Dancing Cartridge.

I've got a problem with my analog system.With some records on not all cuts the cantilever and stylus start vibrating .It seems to be moving up and down and side to side.It does it mostly on the clear paths between cuts on the record and stops as soon it starts on the groves and some times it starts when playing a song.Some times it gets so bad it literally jumps from the grove.I've notice that if the record is a bit weared out it does it more often.On new or good condition records it hardly ever does it.I've got 3 cartridges.The only one it does not do it is with the one that came with the turntable.Bought a Grado Black just to have a diferent sound only to have this problem.Then I bought a Ortofon Tango moving coil cartridge and still have the problem.My turntable is a project expresion 2 fully leveled on a Lovan equipment stand.I've tweeked the azimuth,Vertical tracking angle,antiskating force,tracking force to no avail.Can somebody help me with this issue?Just in case it matters,rest of equipment is an Audible Illusions Modulus 3A,Mccormack DNA125 Magnepan 1.6qr everything connected with JPS superconductor cables.CDP is a Consonace Turandot.All equipments use JPS power cables.
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In the case of the original (Ortofon OM5e I believe?) you have a cartridge compliance of 20 and the Tango is 12. Probable mismatch of cartridge and tonearm. The Grado's compliance is also 20. However, Project owners have complained about poor performance with Grados, you're not alone. A search of other forums will turn up several threads about this mismatch.
I've had some similar experiences with a Pro-ject Expression table using an Ortofon 2M Bronze, usually when the musical passage gets really complex on orchestral music. I've had no problems with the same table using a 2M Black or a Goldring 2500. I think the problem lies in the Pro-ject's arm lack of damping, which might make some cartridges with larger stylii (the two you've mentioned both have elliptical) jump around from arm vibrations. My 2M Black and Goldring 2500 have smaller, better-tracking stylii. You might try some tweaking of the arm such as wrapping it with teflon tape to see if it helps. Make sure your stylus force gauge is accurate and set the force to the high end of the cartridge manufacturer's recommendations (although you've probably already done this). If still no luck, you may want to try a cartridge with a finer, better tracking stylus. MM is the cheaper way to go. BTW, the Pro-ject's underdamped arm may also be responsible for its lively and exciting presentation. I've got a room full of tables and arms and cartridges--some costing thousands--and I've had a blast the last few months comparing it (often favorably) to the big boys. IMO the Pro-ject rig deserves a high quality, great-tracking MM cartridge; but be cautious and buy used, in case my whole theory is wrong!
Thank you both for your quick responses.The original cartridge that up to this moment is the only one that does not vibrate is a Sumiko Pearl I believe.The Ortofon Tango has a Fine line stylus on it.Dlshifi,what cartridge are you using on your expresion.I would love to have a good MM on my turntable , my problem is that my Preamp, Audible Illusions has the John Curl optional gold phono board specifically design for low output moving coils.Together it with the line stage has a 90 decibel gain,(30 on the line stage and 60 on the gold phono board)When I use a MM or my own grado black I'am overloading the phono stage to the extent that I can't pass the volume control past the 9 oclock position.This leaves me with no other choice but to use a low output design.I.ll try some way of adding more mass to the tonearm to see what happens.By the way,the project is in sonic terms a run away bargain .I've got the project speed control unit which made a big diference.I'll report latter after my experimentation adding mass to see if it keeps doing the Fred Astairs rutine.
I'm using the Ortofon 2m Black (nude shibata stylus, 22 compliance) on the Expression as stated with no problems. It's interesting that you had no tracking problems with the Pearl, since it's both an elliptical stylus and middling compliance. That might blow up my theory and demonstrate, once again, that audio is all too often just a roll of the dice. But given that the arm is low-mass at 8.7g and the Curl phono section requires an mc, then I'd begin looking for a high compliance(over 20) mc that won't bust the budget. I have no ideas along that line. Another option is to put a decent quality switchable phono stage alongside the Audible. I'd highly recommend the Lehmann Black Cube (used around $200) which I've mentioned before on this forum as getting my vote for the best bargain in all hifi. I still keep one as backup to my Ear 324. It may seem like heresy to do an end-around the Curl, but you'd be surprised at what the little bugger can do, and it would allow you to make choices from high-compliance finer-stylus MMs that are affordable.
Hey guys,I just found out that the cartridge I have on my turntable is not a ortofon tango but a ortofon Salsa low output moving coil,weight is 7 grams and compliance is 15.The one that came with the turntable is not a sumiko pearl but a oyster MM cartridge.Sorry guys,got my facts screwed up.Still experimenting.Will post latter if I get to fix my problem.Thanks Dlshifi and photon46 for helping me out.
Just to let you guys know that I found that my tracking weight for some reason was of by a wide margin.Got a friend of mine to lend me her shure tracking force gauge and found out that my tracking force was way off.Another problem which I found out was that the antiskating weight which hangs on a nylon tread on the back of the tonearm sometimes tends to move because of my magnepan speakers bipolar pattern.Just moved the speaker and problem resolve.I noticed that when the weight was moving the tonearm tended to move with it creating the vibration of my tonearm produce by speaker output tru the back,that together with my tracking force problem made the whole tonearm and cartridge vibrate creating something curiosly like a wow and flutter sound on my system.Everything now sounds great.Thank you guys for your input on this matter.
Wow, never heard of a Maggie induced cartridge dance. I learned of a new one today. How close was the speaker to the turntable? Any way, glad you've solved your dilemma. A Shure ( or similar) tracking force gauge is cheap insurance against inaccurate tonearm tracking force.
Half part of the speakers are firing threw the back towards the equipment stand which has the turntable on top.I would say the back of the speaker is about 2 feet from the turntable.The room is quite small but has a opening to one side towards the dining room plus kitchen.Turntable is a project expresion 2 with optional project speed control and a Ortofon Salsa moving Coil cartridge .Preamp is a Audible Illusions Modulus 3a with John Curl moving coil phono board,power amp is a Mccormack DNA125,CDP is a Opera Audio Turandot (great CDP for the price) ,speakers are Magnepan 1.6QR everything conected with JPS Superconductor interconnects, Power cables and speaker wire using a Vanevers line conditioner.I think that my problem with the speaker was created because of the small room dimensions .That together with my almost non existant tracking force created the problem.When I had setted the tracking force gauge for 2.2 grams the shure gauge didn't even begin to move.Why I commited the stupidty of setting the tracking force wrong beats me.In any event everything now sounds great.Just getting back to Analog after going Digital.By the way,Analog sounds fantastic.After hearing only digital for many years getting back to analog was an Eye opening (rather ear opening) experience.