Discussions on Cartridge Alignment

For Vinyl and Record lovers: turntables, cartridges, etc.

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Postby conspicuous » Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:16 pm

arnoldc wrote:Lateral frequency = 9Hz
Vertical frequency = 11Hz (working to get this lower)


hi arnold, what's this please? :? kindly explain. thanks! :)
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Postby odontek » Sun May 13, 2007 12:50 pm

XX2 mkII / XV1s:

VTF: maximum recommended (2.1-2.2g)
VTA: EXTREMELY NEUTRAL ONLY!
antiskating: very minimal
loading: 30 ohms and zero loading (dynavector phono enhancer setting)


Hi ArnoldC and to the others who knows these stuff, what does this mean antiskating : very minimal? Does this mean close to neutral that it does not skate, and to which direction does this very minimal means, skates towards outside or inside? Pasensya na newbie sa analog. Just assembled my table and I'm installing my cart tonight and adjust tomorrow :) I want to do it slow hehe long wait for the table and I want to get to know her slowly.

Does anti-skate means it does not skate toward the inside? I want to make sure I understand pasensya na :oops:
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Postby sinar » Sun May 13, 2007 4:00 pm

odontek, on my part, i always have it set moving very slowly inside the label. from experience, when i set it at neutral, as in the stylus just stays on one spot, i get distortion on the last track side a of the hifi news tracking test record.
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Postby stereophile » Sun May 13, 2007 6:07 pm

odontek wrote:
XX2 mkII / XV1s:

VTF: maximum recommended (2.1-2.2g)
VTA: EXTREMELY NEUTRAL ONLY!
antiskating: very minimal
loading: 30 ohms and zero loading (dynavector phono enhancer setting)


Hi ArnoldC and to the others who knows these stuff, what does this mean antiskating : very minimal? Does this mean close to neutral that it does not skate, and to which direction does this very minimal means, skates towards outside or inside? Pasensya na newbie sa analog. Just assembled my table and I'm installing my cart tonight and adjust tomorrow :) I want to do it slow hehe long wait for the table and I want to get to know her slowly.

Does anti-skate means it does not skate toward the inside? I want to make sure I understand pasensya na :oops:


Anti-skate: The premise is that you want equal stylus pressure on both sides of the groove so that output per channel is equal.

Mind you, some ttable makers like Harry Weisfeld of VPI, do not believe in anti-skate. Which is why an anti-skate device is (correct me if I am wrong IHJ)optional on his ttables. It's a matter of embracing the philosophy of your ttable maker.

For believers, traditionally, like on a Technics ttable, whatever your VTF value, is the same setting for anti-skate. For example, if you set VTF at 1.5gms, rule-of-thumb is you set anti-skate to same value: 1.5. That's easy if your ttable has a dial scale for anti-skate. If it's a drop weight wherein you slide the thread on a rod, you have to set the thread on the groove w/c provides the result you want.

Second way(easy) is to use a blank track, drop the stylus and observe if it drifts to the outside, inside or stationary/deadlock. I prefer deadlock or a very slight drift in. I do not want it to drift OUTSIDE. You can imagine the damage that will result if this happens on the lead-in grooves at the outer edge of the LP. If you watch Michael Fremers DVD on analog set-up, he hates this method. Detractors of this method say that not all LPs are perfect & flat across. Often, LPs are dished or have a valley between the outer grooves and the inner label.

Third way is to use the hi-fi test lp. You listen for equal output per channel to determine the optimal anti-skate setting.

The fourth way is to use a Wally anti-skate jig(Fremer's choice). Basically it's a jig w/ a plumb bob w/c is placed on the spindle. Fremer wants the plumb line to fall an X amount of units inside a string attached to the tonearm. The theory behind why/how it works & how much allowance to give is vague.

The fifth and anal way of doing this is to measure output voltage per channel using a voltmeter. Fremer shows you how to do this on his DVD.

