MT10 alignment questions

Discussion in 'McIntosh Audio' started by jmslaw, Sep 5, 2016.

  1. jmslaw

    jmslaw Member

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    i have tried for a long time to get the answers to the following questions:

    1) Has anyone else noticed that their MT10's settings deviated from the factory settings? When I set up my MT10, the tone arm height jig was WAY off, such that if I placed it as suggested, the arm was not close to parallel. I had to lower the tone arm significantly to get it parallel to the record surface (yes, using the factory-supplied MCC10 cartridge.) The setup sounds great, but I am bothered psych-acoustically by the deviation;

    2) My MT-10.6 ( I assume the newest version) does NOT have a dot at the top of the tone arm between the n and t, (to which the manual refers as the center of the pivot) Older versions did. I have no idea why mine does not, and it makes using the plastic factory supplied alignment "jig" almost useless. I also have a more sophisticated Clearaudio metal jig with the hanging "nail" which I can't accurately place without that dot. Has anyone used any other alignment devices which might make setup more accurate?

    3) The supplied cartridge is ALLEGEDLY a Clearaudio Talismann V2; however, the recommended tracking force for that cartridge is 2.8g, and the McIntosh literature states that the recommended tracking force for the MCC10 is 2.4g! Also, the output of the Talismann is .7mv and the MCC10 is .5mv!........ YES! these things are keeping me up at night!! . Comments???
     
  2. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

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    I would call Clearaudio, see what they say.
     
  3. feinstei

    feinstei AK Member

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    I have an MT-5, so take what I say with a grain of salt.... I use the Feikert protractor, acknowledged to be the "best in the business" to align my MT-5. It's probably similar to your ClearAudio. Of course, my MT-5 has the "dot" at the pivot point which your MT-10 lacks. I checked the MT-5's dot placement with a micrometer and vernier calipers and it is indeed "right on" the pivot point.

    Any of these protractors including the Feikert, depend on knowing where the tonearm's pivot point is. Have you talked to McIntosh customer support regarding why they left the "dot" off of their newest revision? Is it possible that your tonearm is defective and it should have the dot?

    I'm shocked that they don't have the pivot point dot on the MT-10 (I'm also shocked that they don't give you a dust cover!!!)...
     
  4. c_dk

    c_dk Addicted Member

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    I will try to post this as politely as I can.......

    Your obsessions highlight the points amateurs argue about endlessly without addressing the details the pros need to attend too to achieve consistent high level performance.

    In no particular order....

    What does the crosstalk measure?......What does the frequency response look like on a osciliscope? What is the resonanant frequency of your tone arm/ cantilever system?(varies from cartridge sample to cartridge sample). How did you set the anti skate bias?

    A tonearm cartrige combination is a dynamic active system, static measurements might get you in the correct zip code.......maybe.
     
  5. Andrew Zakon

    Andrew Zakon New Member

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    My New McIntosh MT10 which I purchased 3 days ago also does not have a dot at tonearm. And I have also inconvenience even having best (according to rewiews) SMARTractor (http://www.arche-headshell.de/alignment-tools/smartractor/)
    I made everything according to the manual. I put a cartridge tracking force 2.4 g and faced the problem that my tonearm lift does not go down to the end. And I have problem with speed sensor the plate is running to slow. I feel the difference in speed very clearly compearing the same records with my previous TT. MT10 is far from what we used to call a plug&play.
    Did You try to contact McIntosh to get answers on Your questions?

    P.s By the way how do You know that Your version of MT10 is 10.6?
     
  6. c_dk

    c_dk Addicted Member

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    Who in the world would promise a cartridge turntable system would be in alighnment after shipping......pure BS.

    We were expected as Mac dealers to have a WIld microscope, a Shure CPEC or the AT/Signet equivalent, and a osciliscope as well as assorted test records to insure proper alignment initially as well as years of record playing later. We would offer our local clients a free checkup up every 6 months to insure their diamond stylus was wearing evenly.

