Cue lever or Hand drop

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by welcomdmat, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. welcomdmat

    welcomdmat AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Could you folks point me to the cue lever or hand drop discussion?

    I have gone from $x to $xx to $xxxx cartridges/ stylus. I always aim to have my turntable set up to maximize sound and minimize wear.

    Is it better to use the cue lever on a well set-up deck or to hand drop?

    Has anyone figured this out?
     
  2. marcmorin

    marcmorin AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    On my tables with cue device, I use the cue. My most common played table is hand cue only. Which is "better" I can't say. Less chance of dropping the arm with a cue device though. Makes picking the arm up at the end of the album easier.
     
  3. 911s55

    911s55 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    It makes no difference. Which ever one is the smoothest, and most convenient for the user.
     
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  4. Nat

    Nat AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    'Hand drop' has an alarming sound. Manual cuing sounds better.
    The answer to your question depends on how steady your hand is, and how impatient you are. The more of either, the more likely you are to manually cue.
     
  5. MurrayLives

    MurrayLives AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    If you drink at all, always use a cue lever.
     
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  6. Montycat

    Montycat AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    It depends on the table I use (some have no lever) but I cue manually a lot, lever or automatic functions or not. It does make a lot of sense to use the lever though if available. I think if you have to ask, you should use the lever. And especially with $xxxx cartridges, of which I have none. ;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
  7. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    not all arms offer damped cueing (at least, not without an aftermarket add-on) :)

    [​IMG]DSC_8625 (3) by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
     
  8. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

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    not all tables have a finger lift. My Magnepan arms do not but they added one to be double stick taped or something to the headshell. I learned to manually cue the arm without the finger lift so I use both. As far as which is better, it has to be damped cueing as any errors with manual cueing will put extra stress on the cartridge/stylus system. I know a few times I have lowered the arm a bit too far, compressing the cantilever's suspension but to detriment that I can tell. Proper cueing can still have issues, hitting the lead in blank space and having the stylus jump forward a few grooves. But whatever as long as things are done that don't put excessive force on the system you will probably be ok.
     
  9. Montycat

    Montycat AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Pray tell, how can you lower the arm too far and overly compress the cantilever suspension unless you are pushing down on it? Gravity works the same with cue levers as it does by hand. If cueing isn't damped, you move the lever slowly.
     
  10. paullehmann

    paullehmann New Member

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    montycat

    the force compressing the suspension on the cartridge is not solely determined by the mass dropped but also the speed from which the meeting between needle and vinyl happens at. the faster the needle meets the vinyl the bigger force. as in a car crash.

    another thing is the sideways movement, as you let the cartridge go when it meets the vinyl - it is not easy letting go whitout at the same time giving a Little sideways push.

    providing the table whith a built in cue mechanism was an extra cost for the manufactor and was put there for a reason - protecting your vinyl and cartridge/cantilever .. not using it is not very clever or mayby just careless ?
     
  11. the_nines

    the_nines AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I always use the lever, no exception.
     
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  12. gusten

    gusten Addicted Member

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    Haven´t had a cue lever for many years, wouldn´t use one if I had one.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  13. Montycat

    Montycat AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yes, that's called inertia, and is related to gravity.

    I don't disagree with you; that's why I said "slowly". I also agree that the damped cue device is the best way to go but I didn't do everything my mom told me either. :)

    I've been playing records for a long time. Cue levers get used, usually. But often they don't (or don't even exist on the tables I use) and I've not damaged a cantilever yet by hand cuing.
     
  14. jrtrent

    jrtrent Super Member

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    I don't use a cue lever to start a record, greatly preferring to "hand drop," but I do use the lever to pick up the tonearm at the end of a side. If a 'table is fully automatic, I like to use auto start.
     
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  15. bob smog

    bob smog AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Cue lever.

    One of the reasons I stopped using my AR-XA was the lack of a cue lever.
     
  16. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Inertia is an intrinsic property of matter and is independent of gravity.
    The principle of inertia is that an object not subject to any net external (applied) force moves at a constant velocity.
    Indeed, forces such as gravity and friction tend to mask the effects of inertia.
     
  17. Montycat

    Montycat AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Ok granted, Einstein. :) Or is that Galileo?

    But gravity starts the ball rolling (or falling) then it's inertia that doesn't want to make it stop.
     
  18. holyman772

    holyman772 Well-Known Member

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    The cue mechanism on the table in my 2nd system needs fluid and I've been too lazy to do it, so I got good at doing it by hand. My primary system is full auto so I just hit the button. Guess I get to check both boxes :)
     
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  19. Mister Pig

    Mister Pig Pigamus Maximus Subscriber

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    Good Lord no! I got too much capital tied up in my cartridges to want to hand cue them. Imagine one of those sudden and uncontrollable sneezes that come up out of nowhere...while you are picking up a cartridge. Shudder. I always cue with the lever.

    Regards
    Mister Pig
     
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  20. SA-708

    SA-708 Appalachian-American Subscriber

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    Due to some hand tremors, I always use the cue lever (or button) when I am not taking full advantage of my full-auto turntables.

    Back in my college radio days, it was all hand cueing, including back-cueing.
     
    prabie likes this.

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