Set-Up Tips

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Michael Fremer  |  Mar 16, 2022  |  4 comments
The recent Zenith angle error story gave readers a choice of two files, one that corrected the zenith angle error built into the cantilever because the stylus was inserted "off" by about 4 degrees and the other set up using the cantilever to set stylus groove tangency and so adding 4 degrees of error at the "null" point where tangency error should be 0.

The responses were interesting: at first participants chose "File 1" as the one with the zenith angle correction but later commenters chose "File #2". File #1 is the one that's corrected to compensate for the 4 degree error.

Michael Fremer  |  Mar 09, 2022  |  46 comments
First up: identifying the two John Lee Hooker files in The Tapestry reveal: "File 1" is the original pressing. "File 2" is the Analogue Productions 2010 double 45 reissue. Some preferred the reissue, clearly cut from a secondary source, lured by the added bass and top end intended to distract from the soft guitar transients, vocal cloud and lack of top end air and having locked into that, those listeners found the original pressing "bright" and "bass shy". It's a tricky business but while the original may have had the bottom cut slightly it is otherwise massively superior and over time far more listenable. Now on to a really interesting and important test!

Michael Fremer  |  Mar 03, 2022  |  30 comments
If you're using an oscilloscope to set azimuth you are well aware of the math hassles involved. First you have to convert the derived voltages into dBVolts then you have to subtract the smaller number from the larger to determine the crosstalk and you have to do it twice: L-R, R-L.

Michael Fremer  |  Mar 19, 2021  |  29 comments
While the name "shaknspin" may sound like a child's toy, the device is anything but, though it does make child's play of measuring turntable speed, calculating wow and flutter, jitter and more, graphically representing speed variations as histograms by frequency and speed distribution and even mo
Michael Fremer  |  Aug 11, 2020  |  54 comments
Well, that’s a clickbait headline for sure, but unlike most it’s probably true, especially if you’ve taken my word on this.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 02, 2020  |  46 comments
Skating, a pivoted tonearm’s tendency to “skate” towards the record center is real, is not created by “centripetal force” and is not best ignored because compensating for it somehow worsens sonic performance.

If you do not apply some kind of skating counterforce, the stylus will ride the inner groove throughout the record side, producing uneven record and stylus wear. And it can’t possibly improve record playback sound.

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 21, 2020  |  13 comments
WAM Engineering's new universal WallyTractor is now available from the newly formed company, a partnership between the late Wally Malewicz's son Andrzej, himself a mechanical engineer and Wally's former production assistant J.R. Boisclair. They've just launched the Wallyanalog website where you will find complete details of the new $395 universal WallyTractor and the available services the Santa Rosa, CA based company provides.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 23, 2017  |  44 comments
This video shows you how to use a digital USB microscope to set stylus rake angle (SRA) to 92 degrees, which is considered to be the best angle to start with, followed by adjusting "by ear". Why 92 degrees? It's all explained in an article you can download as a PDF file at this analogPlanet.com link.

Michael Fremer  |  Mar 16, 2015  |  19 comments
This drawing explains tone arm basic geometry. Thanks to Wally Malewicz for providing it. So let’s go through it together.

Michael Fremer  |  Mar 09, 2015  |  57 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.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 08, 2014  |  50 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.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 22, 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.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 19, 2012  |  26 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.

Michael Fremer  |  Jun 07, 2012  |  13 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.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 21, 2013  |  8 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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