What is more accurate: magnetic anti-skating, or barrel weight attached a fishline?


I have seen turntables from Project, Music Hall, and a few other brands that still incorporate a small barrel weight attached to short fishline string which is stretched across a hooking loop to set ANTI-SKATING. It seems to be an artifact from the 1960's and 1970's tonearm design. It is also easy to lose or break 

My question is how accurate is that "device" compared to magnetic anti-skating employed by many turntable manufacturers   Thank you

sunnyjim
Sunnyjim, please add a third option of no antiskate, hence VPI  and the dressing of their wires. Interested in that result as well. Thanks

Anti-skate is always an approximation. The weighted string method can be quite good, though. The string is fishing line so its unlikely to break, and once on the arm, you're not going to loose it. 


I would not let method of applying anti-skate determine a choice of arms.
sonnyjim - is that a reference to Robert Carradine's character on the TV series Kung Fu?

My experience supports the No Antiskating option.  Each arm where I have tried removing the AS has sounded better than with any amount of AS.  These arms include Triplanar VII, Analog Instruments Siggwan, and Moerch DP-6.  I also used a VPI JMW-10 for a number of years without AS but since it didn't have the option of AS, I am not including it on the list.
I’m unaware of any standard or measurement for anti-skating that allows the notion of accuracy to apply universally across different tonearms.

Check this thread for some great information on the topic of anti-skating:
https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/do-45-rpm-records-need-higher-anti-skate-setting?highlight=lp%2Brecords

By the way, could you say a few turntable (tonearm?) manufacturers that offer magnetic anti-skating? 

The most accurate anti-skate provision is  provided by Sony

PUA 237/286. By this provision the anti-skate force is different

depending from the record radius. Neither later Sony tonearms nor any other manufacturer has copied this ingenious invention. Very strange because the usual kinds with equal force at any radius is obviously inadequate.

Nandric,
I think a magnetic set-up could provide for variation of the force with respect to the radius of the LP, depending upon how it is implemented. So, since there are many tonearms that use magnetic methods, why is the Sony so much better?

To the OP, Since the skating force is varying constantly along the surface of the LP, is a moving target that you can never hit with confidence, there is no point in getting worked up over the exactitude of the anti-skate force.

Salectric, I have a Triplanar, and I have listened to it with no AS.  In my system, I hear a pronounced and obvious distortion in the R channel especially. This is cured by re-application of a very small amount of AS. From this I concluded that the Triplanar, or my Triplanar, sounds best with a very small amount of AS.  I know that Doug Deacon and some others also expounded upon the evils of the Triplanar AS device, that it introduced some spurious resonances, but I don't hear that problem, either, so long as all the attaching screws are tight as possible.
Why is everyone so fixed on Anti-Skate?   I use no antiskate at all and find the sound more open and free than when I use antiskate...but it really makes little difference....the use or non use is equally wrong....it is impossible to properly set for antiskate....the force is very slight and is constantly changing. 

Dear Lew, Your premise about magnetic anti-skate provision

is questionable and this imply that your conclusions are also questionable.

 I own the Reed 3 P and Lustre 801 both with magnetic anti-skate provisions. There may be some reduction of the magnetic force towards the inner grooves but this is different from the Sony provision which is calculated for the whole record radius. But, like you, I use the minimal anti-skate for my Triplanar and FR-64 S.

The (possible) distortion in the right channel is the indication that at least some anti-skate is needed.

Nondric....your post regarding your Triplanar without A/S has rt channel distortion is suspect to ME.  That doesn't sound like the kind of distortion one would get from too little/no A/S.  Application of A/S applies more force to the left channel to prevent mistracking there (which can be eliminated by adding slightly more vtf anyway.)
Stan, ... even though you might not use the VPI fish line AS device thingy, I recall that you follow Harry's advice by putting a slight twist in the tonearm wire which creates a slight amount of AS force.  My point is that while Harry is not a big proponent of the fish line counter weight AS device, he believes that a tiny bit of counterforce might be helpful.   

As you may recall, I own a hot-rodded 1st generation Classic.  I use a teeny amount of AS, not because I can detect a sound difference.  Rather, I use it to help balance the force on the stylus to maintain even wear.  That said, I have no clue if I am using too much or too little AS force.  Only time will tell when I have my stylus checked for wear.

