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Thread: Turntable Setup - Better done by a "Gifted Pro" or can regular folks learn to do it well?

  1. #11
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best! jazdoc's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Lavigne View Post
    don't believe a word, he is doing his typical 'Clark Kent' deal.......

    I've been around a few very, very fine tone arm <-> cartridge set-up people, I've seen no one do it better than jazdoc.

    not only that, I've seen no one more patient and relentless about it. whenever I really want my set-up 'uber' perfect, it's I mean jazdoc to the rescue.
    I'm blushing.

    But your subsequent post makes my point. Set up is much more about practice and persistence than talent
    Trying is the first step to failure. -- H. Simpson

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Cologne, Germany
    a cartridge set up does need some qualifications:

    - If you struggle to fit IKEA type of stuff, do not do the cartridge thing....,
    if you know how to fit and install small things with little screws and tiny connectors, you can do a cartridge fitment as well.

    - you need to be self confident about "what sound right", as changing the different parameters of the cartridge will give you a lot of different sonic signatures. You have to choose "what sounds best" and this is sometimes not an easy task, as the differences can be small. You should understand, what structured iteration on multiple parameters means, as this is mostly the only way to come fast to a satisfying result.

    - some believe in measurables..., using computer programs and records with dedicated signals. This is better, than nothing, but music is more, that what you can measure. My experience tells me, it is not always the best measuring cartridge, what sounds best...

    If you ask someone to fit your cartridge, be sure , that the specialist knows, what you are looking for. Some people prefer a cartridge set up with more substance, some prefer slightly more resolution, so VTA can become a killing field of different philosophies....


  3. #13
    Addicted to Best! cjfrbw's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
    Pleasanton, CA
    Why would you want to substitute your own audio OC disorder for somebody else's audio OC disorder?

    Precision setup is over-rated. I remember before I got my Da Vinci arm in the correct position, for shits and giggles I set it up with a hypothetical 20 percent tracking distortion. It still sounded better than my previous arm.

    You can dance the azimuth dance, twerk to the VTR rumba, do the protractor cha cha, you will still wind up somewhere unknown within a large error envelope. All the different thicknesses of vinyl, their different shapes, warps and groove angles, the different materials and cutting heads etc. assure that you will never be spot on, no matter what the "precision" guys tell you, so level the table, truss the suspension appropriately, pick a spot that is in a reasonable protractor range for the arm, cartridge and table, then forget about it and enjoy.

    If your "enjoyment" is fussing with the turntable rather than listening to the records, then get the fussiest and most obstinate, finicky turntable/tonearm you can find and let it rule your life!
    SME 30/2 Turntable, Da Vinci Grandezza Tonearm, Benz MC-3 Cartridge, Allnic HT 3000 head amp, Allnic H-3000 Phono, Allnic L 5000 preamp, Accuphase F 25, Analysis Audio Epsilon Speaker/foil tweeters in four way active crossover Amplification: Sony TAN 8550 VFET amp (26 DHT preamp driver)350-7000hz, Yamaha B-2 VFET amplifier (26 DHT preamp driver)80-350hz , 45 SET tube amp 7000Hz to infinity Hz, Yamaha RX Z9 plus Yamaha Aventage CX-A5000 preamp processor 9.4 surround sound.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by bonzo75 View Post
    I also understand that as a cartridge wears off, one has to readjust VTA etc to compensate, so if a pro sets it up it will work only for a few days.
    If one examines all of the theoretical challenges with vinyl playback it boggles the mind that it sounds like music at all!

    In practice getting all of the parameters "in the zone" yields a sublime experience that doesn't need to be twiddled with every side played. Of course some prefer to optimize SRA for each record thickness (and remember the cutterheads are all set by hand to approximate an ideal and so vary) and more power to them.

    One of the hard parts about setup (assuming you have good tools etc) is that when you get close, and the work to get there was a bit taxing, you might decide to not push further. If you do press on, this may mean going 'backwards' or trying to regain what you had...but this is when the fine improvements happen.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Solypsa View Post
    One of the hard parts about setup (assuming you have good tools etc) is that when you get close, and the work to get there was a bit taxing, you might decide to not push further.
    Yesterday I was mounting a cartridge and my initial rough in resulted in the cart being nearly spot on. Coincidence I assure you. I sighed knowing that, despite how cool the coincidence was, I had to get in there and make it right. Funny moment.

  6. #16
    Addicted to Best! daytona600's Avatar
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    Sep 2012
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    Vertere MG-1 Magic Groove / Vertere SG-1HB Tonearm / Ortofon A95
    Lamm LP2.1 Deluxe - Active Sanders Sound 10c

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