My new cartridge sounds like a broken record


Hey everyone,

Some quick background - I have an Acoustic Signature Wow XL turntable with their TA-700 tonearm.  I've been trying out cartridges in the $200-$500 range with it:  Shelter 201, Sumiko Moonstone, and most recently a Goldring 2100.  I love the Goldring, and I'd happily settle on it as my long term cartridge if it weren't for one problem.  The cartridge skips frequently and repeats the same passage over and over.  

The effective mass of the tonearm is 10.2 gr, and the Goldring is right in the sweet spot in terms of resonance (according to the chart on vinylengine.com.  The cart weighs 7.4 grams with a dynamic compliance of 16 @ 10hz.  Before this, I was using the Hana EL, which is a bit lighter but with similar compliance (5 gr., dynamic compliance 17 @ 10 hz).  The Shelter weighs 6.2 gr. (no compliance stated) and the Moonstone weighs 6.5 gr. with a dynamic compliance of 12 (but this is at 100 hz), so it's probably closer to 18-24.

None of the other cartridges skip, except on the scratches that I'm already aware of on a few of my albums.  The Goldring skips on about 50% of records, even brand new ones, pristine and recently-cleaned discs, etc.  When it doesn't skip it sounds fantastic.  So it seems to be aligned well.  I tried raising the tracking force to about 10% over the max recommended, but that made no difference.  Just to be sure there wasn't something amiss with the tonearm I reinstalled the other cartridges, and they played fine.    

Was hoping someone might have an idea of what is causing this.  Do I have some kind of mismatch that I'm not aware of?  Any other similar experiences out there?  I appreciate any thought you might have.  

Thanks,Scott
smrex13
Well, unfortunately, my turntable motor died, so cartridge issues are all moot at this point...
So, very interesting finding with the Goldring on a different turntable (the power supply on my Acoustic Signature turntable failed so I have to send it in for repairs).

This morning I dug out my old VPI Traveler turntable from storage and set it up.  Out of curiosity I installed the Goldring 2100.  And it works perfectly!  It sails through tough passages and powers right through scratches with no skipping.  It sounds fantastic.  I have it set at the same tracking force -1.75 - that I had on the other table (using the same digital scale to measure it).  I guess there was some type of compliance mismatch or other issue with the combination of the Goldring and the TA-700 tonearm.  At least I didn't go through the trouble of trying to return the Goldring only to find out that the replacement wouldn't work on the AS table.  I appreciate all the help and great insight you all gave me.

And the little Traveler with the Goldring is a damn fine combo! 

Thanks again, Scott
In terms of performance, the weight of tome arm cartridge etc, etc mean nothing. The only thing that maters is the recommended tracking weight, tone arm alignment, VTA and and tracking force. If it is skipping or mis-behaving, there is something wrong in one of these three things; otherwise is a damaged stylus. Double check and make sure that when set at zero G. that the arm floats level. If it does not, turn the weight adj. right or left until it does, recalibrate to zero and re-set weight and tracking force. I know it sounds stupid, but is a common and sometimes costly mistake in set up......Jim