Ask Bob Graham. The setup tools he supplies with his arm are the best I've ever used. I can't any aftermarket product being better but......??????????
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I met Wally at RMAF and ordered my Wally Tractor and Skater from him there at his table. I also got one of his scales. I had been warned that he was slow and to stay on top of him by calling him, which is the best way to contact him. He always answered the phone when I called. He got my tools to me in a couple of months. I was disappointed in the Tractor, but it is a good tool (I actually use the HI-Fi News protractor now). The Skater is great though and was a big help.
I agree with the above posts.
I sold my WallyTractor in favor of the much less expensive "Cart Align" tool. I preferred the "Cart Align" to both Wally and the Graham set up tools. The Cart Align uses the tracking force of the cartridge during alignment of the diamond, placing the overhang and azimuth at actual play conditions.
The Graham estimates that distance and is frequently off several thousandth's of an inch. The Wally takes this into consideration but is a different formula than "Cart Align."
Don't forget to take track force into consideration with all settings. As tracking force is increased or decreased, the VTL and overhang are altered as well. Sometimes this requires going back and forth a few times to get it perfect. For this reason I like the repeatable results of the Winds stylus force gauge ( the 1/100 th's gram). By presetting my cartridge to the weight I know will be near perfect, the other settings are close to perfect the first time you go through the setup.
Albert's response mirrors my reasons for not using the Graham jig when setting up cartridges for friends on their 2.2's. Unless the cantilever is in playing conditions for VTF, VTA and azimuth it's impossible to align it accurately.
I have no experience with the Wally, but I would always prefer SOME gauge that can be used in actual playing conditions.
SirSpeedy, it's an old, long since discontinued set up tool that was built in the late 1970's or early 80's. I think I paid $25.00 for it (used) about 9 years ago.
Art Dudley mentions it in passing here:
And somebody at vinyl asylum seems to like it too. http://www.audioasylum.com/scripts/t.pl?f=vinyl&m=51494
I have two Wallytractors, another one on order, and the Wallyskater. The Wallyskater is the best device that I have seen for getting anti-skate set exactly where you want it. I love my Wallytractors and find them very easy to use. Switching from Baerwald to Lofgren and back is real easy. That may not be useful to other people though. I have also found Wally's "five point' alignment system to allow me to set overhang more accurately than with a standard "2 point" mirror protractor. YMMV.
If you are going to order one of Wally's tools, place the order directly with Wally by calling him. His number is on his website. Tell him what you want and then send him the check. Call him every two weeks to remind him that you still haven't got your item yet. Be persistent. After six or eight phone calls you will get your item. Wally has a wealth of information on analog set up. He usually likes to talk. Be nice to him when you call, and you can learn more than you ever knew existed about analog setup.
I got tired of trying to figure out which protractor was best and decided to make my own using Microsoft Visio and John Elison's downloadable Excel spreadsheet for calculating horizontal tracking error and distortion.
I created a printable triangle-shaped template that fits over the spindle and extends all the way to the pivot point of the tonearm. The removes the guesswork of "sighting" the template to the pivot point (and shortens setup time greatly).
Once the pivot-to-spindle distance is set and the template is fixed to the platter, I have two points defined at 66 mm and 120.9 mm from the spindle and 240 mm from the tonearm pivot point (I use a OL Silver arm). The marks at the null points facilitate alignment by the cantilever (not the body).
I'm sure there are better processes, but it always annoyed me that I was relying on someone else's process without fulling understanging their "voodoo". My "voodoo" is freely available upon request and cab be modified for any tonearm. Print this out on good quality photo paper and you're good-to-go.
If the concern is the actual cantilever position when in play mode,I haven't got a problem with the supplied Graham stuff.I don't want to get too nuts here.For the 1.87 gms my friend's(and mine,btw)Tranny is tracking at do I really need to worry about that miniscual offset of the stylus tip?
