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Stylus force gauge

Discussion in 'audio' started by mikegreenwood, Sep 13, 2022.

  1. mikegreenwood

    mikegreenwood pfm Member

    Looking to buy one of these from Amazon. Prices are all over the place and many look the same. Recommendations welcome. More interested in an accurate easy to use unit than a cheap offering.
  2. martin dawson

    martin dawson pfm Member

    You can’t go wrong buying one from Johnnie 7 Audio Origami.


  3. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Colton Variscale used here. Hunt EDA one as back-up/double check.
  4. JoeJoe

    JoeJoe pfm Member

    …they’re total shite. Set your tonearm to balance at perfect parallility and then dial in the minimum recommended force to start with, and move on from there. (Don’t forget to add your anti-skating after!…)
    The reason they’re shite is; they don’t weigh in after parallility at the stylus contact point….your tonearm can be landing in at any angle when it hits the weighing pad on these gauges….
  5. Mynamemynaim

    Mynamemynaim 38yrs a Naim owner

    Yer yer yer....I don't own one either so they must be shiteo_O
  6. Joolzdee

    Joolzdee pfm Member

    Paid around a tenner for one on Amazon. Seems to work fine and it tallies with the Shure and Ortofon balances I picked up for a few quid many moons ago. Can't all be wrong.
  7. Joolzdee

    Joolzdee pfm Member

    Not all arms have a tracking force dial or scale though...
    Aro? (didn't Naim supply an Ortofon gauge with the Aro?)
    Audio Origami PU7?
    Must be others too.
    martin dawson and JoeJoe like this.
  8. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    There are squillions of brands of digital gauges and probably no more than one or two (Chinese) manufacturers who brand their kit under countless names.

    Pay the least.

    I have an EDA that works absolutely fine, but is far more faff to use than a digital version.

    Anyone who suggests that angle of the stylus contact counts for anything, knows less than nothing about applied maths...................................... Vertical force is exactly that......................................

    Yes - Ortofon gauge with ARO - a crude version of the EDA.
  9. Venus Isle

    Venus Isle Active Member

    Coincidentally just took delivery of a Shure SFG-2 gauge today. Pretty hard to come by nowadays, by all accounts.

    Was fed up with getting erratic results from el cheapo, plasticy digital balances. This thing looks like a proper product, metal & reassuringly old school...
    MikeMA, MusicMiles and Fergus like this.
  10. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    I've not had trouble with my cheapo (£15?) digital scales bought years ago. Battery lasts a while too and the recessed stylus holder is pretty safe too. It comes with a 5g weight to check accuracy. An alternative is an old Shure spring-loaded one which comes up used from time to time.
    AndyCC72 and John like this.
  11. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Is your EDA a plastic item with an off-set rotary counterbalance like mine? It has no makers name so I'm hoping I recall it being Hunt EDA correctly! Just "Made in England" and a patent app number, all on the underside. Argh this getting old thing! I recall like it was last week buying it from the now apparently defunct Gilson Audio and feeling royally ripped off "£5 for a tiny bit of plastic FFS!?". could prob have bought 5 pints of beer for that at the time... ('81,-82 ish)
    Pre internet things not existing according to a google search was being discussed earlier and this appears to be an example! Very common at one time.

    Agreed on the vertical force!
    Vinny likes this.
  12. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    MY EDA is just a simple see-saw with a x1 or x2 option and a couple of small mirrors at one end so that you can judge balace accurately.
  13. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    If anyone doubts a digital balace - two things to try -

    Lift the stylus off a few times and lower in the same position.

    Lift the sylus off and move a few mm, then lower, a few times.

    The one here reads to 0.01g (meaningless lunacy) and reads the same doing this, to within 0.01-0,02g.
  14. cobbers

    cobbers pfm Member

    Sounds just like the magnetic:oops: Shure I had years ago.
  15. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    They are very good, but be careful some are ferric so MC carts and Deccas will attach like a limpet! I’ve owned both but I never found a way of identifying them from pictures as they look identical, though I assume the ferrous ones were made in the 1970s when everyone used MM carts. I still have the non ferrous one.

    One really good thing about the Shure is it is very low lying so measures pretty much at playing height. Within a mm or so anyway.
    Fergus likes this.
  16. karma67

    karma67 pfm Member

    i use the shure gauge and i have coming a Colton Variscale to try.
  17. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    Nothing magnetic in the one here - just a plastic see-saw base and chromed steel bar with a wire pivot. Also not Shure. It is a simple, straight-forward, no-nonsense, balance. It could not be simpler.
  18. cobbers

    cobbers pfm Member

    The Shure SFG2 was a stainless balance with mirrors - found out late on it was slightly magnetic - not very good with MC!
    Long before the electronic ones were available - made my own brass beam to replace the stainless - made calibration weights to check the new beam - took off the original scale.
  19. Beobloke

    Beobloke pfm Member

    Garrard SPG3 is always the answer!
    Craig B likes this.
  20. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    I do recall mine being common at the time and 90% certain it is Hunt EDA but as I say I can't find a link to it on google.

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