Best Cartridge Alignment Protractor [March 2021]
Mar 23, · Rather than a new turntable or new tonearm, you could also consider a cartridge that has a ridge along the top. This lets you adjust azimuth a little bit . This is a very inexpensive and handy item that will help you out to adjust the azimuth on the turntable. It is VTA (vertical tracking alignment) & Azimuth alignment. It is a high definition and comes with a PU leather bag, and you can use it very easily. The tool is high penetration, and .
If more than azimugh source is bad, ie tuner, CD, tape, etcproceed to step 1 below. If the problem is with one source only: Reverse the positions of the plugs coming qzimuth the defective source component where they enter the preamp or receiver.
Make sure you turn tuurntable volume down all the way first. If the problem changes channels, the external component or cables are bad. Note which channel is now defective, turn the volume down again, and reverse positions of the plugs at the back of the external component you are testing. If the defective channel remains on the same side as the last test, the cables are bad. If it changes sides, the component is defective. If the problem is how to adjust azimuth turntable multiple sources, hoa there is how to adjust azimuth turntable tape deck being used, disconnect the tape deck cables completely from turjtable receiver or preamp to determine if the deck or cables are causing the problem.
Yes, a bad tape what is rule of law pdf or cables can cause channel problems.
Step 2 Reverse the positions of the signal input plugs at the back of the amplifier, and turn it back on. If the problem remains on the same speaker, the amp may be defective.
See Step 3. Step 3 To eliminate the speakers and wires from being the problem, note which channel is defective. Turn the amp how to adjust azimuth turntable and reverse the speaker wires at the back of the amplifier by moving the right channel wires what removes super glue from car paint the left outputs, and the left to the right.
Turn it back on. If the problem stays on the same speaker, the speaker or wire on the turntaboe side is defective.
Step 4 If the problem changes sides, the preamp, cables, or associated equipment is at fault. Note the bad side, turn the amp off, and reverse the plugs that feed the amp at the back of the preamp left to right, and azimuty to left.
Turn the amp on. If the problem remains on the same side, the cables between the preamp and amp are defective. If the problem switches sides, then the preamp is defective.
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If the problem switches speakers, see Step 4. If you followed step 2 as above, then: Step 4 If the problem changes sides, the preamp, cables, or associated equipment is at fault. About Soundsmith. About Record Cleaning.
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Feb 26, · Azimuth adjustment: The stylus on the cartridge should be directly perpendicular to the record itself. The azimuth adjustment lets you rotate the . Oct 26, · Of course, turntable veterans will know to do this but the others? Maybe not! The arm allows you to adjust every set up parameter: tracking force, VTA/SRA (on the fly), azimuth (which the manual calls “cartridge angle”—and which in the case of an unrestricted unipivot is critical) and of course anti-skating using a monofilament/weight. Welcome Licorice Pizza (LP) lovers! and no adjustable tonearm VTA height adjustment as on D: This SL came probably with a defect in the tonearm tip, so the connector of the headshell is slightly rotated counterclockwise, it means the azimuth isThis is a video showing you how you can change your tone arm on a technics SL / turntable.
Welcome to Audiophilia. We publish honest and accurate reviews of high end audio equipment and music. Furthermore, Audiophilia will not be held responsible for any damage sustained by your cartridge, tonearm, turntable or anyone foolish enough to sneak up on you from behind while following these instructions. With the near-complete erosion of support for vinyl playback at the retail level [how times have changed — Ed], audiophiles devoted to the analog disc have little recourse but to become adept at the finer points of cartridge setup.
And while correctly setting up these delicate devices does require relatively vast amounts of both time and patience, the steps involved are well within the scope of the audio enthusiast with a steady hand and the right tools at his disposal. The goal of vinyl playback is to extract, as faithfully as possible, the tiny signal carved into the surface of the record by the record cutting lathe.
Even exercising the utmost care and patience during setup, the best we can hope for is a good approximation of the original signal, which, in practice, turns out to be more than sufficient for superb musical results.
Cartridge installation begins by affixing the cartridge body to the tonearm headshell. Tonearm headshells typically contain either slots or holes through which screws usually supplied with the cartridge, and should be of the non-magnetic variety may be passed into the cartridge body.
Slotted headshells allow for the position of the cartridge to be adjusted for correct alignment. Headshells containing fixed-position holes such as those of the venerable Rega RB and Naim Aro assume that the geometry of the partnering cartridge is such that correct alignment will be achieved using the holes supplied. Unfortunately, tonearms whose headshells contain fixed holes will not allow for correct alignment of all cartridges. They do, however, make setup of compatible cartridges relatively simple tonearm manufacturers who advocate fixed-hole headshells usually have a particular cartridge, or set of cartridges, in mind at the time of design — namely their own or those of a manufacturer whose products are believed to work well with the arm in question.