OH BOY,DID I SET MYSELF UP HERE?
BTW,happy Easter to all,and I just had the Easter Bunny over to aid in my set-up.Those BIG EARS really came in handy.The dude has a seriously good set of ears!!
Rgordonpf, Doug, and others have given you advice which echoes my experiences and observations.
This is yet another case of the tool with which you best relate being the best tool for your needs.
THE TOOL AS A TEACHER:
This concept of the tool serving as a teacher reminds me of some of the sophisticated bicycling computers - specifically the ones with a cadence sensor. After using this feature for a few weeks, you get a sense of your body's rhythms and how quickly you are turning over the pedals. You will likely not use it again.
That it gets you to that point however can serve as an invaluable teaching tool. There are features in all of the cartridge alignment tools which may end up serving this purpose for you. If you can learn from them, then you will be wiser and will better enjoy your record collection.
THE DB SYSTEMS PROTRACTOR:
This is a tool that I cannot relate to at all - unless that is, you throw away the translucent top section, which to my experience introduces parallax.
With the DB, I don't understand how you can precisely locate the stylus over the null point when the stylus rests on a second translucent (frosted acrylic) sheet about 1/8" above the white opaque protractor. Without this additional piece, it's like every other generic protractor which is to say, fine but not as good as the mirrored protractors I favor (see below).
Now, if the small graded scale (the translucent sheet) helps you to visualize the setup better, then it serves a valuable purpose, but once you "get the point", I would file it away and never use it again (see "the tool as a teacher", above).
Carrying this argument a step further (the idea of relating to your tool), Frank Schröder uses a protractor of his own manufacture - produced on card stock - bare bones simple. No one who has inspected Frank's work would argue that the does not produce a great setup.
If the tool better helps you to visualize what you are doing, then it is a good tool.
CARTALIGN and WALLY TOOL:
I cannot comment fully on the Cartalign device that Albert favors. I actually purchased one in 1987, and not understanding it perfectly, I returned it. This was a bonehead move on my part, as it is at a minimum, a cool tool to have around. Several years after returning it, I met someone who owned one, and we did several setups with it - very satisfactory ones. I worked with it a bit, but I'd prefer to have it in hand to comment further than what I have to say below.
The defunct Cartalign (like Wally's) is mirrored, and works similarly to Wally's, in that you need to rotate it so that an index line points from the record spindle to the bearing pivot's center.
The Wally tool allows you to verify that you've sited (rotated) the protractor correctly and the Cartalign does not to my recollection do so. When the Wally tool is correctly oriented, the stylus will perfectly trace the arc scribed on the protractor - either overhanging the arc or being collinear with it.
There is no such arc on the Cartalign, and I don't remember a means of verifying the accuracy of the orientation. I recall making a simple device for my friend - to aid in positioning the Cartalign. This consisted of a small washer with a hole drilled through it. Through this hole, I affixed a piece of nylon thread.
The idea was to slip the washer over the record spindle and stretch the thread to a position over the bearing pivot. This facilitated locating the Cartalign's alignment line so that its index line pointed from the record spindle toward the bearing's pivot. This wasn't perfect, but it helped.
MIRRORED PROTRACTORS - TURNTABLE BASICS, TRIPLANAR, etc.
Mirrored protractors help you to site down the cantilever and correct for parallax - verifying that you are looking at the cantilever "head on". I currently use one manufactured by Ortofon in the early 1980's, but the Turntable Basics and the Triplanar protractors both have mirrored surfaces. The Wally and the Cartalign are mirrored, and because of their different usage, I discussed them above.
While Frank Schröder's trained eyes don't require a mirrored surface, I am not quite so good at verifying that I am looking at the cantilever "head on" and find the mirrored surface helps me to do so.
Tim's (Turntable Basics) protractor is - a very nice and reasonably priced tool. I recommend it to people and keep a link to Tim's website on my Support page - along with a link to Wally under the section - "Commercially Produced Tools".
