I have an old Shure V15 III cartridge which I use very infrequently nowadays, mostly just to occassionally burn old LPs to CD. But I was thinking that I should check the condition of my stylus to see if it is worn out and perhaps needs to be replaced. Can you tell me how I can tell if it needs to be replaced, ie, what I should look for? I believe this would require that I use a magnifying glass or microscope, but I don't know exactly what to look for. Since a new stylus for the V15 III is relatively expensive, especially when I plan to use it so infrequently, I don't want to replace it unless it is really worn out.
How old is the stylus? If it is older than 10 years, it should be replaced as the stylus bushing (made of an elastic material) has likely stiffened with age.
The diamond tip can only be examined with a high-powered microsope with special lighting.