BaerWald vs VPI setup protractors


Which is more accurate? Recently I decided to check my setup on a Scout using both the VPI gauge and a Baerwald protractor. Using the Baerwald the overhang is dead on in both locations, using the VPI the stylus misses the mark forward by about half a millimeter. Can this small amount of variance have a sonic impact? Has anyone else found this differene and what was your solution? 
gillatgh
I wasn’t very impressed with the VPI protractor - too many potential error points. My current table came with a similar protractor. It has the same problem, most notably the poor choice of grid lines and somewhat loose fit of the jig. Most of the available Dennison style protractors don’t fare much better. They typically don’t match the thickness of an LP, the pivot locating rods leave room for error, and the spindle holes are too large.

If you want utmost accuracy, believe it or not, the best protractors are free. They are printable arc protractors that avoid all of these problems. The best of these is available from Conrad Hoffman’s software. You can download it here:

http://conradhoffman.com/chsw.htm

Click on "custom arc template generator..."

You only need to know the distance between the tonearm pivot and platter spindle. This is often published in tonearm specs or you might find it on the Vinyl Engine site.

You’ll want to use the "Lofgren A" (Baerwald) and "DIN" choices.

If you carefully cut the spindle hole (I use a razor blade), it will fit very snug. You adjust your stylus overhang so that it follows the whole arc, then adjust the zenith so it aligns with at least one of the grids, though I can usually get mine to align to both. You repeat this cycle until everything is perfect.The real beauty of this protractor is the grid lines for the cantilever. It has thin lines that will be perfectly parallel to either side of the cantilever when you get it right. This really helps to avoid problems with parallax error that are common with most protractor designs. It also allows for alignment at the exact height of the playing surface (you just tape the protractor to the top of an old LP).

I’ve used dozens of protractor variations, some that were quite expensive, and none yielded results as good as this free arc protractor.
helomech
If you want utmost accuracy, believe it or not, the best protractors are free.
I couldn't disagree more, and have long thought the cause of many complaints about LP playback are rooted in improper setup.

The Achilles Heal of most alignment gauges is that they align the phono cartridge, when the real goal should be to align the stylus/cantilever assembly. To do that precisely requires a mirrored gauge, such as the WallyTractor or Mint gauges.
VPI's protractor is not designed according to a Baerwald alignment. You will never get a perfect alignment for both methods at once. You can find enough info to bore you to death here: https://www.vinylengine.com/vpi-tonearm-geometry.shtmlIn the end, it does not really matter which one you choose (they are both legit and a matter of preference) as long as you align the stylus properly.@helomech's advice is very good. +1
One possibility for Baerwald is the inexpensive, mirrored, turntablebasics.com protractor.  Will work for any cartridge/arm.
In my experience, the Turntable Basic protractor is fatally flawed in that it does not permit the user to precisely locate and align the spindle with the pivot point of the tonearm.  You've got to aim it by eye at the pivot, which is usually several inches beyond the edge of the protractor surface. Yes, it can be modified by the user to allow for closer approximation, but that's still a big problem with the original design.  And to say it will "work" for any cartridge and tonearm is really to say it will approximately work, because there are minute differences for which it cannot account.  Take a look at the UNItractor or the SMARTractor from Acoustic Sounds, and you will appreciate what those tiny tonearm to tonearm variables might be.  Or even the Feickert.  This is why Mint protractors are made one by one for each tonearm.
In my experience, the Turntable Basic protractor is fatally flawed in that it does not permit the user to precisely locate and align the spindle with the pivot point of the tonearm.
lewn FYI, the VPI alignment jig does just that... what it does not is give you Baerwald.
All of the protractors you mentioned are good, but they are not free like helomech's option... I'd rather spend my money on LPs, but that is just me...

If you print an arc protractor on photo paper, it will give you the same precision as the Mint, minus the mirror for azimuth. For those of us who care about $130....

fsellet
If you print an arc protractor on photo paper, it will give you the same precision as the Mint, minus the mirror for azimuth.

This is mistaken, and shows you don't really understand the basics of phono cartridge setup.

The value of the mirror isn't so much for azimuth - although it's useful for that - but aligning the cantilever for tangency. There's no way to do that with a paper protractor.
@cleeds

The Conrad arc protractor does well without a mirror because of the thoughtful design of the grid layout. If one views the cantilever straight on (not quite from above, but as though one is looking down a barrel), it's quite obvious if it's off by even a small fraction of a degree. I encourage you to try it for yourself.