My understanding is that the Triplanar setup protractor is made in the same factory as the TT Basics tool. I can't remember the exact conversation with Tri Mai about this, but I recall walking away with that conclusion.
I've only briefly encountered this tool. It helps you to verify the pivot to spindle distance easily, but I find that the alignment surface is a bit difficult to use. If it were a mirrored surface, I'd put it in the category of the Wallytractor and recommend it more highly.
THE GRAHAM ALIGNMENT TOOL (only for Graham tonearms):
I encourage Bob Graham to comment on his alignment tool. I think that it has the potential to be the best tool extant, but in its present configuration, I have found that I can effect a much more accurate setup using a traditional tool.
My suspicion however is that many individuals who may not be quite so careful will benefit from using Bob's tool.
The problem I see with it is that it is predicated on precisely setting the pivot to spindle distance of the tonearm. This is absolutely wonderful in theory, and if the Graham had a captive bearing rather than a unipivot, it would be the perfect tool.
What I've observed is that you cannot perfectly set the pivot to spindle distance due to the rocking of the arm on the bearing. This rocking skews the pivot to spindle distance and invalidates the setup - resulting in alignment errors of 1 to 1.5 mm of overhang - the best results I could achieve with it.
The solution - which would then make Bob's device the best one on the planet is to develop some sort of stabilizing collar to hold the bearing assembly perfectly rigid and parallel to the record surface. Bob's would then be the perfect tool.
If I still owned a Graham tonearm, I would do the following:
1 Use the device as described in the instruction and perform your setup.
2. Cross validate the setup with a regular protractor like the Turntable Basics.
3. If you find any discrepancy (you may be better than I am at holding the bearing in the right position), use the intentional play in the arm mounting holes in conjunction with the Turntable Basics protractor set the overhang perfectly.
After this one-time, initial setup, you can then use the Graham alignment tool - knowing that you've perfectly dialed in the pivot to spindle distance.
Bob may have some tricks to getting a perfect pivot to spindle distance which his tool is predicated on. If anyone smarter than me can comment on this, we will all be richer for it.
Thom @ Galibier
Tom, I pretty much agree with all you have said.
When I set up using my Cart Align, I use a tiny nylon thread around the turntable spindle to locate the spindle bearing to tone arm pivot. As you pointed out, having the mirror helps me do the other parts of the setup and I like the sound I get from the Cart Align formula.
The one thing on the Graham tool that seems to be missing from the discussion is the alignment of the cartridge in the head shell. As I remember (from the three I've owned) the user presses a plastic device against the cantilever to sight the correct overhang. While in theory this appears to be a clean solution, it does not take into consideration the exact stylus pressure during playback, which effects overhang and VTA.
I agree with your assessment of the Graham tool for setting pivot to spindle distance. I got where I could feel the side to side pressure of the unipivot and could get pretty close, but never 100%.
I also owned the Dennison and as you pointed out, the spiked metal outrigger allowed for very good sighting of the pivot to spindle, much easier than the tiny thread on the Cart Align system. I could never "read" the Dennison once I had it in place and for that reason, sold it as I did the WallyTractor.
Truth is, I keep my set up tools to help others (which I do all the time). My Walker does not benefit from any of these, but I enjoy hearing all turntables and arm setups because I love analog so much.
Thom--Do me a favor and stop being so damn helpful,and NICE!!You will make it increasingly difficult for me to debate you in future threads.I'm already considering having a grandchild named after you(should one of my kids get married)!!
BTW,I do have some additional set-up stuff in my accessories box,and will bring them to my friend(you know who,Albert)next month.I will,also,re check my own set-up which is "down" for updates at the present time.
