Graham Phantom with Benz Lp-s Tracking problems

Hello to all,

i recently mounted my new Lp-s cartrige on the Phantom B-44. The sound is great, but i have problems with some Lps, 4-5. On all it is on the beginning of the record. I can see a little but quick jumping from the cartridge, it isn´t much but the stylus looses contact with the groove and i hear something like a rumble. I don´t know if it´s the right word. And when i put up the volume it distorts. Benz told me that the best way for working the Lp-s is that the counterweight should be very close to the center of the tonearm and it isn´t, it is 1cm or more away from the top.
I wrote Bob Graham to tell me his thoughts, will see what he tells me. Maybe i have to change the ring of the counterweight to a heavier one!?
Has someone experience with this problem?

Many thanks and happy new year !!!!!!!!!!!

Best wishes from spain,

I don't have a graham...but that is a heavy cartridge, so you have the VTF set right? sounds like you have it a touch lite or the record is warped funny...

A counter weight closer...might sound better...but I doubt it would change how it tracks to solve the issue you're having...I'd double check the VTF then maybe take those records somewhere else and see if it's the LPs...
Hi Agustin,
Could be feedback but my guess is cantilever resonance caused by the LPs themselves. About 1 in 4 (at a guess) of typical 120g LPs suffer from very fast warps - more like sharp pulses than warps - and sometimes they can be cascaded. Certain cartridges do not react favourably with them as it may be more of a cartridge suspension problem(Popularly known as the "Grado dance".)

Take a close look at your cartridge on touchdown at the run-in groove.(Try not to let it run any longer than the run-in to protect your favourite albums). Does it vibrate relative to the groove?

You've probably done this already but I must ask if you have tried the resonance test bands from e.g. the HFN/RR test disc to check that your arm/cart combination is behaving correctly? Although 8-12Hz is acceptable 10-12Hz may be better for the conditions you may be describing.
Hope this proves helpful....
Please make sure you have a clearance between arm itself and microlift. If the clearance is too small arm could touch microlift's arm and cause the problem. I've seen things like one this many times. Good luck. Alex.
If you are experiencing lateral drift when you drop the needle on the record, either to the left or right, check your antiskating. Ensure that you have mounted the LPS correctly. Though not a Phantom, I have mounted several LP's on SME V arms with no issues. The Phantom has more user adjustability, therfore, you may have to pay very close attention to each and every setting on the Phantom arm.
Good luck.
Thanks to all,

The microlift isn't the problem, it don't touch.
I set VTF at 1,85g and i tried with 2,20g, nothing.
I made lateral and vertical resonance test on HFN Lp, lateral at 7hz it moves but nothing on the sound and vertical maybe at 20-18hz there is a little bit in the sound i can hear.
Ok, when there is a problem. What is the problem, the cartridge compliance( suspension)?
The frien who tried the same lps has a inferior benz cartridge and a inferior clearaudio arm!?
Check that the bearing is seated properly. The proper gap between the magnet and the bearing housing is approximately 0.100 to 0.125" just looking at it. If the bearing is not seated correctly, this gap will be much smaller and cause all kinds of tracking issues.
Hi Agucela,
Sorry to hear you are still struggling. I think the Forum needs more background on the problem. You didn't say whether you'd investigated AudioQuest4Life's suggestion regarding antiskate?
Can you tell us where the bias weight is set at the moment? At rest, is it nearer the floor or nearer the tonearm?

The fact that your other LPs sound great and you don't seem to have any trouble cuing them precludes severe skate/antiskate errors but no harm in checking Band 6 of the HFN/RR and reporting back which channel, if any, is buzzing?

Final questions : Did you add damping fluid during setup? Have you noticed anything different about those 4 or 5 rogue LPs? Are they concave/convex as the playing surface presents itself? Do they have slow warps or fast warps?
Hopefully this will lead to an explanation.
My LPS is tracking flawlessly on a VPI 10.5. I noticed that the counterweight is very close to the pivot so that really might be the difference.
Sorry AudioQuest4Life's for no answering, i think anti-skating is ok, i pass all 4 tracks from the HFN without any problem. At rest, the bias weight is a bit diagonal, maybe 35º. I tried all damping fluid levels but the problem is the same. It only changes the sound.
The Lps are flat. The Garrard 301 platter is concave. there is 1mm difference from the middle to outside.
But i also set Azimuth with the Adjust+ and it seems to be perfect, and it sounds perfect.
With the slow warps i have no problem.
The problem are the fast warps.
The cartridges compliance is 15, so it is a medium hard suspension and the graham is a medium mass tonearm, so they should work perfectly together.
But, before i bought the Lps, i spoke with a Benz Ingenieur, he didn`t know well the Graham Phantom but the most important thing he told me was that the counterweight must be very close to pivot for having a better stability.
Before the Lps, ihad the Clearaudio Concerto and it has also compliance 15, but, the counterweight was very near the pivot as the cartridge was much lighter than the benz and i had no problem.

I will order a heavier outer ring if it´s available and we will see.
Add some blu tak to the Phantom on top of the headshell. Basically increase the mass of the cartridge. This will move the. Counterweight distance from the pivot but you can add mass to the counterweight as well to bring it closer. This will reduce the vertical resonance which should be your problem. 18hz is way too high.
When I bought my Aries 3 w/Benz LP-S cartridge my dealer called VPI and told them I was getting a heavy cartridge - 16 gms. Harry Weisfeld put a different counterweight on the arm than the stock factory weight. I can't say that's your problem, but I would ask Mr. Graham if that is a possibility. That being said, you should make sure your tracking force is at or 0.1gms above max recommended. Good luck.
I've got a phantom 2 with lp-s and it tracks beautifully. I hope you resolve your issues and get to the point where you can realize and enjoy the incredible potential of the combination.
Carl, as a Phantom II user myself, I'm interested. What's different about your combination? Is it unmodified or did you get the heavier counterweight?