VPI has an anti-skate mechanism that will attach to any of their arms. Last time I looked, they were around 100.00. Much better than the bent wire IMHO.
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Rower30, Antiskate is a contentious discussion like religion. I can't hear a difference either way.
BUT, from a physical standpoint regarding wear on the record, I believe there HAS to be some level of uneven groove wear along with stylus wear which is confirmed by those who rebuild carts.
Forget the cart, what about YOUR irreplaceable album?
It is for that reason, I use 4 of the orings on my Classic/ART9 just because.
Fabulous sound, by the way!
I forgot to mention how I too, enjoyed how the Bird sang on my table. Very convincing. In my system, I couldn't dial out the last bit of occasional "sizzle"/sibalance.
Also, found getting the SS ruby rebuild after crashing the Bird changed its personality in a good way. Overall tone had a smidge more "natural/real" character. A few months later, one of the windings decides to unravel.
Gave up on the Bird. I see there is now a low output version. No doubt a great sounding cart in the 1k range. I prefer the Bird over the Benz Glider tone as well.
LISTEN and use your judgment WITH the proper ant-skate applied for album playback (not aggressive test records!) and then decide.I did.... many years ago. With my best cartridge (listed) on my best tonearm (ditto), zero A/S produces the best sonic results (lack of damping, as Stringreen described). I described it in great detail in many posts over many years. Search if you care.
Is it theoretically optimal to play with zero A/S? No.
Could playing with zero A/S cause asymmetrical stylus and/or record groove wear? Yes.
What's the right amount to use? Whatever the listener favors, with his/her equipment, music and ears. It's a risk vs. reward decision and each person's balance point will differ.
The only "right" answer is:
- understand all the parameters
- listen with educated ears
- then decide for yourself.
I heard before that generally speaking you want max tracking force allowed and minimum bias to get the best sound.
After reading your posts I played a little more with the anti-skate with my Spacedeck/Spacearm/Goldring 1042 set-up.
It was not that simple. I moved it back and forth without touching either VTA or VTF. The preliminary conclusion is that my preference depended on particular recording. In fact, this should not be surprising, so it isn't.
I heard before that generally speaking you want max tracking force allowed and minimum bias to get the best sound.Max tracking force has never been my recommendation (unless you're a vinyl newbie - and I know you're not, Inna). Newbies are well advised to play their cart near the top of its VTF range, as this minimizes the risk of mis-tracking and vinyl damage. Experienced listeners are capable of extracting better performance by playing with this adjustment and all others.
Sonically, my cart performs best with the MINIMUM tracking force and A/S that are compatible with clean tracking. Increasing either adjustment beyond that point diminishes performance.
This is because downforce and A/S both use the tonearm to apply pressure to the cantilever and suspension. Whether that pressure is vertical or lateral, damping and slowing of dynamics results.
The ideal settings certainly do vary from record-to-record, even groove to groove. Perfectly unsurprising, as you said. It would be astonishing if this were not so, or perhaps just indicative of a less capable system or listener.