Dr. Feickert Protractor

What will Dr. Feickert's protractor do that the paper alignment protractor that came with the turntable can't do? 

Proper analog set up is something you want to get right. In my experience even the slightest variation from the standard that this tool allows you to hone in on, has a negative effect on sound quality. The Dr's tool just allows you to get "perfection" easier than any of the others I've used. It is expensive though.
The current edition offers 3 different scales to choose from. Lofgren, Baerwald and Stevenson the latter is really good for Rega tables. The beauty of the tool is it's ability to triangulate the three points of spindle, arm pivot and stylus overhang. I have used mine to set a Kleos on my RP10 and have found it very beneficial in set up. I used to use the MO-Fi disc and then bought the Avid plate. But the protractor provides a more precise method of measuring arm pivot to stylus. 
Also besides these features, the grid aids in getting the cartridge aligned at the proper angle. In truth it is a tool that I may only use once or twice again in life, but wouldn't want to set up a cartridge without it. 
That said the Avid plate actually had me very close and if you don't want to invest 250.00 the 45.00 for the Avid does a nice job as well. 

I really could not do what I do without it. for example, currently messing around with  different arm board materials, different thicknesses, different shapes. for me, it helps speed  things along when the "madness" takes over..... of course, if I did not have it, I may leave well enough alone...


I wish there was a place to rent one for my setup.
I may only use it a couple times in my lifetime.
Dear @rdk777: All depends on the tonearm jig that comes with and how accurately it's.

The name of the game in cartridge/TT/tonearm set up is accuracy and you can buy for a lot less money than Dr's a dedicated protractor specific for your tonearm and that's the MINTLP and I think that you pay around 125.00.
The Dr's protractor that gives alignment type options means almost nothing. You only need one accurate alignment where Stevenson is out of question.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
Vinyl engine has lots of printable protractors, and using a few of them to cross reference the results, can be quite useful.

The more common trick is to print the protractor and glue it to a piece of cardboard, for a more functional paper protractor experience.

Also, put some painter's tape on the edge of the protractor, a piece long enough to lock the platter and protractor into position, when it is in the correct spot. This lessens the potential of blowing out a stylus or cantilever.
If you only have one table and one arm I think the Mint would be the way to go.I have also used the Conrad Hoffman with good results. If you are like me and have 5 tables and 9 tonearms the Feickert is a blessing. It takes me about 10 min to setup a cartridge. It's just easy to use. Now all my buddies borrow it and I get a free six pack.
Where can I ship a six pack? lol
Thanks all for the input. I actually ended up getting it.  Relatively easy to use.  I wasn't there when dealer set up my table, but it was way off.  Sound actually made a difference.  I also got the Fieckert Adjust +.  It was fun to use, but since there was only a 0.25 degree adjustment in the azimuth, sound difference was not noticeable.  But hey, my cart should be pretty perpendicular to the grooves. Probably won't use both again until I get a new cart.

millanos - if you're in the Los Angeles area, you can borrow.

If you're concerned with only one tonearm, then I agree with Raul that the Mint LP protractor, which you have to order specifically for each tonearm and each different alignment algorithm you may want to try, is more cost-effective.  However, if you're a devoted vinylphile who is likely to own several different tonearms over time, then the Feickert (and many other similar expensive options) makes a lot of sense, too.  If you are in the latter category, you made a great choice.

I don't agree with Raul's out of hand dismissal of the Stevenson alignment.  Some LPs, especially LPs pressed in the late 50s and 60s, contain musical information right up to or very near to the label; in other words, the run out grooves comprise a very narrow band near the label.  For such LPs, Stevenson is worth considering, because its inner null point is closest to the spindle of all the commonly used algorithms.  Also, many vintage Japanese tonearms were designed for Stevenson, in that the headshell offset angle is most compatible with Stevenson.  For such tonearms, some believe it is best to adhere to the Stevenson alignment. (This is controversial, I admit.)  

The best that ANY alignment algorithm can do is to give you two null points on the playing surface of an LP.  Where those null points will lie is to some degree be determined by the choice of algorithm. There's no reason to rule out Stevenson, unless you are consistently playing LPs with a very wide run-out area, where the innermost of the two null points afforded by the Stevenson alignment would be wasted. 
Dear @lewm : Every time that you post explained why Stevenson alignment is ok makes less sense to me. Ovbiously that some one bougth in deep that idea/argument.

For me it does not make sense sacrifice 20 minutes of the recorded LP surface in favor of the last 5 minutes especially because over those 20 minutes the distortion levels goes really higher against Löfgren A or B.
In the other side cartridges normally are good trackers and normally has no problems to ride the inner grooves. In my enterely audio life I never found out a cartridge that can’t does that task.

