Wrong...that's not the way to set a/s. I use no a/s at all...tried it with and without, and without takes the prize in this house. Listen and make your own decision, but the way you discribe is not a correct test.
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I have a Graham 2.2
Start with it set at the mark corresponding to the tracking force as Graham suggests.
If you can clearly see the cantilever with a good flashlight head-on, set anti-skate so that the cantilever does not move L/R when lowered in a groove. It is important that the cantilever be correctly centered so that the coils are as nearly as possible in the center of the magnet fields. This also aligns the L/R edges of the stylus in the stereo groove. The Graham has a very precise set-up gauge, It would be a shame to waste it by not having The cantilever straight in the groove. This does not preclude that in some setups the stylus could be geometrically centered with zero anti-skate.
I then use the Cardas vinyl setup disk to set the antiskate by using the cool blank test track in the middle of the LP. I've set the antiskate so the cartridge stays in the middle without swinging out or in. Seems spot on to me.As Stringreen stated, this is not a useful way to adjust A/S.
Skating forces are a function of friction between the record surface and the stylus. When playing music, the stylus's two contact surfaces ride against the groovewalls while its point is in mid-air, touching nothing. "Playing" a blank surface does exactly the opposite. The friction of the stylus point is almost certainly different from the friction of the two contact surfaces. Therefore, the skating force will be different. Optimizing A/S to play a blank disk is nonsensical (unless that's the kind of music you like!)
So, the question is - upon cueing the arm up or down, the arm will swing towards the outside of the record - should this happen?This is normal behavior on most tonearms, for just the reason you stated. The only exception is arms whose A/S device is designed not to engage until the stylus is in the groove. The TriPlanar is built this way. Properly adjusted, A/S is "off" until the stylus locks into the lead-in groove. This makes cueing motion vertical.
P.S. As for the optimal way to adjust A/S, Oldears' method works but I prefer to adjust by listening. I'll preface a description of my method by noting that, since skating forces vary from record to record and even from one groove to the next, there is no "perfect" setting. Don't drive yourself crazy trying to find perfection where none exists.
Before you can adjust A/S by ear, you must learn to optimize VTF by ear. Begin with A/S at "zero" and train your ears to adjust VTF until the sound is optimal. Too much downforce squashes HFs and microdynamic snap. Too little downforce makes LFs weak, HFs "tizzy" or even allows audible mistracking. Find the happy space between these two. That's your optimal VTF (it can change with the weather, as a new cartridge breaks in and even from one LP to another).
Once VTF is dialed in, play a passage that's a challenge for your cartridge to track cleanly. A pure, hard blown horn or a strong soprano vocal on inner grooves is an good test. Listen for R channel fuzziness or mistracking. Engage the A/S device at the lowest possible setting, then increase in small increments until the R channel sounds as clear as the L.
That's your optimal A/S setting... for today. Again, it can change with the weather, the VTF, as a cartridge breaks in and from one LP to another. To repeat, there is no "perfect" setting. There's only the setting that works for a particular set of circumstances.
You may find, as Stringreen and I have, that your rig needs very little A/S or perhaps even none. To my ears and his, ANY amount of A/S diminishes micro-dynamic snap and HF clarity. We accept the risk of uneven stylus or groove wear to mazimize sonic performance. That's our choice on our rigs. On yours, whatever amount optimizes tracking and sonics is the correct amount.
Hope my story helps, or gives food for thought.
I finally settled on using minimum antiskate( with bias weight pushed right in) on my Graham 2.2 (ZYX Airy3-SSB,2gms vtf/Audiomeca J4). setting by ear.
I tried without a/s and two smaller diy weights, but although the sound was appealing in a sense, I felt it was somehow distorted, with excessive dynamics. as if the stylus was not sufficiently controlled without a/s.
With minimum a/s, the sole a/s track on the "Ultimate Audio Test Record" was tracked perfectly.
There was no need to alter the a/s during play, as I need to do with my SMEV/Koetsu rosewood or Dynavector DV507/ Benz Micro MC3.