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Aligning Cartage with Overhang gauge, Getting High end distortion

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by xxtensazenxx, Jan 31, 2018.

  1. audiojones

    audiojones Jonesin' for audio Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,057
    Location:
    Central NJ
    Pfansteihl dealers often print very optimistic tracking force numbers, I doubt that stylus will track properly when set that low (notice that they don’t have a tracking force printed on the back of the package either). You are probably going to have to almost double that tracking force, probably around 2.5 gams is where the sibilance will ease up. Personally I’ve never had satisfactory results from any Phansteihl replacements for Pickering / Stanton carts so I only use them on heavy trackers like old record changers.
     
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  2. mprince

    mprince AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    If the cartridge is "squirming" in the headshell one solution may be not to try and tighten the screws quite so much. Snug is good, sometimes the vice grip of death is not. You may have already tried this, but figured I'd throw it out there. When I had an XV-15 I had a devil of a time with this on a Technics slotted headshell (without the insulators). Adding the insulators over the ears helped, but the cartridge still wanted to slide from the ideal position as I tightened the screws. I found that doing one side just snug, then the other side also snug (not too tight) was the best way to handle it. Some cartridges just want to be difficult to mount.
     
  3. danj

    danj modern primitive

    Messages:
    4,989
    Location:
    Somewhere in Oregon
    Like audiojones I'm not impressed with Pfanstiehl styli for Pickering and/or Stantons. JICO, LP Gear, and EVG-Japan are much better and their tracking specks are more realistic. The XSV-3000 deserves the best stylus you can afford.
     
  4. JFRACE

    JFRACE AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    840
    Location:
    New Jersey
    The Pfanstiehl will vary within the same family of cartridge as well. Some will give sibilance, and some won't within the same stylus for the same cartridge.
     
  5. Bob

    Bob AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,984
    Location:
    West coast
    have a technics/XSV-3K combo so not guessing (well maybe) here:

    1. go to vinylengine and dl the other alignment systems. they may work better with a non-OEM stylus

    2. try upside-down startrek orientation - instead of bolt-head pointing down, mount from underneath
    and nut on top. this is a variation of the lateral counterweight of the first couple million Pioneer
    belt drives but to balance the mass in the vertical mass direction - angels-on-pin-head#237

    3. try a double nut to lock - like underneath cars - do not use 10 foot breaker bar to test young's modulus
    IOW be very, very gentle - we are talking single digit inch-pounds at a maximum

    4. buy/borrow test record. you'll hear the distortion then back off. then try different records
    I have some LPs that distort at the end - google/bing IGD in the audio sites and their suggestions.

    good luck, great combo, when fixed then enjoy the music
     
  6. SA-708

    SA-708 Appalachian-American

    Messages:
    5,750
    Location:
    NE Tennessee
    The Grado Black ended up on an Audiotechnica MG-10 that I bought on a used turntable. It has 4 pairs of tapped holes on the underside, on set of which got me near the 52mm distance, and a swap to a different rubber washer put it dead on 52mm. But that doesn't help you.

    Here's a Stanton 500 on an Akai headshell. The cartridge is affixed securely into the "sled" with bolts from the underside, then adjusted into position before tightening the screw on top.

    image.jpg image.jpg

    The Ortofon OM with the Digitrac stylus in the middle school on a Technics headshell with the same general principle. The adjustment screw can be seen on the top of the headshell. These are more commonly found than the one above. Other headshells without slots that work like these two are out there. Incidentally, the Grado Black on the AT MG-10 is on the left, and an early low mass Ortofon Concorde (adjuststable length with a set screw on top) is on the right. Not a slotted headshell in the box, and all at the Technics specified 52mm length.

    image.jpg
     
  7. jamsinalaska

    jamsinalaska Member

    Messages:
    60
    Location:
    Alaska
    Just got back my JVC QL-Y3F from the repair shop. Intermittent problem caused by loose solder joints only visible through a microscope. Anyways, I was spinning a few LPs and all seemed well. Listened to SuperFly - Curtis Mayfield, Soul of a Woman - Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, and then The Marshall Mathers LP - Eminem. Had an issue on the first track, side A, of Soul of a Woman, but I think it is a dirty issue due to alot of static/dirt noise. The real issue was the last two tracks on the B side of the Eminem album. Lots of highend distortion. I thought it might have been an issue with my Fisher (listed below) as it had been on for a couple of hours. Tube distortion/heat related, but now I’m thinking it is a setup issue on the OM10. Does this seem like the issue?

