tech have a good relationship and that makes it tough on everyone. Still, I would be pissed.

I just had my first incident with a Koetsu Onyx....I made a mistake and the stylus came off the cantilever. I am still furious....
You sound like your own story is clouding your judgment here.

The tonearm was removed from the turntable base just to make it easier to carry the turntable to my car. The tonearm assembly would have been placed in the turntable base for the ride home.

However, somewhere between the back room and front room of his shop, the stylus fell off.

Things happen. I've lost styluses to housekeepers, movers and my dogs. Get over it.
Wow! "Get over it" is pretty harsh dont you think? I have owned a 100 cartridges, never has a stylus just fallen off. I think you should email AJ or Harry of VDH and tell them your sending your cartridge back because they didnt use enough glue when attaching the stylus to the cantilever, I would love to hear what they say.