I would agree with you when it comes to most other protractors, where the grid lines are much too far from the cantilever, or they only include one reference line down the middle of the grid.

The problem with the Mint protractors and the like is that they don’t measure at the exact height of the playback surface. One might be able to experiment with mats and such to approximate a similar height, but it still won’t be as accurate as placing thin paper on an LP. As I mentioned in my first post, another problem with most tractors is spindle hole size. All the Dennison style tractors I’ve used have too much slop at the spindle hole to allow for reliable results.

@cleeds We agree: I know very little about the world. At least I know enough to not assume, and to be civil.

I use Dr.Feickert , all you need is more light
I have tried many alignment jigs but after long term listening always go back to the VPI.

IMO....YMMV.
I'm all for saving money.  As regards protractors, my ship has left the dock.  I already own and have paid for the UNItractor, the Feickert, an original all metal Dennesen (I keep it for its historical value), and a Turntable Basics (which I no longer use at all).  For those who have not already shot their wad, there is apparently a free program available on the internet wherein you can dial in the name of your tonearm and cartridge and then print out a free arc protractor template, provided your printer will make 1:1 copies.  Do a search on either VE or VA for the URL. Honestly, I do not feel that the mirror is so vital to the procedure, although the UNI is mirrored.  Certainly, not using a mirror does not make one ignorant or careless.  If your cantilever is out of line, you probably can compensate for the error by guesstimate.
@lewm 

I posted a link to the arc protractor software in my first post. It prints exactly 1:1 on most printers I've used. 
I started with the Turntable Basics then moved to Conrad arc printout.  An noticible improvement.  I then ordered my custom Mint Protractor from Yip and the precision it provided exceeded the carefully prepared paper templates. The result of the precision was audible.  Now a SmarTractor is my instrument of choice and my vinyl reproduction is in a league I did not know could be achieved by just being more precise with cartridge setup.  Free thin paper has many desirable assets but it is not precise enough to maximize what your system is capable of delivering IMHO.
In my experience, the Turntable Basic protractor is fatally flawed in that it does not permit the user to precisely locate and align the spindle with the pivot point of the tonearm. You've got to aim it by eye at the pivot, which is usually several inches beyond the edge of the protractor surface. Yes, it can be modified by the user to allow for closer approximation, but that's still a big problem with the original design. And to say it will "work" for any cartridge and tonearm is really to say it will approximately work, because there are minute differences for which it cannot account. Take a look at the UNItractor or the SMARTractor from Acoustic Sounds, and you will appreciate what those tiny tonearm to tonearm variables might be. Or even the Feickert. This is why Mint protractors are made one by one for each tonearm.
Sure, a SMARTractor costing $600 will make HTA a bit easier to set than the $20 turntablebasiscs device.  But if you simply mount the turntablebasics on a piece of card stock and extend the line to just about touch the base of your tonearm, you will have achieved what the SMARTractor does.  If you think these sort of devices (whose geometry is fundamentally the same) cannot be absolutely as accurate as an arc protractor made for a specific arm, you don't understand the geometry of these devices.

Audiophile insecurity and smart promotion drives many hobbyists to the most expensive devices when the simple one will do the job.

Hey, it's your money.  Spend it as you wish.  
I have had the VPI, Yip, Dr. Feickert, and Smartractor. I like the Smartractor the most for its accuracy, and quickness to setup a cartridge. 

Melm, You and cleeds certainly are a judgmental pair. But also, your reading comprehension is not up to snuff. Where did I say that a SMARTractor cannot be as good as an arc protractor? The answer is: nowhere did I say or write that.

What I did say/write is that the SMARTractor is in a whole other league from the Turntable Basics, because the Smartie allows the user to locate the pivot in relation to the spindle very precisely. Whereas, you yourself have described the way in which one must add on to the TB in order to get even close to accurate location of P2S. And by the way also, the Smartie and the Feickert can be used for tonearm set-up, because they both permit precise measurement of P2S. The TB is useless in that process. I hate to drag poor Albert Einstein into this silly discussion, but he is reputed to have said that the solution to any problem should be as simple as possible, but not simpler. The TB is an example of a too simple solution. I admit, you cannot beat the price, but even for only $20, one would be better off downloading one of those free arc protractors designed for one’s particular tonearm.

