The Gift of the Stone

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Re: The Gift of the Stone

Postby jadis » Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:50 pm

Another interesting thing about our topic of azimuth adjustment - What if a tonearm does not have any provision for azimuth adjustment? I recall that while working on a friend's SME V tonearm, I realized that the tonearm does not provide for azimuth adjustment. Their own website states: "No provision is made for headshell rotation or azimuth adjustment, the cartridge mounting plate being set parallel with the record surface. As a consequence of the offset angle, a slight degree of vertical rotation may be applied by altering the height adjustment." -- from http://www.sme.ltd.uk/content/Series-V-1341.shtml

Well, if you desire such provision, then better read before you buy. :) I am not too sure where I read it, but the underlying reason why there is no such provision exists is that the tonearm manufacturer assumes that present day cartridges are perfectly made, carved (body), and aligned. That is something like an 'auto-azimuthed' cartridge. :o To me, that would be the only reason as I can't think of another. Caveat emptor.
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Re: The Gift of the Stone

Postby TheAnalogSource » Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:00 pm

jadis wrote:
TAS wrote:to give an example, even arthur salvatore mentioned that the better or is it his preferred vtf for xv1s is at 2.7g way above the specs of 2.2g.


I personally would not try to go beyond the manufacturer's maximum recommended VTF for any cartridge. While it may sound better (which again is subjective and many vary as ancilliary components changes), I believe the manufacturer knows his design better in setting the max VTF level, and instantly my concern is that stress done to the cantilever with excessive force, and faster groove wear (of records) may happen as well.


lets go beyond audio for a while....manufacturers tend to list the specs where their products is safe to use. this is more of a business decision of minimizing returns and warranty expenses. well, we can always argue that its different in audio. but as in most products, regular users knows better what condition the product will excel best not necessarily last longer. manufacturers technician may know it but then they may not tell you.
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Re: The Gift of the Stone

Postby audiostar » Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:54 pm

dante wrote:
mandym wrote:2. Some recordings have off-center vocalists. Do not attempt to correct this error by adjusting the azimuth.


Hi Mandy, may I know if you can recommend some test mono LPs where the vocalists are placed at dead center?


Pareng Dante, I saw an Ella Fitzgerald mono recording in one of your racks several sessions ago :)
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Re: The Gift of the Stone

Postby mandym » Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:48 pm

jadis wrote: I am not too sure where I read it, but the underlying reason why there is no such provision exists is that the tonearm manufacturer assumes that present day cartridges are perfectly made, carved (body), and aligned. That is something like an 'auto-azimuthed' cartridge. :o To me, that would be the only reason as I can't think of another. Caveat emptor.


I had pondered along the same lines, in a slightly different vein. Thus,
"Why do top-end tonearm manufacturers omit azimuth adjustment when they know that azimuth is of prime importance? Is it because of cost considerations?" Maybe not entirely.
I agree with Jadis in that the arm manufacturer may reasonably maintain that the onus of the "perfectly" aligned cartridge belongs to the cartridge maker. Of course, one can expect higher quality (higher priced, usually) cartridges to be better aligned. When the two precision parts mate, the system is "auto-azimuthed" ;) ;) .
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Re: The Gift of the Stone

Postby jadis » Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:25 pm

TAS wrote:
jadis wrote:
TAS wrote:to give an example, even arthur salvatore mentioned that the better or is it his preferred vtf for xv1s is at 2.7g way above the specs of 2.2g.


I personally would not try to go beyond the manufacturer's maximum recommended VTF for any cartridge. While it may sound better (which again is subjective and many vary as ancilliary components changes), I believe the manufacturer knows his design better in setting the max VTF level, and instantly my concern is that stress done to the cantilever with excessive force, and faster groove wear (of records) may happen as well.


lets go beyond audio for a while....manufacturers tend to list the specs where their products is safe to use. this is more of a business decision of minimizing returns and warranty expenses. well, we can always argue that its different in audio. but as in most products, regular users knows better what condition the product will excel best not necessarily last longer. manufacturers technician may know it but then they may not tell you.


It's just me, Nols. My philosophy in most things that can break down is to exercise extreme care with regards of manufacturer's specs. I do see your point re best performance vs. long life. It's certainly up to the user to do what he wants to do. :)
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Re: The Gift of the Stone

Postby JackD201 » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:01 am

Kinda like running tubes with very high bias :D

I remember when I was actually dumb enough to try the HP weight. The XV which is a very heavy cart by the way was almost sitting on the LP! The cantilever looked like an english long bow. Great for fighting the french at Agincourt but it made me sweat like Mandy did with his cat dream. What's worse is that it made the cart sound like my DJ cart, only worse. I wanted to write HP (the real one, not our much better looking version) and tell him that if this was the sound he liked he should get an Ortofon Pro S and an SL-1200 and be done with it! :lol: :lol: :lol: Still, his HP list has yet to be matched by any other reviewer so major props to him for that! Makes up for all his strangeness :)

In my experience anti skate affects image centering even more than azimuth but then again my arm lends itself to very easy azimuth micro adjustment by way of a magnet system moved via worm drive screw. When in the sweet range though the azimuth does exactly what mandy says. It sharpens the focus.

