Set-Up Tips
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Set-Up Tips
Michael Fremer Feb 20, 2014 18 comments
How did this one get neglected? Take a look at the photo supplied by WAM engineering. It shows a stylus in a cantilever. Notice it has been affixed into the cantilever at an angle instead of being parallel to the cantilever. If you use the cantilever to set the zenith angle on this cartridge, which is what I and everyone else recommends, the stylus will not be tangential to the grooves at the null points though it might accidentally be so somewhere else.

Set-Up Tips
Michael Fremer Aug 22, 2013 5 comments
The animated graphic here is taken from the DVD "21st Century Vinyl: Michael Fremer's Practical Guide to Turntable Set-up". The gauge is similar to the kind supplied by Pro-Ject and other turntable manufacturers. It's accuracy is predicated upon the correct pivot-to-spindle for the particular tonearm.

Set-Up Tips
Michael Fremer Aug 02, 2013 25 comments
Back in the fall of 2008 I attend an audio show in Trondheim, Norway where I presented two turntable set-up seminars. The show organizers procured for me a Tri-Planar tonearm mounted on a turntable, the brand of which I forget.

Set-Up Tips
Michael Fremer Oct 03, 2012 Published: Oct 03, 2012 7 comments
This is what a bearing ends up looking like if it's run without oil (assuming it requires oil—not all bearings do).
Set-Up Tips
Michael Fremer Oct 01, 2012 Published: Oct 01, 2012 27 comments
To continue the discussion of whether or not using a USB microscope to set stylus rake angle is a good or bad idea, please look at the drawing accompanying this post.

Set-Up Tips
Michael Fremer Sep 24, 2012 Published: Sep 24, 2012 19 comments
Have we opened a digital can of worms recommending using a USB microscope to set SRA (Stylus Rake Angle)?
Set-Up Tips
Michael Fremer Aug 29, 2012 Published: Aug 29, 2012 8 comments
When it seemed as if my Lyra Titan had at least 1000 hours on it I figured it was time for a re-tip. I took a USB digital microscope image and posted it on this site. I thought it showed some wear but before sending it back to Lyra, I sent it to my friend Wally who produced much better and more definitive images using an optical set-up.

Set-Up Tips
Michael Fremer Aug 23, 2012 14 comments
I just spoke with Soundsmith's Peter Ledermann. He confirmed that the contact patch is as seen in the above photo. But note that this is with VTF of zero. He made a few observations about this discussion we're having here on Analogplanet.com.

Set-Up Tips
Michael Fremer Aug 23, 2012 Published: Aug 23, 2012 2 comments
Obviously those lucky enough to own a $6000 tonearm are few, but we don't discriminate here against the 1%. So if you own a 4 Point and over time as you've switched headshells to use different cartridges, perhaps you've accidentally pulled out from the arm tube opening the tonearm wire so you now have excess.

Set-Up Tips
Michael Fremer Aug 15, 2012 Published: Aug 15, 2012 12 comments
This was as close and sharp as I could get capturing a stylus image from the front with the Dyno-Lite 313.
Set-Up Tips
Michael Fremer Jul 26, 2012 19 comments
Vinyl fans tend to be obsessive (no news here!). So when you properly install a new cartridge and after the initial break-in, there's a period of calm and satisfaction knowing the stylus is fresh, the sound is spectacular and your records will be well cared for.

Set-Up Tips
Michael Fremer Jul 20, 2012 13 comments
In Part 1 we explained the importance of proper azimuth setup. Now, on to how to achieve it! While using a digital oscilloscope is the most accurate method, it also requires you to spend hundreds of dollars to buy one and then you have to learn how to use it. That's not really necessary for most analog devotees, and so we're not going to go into the details here. If you insist, you'll have to buy one and figure it out using the methodology that will be described, which is generally applicable to whichever way you choose to go.

Set-Up Tips
Michael Fremer Jul 19, 2012 4 comments
"Azimuth" is generally defined as the perpendicularity of the cantilever to the record surface. Some tonearms, including most (but not all) gimbaled tonearms (ones with fixed bearings like Rega and fixed head shell SME's don't allow you to adjust that parameter. You are at the mercy of the cartridge manufacturer, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't check your cartridge's performance even if you can't adjust it.

Set-Up Tips
Michael Fremer Jun 30, 2012 Published: Jun 30, 2012 27 comments
The stylus rake angle is the angle the stylus’s “contact patch” makes to the record surface. If you have a relatively inexpensive cartridge with a spherical stylus you don’t have to worry about SRA because the contact area remains the same regardless of arm height. On the other hand, elliptical styli along with the more severe “line contact,” Shibata, Geiger, Ortofon and other long, narrow contact patch “cutting edge” (poor metaphor!) stylus profiles require careful SRA setting to perform as designed.

Set-Up Tips
Michael Fremer Jun 08, 2012 15 comments
I once lived on the second floor of an old farmhouse with a springy floor. How it got in my pants, I'll never know! I had a VPI TNT turntable at the time, on a VPI stand that had been filled with leadshot and sand. It was heavy! But the stand still bounced and the 'table's suspension couldn't deal with it and so the stylus bounced around in the groove.