The holes in a cartridge body, meant to accept the screws which affix the cartridge to the headshell, generally come in two flavors: threaded or tapped , and non-threaded. Threaded holes are more convenient to use, as they they obviate the need for the small, difficult-to-handle nuts required to secure the cartridge screws to a non-threaded cartridge body. If possible, insert the screws from the bottom of the cartridge, through the slots or holes in the headshell, so that the nuts can be secured from above.
In either case, the cartridge screws should be tightened slightly so that the cartridge is somewhat secure but still allowed to move with moderate hand pressure. In the case of a fixed-hole headshell, the cartridge screws can be fully tightened as no further adjustment is possible. Keep in mind that cartridge screws should be quite snug but not over-tightened. Overtightening can distort the cartridge body or, in the worst case, cause it to crack.
Once the cartridge is affixed to the headshell, connect the fine color-coded tonearm wires to the corresponding color-coded pins on the back of the cartridge body.
While connecting the tonearm wires to the cartridge pins, always handle the wires with great care — they are fragile and can be damaged by surprisingly little force. Grab the small metal cartridge clips which terminate the tonearm wires using a pair of tweezers never grab the tonearm wires themselves!
In some cases, the clips may be difficult to fit over the cartridge pins unless they are pried open slightly using a small screwdriver or a toothpick. In the event that the clips are spread too wide, they can be squeezed back together using a small pair of needlenose pliers. Tracking Weight Note that if a stylus guard is still in place at this point, remove it now and leave it off through the remainder of the setup process. To play back a vinyl disc, the stylus must make good contact with the walls of the record groove.
The question is, how much downward force should be applied so that the stylus will neither lose contact with the groove wall as it traces the path of the groove, nor fail to faithfully follow the path of the groove due to excessive downforce?
It is best to begin the process of determining the optimal tracking weight within the specified range by setting it to the highest value within that range. To dispel a common myth, a cartridge given insufficient tracking weight is more likely to cause damage to the groove wall than one whose tracking weight is set at the high end of the recommended range.
This is because a cartridge that is tracking too lightly will tend to lose contact with the groove wall, or mistrack, on highly modulated passages, causing damage to the groove as it bounces about in an attempt to regain contact.
There are several devices available currently which can be used to measure tracking weight. The Shure gauge works essentially like a balance: the stylus is placed in a recessed groove at one end of the balance, and a sliding counterweight, towards the opposite end of the balance, is moved along a calibrated scale in an effort to counteract the weight of the cartridge. When perfect balance is achieved, the weight of the stylus against the balance can be read directly from the calibrated scale.
Shure SFG-2 stylus pressure gauge. Still, given the fact that tracking weight can vary by as much as a few tenths of a gram as a cartridge tracks record warps, the Shure gauge should prove sufficiently accurate for most installations.
It is completely electronic in nature and is, therefore, not prone to the errors inherent in balance-style devices such as the SFG Use of the gauge is trivial: the user must first zero its LCD display using the built-in calibration wheel. The stylus is then lowered onto a circular sensor located on the top surface of the gauge. After a few seconds, during which time the LCD display gradually converges on a numeric value, the tracking weight can be read from the display. The only gripe I have with the Winds gauge is that I found it to produce wildly incorrect results, with no warning, if its 9 Volt battery is not fully charged.
This provides a good reference point from which to begin to increase the tracking weight towards the desired value. At this point, the tracking weight of the cartridge is approximately 0 grams and can be set accurately using a gauge like one of those described above.
Most arms allow for some form of height adjustment. Inexpensive arms, like the Audioquest PT series, typically provide a set screw which holds the arm pillar in place, which allows for a wide range of adjustment but makes it difficult to repeatedly find previous settings.
More expensive arms, like the Graham 2. The Rega RB is one of the few arms in its class that provides no height adjustment mechanism. However, small spacers can be placed under the arm to raise it to the desired height. Alignment Records are cut using a cutter head that is positioned at a tangent, or parallel, to the cut groove.
The seminal work of Baerwald ca. A commercially available cartridge alignment gauge can be used to align the cartridge such that it satisfies the tangency requirements at the null points. Most modern cartridge alignment gauges, such as the popular D B Systems DBP, are designed to produce correct Baerwald two-point alignment, although there are some that are designed using a less common one-point method the alignment jig that is included with the VPI JMW tonearm, for example.
When aligning a cartridge for tangency using any alignment protractor, it is essential to remember that you are attempting to align the cantilever and, hence, the stylus , not the cartridge body. There is no guarantee that the cantilever is perfectly aligned within the cartridge body, so simply aligning the cartridge body will not necessarily produce the desired result.
Furthermore, many cartridge bodies have non-parallel sides, making tangential alignment of the cartridge body with the lines of tangency on the gauge virtually impossible. Most alignment gauges are simply cardboard, plastic or, in some cases, glass templates onto which are printed or scribed the null point s and lines of tangency against which the cartridge should be aligned.
