Set-Up Tips

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Michael Fremer Posted: Mar 17, 2015 Published: Mar 16, 2015 17 comments
This drawing explains tone arm basic geometry. Thanks to Wally Malewicz for providing it. So let’s go through it together.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Mar 10, 2015 Published: Mar 09, 2015 52 comments
If you own and use a Fozgometer to set azimuth you must calibrate the unit or your results will not be accurate. I had stopped using my Fozgometer and instead was setting azimuth using a digital oscilloscope, which is 100% accurate and also gives you precise crosstalk voltages.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Nov 09, 2014 Published: Nov 08, 2014 43 comments
In the Rocky Mountain Wrap Up I wrote about the UNI-DIN curve versus Löfgren but a picture (or a graph in this case prepared by WAM Engineering's Wally Malewicz) is worth a 1000 words.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Feb 20, 2014 21 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.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Aug 22, 2013 7 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.

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Michael Fremer Posted: 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.

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Michael Fremer Posted: 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).
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Michael Fremer Posted: Oct 01, 2012 7 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.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Sep 24, 2012 19 comments
Have we opened a digital can of worms recommending using a USB microscope to set SRA (Stylus Rake Angle)?
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Michael Fremer Posted: 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.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Aug 23, 2012 23 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

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Michael Fremer Posted: 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.

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Michael Fremer Posted: 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.
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Michael Fremer Posted: Jul 26, 2012 21 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.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jul 20, 2012 21 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.


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