Need help - Set up Helikon using test LP


Over the weekend, I was setting up my Helikon on a Vpi JMW 10.5 arm using the Hifi News test LP and I ran into some problems. The table was a Vpi Aries.

There are four tracks (6 to 9) on the test LP to help setting up the anti-skate. They are 300Hz pure tones. Each track is a few db louder than the one before.

I played the lowest level track (track 6) and it was fine. The 300Hz tone was beautifully reproduced on both channels with equal loudness.

I than played the next louder track (track 7). The right channel immediately buzzed, indicating the need for anti-skate adjustments. I tried twisting the arm leads both clockwise and counterclockwise, one turn at a time, up to 3 turns; but the right channel buzz still persisted.

I also played the track 8, which is a few db louder than track 7. This time the right channel buzzed loudly for a couple of seconds and it jumped track.

The Aries has been perfectly leveled. I checked it with a bubble level and a 10” carpenter level.

The tracking force was set at between 1.75g and 1.80g; it is difficult to be exact due to the limited resolution of the Shure gauge. But in any case, it is at the maximum recommended value so I doubt that was the cause.

The arm was running dry, no damping oil added.

Has anyone tried this? Any help/comments will be greatly appreciated.
sidssp
I just set up a TNT Mk.V and JMW 12.5 using a van den hul Black Beauty this weekend. I used the same test record and tracks to adjust anti-skate. I had no buzzing at all until the fourth and last anti-skate track. The VDH BB actually did slightly better in the TNT/JMW combo that it did in my LP12/Ekos combo. So, I think the arm is a good tracker.

Leveling the set-up is VERY important, but it sounds as if you are OK on that score. The only thing I can think of is to make certain the arm is resting freely and properly on the pointed bearing. I actually set it wrong once. Other than that, if it is aligned properly in the healshell, I can't think of anything other than a problem with the cartridge. Good luck.
Keep in mind that Harry W. doesn't believe in anti-skating and the cable twisting technique is only a remedy so it wasn't done by design when he conceive the arm. I had 2 years of experience dealing with Helikon/TNT5/JMW 12 that was exactly identiacal with yours. At one time, I twisted the cable so much that the azimuth was visually off and I still couldn't get rid of the unbalanced buzz. I tried just giving up and just listen to the music. However, I felt so uncomfortable just thinking about my less-than-perfect anti-skating tweak. Every time I heard something that I believed that didn't belong to the vinyl I just got up and tweak it for 30 minutes until I had the urge to break the damn arm.

I now live in peace with my Basis Debut and Graham 2.2. Although I still couldn't get rid off that unbalanced buzz completely, at least I have a knob to play with rather than that flimsy wire.

When you can't adjust the anti-skate with a particular arm, then you shouldn't be surprised when it has anti-skating problems. You might as well just get a different arm right away, because now you're going to have the same psychological reaction as the guy above. The arm is always going to be suspected, every time something doesn't sound right. It will drive you nuts.
How does the Helikon sound despite your problem?