Get a scale too and you should be pretty good.
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If the alternatives you named (GeoDisc or a professional) are in fact the only two you'll consider, I'd recommend the latter.
If you're open to other suggestions, please let us know which tonearm and turntable you'll be using. That's at least as important as knowing the cartridge, especially when it comes to alignment tools.
BTW, why not list your sytem? You'll get more meaningful responses.
If it were me, and the current cartridge was well taken care of and in great shape, I'd opt for the better protractor. However, you need to be sure you're up to performing the task correctly.
I have used a Geodisc before when I had my SOTA Star Sapphire, Kuzma Stogi arm, and Benz Glider. The Geodisc was easy to use, but the Wally Tractor I subsequently purchased did a much better job of allowing me to set up things properly.
PM me and I'll e-mail you an arc protractor for a tonearm with a 239 mm effective length. Verify that your Pivot-to-Spindle distance can be adjusted to 221.68 mm (if it's not already at that distance). Print it out on an overhead transparancy, buy a 5" craft mirror, and you'll have the tools you need until you want to purchase a MintLP protractor.
Dependent upon whether you decided to try the printable Tractor was willing to send you, maybe one way to enhance the Geodisc, would be taping a thread to the origin of sight line, stretching the thread to the center of Arm Pivot, then sighting down upon the Geodisc, lining all up correctly, like some do with the Turntable Basics Mirror Protractor.
I have all three on hand the Geodisc, the Turntable Basics Mirror ($20 plus shipping), and the MintLP.
All are Baerwald Null Geometry.
I felt the Geodisc was good, but did feel the TB Tractor made a slight improvement. The MintLP was a whole nother level better than both, but I don't think you'll find "bad sound" per se using the lesser Tractors, but just some good improvement in sound when using a Tractor with much better resolution like the MintLP.
Perhaps too, use a decent Jeweler's Loupe, or Magnifier with the Geodisc, to better insure you're precisely aligning the Cantilever with Null Grid, rather than just using the naked eye to sight either the Body, or Cantilever. It should help with better Cantilever Alignment accuracy. Mark
I need to try to absorb all the info that you guys have passed to me, as well as other info that I've pulled off the net. Really appreciate all your support. I think I have what I need to do a decent job of set up.
I must admit that I contacted a local stereo store today and learned they do cartridge set ups for $60. Will talk to the gentleman upon his return Monday and see what tools he uses. If I determine he's probably going to do a better job that I could (for example, he may also adjust VTA and stylus pressure too), I may punt and let him do it.
Hope you all have a happy and safe New Year!!
IMHO, you'd be better off learning to do it yourself. I once paid much more than that to get my table set up, and in retrospect, it was money wasted. If your "local stereo store" says they've set your VTA / VTF to their optimum values, how do you really know? Did they just level your tonearm and set your VTF to 90% of the maximum recommended value and call it a day? Did they pull out the osciloscope? If they set up your table, but you do not ensure your table it perfectly level (when sitting on whatever you set your table upon), you've thrown your $60 away. That money would buy you a quality steel ruler, a level, a Shure VTF scale, a small mirror - everything you need to set up this cartridge and many more.
Just my thoughts...
Rocky, Remember this....
The Glider, like many other MC Cartridges, does not come with any type of Stylus Guard. That Cantilever-Stylus sticks out like a sore thumb, and invites just one little mistake. I'm not trying to scare you. Mounting a Cartridge is an endeavor that basically allows for zero mistakes. When mounting the Cartridge, have everything ready right in front of you.
I commonly first mount the Tonearm Wires to rear of Cartridge with the Carridge held between fingers. Prior to this, first know exactly what Cartridge Mounting Screws (proper length that is) are going to be needed from the Glider's Box-Case to properly Mount the Cartridge.
One the Glider, they go directly into the top of Cartridge body. There's no provision on the Glider, with overly long screws that will go through a Nut, and be seen on the Cartridge's sides. This means the Mounting Screws cannot be too long, or too short. Find this out first, what Screws to use before final mount-up of Cartridge. Hav the Table in a well lit area, it does not have to be in the system hooked up for prliminary set-up. A Kitchen Table may work fine for you.
The Cartridge Pins should be color coded. A simple matter knowing what wires goes where, but slipping the Clips onto the Cartridge Pins needs careful coaxing. All the while keeping in mind you have a bare Cantilever sticking out in the breeze.
Once you get the Cartridge mounted to Arm, try carefully "neating up" the Headshell Wires, keep the Mounting Screws very lightly snug.
You'll need to firstly start a good rough adjustment of VTF. You don't want that Cartridge coming down apon the Geodisc with 10 grams of force. First float the Arm to neutral, dial in maybe 1-1/2 grams, then, once you clearly know you don't have excessive weight placed upon Stylus-Cantilever, then begin onto the Cartridge Alignment. Keep those hands away from that Stylus, don't use any weird Screwdrivers to mount, use the Screwdriver, and Screws that comes with the Cartridge.
There's probably some very small Plastic Washers with the Benz Screws, Use these on the Screw, at the Screw Head, to insure no scratching oocurs to Headshell Top Face.
Once Alignment has been dialed in, then go onto fine re-adjustment of VTF. Select a middle range at first. Go from there. Same with Anti-Skate. Hope this helps.
What Mark said. I also find it useful to remember, before I start installing a moving coil cartridge, that there is a very powerful magnetic field around the little thing and it will exercise serious attraction on any ferrous tools I use. Of course I'm going to be using non-magnetic screws.
It's worth it, learning to do your own setup. I take my time and never plan on getting it just right in the first session. Rough install, rough setup, tuning, fine tuning is how it seems to go for me. Enjoy!
I'm up to the task. I have a lot of info on the subject that I can refer to. But I have to tell you, if I do this setup myself, I will always wonder if someone with more experience could have done a better job and if I'm hearing everything that the cartridge has to offer. That's just my nature.
Again, thanks for the info and tips. May come back on the forum in a few weeks, after receipt and setup and let you know how everything went.
Again, have a Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!
If you don't do this setup yourself, you will always wonder if this "someone with more experience" did it right and if you're hearing everything that the cartridge has to offer.
Your fears and neuroses are normal - this is part of the journey. I have a feeling that even if you pay for someone to set up your table, you'll want to prove it yourself. Then you'll pull out 2 or 3 protractors and see that they don't match your current alignment. Then you'll go through the Stages of Mourning, and then go on a quest to determine the "correct" alignment and why these different protractors with identical approaches do not agree. So then you'll decide that turntable setup can't be *that* difficult, so you decide to learn how to create your own protractor. Etc...
Oh...are we talking about you or me?
Anyways, don't hesitate to reach out (either through the forum or directly) if you have questions during the process.
I agree with Nrenter. Do it yourself. If I can do it anyone can. Just follow the instructions Mark provided. And you dont neccessarily need any fancy tools. I have a TB protractor at $20 and a Shure VTF scale at $15 or so and thats about all I have needed to successfully set up decent number of carts. Could I have achieved better alignment with different tools? I have no doubt I could have, but all the carts I've installed played music just fine and in the end that's all I care about.
It seems pretty daunting at first, I know it did for me, but its really not rocket science. Just be careful and you'll be fine.