Antiskating .... The last analog secret

excellent condition
hardly used

no, I didn't do that :)

I think, there is a difference between Antiskating and the right Antiskating.
Calibration with a blank surface is not always the 100% solution.
What do you think?
I have always known antiskating to be an aid to help the stylus stay between the grooves so that you can extract the information correctly. That along with the correct weight on the stylus tip should keep distortion down and give you a better sound presentation as well as a blacker background. Remember the first AR turntable tonearm. No antiskate at all. And there were many others.

The stylus sits in a valley of two 45 degree angle grooves. If the stylus rides the left side of the groove or the right side of the groove it is known to produce distortion *groove modulation distortion). You can clearly see it on an oscilliscope when this occurs. When the stylus rides in the center of those two grooves your antiskate should be correctly set up. Therefore if you use a smooth surface to make the adjustment the antiskate if working properly will not move inward or outward and it should be pretty accurate. I have used this method for years and I don't hear any distortion or noise other than damage that has been done to the vinyl before I obtained it (used records mostly). That can be seen under a microscope as well. I don't like buying vinyl from DJ's that track above 2 grams. Sometimes you can see the groove damage or groove wear and you will hear it too.

I don't know if anyone does this but when I owned my first tonearm with a string antiskate mechanism I tried this and it worked. It may not be 100% but the only way to get 100% is to have a microscope and ocilliscope. I have never heard of right antiskate. The stylus can ride the groove on the left(inward groove) or the right(outward groove).
There was a bit of discussion not long ago about how some arms use a progressive anti-skating mechanism. The theory was that you need more anti-skating as you get closer to the spindle, where the circumference is smaller on the record and there's more pull.

But I would be interested in finding out how to measure it correctly without some fancy Wally tool.

Basically, I don't use it. It is never correct over the whole record. I agree with Harry at VPI about this. Tracking weight is not the critical factor in record wear. The quality of the polish of the diamond in the stylus is the determining factor. Decades ago an experiment was done in Britain where a record was played several hundred times by a high quality cartridge tracking at 3.5 grams. An examination under a microscope showed no record wear. I don't dispute that buying DJ LPs is chancy , but it is not the tracking weight in itself that damages the vinyl. I very seldom track below 2 grams and have records that I have had since the 60s that are in great shape. Too little weight is always worse than too much.
Great photo, Thomas. Very likely caused by many hours of play with excessive anti-skating.

Calibration with a blank surface is not always the 100% solution.
Calibration with a blank surface is NEVER the right solution, unless you play a lot of LP's with blank surfaces.
Skating force is the product of the stylus' friction in the groove times the (imaginary) lever arm, whose length is the distance between two parallel lines: one, the L/R center-line of the cartridge and the other, a line parallel to that one but drawn through the main vertical axis of the tonearm's rotational main bearing. This lever arm distance remains the same no matter where on the record the stylus is; and unless the stylus' friction in the groove varies from outside to inside grooves, the skating force remains constant (although it's higher on loud passages due to more groove friction ;-)

If your tonearm has no headshell offset, nor an 'S' curved armtube, then no skating force will develop and you don't need any antiskating force. This is OK for 12" and longer tonearms which don't have much tracking error anyway.

The easiest way to check anti-skate (without an oscilloscope ;-) is to just look at the cantilever dead on as you lower the tonearm to the record. If just as the stylus goes into the groove, the cantilever shifts to the outside (relative to the cartridge body) you need more AS. If it shifts to the inside, you have too much. Note: (a.) This takes a little practice and a lot of light. (b.) It's easier to do with high compliance (MM) cartridges than with low compliance (MC) cartridges because squishier suspensions (MM) make the cantilever shifting easier to see. However after a little practice, it IS possible w/ MC cartridges. And anyway, this is to get you in the ballpark; final adjustments (no matter what method you use) will have to be made by ear. (Tip: try doing your listening tests with a mono record.)

Although the visual (+listening) method described above is as good as any I've tried, anti-skate adjustments render very subtle results. So it's exremely important that all other parameters be on the nose; including perfect azimuth, which is especially important when trying to find the correct AS force.
Nice to have you back with your wise advises Nsgarch !
Hey, Doug. It's me again. :)

I would definately agree that calibration with a blank surface is never precisely correct. However, I would presume it's a very easy way to set an initial anti-skate (assuming you have a tonearm that allows you to set anti-skate and you find it to be a sonically valuable offset).

