Adjust+ Vs. Fozgometer For Azimuth Adjustment

I thought I would share my experiences with two different methods of setting azimuth adjustment- the Fieckert Adjust + software, and the Fozgometer.

About six months ago, I got the Adjust+ software to do azimuth adjustment and set the speed of my VPI Aries 3 TT with AT-OC9ML/II cartridge. The adjust + works by having you take numerous measurements with your cartridge set at different measured angles, with ½ degree difference between each measurement. The software then graphs the crosstalk level and phase until you get a minimum difference for the two measurements between the two channels. Since the minimums of the phase and level are not exactly at the same point, you end up with something of a compromise between the two, though it’s very close.
This process took a long time with my table and arm, and I ended up having to set the cartridge at about a 1.25 degree angle to achieve the best results! My system sounded great, however, with a great soundstage and instrument separation.

Shortly after this, I replaced the cartridge with a Dyna 20XL II. The results were almost exactly the same, the cart had to be pretty severely twisted to about 1.5 degrees to get the optimum setting. This made me really scratch my head- is it possible that two different carts from two different manufacturers have the diamond attached at the same angle off center?

I decided to bite the bullet and purchase the Fozgometer, and see if that concurred with the Adjust + results. Now the two systems measure things slightly differently The Fozgometer measures “channel separation and channel balance,” while the Adjust + measures “level and phase angle of crosstalk.” Additionally the Adjust + measurement has to be taken post-phono stage, while the meter is sensitive enough to work right off the cart.
I was able to get perfect measurements with about half of the “twist” in the cartridge with the Fozgometer. I decided to take the measurements post-phono stage with both the Adjust + and Fozgometer. The results were pretty consistent using the two different methods, channel balance was still perfect, but crosstalk was no longer minimized.

My conclusion is that the phono stage (a BAT VK-P10) was introducing a little crosstalk to the signal that I was able to overcome with an additional twist of the cartridge. However, channel balance was still perfect. I, however, decided to use the azimuth adjustment from the Fozgometer, since that was the true azimuth of just the cartridge and, to my ears, the sound is just as good. Also, the Fozgometer was 10X easier! The Adjust +, though, is great for setting the speed and taking other measurements.

So IMHO, the Adjust + is less than ideal since you are not taking the reading direct from the cartridge. I am a little puzzled , however, that the phono stage is adding crosstalk as it is a true dual mono design. Perhaps it is just amplifying a slight amount of crosstalk present at the cartridge level? Any thought s on this would be appreciated.
Great info. Thanks.
I use Adjust + Pro. It has worked quite well for me. I have been able to take readings direct from the cartridge using a decent RME sound card.
I agree with your last sentiment; I cannot imagine how the BAT could be actually affecting crosstalk between channels. It may be that there is a slight difference in gain between the two channels in the BAT, due to naturally occurring variations between one tube and another, and that this is somehow affecting the way the Foz reads crosstalk. Also, I cannot resist saying this; azimuth adjustment has very little to no effect on gain per se. But when you speak of "channel balance", do you refer to the goal of equal crosstalk (R signal into L channel = L signal into R channel), or are you talking about channel balance in the conventional sense, which is not much altered by azimuth adjustment. Thanks for posting; your results are informative.
I have a Fozgometer and have to say that it provides a really quick/easy/simple means of adjusting azimuth. A lot easier than trying to do it by eye or ear. And the results are impressive unless I'm deluding myself. Which has happened before :-)
I set my azimuth visually, because, it is more important to get the stylus properly aligned than to get the electrical generating elements aligned for minimum crosstalk (I am more concerned about record wear than maximum separation). I then used the Fozgometer to see how different the two setting would be. The meter showed a very small error, that when "corrected" per the Fozgometer, I could not optically see the change (i.e., extremely small change). What was surprising is how sensitive the meter is, how unequivocal are the readings (no bouncing needles and having to "guess" at an average reading, etc.), and how quick and easy it is to make the adjustment. This is a terrific tool.

Again, I would still start with a visual alignment, and only make small adjustments away from such an alignment -- if there is a big difference between the two methods, there is something wrong with the cartridge.