Cartridge Alignment Newbie Question

Sorry to bother you guys again. When I mount my cartridge (Goldring) using Rega's alignment tool, the cartridge seems to be aligned although when looking at the cartridge mounting screws on the RB300 headshell they are not perfectly side by side. Is this a normanl occurance? or if the screws are not perfectly side by side is this an indication that my cartridge may not be aligned properly, or crooked?

Thanks to all for helping me set-up,
I would trust the alignment gauge -- mine is the same way, and I've checked it with three different gauges. The gauges all say it's right (though the screws in the slots are uneven) and that's good enough for me. Plus, the cartridge sounds excellent so who am I to argue with good results?

That is a good question though and if anyone knows exactly why this occurs, I'm all ears...
Thinking about this a little further, it seems to me that designers locate the armboard and arm mounting hole in a certain spot. They don't necessarily know what arm will be mounted on the table, so if you use an arm with a different pivot to stylus dimension than the one they designed it for, then you will have a case where the cartridge alignment is not square with the headshell.

Make sense?
It's hard for me to say from what you are describing if the cartridge is properly aligned or not. However I will say that the alignment gauge that comes with the Rega tables is not terribly good - I never use them when aligning cartridges for customers. The best one I've found is the Clearaudio alignment jig, but it's fairly expensive. Nevertheless it really does the trick on virtually all tables and it's quick and easy to use.
I have a Rega RB 900 and I always use the Mobile Fidelity Geodisc. I think it is much more accurate than most others. There are some "hi end" alignment tools you can buy for BIG money but I think the Geodisc generally gets thing where they should be located.
Plato, I am using a Rega P3 with its factory RB300 arm. Cartridge seems square with the headshell too, just the screws are off (there not side by side on the headshell).

Also another thing(for anybody to answer), on the Rega alignment tool I added lines horizantally in front of the cross. I then lined up the front wall of the cartridge to the drawn lines to check if they are parallel to eachother. Is this an effective way to check if the cartridge is aligned properly in addition to the printed lines on the sides of the cartridge?

Marcus, always let your alignment gauge be your point of reference. Remember, you are establishing tangency between your cartridge and the record surface, not the tonearm and the record surface. Most alignment devices presently available are establihing the ultimate point of tangency at approx. the middle of the record playing suface.

In some cases, the cartridge may appear visually to be misaligned relative to the headshell portion of the tonearm. I presently use a VPI/RB900/CLEARAUDIO combination and the cartridge is not perfectly aligned in the headshell.

This will always be somewhat of an issue with a fixed point tonearm as perfect tangency will only be had at one small point of the record surface. On average, there is approx. 3-5 degrees of tangential tolerance since a fixed point tonearm cannot track tangentially accross the complete record surface.

Also, you may want to check out some of the posts regarding setting up your RB300. There are some interesting tricks regarding setting tracking weight and anti-skate (or lack of).

Good luck!
Marcus, very few cartridge bodies are perfectly aligned with their cantelivers and stylus. so when you are looking at the relationship between the cartridge body and the headshell.....don't even worry about how that looks. it is only about where the tip of the stylus is (and it's alignment and angle). i have 3 very expensive cartridges that all have noticeable alignment problems in respect to body verses stylus.....and all play perfectly once the stylus is properly located.

now if the canteliver is bent that is another is important that the relationship between the canteliver and the magnet assembly be aligned for even channel separation.
It shard chwecking the cantilever so what about my drawn lines on the alignment tool question?

Marcus, i'm not familiar with your particular cartridge. it may be that based on the tools you have you will have to rely on the cartridge body for alignment. if you have alignment tools that measure the stylus then that would always be the more valid approach.....but no approach is perfect so don't stress on it too much. if you have conflicting measurements then the best approach would be to try a few different ways and listen for which way sounds best and tracks the best.

I've been away from vinyl for a long time, but I did use a DB alignment protractor, which I still have. If you're interested in buying it, let me know.