A question about tracking/skating


My question concerns the tracking/anti-skating settings on my Pioneer PL-90 Reference table with AT125LC Audio Technica cart (but this question would apply to any turntable that I own). Tweaking turntable settings to achieve optimal sound boggles me. In my mind, setting the tracking to the lowest possible setting to allow the stylus to make "just-enough" contact makes sense to me since it seems that this would greatly reduce record and stylus wear. I currently have mine set at 0.75g (which seems extremely low from what Ive read). With that said, what is the cost/benefit of increasing/decreasing tracking pressure? I know that there are suggested tracking pressures, but do you all use them?
Second, what is anti-skating really about? It seems that regardless of how high/low I adjust my anti-skating settings, it does not alter sound/function one iota.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I am a mildly experienced vinyl noob that would like to make the most out of my system and the Internet has provided 'reccommendations' but I want to hear from experience.

Start at the manufacturer's recommended tracking-force.Contrary to what you might think a too light tracking-force has a better chance of ruining your records than a slightly too heavy one.There is plenty in the archives about this.I use my own ears as a final arbiter,weather can be a factor....The anti-skate effect differs with the arm,it is not the same across the board.I can hear anti-skate adjustments.But your tracking weight should be correctly set first.Do that now!
Agree. You're trying to track WAY too light.
Everything posted so far is good advice. When the tracking force is too light the cartridge can be 'springy' and can cause damage to the LP and cartridge. My preference is to lean toward the high side of the manufacturers recommended tracking force.

Anti-skating prevents the cartridge from applying uneven pressure to one side of the groove wall, and putting pressure on the cantilever. I don't know why your adjustments are not changing anything, seems weird.

There is a reason for manufacturers recommendations, try to follow them. Minute adjustments are generally need for optimum sound, but they will be close to MR.
Like Stefanl said, increase that VTF immediately. You're endangering your records.

It is far worse for your vinyl for the stylus to loose groovewall contact - even momentarily - than to be pressured a little more than necessary to maintain steady contact. If you have any records with short, static-like bursts of HF energy at dynamic peaks, you're hearing groovewall damage from inadequate VTF. For every record that was ruined by VTF set too heavy there are 10,000 that were ruined by VTF set too light.

As a very general rule, most cartridges perform best somewhere in the top third or top half of the manufacturer's recommended range. The reason some cartridges have very low VTF limits in their specs is to cater to the once popular, now discredited notion that lower VTFs are always better.

Antiskating changes are harder to hear than VTF or even VTA changes. Other parameters need to be optimized before you're likely to hear AS differences.

What you'll hear if AS is way off is a fuzziness or loss of image focus on one channel compared to the other. If the R channel goes fuzzy, increase AS. If the L channel goes fuzzy, decrease AS. If both channels go fuzzy forget AS, increase VTF!

Good luck and keep experimenting. It's the best way to learn how these ridiculously complex electro-mechanical gizmos actually can create captivating music.