Need help with Ortofon stylus force gauge

I've spent the day assembling a Teres 265, Illustrious arm and Shelter 901 for a friend. Included in the package is an Ortofon stylus force gauge which reads in mN. The only clue I have about this piece is that 10 mN = 1 gram. I would like to set it at 1.8 grams for starters since the range for this cartridge is 1.4 - 2.0 grams. Does 18 mN equal 1.8 grams? Also, this is a lever type scale with a groove along the scaled end. Do I place the stylus where this 18 mN would be and adjust the counterweight so that the balance itself is level like two equal weights on a teeter totter? I hope I've made this clear. I'm hoping for some input from someone that has experience with the particular gauge. Thanks.

I got one of those neat little Ortofon scales when I bought my cartridge. Lovely design. One problem: I don't think they work or, at least, I could not get mine to work properly as there appears to be too much friction. I would recommend the same solution I opted for: buy a Shure gauge. I got mine from Audio Advisor and it was the best price I found and was delivered promptly and well packed. Regards. Patrick.
Patrick - This information is from the manual that came with my Naim Aro Tonearm, which included a stylus scale in mN:

15 mN = 1.3 grams
17 mN = 1.5 grams
19 mN = 1.7 grams
20 mN = 1.8 grams
22 mN = 2.0 grams
24 mN = 2.2 grams

Hope this helps.

Yes,you seem to have grasped the gist of it.I have an Ortofon gauge and I use it to approximate the weight.It only has 1.5-2.0g given on the scale.So you set it close to 2.0g i.e where you think 1.8g should be.Then you iterate around this area until your ears tell you,you got it right,along with everything else.Take the arm off the gauge to adjust and it is right when level with stylus in the groove. You have to set your bias,vta conjunction with stylus weight.There are more accurate gauges available. stefanl
Thanks guys. I experimented with it on my Linn and it matched so it's close enough for now. I simply can't wait to listen to this table. I'm going to get spoiled fast.
It's almost useless, as Pbb says, but not quite. Stefanl's right, you can get close with the Ortofon and then set by ear. The Ortofon will just help you make sure you're within the 1.4-2.0 range but that's about all.

If the 901's new it needs 40 hours or so to break in before it really opens up and plays. Tell your friend to be patient, it's worth it.

Going off to listen to mine now before a week away. I'll miss it. Sniff...
The Ortofon gauge shipped with my Illustrious I consider a novelty item. :-) It is cute, but not too accurate by my estimation. My Shure was with 0.05 gr when compared with my friend's Winds gauge, but the Ortofon weighed 0.2 gr heavier than the Shure. Oy.

Lugnut, how is your friend liking his/her Illustrious?
Lugnut-I almost bought the Ortofon gauge.Oracle offers one exactly like the Ortofon but with Oracle written on it.I have read from a good source these gauges are at least 30% off.I bought a Shure for a few bucks more and its very easy to use.If you want to borrow my Shure drop me a line.
Thanks for all the support. 4yanx, all of this stuff is new so my friend really doesn't know what to think of the Illustrious and neither do I. It came without the correct amount of fluid in the lift and cueing by hand isn't something I really want to do with such expensive bits and pieces. I doubt I can pick up any silicone locally and have never done that proceedure before. Anyone wishing to chime in with instructions would be my hero. The Origin Live instructions refer to diagrams that don't exist and don't cover such things at all. I'm not impressed with the installation manual. I do believe Shelter should be applauded for making the cartridge mountable with the stylus gaurd in place. Plus, the gaurd is of a very funtional design.

The Teres table is a jewel but the armboard proved to be a problem. It was drilled for an arm without a VTA adustment so I had to carefully die grind clearance for the Illustrious. Also, the armboard on this table is the same thickness along its length and with the VTA in place the bigger, bottom hole was not deep enough to allow fitting the nut. I bought a Forstner bit and made the hole 1/4" deeper. No big deal if this would have been my table but since it belongs to someone else I was sweating bullets. It looks factory and now allows the nut to be secured. I left that mammoth washer off. Do the rest of you guys use it? I could drill a little deeper if you think its necessary. In all honesty I think the armboard should have been stepped, thickness wise so that the nut is more accessable with the fingers. From what I've read in previous posts regarding the armboard this continuous thickness along its length is a new feature. It does make for killer good looks but isn't quite as functional as I'd like.

I'll be living with this table for a couple of months and have serious concerns about my happiness once its at its new home. Here's what I think will happen and I'm sure you guys will see how this is going to affect me. Linn claims that a 501 will work fine through my preamp. With the additional output of the 901, then it should work well. I don't think so. I predict that my friend will need to place his new tube preamp with the killer phono stage into the system too. So, the short term upgrade will probably be so big that I'll be destroyed. Maybe this whole thing will motivate me to get a new cartridge and preamp but I try to be pragmatic about these things and would have waited at least til the time my current cartridge gave up the ghost.

If anyone that has this same arm/cartridge combination would be nice enough to give me a ball park measurement for the "ball and chain" anti-skate it would save me time and sweat.

David99, I think I will take you up on your offer. I'll drop you a line when I think everything else is working as it should.
I should have acknowledged the help I received from Twl before I even began the set up. Thanks Tom! Also, the Teres will be going into a new, Rives designed dedicated listening room. Associated equipment along with the turntable are Merlins with bam and a pair of Berning 270's. I can't remember the new preamp but it's one of a few that anyone would consider at this level of performance.

