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Fitting A Cartridge - Absolute Beginner Advice

Discussion in 'audio' started by Big Tabs, Jun 10, 2021.

  1. Big Tabs

    Big Tabs looking backwards, going forwards

  2. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    If you get braver, repalce the tags with Cardas ones - shaped like a dolly peg (if that means anything to you) - simple but brilliant design, so easy to use.
  3. Big Tabs

    Big Tabs looking backwards, going forwards

    I am unable to see any point in changing them.

    The cartridge fitted has several spare styli
  4. Waxy

    Waxy Active Member

    When clearing out my late stepfather's tools I found some very narrow needle nose pliers. These have proved invaluable for attaching and detaching cartridge tags. Much better than fat-fingered faffery.
  5. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    The perfect headshell lead tool is a proper German Sklar stainless steel surgical scissor clamp (avoid the disposable plastic shite).

    Lock these on to the solder/crimp tag end and then your hand is free to hold them any way that you like before pulling or pushing.

    Ideal for installing new leads into headshells too.

    You'll find these on ePay, often with burnt tips from using them as soldering heat sink and/or roach clip.

    Waxy likes this.
  6. Big Tabs

    Big Tabs looking backwards, going forwards

    That is what I have from my Nursing days.
    It is in a jar in the bathroom, I use it to yank hairs out of my nose.

    It didn’t occur to me to use them, hence the request for direction :)
    Tarzan likes this.
  7. Sonny Beauceron

    Sonny Beauceron pfm Member

    I see the difference between now and the old days the other way round: most of the time it’s basically fine now just as it was basically fine then without a lot of fuss.

    People (of whom there seem to be many) modifying headshells to account for 1mm of overhang are deluding themselves if they think they can hear a difference.
  8. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Every turntable or arm I’ve ever owned has had an alignment protractor, often a very simple to use single-point one made out of card (Lenco, SME, Rega etc). I’m now convinced that is all you need. The important thing is to use the right one for the arm, e.g. don’t try to align a Stevenson arm with a Baerwald protractor.

    I went right down the rabbit hole in the ‘80s with one of those Townsend EEI gauges where you plot a distortion curve on special graph paper etc, but I was never convinced it got any better results than just using the protractor that came with the deck. The key thing that has changed now is there are people attempting to charge many £hundreds for alignment tools. I have no interest and just use the simple card one that came with my vintage SME arm! It gets the cart in exactly the right place for that arm geometry so why go further?!
    wylton likes this.
  9. wylton

    wylton Naim and Mana member

    Yes, I had one of those too! In fact, I still have it, though none of my current arms have removeable head shells.
    Tony L likes this.
  10. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    By the old days I was referring to the 60s and early-ish 70s as it reflects my days with Goldring, Garrard, Thorens, SME and others plus many Shures up to V15. Maybe it was just my ignorance then, despite reading all the hifi mag's; maybe it's my memory as I can't even remember if my SME 3012 came with the usuals in those days('69/'70). Certainly, there was no thought of measured alignment (with cart.) when putting together various combos in those halcyon days and it wasn't just the lifestyle we led. ;)

    Being spoilt by 15 years of (second time around) SME, I had to buy something decent when I got a PU7, as the only arm specific ones were paper; at least those recommended by A.O.) Simply couldn't use it so got a mk. 1 Dr.F. The N.A. one for its Ace Anna was okay, though, before the PU7.

    You can overcook it, y'know; 'Taint raw then.:)
  11. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    Having worked in the middle ground between Japanese, American, and UK/European decks, it used to be that complete turntable/tonearm packages came with a simple alignment gauge, whereas, separate component tonearms came with a full installation/cartridge alignment protractor (or protractors). The latter makes perfect sense when the deck to be employed is an unknown. On the other hand, the former, often a simple plastic device that fits over the end of the headshell (Europe mostly), or that a universal headshell plugs into (Japan mostly*), makes perfect sense when the deck is supplied with that makers own tonearm installed.

    * Pioneer often supplied both a plug in type as well as a graduated 45rpm adapter with some models. Of course, the most convenient tool of all was that which appeared on PL12D as a tiny platform that could be raised up beneath the tip with the arm locked into the arm rest position. Not that one necessarily changed one's cartridges out so often, but at least it was easy to locate when one needed it. What is less well known about this device is that it was a copy of ELAC's patented work from 1966, for use on decks where the arm geometry/auto mechanism prevented the arm from being swung fully over the centre spindle.

    Pioneer 45 adaptor/overhang checker (the outer edge is 18mm):
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2021
    Big Tabs likes this.

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