    Anything else is pure hooooey.....and I told Charlie Randal this personally back last October.
     
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  7. feinstei

    feinstei AK Member

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    The McIntosh-supplied cartridges (the MT-5 has a Sumiko Blue Point #2 and the MT-10 has the "specially selected" ClearAudio Talismann II Gold) are shipped from the factory with the cartridge already mounted correctly (this was the case with my MT-5). The counterweight position for the McIntosh-supplied cartridges is clearly and accurately "marked" for the proper tracking force for the Blue Point (on the MT-5) and the Talismann (on the MT-10), The tonearm height (for a 120 gram record) and correct bias (anti-skate) is supposedly set at the factory as well. My MT-5/Sumiko Blue-Point needed absolutely no alignment or intervention from me when I bought the turntable brand new from my local dealer.

    The headshell on the MT-5 is "fool-proof" for the Sumiko Blue-Point -- the overhang settings are automatically correct if you mount the Blue-Point all the way forward in the headshell. I believe that the MT-10 is also foolproof if you use the McIntosh cartridge included with it (you don't need a gauge or Feikert protractor -- just push the cartridge all the way forward in the headshell).

    Of course, the Sumiko Blue-Point was a piece of shit, shrill, fatiguing, and nasty, so I soon replaced it with a Shure V15 Type IIIG (the model with the conical stylus), and most recently, with the McIntosh cartridge intended for the MT-10 (a "specially selected" ClearAudio Talismann II that I found on Audiogon) which gives me far-and-away the best sound that I've ever heard from a turntable (I listen mostly to old classical and easy-listening records from the '60's).

    These replacement cartridges of course, required my Feikert Protractor, a scope, a stylus force gauge (the $14 Chinese digital one worked great) and the Hi-Fi News Test Record in order to properly set them up for optimal tracking, bias etc on the MT-5.

    However, if I had used the cartridge supplied by McIntosh, the MT-5 would have been setup perfectly out-of-the-box.

    My big question remains though... Why doesn't McIntosh supply a dust cover on the MT-10 like they do on the MT-5? Seems to me that if you're spending all that money, they ought to give you the same or better features that they do on the lower-priced model.
     
  8. c_dk

    c_dk Addicted Member

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    How do you know the antiskate bias is correct?
    How do you know the crosstalk/channel separation is maximized?
    What is the actual resonant frequency of your arm/cartridge combination?

    The Sumiko blue point has been around for years......shrill has never cropped up before as a criticism. Do you know why yours was acting up?

    From your previous posts you stated you had to push your South Bend dealer to order you a table which they reluctantly did.

    Lastly, I guess this question can only be answered by Ron C. That is, how many dealers are still out there that have the old skills we were taught back in the day to properly set up and confirm these expensive tables are properly extracting all the info off the record with the least amount of record wear?
     
  9. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

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    I'v never heard that before either, I'v never had the BP2 though. However I have used Sumiko for years and have many Blackbirds, BP EVO III, Versioso Talisman Dti and the Boron, shrill they are not.
     
  10. feinstei

    feinstei AK Member

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    It's simply a matter of taste regarding the Sumiko Blue Point I guess and what one defines as "shrill". I thought that it was a lousy cartridge. Perhaps you don't. Tough luck.

    In response to your attempt to discredit my abilities to properly align a cartridge, not only have I been doing it for at least as long as you have (even though HiFi and electronics are my hobbies -- I am a veterinarian by profession), but I have accumulated state-of-the-art tools such as the Feikert, the Fozgometer, as well as the Shure and HiFi News Test records and my properly aligned scope to verify my alignment and bias (Track 9 on Side One of the HiFi News LP is a good torture test for testing whether Anti-Skate is setup correctly -- The McIntosh cartridge that I currently am using is extremely sensitive to anti-skate adjustment and clearly shows the "lack of buzzing" when Anti-Skate is set perfectly and the movement of "buzzing" from the left channel to the right when Anti-Skate is even slightly off in either direction.