I do firmly believe that the stylus shape greatly dictates just how much effect the lateral influences of set up being azimuth and antiskate. Ellipticals and line contacts with their longer contact areas are more sensitive to changes. The Koetsu also being low compliance I experienced is more prone to deleterious artifacts of rotation or leaning (in fact rocking) as compared to the XV-1s for example whose suspension system allows for some twist. This is perhaps why I much favor fixed bearing arms with Koetsu carts and why Mandy's design works well with it. Mandy has got high mass and the low center of gravity of the counterweight needs a lot of force to counter act the inertia at rest so to speak. It is wobbly when cueing but stable when playing.
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Re: The Gift of the Stone

Postby Jon Agner » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:46 am

audiostar wrote:
dante wrote:
mandym wrote:2. Some recordings have off-center vocalists. Do not attempt to correct this error by adjusting the azimuth.


Hi Mandy, may I know if you can recommend some test mono LPs where the vocalists are placed at dead center?


Pareng Dante, I saw an Ella Fitzgerald mono recording in one of your racks several sessions ago :)


If it's a true mono recording, then the sound will always come out from the center ;) :) AFAIK, Any recording made before 1955 can be used for this exercise (original issues of Frank Sinatra's recordings under Capitol comes into mind).

Hope this helps.
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Re: The Gift of the Stone

Postby Jon Agner » Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:06 am

A question to you guys regarding azimuth: Do you follows the surface of the vinyl or do you follow the 90 degree angle (by using a level)? In my case, I initially follow the 90 degree angle, as I always assume the position of the cutting stylus, then fine tune it by ear by adjusting VTA, VTF, anti skatebias and azimuth. I don't use the vinyl surface as reference (unless it's flat) as the surface is tapered from the inner radius (edge of the label) towards the lip.
Last edited by Jon Agner on Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Gift of the Stone

Postby mandym » Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:22 am

Jon Agner wrote:
audiostar wrote:
dante wrote:
Hi Mandy, may I know if you can recommend some test mono LPs where the vocalists are placed at dead center?


Pareng Dante, I saw an Ella Fitzgerald mono recording in one of your racks several sessions ago :)


If it's a true mono recording, then the sound will always come out from the center ;) :)
AFAIK, Any recording made before 1955 can be used for this exercise (original issues of Frank Sinatra's recordings under Capitol comes into mind).
Hope this helps.


Agree, agree! The reason I did not respond at once to dante's question is because I wanted to read more about the subject before I "open my mouth". Unless the recording is botched, monophonic tracks are well centered. What I had meant by a "good" record is one with good fidelity, no vinyl damage due to previous mistracking or dull stylus. Another good record to use is one with clean sibilants, the ears seem to have an easier time centering them. I would advise anyone who would care to fine tune the azimuth to really concentrate and focus on the sound until it is as perfectly centered as possible. You will most probably reap great rewards!

Sir JackD
Guilty as charged, your Honor! I am much, much more a sonic junkie than a music lover (however do I love music too, being an amateur musician since the days of yore). I am doomed to a lifetime of tweaking! My wife claims I get my leg exercise from my constant trips from my seat to the turntable and she is very close to the truth :D :D . This is something I am compelled to do and hope that whatever I learn will benefit our community.
BTW, can you link to OP thread you were referring to? I hope to learn a thing or two from that.
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Re: The Gift of the Stone

Postby jadis » Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:16 pm

mandym wrote:
BTW, can you link to OP thread you were referring to? I hope to learn a thing or two from that.


pardon me, what is OP ? i should think it's not short for OPLAN... :D :D
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Re: The Gift of the Stone

Postby jadis » Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:26 pm

Jon Agner wrote:A question to you guys regarding azimuth: Do you follows the surface of the vinyl or do you follow the 90 degree angle (by using a level)? In my case, I initially follow the 90 degree angle, as I always assume the position of the cutting stylus, then fine tune it by ear by adjusting VTA, VTF, anti skatebias and azimuth. I don't use the vinyl surface as reference (unless it's flat) as the surface is tapered from the inner radius (edge of the label) towards the lip.


jon,

in my case, i rely on sight spot check (silip system) :lol: , i like to see the base of the koetsu parallel to the record surface. i use a flat record of course. i am afraid to use any sort of level to touch the side of the cartridge and the record surface to check for a 90 degree measurement as i do not trust my 'trembling' fingers as the stylus is set on the record. the good thing about the koetsu body is that it is cut quite straight rectangle and not V-shaped or trapezoidal. then i listen to my very familiar test LPs for the center fill, etc. if the sight looks ok and the music sounds ok, i'm ok with myself. :lol:
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Re: The Gift of the Stone

