Seems normal to me, but it depends how much deflection there actually is. Set it up, play records and you will soon see; if it works well, then all is well
Ditto Jmc above. Some displacement is normal as the proper VTF aligns the coil to the magnets on the susupension, which will vary depending on the compliance and the design. It is very important at the outset to ensure you at least set the VTF in the middle of the range set by the manufacturer. Do you have a gauge?
HI. Thanks for your responses; yes, I have a gauge, and am using the cart at the manufacturer's recommended force.
The cartridge sounds great, but it seems that it is at a very low angle in reference to the cartridge body.
It appears that lowering the cart onto a disc changes the VTA substantially, although the sound of my records is not exhibiting symptoms of too much or little VTA.
The result is that the undercarriage rides very close to the record which, in part, is a function of the design, but after the suspensions adjustment, gets very, very close to dragging along the record.
I guess the most succinct question is whether substantial, visible movement of the cartridge body pivoting onto the resting cantilever as the suspension adjusts is normal, and to what degree?
Yes the suspension ages, but that takes years. In connection with the underside of the cart leaving precious little space to the record's surface, I have the same concern with my Kontrapunkt B that rides very very low to the record. As long as it clears, I can't see a problem. I my case, there is a problem, however, with records that have edge warp since the oscillation makes the movement of the cantilever a bit too radical for my taste and the underside of the cart can contact the record. Seems to me that designers of these things wrongly assume that LPs are properly pressed and pretty close in thickness and flatness when they are not.
Don't drive yourself crazy, unless that is your avocation any way.
Suspensions (rubber damper) tend to get brittle (stiff) with time and exposure to air pollution - specifically ozone. Cartridges from Benz, Koetsu and Allaerts tend to be very stable over time. I'm sure that there are other brands that are also fairly stable, but I know of these three brands for certain.
It's difficult to predict how any retip will behave. Most retippers can give you an idea of the condition of the cantilever and suspension, but know that there's at least some aging effect that's not predictable.
This will have the effect of shifting the compliance a bit (lower) and can therefore have different effects depending on the mass of your tonearm. IOW, you stand as much of a chance as effecting a minor improvement as a degradation - depending on how perfectly your arm was matched to the cartridge in the first place.
The good news is that you can compensate for a slight decrease in cartridge compliance by adding a bit of weight (a gram or two) to the headshell. It's difficult to reduce a tonearm's effective mass unless you have a set of counterweights to play with (e.g. Moerch, Triplanar) or a tonearm like a Moerch with different arm wand options.
I've not heard of bad results from Koetsu and Benz (retip only) but I treat this information as anecdotal at best. Allaerts are by comparison quite rare and I have not heard reports of any retips on these.
In short, I'd take a shot at sending it to Soundsmith. Peter will give you the scoop to the best of his ability which is quite high.
Thom @ Galibier
So, Thom - does a decrease in compliance cause more or less movement of the cantilever? It seems to me that "stiffness" would create less shock resistance, more rigidity and therefore less movement.
So, what appears to be a soft suspension with alot of give would maybe indicate a newer cartrige?
I wouldn't look at this in terms of cantilever movement, but perhaps Jonathan or Peter are lurking and can comment further.
A good way to think of compliance is in terms of mass compatibility with a tonearm.
In short, decreased compliance means the suspension is stiffer and tends to transmit more energy into the tonearm.
This in turn requires a more massive tonearm to bring the resonant frequency into range. Dealing with the extra energy encompasses the entire tonearm and turntable design although increased arm mass can help in this area too.
Think of a compliance mismatch from an automobile analogy. Picture the springs from a 3/4 ton pickup truck installed on a Porshce. This would be an extreme example comparable to too stiff of a cartridge on too light of a tonearm.
Thom @ Galibier