New Cartridge = right channel distortion

just got a new cartridge and a lot of troubles...
My setup is: Clearaudio Emotion + Satisfy tonearm + Aurum Beta Wood. All of this goes throught a Marantz PM4001 and out of a pair of Indiana Line HC 205.

Problem is, the cartridge I received looks like this:

I inquired Clearaudio describing the issue, and they replied that the most important thing is the results of their test. So apparentely if this cart left the factory it means it was ok.

My experience is different though.

Whenever I play a record, more or less used or brand new, I can hear more distortion in the right channel, starting from about the last third of the record. Sometimes I can hear it ONLY in the right channel.
I tried with the Hi-FI News test record: it's a second hand one so I don't take it too much seriously, but it confirmed that behavior.
Side 2 has three bands for antiskating, at the beginnig, middle and end of the disc. All three tests are passed (last track has a pathological distortion in right channel due to damaged record).
Side 1 has a lateral modulation test for determoination of tracking pressure in conjunction with antiskating: three bands at 300 Hz +11, +14, +18 dB. The +18 dB track, I quote, is for "high fidelity components of the most advanced design and performance" (which I think a 400 EUR worth cartridge is). It goes smoothly through the first 2 bands, and fail miserabily in the third. But it fails, again, only in the right channel which is heavily distorted (buzzy), while the left is perfect. This test is conducted in the first third of the record.

I checked all the followings:
- turntable is on level
- tonearm is parallel to the record
- cartridge body is parallel to the record (of course stylus isn't, we'll see this later)
- tracking force is the one reccomended (2.0 grams)
-antiskating was first set on a blank record by setting it to the max and then increase the tracking weight until the arm stands still in every point. The result is: max antiskating and 2.0 grams traking force (exactely the manufacture reccomandations)
- Alignment was provided by both Clearaudio's hugely expensive alignment tool, and turntable bundled paper alignment gauge.

If I change any of the parameters, the distortion remains there. I even tried to rotate the tonearm to the outer edge, so that towards the spindle the antiskating would be much higher, but I had no luck at all.

The only slight difference is heard when I rotate the cartridge body counterclockwise, so to compensate the stylus rotation. Havent tested much (would you?) but seems like there's more distortion than before on the left; still it's present in the right.

Lst thing: channel balance is biased towards the... you guess it... right. about 1.5 - 2 dB (manufacturer's specification is minus or equal 1.5 dB)

I'm gonna ask for a replacement, but I wanted to know if I should check something else? Someone had experiences with this arm+cartridge?

Every comment is welcomed. Thank you all.
Replacement is the way to go, as investing anymore time would be silly. Hopefully your dealer will cooperate as my experience with Clearaudio leaves much to be desired. So much so that I would never buy a ClearAudio product again and tell that to all my friends.
I believe that your anti skating is set incorrectly. That is it is too high. If the traking force is 2.0 grams for your cartriage your anti skating will be around 0.25-0.4 grams or less. The blank disk method is not the best way to set the skating force. As you lower the stylus onto the disk watch which way the stylus moves when is placed on the record. Use this as a guide to begin with. Now listen for image placement and locations of information within the sound stage and adjust the antiskating up or down until you get the best image placement.
Agree with Etbaby, blank record is NOT the way to set anti-skate. Suggest you remove all anti-skate force and then listen again with zero anti-skate. Add a tiny amount of anti-skate relative to VTF, if you hear problems in R channel and until any such distortions go away.
Thank you for the replies. Unfortunately, was the antiskate too high I'd be a happy man, but it isn't, or I'd hear distortion in the left channel, right?
Or maybe it is, but still not the cause of right channel distortion.
If I unscrew the magnet (0 antiskate) it makes no difference. If I load the cart up to maximum tracking force, still no difference.
That's what drove me crazy...

Thank you for posting those pix and I agree with Buconero117. Everything you've tried or could try with this cartridge is a waste of time and discussions of anti-skating (or whatever) are beside the point. The cartridge's cantilever and generator are obviously, visibly and significatly misaligned. No amount of user adjustment will make this cartridge perform as designed.

If this is a new cartridge bought from a Clearaudio authorized dealer, it is unacceptable and should be replaced under the warranty. Do not accept their lame explanation, insist on your right to a defect-free product.

If you bought used or from an unauthorized seller, the phrase 'caveat emptor' would apply, though perhaps only in retrospect. ;-)


P.S. and FWIW: You're correct that excessive anti-skating would cause L channel distortion, while insufficient anti-skating would cause R channel distortion (assuming anti-skating was involved at all, which I doubt in this case).

That said, etbaby and Lewm are correct that using a blank disk to adjust anti-skating (or any other parameter) is only of value if you're going to play blank disks. If your goal is to play music, setup must be optimized with the stylus in a spinning groove playing music (not test tracks). That's the condition you're trying to optimize for, that's the condition to use. Toss the test records in the dumpster (besides, you're mis-interpreting the 4 anti-bias bands at the end of side one, as most everyone does).
Hello Nebelmeer80. I have your problem on my system. I have a Clearaudion Emotion + Clearaudio Stisfy + Clearaudio Aurum Classic and, besides antiskating adjusts, always I have this problem. But all things improved, but dinĀ“t go away, when I turn azimuth counterclockwise.
I think the problem is the tonearm. My Satisfy is about 2006 and Clearaudio changed the antiskatingĀ“s design about 2008/2009. The new Satisfy has three magnets instead of two magnets, like my Satisfy.