Is it possible to mount cartridge without using a protractor?


Hello-

I recently purchased the Technics SL 1200 GR TT and have mounted the MoFi Master Tracker cartridge. My friend actually did the set up for me, including adjusting the arm and the phono pre. It sounds pretty good! We did this without using a protractor as I didn't see one shipped with the TT and he didn't bring one (was thinking he would)

Question is-

Should I continue to play music and order a protractor for an "official setup" or wait till the protractor arrives and adjust accordingly. I don't want to mess up the stylus or my vinyl if it's way off. I can't imagine it is as it sounds pretty darn good. 

Thanks!

Ps: Ordering the Mint Best Tractor
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GR comes with an overhang gauge. Check the box.
@invictus005 just checked with me friend regarding my posted question above and he said the same thing. The little white tool. We used it. He says were spot on.
You see this white plastic headshell holder ?
There is a mark on it, stylus tip must be above this mark, adjust your cartridge in the headshell. This plastic gauge (52mm) is from the old Technics, but i think you got the same with GR.
Well then there you go.

Keep in mind, it aligns to Stevenson, yuck. If you order Mint LP Protractor and not specify a preference, you'll also receive Stevenson, cuz Asians...
Excellent. Looks like I'm right on course! It's sounding pretty darn good!
Just to let you know the Technics alignment is very close to Stevenson, but not exacrly Stevenson. Well, at least on the old decks, but i think geometry of the new tonearm is the same as the old one.  

For the price of Mint Best Tracktor (which is just a piece of plastic) i've bought used Dr. Feickert which is much better: http://www.feickert.org/index.php?id=17  
Mint is much more accurate and easier to use.
@invictus005 That's not true, Mint is a pience of plastic for $130, there is no pivot to spindle measurement "on the fly" for ANY tonearm. Also MINT for its price does not have ALL 3 Alignments (Baerwald, Lofgren, Stevenson). Dr. Feickert's second generation of protractors is the winner in all aspects and i don't see/feel any disadvantages, it's dead accurate. Feickers buld like a tank, it's metal, not a piece of plastic. Only idiots can't handle Feickert's protracktor (flashlight included in the deal). Feickert is also a turntable manufacturer. It's German quality, it's machined with absolute accuracy. The price for Feikcert on the used market is unbeatable by any other protractors. Go figure! 

What do you meant "much more accurate" ? The protractor is acurate or not. Did you ever tried Feickert ? 

For those who's looking for cheap protractor there is one for FREE with Hi-Fi Analog Test LP
I just received a 1210 GR on Tuesday and am using the white supplied overhang gauge.  Sounds excellent and looks sharp in black. 
F everyone's I -  
the mint best tractor is not plastic.  it is made from mirrored glass and is quite precise. definitely a different alignment than the stock gauge, the radius is ~2mm larger.  
outer grooves sounded slightly rough with the stock alignment compared to the sound of the best tractor alignment. not sure of the alignment "flavor" but i am very happy with the sound on my 1200 GR and ortofon cadenza blue.
Just to let you know the Technics alignment is very close to Stevenson, but not exactly Stevenson. Well, at least on the old decks, but i think geometry of the new tonearm is the same as the old one.  
+1   It's close, but you should really use a protractor to get it closer.  I have only used that little white guide if that's all that's available, then gone back to realign with proper tool.
@avanti1960 

I don't know why you're in love with plastic looking glass or mirrors for that price, how many tonearm you can adjust with one Mint protractor ? 

The Dr.Feickert is universal for any tonearm, any alignment method, and which is more inporntand you can be dean on with pivot to spindle distance, which you can't do with the Mint.  

I don't like mirrors when it comes to protractors, i remember Van Den Hul protractor with mirror and it was a nighmare, because all the printed lines are reflected in the mirror and it was impossible to detect where is the actual printed line and where is the reflection of the line.  

But i like Feickert and it's no problem to see the lines from the front or side view with a good light. Absolutely no problem to deal with it, no mirror required. And no problem with spindle hole when i use Feickert on 3 different Technics turntables or on Luxman PD-444. 
I bet I have at least a dozen different protractors in my arsenal of turntable setup tools.  Probably more.

The Feickert is by far the best.  I have both an original and the newer version.  These work on any table and arm.  Expensive yes, but I've used mine hundreds and hundreds of times, so kinda paid for itself many times over.

The problem, (well, not really a problem but a limitation) with the Mint, is that is ONLY works with one tonearm and table.  When you order it, you need to include this info.
Excellent information folks. Thanks for chiming in!

Mofi, 

I too have the Feickert - both new and old style - Prefer the old one.  The issue with this is that if the tonearm does not have a precise indication of the pivot point it becomes difficult.  Most do, just got the new Jelco TK950-L tonearm - fantastic bargain  by the way,  it does not have a clear indication of the pivot point though.  

Good Listening

Peter
@pbnaudio ...Peter, I agree completely with you, that's why I've kept both.  I like the newer version a little better, as long as I can use it with that specific tonearm that has a clear cut pivot point.

I REALLY want to setup one of the new Jelco 850 or 950 arms!  Haven't had the opportunity yet, but they look really SWEET.
@mofimadness  
The Feickert is by far the best. I have both an original and the newer version. These work on any table and arm. Expensive yes, but I've used mine hundreds and hundreds of times, so kinda paid for itself many times over.

The problem, (well, not really a problem but a limitation) with the Mint, is that is ONLY works with one tonearm and table. When you order it, you need to include this info.

Someone should have been said this.
I will add my 50 cents: Feickert on secondhand market is much cheaper than new, but it's the real thing, German quality, and no problem to buy used for less money.  

chakster


I don't like mirrors when it comes to protractors, i remember Van Den Hul protractor with mirror and it was a nighmare, because all the printed lines are reflected in the mirror and it was impossible to detect where is the actual printed line and where is the reflection of the line.
It sounds like you weren't using the tool properly. The purpose of having both the actual etched line and a reflection of the line is to sight it so that those two images align perfectly. That's how you can ensure that parallax error isn't influencing the alignment.
I can see difficulty using any protractor when the pivot point is poorly defined in high end tonearms.  Luckily, I have an SME IV and Ultracraft AC400 which are easy to adjust.  I always wondered how to adjust an arm with an ill-defined pivot point.
@cleeds maybe, i just prefer Feickert latest protractor to anything else. Since we have to align the cantilever, not the cartridge body, i'm fine with Feickert, i don't relly need that mirror and all that reflections. Making cantilever in line is easy with front view and to make the stylus tip on point is esy with side view. The top view is to make a cartridge offset in line. Feickert is user friendly. 

But i also mentioned free protractor that comes with Hi-Fi Test LP which i've been using prior to Feickert.  
Thank you everyone for chiming in. I really appreciate your knowledge and will let you know what I hear from this adjustment.