One thing I am most likely guilty of, is the fact that though I have been fanatical with the Graham set-up tools,I have NOT taken into account the Very slight "play" in the actual armboard holes,of my table.Naturally I set bearing to spindle distance in the original setup,but I have taken off the armboard(with attached arm)to check certain stuff.There is very slight play,and I always knew I should recheck the original position.This is really looking like "sloppiness" on my part,and I must recheck the pivot to spindle again.You can all hold this over my head in future debates,as to my competence!I obviously have to check my friend's set-up too,as he relies on my "hands of a vascular surgeon" stillness,when working in close quarters.-:)I guess being in constant training for a strenuous sport helps the nervous system,here.
I'd love to squeek out a bit more from my 2.2!Hmm,maybe that slight "sibilence",that I never hear(in both set-ups) will disappear!-:)
Just a minor point about the Wallytractor. You said "The defunct Cartalign (like Wally's) is mirrored, and works similarly to Wally's, in that you need to rotate it so that an index line points from the record spindle to the bearing pivot's center."
There is a line on the Wally tractor that points from the spindle to the pivot point. But you do not need to align this line with anything. According to the Wallytractor directions you need to verify that the pivot to spindle distance is within + or - .5mm of the pivot to spindle distance inscribed on the Wallytractor. Once the distance is verified, you place the Wallytractor over the spindle hole and rotate the Wallytractor so that "Point 0" (the outer edge of the arc, is directly under the stylus. Then you move the tonearm in to "Point 1" which is just outside of the label area. If the stylus is outside the arc at "Point 1" then the cartridge needs to be moved back towards the pivot point or away from the pivot point if the stylus is inside the arc. Change the overhang and go back to "Point 0" and start all over. Eventually, the stylus will follow either the Baerwald or Lofgren arc all the way from "Point 0" to "Point 1". No visual sighting of the spindle to pivot line is needed. Getting that sight line accurately has always been a problem for me when I used other protractors. That is why I like the Wallytractor - no sight alignment required.
As you know, I change cartridges quite frequently. I find the Wallytractor to be, for me, easy to use and more accurate than any of the other protractors that I have tried. Wallytractors are expensive, but to me are worth the extra cost. YMMV.
This is why I've not bought into the WallyTractor as an alignment progress. While I have not used it, it appears to be excellent at describing the solution, but not very good at defining the process to arrive at that solution - you're still doing the stylus hokey-pokey.
If you do get the stylus to follow the WallyTractor arc from Point 0 to Point 1....guess what? You've got your P-to-S distance correct and your overhang (effective length) correct. However, you're manipulating multiple variables simultaneously, and this can cause one to gouge out one's own eyes in frustration. Yes, you can perfect your alignment this way, but in all reality, this particular aspect of alignment is simple 2-dimentional geometry and doesn't have to be that frustrating or time consuming.
Also, for the WallyTractor to facilitate an efficient setup, as stated above, the pivot to spindle distance must be within + or - 0.5mm of the pivot to spindle distance inscribed on the WallyTractor. For tables that have a variable-distance mounting hole for the tonearm (like my Teres) that margin or error is pretty tight. If you screw up the P-to-S, you could be playing the hokey-pokey all night (instead of spinnin' vinyl).
Here's my process (using my template).
1. Level the table.
2. Attach tonearm to base. Cut out templates using a razor blade and a straight edge. Fix platter to base using tape.
3. Make sure the head shell is level (when measured perpendicular to the tonearm).
4. Set the pivot-to-spindle distance using the supplied Baerwald Protractor template. The tip of the template should exactly center over the small hole where the tonearm wires come through on the base of the tonearm (specific to an Origin Live Silver tonearm).
The thickness or placement of the tonearm wires may make this impossible. If this is the case, shear off the tip of the protractor. This should compensate for the wires and facilitate accurate alignment. Fix template to platter using tape.
5. Mount the cartridge and preliminarily set the Vertical Tracking Force (VTF). It is recommended to initially set the VTF in the top third of the recommended range. However, at this stage, precision is not critical as VTF will be fine-tuned later in the process. Set the anti-skate mechanism to 0.