You have your ideas and I respect that but again makes no sense to me sacrifice the more for the less. What kind of " change " is that? where are the real advantages? why it makes sense to you that " some one " listen to his whole LP collection with higher distortions all the time because Stevenson alignment ? ! ! is just out of my mind.

In the past I posted that whom has the same idea as you make a simple test: with a good tracker cartridge matched to an specific tonearm ( a decent one. ) listen the inner grooves with Stevenson set up against Löfgren B alignment looking for differences and make the same test in the outer grooves too. I did it not once but several times with different cartridges, please do it and share your results.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
My one experience is with the Dynavector DV505, which is unique, as you know, in having two independent pivots, one for horizontal and one for vertical motion of the arm wand.  The DV505 was designed for the DV alignment, which is very close to Stevenson, if not identical.  When I aligned the very same cartridge by Stevenson and then by Baerwald, in the DV505, I actually heard gross distortion with the latter alignment that was ameliorated by going back to Stevenson.  Please notice that I DON'T claim that this would be a general observation applicable to conventional pivoted tonearms.  I have written about this experience many times already.  

My hypothesis to explain my observation is that twisting the cartridge with respect to the long axis of the headshell, as one must do in order to achieve Baerwald in any tonearm designed for Stevenson, was placing some aberrant stresses on the cantilever (novel force vectors would be created) that might be more severe, and therefore more audible, with the DV tonearms than with conventional ones, because of the very short pivot to stylus distance with respect to vertical motion.  Persons who own other vintage Japanese tonearms might want to consider this issue, but I have no idea whether the problem would occur with those that pivot conventionally at a single point in both planes.  Further, I never claimed that inner groove distortion was either increased or decreased; I merely stated that for LPs with musical information close to the label, Stevenson makes some sense to try, especially if your tonearm was designed for Stevenson.  In other words, I do not dismiss Stevenson a priori, as you advise.

Actually, I really don't give a hoot what anyone else does; I'm just putting out my experience, just as you are doing. With my modern tonearms, I do use Baerwald, regardless of the LP.  But just because you have written something over and over again does not mean that I have to accept it.
Dear @lewm : As you know I owned that 505 and my alignment was made it using Löfgren B and never detected any single listenable kind of distortion.
I owned or own too almost all japanese top tonearm designs and always made it the same: Löfgren B with out no single distortion issues.
Your hipothesis is only that a hiphotesis.

Now, no one attend to a music hall only to enjoy the last five minutes of the concert.

In the other side, the audiophiles that like classical music like because the whole compositor work . The beauty of this kind of MUSIC it's not only in some parts of it but at each single note.
We all know that some works by Beethoven or Wagner or some other are works that takes more than one LP side even as the Opera or Wagner takes more than 2 LP sides.

So, where are the Stevenson advantages for any one of us?, just does not exist. As I told you makes no sense or as people says in USA: just bs.

Some one sold you that " crazy " idea ( for say the least. ) and you bougth it but with no precise or clear foundation.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,

I am sorry to learn that your system is not accurate enough to allow you to perceive the obvious distortion that I heard when I set up the DV505 for Baerwald.

I am joking, of course. But why would you say such a silly thing? Any alignment geometry that gets you two null points on the playing surface of an LP is as valid as any other that does the same. It’s impossible to argue with you intelligently, because you do not read the responses; I did not say that Stevenson was superior to any other, just that it is not per se inferior to any others. You are certainly entitled to your opinions, but please do not dismiss my observations simply based on your own. Most likely we were using different cartridges. A high compliance cartridge, for example, might be more sensitive to the aberrant force vectors generated when you twist the cartridge with respect to the long axis of the headshell (and to the single possible plane of the arc of the vertical bearing of the DV tonearms). No one else gives a damn about this discussion, so let’s bag it.
Dear @lewm : """  Any alignment geometry that gets you two null points on the playing surface of an LP is as valid as any other that does the same. """

Valid? yes because is an alignment. Usefully is the real question. Stevenson is useless per sé and it's not only an opinion. Please read my posts about.

yes, no one cares about.

For me it does not make sense sacrifice 20 minutes of the recorded LP surface in favor of the last 5 minutes especially because over those 20 minutes the distortion levels goes really higher against Löfgren A or B.

