The fozgometer works well and very easy to use
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You'd need a notch filter. Otherwise, background groove noise will swamp the test tone and make the readings highly unreliable. However, IME doing it this way is a waste of time.
I rough in azimuth by eye (make the stylus riding in a the groove appear perfectly vertical), then fine tune by listening. It's easy once you know what to listen for and it trains your ears. Fussing with voltmeters (I've done it) and other gadgets only trains your obsessiveness. :-)
Agree with Doug; do the rough in by eye then listen. I started with a test record to dial it in more precisely then did some critical listening of stuff I know well for the final touch. I've also heard the Fozgometer works well, but I can't see how it would be nearly as much fun. Good luck & happy listening!
I'm not sure I have such a fine tuned ear to get it dialed in and I'm afraid to spend all the money on Wally's shop and then wait a year to get it. The fozgometer might be a good option but I've heard it's not super exact. I might try to listen in, what would I be listening for? Also are there any filters other than Wallys that do the same thing? I'd like to do it mathematically and just be done with it.
Once both SRA and azimuth are dialed in; you'll find dramatic differences in image focus, sound stage, timbre, etc. Dr Feickert's Adjust+ program removes all the guesswork, and adds precision, with regards to crosstalk, freq response and THD measurements. Expensive, but- worth every penny! Also includes tests for table speed, wow/flutter, arm/cart resonant freq, etc. (http://www.adjustplus.de/?lang=en) (http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=90721.0)
I'm not sure I have such a fine tuned ear to get it dialed in...Few people do, until they understand what to listen for. It's not like anyone's born knowing what accurate stylus azimuth sounds like. ;-)
It's actually not a matter of tuning our ears. We each hear what we hear and there's little anyone can do to change it (other than a good cleaning, lol).
What needs training is our brains, our capacity to consciously observe what our senses detect. Holmes and Watson had both trod the steps up to their flat hundreds of times. Yet when the detective asked the doctor exactly how many steps there were, the doctor was unable to say. He'd never paid attention. Holmes of course, had. (There were 18 by the way... those high Victorian ceilings.)
The Wally Shop and Fozgometer work by measuring crosstalk. You then tweak azimuth until crosstalk is equalized between channels and/or minimized (hopefully both, but that is stylus and cartridge dependent).
So, I asked myself, what would minimal or zero crosstalk sound like. Clearly, zero crosstalk would result in R channel information coming *only* from the R speaker and L channel information coming *only* from the L speaker. This would produce the tightest, most precise stereo imaging.
Conversely, excessive crosstalk would spread information across both speakers that was intended to be in one speaker only. How would this sound? Sonic images that should be precise and directional would sound fat, spread wider across the horizontal azis than is natural and difficult to localize.
What kind of sounds would make this most audible? Clearly, the sounds our ears most rely on for directional cues. What are these? Higher frequency sounds, which are more easily pinpointed due to their shorter wavelengths. The shorter the wavelength, the greater the difference (in number of waves) between the timing of the sound's arrival at our two ears. This is how our brain determines the direction of a sound. This is also why the directionality of low frequency sounds is harder to determine, since a long wavelength will reach both ears at almost the same point in the wave.
So, what kind of music should we use for checking azimuth? From the above it's obvious. Choose records with well recorded passages for natural solo instruments or voices in the upper registers. A flute or piccolo, not a contra-bassoon. Ella or Callas, not Robeson or Pavoratti.
Nothing electric or amplified. No one knows how wide a recorded electric guitar should sound. It depends entirely on the speaker setup it was playing out of.
Tweak azimuth in tiny amounts (the smallest adjustment your tonearm allows) until sonic images are as tight as possible from left to right. A flute should sound 1" wide, not three feet. Etc.
Hope this helps. I owned a Wally Analog Shop and it works, but I'd be reluctant to order one now; both for the reason you stated and because, having tried, I trained myself to listen for and adjust azimuth much faster and just as accurately without it.
P.S. As Rodman99999 stated, azimuth also affects timbre. Signals that come from one source (speaker) only will be phase coherent (assuming decent speakers). If the signal bleeds into the other channel due to crosstalk from incorrect azimuth, the same sound coming from two sources (speakers) is highly likely to be phase incoherent... ie, muddy sounding.
This is easy to hear but perhaps more difficult to use as the basis for adjusting azimuth, at least IME.
What's important is that you know how big the sound source *should* appear to your ears.
A solo violin or clarinet is good, unless it's multi-miked or miked so close (think Heifetz) that it's unavoidably larger than life. A solo mezzo or soprano recorded in a live space (not a booth) also works well. Higher pitched piano notes work too, if the system has enough resolution to portray all the different sounds that make up a piano note.
The most challenging things I own with these types of sounds are Harmonia Mundi LPs of solo counter-tenor accompanied by alto recorder, recorded on two mikes in a vast, echo-ey stone space. A proliferation of similarly pitched tones, differing only slightly in timbre, is followed and surrounded by multiple echoes. All these similar waveforms want to interfere with each other, which makes a torture test few systems can handle. Most collapse into fingernails-on-slate screechiness. If a system is up to playing these LPs clearly (I've only heard 2 or 3 that can), they're a superbly revealing test of azimuth (and most other parameters).