BIF
bifynne...no twist...just use my ears.....you always use too much and too little simultaneously.  There is no way to properly adjust for a/s.  ...a loud section of the record needs more, soft sections need less.....how much you say?,,,  that depends on where the stylus is on the record...outside, or inside.....also, what is the shape of your stylus...how heavy are you tracking.....see what I mean?   It simply can't be done properly...not even close.....and the force needed is so slight....(and so it goes)
There is an old trick to correctly set anti-skate.Because two (i.e L+R channel) signals out phase with each other will cause a -3db drop in volume when they meet.This is audible.You also need a mono switch on your preamp and your cartridge well aligned. I put my right channel on my cartridge out of phase and put the right speaker back in phase by changing polarity at the input.To find the correct anti-skate position put the preamp into mono.One side is out phase the other in phase.Adjust your anti skate until the signals meet and a volume drop occurs.You have electrically set correct anti-skate.Put preamp back into stereo mode to hear this.
Stefani...no...you can only use your method and have it work only for that particular second of the record....it will change an instant later.
That in practice is not actually the case.I found as most of us have that the last track of a side is the problematic area.Look at Stevenson's alignment method for how far you can take that.Usually a slight increase in anti skate here will deal with this issue.I will grant that it is a get you in the ball park method bottom line.I now adjust by ear anyway.But what it did was to teach me where approximately to set my anti skate so I now can do it relatively quickly.
Sunnyjim: does this discourse help in considering the turntables you are considering: Project, Gem Dandy, and Rega? I agree the antiskate issue ahould not be the deciding factor.] Purchase the least expensive TT which matches well with the Blue Point Evo. III,, keeping in mind the next one up  in the Sumiko line is $1250  [vs. $550. for the EvoIII. and $450 for the Blue Point 2.]

Stringreen, I deed not say to have any distortion in the right

channel of my Triplanar. I confirmed Lew's statement that

distortion will start in the right channel if the anti-skate force

is not sufficient. This can be easilly checked with tracking ability

test records. If one wants, say, 70-90 microns ''pure'' one need

to increase anti-skate force to get those values without distortion.

BTW those values are not reachable with LOMC's. I myself am

satisfy with 60 microns. This value is sufficient for any record.

However Van den Hul warned against such values (above 60 microns)

 exactly because they need increased anti-skate. Aka:

to much anti-skate is worst than no anti-skate at all. This is the

reason that some of use the ''minimal amount'' of anti-skate.



Sunnyjim

I have seen turntables from Project, Music Hall, and a few other brands that still incorporate a small barrel weight attached to short fishline string which is stretched across a hooking loop to set ANTI-SKATING. It seems to be an artifact from the 1960’s and 1970’s tonearm design. It is also easy to lose or break

I tend to agree with you. For me this is also a let down in new expensive arm designs that use fish line. I personally see it as a cop out of sorts.

The only thing I would want on the end of a fishing line is my lure attached to a SM Bass, Trout or Muskie. There are so many different types of fishing lines, and they all deal with forces and vibrations differently, trying to trick and outsmart the fish.

http://media.nola.com/outdoors_impact/photo/fishing-lines-c5e62b4f20a3fc1f.jpg

Some are designed to stretch more; some not so much. Fishing line does lose its properties over time. So what about these 20-30 year old tonearm that are using it ?

Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime

:^)


Sunnyjim
My question is how accurate is that "device" compared to magnetic anti-skating employed by many turntable manufacturers

IMO the most accurate is able to deal with changing groove modulations and gradually increase force as it nears the inner grooves. This is basic physics; based on pivot arm design. Any out there that do this ?

I think that the VPI design of using the wire itself as Anti Skate is interesting as the wire would push back more toward the inner grooves. But then you have a "shaky" uni pivot design dealing with this force.

So no designs that that I am aware of. That makes all AS settings ball park, a guess at best. And, if one wants to get anal; this means anyone setting AS at a certain point in the record - it would be applicable to just that point on that specific record only. No ?

Peter at Soundsmith imo gives some good considerations to consider.

http://www.sound-smith.com/do-i-need-anti-skating.html

Of the pivot arms I have used the slickest AS came with the FR64s.

A search of anti skating at AudioGon reveals 2146 results. Hmm....

Nandric

However Van den Hul warned against such values (above 60 microns)

exactly because they need increased anti-skate. Aka:

to much anti-skate is worst than no anti-skate at all. This is the

reason that some of use the ’’minimal amount’’ of anti-skate.


I agree

Just some thoughts over coffee.

Happy Listening whether or not you use AS.
IMO the most accurate is able to deal with changing groove modulations and gradually increase force as it nears the inner grooves. This is basic physics; based on pivot arm design. Any out there that do this ? 

