stylus force gauge

puroagave

Member Sponsor
Sep 30, 2011
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#1
i used to have the technics stylus pressure gauge with analog readout, it worked well i gave it away years ago and rely on the shure balance beam. i've seen these digital SFGs on ebay for ~$35 - anyone have one and are they accurate?
 

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MylesBAstor

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
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New York City
www.audionirvana.org
#3
Good thread. I've been eying those, as well.

Felix
I bought one a couple of years ago on EBay from someone in Singapore. It's worked well, only issue is that it eats batteries. If you leave it off for a month or so, the battery goes dead. So either take the battery out between uses or get new batteries. You calibrate it once and that seems to hold for a long time.

I especially like it because it allows me to take full advantage of the sound smith counter intuitive and adjust to 1.700 GM.
 

TBone

New Member
Nov 15, 2012
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#5
and rely on the shure balance beam
as I, although truth be told I don't really like using the BB Shure much ... although it's really all I need ... especially since, within my system, achieving an EXACT tracking force is the least of my concerns when "properly" setting up a cartridge.

tb1
 

vinylphilemag

WBF Founding Member
Apr 30, 2010
806
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Kelowna, BC
www.vinylphilemag.com
#6
use one of these myself for years , not cheap but best i have ever tried

http://www.thecartridgeman.com/digital_stylus_force_guage.htm
I had one of those too. Nice unit, but I buggered it up trying to replace the soldered-in rechargeable battery. The US rep (I forget his name now) was very rude to me 18 months ago or so when I enquired about getting a new one, so I bought one similar to the one pictured in the OP. Much cheaper, and user-replaceable batteries!
 

Johnny Vinyl

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May 16, 2010
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Calgary, AB
#7
How freagin' timely is this. Just today I received one I ordered from Deals Extreme for $12.99 CA, no tax, free shipping. It was shipped from Hong Kong and took about 2 weeks to get here. I see they just upped the price though to $14.30CA. It included 2 batteries and a 5g Calibration weight. The page says it includes 4 batteries, but not the 5g calibration wieght, so I ordered 2, which will arrive any time I suppose.


DealExtreme
 

Shaffer

New Member
Nov 2, 2012
583
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NYS
#8
How freagin' timely is this. Just today I received one I ordered from Deals Extreme for $12.99 CA, no tax, free shipping. It was shipped from Hong Kong and took about 2 weeks to get here. I see they just upped the price though to $14.30CA. It included 2 batteries and a 5g Calibration weight. The page says it includes 4 batteries, but not the 5g calibration wieght, so I ordered 2, which will arrive any time I suppose.


DealExtreme
Ordered. Will keep an eye on the batteries, as per Myles. Thanks!

Felix
 

garylkoh

WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)
Sep 6, 2010
5,438
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Seattle, WA
www.genesisloudspeakers.com
#9
They are made in China, and there are quite a number that look almost exactly the same. Some are awful, others are pretty good. Unfortunately, I have not been able to tell the good ones from the bad ones. I had one that seems to be magnetic, and just hovering the cartridge over the target changes the reading.

Another eats batteries, and that's the one I leave in the office. I travel with one that seems to last forever. I don't think I've changed batteries for at least a couple of years. I've had it so long that the printing on the buttons are gone. I haven't seen one with etched buttons like in the OP.
 

mep

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
9,483
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#10
i used to have the technics stylus pressure gauge with analog readout, it worked well i gave it away years ago and rely on the shure balance beam. i've seen these digital SFGs on ebay for ~$35 - anyone have one and are they accurate?
I like the one that Chad sells that is accurate to 3 decimal places.
 

garylkoh

WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)
Sep 6, 2010
5,438
28
48
Seattle, WA
www.genesisloudspeakers.com
#12
I like the one that Chad sells that is accurate to 3 decimal places.
Is that the AcousTech? It's good value, but I find that the metal casing makes it heavy to use on suspended sub-chassis turntables like the Linn or Oracle. It also uses AAA batteries so that a dead battery isn't as big a deal as the others. Accurate to +/- 0.002g.
 

mep

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
9,483
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#13
Is that the AcousTech? It's good value, but I find that the metal casing makes it heavy to use on suspended sub-chassis turntables like the Linn or Oracle. It also uses AAA batteries so that a dead battery isn't as big a deal as the others. Accurate to +/- 0.002g.
Yes Gary, that is the one I bought. When Jazzdoc was telling me I needed to be able to setup my XV-1s to three places, I bought it. I guess I never thought it was that heavy, but then I'm using the Technics SP-10 MKII table.
 

Shaffer

New Member
Nov 2, 2012
583
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0
NYS
#14
Ordered. Will keep an eye on the batteries, as per Myles. Thanks!

Felix
FWIW, I received the device a few days ago. It looks essentially identical to the gauge pictured earlier in the thread, and it came with a 5g calibration weight. Gatta tell you guys, I'm pretty jazzed about it; I like it a lot more than the Shure gauge. For ~$13 shipped ...
 

Johnny Vinyl

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
May 16, 2010
8,571
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Calgary, AB
#15
FWIW, I received the device a few days ago. It looks essentially identical to the gauge pictured earlier in the thread, and it came with a 5g calibration weight. Gatta tell you guys, I'm pretty jazzed about it; I like it a lot more than the Shure gauge. For ~$13 shipped ...
Sweet! I'll be trying out next week when my Ortofon 2M Black arrives! Let me know how you like it if you get a chance to use before I do.
 
Jul 23, 2012
99
0
6
Southwestern Ontario
#16
IMHO, one should be looking for two features outside of accuracy.

First: The scale’s weighing surface should be at record height. Raising or lowering the styli’s actual tracking position will result in a slightly off reading.

Second: The scale’s weighing surface should be non magnetic. A ferrous surface will attract the cartridges magnets. This will give you a false reading.
 

rockitman

Member Sponsor
Sep 20, 2011
7,103
336
83
Northern NY
#17
The important thing to remember is that the tonearm VTA must be set for the scale which is usually thicker than a 200 gram lp. If this is not done, the tracking weight will be different than intended. Nothing beats a graham arm for this task as the bubble level gets you level for the scale in seconds and when you adjust for the same level for whatever record thickness, the tracking weight will be spot on.
 
Nov 28, 2012
52
0
0
Itasca, Illinois, USA
#18
I have found the Expressimo Audio gauge (Micro-Tech) to be reliable. Although it's only accurate to .1g, it does measure the pressure at record height, and the stylus pad is non-magnetic. I usually fine tune the VTF by ear by adding/subtracting .01g balls of blue-tac to/from the head-shell. It's low tech, but easier than moving the counterweight.
 
May 30, 2010
15,504
713
113
Portugal
#19
The ownership or even just the use of this stylus gauge disguised in a CD box will probably result in suspension or expulsion from the local vinyl lovers society, but it a funny idea:
 

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JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
11,350
295
83
Manila, Philippines
#20
Especially funny micro because with DJ decks, the SL-1200 series to be specific there is a surefire method to get accurate VTF without needing a scale at all. :D

Some call it the hover method. Set the weight so the arm hovers. Set the counter so it reads 0. From there turn the counterweight to the desired tracking weight as the counter indicates. I've tried this vs a scale and it is pretty much spot on! :D
 

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