Can you give me some more info on WHERE on Ebay to look for this scale? Thanks
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The problem Markshvarts, is that many of the jeweler scales are magnetic.
Using them near the highly magnetic field of a moving coil cartridge is nearly impossible. I know this because I tried about half a dozen jeweler scales, purchased both locally and on line.
The few that are non magnetic are the very thick types, right where the strain gauge measures. If you don't measure the stylus at "record play" height, it's not only inaccurate and difficult to position, you risk damage to the cantilever.
I wound up buying the Winds. The few hundred dollars I spent is a bargain considering all the work I did trying to save cash and going nowhere.
i'm with Albert. i purchased the ALM-01 Winds guage (the 01 reads in hundreths of a gram) and i can really be confident of a repeatable measurement. this is especially helpful if you own and use multiple cartridges. you are able to go back to your exact previous setup without the sometimes painstaking listening process of finding that sweet spot.
it is quite interesting how your VTA will affect tracking force.....which is easy to see with the ALM-01.
i also own the Shure guage which, for about $25, will get you in the ballpark. then you go from there by ear.
With recommendations from both Albert and Mike, i'm sure that the Winds is the way to go. Having said that, i've used the "el cheapo" Shure many times and been satisfied that the results are reasonably close. I'm sure that one can get a more accurate gauge, which judging by what Albert and Mike say, the Winds is HIGHLY accurate with more repeatable results. My experience is that you will need to "fine tune" tracking weight as the cartridge ages / suspension changes. As such, one should not rely on what any gauge tells you but what your ears tell you.
With that in mind, Bear had contributed a post that was very interesting. His method of setting up the tracking weight on a cartridge took into account the amount of displacement that the cantilever was capable of. As such, he adjusted the cartridge so that the cantilever was "mid-point" in terms of suspension travel. This kind of makes sense to me but i've not tried fooling around with it. You might want to do a search for his original post and read up on what he had to say. Sean
I think Mikelavigne said it perfectly (quoted below):
I can really be confident of a repeatable measurement. This is especially helpful if you own and use multiple cartridges. You are able to go back to your exact previous setup without the sometimes painstaking listening process of finding that sweet spot.
If I understand him correctly, he is doing the same thing I am. Setting the cartridge to the hundredths of a gram by ear and then being able to return to that EXACT weight of perfect performance after a change.
Sean, this may be the first time ever, you did NOT advocate using a tool or measuring device in order to perfect end results.
OK fokls, the bottom line buying the digital one is solely for convenience and speed of setup if you're an analolgue dealer.
It's just like I love to take pictures with manual-focus camera but for reporting and sports photoshots I'd rather use an auto-focus.
A perfect setup is doable with simple $20 Shure stylus force gauge.
Albert, i must be slipping up : )
Honestly though, i think that cartridge set-up is much like speaker placement. I guess the common factor here is that both devices are electro-mechanical transducers. I think that "tools" are necessary to get things partially dialed in on both installations, but there are some things that test equipment can't possibly measure in this respect. As such, getting them close with "installation aids" or "tools" and then fine tuning by ear are what seems to work best for these two types of devices. That is, in my experience : ) Sean