Anti-Skate::Playing LP's vs. 12

I notice the right channel seems to mistrack sibilance on some of my Dance/Club 12" singles and not on my LP's and the problem seems to be a bit further exacerbated on playing 45rpm 12" singles. I'm using a Benz-Micro Ebony H on a VPI Scout/JMW-9 Signature arm and I use small weights to add/remove anti-skate but I don't own a test record yet so I have no way of telling where my tracking force should be set other than listening for mistracking in either channel. I'm thinking if I add more anti-skate force to fix the distortion that it will actually be too much then on my LP's. Or it may be a function of the records being cut louder than my cartridge can track them.

If I try adding more anti-skate for my 12" singles will it be too much for my LP's?

Any suggestions on a test record to help me get the anti-skate set?

Do 45rpm records need more anti-skate due to faster platter
speed and more centrifugal force?

I listen to:
Jazz, Classical, Classic Rock, Electronic, New Wave, R'n'B, Funk, Dance/Club, etc.
I myself never heard of a separate setting for 12" 45's.They are not that common though. Maybe since they have bigger grooves,it might be amplifying a tracking problem that is not noticeable on LP's.If you could change your antiskate and put it back to the same spot afterward,why not give it a try?With the distortion in the one channel,it is most likely causing extra wear on your stylus and records.VinylEngine is a good site.LINKS>>[][]
I suspect that some of your dance club singles et al have been damaged. Don't drive yourself nuts with anti-skate. It is not that important. Technically speaking, because 45 rpm is faster than 33, there is an additional inward force, however, it is probably academic. the way N803 - that Ebony H is one fantastic cartridge. I am very acquainted with it. It's greatness however is only fully realized at the VTF that it "likes". Do not be haphazard in selecting a force...listen carefully. A change of the smallest amount can reveal great increases in performance.
Test records will not help you set antiskate, except for playing test records. You're already using the correct method, listening to the records you actually play.

Stringreen's suggestion that you may be hearing permanent groove damage is a good possibiliity. Test for that before going nuts about A/S. Here's how. "Play" a passage with a noisy R channel by spinning the platter by hand, v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y. The music will be a very LF growl but groove damage, if any, will be much sharper and crisper. There's no way you could confuse it with music, because the transients from groove damage are much faster and sharper than any music cut into a record.

If these noisy records are NOT damaged, try increasing A/S in tiny steps as you replay a noisy passage. It's BARELY possible your VTF is set right on the edge of mistracking, in which case A/S might prevent it. When you have enough A/S to balance the noise in both channels, you have enough A/S.

For checking VTF you need a balance or scale. No test record, just a scale to find out where it is and your ears listening to real music to decide where it should be.

You have good instincts, keep workiing and the sound will get better.
I would go with the manufacturers specifications, while checking with maybe the record companies that produce 45 rpm. I would also not use anti-skate(or VTF, or anything else)to correct for something else(such as channel balance). Try slightly moving anti-skate(etc.)a little until you can hear what it does. Until you can identify what it does, you are just guessing. One good way to identify that it is better(closer to correct)is: does it make you want to listen more to your records(excitement)? There is no hurry. You can sleep on it.
Hifitime: Thanks for the links. I will try what you are saying in conjunction with what Mmakshak has suggested.

Stringreen: I noticed with the Ebony, concerning VTA, my arm appears to be tipped up in the back but the playback sounds more smooth and the highs generally sound silkier then when the arm looks level. Also, it sounds like you can peer into the mix better and each instrument has more space around it and the soundstage seems deeper and reverb/echo sounds more connected to the sound generating it. Yes I love the cartridge. The value of the investment is found in getting the settings right and there is a narrow setting for the VTA. I've had it for a while and I'm just finding that out. Concerning the shape of the singles I'm trying to play, I do feel there may be some damage to them and there is nothing I can do about that.

Dougdeacon: I will try spinning the platter slowly and then determine if it's groove damage. Sounds like a great tip! Should I remove A/S for that exercise due to turning the platter slowly the centripetal force will be very low then?
I'm tracking at 1.86g and the range is 1.8-2g measured using my Acoustech Stylus Pressure Gauge.

Mmakshak: I will try what you suggested I will need to use some heavier weights and add/remove them to get a better idea of the spectrum of changes it will make. However, I feel the playback is exciting to listen to so maybe I'm in the ballpark with the anti-skate and I will determine if it's damaged grooves as Stringreen has pointed out.

