Evidently I cannot post pics.
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OK i cannot get these imgur images to post but to your post wlutke, in order to have any movement on the protractor dont you have to remove the long part of the protractor so that it isnt going inside the tonearm any longer? I cant see how the protractor would rotate if you dont do that.
See if you can see those images.
Would you mind saying what are steps 2 and 3, for the benefit of those of us who (1) don't want to do a net search right now, or (2) don't own a Feickert protractor, or (3) do own one (like me) but don't care to go dig it up to figure out what you are talking about when you mention steps 2 and 3.
One caveat: With the Feickert, the markings on the spiral scale are with respect to the pivot to spindle distance (P2S). The stylus tip should rest on the correct P2S mark for your tonearm. It can be confusing. I own the older version of the Feickert, the one in white plastic with the fully circular template. Maybe the later black one that is semi-circular is different.
Agree that the Feickert is a great protractor but the instructions are poor, as per my mention that the markings on the spiral gauges, to be used to set effective length, are in terms of P2S distance. It's easy to keep that in mind, if you do an alignment every day or even once a week. Not so easy if you use it once a year.
When you finished with step-1 with given PS distance (and your cart is alignet accordingly) YOU HAVE TO ROTATE THE PLATTER a little bit to put the needle tip on a target (cross) doing step-2 and step-3. Just read the manual. Without moving the platter you can’t do all steps. I have and use Dr.Feickert protractor.
Last 2 steps are not for overhang, they are for cantilever alignment, it must be in line, you might have to twist your cartridge body doing step-2,3.
What chakster suggests is correct.
I use the Feikert for my Classic. After step 1 you must rotate the platter in order to align the cantilever with the grid in step 2/3.
Incidentally, with the supplied VPI jig, I can't hear a noticeable difference vs. Feikert, though the science behind Baerwald suggests it's "better."
Try all 4(3,if you don't have the jig)and report back. Some owners insist the VPI jig is inferior.
It's a heck of a lot easier to use. Can't hear a difference with the anti skate as well.
I never looked at the Feikert closely but the grids are vague. I know the SmarTractor is something like twice as expensive but it is vastly superior and intuitive. I think most of you would not even have to read the instructions. Each alignment has it's own grid and there is a tiny detent where the stylus goes. The surface is mirrored. Seeing the cantilever from all angles is easy. I did not even have to use the magnifier. If you can see through to afford it, it is most definitely worth it. If you change cartridges frequently there is no better way to go.
Good for you wlutke for figuring it out. It is all about overhang and offset angle.
Seeing the cantilever from all angles is easy. I did not even have to use the magnifier. If you can see through to afford it, it is most definitely worth it. If you change cartridges frequently there is no better way to go.
I don’t like the mirror surface on any protractor, you will see not only reflections of the cartridge and cantilever, but also reflections of the alignment lines on the protractor. I put my VdH mirror protractor to the garbage. The reason to avoid the mirror surface is pretty obvious!
I never looked at the Feikert closely but the grids are vague. I know the SmarTractor is something like twice as expensive but it is vastly superior and intuitive.
Do not comment on something you never tried yourself.
Dr. Feickert NG is great for all my cartridges and tonearms. The build quality is superb! Actually if step-1 is correct then you’re done. If you can see a white lines on black surface you don’t need anything else except for the flashlight (provided with a Feickert protractor).
I don’t use a magnifying glass during the alignment process (never).
I have a glass mirror one, the Feikert one, paper ones, plastic templates, the VPI metal one etc. etc. etc.... In the imperfect world of warpped records, some with off-center holes, and arms that aren't made to spec and so on, in my experience the Feikert tool is the easiest to use and provides the most repeatable results of any. It might not be perfect, but this is vinyl we're talking about. If you want perfect, play yer CDs.
@chakster, never comment on something you have never used yourself.
I have zero problems with the reflective surface of the SmarTractor. I suspect that is because it is perfectly flat. As for the Feikert I have looked at one closely just never bought one because it is vague and I never thought it was worth the money. It is not a fine tool. For decades I used the DB systems protractor. With some modification it is reasonably accurate and inexpensive. The SmarTractor is a fine tool and I have used it. I can not imagine anyone doing it any better.
I have both a Feickert (the original version) and an Acoustic Sounds protractor. (I own the more complex predecessor to the SMARTractor; I'd rather have the latter, but I ain't spending another $600 to acquire it.) Both are fine tools for the job. The AS is probably capable of more precision than the Feickert, but the Feickert takes about half the time to use in set-up. Surely, it is unfair to say the Feickert is "vague", if you then tout the DB Systems. But this is nothing for us to argue about.
@mijistyn SmartTractor is just like Feickert but for crazy price with help for blind people.
I paid no more than £100 for my new Feickert.
I am talking about Dr. Feickert NG (next generation, the latest, not previous versions). Here is a mini review.
The MoFi Geo Disk for $50 is all you need. With this the alignment is achieved with the stylus at the same level as when playing a record. You could achieve the same exact thing by taping the free download onto an LP. To tell the truth, my Origin Live Sovereign turntable and Enterprise arm came with alignment printed on a card stock thick piece of paper. Just for fun after setting alignment with the Geo Disk I checked it with the piece of paper. All exactly the same.
So when people talk crazy price, yeah. Anything more than zero, or $50 for sure, qualifies.
Chakster, AS is even more precise than the Feickert, if you want ultimate accuracy, and if you have the patience to use it as directed. It's a real precision instrument. If you want me to cite the many ways in which it is more precise (if used properly), I could do that at the risk of boring anyone else. Maybe contact me privately. I admit I more often use my original version Feickert, especially when I am just interested in a short term audition of a cartridge. I don't think there are too many blind persons doing cartridge set-up.
I can align any cartridge using the FREE protractor given with the Hi-Fi News Test LP, it does not have a PS distance ruler, but it’s FREE. Or with a template given by the tonearm manufacturer (or even with a nice 52mm overhang gauge given by Technics for their tonearms). I am not crazy about protractors, it’s a very simple tool and when someone asks absolutely insane prices just for a bonus magnifying glass and a piece of plastic I can remember all those years when I aligned carts without any of those expensive devices.
However, I think Dr.Feickert is good for 100 quids for people with many different tonearms and turntables.
I own the MoFi Geo-Disc for more years that I care to remember. It works fine, but it isn't the most accurate device.
The two things I don't like about it is you have to sight align a black ridge to point to the center of the tonearm bearing. Most tonearms this is fine, but with some tonearms it isn't always obvious where the center of the bearing is. The second is that it's a one point alignment. Which means if you're a little bit off in sighting the center of the bearing, your alignment will be off even though you're aligned to the single point on the Geo-disc.
I do use the Geo-Disc to set the initial alignment, but always check it with a two point protractor.