I have a Rega RB300 tonearm and a Grado Master Reference cartridge , currently the VTF is 1.6 grams and the anti-skating is set to zero . When using Cardas records that have blank tracks the tone arm wants to move to the outer edge of the track . This is with the anti-skating is set to zero ! if I set it to anything above it moves outward even faster . The only way I can have the cartridge not move on the blank tracks is to set the VTF to at least 2 grams . Checked tt ( Merrill Heirloom ) level , Checked plater level , the only thing I can think of is the anti-skate magnet is not working as intended ( the tonearm was re-wired ) . Any thoughts or suggestions ? Thanks
Thanks But , I've tried listening at 1.9 grams , the best way to put it is with the added weight the the sparkle is lost , or should I say the high end is gone , dull sounding . Shouldn't the cartridge be moving toward the spindle with zero anti-skating ?
First of all the blank disk trick is hardly the way to set anti-skate. The only value to it here that I can see is its telling you that in spite of being set at zero your arm is in fact giving some anti-skate. How much is the question. But it is not zero.
But you do not want zero anyway. How much you do want varies depending on not just VTF but groove modulation. More highly modulated grooves cause more stylus drag which requires more anti-skate. This is why the blank disk trick is baloney. Don’t take my word for it go track down Mikey Fremer who talks about this, you just have to listen to an hour long video to find the fifteen seconds he spends on this. Or trust me. Or heck even just think about it. Your call.
Now what this means is if your anti-skate is set correctly for music that is going to be too much for a blank and the arm will move outward- exactly like yours is doing. But not by much, which you confirmed by only needing to increase VTF very slightly. So what you have really done is demonstrated that regardless of how the arm is calibrated it is in fact providing just about the right amount of anti-skate. And yeah it would be nice if it was doing this at something like 1.6 instead of zero. That is really all we are talking about here.
The correct way to set VTF is first get it within spec and then fine tune by ear. The last thing you would ever do is run VTF that is both too high by spec and sounds bad by ear just because the VTF marks or whatever on your arm aren’t calibrated accurately.
Keep in mind a lot of people including arm makers question the importance or value of anti-skate at all. I’m not taking sides or anything merely trying to put this in perspective. To contrast anti-skate, which it is at least reasonable to question, with VTF, which for very real reasons of design and function needs to be within the manufacturers specified range. Not to mention the way it sounds when its too high. Which you clearly noticed. When you haven't said anything about hearing anything actually related to anti-skating. Perspective.
Also not saying its not worth trying to figure out why your arm is showing zero when it is in fact giving some amount of anti-skate. All I’m really saying is if everything you’re saying is true then you really don’t need to do a darn thing except go back to where you were only now knowing that doing the blank disc test without first understanding what its all about is more trouble than its worth.
Thank You All I think that maybe that answer is that for some reason the anti-skating is somehow preloaded to 2 grams at the zero setting . Why else would it move away from the spindle with a VTF of 1.6 grams and stay stable at 2 grams .
I thought about the magnet being reversed , when I look at the parts breakdown of the Rega tonearm I don't think it could be , even by mistake .
OK vair68. With anti skate set correctly the arm will always move to the outside on a blank disc because there is twice as much friction in the groove as there is on a blank disc. In the groove the stylus is contacting the groove at 2 points. On a blank disc only one. With a line contact stylus this discrepancy is even worse. The correct way to set anti skating is with a test disc like the Hi Fi News disc which has excellent anti skating tracks. Too much anti skate and you get distortion in the Lt channel to little and you get distortion in the right channel. You adjust it until you get no distortion in either channel. If you can get this increase the tracking force a little. There are other must have tests on the record. Do it right. get the disc!
Today I checked the level of the TT, the level of the sub-chassie , the springs and counter weight , re-adjusted the cartridge offset , re-aligned the cartridge , played with the weight using the Rega VTF vs. just the counter weight ( settled on 1.65 grams ) . The arm still moves outward slowly on a blank track , but right now the sound is fantastic .
I wanted to contact Rega but they refer you to local distributors/dealers , The Sound Organization Rega's U.S. distributor e-mailed me back , I will call them tomorrow and let keep everybody updated .
If the cartridge is new...give it time. If you can adjust rear of the arm higher to give more snap. I wouldn't worry about a/s. Don't adjust a/s with a blank record....never right. If you're happy with the sound just play records
Hi Fi News test record. It is the only way to get it right under most conditions. Yes, the table will sound fine with the anti skate incorrectly set until it comes to a difficult passage. You set the anti skate set so that your cartridge will be able to track at its best and reduce record wear to a minimum. Do not believe the settings on any tonearm. They only get you into the ballpark. Many arms do not even give you a scale use. They expect you to use a test record. It is not about sound. It is about tracking!
I've been in contact with The Sound Organization , Rega Distributor , Tom and I both agree the anti-skating magnet is not working as designe, but neither of us could hypothosize about it having 2 grams of anti-skate at zero setting and then going up from there , so he is going to have the service/support manager call me when they finish their inventory count . I'll update agian after I talk to T S O again , meanwhile I thank all of you for your thoughts, suggestions and questions, they really inspired me to re-check , re-measure and re-test everything on the TT and the TA and my system sounds better than ever.
With all my checking , measuring and testing I discovered that my Shure scale is .15 grams lower in reading than my digital scale or my digital scale is .15 grams higher !
I looked at the track list for the Hi Fi News test record , I will look at finding a used one on E-bay .
If you go over to Vinyl Engine this is discussed extensively in the older Rega threads. It was advised to turn the antiskate past the #3 mark to disenguage it. That is what I ran a RB300 at. I did rewire it with the Incognito kit. It was done correctly. Never a problem. I have had 3 Regas all rewired. Antiskate is most beneficial on the shorter grooves towards the spindle. I would say over halfway into the side. It will never be exact.
The anti-skate adjustment is a sliding magnet that supposedly goes from 0 to 2 , where mine seems to start at 2 and go up . Thus the problem . I believe that bacobits and slaw are refering to the ATF adjustment dial witch is a spring , turning it past 3 grams disengages the spring and VTF is adjusted solely with the balance weight . How do you guys test your settings ?