Advice on High End turntable setup and cartridge alignment.

Turntable Setup

There are many impacting forces upon the performance of your analogue turntable. Precise setup and alignment should be high on your list when you are looking to improve your analogue sound. 

 

Cartridge Alignment

Cartridges need to be aligned extremely accurately in order to achieve the performance intended by the manufacturer. A conventional pivoted tonearm prescribes an arc as it traverses the record surface. There are only two points at which the cartridge stylus is actually tangential to the groove, these are called the Null Points. At all other points there will be some tracking error and all the information cannot be retrieved from the groove. Linear tracking tonearms address this problem by traveling in a straight line across the record in the same way that the cutting head did when the recording was made and eliminate tracking error altogether(albiet complicating the tonearm and creating potential for other issues). In order to minimize the tracking error of a pivoted tonearm you need to make sure that all parameters are set very accurately. These include the spindle to pivot distance, cartridge overhang, offset angle, vertical tracking angle (also known as stylus rake angle) and azimuth. These terms may be foreign to the newcomers but they are actually fairly simple concepts and are very well described in the link below. Once you understand what it is you are trying to achieve the process of cartridge adjustment is very simple. To make life a lot simpler we offer alignment protractors from Dr. Feickert Analogue & Digital Stylus Pressure Gauge which allow you to set these parameters quickly and easily. When you purchase a cartridge from us we will will do the installation for free when you bring your turntable and tonearm to us. We also offer in home setup service on new turntable systems and are also happy to help diagnose issues and perform setup on existing turntables for a service fee, please contact us for details.

 

Theoretical Resources

Cartridge Alignment and Set-Up - An easy to understand flowchart of analogue setup and audio components

Kuzma Analogue Academy Download - Kuzma were kind enough to provide this terrific resource following the inaugural Kuzma Analogue Academy in 2016 

 

Setup Service

When you purchase a cartridge from us we will will do the installation for free when you bring your turntable and tonearm to us. We also offer in home setup service on new turntable systems. We personally use a combination of both precision analogue and digital measurement tools to ensure you are getting the best performance from your high end cartridge.

 

Setup Products

Dr. Feickert Analogue Alignment Protractor

Digital Stylus Pressure Gauge