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SME V centering problem

Discussion in 'audio' started by Cool_jeeves, Jan 10, 2021.

  1. Cool_jeeves

    Cool_jeeves pfm Member

    Friends, I recently swapped out my DL103R and got myself a re-tipped (actually re-cantilevered) ART-9.

    I mounted it using my SME V's supplied jif.

    I made sure (I think) that the cartridge leads are tight both at the cartridge and tonearm ends. I can't spot any loose connections anywhere.

    I am using tracking force 2g and antiskate also 2.0 setting on the SMEV.

    The sound is perfect except that for the first half of each side of an LP, the sound is louder on the left channel than the right, and hence the image is formed to one side.

    But as the needles completes around 5 minutes the image on its own starts moving to the center, and after 10 min it is perfectly centered.

    I have many tracks which I can play on my CDP also, and as I toggle, there is no shift of image after 10min. The image lock is very strong till the end of the side.

    Why is the image off center for the first 8-10min? I tried changing anti skate but it makes little difference. The stylus is a Boron micro ridge.
  2. sq225917

    sq225917 Bit of this, bit of that

    Assuming correct alignment, It might be the arm bearing that is sticky, or could it be dragging on the arm lift? If not it's the cart.

    Can we take a guess at who did the retip?
  3. Bart

    Bart pfm Member

    ‘sq’ says assuming correct alignment but I would try altering the cartridge alignment subtley both ways and see what happens. I say this because I recently had a similar problem where one cartridge securing screw was loose and the cart had turned slightly.
  4. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    Swap left and right leads on the cart'.
    neilmack likes this.
  5. gwernaffield

    gwernaffield pfm Member

    check the azimuth
  6. Tarzan

    Tarzan pfm Member

    Can you alter azimuth on an SME V?
  7. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Well, I can dream, can’t I?

    Think this thread needs moving to 'audio'. I'll report the OP so the mods see it.
    alan967tiger likes this.
  8. slawekt

    slawekt pfm Member

    only by tilting tonearm pillar slightly
    Tarzan likes this.
  9. Tarzan

    Tarzan pfm Member

    Not totally ideal though?
  10. Nero

    Nero Wiped Clean

    It would help if you put a price :)
  11. slawekt

    slawekt pfm Member

    Definitely not ideal but possible if needed , to be fair I'd rather live with minimal crosstalk difference , if a cartridge requires massive azimuth adjustment is not good to use IMO.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2021
    Tarzan and sq225917 like this.
  12. sq225917

    sq225917 Bit of this, bit of that

    My money is on mechanical interference at the back end of the arm. Unless the cart is a total hack job
  13. alcarmichael

    alcarmichael pfm Member

    Are you using any fluid damping?
  14. Andy1912

    Andy1912 pfm Member

    definitely do simple checks like this first, at various points in the chain, eg, cart, phono to make sure its not cabling rather than the cart. had loads of these issues and almost every time its been a problematic lead or connection somewhere, though not every time.
  15. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile


    Are you using a flat mat, or is it dished?

    Also, is this on your LP12, or another deck?

  16. kernow

    kernow Member

    Hmm, interesting, I've noticed a small amount of crosstalk and channel imbalance on test records using my IV with fluid damper.
  17. flapland

    flapland pfm Member

    I agree the arm lift is a possible cause, I had this with mine having adjusted a bit to much. Also check if any cartridge leads are catching at all.

    If he fluid damper is being used its pretty easy to adjust it so either the plunger isn't in use at all or is only just in the silicone fluid.

    Although the cartridge I am using on mine might benefit from use of the fluid damper I think I won't bother as I am always concerned about removing the fluid/spillage.
  18. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    Based upon the amount of information given so far, there are a number of clues indicating this to be an azimuth issue, having less to do with tonearm alignment than it possibly has to do with records being dished upward toward their outer circumference.

    The clues so far:
    • consistent channel imbalance over the first 5 minutes of each record side only
    • affects right channel only; the right channel is encoded within the RH groove wall
    • none adjustability of headshell azimuth to compensate for none flat platter or mat
    Some possible causes:
    • dished platter
    • dished mat
    • a larger than standard diameter flat mat overlapping the lip round the circumference of an LP12 platter, for example.
  19. Cool_jeeves

    Cool_jeeves pfm Member

    Hi everyone. I was away yesterday. Thank you all for your replies. I will respond after looking into it in the next couple of days. It is a Garrard 301.
  20. Cool_jeeves

    Cool_jeeves pfm Member

    The cart plays absolutely perfectly – it is indistinguishable from my CD player in terms of quality or image centering – but only from the 10th minute onwards. I will check on the arm lift drag…but the arm lift is such that it is set too low and I don’t have that very think SME tool which can be used to raise the arm lift support. Right now, if I raise the lever up the arm lift does not even touch the underside of the tonearm. So that cant be a factor.

    Then it starts from the right side and then moves to center after 10 min.

    I am coming to the conclusion that i will have to take out the tonearm, and reinstall it ab initio.

    You can - if you loosen the side screws then the arm pillar can be moved back and forth, up and down, and tilted subtly to get Azimuth right.

    Looking at it frontally and with alignment devices, I dont see any misalignment.

    I have run out of damper fluid. I will need to buy afresh. Will that cause this particular problem though?

    It is a Herbies flat mat. As far as I can see. I have checked for the plinth, board, arm base, record surface all being horizontal as I have been doing for many years.

    Same here - I have not used damper fluid for many years and have had no problems.

    I have a normal looking Garrard 301 - regular stock platter, stock everything except for the mat. Mat is in excellent condition.

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