In case you don’t know it, the SMARTractor was developed from the UNItractor. (I actually think the Smartie is easier to use than the UNI, and I wish I had waited for its introduction before buying the UNI.) Then I went on to say/write, for those who would rather not spend the big bucks for the Smartie or Feickert, that one can download a correct arc protractor for free using a program available on the internet. I have no beef with arc protractors. I was praising the Mint, in fact.

Now, you are free to disagree with my opinions, but please get my opinions right before you dump on them.

Helomech, In my one experience of trying to print a protractor, the problem was not in the file but in my computer and printer.  I had to make sure to set the ratio to 1:1 using the printer's controls.  I can't recall how I did it.  The default ratio between the file and the copy put out by the printer was greater than 1:1, I believe. (Copy slightly smaller than original.)

@gillatgh I’m curious if you have confirmed the correct pivot to spindle distance. Once and awhile I read a post that this can be off spec as delivered from VPI Factory. If it is, there are some protractors that can compensate for it and others that can’t.

Vpi tonearm is a clever designed which allows user to adjust the P2S distance very fast. You only need to turn the elbow a few degrees to get the correct distance. (If your tonearm has the adjustable base for vta)
Vpi tonearm is a clever designed which allows user to adjust the P2S distance very fast. You only need to turn the elbow a few degrees to get the correct distance. (If your tonearm has the adjustable base for vta)
This is no longer the case with most legacy and current production VPI tonearms as the dog leg platform is now fixed and cannot be rotated.  The original JMW10/12 tonearms had a dog leg platform that could be rotated.  This was abandoned for the sake of increased rigidity and resonance control, but I have to admit, it made fine tuning S2P distances a breeze.
lewm, first of all, all we are trying to do is set a tangent at two different radii. It is not brain surgery. When you wrote, "This is why Mint protractors are made one by one for each tonearm." it seemed you were ascribing greater precision to them, which would be incorrect. IMO the arc protractor, which was introduced originally by Wally Malewicz, as a marketing effort by him to make vinylphiles believe that they needed a custom, hand made and expensive device to do what the one-size-fits-all devices had been doing successfully for years. It worked, and when Wally couldn’t/wouldn’t deliver consistently, Mint stepped in.

And in case YOU don’t know it, the SMARTractor and the UNItractor.are copies of the original Dennison Geometric Soundtractor which had been around at the dawn of the stereo era. Either the patent has run out or was purchased/licensed

I cannot imagine anyone spending $600 for such a device unless, perhaps, if they do TT set-ups professionally (and write off the expense). With just a little care the simpler ones, like my Cart-a-line or the turntablebasics an do the job just as well for a hobbyist.. IMO, though, a mirrored protractor is a must as one should be aligning the cantilever and the mirror forces you to get that right.

I often think there’s too much emphasis on HTA anyway. One successful pivoted TT arm even avoids that totally. Some people think accuracy in azimuth and SRA are far more important. And anyone who wants to spend unnecessary big bucks on devices to adjust these will also find willing purveyors.

melm
When you wrote, "This is why Mint protractors are made one by one for each tonearm." it seemed you were ascribing greater precision to them, which would be incorrect. IMO the arc protractor, which was introduced originally by Wally Malewicz, as a marketing effort by him to make vinylphiles believe that they needed a custom, hand made and expensive device to do what the one-size-fits-all devices had been doing successfully for years. It worked ...
It worked, to a point. The accuracy of a one-size-fits-all protractor hinges in part on how precisely it can locate the arm pivot. That precision is iffy and varies depending on the gauge and the arm. A dedicated gauge doesn’t suffer that problem.

With just a little care the simpler ones, like my Cart-a-line or the turntablebasics an do the job just as well for a hobbyist ..
The Cart-Align gauge is particularly imprecise in locating the arm pivot.
Dear @gillatgh: If the tonearm is mounted by VPI just forgeret to use other kind of alignment geometry. The VPI JIG was made it expressely for your 10.5i and in reality doing a change to LÖfgren A/Baerwald or Löfgren B  can´t makes a true and listeabler differences for the better in your tonearm.

I don't have evidence or read evidence that says the VPI JIG is non-accurated, as a fact I read it's.

The advantage to use the VPI JIG is that the tonearm is mounted with very high accuracy degree and the JIG works around that.

Which the problem you are listening with the VPI dedicated JIG alignment. Are you unsatisfied and why?