As for me, which ever method you choose, it's the final listening and the wide grin on your face which will tell you that you hit it on the mark.
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Postby odontek » Tue May 15, 2007 10:11 am

Thanks sinar and doc, I tried the setting that goes slowly in to the end of the record using a blank track, I'll just adjust it from there and see how it goes. Is there a reference sound to look for? Its amazing how one setting loses its bass just from adjusting the tonearm level :) wow mind boggling for me I hope I get the right setings by myself :roll:
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Postby stereophile » Tue May 15, 2007 11:38 am

odontek wrote: Is there a reference sound to look for?


Hard to say. I take the motto of Conrad-Johnson to heart: It just sounds right :!: :lol2:
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Postby audiophileman2002 » Sun May 20, 2007 7:11 am

Don't recall per individual cartridges I use. All I know is everytime I set up the rake angle is usually around 92 deg. Easy for me as I can adjust on the fly.
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Postby arnoldc » Sun May 20, 2007 7:49 am

You cannot generalize, as you suggested desmo on the other thread.
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Postby audiophileman2002 » Sun May 20, 2007 8:10 am

I am not generalizing, as you see I've quantified it by stating the SRA. Most modern cartridges are designed for an SRA value of zero. In other words, stylus is perpendicular to the groove or slightly positive to about 3 degrees. There is no hard fast rules as the SRA can change dependent on the record being played provided it does not become negative as the particles scraped are being run over.
Furthermore, in the previous thread I stated about the SRA as above, perpendicular is 90 deg. to 92 deg. which I also stated many do it that way. Likewise stating that the SRA can be viewed by a jeweller's loupe. If one views it and the rake angle is too positive say something more than 5 degrees then something may be amiss even the listener will be missing the proper bass response. Pls. note desmo did not state exactly the position of his tonearm. Is it parallel to the record or is the tail up. If the tonearm is parallel, then he should view his stylus as to whether the rake is too much positive. Sometimes, it happens that the stylus is not mounted on properly and it is not good to generalize that it is. It also happens on occasions the cantilever is not parallel to the body. From his picture, neither you or I can really quantify the SRA. The best person to quantify is Desmo himself.
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Postby arnoldc » Sun May 20, 2007 8:41 am

Let me just take these parameters that affect cartridge alignment-

I'll start by defining them first for the guidance of those who might not know.

SRA - Stylus Rake Angle, defined as the angle of the stylus itself relative to a line perpendicular to the record.

VTA - Vertical Tracking Angle, defined as the plane of motion of the stylus in the vertical plane.

VTF - Vertical Tracking Force, defined as the weight measured at the stylus tip, usually expressed in grams.

HTF - Horizontal Tracking Force aka Antiskating force, is designed to counter the force drawing the arm towards the center of the record due to the offset of the cartridge relative to the armtube. Only applicable to pivoted arms.

These parameters affect one another. If you change the SRA(VTA), it may affect the VTF, which will affect the HTF.

So lifting the arse of the arm up or lowering it down will have an effect on all these.

Now going back to the SRA- I pointed out that many cartridges are not designed to have the stylus visibly perpendicular to the record. Example, clearaudio Aurum Alpha (visibly perpendicular) vs. clearaudio Sigma (visibly not perpendicular, and leans heavily to the front when viewed from the side).

Ironically, many manufacturers do not give the visible cue to the SRA for the user to be guided. And since cartridges are manufactured differently, the reason I said you cannot generalize.
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Postby audiophileman2002 » Sun May 20, 2007 9:00 am

I beg to disagree with your definition of VTA. The VTA is the angle of the generator consequently the cantilever to the horizontal. This has absolutely nothing to do with the stylus per se.
It also shows what is the SRA.
Pls. go to this link the picture will exactly show the VTA and the SRA.
http://www.tnt-audio.com/sorgenti/vta_e.html

The tail up or down is just a consequence. The most ideal is the SRA. I tend to agree some stylus cannot be seen when in the groove. But those that can be seen must be looked at more closely by the use of at least a 30X jeweller's loupe.

