DBP-10 Protractor Instructions......


I just got it and I cannot grasp this. I'm not an engineer.
I have a VPI JMW9 on my Scout.
I found the data specs on the web.
I own a caliper and a scale for the tracking force.
Someone please walk me through this in layman's terms.
I'm even open to a phone call at your convenience.
What am I, a rocket scientist?
Convert?fit=crop&h=128&policy=eyjlehbpcnkioje0ota5mdezotisimnhbgwiolsicmvhzcisimnvbnzlcnqixx0%3d&rotate=exif&signature=8bfac63b73256da71fb26a6503a6bc62e8a79879a6500996df14362bc9c69ad9&w=128dreadhead
First, just read the instructions, from start to finish, including the examples.

Then, just take it one step at a time.
It is not a very intuitive system, but it does work, and work very well. I've used it for several years, (including half a dozen alignments), and have gotten excellent results with it every time.

Good Luck!

Sincerely,

Wernher Von Braun
I have used the DB systems protractor for close to 30 years. I agree with Kurt tank 100%, but would add be patient and it will pay off. Good Luck
Sincerely,

Wernher Von Braun

...so we have a rocket scientist eh??
Buy a Mint LP protractor made specifically for this arm; much easier and very accurate. It really dialed in my arm and comes with a very good magnified glass to really see if positioned properly.
Hifimaniac
I gave that some serious thought, even got in touch with Yip who is a great guy, but my system is constantly evolving and the thought of having to possibly buy a new protractor for over 100 bucks every time my system changes is not the direction I wanted to go.
For under $50 the DBP-10 is just what I was looking for and with the time and patience it requires it should be the only protractor I'm ever gonna need.
Dear Hifimaniac: +++++ " protractor made specifically for this arm. " +++++

IMHO there is no protractor " made specifically for this arm ". What exist are different geometry cartridge/tonearm set up: Stevenson, Löfgren, Baerwald, Pisha, etc with different standard values: DIN or IEC and even you can choose your owns.

If you want you can kage your own protractor or two or three " different " protractors and test in your rig and decide which one of those geometry cartridge/tonearm set up works best for you.

The Mint is only one of multiple geometry set up options that could works in your rig and maybe not the best one.
All those geometry options has its own trade offs, there is no perfect geometry in a pivot tonearm where distortions all over the LP playing surface be at minimum.

Over the net there are Stevenson, Baerwald or Löfgreen Calculators where you can choose whatever you want and make your own protractor with the Calculator values. Even on Vinyl Engine you can get free different geometry protractors.

You don't need to be Von Braun to work about.

regards and enjoy the music,
Raul.
IMHO there is no protractor " made specifically for this arm ". What exist are different geometry cartridge/tonearm set up: Stevenson, Löfgren, Baerwald, Pisha, etc with different standard values: DIN or IEC and even you can choose your owns.

Yes to the second sentence, no to the first.

Yip does make each of his protractors for a specific tonearm, based on the Baerwald algorithm. So if you order a protractor for the JMW-9, it will be "made specifically for this arm," based on the Baerwald values.

I spoke with Mike at VPI and read the Vinyl Engine article on the geometry of VPI tonearms, and the lesson to take is that VPI designed its jig for the smallest tracking error in the last third of the record. Baerwald-based protractors minimize the tracking error across the entire record, on the other hand. Which evil you deem lesser should dictate the type of protractor you should be using to align your cartridge. That said, Mike actually highly recommended the Mint for those who listen to a lot of jazz and newer records, such as Blue Notes reissues, but recommended VPI jig for older records (78?)where the tracking error in the last 3rd of the record is big enough to apparently ignore the the first 2/3.

I am not familiar with the DBP-10, but Art Dudley's article in the June issue of Stereophile made me never want to use it. It sounds like you have to have a PhD in engineering to figure out how it actually works. Sure the Mint is useless once you change your tonearm, but 1) most don't do it often enough to worry about it; 2) you can always sell your Mint here and recover most of the money. I did just that when I upgraded from the Scout to the Classic. It is simple and straightforward to use right out of the box, and doesn't require an advanced technical degree to operate it.
I think you need to reread Art Dudley's article. Art states in that article that the DPP-10 “is still my favorite protractor”, and has been for a number of years. No where in the article does it say that it is overly difficult to use.

As I previously stated, it is certainly not an intuitive system. However, after reading the instructions, and after you've worked with it just once, it becomes rather simple to use. Don't let the fact that it is not easy to use dissuade you from using a very accurate and versatile alignment device.