6. Set effective length using the template (at point #1).
7. Set offset angle (at points #1 and #2). You may have to *slightly* rotate the cartridge so when looking at the cantilever straight-on the lines at 66 mm and 120.9 mm run right up into the suspension tube.
Note that it is the alignment of the cantilever that matters not the cartridge body (thats why there is only a single line to guide this setup). A Baerwald-aligned cartridge will be nearly (but *not* exactly) square to the head shell on a Rega style arm.
8. Set Stylus Rake Angle (SRA). As a baseline, set the SRA 1-degree forward (top away from the tonearm pivot). Use the SRA Protractor template as a guide.
9. Repeat steps 6 8 until no additional adjustments are necessary to satisfy all 3 steps.
Yes, this process is pretty generic, but it's easier to follow and understand than many I've seen (and tried). If I would print out my template on a mirrored piece of plastic, it would make it an even more powerful tool. Feel free to tell me where I've gone awry.
In glancing at this latest thread with my name on it, I just looked at a rew responses and immmediately noted a serious mis-understanding of the use and design of my alignment tools. In particular, Albertporter (4-15) is wrong on at least two points: first, he states that "...Graham estimates that distance and is frequently off by several thousandth's of an inch".... This is wrong, as the cross-hair intersection is exactly to the right specificaiton, and engraved with a laser to prevent any possiblity is template misalignment.
After that, it is up to the user to be accurate in placing the cantilver along the alignment guide and next to the proper overhang distance. No different than any other setup tool in that the final accuracy will be up to the user.
Our instruction book also points out another fact that the writer missed: the flip-over target plate of the alignment gauge DOES place about 1.25 grams of load force on the stylus, thereby placing the cartridge in it's dynamic operating position. That feature is part of our patent on this device, by the way.
The next correspondent, Dougdeacon, is similarly misinformed about this and concludes that alignment can only be made reliable when VTF, VTA and azimuth are all set together. The stylus tip doesn't really know or care about azimuth as far as overhang is concrened. And, as previously noted, our gauge does load the stylus tip so that typical VTF/VTA forces are applied.
Then I would add that one of the features that make this design so attractive, I believe, is that all this can be done with the removable armwand of our 2.2 (and also with the higher-performance Phantom)safely and conveniently off the turntable.
None of this is to reflect (no pun intended, but it's there, if you are familiar with the Wally protractor) on the excellent Wally tools; they certainly are among the best I can think of. But I did want to stop any misconcptions about the design or use of our own product in this regard.
While these sites are a lot of fun, and often provide a useful dialogue, I would suggest that one might also keep a wary eye on some of the threads, as sometimes a misunderstanding, once initiated and continued, can become "fact" in the eyes of other readers. It's like telling the jury to disregard an inappropriate statement made by a witness; how can they really forget it?
By the way, we are updating our alignment gauge to have an adjustable height feature, the better to accommodate really tall cartridges as well as the more typical short ones.
Happy spring to all!... Bob Graham
Hello Bob, long time no talk to.
"...Graham estimates that distance and is frequently off by several thousandth's of an inch".... This is wrong, as the cross-hair intersection is exactly to the right specification, and engraved with a laser to prevent any possibility is template misalignment.
Unless I missed something, or the set up tools have changed, a unipivot design allows for several thousands of an inch variation in the measurement between spindle and tone arm pivot, regardless of how accurate the laser engraves the target.
Our instruction book also points out another fact that the writer missed: the flip-over target plate of the alignment gauge DOES place about 1.25 grams of load force on the stylus, thereby placing the cartridge in it's dynamic operating position.
Perhaps my own failing, but I was never able to hold the cartridge, depress the plastic gauge against the diamond to an extent to feel comfortable with the alignment. Add to that, the user has no way of knowing how much stylus force is being exerted with one's fingers, assuming you could hit the 1.25 grams and if that were the correct force needed (which for my cartridge is WAY off).