How the owner of this table and I met is a humorous story. A stereo store/installer had gone bankrupt and I attended an auction of the inventory. Thinking that I might connect with other vinyl lovers in the area I made a name tag that said "vinyl junkie". The two of us were looking at some amp stands and as he viewed my name tag I introduced myself by my first name. He immediately replied, "lugnut"? Obviously he had read a few of my posts.
Yahoo! We have a turntable. My Linn preamp does pretty darn good with a cartridge with as low an output as the 901. I only listened to one cut and just had to come in here and post to this thread. My guess is that what I'm hearing most is the cartridge upgrade. Yeah, I know, I know, just wait til it breaks in but in all honesty the increased detail is pretty stunning and I have yet to actually tweak this thing by ear. I sure wish I had a functioning cueing device. I'll be writing a review of this set up when it's broken in. Please post any thoughts you might have so I can get as much out of this as quickly as possible. Thanks again.

Warning! Patrick Lugnut! Warning! Unplug that thing and put it in the garage, now! Otherwise you'll be hooked. Oops, too late. Welcome to the Teres/OL/Shelter club. Even if you're only here on a visitor's visa I predict you'll get your citizenship soon enough. And your friend's got Merlin's and two ZH270's? WooHoo!

Twl and I have both complained to Mark Baker about his documentation. A fifth grader could probably write it better.

Are you sure your cueing problem is due to insufficient liquid? On my Silver I had to raise the horizontal arm support a mm or two. There's a small allen screw on the face of the arm support and my arm came with a wrench to fit. Do it gently, the threads are pretty tiny.

You're right about the armboard hole. CB needs to drill 25mm holes for Rega type arms, not 24mm. Twl and I had the same problem your did.

I've got the same, single thickness board as your friend, and agree a stepped thickness board would be much easier to use. Maybe I'll modify mine like you did, should make it easier to loosen the nut for VTA adjustment. I didn't use the big washer or the toothed one. No need for it that I could see.

BTW, the Expressimo VTA collar and arm nut are MUCH better than the OL ones IMO/E. Give them a look.


Thanks. I had already raised the cueing device to its maximum height. For the short term fix I cut a piece of cork gasket material cut to match the arch and adhered it with double sided tape. Few would recogize that this isn't stock. It looks and works very good.

I really like this table for a number of reasons and the cartridge is coming along quickly. I'm certain that I will miss it when taken out of my system but I've got to say that my trusty LP12 is NO SLOUCH. This whole experience has proven to my satisfaction that a properly tweaked Linn is THE best buy on the used market.

So, here's where I'll be ruined. The tables owner is bringing over his preamp. It's tube (and forgive me for not remembering what make it is) and has on the fly loading and gain. My Linn preamp has a fixed 150 Ohm loading and probably around 65 total db of gain. I'm thinking that whith the additional gain and 100 Ohm loading several improvements with the cartridge will happen. That may be a big enough improvement to be a jaw dropper on its own. I'm also aware that with such a nice tube preamp much more detail and realism will come through. I really don't care to enter the debate about whether tubes are technically less acurate or whatever. It's been my experience that quality tube components offer detail and depth that ss can't provide. If true in my system I will be ruined by the totality of this temporary insertion.

I've gained much more respect for my humble system through this experience. Every change is clearly heard. I now understand more fully the descriptions I read about reference systems and what one hears with a new piece. Linn has been trashed pretty harshly in these forums so the used prices are a steal. That aside, each change is clearly audible and equal in effect to what I read about upper end systems.

I like the VTA adjuster on the Illustrious just fine. My only complaint is finger access to the nut. If this were my table I would buy a cheap deep well socket and cut off the ratchet end and then remove enough side wall material to allow fitting it on the nut past the cables.

I've listened to a number of tables that are preferred above the LP12 in these forums and usually left uninvolved with the music. One thing for certain is the Teres has PRAT, big time. I found myself bebopping like crazy. Both legs keeping time with the music, head swaying and my hands drumming on my thighs. THAT is when a component just reaches into my soul and puts me THERE. It's not clinical, it's alive!

Nice table.

Very resourceful with the cork and tape fix. We'd expect no less from an experienced Linnie. I've seen the bashing but I've never seen a Linn, so I'll take your word that a used one well adjusted can be a good source at a good price.

65dB total gain (phono + line) is not enough to show all that a Shelter 901 can do, 75-85dB should be better. 150 ohms is a little high, 100 is probably best unless his pre includes a tranny stage. In that case you may want to experiment with loads as low as 20 ohms.

I switched from a SS pre to tubes 12 years ago, having heard just what you described. We have no desire to go back. Prepare to be ruined. :)
Well guys, I've been living with this table for two weeks and just this Wednesday I inserted a Supratek Syrah tube preamp into the mix. Wow! It's all very nice. The sad part is the preamp will be here only through this Sunday. So, the next three days will be a listening marathon. It's pretty cool to not only hear individual notes from every instrument but to also hear the sound of a guitar pick, distinct notes from a harmonica chord, etc. Not that I haven't heard this phenomenon before. It's just that it is all the time now. Whenever a great sax player does his stuff it's like I'm sitting next to the reed. I'm very happy for the owner of this gear and so glad that I've had the opportunity to be a part of it. Look for my review as soon as the cartridge and wires are fully broken in.