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  • A Definite Must-Read for Cartridge Set Up

    Have people tried, compared and contrasted the various cartridge setups eg. Lofgren, etc. and what were the results. All is a trade off and might be also dependent upon the type of music one listens to?

    Thanks to Andre for sharing some of his secrets! I know he has more secrets up his sleeve.

    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
    -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

  • #2
    From what I see, it's a 50-50 proposition that people get their cartridges set-up correctly.

    It might be interesting to start a list of recommended cartridge set-up people to help.

    People that I would recommend:

    Mike Trei - in NY (does the setup for many dealers and exhibitors at audio shows!)
    Brian Walsh (BPW here) - Chicago
    Stirling Trayle - CA (on here too)

    And of course our Andre.
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
    -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

    Comment


    • #3
      Scott Sheaffer (Found-Music) - Dallas area

      Comment


      • #4
        Nice article Myles, what I found kinda interesting is that there is no mention of anti skate in the article!!! I wonder why that is? Seems like it was being treated as just an after thought for some reason...

        Comment


        • #5
          As regards which tangential curve / null points to use - picking where you want your distortions - consider this interesting discussion from Fremer and following comments.



          I usually embrace all thing Malewicz, but there are other opinions on this, particularly from Dietrich Brakemeier.

          To really heighten my audiophilic nervousa, I've tried Baerwald, Löfgren B and Uni-DIN. I suppose there is no right answer, but that doesn't help me choose. I probably should adopt Uni-DIN as the majority of my music is classical, but I imprinted on Baerwald. As with dial-as-you-go VTA, someday we'll see a tonearm with a pick-your-tangency option: set up one and the others become available at the flip of a switch. It will probably be British. ;->

          Comment


          • #6
            Here are some more articles on set-up:

            Analog 101 - The Audio Beat, Roy Gregory

            Setting Up a Turntable - Theory (PDF) - Frank Kuzma

            Turntable System Setup (PDF) - TAS / author?

            Practical Guide to Turntable Set-Up (PDF) - Michael Fremer

            There are a variety of tools that make the different steps of 'table setup much easier and more accurate. Here's a list of tools I use - stolen from a thread I posted elsewhere and edited::

            ===> Key ingredients include a will to patience, magnification and lots of good lighting.

            The whole process is made easier and more enjoyable with the help of good tools. Doing vinyl well is expensive (and rewarding!) but I wish I had known about the tools I use now when I was starting out - it would have saved me from buying some of the junk I did.

            Clearaudio Weightwatcher or Ortofon DS-3 stylus force gauge - I must have tried 5-6 scales and though its pricey, this these two are the most consistent and easiest to use that I've found. Both measure very close to record height.

            WallyVTA - from Wally Malewicz. Gets the tonearm parallel to the record surface. It won't stay there but its the place to start from.

            UNI-Pro Protractor or its younger less expensive brother the SMARTractor - from Dietrich Brakemeier at acoustical-systems. Easiest to use cartridge alignment system I've found and it lets you choose a tangential alignment option (Baerwald, Loefgren, etc.) I tried the original Feickert, but found the proper spot for the stylus point to be way too big for accuracy; maybe the newer model is improved. The best ARC protractor I've used is the original WallyTractor, again from Wally Malewicz. I like this one more than the Mint; both are tonearm specific. He has a universal model but I haven't tried that.

            UNI P2S - Spindle to pivot (P2S) accuracy to 5/100 of a mm. Built in to the SMARTractor. Both older and newer Feickert protracters offer something similar.

            Fosgate Fozgometer and an appropriate test record. For something more exotic try the Feickert Adjust+ tool

            Machinist Level - the Starrett 130 is my preferred for leveling the turntable - much easier and more consistent than bubble levels. You do level your table don't you?

            Small screw drivers and hex keys - Wiha or Williams (Snap-On) make good ones. Often 'tabes and 'arms come with what they require.

            USB Microscope - These can be helpful for getting your stylus to an initial angle (SRA) from whence you can dial-in by ear or use as a baseline to come back to when changing SRA/VTA. You'll need a laptop or other computing device with a USB port. I've mixed feelings on these but they can work if you're very patient using the software that comes with them to measure angles. A good stand is a necessity.

            Magnification reading glasses and hand held magnifiers - at least for my eyes. The lighted Vivitar handhelds have proved helpful along with various higher powered loupes.

            Did I mention patience, .

            Comment


            • #7
              Setting up the Kuzma XL and Airline arm could not be easier once you are used to moving very heavy objects teeny, tiny increments of a hair of a degree. It is easy but requires some patience. For the overhang, null points on the protractor, I've found an illuminated magnifier helps me get it just so.