The answer is 45rpm 7’inch vinyl records, those records are small jukebox format, there are ONLY about 3 minutes of musical information on each side and the best alignment to reproduce this information is Stevenson alignment. Some of the rare singles released on 7’inch vinyl (aka 45s in collectors world) has never been releaeed on LPs, which make them unique and highly collectible. There are millions of records released in the USA on idependent labels ONLY in 7’inch (45rpm) format in the 50s, 60s and 80s. Even if the LP with the same track exist, the single (45 rpm / 7’inch) most likely will be a different take and different version, sometimes much better than LP version. Those signles made for radiostations, for dj use and for jukeboxes. But i will repead again that most of the 45s has never been released (originally) in any other format such as LPs or 10’inch for example. This phemomena is well know for Jazz, Soul, Latin, Reggae music lovers and collectors. Stevenson alignment is the best for 45s (7’inch records)

more info here: https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/time-to-choose-baerwald-lofgren-stevenson

I posted this on another recent Feickert thread.
I've used a Fiekert tool over the years on several tables to great success. I just bought a new alignment "block" for $50 that is another great tool when verifying cartridge alignments.
I was off less than 1/32" but once adjusted based on this block things snapped into place.
If you own a VPI TT, and a Feickert gauge, you’ll wonder why your overhang is off by 2mm per VPI’s own specs. (insert big frown emoji)

@ rsf507, thanks for the link to the alignment block. Ordering one now. This seems to be one of those designs that are ingenious in their simplicity. Love it!
@chakster : I own several 7" records that I don't listen often but in the times that I heard it I listen it with the Löfgren B or A with out any single trouble.

Stevenson made his alignment not for those 7" . When we learn and understand in deep the choices of alignment ( even personal/different kind of alignments. ) and the recorded MUSIC information in LPs we can " see " very clear that Stevenson is just useless for it. Anything is almost better than this kind of alignment. Please read again my posts to Lewm.

Any one can make what he or they want it, it's a personal choice.

For me Stevenson is a forbidden tool.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
Raul, You equate tracking angle error with audible "distortion".   I am skeptical that this is a valid assumption.  (The key word is "audible".) If you are so sensitive to tracking angle error, why are you even bothering with pivoted tonearms?  You should be using linear trackers, exclusively.  Even so, I don't know where you get the evidence for your claim that the Stevenson geometry sacrifices the first "20 minutes" of an LP.  
Dear @lewm : Linear trackers has its own " problems ". I owned LT designs and my experiences with told me that LT are not so good as pivot ones in the bass range. Now, you know that in analog almost all depends on trade-offs we chosed. Anyway, is not the issue here.

You can compare distortion levels in over the first 2/3 of the LP surface between Löfgreen and Stevenson and you will know that distortion levels in Stevenson are higher than in both Löfgren alignments.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
@lewm : Here an answer on what you ask. I took a 265 mm. tonearm effective length and compare LÖfgren B vs Stevenson.


You can see that only very very near the most inner groove Stevenson has lower distortion level vs Löfgren B : this is between 65.5mm and 60mm in the LP surface.
Löfgren is the curve in red and Stevenson in green color.


Raul, can you give an example of (one) lp, that may be known to most of us, that you use to explain your views?

In fact, I cannot think of , ever, you have posted your experiences with a certain lp.

Please give us an example of your ongoing remarks that can be observed by us all, in a musical recommendation. Thank you!

I want to believe? It's up to you now.
Baerwald and Lofgren made their fundamental publications in the first half of 20th century. Later in the early 60s Stevenson (another mathematician) has calculated a new set of parameters taking into account that on records with classical music very often crescendos occur towards the innermost grooves! That make sence.

The key word for Stevenson is "crescendo" which is a passage played with a gradual increase in volume or intensity (in classical music). According to Stevenson's alignment method a new set of parameters taking into account that on records with classical music very often crescendos occur towards the innermost grooves.

It's about arrangment of the classical music and where is the most complicated grooves located on the record surface (beggining, middle or toward the end on the record). It can be true if we are listening to a long (17 min for example) classical music track on 12'inch or 10'inch (or even a short 3 min track on 7'inch record).

A crescendo is a way for composers to indicate that a passage of music should gradually increase in loudness over time (opposite of a decrease in volume which is described as a 'decrescendo'). It is also used in non-musical context to describe any situation in which volume is increasing.

BTW the most complicated grooves with cannon shots on Telarc 1812 Overture located in the end of the LP.

I not listen to classical music at all, but i do listen to 7'inch records (along with LPs) and for small size of the 7'inch where all information located close to the inner groove Stevenson is theoretically is optimal. But i do not hear any distortion if i play them with Baerwald, so my point is "theoretically".  


