Cartridge Mounting Hardware


I recently upgraded my tonearm to the Clearaudio Universal. This is a great arm and worth tweaking and experimenting a bit to get the best out of it. My cartridge – Concerto V2 (7 gr.) – came with several sets of cartridge mounting bolts: 5 mm nylon and aluminum flathead screws, and 8 mm stainless hex bolts. No nuts since my cartridge is tapped for the bolt threads. For years I've been using stainless bolts. With those I use a 49 gr. stainless counterweight and it sits nearly as close as it can go to the fulcrum when VTA is dialed in. When I play the Hi Fi News test record the resonant frequency of the arm is more or less at ~10 Hz as far as I can tell.

Conventional wisdom – AFAIK – says that's all good. 

I recently saw a Clearaudio photo of my arm with another one of their cartridges in the line (also 7 gr.) and it's mounted with the nylon screws. That got me to thinking about trying it, and maybe trying the aluminum ones too. With the nylon screws I can no longer use the 49 gr. stainless counterweight, and have to change to the aluminum 31.5 gr. counterweight, but that sits farther out away from the tonearm fulcrum (although it looks cooler, IMO). I'm trying that now. With the test record the tonearm resonant frequency is still right around 10 Hz. I'm playing music now and don't notice a difference, but my aural memory for such things sucks, so I have to live with it for a bit, and then revert to see how I feel. This weekend I'll play some records I use to test out setup changes and see if I hear anything for better or worse.

So that makes me wonder what others know and experience about cartridge mounting hardware (and techniques). What's your wisdom on the matter?
dwette
If you are interesting in another upgrade, I can upgrade the tonearm wire for a smoother, warm sound. Great for vocals.
@vasaudio Thanks but not this time. I don't know how I would even audition such a change, but I also want to leave the warranty intact. I will probably upgrade my cartridge this year.
Second the torque screwdriver for cartridge bolts and nuts. I use a premium Stahlwille tool (as in Mercedes shops), and it made a significant difference. Not only was the torque made to be consistent, it could be optimized as a set-up parameter. Easily the difference between two high end MC - for $500!!! And the Stahlville will never need a retip!

YMMV
I always joke with my prosthodontist when I see her regarding the use of her "torque wrench".

Newton meters....?
Listen to Michael Fremers story about destroying a many thousand dollar cartridge with a torque wrench. He has never overtightened and only did so because he was told to trust the wrench. My hands and his are far more reliable. YTMV.

I've swapped parts out like this before. Stainless usually sounds the best.