Anti skate. I think something's wrong

I have an Acoustic Signiture TT with a Graham 2.2 tonearm and Ortofon Cadenza Bronze cartridge. My anti skate is set close to tracking weight and it would always dig to in inside when I would start a record. I read this is wrong so I got my Cardas test record out and placed it in smooth section and it imediately gravitated to inside. I adjusted anti skate to where cartridge slighty pulls to inside . Here is the problem. To get this I'm having to adjust anti skate to the max. I rechecked TT and it is right on level wise. I have less sibilence now and swear the two channels are more even. The right channel has always been just slightly lower than left in volume. The only qualm I have is the max antiskate I have to use. Is bearing bad? I have the blue fluid. Or I shouldn't worry and enjoy the music. Mike
moonglum390 posts

 "...or until you’ve done your 20th cartridge in one day as Raul has probably done). Then it becomes a "nightmare".

If one is trying to align 20 phono cartridges in a day, that would indeed be a nightmare. The user would have only himself to blame.

Lighten up Cleeds....I was giving Raul the benefit of the doubt....  ;^)

Detachable headshells and interchangeable could be done ....  ;^)

moonglum wrote:
Second-guessing what DD might say, he would probably argue that LP mis-drilling “forces” are oriented at the “correct” (stylus) end of the tonearm and that the cantilever would be intrinsically less stressed than by A/S.
Oops, wrong guess! In a discussion of A/S settings, the forces generated by eccentrically drilled LPs are merely a non-sequitar, since no A/S device compensates for them. ;-)

If eccentrically drilled LPs are bothersome, get a TT with an adjustable spindle or ream out the hole and center the LP before play. Problem solved.

For the record, I never "advocated" for zero A/S. While zero A/S sounds best in my system, I’ve heard other systems where *some* A/S sounded best... Dan_Ed’s for example. FYI, Dan agreed with my take in both cases. Neither of us advocated for anything but making an informed decision.

In using zero A/S I acknowledge the probability of uneven stylus and/or groovewall wear. These effects must result from skating forces if left uncompensated for over time, as PL amply documented.

For me, A/S decreases my enjoyment of music sufficiently that I’m willing to accept those risks. I’m gambling that I’ll be deaf or dead before I hear much deterioration from them. In the meantime, I maximize musical enjoyment today. This pleasant if short-sighted calculus might differ if I were in my twenties. Regrettably, I’m not.

As skating forces are constantly changing, there is no perfect A/S setting and never will be. The optimal setting is therefore an individual matter. So long as the decision is made with understanding and well tuned ears, it will be a good (though imperfect) one. The OCD-prone may find this profoundly unsatisfying, but this particular parameter is not susceptible of perfection.

To the OP:
  • As stated by others, A/S does not effect relative channel output (except perhaps in extreme cases. I’ve never heard it do so myself).
  • Adjusting A/S by observing how the stylus behaves on ungrooved vinyl bears little rational relationship to how the stylus will behave in randomly modulated grooves. But so long as you fine tune by LISTENING, that’s as good a starting place as any... I suppose.
  • To Raul’s suggestion (clean all contacts) and the suggestion to check channel levels on other sources, I’ll add, try swapping tube pairs (if you have) or L/R signal leads as a diagnostic. It’s easier to fix a problem if you isolate it first.

DougDeacon wrote :

"In a discussion of A/S settings, the forces generated by eccentrically drilled LPs are merely a non-sequitar, since no A/S device compensates for them. ;-)  "

Hardly non-sequitur, Doug! The context is that anti-skating force causes "audible stress" on the suspension.

Lateral movement due to mis-drilling also causes suspension stress (continuous but alternating) whether it is possible to compensate or not?

As you know, even well-optimised A/S doesn't truly "compensate" for all operational conditions because skating is a constantly moving target.

To describe skating force as constantly changing and therefore any setting will be imperfect, is accurate but deceptive.  It is accurate that skating varies with groove velocity and offset angle, but deceptive to apply the word perfect to the physical playing of a phonograph record.

I don't adjust AS by seeing how the stylus behaves in a blank groove. That seems pretty stupid.  If you observe the cantilever from the front while your "typical" music is playing, and repeat this observation, you might get an idea of the error your headshell position is to the centering of the cartridge.  In a perfect world your cantilever should be centered over the groove.  Antiskate is a force applied to the arm in an attempt to do just that.

What is groove velocity?  The velocity of stylus deflections (bouncing off side walls) in-groove. Since the groove is constantly moving it's the job of the arm to be both a stable platform for the cart and a perfect follower of the groove as it moves toward the spindle. Why the uneven tip wear if such is the case?  Having a poorly centered cart is to encourage channel imbalance - uneven cantilever deflections with respect to L and R. 

If someone hasn't heard channel imbalance due to AS, then they've been using heavy trackers or lack powers of observation. This is obvious with low VTF carts where channel imbalance is more dramatic and immediate. I think you'll find, there is no completely right answer.  With lower cu carts you're choosing between physical centering and increased torsional affects on the cantilever from AS.