Anybody puzzled by the Fozgometer?

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by needlestein, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. needlestein

    needlestein AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    So, I finally bit the bullet and picked up one of these. I figured that it couldn't hurt with the diagnostic end so for me the price is really sort of not so bad. Also, I managed a few small discounts by choosing carefully the website and credit card I used for the purchase. The thing is built like a tank, so no complaints there, either.

    But, to be honest, I bought it because I had someone complain that a retipped HOMC cartridge had too high right channel output relative to the left channel on a moving coil cartridge; in other words: uneven balance. He mentioned that his moving magnet (really moving iron--really VMS) Ortofon Black was much more balanced--perfectly so.

    While I'm still shopping for an O-scope, which is a pain because I don't know anything about them and it seems like I might not be able to use one for low output moving coil cartridges anyway because the outputs of moving coil cartridges, LOMCs anyway, are too low.

    In any case, I have the Fozgometer hooked up to the RCA's on my SL-1200, not passing through my phono stage.

    I checked about twenty cartridges yesterday and here's the odd thing: Every single moving coil cartridge I tested resulted in a high right signal relative to the left, so no nice green middle "centered" light on any of them except for one. Didn't matter whether they were retipped or not. Adjusting azimuth and/or AS didn't really make much of a difference at all.

    So just when I'm thinking that either my cables could be bad or something like that having to do with my turntable, I try a bunch of moving magnet and moving iron cartridges, and they all read as perfectly centered right off the bat. Also, didn't matter if they were retipped or not.

    Some showed glowing in the red left and right LED's while the green light in the middle was illuminated, which I took to mean that maybe on some cartridges, crosstalk was an issue, or poor separation--not sure if there's a difference there or not.

    So, any insights? Again, there was only one LOMC that read as perfectly centered. All the rest read strong on the right side. None read strong on the left side.

    All moving magnet cartridges read as centered, though some showed possible crosstalk issues.

    Does anyone have any insights? I'm brand new to this Fozgometer so I'm still learning whether it has foibles or not or if maybe I've got one that either has a problem or if I just need to calibrate it. But the difference in how it reads moving magnet and moving iron cartridges vs. moving coil cartridges is really what's throwing me. I suppose given the much higher resistance generally of MM/MI vs. MC perhaps that could explain things and maybe I should just double check that it is calibrated correctly.

    BTW, the way it's read a Micro Acoustics cartridge is really whacko. I'm going to have to try a few other MAs to see if that's going to be a consistent thing or not.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018

     

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  2. dbxdx5

    dbxdx5 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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  3. needlestein

    needlestein AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thanks. Those instructions are also in the instruction book. I guess that's really the first place to start.
     
  4. revox-b77

    revox-b77 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Got a fresh battery?
     
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  5. needlestein

    needlestein AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Well, I used the one that came with it that was sealed. But I suppose it could have been there for a while . . .

    Good reminder. Thanks
     
  6. dinger

    dinger New Member

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    You didn't mention adjusting the tracking force for the mc VS mm cartridges. Did you play around with that?
     

     

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  7. needlestein

    needlestein AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yes, I’m using factory recommended tracking forces.

    Here’s the thing: I calibrated it and it’s doing the same thing. It wasn’t off by much according to the calibration adjustments Inhad to make.

    All MC read as having higher voltage output from the right channel than the left—except for one. MM/MI generally read fine and certainly much more predictably.

    MA cartridges confuse it and so do Deccas. The one Decca I tried reads and only giving a left signal, even on the right only groove—but of course when listening this is clearly not the case. I have other Deccas to try to see if they cause the same kinds of readings.

    Another cartridge I was able to balance by rotating azimuth, a Benz Micro Silver retipped by Soundsmith with the first level sapphire/line contact was pretty cocked by the time it read as even.

    Not sure what to make of this data. I’m assuming that the MM/MI cartridges read more consistently because the difference in ohm readings is proportionally much smaller and so then, too, probably voltage output.

    The MC cartridges are probably A) tattling on a fault in my arm wiring, I guess, or this Fozgometer has a problem.

    I guess one way to check my tonearm wiring would be to solder cartridge clips onto an RCA cable and plug that into the Fozgometer directly bypassing my tonearm wires to see what happens then.
     
  8. heyraz

    heyraz AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Can't you switch around the arm wiring to see if the arm wiring is at fault? Switch the channels, switch the signals and grounds, swap the grounds (left signal + right ground)...write down the results and collect the data.