If you haven't learned this about me yet, here's another clue - I like my processes and I like my lists. :) I would bet there a progressive set (each with greater acuracy) of approaches for setting anti-skate:

ASL 1 - Do not use anti-skate
ALS 2 - Use a proporotion of VTF as your anti-skate setting
ALS 3 - Use a blank portion of LP; increse AS until arm remains motionless
ASL 4 - ?
ASL 5 - Set anti-skate using oscilloscope
ASL 6 - Set anti-skate by ear

However, 2 questions come to mind:

1) Was the damage noted in the picture caused by too much AS, or not enough?
2) Which of the above listed Anti-Skate Levels is sufficient to prevent that type of damange?

Suggest you go to reviews/analog sources and read the Vinyl Setup Guide: The Guru Papers. Interesting approach to setup and it addresses antiskating.
Great idea for a thread Thomas. However, I don't believe that damage was from AS. Looks too severe. Or were you suffering from the latest AS theories at the time? :-)

I learned from Paul and Doug that AS is at best a necessary evil. So I take the approach that only a small bit of the evil gets into my vinyl playback. I've learned to identify when that distortion is on the record or in the reproduction chain. The result is that AS is almost non-existent, but more than what they use. I think this goes along with what Nsgarch looks for. We may use a different method but the desire is the minimum amount of AS just the same.
And what is all that black stuff?
What pictures are you looking at?

I would love to play with my analog rig and my oscilloscope, what's the procedure?
I saw "this" the first time. Probably to much side force from Anti-Skating? (It held the Body back while the needle had to follow the grooves?)
Do you adjust Antiskate by ear?
Some use the blank surface from a Test Record (Cardas for example), others recommend to run it identically to the VTF, others say probably a half/third from that ... or simply don't use it, even with VTF far below 2gr.....
Great to see you again! Hope all's well. Your AS method, which you've posted in the past, is one of the simple, safe and effective ones, especially for higher compliance carts.

As you said, users of lower compliance cartridges may prefer another method. I'll describe mine below, but I bet you and I would end up with similar settings with any particular arm/cart combo.

All these lists (TML, ASL, WTF!) are great fun, but I'm so confused. On the TML list I'm either a 3, an 8 or anywhere in between depending on which *part* of a definition I read. To avoid a TML identity crisis I'm selling my rig and going digital! ;-)

Agree with Thomasheisig. I strongly suspect excessive AS for just the reason he just stated. That or physical manhandling of the cantilever are the only two causes I can think of.

Imagine Thomas's cartridge mounted on a tonearm and photographed from the front. The cantilever would be pointing INWARD, toward the center of the platter.

The most probable cause is long periods of use with the stylus locked in the groove and the arm pulling OUTWARD, ie, excessive antiskating. This has caused a breakdown in the elastomers that center the cantilever.

The cartridge is toast, obviously, suitable only for sparking fun discussions on silly forums amongst people with nothing better to do. :-)
Dear Thomasheisig: There is no doubt that the AS subject is another factor on the cartridge set-up, if we can hear changes on it is another matter and dependent on other factors.

My experiences about tell me that if ( IF ) the TT set up, tonearm set up, overhang, VTA/SRA, VTF ( near the up-limit ) and Azymuth are " right on target " for " that " cartridge/analog rig ( does nt matters if it is high or low compliance ) changes on AS could not make almost no improve on the quality performance, at least I can't heard it. If the AS changes are big ( say from none to even the VTF ) of course that you can hear it but with no improvement and more like an un-even on the performance.

In the other hand when some of those set up " factors " are out of target small AS changes can heard it and with an improve.

Today I'm running my cartridges with out AS.

Sometimes when something is " rare " ( on some cartridge ) and I put AS on it this ( by what I already experienced ) fact tell me that one/some of those " factors " are out of target, till today every time that happen I reexamine all the set-up till I find where is/are an error then I fix it take out the AS and things improve in a " natural " way.

Of course that like always is system/ears dependent but these are my experiences about.

Regards and enjoy the music.

Now you make me paranoid because I believe that my set-up is pretty tight but I hear a very noticeable difference with changes in AS with my rig.
Here's a method for setting antiskate (AS) that's more effective than visual methods for lower compliance carts (and works for any cartridge, subject to the disclaimer at bottom).

