I was sitting here....
listening to a few albums, and I had the feeling something was not quite right. So, I got out the level first, and found that somehow, I was quite a bit off. So, I leveled the Teres up, again. Still sounded a little funny. So, I put the level on the arm board. Perfect side-to-side, but way out front-to-back. So, I adjusted the cones, and tried it again. Well, then I realized that I forgot to make sure that the VTF & VTA were ok, so I checked and fixed that too.
Some of you may know that a group of us are waiting on delivery of one of Wally's finest tools. So, I have not even played the HFN test record yet, wanting to see how close I can get it by ear. I figured once "the tool" gets around to me, I'll have everything dialed in by ear, so I can test my hearing and set-up skills.
You also might know that I have a rather unconventional arm board on my Teres, that allows adjustment in EVERY direction. That's what the cones allow. If you haven't seen it, look at my system pics or my site @ jphii.com.
Where all of this is going is here: I put on Dire Straits "Brothers In Arms" an album that I keep finding new sounds in the background every time I play it. Well, I put it on after all of this screwing around and almost s*&t myself!
IT HAS NEVER SOUNDED THIS GOOD! PERIOD!
I was really amazed at the level of clarity and detail I found. Did I hear kettle drums in the background? Crickets? Rain? Wow. I knew that I wasn't getting that final bit out of my TT. But this just floored me. It is amazing what you can do with a level and a $20 Shure stylus force gauge. I can't wait to get "the tool" so I can put the finishing touch on it.
The moral of the story here is:
THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR NOT HAVING YOUR TABLE SET UP PROPERLY
A $20 gauge, a $5 level. Even when I moved the arm board around I did it by eye (I didn't really move it, I think, so I didn't take the arm off and use the template to reset it).
SO, before you do anything else, if you are worried about why your TT doesn't sound quite up to par, CHECK THE BASICS.
Learn from my mistakes, not yours!