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Cartridge set up

Discussion in 'd.i.y.' started by Spencerfrater, Nov 3, 2019.

  1. Spencerfrater

    Spencerfrater pfm Member

    If I’m getting slightly more output through one channel, could this be something to do with cartridge set up? I think I’ve eliminated most other potential causes.
    I think I’ve heard that a sub-optimal azimuth can cause this.
    If this is the case, and the weaker channel is say the right channel, which way should I adjust the azimuth, looking at the front of the cartridge?
  2. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    Unless a unipivot, azimuth is unlikely to be a problem and if it is, a pain to adjust to say the least.
    Try anti-skate adjustment first unless you have a simple template to judge azimuth and see that it is out. Change a little, say half a gramme, have a listen, etc. etc.

    If you have an LP with a blank side (I have a couple but am damned if I can remember what they are....…………), anti-skate is simplest to set by using that - the tonearm should remain stationary in terms of tracking across the groove-less record when tracking/anti-skate/bias is spot on.
  3. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Yeah like Vinny says the bias adjustment can do this if it's way out.
  4. Spencerfrater

    Spencerfrater pfm Member

    I don’t think it’s anti skate / bias - sounds OK on the HiFi News test record, and I’ve played with this a bit.
    The reason I’m thinking azimuth is because when I put a spirit level across the headshell (perpendicular to the tonearm) it’s not perfectly level. This is not adjustable on my tonearm (RB300). But I would’ve thought azimuth can be adjusted by using one of those slightly compressible cartridge mounting pads and tightening one mounting bolt more than the other?
    (But I don’t have one of those pads so just wondered before doing this whether azimuth could be a reason for the channel output imbalance)
  5. jimpey

    jimpey pfm Member

    Is balance even on cd playback?
  6. deebster

    deebster Half Man Half Biscuit

    Is the deck itself level?
  7. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    OK on the test record, but not on music?????????????????

    But the test record is just the equivalent of a normal music LP but with L and R separated.

    I would not trust a bubble level on a tonearm headshell - far better to use a template, something like this -

  8. chartz

    chartz pfm Member

    That is an odd issue. A defective cartridge? I don’t think a bad alignment can have such an effect. Does the cartridge distorts at all?
    Also we would like photos of your setup please (different angles).
    Are you a beginner?
  9. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Test records with unrecorded bands for setting up bias can result in being way out!

    If using a MM set bias same as downforce. If MC then a bit less, about 1.5 bias for 2g downforce, and then experiment by ear but those figures will be damn close.
    myles likes this.
  10. Spencerfrater

    Spencerfrater pfm Member

    Yes balance even on CD playback.
    Deck is level.
    Haven’t really picked the issue up on the test record as it’s only slight, and one only listens to the test record for a few short segments to test bias / anti skate.
    Using MM and bias same as downforce - 1.75g - have also played with this without success.
    I’ll need to get one of those templates then @Vinny
  11. Spencerfrater

    Spencerfrater pfm Member

    My question still stands though: can adjusting azimuth (or VTA) help balance the output?
  12. chartz

    chartz pfm Member

    And what about photos? They would be VERY useful for us to be able to help.
  13. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    Yes, but a PITA to achieve on anything but a unipivot.
  14. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Not really... unless way out maybe. Check the tags on the cart. use some small pliers to slide them up and down on cart (very carefully!!) which should clean any muck off. Unplug and replug the TT from the phono input on amp/phono stage a few times also.
    Spencerfrater likes this.
  15. Chris

    Chris pfm Member

    My Ittok LVIII has always had a visually obvious azimuth issue. After talking to a well-known arm guru he told me that this is not the first Ittok to have this issue and he suggested using a spacer under one of the three arm collar bolts. I made mine from an old credit card using a paper punch/drill. I still have my balance problem so fitted 2 separate volume controls to my A21SE. Seems OK as solutions go.
    Spencerfrater likes this.
  16. cobbers

    cobbers pfm Member

    Swap R&L to R&L inputs to the amp - see if it goes with the turntable or the amo.
    Did have an issue recently with switching in pre due to poor soldering - maybe poor connection on RCA or in phono switch.

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