1. Play 2-3 sides to warm everything up.

2. Reduce AS to zero.

3. Choose an LP or two containing your most difficult to track passages. Mono is theoretically better than stereo, as Nsgarch mentioned, but it's not essential. It is esential that the trial passages be amongst the toughest-to-track in your vinyl collection.

4. Play these passages and nudge VTF downward until you JUST BARELY hear the cartridge beginning to mistrack (slight fuzziness in the HF's and/or actual bursts of static-like noise, both coinciding with dynamic peaks in the music).

5. If mistracking is:

A) more audible in the R channel, gently increase AS until it's about equal in both channels (or goes away). You won't get it perfectly equal, especially with a stereo LP, but close counts for AS. There's no such thing as "perfect".

B) about equal in both channels, AS is set about right.

C) more audible in the L channel, something other than AS needs adjustment (assuming your AS is truly at "zero").

6. Bump VTF back up slightly until mistracking noises stop, HF's are clear and bass/dynamics sound full again. You're done.

You will be at a much lower AS setting than what is usually considered "normal". This method applies enough AS for clean tracking of your most difficult passages, which is all you need. There's no clear benefit in going higher and there can be a serious detriment (as Thomasheisig's photo demonstrates).

Relax. Close counts. There is no such thing as "perfect" in antiskating. On real world records the skating force we're trying to counteract is always changing, so no amount of measuring, Wally-Skating, oscilloscoping or any other form of OCD-driven fetishness will provide anything more useful than your ears. Don't waste your time unless you enjoy doing those things for their own sake more than listening to music.

DISCLAIMER - Listeners who do not place low level detail retrieval and reproduction of harmonics near the top of their list of sonic priorities sometimes prefer more AS than this method provides. Increasing AS applies more lateral pressure on the cantilever/suspension interface (again, see Thomasheisig's photo for proof). This dampens cantilever freedom, slows response and muffles HF's and very low level signals. The effects of more AS are VERY similar to what my ears regard as excessive VTF. If your ears don't prioritize low level detail and harmonics, or if your sytem masks them, higher AS levels will produce a purer but less complex sound that you may prefer.
I do not employ anti-skating on any of my tonearms.

I haven't used Antiskating on any of the tonearms that I've used for the past 20 years. These include Triplanar VII, Moerch DP-6, VPI JMW-10, AQ PT-6 and Sumiko FT-4. I tried each of these arms with all levels of antiskating and preferred the sound with no antiskating. (VPI didn't have A/S so technically I didn't try it with A/S). In all cases, the A/S adds an annoying brightness and is just not as coherent and musical as the arm sounds without the A/S.

I don't know whether the lack of A/S may have affected my cartridges' tracking ability on loud passages. Perhaps it did, I don't know. But IF it did, that is a fair price to pay for the better sound quality during the 99.9% of the record playing time where tracking ability was not critical.

Dear friends: Let me share with you some thoughts: if everything is fine without AS the first question that comes to my mind is: need I AS? and then where? when? why?.

I can tell you that I play records with high-velocity/difficult passages with out mis-tracking and if I put some AS on those tracks there is no single improvement.

In theory we need the AS at different range level over the LP and from this theoretical point of view any Test Record could help to AS set-up and of course the Nsgarch and Doug posts, but on the real " life " those questions are still " open ".

Of course that if we want to have a " cool-calm mind " about then we have to play LPs with AS. Like I already poted: in my real " world " I think I don't need it but is up to you and your system one and of course the cartridge it self and I don't try ( yet ) every single cartridge out there in my system.

Regards and enjoy the music.
It may strike some of you as strange, but when I think of what takes place with (and without) antiskating force applied, and the benefits to playback (or lack of them ;-) my attention is not on the interaction of the stylus and groove, simply because the range of forces we're talking about w/ or w/o AS is minuscule.

It is my assertion that when someone perceives different playback qualities w/ or w/o AS, it's due not to the very slight differences in the stylus-groovewall pressure, but rather the accuracy with which the coils (or MM) are in alignment with the stationery parts of the cartridge: the magnetic pole pieces (MC) or the field coils (MM).

In the case of a MM cartridge, the magnet has a very small force field, and if it is being held slightly off-center by some skating force pushing sideways on the cantilever (see Thomas' picture;-), then its force field will not penetrate the coils equally.