Postby mandym » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:42 pm

jadis wrote:jon,
in my case, i rely on sight spot check (silip system) :lol: , i like to see the base of the koetsu parallel to the record surface. i use a flat record of course. i am afraid to use any sort of level to touch the side of the cartridge and the record surface to check for a 90 degree measurement as i do not trust my 'trembling' fingers as the stylus is set on the record. the good thing about the koetsu body is that it is cut quite straight rectangle and not V-shaped or trapezoidal. then i listen to my very familiar test LPs for the center fill, etc. if the sight looks ok and the music sounds ok, i'm ok with myself. :lol:


Me too! I eyeball to within range then home in by listening for image centering as I fine-tune the azimuth.
Jadis, perhaps the Keotsu is so well aligned (i.e. stylus perpendicularity to the body) that when it is mated to your likewise well aligned tonearm arm, it becomes as you say..."auto-azimuted" :) :) . Lucky you.
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Re: The Gift of the Stone

Postby jadis » Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:18 pm

mandym wrote:
jadis wrote:jon,
in my case, i rely on sight spot check (silip system) :lol: , i like to see the base of the koetsu parallel to the record surface. i use a flat record of course. i am afraid to use any sort of level to touch the side of the cartridge and the record surface to check for a 90 degree measurement as i do not trust my 'trembling' fingers as the stylus is set on the record. the good thing about the koetsu body is that it is cut quite straight rectangle and not V-shaped or trapezoidal. then i listen to my very familiar test LPs for the center fill, etc. if the sight looks ok and the music sounds ok, i'm ok with myself. :lol:


Me too! I eyeball to within range then home in by listening for image centering as I fine-tune the azimuth.
Jadis, perhaps the Keotsu is so well aligned (i.e. stylus perpendicularity to the body) that when it is mated to your likewise well aligned tonearm arm, it becomes as you say..."auto-azimuted" :) :) . Lucky you.


Yes, Mang Mandy. Fortunately, that is the case. And to illustrate the point further, there was a time wherein I had about 5 brand new models; and to test them each for a few moments to see if they are ok, I would simply 'plug and play' for ALL models on the ET2, be it wood or stone models. The only adjustment (obviously) I needed to make was the VTF, as each model weighs differently. Re-checked overhang and azimuth (play testing) - they all measured the same on the ET2's overhang ruler, and they all sounded well, without distortion nor mistracking. I was amazed at the consistency of each model's physical construction and alignment.
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Re: The Gift of the Stone

Postby audiostar » Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:04 pm

I've always relied on my ears when I do azimuth adjustments, with the aid of a mono recording of any of my Julie London album collection but to double check, I use this:

Image

Image

I'm sure some of you have your favorite test LPs. This one, however, helps me tune my analog rig for, among others, azimuth, vta and vtf, anti-skating, cart demagnetizing, rumble and table isolation. I haven't perfected yet its use, but im slowly learning :)
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Re: The Gift of the Stone

Postby jadis » Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:12 pm

Nice test record, Val. Good to know it works well for you.
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Re: The Gift of the Stone

Postby audiostar » Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:19 pm

Thanks Phil, as I've said, I'm still learning how to use it. It can be somewhat complicated because you still have to use a device that measures each of the tones that the LP plays to tune your analog rig. It recommends the use of a certain instrument, but in my case I compensate by using an spl meter placed on my sweet spot.
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Re: The Gift of the Stone

Postby jadis » Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:30 pm

audiostar wrote:Thanks Phil, as I've said, I'm still learning how to use it. It can be somewhat complicated because you still have to use a device that measures each of the tones that the LP plays to tune your analog rig. It recommends the use of a certain instrument, but in my case I compensate by using an spl meter placed in my sweet spot.


I see. How bout some inputs from sensei pat morita? "OHHH!!!! MARAMING TEST RECORD DIN AKO!!!! ANO KAILANGAN MO??? GUSTO MO KILLER BEE NA LANG!!":D :D :D
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Re: The Gift of the Stone

Postby mandym » Fri Mar 26, 2010 7:40 pm

audiostar wrote:Thanks Phil, as I've said, I'm still learning how to use it. It can be somewhat complicated because you still have to use a device that measures each of the tones that the LP plays to tune your analog rig. It recommends the use of a certain instrument, but in my case I compensate by using an spl meter placed in my sweet spot.


I have the best of SPL meters, specially built for me, no need to read numbers. They are on the side of my head :D :D :D .

YEAH, never does Julie London sound so deliciously seductive as when the azimuth is spot-on. Even on mono, she is right THERE singing for you alone! Surprisingly you perceive real depth. Listen to Liberty Record's "The Best of Julie", side 1 band 4, "They can't take away from me". Stunning :o :o .
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Re: The Gift of the Stone

Postby JackD201 » Fri Mar 26, 2010 7:45 pm

Tito Mandy the OP is you :) OP = Original Poster ;)
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Re: The Gift of the Stone

Postby mandym » Fri Mar 26, 2010 8:14 pm

JackD201 wrote:Tito Mandy the OP is you :) OP = Original Poster ;)


OH. Heheh :$ :$ :$ :$ :$ .

Thanks mucho!
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