    At this point in your hobby you should get an Oscilloscope and learn how to use it.
    It behooves you.
    An Oscilloscope is so accurate and a dual channel unit isn't as expensive as you think.
    I picked up a dual channel analog HP for a few hundred dollars less than 2 years ago.
     
  9. Tedrick

    Tedrick Infinity-phile Subscriber

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    I have no issues with my Fozgometer. Took a while to get it properly calibrated, but I've used it on several 'tables with LOMCs ranging up into the high $5Ks and it's worked great.

    If you are having an issue with your Foz, don't hesitate to reach out to Musical Surroundings. I had a couple of hiccups while calibrating mine and had some email communications with them that were very helpful.
     
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  10. needlestein

    needlestein AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I’m starting to think that the issue could be that I’m using the Hi-Fi News test record and not the Musical Surroundings record. The needle swings all over the place. Even when using just the right or left test track, the meter needle moves around a lot. When my cartridges are reading as balanced, they still flicker both the left and right lights.

    I tried some tracks on the CBS STR-100 and even though they aren’t pink noise, they were absolutely steady and only the center green light illuminated. Problem is, there’s no left only and no right only test track. Of course, maybe I don’t really need them.

    I’m not sure the HFN test tracks are actually recorded at the same volume even if they are supposed to be. I can hear the right one much louder from the sound of the needle in the groove since my RCAs are disconnected from my amp, and the right one sounds louder as in it physically vibrates the cantilever more. I’m going to have to get the Musical Surroundings rest record and hopefully that will fix this issue. Not much on the net about this, surprisingly.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  11. Tedrick

    Tedrick Infinity-phile Subscriber

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    You absolutely need the Analogue Productions Ultimate Analogue Test LP. You MUST use1kHz test tones with the Fozgometer. The HFN test LP only has 300 Hz test tones, and the only left / right channel only tracks are pink noise, so is not fit for duty with the Foz.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018

     

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  12. MRL_Audio

    MRL_Audio AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    +1. That’s a must to get it right
     
  13. needlestein

    needlestein AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thanks for confirming my suspicions. I only used the HFN record because the Fozgometer manual clearly mentions it and thus implies that it's acceptable. Too bad. Could have saved me a few hours of scratching my head and staring at the lights, wondering what the hell was happening.
     
  14. needlestein

    needlestein AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    All right! Off to order this disc . . .
     
  15. ripblade

    ripblade Super Member

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    Tracks 6 and 7 on side A, unless your STR-100 is different than mine....:)
     
  16. Tedrick

    Tedrick Infinity-phile Subscriber

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    Very curious. I just checked my manual and the online version. Both mention the Analogue Productions test record, but no mention of the HFN set up record anywhere.
     

     

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  17. needlestein

    needlestein AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    It’s in the one that came printed with the Fozgometer. Perhaps it’s an old instruction book and the reference has since been deleted from other more recent, updated sources. Makes me wonder how long my Foz has sat on a shelf and if it has the latest circuitry.


    8EA7D208-94C2-434A-A531-977632509E08.jpeg EEF163A3-CC6A-459F-A177-E3E217DC5789.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  18. dbxdx5

    dbxdx5 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Couldn't hurt to reach out to Musical Surroundings to confirm that there haven't been any updates to the design. If nothing else, it'll stop you from wondering.

    As for the test record, I would find it a little annoying (and odd) if it's true that it only works properly with one particular type. In that case, it should say somewhere on the Fozgometer packaging/product description that the Analogue Productions disc is necessary in order to obtain correct results. Right now, it just says "for best results," except what you're getting with the HiFi News disc aren't even "adequate results." I'd ask MS about that too.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  19. needlestein

    needlestein AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Alrighty, then. Analog Productions Ultimate Test Record LP arrived and, “Bada BING!” it all works as expected! Definitely can’t use the HFN test record, although I have to mention that I don’t have the latest HFN which is the “Producer’s Cut” or whatever. Anyway, it’s nice to have another diagnostic tool that works as it should. Fozgometer might not be for everyone, but so far it seems to give me what I need—but it must be stressed that it only works with the right test record.

    When I get some time, I’ll go back and see how it does with less conventional cartridges like Decca and MA.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018 at 4:28 PM
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  20. Tedrick

    Tedrick Infinity-phile Subscriber

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    Awesome! Glad you got it all sorted out.
     

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