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Turntable antiskate adjustment

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by [email protected], Nov 26, 2013.

  1. Guest

    This is my own turntable I've just gotten
    out of the closet. I'd like to listen to some of my 70's records. The
    unit I'm working on is an old Thorens TD160 turntable with an Stanton
    gold body 500 cartridge. The cartridge is equipped with the elliptical stylus
    designed to track at between 1 and 2 grams. I'm presently tracking at
    1.25 grams without any apparent problems.

    I would like to set this up as accurately as possible. I'm hoping that
    someone can advise me on this. The manual I have is for a
    slightly different unit with a newer tone arm, and all it mentions
    about anti skate is to set it just slightly lower than your tracking
    weight. It seems to run fine what ever anti skate is set to and
    although I've made that adjustment to just over 1, I would like
    to be a bit more precise than that if possible.

    I thought I recall (way back when) that there was a procedure whereby
    you leveled the unit, and then you played this "record" without
    grooves. If the stylus remained in one spot without drifting then your
    anti skate was correct. If it drifted, then a slight adjustment on the
    anti skate was in order. I don't have any such "record" and I can't
    think of a way to do something like that without damaging the stylus.
    I was wondering if anyone had any further information pertaining to
    this procedure? Thanks, Lenny
  2. wrote in message
    I thought I recall (way back when) that there was a procedure whereby
    you leveled the unit, and then you played this "record" without
    grooves. If the stylus remained in one spot without drifting then your
    anti skate was correct. If it drifted, then a slight adjustment on the
    anti skate was in order.

    This is a good starting point, but the antiskate won't be high enough. There
    is less friction when the stylus contacts a flat surface, rather than the
    groove walls.

    Stereo Review had a test record with an overmodulated groove. The left and
    right channel differed by three Hz (I believe) -- 300 Hz and 303 Hz. This
    caused the lateral and vertical modulations to go in and out of phase three
    times a second. You simply adjusted the anti-skating until the distortion was
    the same on both channels.

    That's the way I remember it, anyhow.
  3. There's another way to do it, which I'd forgotten.

    While the pickup is playing a modulated groove, look at the pickup from its
    front. When the anti-skating is correct, the pickup will be centered over the
  4. Guest

    I saw Britt Floyd in Boston last Spring. If you've never seen them you should. They were incredible. The Wall, they made Pink Floyd sound like the tribute band. Lenny
  5. Guest

    THAT is the really right way usually. I lik the distortion method but thereshould be no distortion, at least visible.

    Personally, if I own the LPs I track it very high. Very high, but it is only for transcription purposes. I play it once. Well I might have to do once to get the level right. I havd a 0.002 X 0.007 hyperelyptical I tracked at about twoo and a half for thisd purpose.

    Sue me. I wanted i once, for this time only and recorded it in the highest format the PC would do, and then burnt it to disk. Want to hear it ? I cvanarrainge that. it is a Cristmas album. From about 1968, it has close to the best quality sound i have ever heard on an LP to this day, and that includes half speed masters and shit.

    I used an Audio Technica At 13Ea for this on a relatively cheap turntable, a Marantx 6120. I lost my Dual in the fire and never replaced it. Anyuway, I cranked the tracking force, I want this clean THIS ONE TIME.

    Give it trackng force until it cannot take anymore, and then adjust the antiskate to where the stylus is in the middle. You MIGHT have to adjust this for different tracks on the LP.

    Another thing is to realize the actual angle the cartridge must be placed. It is not always what the manufacuturer says. A Thorens probably will set up right using the factory instructions, but then is it what YOU want ?

    if you are going to use this for transcription, you could concievably adjust the antiskate for each track.

    the oproblem here is the lack of REALLY good linear tracking turntabtles. The record were CUT with a linear tracker, what stands to reason here ? The problem is that by the time they started builing them, much of the quality i s gone. If you got a couple of grand for the really good stuff you can get like thatl you would not be asking about this.

    For transcription, I know this sounds so hillbilly, but stick a dime on it and two VHS tapes on the left side to prop it up.

