Cartridge set up questions - Spacedeck / Space arm

I have recently obtain a used Spacedeck and Space arm setup. They are the older version. The space arm is the carbon fiber version which is a version older than the latest Ace Space arm.

I have encoutered two problems during set up.

1) The cartridge is too light or the counter weight is too heavy. With the cart installed at end of the head shell, the VTF is fail to meet the required VTF of 1.5 to 1.9 gram.

I had to put a small piece of blu tak on the headshell to provide the correct VTF. Is this normal or did i do something wrong?

2)The left channel is about 3 db louder when playing pink noise. The balance is perfect when playing cd. Again, did I do something wrong?

Please help.
"With the cart installed at end of the head shell, the VTF is fail to meet the required VTF of 1.5 to 1.9 gram."

I doubt that the cartridge is set to its null points as you've described above. I understand what it is you are trying to do however. There are accessory weights usually available that mount between the headshell and cartridge to solve the balancing problem. You might want to disclose the cartridge you are using and perhaps the community will respond with a vendor for the weight. Then, use the proper setup tools to install the cartridge for correct overhang, etc. Good luck.
There is quite a wide range of VTF adjustment on that Spacearm. I find it difficult to fathom a modern cartridge which would not work in that respect. There is, of course, a brass cylinder within a black semi-sleeve just behind the arm pivot. This cylinder slides fore and aft such that VTF is adjusted. Are you SURE that you made this adjustment?

The other could well be an azimuth or alignment issue. As Patrick has indicated, the disclosure of your cartidge would be helpful.
Upon reflection, your 3db difference is likely alignment and not azimuth. How did you determine the 3dB difference? I am MOST interested in why you cannot achieve proper VTF. This seems wholly implausible.
Thanks for the inputs, guys.

The cart in question is a Dynavector 10X4 MkII. It probably had seen 6 - 8 hunderds hours of use. The Phono Cartridge Alignment Tool I use is bought from This tool worked out pretty good for me as I aligned the same cart with it on my VPI HW19 jr/ AQ PT-5.

I determine the VTF with Shure Stylus Force Gauge. I tried adjusting the brass weight, but I had to push the brass cylinder all the way in the sleeve to increase the VTF. Does the anti-skate setting affect VTF?

I was using the using the Hifi News & Record Review Test Record to check the channel balance. Band 4 and Band 5 on side one is pink noise @ -20 db for each channel respectively. And I was measure sound pressure with Radio Shack SPL meter in my listening position. Besides, my listening test confirm this measurement with singer location shift all the way to the left.

During early of cart installation, I broke the blue tonearm wire at the clip, which is for the left channel. I solder it back, does it affect anything?

Please let me know if you guys need more info to troubleshoot.


I am glad that you show up. The spacedeck I got was owned by you at some point according to Joe. You should be familiar with which version is my TT and tonearm.
>During early of cart installation, I broke the blue tonearm wire at the clip, which is for the left channel. I solder it back, does it affect anything?<

Well that might explain the channel imbalance. And the 10X4 is a pretty light cartridge, but I would have thought the range of adjustment on the Spacearm would handle it. I believe I remember it said that Tom Fletcher offers a heavier brass ring that would fix your problem. But now you are at the mercy of Audiophile Systems, and God be with you on that journey.....

I'm not sure what you have there, Kent. One of the Spacedecks that I had, I sold locally, WITHOUT an arm (my son has the other). I sold the Spacearm separately, so I doubt that you have the same table AND arm. At any rate, I used a XX-2 (8.0 gr) on the arm that I had AND a 17d2 (5.3 gr) and was able to set VTF just fine. I am at a loss as to your issue.

If you decide to order a heavier cylinder (it is bronze actually, my mistake), call Nottingham directly and tell them your issue. IF they agree that it needs to be replaced, which I doubt, ask them if you can buy from them directly. When they say you have to go through ASL, tell them you will do so but would like for them to notify ASL that you will be calling them and ask whom you should speak with at ASL. Then, call THAT person at ASL and tell them you talked to Nottingham directly. YOu will get better service that way.
I think I will need a lighter counter weight, right? so I don't have to put extra weight on the headshell.

My DV 10X4 mkII is 4.6 grams. Damn it, I may just get a new cart.

Th bronze ring I get is about 1" in diameter, 1" in height, and 3/16" thick. Is this what you guys have? I may have the extra heavy version when I need the standard one.

The wire clip I soldered is for left channel, which is the louder channel. Could the new soldering make make it louder????
I thought the 10X4 was 6.6 gr. Anyway, there are better cartridges for the Spacearm and I might consider going that way before buying a new weight.
Dynavector 10X5 is 6.6 grams. The older 10X4 mkII is much ligther at 4.6 grams.

What other high output cart should I consider? I like the DV 10X4 sound on my Nottingham setup, other than Norah Jones always sing from the left side.
I liked the Dyna 20XH on the Nott. But even better is the Benz H2. I am currently using an L2 on my Ace-Space/Spacedeck and I love it.

I have solved the VTF problem I had by playing with the tonearm setting. The arm was risen about 1/4" from the the cueing mechanism thus create more room for Bronze ring adjustment. It barely work but at least I don't have to add blu tak on the headshell.

The soundstage still collapse to the left though. It bug the hell out of me!!!! The sound is much better than my cd player with more body on the vocal....I just can't have it all.

I have double checked the cart alignment with 's tool. It look pretty decent to me. Something is definately not right. Any more ideas?
1) Follow Ozzy instruction regarding the lead
2) Borrow or buy a different cartridge for comparison
3) Assess your phono stage and amplification

I doubt very highly that your issues are table or arm related. Having experience with the Spacearm, I have no clue how rising the arm had anythign to do with more freedom of the brass cylinder, but as long as it works.

I have one more suggestion, and I mean this to be helpful. Find someone local who is experienced with arm/cartridge setup. Ask them to go through with you the process step-by-step. Even if you have to pay someone to do this the first time, it is worth the experience in the long run. Alternatively, find one of the many link that go through the process in detail and practice.
This last suggestion by 4yanx is excellent. Maybe you need a tutorial in setting up an arm/cartridge. Hey, we all had to learn somehow.