As far as the Mint Protractor is concerned, I have used that one too. It is very nice, and fairly simple to use, but at the same time it is indeed limited to one table and arm, which for most of us makes it of limited value. (I say most of us, because as audiophiles, we do tend to swap out turntables, tone arms and cartridges on a fairly regular basis.)
Hi Kurt,
It's perhaps the convoluted way that Dudley described the process he went through to align the cartridge on the Schick tonearm that made me totally discouraged from ever using the DBP-10. I got completely lost in the steps and different calculations; when I read "software," I said to myself, "You've got to be kidding me."

As far as system swaps, I can only speak for myself, but the Classic I'm still waiting for might very well be my last table for a long, long time considering the cost of a good analog setup. Once you get up in that turntable and cartridge price range, my guess would be that not many can afford to swap on a "fairly regular basis." I know I can't. Peace.
Dear Actusreus: +++++ " So if you order a protractor for the JMW-9, it will be "made specifically for this arm," based on the Baerwald values. " +++++

that's right and that " specifically " tonearm made protractor can/must be used with any other tonearm that has the same effective length than the JMW-9!!!!!!!

But that IMHO dishonest Mint people let you think that if you have two same effective length pivot tonearms from different manufacturer/designs you need two " specifically made " protractors!!!!!!: these dishonest Mint people are only decieve/cheat/fool you ( and making a fraud ) because your very low knowledge about geometry tonearm/cartridge different algorithm calculations.

These Mint people IMHO only want to take away your money when you can do it for your self by free!!!!!

Any of the geometry algorithms calculations ( Baerwald, Lófgren, Stevenson, etc, etc. ) needs three primary parameters and parameter values: tonearm effective length, innermost groove and outermost grooves.
With these parameters values the final calculations give you: offset angle, stylus overhang, inner null point, outer null point, spindle to pivot distance.

With these final calculations/values you can build your own protractor as you can see in VE or Enjoy the music:
http://www.enjoythemusic.com/freestuff.htm

Now, on each one of those different algorithms you can attain at least two different calculations that can give you two protractor choices for the same tonearm.

How is that?, well exist at least two Standards for the innermost/outermost groove values: DIN and IEC, depend which one you choose you will have two different tonearm/cartridge set up parameter values.

Even you can choose your own innermost/outermost values and make three-four or more protractors for the same tonearm for you can decide which one works beter for your specific needs/priorities not for the " specific " Mint need$$$$$$

regards and enjoy the music,
Raul.
Raul,

I honestly cannot speak to the charge that Yip (I've only dealt with him when ordering) has any ulterior motives, is dishonest or is driven by greed. As any businessman, he certainly wants to make a profit, but my dealings with him have been nothing but positive.

You make a good point about many different algorithms that can be used to optimize cartridge alignment. However, in my humble opinion, most vinyl enthusiasts, like myself, do not want to deal with calculations, different parameter values, or innermost/outermost groove values, etc. Mint offers a fool-proof setup method using one of the most popular and recognized approaches to cartridge alignment. It's made to a high standard and offers a very precise alignment, something that a printed out paper grid probably could never do.

I think both a blessing and a course about hobby is the fact that we have so many different options when it comes to setting up our analog rigs. For those who love to forever tinker and experiment, an effort to try out the many different protractors and parameters might very well be worthwhile. For those who would prefer to set up their system and adjust as little and only as often as absolutely necessary, devices like the Mint Tractor are God sent. VTA, VTF, azimuth and the overall system synergy already give me enough headache as it is. Peace.
Dear Actusreus: I'm not against " the business man " and profits but against what that " business man " let you and " oriented " for what you understand in good faith.

+++++ " most vinyl enthusiasts, like myself, do not want to deal with calculations, different parameter values, or innermost/outermost groove values, etc " +++++

because of that it is easy to make business with people: why try to make business with deceives.

Anyway, you get my point.

Regards and enjoy the music,
raul.

regards and enjoy the music,
raul.
I'll just respond to Raul's accusations by inviting anyone to go the following link and then to the bottom of the page where the list of reviews and feed back is. Anyone can read through the links and find pros and cons about the Mint and other protractor options.

The fact that this is all linked on Yip's website DOES NOT support Raul's assertion that there are "dishonest, deceptive" people involved.

Read and decide for yourself.

Review's at the bottom of the page
Dear Actureus: Btw, the only date/value you have to know is the effective length on your tonearm, is this parameter the only one you have to deal with it is this value the one that you introduce in the Calculator Input and this Calculator not only gives: stylus overhang, offset angle, pivot to spindle distance and null points but a diagram/graphic where you can see how/which , with that algorithm , trackin error and tracking distortion you have over the playing LP surface.

I give you all the other parameters only to explain how all those different algorithms work but you only need to deal with the tonearm effective lenght.

Anyway, an option.

regards and enjoy the music,
Raul.
Raul,

When you used words like "dishonest" and "deceive" to describe Yip you exceeded the bounds of politeness and dishonored him. You may disagree on technical grounds, but that does not justify personal insults.