What is the most ideal SRA? Depends on the listener. However, it starts from 90 deg. to a little more than that. Of course, one can also make it less than 90 deg. Why not? The main reason why most preferably make it 90 deg. or slightly more is they do not want the stylus to run over the minute particles and hence get them imbedded in the groove. If the SRA is more than 90 deg. it blows off the particles rather than run over them.
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Postby audiophileman2002 » Sun May 20, 2007 9:30 am

I'm moving this from the other post as requested by you.

I fully agree some are not perpendicular or 90 deg. Incidentally, SRA is expressed in degrees.

That is why I've asked you to quantify. After all what you are trying to say is the same thing that I am.

I using a 100x microscope.

If I may add further, many out there may also have cameras. Remove the lens and look at the stylus from the front of the lens not from the rear. Use 50 mm or less like wide angle lenses. This will give one the general idea of the rake angle.
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Postby arnoldc » Sun May 20, 2007 9:54 am

Thank you for coming over to this thread.

Is that a handheld microscope that was discussed at Audio Asylum?

While this is a good discussion on the SRA (for now, other parameters maybe later)
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Postby audiophileman2002 » Sun May 20, 2007 9:56 am

conspicuous wrote:
arnoldc wrote:Lateral frequency = 9Hz
Vertical frequency = 11Hz (working to get this lower)


hi arnold, what's this please? :? kindly explain. thanks! :)


I hope Arnold would not mind if I answer this as I've seen Mael's post unanswered for quite sometime.
Arnold can do this because he is using the HFNRR.
However, if you do not have one theoretically you can calculate for it as follows:
1000 divided by 2 x pi x square root of (cartridge compliance x total mass)
where:
pi = 3.1416
total mass = tonearm mass + cartridge weight + hardware (screws or added weight if any)

Ideally you'd like the resonant frequency to be between 8 - 12 Hz.
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Postby audiophileman2002 » Sun May 20, 2007 10:04 am

arnoldc wrote:Thank you for coming over to this thread.

Is that a handheld microscope that was discussed at Audio Asylum?

While this is a good discussion on the SRA (for now, other parameters maybe later)


Pleasure is mine.

No, it is not the handheld one and I've used this for more than at least 15 years.

Now that you've mentioned AA, maybe you could put it somewhere here in case it is not here yet, the excel formatted formula in enjoythemusic.com which John Elison always uses in preparing the best possible tonearm alignment with the least distortion either using Baerwald or Loefgren or table/tonearm manufacturer. Many newbees could learn a lot from this by just inputting the effective length (adjusted with overhang) to coincide with the pivot to spindle distance already in place. Hence, many will possibly use a different overhang and stylus offset angle.

Your the moderator, its your call.
Last edited by audiophileman2002 on Sun May 20, 2007 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby arnoldc » Sun May 20, 2007 10:07 am

audiophileman, please do post it as my Smart GPRS connection here in Caliraya Laguna is driving me crazy, not to mention this place is also driving me crazy but that's another topic.

Signing off for now...
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Postby audiophileman2002 » Sun May 20, 2007 10:12 am

arnoldc wrote:audiophileman, please do post it as my Smart GPRS connection here in Caliraya Laguna is driving me crazy, not to mention this place is also driving me crazy but that's another topic.

Signing off for now...


Hope you don't mind, I'll do it tomorrow. It's past 10 p.m. in the evening of Sat. my time and I have to be in a golf course at 6 a.m. in Alexandria, VA which is 40 miles south from my house.
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Postby arnoldc » Sun May 20, 2007 7:14 pm

audiophileman, I checked the link on TNT you referred to and I think we mean the same thing.

Here's what I suppose to be the link you mentioned? - http://www.enjoythemusic.com/freestuff.htm scroll down for the Excel version.
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Postby arnoldc » Mon May 21, 2007 7:29 am

moved to this topic-

zetroce wrote:Is this a good reference diagram that would help better explain the difference between SRA and VTA?

( Diagram borrowed from TNT-Audio )

Image
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Postby arnoldc » Mon May 21, 2007 7:42 am

conspicuous, the lateral frequency is the point where your cartridge get excited and vibrates from left to right. The vertical frequency is the point where you cartridge gets excited (literally) and it jumps up and down frantic fashion.
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