Similarly, moving coil cartridges are designed with a little "English" on the suspension, so that at the optimum VTF, the coil/armature is at a perfect right angle to the (very powerful) magnetic force field created by the pole pieces. In fact if you search the vdH website, you'll find that A.J. himself recommends setting the VTF visually -- applying just enough VTF so that when the stylus is placed on the record, and the cartridge viewed from the front, the cantilever passes "right through the center" of the hole in the front pole piece! According to him, that's how you know the coils are lined up with the magnetic field and will produce the most output.

My point, is that different cartridges, due to their coil/magnet configuration, the strength of the magnets, the layout of the pole pieces, etc., may not all exhibit the same sensitivity to the slight misalignment resulting from a little skating force (or too much antiskating force!) And that it's not really about the stylus in the groove.

Doug also touched on an important point when he mentioned that correct AS will (these days) be much less than equal to the VTF! This is because that (old) standard was based on spherical and elliptical styli which develop much more friction in the groove than modern line contact or micro-ridge styli.

By the way, trying to set AS using a blank record surface is like testing your brakes on a frozen lake! If the stylus can't develop any friction (which it can't on a blank surface) then there will be NO skating force produced. Yes I KNOW, if you set the stylus on a blank record, the tonearm literally FLIES toward the label! But that's not due to skating force. In most cases, it's due to the twisting of the internal tonearm wiring -- something that causes even tangential arms to move across blank records! If you try and set AS using a blank track, you will be applying WAY too much AS!
Could you clarify please if in general more antiskating (or less antiskating) is needed with high VTF (and high tonearm effective mass). I have a SPU Anniversary 85 cartridge with a recommended VTF of 3.5 grams. The tonearm is a Fidelity Research FR-66S, made from stainless steel with 38 grams of effective mass! I can imagine that because of this combined high tonearm + cartridge "inertia" + high VTF you need less AS (at least no more than let's say 1.5 or 2.0), but I'm not an expert in this field.

To Raul Iruegas: Raul, could you also take a look at the thread about MC vs MM cartridges please?

Very good description Nsgarch! My thinking has been along the same lines regarding VTF and AS. If we get beyond the obvious need to have enough force to keep mistracking from occurring, then it has to be the interaction of the generator parts that gives us the differences with small changes in these settings.

The better I can get cartridge alignment (better tools, whatever) the more I do not need to rely on countermeasures such as AS to make things sound good.

Ok, break time from the weather is over. Not ice this time, just snow. I'll take that over ice any day!
I would like to add that the existance of skating forces, and their ill effects, are absolutely NOT in question! They are simple and Newtonian, and can be calculated and compensated for with reasonable accuracy . . . but getting it right in the real world is not a simple matter.

From the years I spent setting up a handful of high-end turntables every month, with myriad cartridges, tonearms, etc. I can attest to the accuracy and repeatability of using test records, and equalizing the trackability between both channels . . . but for good results, a consensus of SEVERAL different test records is necessary, as is a good 'feel' for any measurement equipment used. This is complicated by the fact that many cartridges simply don't track well, or may have tracking problems on one channel, independent of correct anti-skating adjustment, and a good many tonearms don't have consistent, repeatable anti-skating compensation mechanisms -- so experience is necessary to know when to stop measuring, and leave well enough alone . . . or to replace the defective part - usually, the cartridge.

I agree very much with Raul and Nsgarch in that the sensitivity of various cartridge/tonearm combinations to anti-skating is huge, and that it affects many other factors other than the groove/stylus relative pressure. Doug's setup methodology is pretty close . . . but anti-skating adjustment CANNOT be properly made at anything other than the final tracking force, as they interact quite a bit.

I also find some correlation between those who prefer no anti-skating, and those tonearms that have really silly, poorly-engineered anti-skating mechanisms. In my experience, virtually anything that uses fishing-line is highly inconsistent . . . and it's really a shame that many otherwise fine tonearms (SME, etc.) use this arrangement. And the whole "twist the tonearm leads" thing . . . seems obvious why the proponents of this method don't "believe" in anti-skating.