This process is made somewhat easier by the use of a small, lighted magnifying glass which will allow you to better view the near-microscopic stylus and scrawny cantilever, both usually obscured by the shadow of the cartridge body. This is, by far, the most frustrating and time-consuming part of the cartridge installation process. Making small adjustments to align the stylus with the null point s invariably alters its relationship to the lines of tangency — or vice versa.
Keep the screws holding the cartridge to the headshell as tight as possible, but just loose enough to allow slight changes in cartridge position.
When everything is lined up, tighten the headshell screws with one hand while holding the cartridge steady with the other. Be warned, however, that not all tonearms allow for changes in azimuth, the Rega RB being one prominent example.
Other tonearms, such as the Audioquest PT family, allow for crude azimuth adjustment via a set screw at the base of the headshell. More costly tonearms, such as the unipivots from Graham and VPI, supply sophisticated azimuth adjustments, via one or more weights, that make setting and maintaining correct azimuth a relative joy.
Azimuth can be roughed-in visually by inspecting the front of the cartridge while the stylus is in the record groove. Does one side of the cartridge appear to be closer to the record surface than the other? If so, then use whatever means the tonearm manufacturer provided to adjust the azimuth such that the cartridge body is parallel within the limits of your vision to the record surface.
Once a rough azimuth adjustment is found visually, it can be fine tuned via measurement. Therefore, if we play a record with the same signal in both channels a monophonic record, for example , but wire one channel out of phase, then the correct azimuth adjustment is the one that produces zero or near zero output when the two out-of-phase channels are summed remember that summing two signals, one out of phase with respect to the other, results in no signal due to destructive interference.
This test track consists of a mono signal with the left and right channels out of phase. In the absence of a test record with an out-of—phase mono track, you can simulate such a track by playing a mono record through a DIY phase-inverting cable. To build such a cable, buy yourself a cheap female-to-male patch cord from your local Radio Shack, cut one leg of the cable in half, and strip away some of the insulation around the copper conductors. Then, solder the positive conductor from one half of the cut leg of the cable to the negative conductor from the other half of the cut leg.
Finally, solder the negative conductor from the first half of the cable to the positive conductor from the second half. You now have a cable that inverts phase in one channel. The azimuth of your cartridge can now be adjusted until you hear zero or, at least, minimal output from your loudspeakers. Tracking Weight: Revisited With the tracking force roughed in, alignment spot on, and azimuth nailed down, a test record, such as the terrific one produced by Hi Fi News and Record Review, can be used to really optimize the setup.
The tracking weight can now be decreased gradually until it reaches the minimum value for which the tracking tests continue to produce good results. The resultant tracking weight should represent a good balance between tracking ability and record wear. Of course, modifying the tracking weight changes the deflection of the cantilever with respect to the cartridge body. Anti-Skate The last critical setup parameter that can be optimized using a test record, such as the one from Hi Fi News and Record Review, is anti-skate.
Unfortunately, the skating force varies continuously across the surface of the record and is, therefore, difficult to combat fully. Most tonearms contain a spring-like device that applies a force in the opposite direction of the skating force with approximately equal magnitude. Bob Graham , designer of the Graham 2.
Using the anti-skating mechanism provided on your tonearm, adjust the amount of anti-skate until the Bias Setting tracks on side 1 of the Hi Fi News and Record Review test record produce a clean, undistorted signal in both channels.
Buzzing in the right channel indicates that more anti-skating force is required, whereas buzzing in the left channel indicates that less anti-skating force is required. This angle, referred to as the vertical tracking angle or VTA, is changed by modifying the height of the tonearm relative to its base. Most records are cut with a VTA of approximately 22 degrees, although it is not uncommon for a record to be cut with a VTA as low as 18 or as high as 24 degrees. If the cartridge manufacturer was clever enough to have angled the cantilever at approximately 22 degrees to the horizontal, then setting the arm tube parallel to the record surface should set the VTA to approximately 22 degrees — just fine for playing back the majority of discs.
Unfortunately, cantilevers are not always angled at exactly 22 degrees, so setting the arm tube parallel to the record surface may not result in the correct setting. If you want to experiment with various VTA settings, keep in mind that setting the VTA too high will cause the high frequencies to be accentuated, resulting in a bright, fatiguing presentation.
In contrast, setting the VTA too low will cause the low frequencies to be accentuated, resulting in a boomy, sluggish presentation.
It will, after all, vary depending on the thickness of each record played. Final Adjustments Congratulations! Then put away the alignment and stylus pressure gauges, file away the test records, and kick back with a fist full of your favorite records. Audiophilia Star Components. Dec Audiophilia Staff. Analog , Miscellaneous.