The name of the game  in any tonearm/cartridge alignment type geometry is accuracy and if your set up is accurated this is enough and you don't have to change it. Why should you or any one VPI owner?

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
R.
Agreed.....the MINT protractor is best......agree with Raul....again.
melm, You seem determined to find something to disagree with, no matter what I write.  Yes, I did know that the UNI and Smartie are based on the Dennesen.  Was it necessary for me to say that in the context of the point I was trying to make?  I didn't think so.  I would also add, however, that the Acoustic Sounds protractors are so far and away superior to the original Dennesen in so many ways that it is not even important to note their common origins.  These include:

(1) 2-point alignment vs single point
(2) Use of a mirrored surface where the reflective component is very close to the surface of the glass (not several mm below the surface, as for the TB protractor or no mirror as for the original Dennesen)
(3) Separate mirrored templates for each tonearm
(4) Interchangeable spindle holes to compensate for slight variations in spindle diameter
(5) Precise location of the pivot from the spindle and precise measurement of P2S
And more...

As I hope I made clear, if you or anyone else does not want to spend $600 on a protractor, that's fine with me, and it is very understandable.  I held off buying the UNI for a long time, for that reason.  My advice in that case would be to opt for the free download of an arc protractor from the source cited above.  Or, for fewer bucks than the AS products, get the Feickert. Heck, some guys maintain that an arc protractor is the only way to go; I'm cool with that, too.  But this is how I would advise a neophyte.
Neither. VPI is bunk and Baerwald is phony. Use Lofgren A or B. What is there to think about?
lewm, You may enjoy using an expensive over-engineered device, but if you think that with your $800 machine you get a more precise alignment than I with my Cart-a-lign, you're deluding yourself.  Eventually you, like I, have to set the cantilever in a mirror.  With 2 points of tangency the setting is verified.

The point-to-the arm devices are made as precise as necessary by extending the pointing line.  Lately btw I've been using my carpenter's level to throw a laser line to set the direction to the arm--using the edge of the laser beam, it could hardly be more precise.  But I was doing fine before this.
melm, I give up.  Re-read my last 3 posts. Or don't. 
Invictus, Lofgren A = Baerwald.  So, what is your opinion now?
I would never trust a printed on paper protractor on a high-end turntable. I’m an architect, and deal with skilled accurate drawings every day.  Even with good quality printers on good heavy gauge bond paper things can be ever so slightly off. First paper shrinks and expands based on humility. Second printers don’t necessarily print perfectly, depends on how they print and to how acutely the paper mechanism rolls the paper as print, thirdly and most importantly the hole needs to be man made and when fractions of a mm count that’s too much risk. Don’t get me wrong if all you want is a generally OK alignment then maybe paper is OK but I would never trust that on the high-end turntable. Factions of a mm matter. 
@lewm My opinion is that Baerwald is a fraud. Lofgren A is the correct alignment, so why do people insist on calling it Baerwald? 
Thanks all, I appreciate everyone's input and gather from it that there are many ways to obtain desired results. There seem to be equal numbers of respondents in all camps. No one is wrong using their preferred protractor although I'm  intrigued with the mirror protractor.  May have to try that. I'm perfectly content with my set up and it sounds fabulous. Unfortunately no one answered my question. 

@last_lemming I agree with you completely.
Dear @gillatgh:  """  about half a millimeter. Can this small amount of variance have a sonic impact? """

none.  Think on this: the difference between Löfgren A(Baerwald as you said. ) and Löfgren B is around that half mm in the overhang value with the same offset angle.

Differences in tracking error between both kind of alignments are at minimum both Löfgren alignments shows traking error distortions and the real true difference is where those distortions happens, this is before, after in between alignment null points. What changes is where its happening on each Löfgren alignment type.

Now, overall and does not matters if Löfgren A or B Or VPI the distortion level is changing at each single groove through the LP surface and this means that no one can detect a true difference ( with sonic impact as you said. ) due that changes at each single groove are so so to small. You can measure but can't detect tghose so small changes no matter what.

So, stay with VPI alignment . If VPI and Löfgren/Baerwald alignments were made it in accurate way then no sonic impact detectable for you.

Regards,
R.
Dear @melm @lewm : """  Audiophile insecurity and smart promotion drives many hobbyists to the most expensive devices when the simple one will do the job. """

That statement is correct, the issue is why audiophiles go or gone looking for those protractors including the very expensive ones.

