I don't recall any difference at all no matter how I used the Shure Gauge.
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Oh great Dave, I didn't have anything new to worry about this evening. So now I have to drag my sorry self and get the Sure out of the cabinet and test it. Ever think about say, flower arranging instead of audio? And besides its happy hour here in Utah now, so it will wait for the fresh light of dawn. I hope to heaven it just means you need a little cleaning because grunge is acting as a damper unless you do your pogo stick act.
Well, I don't want to alarm you since we audiophiles can get a little obsessive compulsive, etc., but I've been using a Shure VTF gauge quite a bit lately and it doesn't behave the way your setup is behaving. On mine, the results are very repeatable (for the same tests). I've been using it recently with a SME tonearm and not only does the gauge read the same every time, but the markings on the SME arm correspond almost exactly with the gauge. So, I guess it's possible your gauge is "gummed up" - one way to find out would be to get another gauge; if it reads different from the first one then you likely have a gauge problem; if it reads like the first one, then you might have an arm issue. Hope some of this helps.
Aceto, which arm are you using? Your guys are telling me that once you lower the arm USING THE CUEING LEVER, take a reading.
Then, WHILE THE ARM IS STILL ON THE GAUGE, you dab your finger gently on the Gauge steel part end (to inflict a little Teeter-Totter action) you get the same reading as you did above?
Some folks on Vinylasylum are getting a slightly different reading (higher) after the teeter-totter stops and then the gauge settles.
You are a brave man to pose a question that could be interpreted as a less than favorable view of the SHure VTF on an analog forum.
Crusty old 30 year veterans of analog need nothing but their Shure VTF and the seat of their pants to do turntable setup.
Okay, my experience actually mirrors yours with the thing. 9 months ago I returned to vinyl when I bought a Nottingham Spacedeck with SpaceArm. Maybe I am inept with the tool, but I hate the darn thing. Can't wait to retire it.
I am reintroducing digital in my system. Its a Wally digital scale. (well actually a My Weigh digital scale with Wally mods) It arrived two days ago and will try it out Sunday. I'll keep the Shure handy just in case, but I aint gonna miss it.
Dr. Balance, I know what you're talking about, the gauge did the same thing to me. If you every so lightly place the cartridge down on the scale, sometimes it doesn't register. I take the reading after gently hitting the teeter totter...
Tedvan, I'm in the same boat, shoudl have a wally scale arriving shortly, and will hopefully confirm that the shure was OK, crossing my fingers...
Assuming the arm bearings are perf, what you're seeing is bearing 'stiction' -- sticky friction. A tiny bit of lube on the Shure gauge's pins ("bearings" in the loosest sense) will help. I can't recall what I used -- Pedro's Syn Bike Bearing lube, VPI bearing lube, WD-40... but it really helps.
You might also try polishing the pins a tiny bit with some ultra-fine wet/dry paper, but I'd pass on my own advice. 'Cuz you might wreck the roundness (sphericity?) of the pins, or even much, much worse: get caught doing it.