But with a good magnetic or temperature-compensated spring arrangement on a low-friction gimballed tonearm, it's been my experience that the measured/test record results have usually been pretty close to the manufacturer's scale indication. So my recommendation for the novice is this:

1. Get all of the geometry absolutely as spot-on as you can, set the VTF on the high side of the cartridge manufacturer's recommendations.
2. Set the anti-skating in accordance to the tonearm manufacturer's instructions. If you find their anti-skating methodology too vague and hokey for your taste, then get another tonearm . . . as you will probably always find the whole tonearm too tweaky and fussy. If tweaky/fussy is your thing, then enjoy.
3. If you find that you consistently hear more mistracking on the left channel, slightly reduce your anti-skating. The opposite applies for the right-channel. If you don't hear any mistracking problems, then don't worry about it. Listen to music.
4. If the tracking performance is always poor, or a well-engineered anti-skating system can't correct a channel-tracking bias . . . and you're sure about #1 above . . . then there's probably something wrong with the cartridge.

As for Thomasheisig's picture - I simply don't believe that this was caused by incorrect antiskating adjustment . . . the tonearm would simply fly across the record WAY before this would happen to the cartridge. If this occured over time, then maybe the tonearm had a problem with its lateral bearing, but that's still unlikely. Probably somebody bashed it. Duh.
Dazz, well you barely make it! Go to and go to their resonance calculator. Enter your FR tonearm name and model, the mass (use 48gm to account for cartridge weight and mounting hardware) and hit calculate. You'll see that at a compliance of 8 (for that cartridge) you're still in the 'preferred resonance' range at 8Hz.

I have a different theory. Maybe the bearings on the tonearm are sticking and causing the Stylus to drag the arm w. excessive force. I would check the arm w. a cheap MM high compliance cartridge and look for the stylus deviation as Nsgarch has mentioned. You never know. Sticking bearings could mess up many a cartridge. Never thought about that but who knows. If it is a unipivot who knows. A linear tracker might be clogged and then the stylus is dragging the arm w. too much force.
What I find weird about the cart in Thomas' pic (is it a Lyra?) is that the cantilever appears to be permanently displaced. If the suspension is OK, and the cantilever HASN'T BEEN BENT! it seems to me it should return to the centerline or close to it. I think Kirk is likely correct about the thing getting whacked ;-)
Thank you for referring to the cartridge resonance calculator Nsgarch.

All this talk of setting A/S with a test record makes sense if all you do is play test records. In the real world, the proper test is what setup sounds better on records with music, and by that measure I have found that no A/S sounds best. Keep in mind that if you use A/S, it is operating at all times, not just on those loud climaxes that resemble the torture track on your test record. And, in my experience, I can always hear when the A/S is engaged, and that isn't worth the theoretical advantage of being able to track the torture track more cleanly. I say "theoretical" because I don't have any tracking problems when I play records without A/S.

I recall what Ed Villchur, the designer of the AR table, said back in the 1960's when he was asked why his arm didn't have any A/S. He said it wasn't necessary; all you had to do was set the tracking force about 10% higher and you would get the same tracking benefit as A/S.

FWIW, the methodology I posted does result in a zero antiskating setting (with our present arm and cartridge). That's where we play every day.

Other carts have produced different results however, so IME it would over-simplify to say "no antiskating". Different stylus profiles suspension behaviors can require "some" AS to avoid mistracking. Every setup is different, as is every LP.

Agree with Salectric about test records (I think we've agreed on this before!). Quite useless for real world purposes.
This whole "we don't listen to test records, so they don't matter" concept makes no sense to me. The reason I use test records is because when I listen to music, I DON'T want to think about turntable setup!! I want to know it's right, and enjoy the music . . . without mistracking.

Anti-skating adjustment is one thing that affects tracking ability, and tracking ability is the one parameter that anti-skating adjustment affects the most. Period. And if you want to know the tracking ability of your turntable setup, a test record is the fastest and most accurate way to ascertain it. Simply put, it's the correct tool for the job.

But if you're unfamiliar with how to get good results with these tools, or your tools aren't in good condition . . . then yes, a test record can be misleading. Just like if you don't know how to use a multimeter (or you have an inaccurate one), then testing 9V batteries with it may be problematic . . . but this doesn't mean that using your tongue is better!

A good multimeter is the proper instrument for testing 9V batteries, and the human tongue is the proper instrument for tasting food and drink. So for those that feel test records are useless . . . how do you think we should align tape decks? Or FM tuners? Or amplifier idle current?

I have a photo of a General Electric 2-way radio service facility from the late 1960s . . . a big sign is posted above the test benches that reads "TWIDDLERS WASTE TIME . . . AND MONEY!! FOLLOW PROPER SERVICE PROCEDURES!!" I couldn't agree more.
Kirkus, I have a couple of test records that I have no use for. If you'd like them, although it sounds like you already have them, I'd probably take $10 plus shipping.