    I plan on getting another cartridge, so these posts are helpful for the future!
     
  8. FileFixer

    FileFixer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    557
    Location:
    Zagreb/Croatia
    @xxtensazenxx You cant use Overhang gauge on Technics SL-23. Turntables as SL-1200, SL-1210, SL-1300, SL-3300, SL-B2, SL-BD2, SL-BD3 and SL-3 can because that all thisTechnics TT have same Pivot to Spindle distance (215mm), same Tonearm Effective length (230mm ) and for all that it have same Overhang distance at 15mm.
    Technics SL-23 have Effective length on 220mm and Overhang on 14mm and for that also have different Pivot to Spindle distance (206mm).
    So, for all that reasons you need to forget Overhang gauge and its setting at 52mm. With Technics Overhang gauge you have 15mm Overhang not 14mm as you need on your TT.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
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  9. WaynerN

    WaynerN AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Bingo.
     
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  10. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

    Messages:
    4,614
    Location:
    MI, US
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  11. xxtensazenxx

    xxtensazenxx New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Thanks for all the help everyone, a lot of info to take in :O
    I did take it into my local shop to have the auto-return fixed and he said he aligned it for me (though it does not match my overhang gague, could it be a different alignment or is t he dude clueless?) Regardless, sibilance is still there, bad.
    I'm deciding between getting a ViVid Line LP Gear stylus and a new headshell or just getting the ORTOFON 2M Red with a SH-4 headshell...
    Or would that be a big downgrade?
     
  12. spark1

    spark1 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,097
    Location:
    The Great Midwest
    In my opinion the Ortofon 2m Red would be a downgrade from you Pickering, BUT you need to get a high-quality stylus for it, and you need to align it properly. Buy or print out a protractor and learn how to use it. There are many threads here and at vinylengine.com that explain how to use a protractor.

    My advice assumes that you can master getting your Pickering cart mounted correctly, because you will be making adjustments (forward and back, side to side) when using the protractor. To do this, you must be able to slightly loosen the cartridge, make the adjustment and then re-tighten without moving the cartridge.

    If you don't want to use a protractor, all I can tell you is that the Technics part number for the SL-23 gauge is the same as for the SL-1900, which has the longer arm configuration. I think I disagree with the earlier poster who said that your gauge is wrong.

    While you do need to get a proper alignment, a solid mounting of the cartridge, and an appropriate tracking force, my suspicion is that your stylus is causing the bulk of the noise/sibilance.
     
  13. xxtensazenxx

    xxtensazenxx New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Update: Got the LP Gear ViVid line replacement stylus, and all my issues are basically 100% gone. Its night and day compared to the PFANSTIEHL. There's basically 0 sibilance now, at least to my ears. This thing is GREAT!

    Now im getting (or just noticing) another issue. I hear a noise every rotation in the silence, is this normal?
     

     

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  14. spark1

    spark1 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,097
    Location:
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    No, it is not normal.

    Does the noise come thru your speakers, or directly from the table itself? Once per rotation? Put your ear close to the spindle (with the platter turning but the stylus lifted). Do you hear the noise? Does it seem to be coming from the spindle, or somewhere else?
     
  15. spark1

    spark1 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,097
    Location:
    The Great Midwest
    If not the spindle, I would suspect the return mechanism. If I remember correctly, this TT has a pawl which is triggered to engage as the tonearm nears the end of the record, which triggers the return cycle to begin. It may have dried up grease on it, and it is not moving completely out of contact with the return gear, so that the flange on the gear pushes it back once per rotation.