Hundreds of satisfied customers, including me, will attest that Yip has been honest and open in everything he says, does and sells.

A public insult deserves a public apology. An honorable man would admit his error and offer one, without conditions.

Very disappointed,
Doug
I emailed Yip about the issues brought up by Raul and he sent this reply with his permission to post his response.

Again, all can read and decide for themselves.

"may I quote:
"that's right and that " specifically " tonearm made protractor can/must be used with any other tonearm that has the same effective length than the JMW-9!!!!!!!"
end of quote

I do put up a warning on the Best Tractor to make sure new entrants would not use a wrong tractor for a wrong tonearm which can have tragic outcome.

But I believe 99% of my users know what is meant by Effective Length/Mounting Distance. And if they do not then they will email me and ask and I will give correct answers.

This is a limit on arc protractors and I think I have emphasized this enough on my webpage.

may I quote:
"But that IMHO dishonest Mint people let you think that if you have two same effective length pivot tonearms from different manufacturer/designs you need two " specifically made " protractors!!!!!!: these dishonest Mint people are only decieve/cheat/fool you ( and making a fraud ) because your very low knowledge about geometry tonearm/cartridge different algorithm calculations."
end of quote

Wow ! My answer to this is very simple: there are some users who order more than one Tractor at one single order and I am very sure that I have never asked people to buy 2 identical Tractors in terms of geometry but for a different brand or model of tonearms. In retrospect I have many users who order a 2nd Tractor when they upgraded to another brand. Now for these cases I do not check what is their first order tonearm brand/model. There is a very slim chance [my guess is 0.1% of my Tractor sales] users may have ordered an identical Tractor if they have not done their homework.

In order to safeguard this I will give all my users the quote on MD/EL employed in the preparation of Best Tractors with immediate effect. One should take negative comments positively!

The above accusation assumes people who buy from me are ignorant and naive. Yes I have many new entrant users but my guess is over 85% of my users are very well experienced in analogue playing and they really know what they want.

The above is my open remark, feel very free to quote and I stand by it."
Thanks to Hhh for taking his valuable time to call me at my request and discuss in detail the simplicity in which the DPB-10 Protractor works.
After following his recommendations the sound of my cartridge was greatly improved, evidently I had it all wrong.
I went back and re-read the June article in Stereophile, what a bunch of mumbo jumbo. Takes all the fun out of our hobby.
Thanks again Hhh.
I have read Raul's posts for the past three years or more, exchanged personal messages with him, and had the pleasure of meeting him in person when he visited my city. I believe he has been one of the most valued posters on Audiogon in sharing his information and experiences.

However, I must agree with Dougdeacon that Raul overstepped the bounds of decency with his accusations against Yip and the Mint protractor.

I have never used a Mint protractor but people I respect love using it and the sonic results. Yip could advertise his protractors (one example) as "made specifically for 223 mm spindle to pivot arms" or as "made specifically for VPI JMW 9 arms". Either statement would be true, but which is most consumer friendly? Everyone should know the make and model of their arm but I'll guess not everyone knows the effective length.

Another point, one can find free protractors on the internet just as Raul suggests. But I can't believe they are as easy to use (therefore potentially not as accurate) as one with thinly etched markings on a reflective surface. Many people are willing to pay for convenience. The Mint would only be dishonest if it did not produce an accurate set up for its chosen alignment.
Dear friends: IMHO there are several ways to deceive or to be dishonest with other people that buy an item/device: one is an active way telling or give the people wrong information, other is to on purpose give a not clear/confuse information and other is a passive one that is not telling/give the people the whole information.

In the Mint website you can read: " the template is tailor-made for a particular TT/tonearm set up. Using it on other set up will result in error and damage to the cartridge stylus "

In no place over the website tell you that that " tailor-made " protractor can be used in the same precise way with that same TT but with a different pivot tonearm that has the same effective length or even with a different TT that has the same spindle diameter.

So IMHO he at least is using a " passive " way not given the whole information to his customers.

He posted: +++++ " The above accusation assumes people who buy from me are ignorant and naive. Yes I have many new entrant users but my guess is over 85% of my users are very well experienced in analogue playing and they really know what they want. " +++++

I know that at least in this forum the 90% of the people has very low knowledge on the whole subject.
There are several threads where this subject was on discussion and where any one can read that the majority of the persons has very low know how, even in this thread I know that except one person all the other ones till a few months had low knowledge about.

In this thread we have examples of that low know-how:

+++++ " is constantly evolving and the thought of having to possibly buy a new protractor for over 100 bucks every time my system changes is not the direction I wanted to go " ++++

well not exactly, only if change the effective length on the tonearm or spindle diameter in the TT.