              PS: It also seemed way easier, back in the early '70s, when phono cartridges did not cost 9 trillion dollars.
              Last edited by Bill Hart; 03-17-2016, 07:15 PM.

              Comment


              • Guest's Avatar
                Guest commented
                Editing a comment
                I think I'll cry if I read another "maid broke my cantilever" story. Tools aside, moving expensive cartridges sub-millimeter distances requires nerves. Don't forget to breath.

              • Bill Hart
                Bill Hart commented
                Editing a comment
                Yeah, I drew the line once the housekeeper's mother broke my Elvis mug. I actually bought the thing at Graceland!

            • #8
              Originally posted by tima View Post
              Here are some more articles on set-up:

              Analog 101 - The Audio Beat, Roy Gregory

              Setting Up a Turntable - Theory (PDF) - Frank Kuzma

              Turntable System Setup (PDF) - TAS / author?

              Practical Guide to Turntable Set-Up (PDF) - Michael Fremer

              There are a variety of tools that make the different steps of 'table setup much easier and more accurate. Here's a list of tools I use - stolen from a thread I posted elsewhere and edited::
              I've also used the Millenium Audio Vision block. I keep meaning to call Rutherford about Dietrich's new device too.
              Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
              Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
              ________________________________________

              -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
              -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
              -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
              -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
              -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
              -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
              -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
              -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
              -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
              -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by jcmusic View Post
                Nice article Myles, what I found kinda interesting is that there is no mention of anti skate in the article!!! I wonder why that is? Seems like it was being treated as just an after thought for some reason...
                That is because the DaVinciAudio Labs Master's Reference Virtu tonearm doesn't have anti-skating adjustment.

                Dre
                **************************************************
                Every day is a good day to play analog.
                - 12" 33-1/3 RPM or 45 RPM vinyl
                - 10.5" 15ips or 30ips tape
                **************************************************
                Every day is a good day for live music.
                **************************************************

                Comment


                • #10
                  I use the Bearwald protractor for the first alignment, from there I use visual alignment for each groove in the record and end up with almost perfect tracking from the outer groove to the inner groove on the record an other benefit from this alignment is that the amount of antiskating can be set to almost 0, which means that the tonearm and cartridge is in perfect balance troughout the playback, this balance gives the most free playback of the music on the record and there is not any better or bad parts on the record, its as distort free as possible over a whole record, in this process a control of needle weight is done every time the alignment has been changed just a little, as little as 0.1 gram will be audible, and VTA and SRA has to be controlled for each change in alignment.
                  It takes time and patience but is well worth it.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Based on the article, I have no confidence that I am getting the 100% potential out of my cartridge. Need to find someone in my area it seems, but don't know of anyone unfortunately. Now I am dejected.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Since such a microscopic overhang change can have such a sonic impact on precision, it seems you need a professional who is an expert in this area to set up your table for us novices.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Originally posted by Analog21 View Post
                        Based on the article, I have no confidence that I am getting the 100% potential out of my cartridge. Need to find someone in my area it seems, but don't know of anyone unfortunately. Now I am dejected.
                        Take heart and despair not. You can do this. Having some of the right tools makes the job easier but you'll always need patience, magnification, good lighting, the will to persist for optimum results, and patience again. LoL You don't need the Feickert software or a USB microscope to get excellent results. To get comfortable with the tools, practice with a lesser used cartridge.

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Mike Burns/Wolfsong Audio (678-939-2133) is really good for cartridge setup. He's in the Atlanta Ga. area but travels a lot so setup outside his area is also possible.
                          SOURCE: VINYL - EAT C-Sharp with, EAT LPS power supply, My Sonic Lab Signature Gold
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                          • #15
                            Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
                            Have people tried, compared and contrasted the various cartridge setups eg. Lofgren, etc. and what were the results. All is a trade off and might be also dependent upon the type of music one listens to?

                            Thanks to Andre for sharing some of his secrets! I know he has more secrets up his sleeve.
                            I've read this article before.. big miss IMO is the nulling of the tone arm weight prior to setting VTF.
                            Front end: Aesthetix Io Eclipse with 2 Power Supplies and Volume controls
                            Brinkmann La Grange & RonT Tube Power supply with Kuzma 4-point ,FR64S, Brinkmann 12.1 , .Koetsu Jade Platinum,Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum, Lyra Atlas, Lyra Etna SL Goldfinger Statement, KLAUDIO RCM, HRSM3X
                            Amps: Wyetech Topaz, Futterman H3 Quad II,Citation II, Marantz 8b, 5 ,2
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