Calling All (Any) Cartridge Alignment Experts in Western North Carolina


...or thereabouts. I just went all in on a new analog set-up, a Luxman EQ-500 phono preamp and a Kiseki Purple Heart to mount on my Technics 1200G table. The Purple Heart, while almost universally praised, is said to be pretty finicky to set up. I've mounted and set up quite a few cartridges over the years, but I am not sure I trust my aging eyes or unsteady hand to do the PH justice. Thus my inquiry.

If you know of an alignment guru in this region--which could be expanded to include Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh, and Knoxville--let me know. I would greatly appreciate any good leads.
B405be49 ca4c 4833 937a c8c57beb4818waltersalas
Walter, You may want to look at a Smart Tractor. It has a really nifty magnifier so you can see what you are doing and it has got to be the most accurate protractor on the market. It is pricey but after looking it over most definitely worth it.
For 99% of us you have to do it yourself .There are more than enough clips on You Tube to show you how.
And yes it is scary . That’s why I won’t buy anything that costs over
300$ A Nagoka MP-200 will do 99% of what is needed as will my MoFi Ultra TT .


A pro with an oscilloscope can do the best job. Without a final signal test, it's just a guess, perhaps a physically measured accurate guess but still a guess. The oscilloscope tells all.  
Yes, though I've done a reasonably good job of setting up a variety of cartridges over the years, with a cartridge of this caliber, I'd really like to find a pro (with an oscilloscope if possible) to get as close to perfect as can be. Thus, my inquiry.

Thanks for the responses so far.
Of Course . I live in a city with a 4 million population with a strong AudioClub  and nobody  knows anyone who plays 'scope.
Few years back I went Chicago to get it done by a "guru' and when I got
back my Feickert showed him a good 1/4th of an inch out.
While you track down the ‘scope guru, order a MintLP protractor and get yourself a cheap USB microscope. Accurately setting up a cart isn’t that difficult if you’re not optically straining (and you’re using a mirrored arc protractor). Will a ‘scope allow for a more accurate setup? Yup. Will you be able to tell the difference? Doubt it. 
Many thanks for all of the responses. It appears the best bet is to take a valium, chase everybody out of the house, say a prayer, and devote an afternoon to setting it up myself. I have a Clearaudio protractor that served me pretty well setting my current cartridge, but I will look into the Mint LP protractor and a cheap microscope (hat tip to you, nrenter, for this suggestion) to help me ensure I've got it lined up correctly. Much obliged to everyone.
waltersalas OP

I do not recommend the Mint. I have been down that road. It is very difficult to see the parallax implemented by Yip with his mirrored protractors and worse, it does nothing to guide you to proper azimuth or SRA or VTA. And, even if those shortcomings were ignored, the Mint relies on accurate specification of P-S. Good luck with that. I guarantee you a stiff neck, bleary eyeballs, and frustration if you use the Mint. 
As for Schubert, I would love to know "1/4 inch off according to what?" Schubert must have been too cheap to pay for Brian's travel time and his work could easily have gone "off" in transit. Further, Brian is for all intents and purposes using an oscilloscope by using a software system that implements the same methodology in more sophisticated form.
There is so much misinformation on this forum that my head wants to explode. I need to find a better forum with better informed denizens. 


Of course, with a Mint, you're relying on the manufacturer having their S2P distance correct from the factory. Something VPI has problems with.
I'm in Greensboro.
@waltersalas,

Sent a PM

 I guarantee you a stiff neck, bleary eyeballs, and frustration if you use the Mint.
This is why a USB microscope (with a small stand attachment) is so helpful. Once you have the alignment and focus of the microscope set, it’s very easy to confirm alignment of the cantilever and physical azimuth. Plus there’s no stiff neck, bleary eyeballs or frustration. Sure, using a ‘scope may yield “better” results, but for the love of all things holy, don’t let really, really good be the enemy of great. 
This is why a USB microscope (with a small stand attachment) is so helpful. Once you have the alignment and focus of the microscope set, it’s very easy to confirm alignment of the cantilever and physical azimuth. Plus there’s no stiff neck, bleary eyeballs or frustration. Sure, using a ‘scope may yield “better” results, but for the love of all things holy, don’t let really, really good be the enemy of great.
I used one of those too. Good luck getting the scope in the position you need to check parallax (Yip’s clever method). The plinth usually manages to get in the way. The gooseneck stands are simply not long enough or stable enough. And again, what about VTF, VTA, SRA, and azimuth? The Mint does nothing for those parameters.
And way too many make the mistake with the Mint of relying upon the manufacturer’s stated P-S. And yes, VPI is the worst-that I know of-for being sloppy or disregarding their own spec.
I echo the recommendation of a SmartTractor along with a very accurate VTF gauge (Riverstone).
My USB stand is very small and sits on the platter itself. Took me probably 90 seconds to position the scope, set focus, and rotate for relative perspective. 
The Technics 1200G table (presumably with stock arm and headshell) is a pretty known table...there’s enough practical experience to determine the appropriate parameters for an arc protractor. 
You seem to be very defensive about Yip and the MintLP product. I apologize if I’ve struck a nerve. I have no dog in this hunt. Respectfully, I just don’t think a SMARTractor will deliver 4x the benefit at 4x the cost (especially if you’re not frequently setting-up a litany of tables, swapping tonearm and cartridges, or experimenting with different alignment geometries). 
Also not sure how a SMARTractor is any better at VTA / SRA, azimuth, or....VTF(?) than the Mint offering.

Sure, a ‘scope can help optimize those parameters, but as we’ve established, that type of resource may not be practical.
I for one would recommend becoming confident enough and with investment of great tools to DIY. However there is a lot of value to having two like minds getting together for hours of listening and Q & A.