+++++ " Sure the Mint is useless once you change your tonearm, " +++++ ( same as the above.

+++++ " Baerwald-based protractors minimize the tracking error across the entire record, on the other hand. " +++++

wrong assumption: Baerwald minimize errors only out the null points but inside are higher.

I can take some other examples of some of you that posted in other threads to see how the knowledge is still to low in the whole subject.

So that " assumption " that " 85% of my users are well experienced ... " is only an " utopia " or a " convenient " answer.

He posted too:

+++++ " I do put up a warning on the Best Tractor to make sure new entrants would not use a wrong tractor for a wrong tonearm which can have tragic outcome.

But I believe 99% of my users know what is meant by Effective Length " ++++++

where in that " warning " he speaks about effective length?, no where: why is he " reserving " that critical and valuable information for the customers?

There are so many factors on tonearm/cartridge geometry algorithms set up that I think that only a few persons really understand in deep and really know what they want. many of you are best knowledge in the subject today that six months ago and that's because we learn here in agon through different threads with the subject on discusion.

It is very easy to add in the Mint website: you can use the same Mint protractor with different TT/tonearms if does not change the tonearm effective length or the TT spindle diameter .

I don't care if he will do it or not, what I care is that all of you that are interested and the people that read the thread can be aware about and can understand in a better way the whole subject for when they ask for a Mint protractor they ask in precise way what they want it.

Dear friends: from my point of view when one person is not disclosing all the pertinent information for I can decide and buy any item/device and because of that I buy something that I really don't need or that does not fullfill what I want IMHO that person is a " dishonest " person or: what is the word or right word that any of you can use on this subject?, for me " dishonest " but if you have any better then please post it.

Please remember that that protractor is on sale through internet that needs more specific information where the seller " disclose " every detail on the product.

I'm with and in the customer side and I'm not arguing or questioning if the Mint protractror works or not or if the protractor owners are happy or not, these is not the main discuss subject.

Regards and enjoy the music,
Raul.
Raul,
I have no doubt that your knowledge of all analog related topics surpasses mine, but I do take exception to a few things you said in your last response using what I wrote in an attempt to support your argument.


++++ " Sure the Mint is useless once you change your tonearm, " +++++ ( same as the above.

My statement was based on the assumption that the change is to a tonearm with a different effective length making a particular protractor no longer suitable for the new tonearm. It is perhaps my fault that I did not make it explicit, but you wrongly assumed that my knowledge was "low in the whole subject." I assure you it is not and I assure you, if I had the spare time on my hands, I would find misstatements in your posts, or grammatical mistakes making your statement erroneous. Especially the latter would not be that difficult.

+++++ " Baerwald-based protractors minimize the tracking error across the entire record, on the other hand. " +++++

wrong assumption: Baerwald minimize errors only out the null points but inside are higher.

I can take some other examples of some of you that posted in other threads to see how the knowledge is still to low in the whole subject.

This is taken out of context and is misleading. I made this statement in the context of Mike from VPI recommending the Mint over the VPI jig based upon a person's listening habits and preferences and the general goal behind making the respective protractors. I was not participating in a technical discussion on the different algorithms used in making cartridge alignment protractors and the results they render. There is a difference.

Lastly, I am a novice compared to many here on Audiogon when it comes to analog, no doubt. However, I never even for one second thought I needed a different Mint protractor for every tonearm even if the parameters of the two tonearms are the same. It's just common sense to me. Also, from what I have seen, very few, if any, two tonearms have identical mounting distances and effective lengths. Most tonearm swaps would likely result in the need for a different protractor. That's what I took it to mean on the Mint website and I think that's what most of us mean when they use the phrase. I don't believe Yip was deliberately trying to mislead buyers. He's extremely responsive and offers a very high level of customer service. If you lack common sense or are a complete novice, just ask. Yip cannot anticipate every single question and hold every customer's hand. I'd rather see his warning that is straightforward and to the point, rather than him ignoring the risk of cartridge damage, or him going into long explanations on his website about mounting distances, overhangs and effective distances. There are plenty of resources on these subjects already out there.
Dear Actusreus: Thank's for your explanation, good to know that I'm wrong and that almost everyone has the right knowledge on the whole subject.

Just a question for Mint protractor owners: when you receive the Mint protractor and re-set the cartridge/tonearm set up do you change the pivot tonearm position?

regards and enjoy the music,
Raul.
Raul,

No need to be sarcastic. I only spoke for myself. I don't quite understand your question as my Scout tonearm does not allow any adjustment of the "pivot tonearm position," but regardless, I think this thread has been hijacked enough and I'm going to end my debate right here. Peace.
Dear kurt_tank, if it's so easy, please explain it in layman's terms as the OP requested instead of suggesting they read the indecipherable instructions.