Like all set up systems, there are limitations. I have an easier time with the Graham system than the Wally and easier with the (discontinued) Cart Align than the Graham.
Discussions here at Audiogon are partly for our own amusement and to exchange ideas and technics.
You know I respect your arm as I have defended it in countless threads here at Audiogon. My own methods for set up are personal and like many choices in one's system are based on trial and error.
Hello Albert - yes, it's been quite a while, indeed. Nice to hear from you and allow me to answer your newest questions a bit: On your first point, which suggests that a typical unipivot can have play accumulating to perhaps several thousanths of an inch, I would first state I cannot speak for other unipivot designs; however, on ours, the pivot point is firmly, and I mean FIRMLY, anchored by gravity and the very fine, matched pivot and cup surfaces of our Swiss-made bearing set (made to our own specifications and not available elsewhere). Any such variation in setup would also be present during play, and that's completley unacceptable.
Of course, one can yank on the arm during alignment and move it, but on a proper turntable installation, with the armbase cutout at the right angle, there will be no internal interference and, thus, no fore-aft movement of the pivot during alignment. This bearing (and especially in the new Phantom which has an even improved bearing design over the 2.2) it will just stay as centered as a fixed-bearing arm. No, don't worry about that one.
On the second point, the downward force of the stylus gauge is automataic; you do not need to push down during use, nor should one try to. Admittedly, this downward force is "average" and some cartridges may benefit from a little more or less force; still, I believe this method results in more EASILY obtainable accuracy than typical protractors due to the fact that you're aligning the cantilever directly, rather than the cartridge body. Of course, Wally's gauge also works with the cantilever, and very well, too, but we like to think our "off turntable" system allows for a bit more safety and freedom from eyestrain than the on-turntable protractor approach
And I agree the forum is a fun place, as I said. But as I also said, one must watch our for well-intentioned, but neverthless inaccurate theories to be started about things, lest others take it as gospel...
I also agree that audio is such a personal thing, and perhaps analogue is the most personal of all, what with the various combinatins of products, each proporting to have solved everyone else's design problems...! I believe strongly in what I have designed and explained on my website. In the end, it's all about enjoyment and music; and so in that we're all heading in the same direction ...!
Dear Sirspeedy: I never owned or work with the Wally tool and I don't have the 2.2.
I own the DB, Dennesen, ADC and Cart Alig protractors. Usually I work with the DB one for set the overhang and with the Cart Aling for cartridge orientaion ( lateral angle of the cartridge in relation to the tonearm tube ).
The DB and ADC tools are of the two null points design and are far better than the one point Dennesen and Cart Align ( I'm a little surprised that Albert use this one point tool over other two points ).
I'm very satisfied with those tools, I never had any problems about cartridge set up in any of my several differents tonearms/cartridges combinations. My Audiocraft AC 3300 is in some ways similar to the 2.2 and is extremly easy to do the set up with the DB pprotractor.
I know that the cartridge set up on overhang, Azymuth, etc etc, are critical but as a fact if the overhang or the distance between the center spindle and the pivot center of the onearm are out, say by 0.1mm it does not make a sound reproduction difference against and error of 0.2mm or 0.0mm, so don't be nuts about.
Dear friends, please don't try to complicate something that is relative easy. Don't try to do here the same like the SRA for each record/track.
When you are nuts about overhang and SRA and are " figthing " with it I really don't know when you will find the time for listen to the music !!!!!
Regards and enjoy the music.
That was a very interesting info to read and I agree with Bob. A few days ago my audiophile Friend and we met us to compare a Kuzma Airline with the Graham Phantom, both were fitted with same cartridges ( UNIverse ), connected with identical Phono Stages ( Klyne 7 ) and to make a long story short, these 2 Arms are the best I ever listened to and the alignment system from Graham works very well.
