Cartridge Skips Beginning of Record


Clearaudio Solution Turntable/Satisfy Tonearm/Denon 103R Cartridge

Thanks to those on A'gon who helped me set up this 'table.

Table set up per instructions and leveled. Cartridge mounted and aligned properly.

This (new to me) setup is done correctly AFAIK, based on thread I started here at A'gon. Now, with no antiskate set at all, the cartridge skips for the first cm of any record. With anti-skate set per manual, the cartridge skips in the first half of the record.

Any thoughts?
Hi Garibaldi, First I would try a couple of things. First make sure there is no problem with the bearings. When you move the arm around does it move smoothly? Then make sure your turntable is perfectly level. Next double check your VTF (vertical tracking force). The VTF for that cartridge is 2.5 grams +/- .3 grams. If you don't have a VTF scale you need one.

Another issue is the effective mass of your tonearm (9 grams) is not ideal for the compliance of your cartridge (5 x 10^-6 cm/dyne at 100 hz). I would look for a way to add mass to the head shell of your tonearm or use a different cartridge that has a higher compliance. To add mass to the tonearm head shell you could try using some blutack and a penny or nickel. If that works you could try to find a cartridge weight designed for use with your Denon 103.

Hope this helps.

Here is a link to a good primer on cartridge/tonearm matching.
I found out that the arm lift rest was set too high for the arm/cartridge combo. This is non-adjustable so I had to lower the VTA a little, maybe two mm. Problem solved.

I checked with Clearaudio and a couple of cartridge suppliers and was told the 103R was fine for the Satisfy arm. I used the calculator on vinylengine and I think the resonance was 8.5± hz.
Garibaldi, the one thing to watch out for is the compliance that Denon lists. I can't remember the exact "scale" for compliance ratings, but I remember reading that Denon uses a scale that is different from what most manufacturers use. I once tried using a DL 103 on my last turntable that had a Satisfy arm, and it was not a good match.
Glad you solved the problem. Not sure how you came up with
8.5 hz for resonance on that combo. Unless you have a custom
high mass body on the Denon. Best case I could come up with
was just over 12 hz to 13.8 hz depending on whether you
multiply the compliance figure 1.5 or 2 times to convert the
100hz spec to a 10hz spec for the converter. In any case if
it works, great. It may work better with some more mass
Sorry to say but by adjusting the VTA to clear the cueing assembly, you may now have a tracking problem. 2mm is a HUGE adjustment of VTA. Unless you've had some major serendipity through this change moving the overall VTA closer to the "ideal" average, your playback will probably be muddy from the lower height. Not super-familiar with the Satisfy, but if arm rest / cue height truly isn't adjustable, the cartridge is an incompatible match. Had a similar compatibility problem with a Dynavector 17D3 and Graham Phantom Supreme - tare weight of the cartridge was too light to obtain correct VTF even though the Graham manual said it was within range. Went with the XX2 Mk II instead and solved it. Good luck & happy listening!
The problem is with the arm rest. Fix it.
Effischer, is right. Having a non adjustable tonearm lift is very limiting. With the Denon 103's spherical stylus it won't be that big of a deal, but with a cartridge that has a more advanced stylus profile it could be a problem.