@cleeds posted something critical for that issue :  "  That precision is iffy and varies depending on the gauge and the arm. A dedicated gauge doesn’t suffer that problem. "

The key words there are: DEDICATED GAUGE:

that is a MAIN responsability of any tonearm manufacturer, it's him whom must gives that dedicated gauge along each tonearm to each of their customers as VPI is doing it.

The problem is that almost all of us, no, all of us through the years accepted ( by ignorance. ) to bougth/buy tonearms with a " ridiculous " align gauge that were totally non-accurated.

As time pass on we all started to learn step by step the critical importance of accuracy when we do our tonearm/TT/cartridge geometry alignment parameters set up and was through the time that we took in count that what the tonearm manufactures gave to us just is totally unaccurated and we have to look for an after market protractors.
I own no less that 15 protractors that includes all the ones named here but the more expensive and I did not buy it because I already understanded that that protractor can't gives nothing different that can help me, even can't really helps to any one.

So, it's the tonearm manufacturer whom must gives that accurated alignment gauge.

The after market protractor manufacturers took advantage from that irresponsability of the tonearm manufacturers and from our each one ignorance levels.

Even today some tonearm manufacturers and several audiophiles just understand in fully way the overall theory behind the tonearm/cartridge alignment set up.

Was Löfgren the gentleman that invented ( yes invented. ) the necessity of tonearm/cartridge accurated alignment and he gave his solutions through his mathematics ( geometry mainly. ) on those Löfgren equations.

Was from his equations where other persons try to made modifications with out real success. Baerwald is one of them where his solution is the same as the one invented by Löfgren ( A ). But was not only Baerwald whom made it something similar but other gentlemans too even Stevenson who had a similar solution to Lófgren A and other solution named Stevenson A where he made on purpose that coincide the inner null point exactly with the must inner groove distance that's a Löfgren input parameter in his equations.

So, how many kind of alignments we really need? 2 or 3 or one dedicated for one specific tonearm?

Not really, we only need one accurated Löfgren A or B alignment protractor and that's all and that is what tonearm manufacturers must have to understand and are responsable to give to each of their customers.

The input parameters in those Löfgren equations are: effective length, inner must groove distance and outer must groove distance.
Then the equations gives the alignment parameters: overhang, off-set angle, both null points and by difference P2S and that's it.

As some one posted here:  " no brain cirgury " or " rocket science ", really easy to understand.

Anything out of standard Löfgren solutions are only manipulations of those equations but nothing more and are no better than the original Löfgren solutions but at the end even if could be a sign of better alignment you can't detected if what you have was accurated set up.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
R.
This issue of horizontal tracking angle (HTA) is an interesting one.  There is no single correct setting for a pivoted offset arm.  This is unlike azimuth where there is an unambiguously correct setting and we all try to get as close as possible.  It is also unlike SRA where (at least for each record thickness, or possibly record) there is only one correct setting.

When we deal with HTA we understand that it will be wrong most of the time except at two (or even one) radii.  So we make a choice of where we want the various levels of distortion to appear. Each of the proper names associated with HTA (including HW) prefers their distortion in another part of the record.

I am always amused when I read posts claiming that after getting the newsuperdupercustommade protractor the sound of the system blew away anything heard before.  It is sometimes alleged to have made a cheap TT sound like an expensive one.  Since we are almost always tolerating HTA tracing distortion, using instruments with medical precision is not really necessary.  But as for me, as long as I'm bothering, I try to get it as close to Lofgren A as I can.  At least it makes system evaluaton more consistent.

As I wrote earlier, I find all the fuss about HTA to be overblown.  A well received arm, the Viv Lab Rigid, is a pivoted arm without an offset and its HTA tracing distortion is probably the highest on record.  But respected reviewers write that given other positive attributes the distortion which so tortures us, and this discussion, is virtually unheard.  Go figure!

As a lover of analog, I'm more concerned with azimuth and SRA using my ears as the best instrument.  
@gillatgh,

I finally sent my Classic 3 Sig SE back this week to have the STP corrected. Using my Feickert protractor, the STP was off by 2mm. Haven’t listened to it in over 1 & 1/2 years. Sad.
As I suspected, apparently this issue varies for their different tables but is a wide ranging problem. BTW, in the last mm’s and closer...this is where all of the magic happens.

Good luck.
Can this small amount of variance have a sonic impact?