I hope I addressed everyone's points and thanks for your responses and encouragements.
Should I remove A/S for that exercise due to turning the platter slowly the centripetal force will be very low then?
Hey! That seems exactly right, hadn't thought of that. Thanks!

I've posted this test multiple times since my partner thought of it several years ago, but you're the first to mention this point. You just demonstrated how good instincts lead us toward improved results with real records. Keep thinking, listening, experimenting. :-)
Hifitime, I just read your great first link, and wrote them a letter, which may help some people(I don't know how to indent, etc.). "I may have inadvertantly come to the same conclusion about dynamics, while using a different method to anti-skate. I think I used something like this: if it sounds better towards the end of a record than at the beginning, you have too much anti-skate(I've posted on Audiogon, under mmakshak, about this.). Then you reach a point(super-close to the correct anti-skate)where you have to throw out that rule, because the dynamics(I call it excitement.)dimish-along with your desire to run to the record player to listen to another lp. Also, nerver use anti-skate for other reasons-such as channel balance(Many factors affect channel balance. Why use anti-skate for this purpose?). Remember, anti-skate is a compromise, so you may have to give up the setting that makes one song on the lp sound the best. You want the setting that makes all the songs on the lp sound good."
I should also mention a problem that has been expressed before about the hanging weight anti-skate method. The notches aren't refined enough to fine tune anti-skate, and it is hard to make new notches. I don't know if anyone has provided a proper solution to this.
I've found some eyeglass tightening O rings(2 together with string between)that I've been using for my string anti-skate setting.A lot were to big,but at $1-4 for a kit to find tight ones,I figured why not.I don't know if they have any drawbacks.I've read a lot of those threads and never knew there were so many opinions.The inner and outer groove walls each contain the left and right channel info separately,but can't remember what part(inner or outer)has the left and right.I guess keeping the stylus floating dead centered between the two is the reason for channel balance.I've always started in the center song of an album side that has equal left to right info on good hi-frequencys,and never found a good mono album. Years back I had a couple of good test records but they disappeared with albums plus gear during a vacation robbery,and I need to get another test/setup record.Some may say this is wrong,but a lot of times I used less VTF to help make it easier to find the center of the groove,then increased the VTF while checking to see if all starts sounding better.I don't know if this is a good way,but it seemed to work for me.The last song was always the most problems for friends and myself probably due to all the info squeezed into the smaller/shorter groove area.I think the stylus has to do the most work there.Even with linear track TT's too.The dealer in my area that had a good microscope retired.I've always had good wear patterns according to him,but now I'm on my own just hoping the next one I do will be fairly good.
I've should have said that I used less VTF while trying to get the anti-skate setting as good as possible.I know some won't like this idea,but it gave me good results and wear patterns.
Also when I started using the less VTF method to help set the
anti-skate, it tested out pretty good when the dealer used his test record and measured my settings electronically with his test gear.After measuring my setups,he said my method seems to work.
Hifitime, that was pretty ingenious using those o-rings. They do add weight, so the markings might not be as accurate. I think if you keep the interconnects, speaker wire, etc. straight, you can figure out which channel comes out of which speaker. My setup and age(loss of brainpower-manifested by inability to do complex thinking. Complex thinking is more than one thought at a time.)has stopped me from keeping the channels straight, but I used to do it that way. Remember, the record is moved in relation to the stylus(I'm not sure that matters, but we must realize what is going on.) I do believe that anti-skate traditionally is related to what VTF is used. I usually set the VTF before fine-tuning the anti-skate, but whatever works. It can't ever hurt to check out things technically, like you did at your dealers. Your theory about the center of the record that has good high frequencies on both channels sounds right, but remember to not get too hung up on theories(or at least trust your ears). I think you are correct about the end of the record presenting the most problems. In fact, some of the more recent lp12 reviews complain about this, but I believe the reviewer has incorrect anti-skate. I do think that studies back up the fact that the inner grooves have more distortion.
N803nut - The only way that I could get rid of the sibilance distortion on my Scoutmaster and JMW9sig setup was to replace it.
The Right Channel information is on the inner groove,and the outer groove has the left channel information.This according to my Omnidisc Telarc Test/Set up LPs.
Casey33, if that Omnidisc Telarc Test/Set up LP says that, it's wrong.