I have never analyzed this with free body diagrams or whatever, but I'm pretty sure that the more accurately the cartridge is aligned the less those skating force magnitudes get.

As for crushing the dynamics with excessive AS, which is what the test records always lead to in my experience, to each his own. Maybe that does work with Linn. I haven't seen it work for any tonearm I've ever used.

I don't go to the extent that Doug does, but I have heard first hand at his place just how important those minute adjustments he makes are. There is no question that his method works very well. I also now how demanding Doug and Paul are when it comes to music reproduction. It is not an option for them to have a general setting and let that apply to all the records they play. Again, to each his own.
I have never analyzed this with free body diagrams or whatever, but I'm pretty sure that the more accurately the cartridge is aligned the less those skating force magnitudes get.
There's simply no way this is the case - the change in the skating force vectors is miniscule with changes in things like overhang, azimuth, and VTA. Now VTF, of course. But I absolutely agree with you in the sense that the more precisely the cartridge is aligned . . . the better the system performance, in virtually every aspect.

I have NEVER experienced a changed in the perceived dynamics when adjusting a well-designed (repeatable) anti-skating compensation mechanism, on a well-matched arm/cartridge combination. With some of the fishing-line things, I've experienced all manner of weird side-effects.

I HAVE experienced what you describe as "crushing the dynamics", but I associate this specifically with a arm/cartridge combinations with very low resonant frequencies, i.e. 6-8 Hz. I will admit that I have never really tried to tweek such a combination to sonic perfection, and I can conceive of how anti-skating adjustment could interact differently in these situations than in my experience. But I've always found that I prefer the performance of arm/cartrige combinations that resonate at somewhat higher frequencies, and tonearms with very accurate, repeatable VTF and anti-skating adjustments. And with these, my measured data the my listening experiences have a good correlation.
I am not using any AS and have gone as far as tying up the weight lever on my Triplaner with thread to remove that AS weight also. The result is better sounding vinyl with no audible distortion. The Triplaner Universe combo is a perfect tracking machine.

As Doug mentioned above applying AS restricts letting the cantilever have the freedom to reproduce all of the delicate sounds available to us on vinyl and hearing is believing.

This thread is a great one for vinyl playback improvement thanks Thomasheisig.
I've always used AS until today. I have set it the same as the tracking force, used the visual stlyus drop in the groove method, and just turned it higher and lower and heard some (small) changes.

Today after reading this, I just turned it off. I hear more texture and detail. Images seem rounder but more distinct...

I need to listen some more...but I am a little surprised (and happy) so thanks
In 1969 an in depth scientific/theoretical study was done on what they termed "bias compensation".It is still available for anyone interested for download in the members area of The Vinyl Engine.Anyway the upshot was that they determined an "optimum" level for bias compensation at 30% of your tracking weight.Here is a link if your a member.
That study was conducted long before the advent of shibata,
gyger, van den hul, and other fine line profiles.

I'd question its' applicability today.
That is interesting because Sumiko recommend a setting of about 1/3 of the tracking force in the manual for the Blue Point No.2 cartridge and I wonder if there is a connection.Anyway it was Bob Fulton who proposed that the "art" stylii were producing incorrect results because the shaping of them caused minute "catching" in the groove making the cantilever vibrate unnecessarily,thus there was more distortion than with a conical shape.He had Entre in Japan mod an MC with a conical stylus and even produced one of his own at one time I believe.I had a communication with a fellow in Minnesota who swears by Fulton's discovery and will not let an "art" stylus in the house.You can tell by the violins he says.I am not that dedicated but do use a DL-103.Anyway I hope people read that article and some more research is done in this area.
Sumiko Blue Point?

That's funny. Entry level/run of the mill.

