Triplanar Question??

Hi there,
I am searching around to see if I can get some advice on where to approxiamately place the anti-skate weight on the bar when in use with a ZYX Universe cartridge.

Is this just something I have to experiment with or have folks found the right place to set the weight in order to track correctly? Any light shed on this subject would be most helpful.


Have you read through "TriPlanar Tips"? My last post in the discussion thread covers this question.


P.S. to all - As our UNIverse reached the 1,000-1,500 hour mark it has gotten a bit more responsive (!) and it tracks a bit better too. During heat waves we can now track optimally as low as 1.82-1.85g and I've been able to reduce the number of O-rings on the antiskate dogleg to three (for all but the most torturous records).
Hey Doug, your comments on universe are interesting to say the least. I have not reached that usage yet, but from what you have said the cartridge is getting better with time like a fine wine. thanks for the update.
I have a Triplanar Mk7 with the Universe Copper. I set the anti-skate at the same level as the tracking force.

I found the VTA setting to be critical to really wake things up.

The combination is quite good! Records I thought were slightly worn now play fine; records I thought had noise are a lot quieter. I never wonder 'is that setup going to track this record?' or anything remotely like it- the combination tracks anything I've been able to find with ease. Really fun!

I'm not sure what you mean by setting A/S the same level as tracking force. The TriPlanar has no dial for A/S or VTF. Can you elaborate?


P.S. I agree about tracking in general. Our copy of 'Trio' (Parton, Harris, Ronstadt) has a nasty double pinch warp. Neither a (low hours) Transfiguration Orpheus nor a (well broken in) Ortofon Jubilee can stay in those grooves. They literally jumped off the record. The UNIverse not only tracks it cleanly, there's no audible hitch when it passes over the warp. :-)
Yes, please do elaborate Ralph. Your statement is a bit confusing to me.

I set the antiskating weight so that the outside edge is lined up just shy of the the second mark, since I'm tracking very nearly 2 grams. It seems to work OK. Near the end of a blank LP, it holds its own.

Now that I look at it though, I can't say for sure that that is what the marks mean :)
Thanks Atmasphere, that what i was looking for, approxiamate positioning. Much appreciated!!

If you're using a UNIverse/TriPlanar, do yourself a favor and try the O-rings method instead of the metal weight (as linked in my first response above).

Assuming you've got VTF set right (just a couple hundredths of a gram above mistracking) reducing antiskate will sound like a component upgrade, seriously.

Hello Doug, would you care to say what your VTF setting is?

Last night I played at 1.88g, but that really doesn't tell you much. My optimal VTF changes daily with the weather and yours does too, and they're unlikely to be the same. The cartridge is so sensitive it can change in mid session just from warming due to being played. That happened when Raul visited last year. I had to adjust VTF after a two hour dinner break. The cartridge had cooled off and the bass was weaker. Adding .02g brought it back.

Hot/humid weather = lower VTF
Cold/dry weather = higher VTF

FWIW, until we reached the 1000-1500 hour mark our ranges were about like this:
- Winter: 2.05-2.15g
- other 3 seasons: 1.91-1.98g

With more hours on the cartridge our optimal Summer range is now 1.82-1.94g. I won't know if the Winter range has also shifted until it gets cold.

There is no way to do this except to do it yourself, by ear. My best advice is this: play 2-3 sides to warm things up. Then reduce VTF in small (~.02-.04g) increments until you hear faint mistracking on dynamic peaks. That's your mistracking point, which will vary with conditions. In every condition, however, optimal VTF is ALWAYS about .02-.04g above that.

Doug your explanation is top flight. thanks for your input on universe its much appreciated.
so Doug
your seasonal VTF
is that with Air Conditioning?
if it's any more humid down here in New Orleans
my tracking will be below a gram ;-)


What are you doing using vinyl down there. Don't you know you're not supposed to play records wet? ;-)

We do have good AC but not central, just thermostatically controlled window units. The house isn't as tight as a newer one would be and southern New England (CT) weather presents challenges because it's always changing. A full four season climate with day-to-day swings of as much as 40 degrees. Last week it was 98 degrees with near-Pontchartrain levels of humidity. Two days later the daytime high was 55 and raining. Two days after that it was 80 and dry (ah!). In the winter temps swing from 40 to near zero and the air can be throat-scratchingly dry. Your climate, while warmer and wetter, is more stable and "should" present a smaller range of challenges, hurricanes excepted of course!

BTW it's not just ZYX or the UNIverse. Every MC cartridge we've used has reacted similarly. Elastomers (in the suspension) respond strongly to temp and humidity changes. Shelters, Ortofons and Koetsus behave like this, with individual variations in the numbers of course.

I no longer bother trying to find the actual mistracking point very often, we know the sound well enough to dial it in by ear. For a new cartridge or for those new to this technique however, the method I described above is reliable and repeatable. It also teaches you alot about how your setup is behaving, and it's vital to have VTF optimized just above the mistracking point before attempting to dial in parameters like antiskate, azimuth or VTA.
Hey doug the vinyl in the area is still great for older ears. It was 101 under my patio at 7pm yesterday. We even have some haunts where you can still find great vinyl.
When using a cartridge like universe its amazing what a small adjustment will do the the sound.
One of these days triplanar will arrive in my system. Must be one sweet arm to combo with universe.