I bought one from a member here on Agon who ships them from Singapore. If you don't mind waiting about 2 weeks for shipping, it's a great deal. It cost me $55 shipped, new. And it looks exactly like the $140 Acoustech digital gauge I saw. It seems to work great for me (makes you kind of disgusted by the profit margins some of these companies get). It even comes with an extra set of batteries and a 5 gram calibration weight.
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This $45 gauge from Audiogon seller Ans at Audionote in Singapore has worked well for me. It has been accurate, consistent and easy to use. Shipping to the U.S. was fast and communication was top notch.
Canrong Digital Stylus force gauge
I bought mine from ANS before Sorasound was carrying them. Back then the price was around $80, but still much lower than any retail outlet. At these new prices I think it is a no brainer.
I do notice that repeatability with this gauge is not really that great. Be cautious of exactly where the stylus lands on the scale. But overall this scale is quite adequate for VTF setting and the extra decimal place is most helpful.
Not to take business waway from anybody else, but do a search for the Proscale LC-50 from Old Will Knott Scales.
Mine was $32 shipped, uses 2 AA Batteries, weighs absolutely dead accurate. checked via a huge host of Lab Reference Weights. weighs up to 50g, with .01 resolution, and is, as far as I can determine, it is the exact same scale as the $225-$250 Clearaudio Weight Watcher Scale (minus the little weighing ledge, and of course, Clearaudio's name on it)
One can make a ledge if necessary from a non-magnetic material. or just set the Scale on a deck of Cards, and set alongside the Platter. Mark
As Markd51's observed the Clearaudio Weight Watcher scale appears to be LC-50 with Clearaudio printed on it. I am looking at a picture of the Clearaudio Weight Watcher in the Music Direct catelog for $199 and it look exactly the same as the LC-50 for $29 from Old Will Knott. It certainly confirms the value of a little research and help from fellow agon members
Whatever digital scale one gets, be sure that there is no issue of ferrous metals in the scale being attracted by the magnets in the cartridge -- you don't want to accidentally destroy your stylus/cantilever (a concern with the powerful magnets in moving coil cartridges). That might mean using some kind of plastic outrigger so that the cartridge is not placed directly over the scale itself (like the Wally scale).
One also should make take the measurement with the measuring surface being at the same height as a record in play. A scale with the measuring surface above the record surface will give a consitently false reading. Again, the Wally scale uses an adjustable outrigger so that the measurement is at the record height. One could also put the scale on a deck of cards just off to the side of the platter and adjust the height by adding or subtracting cards to get a precise match with the height of a record in play. Some digital scales designed as stylus pressure guages have a really small elevation to the measurement surface, so they are designed to be placed on a bare platter. That might be close enough, but, I prefer measuring just off the edge of a record so the height adjustment is perfect.
Yes, as Larry has explained, I've done just like that, setting the Scale alongside Platter, on a Deck of Cards, getting the Scale's Platform to the exact same height, as with record in play on Platter.
I believe the Proscale LC-50, just like the Clearaudio Weight Watcher Scale, has an actual platform height of 0.6". (but it appears Clearaudio provides a little Ledge)
I've tried getting some thin Brass Sheet from the local Hobby Shop here, to make a ledge, but had no luck. That's why I had to resort to the deck of cards for now. It should be noted, that my Scale had shown no anomalies, as far as erroneous readings, due to any magnetic interference, as I did a confirm check as well, with two other scales, one digital, and the Shure SFG-2.
The Proscale LC-50 is vastly superior to both IMO. Mark