Many thanks for contributing to our little chat. You wrote:
Our instruction book also points out another fact that the writer missed: the flip-over target plate of the alignment gauge DOES place about 1.25 grams of load force on the stylus, thereby placing the cartridge in it's dynamic operating position.and...
...our gauge does load the stylus tip so that typical VTF/VTA forces are applied.For this to be true, wouldn't the cartridge have to be the same height as the one you designed the tool around?
Any variation in cartridge height would render the flip-over target plate less accurate as a VTF/VTA emulator. More significantly, since a different height cartridge changes the angle of the (unpressured) target plate, it also shifts the alignment points forward or aft from your intended location.
Your alignment tool is wonderfully ergonomic and ingeniously designed. Some of the rabidly particular (including myself) just prefer aligning under actual conditions. One of those YMMV situations I suppose.
Raul,thanks for the info.All other contributors,as well.Though I do have some additional tools,I've decided against using them as I feel confident in my Graham stuff.I have heard quite a few other set-ups,and am confident in my set-up skills(with my own stuff),as well as being much more than simply satisfied with the sound I'm able to get from my rig.I guess that's what it's all about,at least to me!My cartridge sits perfectly in the Graham jig,so will leave well enough alone.I really don't want to get too nuts,and I will recommend the same to my friend,who wanted me to initiate this thread.I'm happy that Bob has brought some of the questions "down to earth",and he clearly has the clout to extinguish the "fires" that some have inadvertantly set,over the last year!---Hooray!!
Thanks to all!
Just a quick note to Dougdeacon: yes, to be very specific, the target plate will exert the 1.25-1.5 gram downward force when it's level, and slightly less when it's not level. But the difference is really quite slight and even this "error" is less, I maintain, than the usual eye-ball results from typical paper protractors. This is especially true of those which depend on the sides of the cartridge body or tonearm wand for horizontal positioning (a very hit-and-miss chance of getting it really right).. The Wally is the best I've seen in on-turntable alignment systems. We maintain that the off-turntable system has it's own advantages - not to mention the safety - in cartridge installation/setup.
But, being a perfectionist, even this one detail of downward force exerted by the target plate will be addressed by our upcoming alignment fixture which will have an adjustable-height setting.
As Sirspeedy points out, it's necessary to get it right, but it's also good to know when not to be overly concrened and just enjoy the results of your (and our!) best efforts.
And speaking of Best Effort, thanks to all of you, by the way, who have bought the Phantom, even having previously owned the 2.2. Your notes to me have agreed with our own findings in the improvements noted in this latest design. OK, end of commercial and thanks again - tell your friends, too!
BTW Bob,You were right when I called you two months ago,regarding the IC-70 vs some high priced spreads.
I had asked you if you felt the IC-70 could be improved upon.Obviously you defended,emphatically,the IC-70,and stated that the other choices would be different,but not necessarily better.
Well,I have to give you some credit!My pal,who has the 2.2/Temper-v/Sota Cosmos/IC-70 decided it was time to spend money,which he does alot.He went for a competing,very expensive cable(more than twice the list of the IC-70),that is very well known and extremely highly regarded.There were three very experienced audiophile/MUSIC LOVERS at the installation.We have followed up the "comparison" enough times now,and the IC-70 is the clear winner.More open,dynamic,and better tonal textures.It is the tonality which appeals most,to me,as some well reviewed stuff really skews this.This business of pure silver being a weakness,in arm cables,now leaves me scratching my head.It is a misconception,and the overall system balance surely has to impact such choices.No?
BTW,I got the hint!!The Phantom surely must be superb.Though I'm going into LP playing/listening to my wonderful music collection mode,for the forseeable future.Thank God!But I'll keep an eye out for your upcoming table.Should be interesting.
Just putting in a little computer time on Saturday, and saw the latest notes from Dougdeacon and Sirspeedily (!)... Thanks to all for your notes and for your approval of our work; like any other endeavor, there's always room for improvement, and I take constructive feedback very seriously. I hope customers and listeners see that the products we come out with show this result, and I believe they do.