    In fact, I forgot that I had already put up the file, here it is :

    I think it sounds pretty damn good.
  6. Guest

    Yeah I know, got a buzz on, can't see wortyh a shit and......
  7. This won't be much help to you with your particular problem of the
    moment, but if you want accurate reproduction, parallel tracking is the
    right way to do it.

    With a radial arm, the spurious side forces due to friction are the
    least of your worries. There is a constant variation between the angle
    of the cartridge and the angle at which the groove was cut. In stereo
    this results in time displacement of the two channels and in mono it
    results in comb-filtering at high frequencies.

    I didn't believe there was much improvement to be gained by using
    parallel tracking until I was persuaded to try it - the results were
    worth all the time invested. Fiddling about trying to optimise the
    geometry of a radial arm is just 'polishing a turd' by comparison.
  8. Guest

    "This won't be much help to you with your particular problem of the

    This is S.E.R. which means out of fifty responses about two of them hit thespot. How many S.E.>rers does it take to answer a question ? The number has never been determined.

    You are absolutely right about the linear tracking, though realize it is not perfect either. Nothing is friction free enough so therefore there is a motor and an optical pickup that tells the little motor when to turn. It jogs along as the record plays which thus means there is tracking error oscillating between negative and positive angle to the groove. It is still a hellof alot better.

    Among the worse of ideas was the aesthetically attractive yet a practical nightmare known as the S shaped arm. First of all the thing has more mass. The best arm is a straight line because it will have the lowest mass. Another thing about those Ttables is that most of them set the cartridge wrong anyway.

    They generally tried to set the geometry so that tracking was perfect at two point of the radius. they made a mistake thogh because they set the second point too far from the innermost grooves. That is where it is the most critical. That is where this non-tangental angle HURTS the most and causes the worst groove wear.

    I had a couple with the S shaped arm and once I set it up as I saw fit, it looked like the cartridge was in cockeyed, but the thing played well. I mean really well. I didn't get that muddy sound toward the end of a side.

    I played ALOT of vinyl in the day. Funny now I would only consider it for transcribing to digital.

    One of my favorite Ttables ws the Dual 1229. First of all you could set thething right on top of a speaker and it wouldn't get much feedback. Secondly, not only did the thing not have to be level, it would play standing up on its side. I shit you not. the arm is balaced in all axes and the trackingforce and antiskate were applied by calibrated springs. If you are going to have a conventional arm, that's the way to do it.

    And of course make it as long as possible.
  9. chuck

    chuck Guest


    That is a very nice turntable but not a very good cartridge. I would
    track it at at least 2 grams. Chuck
  10. The un-servoed parallel tracker was of dubious value, even in the days
    of coarse-grooved 78s.
    If the servo is correctly designed, the error can be very small indeed -
    probably smaller than the error in the original cutting facet.

    The trick is to have a high loop gain with a very long time constant,
    lurking in the background of an ordinary much faster loop with less
    gain. Velocity-proportional feedback is also needed for damping the
    loop. Finally, there needs to be an over-ride system which disables the
    time constants and puts the motor on full power when the error exceeds a
    certain range. Otherwise, when the user lifts the pickup to return it
    to its stand, he will have to wait all day for the servo to catch up.

    Not every disc was cut with a correctly-aligned cutter, so it is helpful
    to have the cartridge on a swivel mounting if you intend doing archive
    work; an X-Y scope on the two channels is the most accurate way of
    aligning it.
    Also, there could be worse torsional resonances in an 'S'-shaped arm
    than in a straight arm of similar construction.

