Skewed cantilever - Opinions?

Just received a new AT ART-9 cartridge. The cantilever is skewed slightly to the right. Did my best taking a couple of photos. So here's the query: Is this an acceptable amount of deviation for a new cart? Just align to the cantilever rather than the cartridge body when setting it up and go for it? Or, send it back to the seller for an exchange/refund? Many Thanks!

I would never accept that....I'd send it back.
I'd like to see it straight on as it is tracking the record. A minor problem can be corrected by the arm adjustment. I would take a straight on picture and send it to whoever you bought it from from their comment.
I would not be happy with that cart.  Who knows if the coils are centered in the magnetic field?
Note:  The cantilever is always the reference for alignment, not the cart body.  

not sure if there might be not precise photos but i see it's bent. 
you may not be able to adjust that one.

Send AT Customer service an email..explain your issue, assuming you bought from an authorized AT seller. They may ask you to send it to them for an inspection, they will either repair it or replace it under warranty. If bought from non-auth dealer they will charge you.

For that level of cart I would not accept it, even if straightens out in groove, the one groove wall will get extra pressure if you don't adjust azimuth
If you're off 1/10 of 1% in the geometry the distortion is 100% higher.
I agree.  With what the ART9 costs, I would send it back.
Also if you have not looked at the stylus, do that. Looking at it head on with a higher power jewelers loupe or magnifying glass. Check to see if it is also skewed along with the cantilever, if so then probably a mfg issue, these carts are hand made so it happens. If the tip is pointing straight down..may not be a problem.
That cartridge is not a keeper. 

I have also received a cartridge from Soundsmith, where the cantilever was a little "skewed" to one side

I contacted them and they explained the this sometimes occurs and that the cantilever was in fact correctly aligned to rest of the internal components, but to ensure correct playback I should align the cartridge to the cantilever and not the cartridge body

The cartridge has a ruby cantilever, so it is next to impossible for that to have been "bent" in transit - since it would simply break!.

I'm thinking Boron would probably do the same?

My cartridge sounds correctly aligned i.e. based on my test record, and everything else I've played, so I am assuming they know of what they speak.

Perhaps this is a similar scenario?


I think my question would be how do you visually align to the cantilever?  It's hard enough to do that using all of the visual aids, grids, mirrors and what have you that the various 'tractors have, assuming that the cantilever is parallel to the sides of the body.  Of course, if you do the final tweaking by ear, then maybe that's not a problem.
swampwalkerI think my question would be how do you visually align to the cantilever?

You need an alignment gauge designed for the task, such as a CartAlign or WallyTractor. These use a mirrored surface with markings that you align to the cantilever's reflection. A magnifier helps. It's really a lot easier than it may sound.

Swampwalkler - with a very powerful Loupe and a MINT Best Tractor.

Using these tools it is very simple, since the lines on the tractor are extremely fine and misalignment can clearly be seen

But it does require a very steady hand and an extremely good eye - and lots of light

I had a friend set mine up, since he has much better eyesight than me.

I verified his efforts using an extremely good 150mm macro lens on my camera  and I could clearly see the alignment was correct in the photo

A lot of trouble to go to? - perhaps, but the sound quality is excellent.