The cable-biz is something that can be very personal and system-dependent; however, I do believe that neutrality and freedom from inticing artificats are the way to go, not to add warmth or boom that's not really there. Same for my tonearm designs; no artificial thrills, please - only the smoothest, most natural sound we can evoke. In any case, I'm glad the IC-70 acquited itself as it did in your tests!
There are many fine turntables now on the market, and I've owned and enjoyed quite a few in my development of the various tonearms through the years. But it also seems apparent that there is a tendency to go for "same-brand" systems sometimes, and even though I think this is not necessary from an absolute standpoint (again, having enjoyed the Phantom -- and the earlier arms - on various turntables of different brands) I can see the handwriting on the wall. Time will tell what we come up with for a finished product(s), but some of the concepts are exciting, anyway... As they say, stay tuned - later on - for futher details......
Has anyone used the Feickert setup tool?
I have a Basis 2800 with a Vector Mk3. I have used the gauge Basis supplies with the Vector to setup my Benz Ruby. I like the mirrored surface of the gauge but it requires that you line up the arm with its outline scribed into the gauge which is hard to do.
I own a Wally Tracker Mirror for my Morch UP-4 Arm made for my VPI Table and I like using it But sparingly.When I do finally get it out I must clear my kithcen table,put the VPI on that, attach my big drafting table lamp with high magnification to the kithcen table,now put on a triple magnification jewlers hat and then line up point zero and one over and over again
until the sweat beads start dripping from my bald head.But thats the fun of Analog you say,and yes my ears do reward me after completing this 2 hour task.
I use to own the Mobile Fidelity black plastic alignment platter.So Easy So Fast,But to easy to screw things up.
One last point to make.Whenever I play those big thick 200 gram LP's from Classic Records I need to start the whole process all over again,But I've given up for now .I haven't used the Wally Tracker in atleast 1 year,and all I really want to do now is just spin LP's like Raul does.
I have to jump in here despite the fact that I know what will probably transpire. My experiences are based on my own "karma" which is notoriusly plagued with, "Wow, I never saw that before", comments from others.
I have both the Graham and Wally protractors. I have yet to use my Wally tool (TT set-up burn out) so I cannot say for sure if it is better/easier. But what I can say is why I bought it in the first place. I'm sure to hear from Bob on this but I can only say what I found. I was all for the Graham tool and used it often. But I found a couple things that I did not like. The first was the fact that it was important to put support at the rear of the tonearm when it was in the protractor. If the arm was not secure and level the settings were different. I used a small level atop the armwand to get it level. The manual made no mention of this as far as I remember. Also, I had the chance to use three separate protractor units at the same time and they were never the same. Two were close but one was clearly different, the lines were slightly skewed. I ended up keeping the unit that seemed the best. I was very shocked and disappointed that I found such differences between the protractors. I was really tempted at the time to send it back and ask why this one was so different.
Also, my manual clearly states "The rotating clear plastic alignment target plate rests on the stylus tip, exerting a force of about 2.0 grams, thereby placing the cantilever in its dynamic, opertaing position." Bob, when did this change to 1.25 g.?
i am really glad you are working on what is my only personal
weakness found using your otherwise excellent alignment jig
to be able to adjust the heigt on the flip plate would finally allow me to evaluate the cartridge mans isolator in
conjunction with my koetsu [a tall order literally].
as for alignment on the 2.2 i set up my friends one using the jig in a very short time and that included redrilling
the topplate and mounting the arm.
i dont think my friend expected the leap in performance the
2.2 offered over his zeta
but his face said it all GOBSMACKED!
On another note bob
thank you for the work you did on the broken 1.5
[you remember the one in the grey plastic box]
the above comments are based on the upgraded arm that you returned.
bob you are a true gentleman and a scholar
keep up the good work