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Ignoring the possibility that alignment geometry changed when switching screw sets, seems to me another potential variable contributing to the difference in sound you report might be the amount of torque used to tighten each screw. Was that the same for all sets? Also, I'm assuming you reset tracking force as necessary after installing each set? By the way, are you comparing 3 sets of screws (i.e., retipper's screws were different than the original Benz screws) or just 2? Interesting observation but not sure what to do with it. Detail on the changes you heard would be helpful....although I, personally, can't see myself switching out mounting hardware to "optimize" the sound from my TT.
Lots of variables with mounting hardware. Weight will be one. Aluminum will be much lighter than stainless or brass for example so you can have minor changes in effective mass that might improve or degrade things.
Magnetic vs. non-magnetic hardware would be potential issue with moving coils also-never a good idea to crank magnetic hardware right up against a moving coil cartridge. That could easily affect sound quality as well.
Dear tzh21y: Well, your cartridge comes from a fresh retip from a rettiper other than Benz Micro.
You used 3 sets of screws and as other gentleman said the final alignment with each crews set was not exactly the same ( maybe similar but not exactly the same. ).
In the other side what the gentlemans said here about screws torque is important and it matters because if not the same torque level on both screws the kind of resonances between the cartridge body and headshells changes its frequency range.
I like to use " maximum " torque that permit the cartridge body/headshell build materials. When a little loose ( for me. ) distortions are higher but this is me.
The difference in between those 3 sets of screws weigth almost does not affect the effective mass that could result in a change in the cartridge/tonearm resonance frequency, is really insignificant its contribution on it for we can hear it.
Regards and enjoy the music,
I don't know. I am pretty sure the alignment and azimuth were the same. It sounded night and day different to my ears. The Benz micro screws sounded much better than the VPI or the screws which were included with the retip. Maybe it is what they are made of and the weight as the Benz micro screws were lighter that the other screws. They do look like they are made out of a different metal than the other two.
"I am pretty sure the alignment and azimuth were the same". Highly unlikely! When you replaced the screws you inevitably ended up changing the cartridge alignment and other performance parameters and THAT is likely responsible for 90% of the change you are hearing. Can screw materials, torque and some of the other variables mentioned impact the sound? Probably, but only slightly and it is doubtful you would hear it. The change in sound quality you describe is far too great to be accounted for by these variables. However, even the slightest change in alignment, azimuth, VTF will alter the sound in the way you describe.
Dear t. : During the first 50-60 hours of playback in a new cartridge almost every day the sound is changing. Sometimes only a little and sometimes in greater way and this broken time can be affecting what you are listening.
Maybe you have to wait for at least those playback 50 hours till de cartridge is already settle down and then do te screws tests again.
regards and enjoy the music,