    In conclusion, I don't understand your nasty defensiveness c_dk. My point was not about the Sumiko cartridge. That was a casual aside. My point was that, in my experience with my actual purchase of the MT-5, that McIntosh successfully ships the ClearAudio-manufactured MT-5 with overhang, stylus force, and anti-skate pre-set so that neither the dealer nor the customer has to perform any alignment when they receive the turntable. This was the case with my MT-5 (even though I didn't like the cartridge). I verified that proper alignment of the Sumiko with the tools that I mentioned in the paragraph above.

    Please stick to the subject at hand when you're debating a point. For example, what the heck does the quality of my dealer in South Bend, nor my distaste for the Sumiko Blue-Point 2 have to do with the point that I was making about McIntosh MT-5 turntables being pre-aligned at the factory?
     
  11. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

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    Well because his point is, a table set at the factory by someone who's thinking about lunch. A set up table is strapped down, packed and shipped getting jarred all the way to a dealer or home is not going to remain the same. The end user is going to need to do some setup or re-setup and if they can't the nearest dealer should have at least someone who knows how to set up a turntable, help the customer. No table is plug and play it's far to sensitive to ship and come out of a box dead nuts on.
     
  12. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

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    Yeah this Sumiko Blue Point 2 is not that great of a cartridge...entry level at best.

    imgres.jpg

    Blue Point Special II is a much better cart.

    images.jpg

    The Blue Point Special EVO III is far better yet

    imgres.jpg

    When someone buys a package table, deck, arm and cart and at a price of $6000 the first skimping is going to be the cartridge. People also buying packaged setup tables also tend not to be avid turntable users, they want simple no thinking and I'm done, plug and play.

    So I can also see why the BP 2 was used over the EVO III that at this time is only a $100 less. You breath wrong around a naked body like the Blackbird and EVO with no stylus guard, there will be problems. Then having a factory person set these up, packing and shipping on the arm would be a bone head move. Far far to risky for the micro wires and stylus.

    If I bought a MT-5 or MT-10 it would be without arm and cart so I can use what I like and want.
     
  13. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

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    I have a very very hard time believing this, your trying to say there is no adjustability, and that's just not how it works with overhang setup. A slotted head shell is going to allow movement forward and back, and a neutral center, most carts will land properly setup center. Soooo, went on the net looking at many MT decks...

    130930_McIntosh_Turntables_07-660x440.jpg 130930_McIntosh_Turntables_02-660x440.jpg Bettermcintosh.JPG 1408899029.jpg
     
  14. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

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    Nope still cant find this fool proof setting on anyones table. I think you need less tools as your way way off on setting up a table and offering advice to others that are lost.

    Bj7lTcqCQAAZ08I.jpg hqdefault.jpg DSCF2152[1]_94840_1.png
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
  15. c_dk

    c_dk Addicted Member

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    My point has been that 36 years ago, when Mac did not sell turntables or cartridges, they made a effort to give this rookie a chance to learn from them the correct way to set and calibrate turntables.

    Now when they are attempting to sell multi thousand dollar tables they are not bothering to give their dealers a chance to stand out with this most likely scarce knowledge.

    It is no wonder they are failing to meet sales goals.

    I don't think that is a nasty additude, I just expect Mac to stand up like they used to.
     
  16. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    Guys .... relax.
     
  17. Andrew Zakon

    Andrew Zakon New Member

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    I wrote a mail to McIntosh on all Your question and McIntosh gave me an answer:

    Question: 1. As I wrote above my MT10 has a figure 6 at the end of the model name - MT10-6 (factory number is YJ1839). It means a 6 generation or what?
    Answer 1.The -6 is a version number, it means the unit meets European energy saving standards.