Yes, but don't worry. Most alignments are done wrong and the owners won't notice.
I would never trust a printed on paper protractor on a high-end turntable. I’m an architect, and deal with skilled accurate drawings every day. Even with good quality printers on good heavy gauge bond paper things can be ever so slightly off. First paper shrinks and expands based on humility. Second printers don’t necessarily print perfectly, depends on how they print and to how acutely the paper mechanism rolls the paper as print, thirdly and most importantly the hole needs to be man made and when fractions of a mm count that’s too much risk. Don’t get me wrong if all you want is a generally OK alignment then maybe paper is OK but I would never trust that on the high-end turntable. Factions of a mm matter

Well, I can’t speak for the effects of "humility" or "factions of a mm," but having used a number of the Dennesen/ Feickert style protractors, I concluded they are far more prone to significant error. This is especially true because they rarely mimic the height of the playback surface. Their spindle holes are typically fixed and often have close to a whole mm of slop. You won’t find that problem with the common printable protractors. Then it’s up to the user to eyeball whether the guide rod is centered over the tonearm pivot - another potential point for egregious error. When you add these all up, you might be off by whole millimeters rather than just fractions.
The Conrad Hoffman protractor is a PDF so while printing it, have a ruler ready to measure the actual print. Increase or decrease the print scale by as little as 1 to 2% and re-print it. It's best to print it at a professional print shop with plotter type printer usually used for printing engineering and architectural drawings because they're better calibrated than multi function printer-scanner-copier machines. Sometimes a printer's calibration will be perfectly okay in horizontal direction but a bit off in vertical direction (and vice versa). In such cases go to a different print shop. Yeah, I know it's a lot of trial and running around but that's the fun of creating your own protractor:)

And regarding mirrored surface for aligning the cantilever, use any small mirror. It works perfectly as long as there's sufficient lighting in the room.
@cleeds " I couldn't disagree more, and have long thought the cause of many complaints about LP playback are rooted in improper setup."

Actually, you could disagree more. What if your opinion was to use a T-square or a ball-peen hammer? (a little light levity is what this discussion is lacking.) 

Has anyone tried the DB Systems protractor?
https://www.musicdirect.com/analog-accessories/db-systems-dbs-cartridge-alignment-protractor?sc_src=...
jls001
And regarding mirrored surface for aligning the cantilever, use any small mirror.
That won't work. You'll need a mirrored gauge that includes an etched line that's used - along with the reflection of the cantilever - to achieve proper orientation of the cartridge in the headshell. That's how you can ensure tangency at the designated overhang point. Even with a pickup arm that doesn't specifically allow for adjustment of the cartridge at the headshell, there's enough potential left-to-right "slop" that not getting the cantilever aligned almost guarantees you'll never achieve tangency - even at the null points.
Dear @2channel8: Many of us, it appeared maybe 30+ years ago.


Dear friends: 

The main subject here other that @gillatgh has his answer is what @melm : """  But as for me, as long as I'm bothering, I try to get it as close to Lofgren A as I can. At least it makes system evaluaton more consistent. """

The VPI owners always been " there " using the supplied VPI JIG and don't try to change the VPI alignment type because is totally useless. You can't have a true advantage because on pivoted tonearms in any kind/type of alignment exist trade-offs. The VPI are very good choosed trade-offs.

Other than Stevenson A we all need to choose only one alignment set up that be made it with accuracy.

Sellers of protractors always are trying to sell us protractors that comes with several alignment choices, why?: because they only want to take our money and their arguments on why we have to have their protractors has no true foundations but only takes advantage of our very high level of our IGNORANCE about .

Over the years I gave as a gift to the sellers of protractors  my money because my  very high level of ignorance on the alignment tonearm/TT/cartridge set up.

The culprit of all that has its origins in the irresponsability of almost all the tonearms manufacturers.



R.
Has anyone tried the DB Systems protractor?
This is an old design that is intended to align the cartridge, and then is most useful only if the cartridge has straight, square sides.

It does not align the cantilever.  That would be considered a fatal flaw by many.

@cleeds I'm not clear about designated overhang point in "That's how you can ensure tangency at the designated overhang point".

