Fozgometer?


Just yesterday read in Stereophile about this new tool for setting azimuth electrically. Sounds interesting, but also IMO is slightly borderline for myself to decide whether the cost ($250) would justify buying such a tool?

Downside with myself, is my Arm is not adjustable in azimuth, unless I maybe throw a Pipe Wrench on the Armtube?

Still, would be interesting to get other's opinions, and hopefully soon, some user's accounts of such a tool? Mark
markd51
The Fozgometer is in serious back order at this point. I want to try one also.
Is it a Lirpa Labs product?
Lirpa? no, it is a real device made by 'the' man Fosgate himself, which checks for azimuth in an ingenious way. It is $250. and is in high demand, thus backorders.
Also a write-up in Tone Audio No. 28 (April 2010)
See also http://www.martinloganowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10819
Does anyone know how this compares to the Feikert azimuth plus?

Ciao,
Audioquest4life
I purchased a Fozgometer right after CES when the lead time was only a few weeks. The unit is very well made and works prefectly of course you need a test LP, I picked one up that had the correct test tones at a local record store for about $10, I got lucky. I bought the meter specifically for my Clearaudio Reference table with Souther TQ1 Linear arm. I was having a lot of trouble dialing in the cartridge, if you are at all familar with the arm you will understand why. Everything was set correctly but it still did not sound as it right. We played with the azimuth using a level, measure, then eyeballing it, then my friends eyeballed it, all with the same result. Checking the azimuth with the meter confirmed our suspisions, the azimuth was way off. A slight adjustment, then rechecked it with the meter and the azimuth is dead on. What took hours of guesswork was completed in 5 minutes with the Fozgometer meter. The sound of the table is now perfect. I checked the other arm on the table, a Clearaudio Satisfy which has adjustable azimuth but it was dead on as was the arm arms we checked like a Rega 300/301s where there is no adjustment. Good tool to pick up if you need it.
I purchased a Fozgometer several weeks ago, and I have not had much luck with it. The needle jumps around too much to get a good reading. The manual does indicate that this may happen with undamped unipivot tonearms, which is what I have (JMW9 Signature). I suppose I could add damping fluid and try again, but if I'm not planning on using the TT with damping fluid, it seems like a waste of time.

Also, I didn't have the Acoustic Sounds test record. I have the Hi-Fi News test record. The difference is that, instead of a 1khz tone, it has a pink noise tone. I doubt if that would make a difference, though. Either should work.
No, I believe it would make a difference in that with pink noise, and white noise, it would be even more necessary to have a 1kHz notch filter as these distribute power over the spectrum. I would guess that even with a 1kHz test tone on an LP you would still do better with a notch filter because there is noise in a wider frequency band induced by the scratching of the stylus.

General statements, I'm not implying anything towards the Foz-gizmo. I'm guessing it is a DMM with a built in filter?
Here is a much cheaper and better way, which is really not much more difficult:

You can use the same method (Test record with 1KHz test signal) with a laptop and a free downloaded spectrum analyzer. I feed the signal from my phonostage into my Macbook.

Spectrum analyzer is iSpectrum. You can put a marker at 1KHz that displays the signal in dB at 1KHz (so no notch filter needed). You can toggle iSpectrum between left and right channel so that you can easily measure the crosstalk in dB.

For example, you measure a signal at -30dB in the left channel and the crosstalk at -66dB in the right channel giving you a crosstalk separation of 36dB. You minimize the crosstalk just as for the Fozgo meter.

This method is free, only requires a RCA to mini cable to connect to your Laptop and the signal is more stable as you can choose different averaging method with iSpectrum. Another plus is that you see the frequency played from LP displayed in the spectrum analyzer so can finetune the speed of the turntable as the signal should be direct at 1KHz.

This method safes you both the need for a the Fozgo + KAB spectrum analyzer. Let me know if you have any questions.
The difference is that, instead of a 1khz tone, it has a pink noise tone. I doubt if that would make a difference, though. Either should work.

For both the Fozgo and the method I just described you need a sine signal, for pink/white noise the signal is not stable. The Cardas record works well as the 1KHz signal is in the middle of the record.
I'll try it again with a 1Khz test tone and report back...

Tom
Nice tip, Restock. I'll give it go on a PC with TrueRTA. Thanks!
"Mechanical" azimuth alignment is the only way to go if your arm has the capability!

The diamond needs to be "visually" aligned.

Set the diamond on a CD and look "head on" at the reflection of the tip, for correct azimuth alignment.

The electrical "balance" (output in each channel) of a cartridge is almost never exact. You need to adjust the balance control for the proper centering of the image after azimuth is set.

The "fozgometer" is BS!
Restock, Wouldn't the soundcard in your laptop need to be calibrated to provide an accurate measurement? I know that some room measuring software, such as REW, requires that your soundcard be calibrated in order to provide an accurate measurement.
Dear Don_c55, You may be correct that as far as the stylus is concerned it is best off being centered in the groove, but this is by no means an assurance that azimuth is thereby optimal. The coils and motor of the cartridge can easily and often be out of line with the stylus tip. Also, you are correct in implying that azimuth adjustment is not the way to set balance. (Indeed, azimuth has little effect on balance, anyway.) But as far as I can tell from reading about it, the Fozgometer is not BS; sounds like it really works. There are many bogus devices for sale in the audio marketplace, but the Foz comes from a very reputable and old line audio source. Chances are the guy who designed it and sells it knows more about the problem than you do. Be humble.
Don_c55,

The electrical "balance" (output in each channel) of a cartridge is almost never exact. You need to adjust the balance control for the proper centering of the image after azimuth is set.