Anyway, based on the dozens of cartridges I've owned and heard, the comtemporary stylus shapes easily outperform the conicals and ellipticals of yesteryear.
The close up of the cartridge looks as if it was used/ abused by some dance club dj.
Is that vinyl residue on the front of the body?!
The old cartridges did not of course have the R&D of today's science behind them and you could not really compare.I did not mean the Sumiko was some kind of killer cartridge,but where do you engage anti-skate if at all.That's something that needs some good science behind it now.The article bucked the trend even then I guess of saying you set tracking weight and bias about the same,by saying 30% of weight was the most you could need.
Here's the deal on styli and friction: line contact (or micro ridge, etc) styli spread the tracking force of the tonearm over the entire length of their (line) contact with the groove (two lines actually) whereas a conical or elliptical stylus only contacts the record groove at two points. So even at the (relatively) light tracking force of MM cartridges (1 gm +/-) versus the much heavier VTF of MC cartridges (2+ gm) the actual pounds per square inch applied to the vinyl by a line contact stylus, even at 2+ gms VTF is far less than the psi of an elliptical stylus on the vinyl (to say nothing of the fact that the elliptical stylus doesn't fit the groove very well.)

With that in mind, it's easy to see why modern line contact styli don't produce much friction in the groove and so require much less (if any) AS force.

Although some modern MM cartridges use line contact styli, most are found on MC cartridges. The relatively stiff suspensions of MC cartridges are unlikely to deform sideways (enough to matter) from the little bit of skating force produced.

Or you can just go to a 12" transcription arm and forget the whole thing!
Nsgarch, I've always thought the line contact styli have a greater contact area than the elliptical ones. Greater contact area means more friction (although the pressure/area unit is less).

I don't fuss much at all with anti skating on my Graham Phantom.

As most of you know the 12" 33 1/3 rpm Lp is the biggest culprit here, especially as the cartridge traverse towards the centre of the Lp.

Increase the groove velocity at any given point on a Lp you then decrease the unavoidable distortions on the inner grooves of the 33 rpm.
I don't know off hand how many 12" 45 rpm Lps I have, what ever the number, it's not enough.

I have a phantum also and I cannot get the antiskating to set anywhere near i feel it should be. I use the Denom Omnidisc. I have used it with all my other arms and it worked great but it just does not work on the phantum. I cannot get the distortion to stop coming from the left channel first no matter where I put the anti skating weight. My others arms included SME S type and the IV also the Graham 2.2 that worked great with the denon disk.
I cannot get the distortion to stop coming from the left channel first no matter where I put the anti skating weight.
Start by taking the AS weight off altogether. AS on top level arms and carts should be started at "zero". Adjust upward only if necessary to eliminate RIGHT channel mistracking, in TINY increments.

If you get L channel mistracking first with AS adjusted to zero, something besides AS is causing it, as I noted in my second post above dated 12-19-08 (step number 5.C).
Get rid of that Phantom piece of junk and buy yourself a Rega :-)
Nsgarch, I've always thought the line contact styli have a greater contact area than the elliptical ones. Greater contact area means more friction (although the pressure/area unit is less).
Dazz, sometimes Physics can be maddeningly counter-intuitive, can't it?! The amount of skating force produced is directly proportional to the friction developed between the stylus and the vinyl. Since the contact area of a conical/elliptical stylus is essentially zero, the VTF divided by zero = infinity. Therefore the skating force (in theory ;-) should also be infinity (which it isn't ;-) but the psi is still much higher than that of a line-contact stylus, which 'spreads' the VTF over a calculable area.

In addition to the contact-area-vs-friction issue is this point: assuming the SRA is properly set a line-contact stylus will 'lock' into the groove for effortless (in theory ;-) tracing. Conical and elliptical styli kind of 'skip across the high points' of the groove modulations (I'm exaggerating for illustration ;-) which adds additional friction.

If you ever have a chance to watch an earlier model Shure MM cartridge (like a V-15 Type II) and see how much the cantilever deflects, even at one gram VTF, you'll understand where the AS = VTF standard came from.

I think, this thread is essential for every analog enthusiast.
All of us want to do the things right, but it can go a frustrating route.
Antiskate is such a miracle. Lots of test records out there, but in a way they can be useless. This cartridge is a proof for trying to do it right and it went wrong. The side force can be very strong and when the cart. is new, the suspension is soft and sensitive. After some months it will deform and the story is over.
What amazed me, when I saw the cartridge is that excessive cantilever tilt...

This cartridge is on the way back to the manufacturer for a complete rebuild.
I have found that not only is correct anti-skate an illusive quest, but also the mechanism that operates this anti-skate device resonates, adds unnecessary friction, etc.
If all looks to be good with your cartridge and AS mechanism.
I would go over set up again of your arm and cartridge.

Myself and other's here found the MintLp arc protractor to do the trick.

Then follow Doug Deacon's lead if you like.