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Compliance

Physical freedom from rigidity that permits a stylus to track a record groove precisely, or of a speaker to respond to an audio signal precisely. The opposite of stiffness. In turntable cartridges, compliance depends on the elasticity of the stylus damping which varies with temperature. Butyl-rubber, used in most cartridges, can increase compliance by up to 50% for a temperature rise from 68 degrees F to 95 degrees F, and decrease it by 50% for a temperature drop from 68 degrees F to 40 degrees F. Other materials have been developed that are less temperature conscious. The low-frequency arm resonance is determined by its mass reacting with the stylus compliance. High compliance needs a low arm mass to place the resonance at the optimum frequency. At one time high compliance was considered a factor of how good a cartridge is, but too high a compliance is undesirable, and it is far less important than stylus mass.