Cartridge Alignment

Discussion in 'Vinyl Nutjob World: Turntable and Related Gear' started by rtaylor76, Aug 9, 2018.

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  1. rtaylor76

    rtaylor76 Can't wipe his tag

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    Let's hear it...

    What is your preferred alignment method? Stevenson, Baerwald, Löfgren B, or some other way, like whatever your turntable says or a linear tracker?

    What protractors and methods do you use to get that cartridge just tight in alignment?

    Do you even have a preference?
     
  2. LetMeBeFrank

    LetMeBeFrank Won't tell anyone my name is actually Francis

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    Looking forward to reading some methods!

    My orbit custom has either the factory alignment or one that @Vansen did when he owned it. It sounds fine to me but I don't have much experience, and this one sounds far better than the other turntables I've heard owned by friends or family. I'd like to check it though to make sure it's still in spec.
     
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  3. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Baerwald - not because I've tried alternatives, but because Baerwald and Stevenson arc protractors (more accurate than the common 2-point type) for Regas were (and still are) available at vinylengine and I prefer the philosophy of trying to equalize mistracking across the record rather than focusing just on the inner grooves as the Stevenson/Rega alignment does.

    Technics and Thorens are there too:

    https://www.vinylengine.com/cartridge-alignment-protractors.shtml

    Alternatively, if you know the pivot-to-spindle distance of your arm/turntable (vinylengine again), you can make a suitable arc protractor using Conrad Hoffman's little app ('Custom arc template generator' at http://conradhoffman.com/chsw.htm ).
     
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  4. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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    The best alignment is no alignment, aka linear tracking.

    But for everyone else, Baerwald is most common as it provides the lowest average tracking error across the entire surface of a record. Some classical weenies like Stevenson for its low tracking error at the inner grooves. While Loefgren B DIN provides lower tracking error in the middle of the record than Baerwald, but higher distortion at the inner and outer grooves. I'm in the majority who use Baerwald because I listen to entire sides of LPs. But use what works best for you. There's shittons of info on cartridge alignment out there on the internet. VPI protractors align to Loefgren B, or very close to it, as I recall. I borrowed a Feickert protractor, and found that it didn't do any better than the protractor that came with my tonearm. I did find I preferred Baerwald to Lofgren B, and as I mentioned, have stuck with it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018

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