    It certainly wouldn't hurt to clean old grease from the return mechanisms, and replace it. Also, probably a good idea to clean out the platter bearing well (I can't remember if it uses a ball bearing for the spindle, or a thrust washer/bearing, so be careful pulling out the spindle to not lose the bearing). Clean out old oil and dirt...use a q-tip. Some people use alcohol; I've found brake cleaner works nicely. Replace the oil with a good lightweight machine oil (non-detergent, non-paraffin). While you have the spindle out, look at the bearing end and the bearing itself for flat spots or other signs of significant wear. When you put the spindle back in, put a light film of oil on it for easier insertion.

    I'm sure someone with a clearer memory of the SL-23 will be along to clarify, expand on and, if necessary, correct my comments. However, I think most will agree these basic maintenance steps are a good idea even if not the source of the noise problem.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  16. xxtensazenxx

    xxtensazenxx New Member

    Messages:
    8
    I just realized something, I think I still need to align the needle, as when I got it back from the AV shop its no where near the overhang gauge...Does this mean its not aligned or could they have aligned it using a different protractor where its further back? Or is it just plain wrong? I kind of just hoped it was ok but after a few hours of listing I'm not sure if it is.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  17. spark1

    spark1 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,097
    Location:
    The Great Midwest
    Why not just ask them how they aligned it. Do they really have a turntable technician?

    As I said above, the gauge that came with the SL-23 is the same one that came with their tables with longer arms. So if you don't want to use a protractor - which is the best way to do it - use the Technics gauge...or just measure 52mm from gasket to stylus tip and see if you like it better. Measure before you change so that you can get back to same position (assuming the shop actually did some sort of alignment, which of course they may not have).

    This link may be helpful to you:

    https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=96707
     
  18. xxtensazenxx

    xxtensazenxx New Member

    Messages:
    8
    I spent a good 4+ hours using the protractor (Stevenson) and I could not get it... I'm really having issues moving the cartage around, as when I try to screw it down it moves from where I had it... I might try buying another head-shell. idk. I'm seriously losing faith at this point
     

     

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  19. spark1

    spark1 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,097
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    Did you ask the shop how they aligned it? Not sure how else to help you...the advice you received earlier about how to physically mount it was good.
     
  20. vinowino

    vinowino Super Member

    Messages:
    1,077
    Location:
    Cambridge. New Zealand.
    Hi xxte--, I was the first reply to your initial post. I advocated the Geo Disc. I still do.
    I used to stress over similar situ. Printed of the internet a few paper alignment grids, they were ok and very close to one another.
    Last year I bought a VERY expensive tube amp, new.. The guy brought it to me, from a nearby city, and set it up.
    Then he sat in one of my armchairs and got me to play some of my favourite albums. 4 1/2 hours later it was sold.
    Why am I telling this??
    Before he left he brings out his alignment jig, tool, apparatus whatever you want to call it. It looked like something ripped out of the navigation system of a Cruise Liner.
    He made a few minor adjustments to my cartridge and I can say it sounded very good. Whats the point?
    A month later I bought the Geo Disc. Why? I was curious. Only $50.
    When it arrived I put it on. Everything was the same as the existing setup with the tool that cost about $300.
    Check it out on Needle Doctors site. Anyway here's my pic. You will find some good recommendations on this site.
    P2151262.JPG
     
  21. illini

    illini The Past is Alive

    Messages:
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  22. FileFixer

    FileFixer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    557
    Location:
    Zagreb/Croatia
    It use same overhang gauge but if you see basic dimensions and geometry calculations it cant to use same overhang gauge to set overhang at 15mm. How it sounds is another question, maybe good, maybe bad. AT-LP120 have same tonearm dimensions as SL-1200 but different pivot to spindle distance, 215mm vs. 214.15mm. If overhang gauge can be used on AT-LP120 TT then overhang is 15.85mm not 15mm as on SL-1200 TT. Distorsion and tracking error over grooves is different as complete needle path and curve over grooves.
     

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