    If the arm is radial, that makes sense because it minimises the angular
    changes; but there are advantages to a short arm, which can be exploited
    if a parallel tracker is used with the carriage track running partly
    above the turntable.
  11. **The Stanton 500 is a horrible cartridge. It was designed for
    ham-fisted DJs, not hi fi reproduction. Get rid it it and use something
    better (which means pretty much anything else). As for anti-sakting
    adjustments, don't sweat it. Near enough is good enough. Follow the
    directions from Thorens. You first step, however, is to GET RID OF THAT
    HORRIBLE CARTRIDGE if you value you old recordings.
  12. **Oh yeah: If you do decide to begin destroying your old recordings, by
    using the horrible Stanton 500, then you should NOT operate it at low
    force settings. It should be used at AT LEAST 2 grammes. Check the
    manufacturer's data on your cartridge. Operating a cartridge at too low
    a force will cause more damage to the LP than too little.
  13. Leif Neland

    Leif Neland Guest

    Trevor Wilson forklarede:
    You might want to rephrase the last statement :)

  14. "isw" wrote in message news:[email protected][]...
    An S-shaped arm is theoretically inferior to a straight arm, if only because
    it's less rigid. It does, however, accrue several advantages from the ability
    to easily design a removable head shell.
  15. That's not a good setup for discs that are warped or had an eccentric
    hole -- and there were a lot of those. Arm mass should be low to deal
    with those problems.[/QUOTE]

    It's the effective rotational inertia of the mass which is critical, not
    the actual mass. An arm could be massive at the pivot and slender at
    the cartridge end whilst still retaining a reasonably low rotational

    Other problems arisewhen attempting to play very badly warped discs,
    such as the disc hitting the underside of the arm. If the arm is
    designed to be well above the cartridge, so as to avoid contact with the
    disc, then the displacement of the cartridge mass from the centre of
    torsion of the arm can worsen the rotational resonances in the arm.

    The whole business is fraught with difficulty
  16. Guest

    "The whole business is fraught with difficulty "

    That about sums it up. Thing is, remember at one time that's all we had. Think of all that went into making this inherently imperfect system work "perfectly".

    I liked it. I liked the challenge of making things sound as good as possible given rotating disks and moving tape across heads. I liked looking at theprint of an FM tuner even and figuring out which one was best. Damn, I remember when there wasn't even a PLL in an FM tuner, it had a sharply tuned circuit to pick up the pilot frequency and then a doubler. No oscilator. (<WTF is wrong with that spelling ?, I really couldn't tellya right now)

    I really shouldn't feel this old at 53. It's like when I was born they justinvented the car or something. This is weird. The first Man on the moon and shit. And BTW, for the conspiracy theorists, of which I am one but not a crazy one, we DID put a Man on the moon.

    Know how I know that ? If you REALLY think about it, you figure out that itwould cost more to fake it. Kids used to have telescopes back then, and ifit were faked there would be about a hundred thousand kids in Russia calling us out on it. Remember back then ? you walked into a Sears or some storeand they had telescopes right by the door. They were on sale.

    If it ever comes out that they faked the moon shot I will be REALLY impressed. It's just too easy to get busted doing it.

    Now it appears we have the source figured out. With digital recording nobody wants to go through the hassle of LPs. Really. In fact I don't even use CDs anymore, everything is one the harddrive. If you bring a CD to me it is getting ripped summarily, period. When the tunes are on the harddrive, it never skips, gets scratched or anything. Well it can skip but that is a software problem usually. Transfer the file to a good(er) system and it is fineas long as the file is not fucked up.

    Speakngg of which, now that my "server" is on Linux and I haven't figured out how to give the permission for the other PCs to access my main library, I'll have to check see where else I have a copy of Alice's Restaurant by Arlo Guthrie.

    My how things have changed. How long ago was it I would just go to the record cabinet and look toward the one end for it.

    BTW, use yuor finger of a brush or something to clean the "needle". DO NOT BLOW ON IT. The moisture in your breath is not good for it.
  17. **Nope. Of course, it depends on the magnitude of the force differences.
  18. now)

    You knocked the "L" out of it.
  19. Guest

    +So whatis a good cartridge/stylus combination made today, preferably not a cheap Chinese one. Lenny
  20. **There's lots and it depends on how deep your pockets are. I rather
    like the Ortofon OM10 Super. Even the OM5E and OM3E are very fine carts,
    at reasonable prices. For immense versatility, excellent tracking, you
    can't go past a Shure M97XE.
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