How Do You Measure VTF?

Does antiskate affect VTF? I measure the VTF in different points of my scale & the measurements vary. I have my antiskate active during this time. I used calibrated weights on my scale at different points and the weight remained constant. This was done using a point source as a weight. This was referenced on a $1500 diamond scale (too big to use to check VTF). My cheapie scale is within 0.01 of a gram consistently. I am guessing I should disengage AS prior to determining VTF. But... does a cartridge manufacturer want VTF determined w. AS force taken into account as part of the cumulative VTF? Any ideas.
Always measure VTF with AS off, for 2 reasons:

1. You can't get an accurate VTF with AS on, and
2. You could damage your stylus if the AS force causes it to slide sideways off the weighing platform.
Dear Darren: As Neil already posted, you have to measure the VTF with out AS. No, the manufacturer cartridge does not ask to measure with AS, at least I don't have any notice about.

regards and enjoy the music.
Agree with Neil and Raul.

Of course if your weighing platform is at record height and is "perfectly" smooth and level, AS "shouldn't" affect VTF. A properly designed AS device pulls the arm directly sideways with no vertical component at all.

But of course nothing's perfect. Even microscopic irregularities on the platform would cause a moving stylus to snag, bounce, etc. This could alter effective VTF by more than .01g.

There's no reason to encourage your stylus to go sliding sideways when you're trying to keep it steady at one point.
I just did it both ways w. AS on or off. The difference is 0.01-0.02 of a gram. I always establish VTF at record height. I also feel setting VTF by ear to be the ultimate determination.
Dear Darren: So, you are on target!!!

Regards and enjoy the music.

Comparing the Jade to the Universe. Both great. I love the Jade. Setup up on the Schroder, I have incredible music. I am running at 1000. I might try the Ikeda but on the Schroder the 3 dimensionality is incredible. The ZYX handles leading edges of music differently. Beautiful contrast.

Setting VTF by ear is indeed the way to go. A scale is a tool used to get in the ballpark or to return to a known baseline after changing cartridges. It can't determine the final value that's optimal for a given cartridge on a given day.

What you may find interesting is that anti-skate should ALSO be set by ear. Depending on the arm and cartridge, you may find a far lower level than expected is optimal. When you're feeling experimental some day try this:

1. Reduce AS to a very low setting, close to zero if possible.

2. Play a very dynamic record, listening for R channel mistracking.

3. Increase AS in tiny increments until you can just barely play the tough passages cleanly.

4. Note this AS setting. Now A/B some familiar music at this (possibly lower) setting and your original (possibly higher) setting. You may find the lower setting gives you clearer imaging, better microdynamics and clearer HF detail.

It's worth the experiment. If your rig and system are resolving enough you'll hear the differences and learn something new about AS.
GREAT DARREN!!!!!!!!! Please e-mail me.