After that little trip down the rabbit hole courtesy of Raul, maybe we can get back to your topic.

I use the Acoustical Systems SMARTractor, (https://www.arche-headshell.de/alignment-tools/smartractor/)which is similar to the Dr. Feickert protractor. The difference between these tools and a paper protractor is not the accuracy, but the ability to perform your alignment in a more accurate way. IMO these protractors allow you to see the alignment better, and because of that you can achieve better precision.

The Mint protractor, which I have also used, is designed to be used for a particular brand and model of tonearm. If you have different tonearms you need a different protractor for each different tonearm. A great tool if you only have or will have one tonearm.

I also have an alignment block similar to the one referenced by rsf507. IMO also a great tool and worth owning.

Best Regards,

Jim Perry
Dear @slaw : There are several LP’s that comes with dificult grooves to track NOT ONLY at the very inner grooves ( last 5-6mm ) where we can listenig using Löfgren A or B vs Stevenson.

Example: the Reference Recording Symphonic Dances comes with those " cresendos " way before the middle of the LP, Refrenece Recording Dafos ( Gate of Dafos track. ) almost the same: first part of the LP surface.
Mercury Firebird with the big drum attack at the middle. Reference Recording Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique where the high velocity recorded grooves are at the end but at the middle too.
The Telarc 1812 has not dificult recorded grooves at the inner grooves ( last 5-6mmm that’s where <<stevenson " works " ), it has several passages all over the LP surface.
Pictures at an exibition or Nigth Bald Mountain st several passages recorded at high velocities and not necessary in the low bass range.

As a fact exist several recordings where the hard task comes with mid and high frequency ranges at different LP surface areas. Many piano LPs recordings are dificult to track it and produce high distortions.

Now, when the cartridge/tonearm has dificult to track some LP grooves and these are at the inner grooves what we can do to find out which the problem we need to make this test ( obviously that the TT/cartridge/tonearm set up must be accurated. ): we listen to the LP in normal condition ( all the LP. ) after the side finished we clean perfectly the LP and the stylus tip and listen again only to those inner grooves and normally the tracking improves with lower distortion levels.

Why normally those happens?, well even if we can’t see any sign of dust in the stylus tip after only one LP side exist microscopic dust accumulated down there and this very tiny quantity of dust goes against the tracking abilities of the cartridge especially in the high velocities recorded grooves an increment distortion levels.

High velocities recorded grooves are hard to track it does not matters at what place in the LP surface. As I said piano can gives problems but trumpet or other " easy " instruments different of drums/percussions/organ makes its " job " challenging the cartridge rides. It does not matters either the kind of alignment choosed.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,

Dear @jperry : About the MINTLP you posted:

"""  A great tool if you only have or will have one tonearm. """

I think it's a great tool even if you own 2-3 tonearms. There is nothing better than a TT/tonearm DEDICATED protractor that was made in specific to those items specifications and you can have it for only 125.00 for each tonearm.

makes no sense to invest any dime higher than those 125.00 even if you own several tonearms.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
Well sort of Raul, but if you own 4 or more tonearms it starts making economic sense to own a more versatile setup device.

Have a great day and enjoy the music.
Dear @slaw /friends: The Stevenson alignment is " valid as said lewm but non-practical and really useless.

This alignment only gives lower distortion levels in the last 6mm. of recorded LP side and against Löfgren A alignment that happens in the last 4mm. ! ! ! all over the LP side Stevenson alignment has higher distortions.

Problem is that not only Stevenson but the followers ( mainly japaneses tonearm manufacturers and audiophiles. ) just did not analize the reality that's that almost none recorded LP side has " cresendos " only in the last 4mm-6mm ( inner grooves. ).

To my mind comes the Ravel's Bolero that ends at the higher climax but I can't think or comes to my mind other composition and if we take composers as Mahler his " cresendo " in the compositions are all over the compsitions. Same with other compositors. Even the works by Bach as the Toccata y Fugue comes the cresendo not at the end.

Perhaps for some of you Stevenson still make sense and I respect that. For me has no sense at all and can't help to any audiophile. MUSIC belongs to the whole compositions. 

Even in the 7" recordings make no sense because instead of the last 4 mm. this number change to only 1 cm.. of the overall recorded surface.

Stevenson has not the culprit, for he was valid his alignment calculations. The culprit comes from those " vintage " followers and latter on from  " stupid " persons that wanted to sold the idea more by commercial $nterest and they were sucessful about but it's time to rectify  because all those " promotional followers " were wrong because their interest was something else but MUSIC.

Anyway, as always is up to you.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,