Shure still gives you the best bang for the buck and is accurate. I have the Shure and an electronic one. The both work well. Save your money for an emergency stylus replacement.
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I just purchased the Audio Additives digital stylus force gauge for $99.00 from Musicdirect. It is accurate to within .01 grams and even comes with two sets of batteries. The salesman at Musicdirect talked me out of spending an extra $30.00 for the Acoustech guage, which looks identical but advertises that it's accurate to within .001 grams, which seems overkill. Anyway, last night I used it to dial in my Transifiguration Orpheus L cartridge. It was so very easy to use. Being able to easily find the correct tracking force allowed me to enjoy this amazing cartridge more than ever. Anyone interested in getting the most out of his or her cartridge should use one.
I have the same version as Mehran sells. I think one place makes them and a variety of people put their labels on them.
Mine works fine. Anyone who thinks they need down to 0.001 gram obviously has enough invested in the system and their room to afford whatever scale gives them what they need. Most of us will have trouble hearing the difference at less than 0.05 grams so 0.01 grams does it for me.
i purchased the $48 scale from SORAsound. I originally set my tracking force with the Shure to around 2.6g per the recommendation of VPI/Benz. Checking my setting with the digital scale yielded 2.689g so as far as I can tell, the Shure is accurate enough. I guess it doesn't hurt to have another scale to double check though.
A digital scale is a digital scale is a digital scale. Just because it is an "audiophile approved" scale doesn't make it better. There are a number of websites that sell digital scales. Doa searcha dn find one that has increments of .01 of a gram and you're all set, for about 1/4 to 1/2 what an audiophile scale would cost you.
Good question. Don't put your stylus directly on the platform of any digital gauge. That would indeed cause the problem you noted and also another. Many scales are magnetic and/or contain magnetic materials. The strong attraction would distort your measurement and might damage your cartridge.
Use a weighing step, which holds the stylus off to one side (no magnets) and down at typical LP height (no VTA problem).
The $800 (or $350) Winds scale includes one. So does the reasonably priced scale sold by Sorasound and others. Look at the pictures. I DIY'd a step years ago to use with my $75 jeweller's scale. Took 3 minutes, cost no money, works every time.
If I were buying today I'd buy the one sold by Sorasound.
I use the Micro-Tech XMT-200 (200g/0.1g) digital scale which uses a weighing step off to one side as Doug suggests. The step height (surface for stylus) is approximately the same height as that of a thicker LP on the platter. It cost about $50 a couple years ago and works great. I did'nt know about possible magnets damaging the cartridge.
Axel, I have found that my scale reading and my SME V dynamic VTF dial are usually spot on. If they are off, it is never by more than the 0.1g accuracy of my scale and I just turn the dial very slightly and measure again.
Don't put your stylus directly on the platform of any digital gauge. That would indeed cause the problem you noted and also another. Many scales are magnetic and/or contain magnetic materials. The strong attraction would distort your measurement and might damage your cartridge
Does the AUDIO ADDITIVES - DIGITAL STYLUS FORCE GAUGE have a magnetic platform? Looks like the advertising
shows it placed directly on the platform.
Here's the Canrong gauge accurate to within .01 grams for $13. You'll need to buy a calibration weight for a couple of bucks as well because at that price it doesn't come with it.
I have the Canrong reading to within .001 grams and have had it for a number of years-paid about $65 for it. Non-magnetic weigh platform. Extremely accurate.
But if you can live with reads to within .01 I don't think you'll do much better. Buy 2 on the off chance that one goes bad and you'll still be way ahead of the game.
My Canrong is also 3-4 years old. I am on the 3rd set of batteries but I do use it a fair bit.
My feeling is that the button batteries are the main problem. The ones provided with the scale are probably ultra cheap and even the 2nd set I got (from a local cheap jewellery store) were lousy.
I ended up buying the most recent batteries from "The Source", formerly Radio Shack and for a couple of bucks extra they provide either a 3 year or a lifetime warranty (haven't had to use it yet) on the batteries, which appear to be of a much higher quality.
With decent batteries, I'd wager many of the complaints about the Canrong would not be there. Some perhaps, but probably not anywhere near as many.
It's convenient and easy to use, mine is incredibly accurate; I'd buy one again in a flash. I just wouldn't pay $100-$200 for it because it's branded with an "audiophile" label.