Can you kindly explain? Do you mean the OH must be measured only at a specific point?
jls001
Do you mean the OH must be measured only at a specific point?
Typically, you measure overhang at two points. But how can you be sure you've achieved tangency at either or both of those points? How can you be sure the phono cartridge isn't twisted so as to not be tangent at the null points? You can do that by using a mirrored gauge that aligns the reflection of the cantilever with an etched line on the gauge that bisects the length of the cantilever.
Post removed 
@2channel8,

The Conrad Hoffman protractor includes two reference lines for measuring print accuracy, both vertical and horizontal. After printing one on standard office paper, using my cheapo Brother printer, I measured the lines with my Mitutoyo vernier calipers - they were absolutely perfect.

I happen to own the DB systems protractor. It can indeed be used to align the cantilever, but ultimately, I find it's no more useful than a basic 2-point protractor.
Dear @gillatgh and friends: That no sense post by @syntax only speaks about his extremely high ignorance levels in that specific alignment regards.

Look:

if we take a 254mm as the effectuive length on a pivoted tonearm the alignment calculations with Löfgren A (Baerwald), Löfgren B and Stevenson A shows what we can look in this VE calculator through the charts:

https://www.vinylengine.com/tonearm_alignment_calculator_pro.php?arm1=Arm+1&l1=el&a1lv=254&a...

taking the results between null points we can observe that between Löfgren A(Baerwald) and Löfgren B the higher distortion level difference in between these alignments is around:  0.28%, that's around 85mm in the recorded groves area.

Which is the distortions down there?:  Löfgren A  : 0.57% and Lófgren B:  0.39% so the difference in between is only: 0.18% in that precise groove and that gentleman said produce a " sonic impact " that could means he can hear it !

Now, I said that if any two decent kind of alignments are made it in accurate way it's almost imposible that we can listen that " soniic impact " because the distortion% levels are changing at each single groove.

If ( example ) we take Löfgren B difference between 85mm  and 86mm the distortion levbel is just unlistable for no one because at 86mm the distortion level is: 0.393%

whom can detect ( human been. ) a diference of only: 0.003 ! ! and this trend goes groove after groove and is imposible to detect through all the LP recorded surface that " sonic impact ".

We can detect a sonic impact when we use that stupid Stevenson A alignment becvause the distoertion level differences are way higher than both Löfgren alignments.

If we analize against VPI alignment the differences are extremely low as between Löfgren A and B.

People think that because an audiophile owns a megabuck ( $$$$ ) audio system he must be an expert but that gentleman is everything you want but an expert and not only that here are facts that proves his ignorance level. What he shows in your system is that he is a whealthy gentleman and nothing more than that.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
R.
@rauliruegas,

I wouldn’t call someone ignorant because he takes a different point of view than you do. There is no one "correct" way to set HTA. There is no consensus on what theoretical distortions can be heard. There’s no consensus as to whether a theoretical distortion on an outside groove is more or less disturbing than the same theoretical distortion on an inside groove. There is no consensus about the relative importance of HTA, azimuth and SRA. Though I try to set Lofgren A as close as possible, I am amused with all the talk here about extreme precision. One protractor, believe it or not, actually has a vernier gauge.

Case in point, HW of VPI, who I think has been accepted an a perceptive analog listener by the audio community, has written that he prefers to listen to an HTA setup that is quite far from the conventional alternatives. IIRC he prefers the 2 tangencies to be set: one relatively close in the inner grooves and one outside the grooves entirely. This yields high theoretical distortion numbers. Apparently, though, his hearing perception is most disturbed by the crossover from inside to outside the tangency, so he limits it to only one per record side. He also writes that regardless of the theoretical distortion measure, distortions nearer to the inside grooves are more disturbing to the listener.

As I wrote earlier, there being no correct HTA, each person is free to put the distortions where thy want. Since there is HTA distortion all over the disk, except at one or two grooves, your admonition: "enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS" is kind of ridiculous in this context.
Dear @melm : What did you not understand of what I posted?:

"  0.18% in that precise groove and that gentleman said produce a " sonic impact " that could means he can hear it ! .................................................................... whom can detect ( human been. ) a diference of only: 0.003 ! ! and this trend goes groove after groove and is imposiible...."


@melm , the noise floor of your audio system is way higher than that distortion levels and by a wide marging.

Obviously that only an ignorant of those facts can posted as that gentleman on that OP regards. 

And an ignorant person is that who knows nothing on a specific subject like the one we are dialoging here.

And if you insit in posts as your latest then you are an ignorant too and not because you don't agree with me but because you can't prove I'm wrong. Those values were measured through the alignment calculations.

Come on melm.

R.