    Question 2: My MT10-6 does NOT have a dot at the top of the tone arm between the n and t, (to which the manual refers as the center of the pivot) Older versions did. I have no idea why mine does not, and it makes using the plastic factory supplied alignment almost useless. I also have a more sophisticated SMARTractor alignment tool with the hanging "nail" which I can't accurately place without that dot. Can You comment why? And what is the way to solve it?
    Answer 2. I am checking with engineering on this and I will get back to you

    Question 3: The supplied cartridge is ALLEGEDLY a Clearaudio Talismann V2; however, the recommended tracking force for that cartridge is 2.8g, and the McIntosh literature states that the recommended tracking force for the MCC10 is 2.4g! Also, the output of the Talismann is .7mv and the MCC10 is .5mv! Why it is so?
    Answer 3.The cartridge is not a Talismann V2, it is a cartridge co-designed by McIntosh and ClearAudio specifically for the MT10.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
  18. jmslaw

    jmslaw Member

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    Andrew,

    Thanks for contacting them! Question 3 is particularly interesting, as I suspected it was NOT a Talismann V2. It is a nice cartridge, but I suspect comparable to something less expensive in the Clearaudio line. The previous poster is correct that the only true way to align the cart. is by using tools far more intricate than any protractor. The MT10 is a great table, but FAR from "plug and play." Thanks everyone for the responses.
     
  19. Andrew Zakon

    Andrew Zakon New Member

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    Today I have received an answer from Clearaudio to the same questions as Mcintosh.

    Dear Andrew,

    thanks for your feedback regarding the McIntosh turntable.
    I’ll give you some answers from our point of view, please note that this is not an official announcement by McIntosh.
    So let have a look:

    1. As I wrote above my MT10 has a figure 6 at the end of the model name - MT-10-6 (factory number is YJ1839). It means a 6 generation or what?
    1.The model name is MT10-6 since a long time, I guess it since the beginning of this model. It’s not known to us, if there have been different versions. Although there are slight changes in the parts within the years the name of the turntable never changed.

    2. My MT10-6 does NOT have a dot at the top of the tone arm between the n and t, (to which the manual refers as the center of the pivot) Older versions did. I have no idea why mine does not, and it makes using the plastic factory supplied alignment almost useless. I also have a more sophisticated SMARTractor alignment tool with the hanging "nail" which I can't accurately place without that dot. Can You comment why? And what is the way to solve it?
    2.The manual of the MT10-6 is still from the early beginnings. The slight changes at the turntable (like the removal of the dot at the top plate of the arm) are not in the manual. All I can tell you, is that the latest models don’t have the dot, you are up to date with your MT10-6.

    3) The supplied cartridge is ALLEGEDLY a Clearaudio Talismann V2; however, the recommended tracking force for that cartridge is 2.8g, and the McIntosh literature states that the recommended tracking force for the MCC10 is 2.4g! Also, the output of the Talismann is .7mv and the MCC10 is .5mv!........ YES! Why it is so? Comments?
    3.Like I said before, the manual is from the early beginnings. At the beginnings there was a different cartridge in the package of Mt10-6. The current version if with the Talismann V2 cartrdige and that’s why I highly recommend to use the 2.8 g tracking force. You can refer to all out technical specs regarding the cartridge (such as output voltage etc.)

    4) I put a cartridge tracking force 2.4 g and faced the problem that my tonearm lift does not go down to the end. How to solve it?
    4.Please check again with 2.8. g tracking force. Another tip: move up and down the lift a few times manually to dispense the grease properly, it is necessary for a new unit.

    5) And I have problem with speed sensor. The plate is running to slow. I feel the difference in speed very clearly compearing the same records with my previous Clearaudio Concept.
    5.What is the display showing? I would recommend to make sure the speed sensor and the stroboscopic ring at the bottom side of the platter is clean. Then check the speed with stroboscopic platter and speedlight and if need be fine-adjust the speed with the potentiometers on the backside of the unit.

    With the cartridge situation becomes really interesting......
     
  20. jmslaw

    jmslaw Member

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