Is my anti-skating too strong.


I’m trying to adjust the alignment of the Ortofon Black Quintet cartridge on my Music Hall mmf 9.3 turntable.  When I put the stylus down on the alignment protractor, the tone arm pulls to the outer edge of the turntable.   Should I disable anti skating when doing alignment or is it set too strong?  Obviously haven’t done this too often.
Also, when listening to the anti skating track on The Ultimate Analogue Test LP, there is noticeable distortion at the end of the track which indicates too much or too little anti skating.  Any guidance here?
udog
MC listen before he buys ? surely, you must be joking...Mr. F ( who would have no trouble with the math, nor the egotist )


but let’s check in with the OP, did anyone here help you ????????
Excellent Lewm. Nothing to add to that explanation.

@dover , I looked into it and you are right about the Eminent Tech vs Walker. I had always assumed Walker was first. Assumptions are the mother of all f--- ups. Thank you for correcting me.

However, you can not uncouple effective mass. If it is attached to the tonearm the tonearm must move it. You can change it's resonance characteristics but you can not write it off as mass. A tonearm must move in two directions and only in two directions, vertically and horizontally. Pivoted arms have about the same distribution of mass in both directions. There is usually a little more horizontal mass in the form of the bearing housing which is good it breaks up the resonance peak a little so with a specific cartridge the horizontal resonance point might be 8 Hz and the vertical 10 Hz. Now looking at your air bearing arm, the vertical effective mass is quite similar to a pivoted arm. Most of the mass is at the axis of the vertical pivot which means it contributes very little to the effective mass. The more the a mass is out by the cartridge the more it contributes to the effective mass. The cartridge is literally one to one. If it weights 10 grams then 10 grams is added to the effective mass. If one were to mount the cartridge at the vertical pivot (a bit weird but for the sake of argument) it would only add perhaps one gram to the effective mass. In the horizontal direction we now run in to the big problem. The entire tonearm has to move the same distance. A mass at the back of the arm contributes 1 to1 to the effective mass. If the arm weights 150 gm then the effective mass in the horizontal direction is 150 gm. If a pivoted arm weights 150 grams the effective mass would only be perhaps 20 gm. So now with the same cartridge whose vertical resonance was around 9 Hz it's horizontal resonance is 2 Hz or worse. You can see the oscillation on an oscilloscope. With a higher compliance cartridge you can frequently see it with the naked eye. You are depending on the stylus/cantilever/cartridge to move the arm. Anything that aggravates that resonance point will start the cantilever oscillating side to side. You can add viscous damping but then you increase the work required for the record to move the arm and you increase record wear. This is the problem the Reed 5T and the Schroder LT are circumnavigating. Very successfully I might add. This makes them hallmark products I believe as they dispose of tracking error but still interface with the cartridge correctly. 
@mijostyn
you can not uncouple effective mass. If it is attached to the tonearm the tonearm must move it.
I said the ET2 has a counterweight that is decoupled in the horizontal plain, I did not say "the effective mass" is decoupled.

Now looking at your air bearing arm, the vertical effective mass is quite similar to a pivoted arm.
If the arm weights 150 gm then the effective mass in the horizontal direction is 150 gm. If a pivoted arm weights 150 grams the effective mass would only be perhaps 20 gm.
Your comments on the effective mass of the ET2 are way off base. What you fail to understand is that the total mass of the ET2 armtube, bearing spindle, counterweight beam & weight are substantially less than most conventional pivoted arms - 25-35g in total.

The specifications for effective mass for the Eminent Technology ET2
are as follows -
Horizontal effective mass - 25-35g
Vertical effective mass - 7g

Furthermore on my own ET2 I have a non standard armtube that reduces the horizontal effective mass by another 5g.

I also have modified the decoupling of the counterweight, The standard ET2 uses a leaf spring. I use a teflon V block/knife edge arrangement which allows the cantilevered counterweight to swing freely in the horizontal plain. The V block can be tightened with an allen screw - this allows me to tune the "level of decoupling" to the individual cartridge.

You can add viscous damping but then you increase the work required for the record to move the arm and you increase record wear. This is the problem the Reed 5T and the Schroder LT are
I agree with this - I dont like viscous damping.
However, I have implemented electromagnetic damping on the arm in the horizontal plain which electrically only engages when the bearing spindle is moving sufficiently, specifically eccentric records, to proprotionately dampen the back and forth motion. Interestingly the volume increases with the electromagnetic damping implemented, so the electromagnetic damping is helping the cartridge, not hindering. The Dynavector tonearms also use electromagnetic damping in the horizontal plain.

FYI I also have pivoted arms in use - FR64S/Naim Aro/Dynavector 501 {rebuilt to Baerwald}.

Are there better arms - sure - but as I stated above there is "no best arm" - I personally find cartridge and arm matching and quality of set up as important as the quality of the arm and cartridge to the end result, perhaps even more so. A poorly set up turntable/arm/cartridge, no matter how expensive, is fundamentally destructive to the music.


@dover , and there you have it dover. Horizontal effective mass is 25-35 gm and vertical is 7 gm. A normal pivoted arm might be 12 gm vertical and 13 gm horizontal. 20 gms is much to wide a divergence. Your use of terminology is a bit odd. I am looking at a picture of the ET2 as I type. The counterweight is very much a portion of the arm's effective mass. ANYTHING that moves with the arm is part of it's effective mass. In no way shape or form is the counterweight "decoupled" in this manner. 
Over the years many companies have tried to pull this one off thinking that somehow they could get around the laws of physics the last being Frank Kuzma. It should be no great surprise that people resoundingly like his brilliant 4 Point arms better. The fact is it can not be done, at least not that way. They are all destined to failure just like the ET 2. Straight trackers with a motorized carriage carrying a more typical pivoted arm might be able to do it if it were not for the difficulty in overcoming the noise and vibration of such a drive. Reed and Schroder have it right. 
Ditch the ET 2 or use it as an antenna or coat rack or something and get yourself a Schroder LT. You will be much happier and people will think you are a clever guy. It is good that you realize a cartridge has to be chosen to work correctly in a tonearm, that they have to be matched. There is no match for tonearms like the ET 2, none. There are only compromises., compromises you do not have to make with other arms.
Tracking error is not near as much of a problem as it is made out to be not that minimizing it is not a good thing. But, the price you pay with air bearing arms is just too high.