Anti Skating?

J.R. Boisclair

Active Member
Jul 1, 2020
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What is the level you advice us to use to set the bias using a measuring tool? As far as I remember the HifiNews test record had three levels.
None of them. The coefficient of friction that each of those grooves would create with your stylus is far above your average playback coefficient of friction, leading you to add way too much anti-skating force.
 

microstrip

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May 30, 2010
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None of them. The coefficient of friction that each of those grooves would create with your stylus is far above your average playback coefficient of friction, leading you to add way too much anti-skating force.

Thanks - I could guess it from your post. My question was what precise level of a 300 Hz recording track - or simply the velocity - should we use to set the bias?
 

mtemur

Well-Known Member
Mar 26, 2019
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Uneven stylus wear doesn’t result in “a sound” that is easily identifiable. It changes the profile such that it begins transiting the groove differently (see my post above) and is unable to read the entirety of the groove contents. This uneven wear would happen so gradually that the sonic impact would easily pass unnoticed. If one suspects this situation it is best to inspect using compound lens microscope. USB scopes generally won’t do well for this.

I’ve heard some people claim that uneven wear will cause IM-like distortion sounds. Unless the cartridge has been first worn out and then realigned, I can’t see a mechanical reason why such IM distortion would be high enough to be audible. If that is what some people have experienced then I would suggest the problem causing such distortion is found elsewhere.

Changing the zenith angle on a stylus which has worn out unevenly over time would give you the best chance of hearing any obvious distortion but not only would it be a very unreliable and unlikely method, it would be tedious as well since you’d have to revolute both directions and listen to both ways to give it its best opportunity to present itself.
I think there is a misunderstanding cause @audiobomber is most probably referring to uneven record wear not stylus.
 
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J.R. Boisclair

Active Member
Jul 1, 2020
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I think there is a misunderstanding cause @audiobomber is most probably referring to uneven record wear not stylus.
Aha! Thanks, mtemur, for the clarification.

So how to determine if you have uneven wear in the grooves? I've never actually thought about that but I suppose you'd have to have really good 3D microscopy and software to see it. What would it sound like? I suppose a softening of high frequencies in one channel would be a good indicator. If there were actually groove damage (meaning features created that weren't cut into the record in the first place) then you'd likely hear it quite easily and it would look pretty noticeable under the microscope because the deformation would only present itself on a certain section of the 45 degree angled wall; i.e., the musical content's groove undulations would not be uniform from top of the groove to bottom of the groove as they normally would. You'd have a "stripe" of damage somewhere in the middle of the wall.
 

Michael Davitt

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Nov 3, 2020
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Sorry, no analogy with your childhood experiences as the stylus does not rotate with the platter and experiences no centrifugal force. The skatIng force is just the result of friction.

If you use a pivoted arm and care about distortion and uneven groove and stylus wear, then yes, you should use an antiskate.
"no analogy with your childhood experiences as the stylus does not rotate with the platter and experiences no centrifugal force."

As grown adults we all learned that the Earth spins, definitely about the Sun, rather then everything else around us ?
Copernicus (1473-1543) was not the first person to claim that the Earth rotates around the Sun. In Western civilization, ancient Greek astronomer Aristarchus of Samos is generally credited with being the first person to propose a Sun-centred astronomical hypothesis of the universe (heliocentric). At that time, however, Aristarchus’s heliocentrism gained few supporters and 18 centuries would then pass before Renaissance astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus produced a fully predictive mathematical model of a heliocentric system.

“The sun strings these worlds – the earth, the planets, the atmosphere – to himself on a thread.”

If one is indeed mindful of the use of a pivoted arm and care about distortion and uneven groove and stylus wear, then yes, you should use the correct antiskate force. That is the debate.
 

TLi

Well-Known Member
May 27, 2016
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When I was new to vinyl, an old master in turntable setup friend told me to use only a little antiskate force for 9 inch tonearm and can largely avoid using any for 12 inch arm.

It is my guide for many years and seems to be correct all along.
 

Stringreen

New Member
Jan 16, 2022
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Retired and Covid-bound, I am spending more time listening to vinyl. Years ago, my beloved, original Transfiguration Temper somehow lost its tip and was replaced with a wonderful Lyra Skala cartridge. This recent deep dive into my record collection led me to revisit the Transfiguration situation and I sent it off to Peter Ledermann at Soundsmith to be retipped. I also ordered a new VPI-10 3D Reference tone arm with the intent of easily switching between the two for a new exploration of the wonders if each cartridge/arm combination, and that is when I re-entered the deep waters of cartridge alignment (I use a VPI TNT turntable with tri-pully system and an SDS controller). And now I get to the point/question for you all: the pros and cons of applying anti-skating force.

We know that a stylus sitting within a groove of a spinning record is “pulled” toward the inner wall, toward the spindle. Yet from our childhoods spent on merry-go-rounds we know about the effect of sitting on a spinning platter: a force seems to push us outward, in the opposite direction.

What does the truth lie then in aligning a cartridge and applying anti-skating force for the greatest extraction of music and the least amount of distortion? Peter Ledermann and Michael Fremer, two exceedingly intelligent, insightful and well respected people with a wealth of experience, argue forcefully that skating force is real and requires a counter force to extract the last measure from our records. Harry Weisfeld, a man who dedicated his adult life to design of extraordinarily good turntables and tonearms is firm in his opinion that mechanical anti-skating methods only introduce another, and therefore unacceptable, potential for poor alignment. Interestingly, Peter Ledermann has commented that he has often seen the wear/damage to diamond stylus from the application of too much anti-skate force from hundreds of hours of record playing, yet insists that skating force is real and bad.

So I turn to you all here for opinions. Where do you come down on this subject?
The only difference I hear with/without skating is an opening of soundstage without. ....perhaps a bit of mist racking ...so add a tiny bit of vtf. I just don't use a/s at all...Ortofon Winfield cart.
 

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