Both the Fozgo and the spectrum analyzer method does not adjust for "Balance" but for "Crosstalk". Crosstalk is the only correct way to tell 1-2 degree accuracy of azimuth alignment for the cartridge.
Wouldn't the soundcard in your laptop need to be calibrated to provide an accurate measurement? I know that some room measuring software, such as REW, requires that your soundcard be calibrated in order to provide an accurate measurement.

No need to calibrate the soundcard as you are only measuring a single frequency at 1KHz. I would assume that input into a soundcard is pretty balanced as far as sensitivity goes. If you want to make sure the measurement does not depend on balance, switch channels and see whether the results are the same.

For frequency response measurements, a calibration is useful as most likely a soundcard is not perfectly flat with respect to frequency response.

Good luck,

Rene
Also when I say soundcard, I should say that that the Microphone input on the Macbook is good enough for azimuth and speed. For frequency measurements a better soundcard (e.g. Agogee Duet) would be preferable.
My position is that setting az by some measurement technique is a good way to get to the ballpark. It is still required to fine tune by ear to get the best sound, IMO. Saying that, I realize that most people will just stay with what the meter tells them and be happy.
I had a very similar experience as Gjrad. My ears, friends ears something not right. I own the Fozgometer too and used it to dial in azimuth. What was not right now is!!! The Fozgometer works well and I've now adjusted azimuth on three other cartridges/headshell combinations. In each case the improvement was noticeable.
Have any of you tried another independent method to compare the results obtained with the Fozgometer? For example, measuring crosstalk in each channel using a voltmeter with the same 1kHz test tones used for the azimuth calibration using the Fozgometer. Presumably the crosstalk difference (from measured voltages) is close to a minimum when the Fozgometer readings are the same (??)
Hichory, I think you are right, but the real issue is convenience.
I used a Fluke DDM today to check Azimuth on my rig. I used a 1k left and right signal through my EAR 834p to the DDM. I had the DDM set to millivolts. I had the adjustment close by using the human ear method. I was off by a slight amount and set Azimuth to equal amounts of millivolts on the quiet channel. I do believe i m getting a wider stage and better sound now. From what i ve read it may have been easier to do this adjustment with a Fozgometer but it can be done with a DDM also.
Someone told me there is software on a Mac to do this running the phono leads in through a phono jack with two RCAs on it.
From what i ve read it may have been easier to do this adjustment with a Fozgometer but it can be done with a DDM also.

The only problem is that with a DMM you are sensitive to broadband noise when measuring the small crosstalk signal. Some portion of the signal you measure may be simply noise not crosstalk. If you use the spectrometer method I suggested earlier in this post you circumvent this problem
Hey Restock, i checked out your Ispectrometer for mac and the frequency filters like the 1k needed look easy to apply. I use a windows based notebook and did a extensive google search and could not come up with a meter that i could understand or use. Zelscope and Oscllometer seemed good for this adjustment but i could not get them setup for a good reading, the Ispectrometer you used seems cut and dry for adjustments like this.

Using a DVM with the millivolt setting instead of the standard voltage setting made a big difference in the meters range. With standard voltage setting the range was all over the place with millivolt setting the range was steady for a good adjustment. And the sound i m getting proves it. Better than my brain/ear method of adjusting azimuth i must say.
Restock, I apologize for not having read your earlier post on the iSpectrum. I am going to down load it and give it a whirl.
I think phase angle has to be considered as well, no? Cartridges are rarely equal in output so I think you need to know the output difference to really have an effective method to measure azimuth by crosstalk level. The method of equaling crosstalk between L and R doesn't make sense if the inherent level difference between L and R is not considered.
Hi Guys

I'm about to order one of these.

I have the cardas Frequency and Burn in Record & Hi Fi Test New LP.

Do I need the Analogue Productions Ultimate Analog Test LP ?

Thanks for the inputs.
I used the Cardas lp it has 1K L and R tones i believe tracks 9 10 and 11
I used a couple of test records I had laying around and they didn't work. I bought the Analogue Productions record and it worked fine.
"I used the Cardas lp it has 1K L and R tones i believe tracks 9 10 and 11"

Hey,

You have the older one? The 2010 update only appears to have one 1khz track and I suppose it is Mono.

Thanks,
Robert
Jeez, How many versions of the Cardas record are there!?

I have two already, the last one I bought about 2 years ago, and now there's another one?! lol
Jazzgene, I think you are correct, and I think the Foz does first ask you to correct for a difference in output per channel. With my venerable Signet Cartridge Analyzer (and the proper test LP), the very first step to adjust azimuth is zero-ing one channel with respect to the other, using the meter and the attenuator built into the Signet.