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Most effective / best value cartridge fitting toolkit suggestions please


trumpetman
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2 minutes ago, DomT said:

Just for clarity for the OP - just after the arm is balanced though no?

No. What difference does balancing the arm make, if you are not using the weight dials on the arm (if you have them, I do not), which you do not need, if you are using a TF gauge.

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Just now, greybeard said:

No. What difference does balancing the arm make, if you are not using the weight dials on the arm (if you have them, I do not), which you do not need, if you are using a TF gauge.

I am exaggerating for effect here - so if you don’t balance the arm, and the tail end is 1cm higher than the headshell, then you have applied tracking force even before you have added tracking force by moving the counter weight. No matter what the tracking force gauge says it is not going to sound great and you could damage the cartridge.

You really should balance the arm and decide if you want a little bit tail up or down depending on your cartridge. Are not there people fanatical (Michael Fremer) about the rake angle of the stylus and therefore the position of the arm is critical to this. 

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6 minutes ago, DomT said:

I am exaggerating for effect here - so if you don’t balance the arm, and the tail end is 1cm higher than the headshell, then you have applied tracking force even before you have added tracking force by moving the counter weight. No matter what the tracking force gauge says it is not going to sound great and you could damage the cartridge.

You really should balance the arm and decide if you want a little bit tail up or down depending on your cartridge. Are not there people fanatical (Michael Fremer) about the rake angle of the stylus and therefore the position of the arm is critical to this. 

All you need is the correct tracking force, balancing makes no difference to that, when measured with a TF gauge. If using the dials on the arm, then yes you need to balance the arm first, so the increments shown on the dial will represent the correct weight applied. 

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1 minute ago, greybeard said:

about the rake angle of the stylus and therefore the position of the arm is critical to this. 

Rake angle is adjusted by VTA not VTF.

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maybe I write too quickly and didn’t explain myself well. That’s why I gave the example of the balancing weight being higher than the headshell (ie VTA) which if too high would be a problem. The OP needs to make sure that the VTA is also considered.
 

Thanks for making this clearer. 

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And you can only set the vta once the vtf is correct. If the vta consequently needs adjusting then the vtf will need rechecking as raising the arm pillar will increase vtf and lowering it will reduce the vtf. 

Edited by Lurch
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8 minutes ago, Lurch said:

And you can only set the vta once the vtf is correct. If the vta consequently needs adjusting then the vtf will need rechecking as raising the arm pillar will increase vtf and lowering it will reduce the vtf. 

You said what I was trying to say more elegantly 

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48 minutes ago, greybeard said:

what he said and check out other videos on mounting a cartridge and adjusting arm height - here is one to be going on with  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg6IY6VZ-pU

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This is all brilliant information and I can't thank you all enough.

I've got the YouTube videos bookmarked, I've read and re read all comments in the thread AND a shopping list of some basic stuff.

  I found the Bum product Rabski mentioned via Google!! I was expecting all sorts of stuff to be listed :o but all ok.

I might put the list on here or pm  

Thanks for your time and advice, turntable itch scratched......until one comes up on here for sale

Cheers

🎺

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I’d add good light to the list of must haves. A torch, a good overhead light or even a head torch. You may look a bit daft, but they’re cheap & so bloomin useful for making sure you can really see clearly, especially if you’re eyesight isn’t quite what it used to be.

A cocktail stick or similar can be useful for opening up cart lead tags if they’re too tight to fit on the cartridge pins.

I have a couple of cheap digital scales which I have compared to dealers more expensive models & mine are accurate enough.

Some sort of parallel line gauge to help get the cart body/arm parallel to the platter is useful.Some of the cart protractors have this on them.even a stack of playing cards placed against the arm can be used to help get it parallel.

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