There are at least two that I know of Chris. The Continuum Cobra and Copperhead arms.
By using a triangular shaped anti-skate 'cam' on the underside of the arm, the anti-skate force changes from 8% of VTF at the start of the record to 12% of VTF at the end of the record.

Cheers

The Sony PUA 237/ 286 also uses some irregular shaped ''cam''

fastened at the collar of the arm (aka: vertical bearing). But this

''cam'' is connected with an tension wire which can be adjusted

in correlation with the VTF and/or stylus shape. I thought that no 

tonearm manufacturer copied this ''invention'' but just learned from

''some'' Aussie that Cobra and Coperhead (also from Australia)

made their own variation of this  invention by Sony .

 

@nandric Do you like Sony PUA 286 tonearm more than Lustre 801?

  

Dear SunnyJim,

Initially, since A/S is a constantly moving target and whatever setting we use which sounds "good" to our ears is the "accurate" one, I confess I read your post with a slightly different interpretation i.e. "which of these methods has the least deleterious effect on SQ across the entire groove"?

.......I'd like to know the answer myself! ;^)

Dear chakster, I prefer the Lustre 801. Excelent tonearm but with

mediocre lift construction. And, as Raul already recommended, the

counterweight(s) should be used in the usual way avoiding magnetic

VTF adjustment. This way the counterweight(s) can be get nearer to

the pivot.

Thanks to all the members who responded. I never expected such an impassioned discussion over the anti-skating used on many turntables. I believe one of  the responders ask me what tables have I seen using the wire suspended anti-skating device. On most Project tables, and also on the Music Hall 5.3  and the new MH  Ikura table.

To John-Tracy. Never watched Kung-Fu.  However, I could retitle the thread title to: "HOOK. LINE, AND SINKER"  ANTI-SKATING".....etc. 

I  once forget to apply anti-skating, and the stylus while in play just skated right across the record. I might try it on the Thorens I currently own to see as some have suggested if it improves the sound quality.   

In a conversation I had with Tri Mai of Triplanar he pointed out that there is no industry standard for how much anti-skate to apply.

Further, it does appear that the amount of skating force is dependent on the geometry as well as the shape of the stylus tip.

I have a Triplanar and can confirm that only a small amount of anti-skate is needed. I usually use a single very small rubber O-ring on the anti-skate arm.

Something that has occurred to me over the years is that the position of the arm on the LP is an issue! You have the maximum skating forces at the beginning and end of the LP; at two places in the middle the cartridge should be perfectly aligned and so no skating force in those two locations.

As we all know, linear tracking arms generate no skating forces if properly set up.

That suggests that in the middle of the LP the skating forces would be opposite of what they are at the beginning and end. This would make all anti-skate systems erroneous.... Since the end of the LP is the most problematic area that is where I hope that my anti-skate setting is correct. At any rate, I've yet to find any LP that can cause distortion or mistracking of the cartridge at any point, so it must be all good, right?
Sunnyjim 8-1-2016 2:20pm edt
Thanks to all the members who responded. I never expected such an impassioned discussion over the anti-skating used on many turntables.
Jim, my perception over the years has been that questions about anti-skating almost invariably result in lengthy and impassioned discussions, often involving many of the same members, repeating the same things they’ve said in the past. So I’ll do likewise :-)

First, to add a bit of quantitative perspective to the many comments about the fact that skating force is different at different points on the record:

I use a vintage 1980s Magnepan Unitrac tonearm. (Which BTW uses the fishing line/weights in a bucket approach to anti-skating, with the weights being a fairly large quantity of tiny lead pellets). Over the years I’ve used a variety of cartridges all of which have relatively high compliance. Presently an Audio Technica AT-ART9 low output moving coil cartridge, and previously various incarnations of the Grace F9E and F9E Ruby moving magnet cartridges, as well as a Grado Reference Sonata moving iron. In every case I set the tracking force in the upper part of the range recommended by the manufacturer.

In every one of those cases I have found that a modest change in the applied anti-skating force (e.g., removing or adding something like 15% or so of the number of lead pellets) will result in easily perceivable left or right deflection of the cantilever as viewed from the front of the cartridge, while the stylus is in the groove of a rotating record, compared to the nominally straight ahead position the cantilever assumes when the stylus is lifted off of the record. (This assumes that a lightly modulated/soft musical passage is being played). (Too little anti-skating will result in deflection to the right, toward the outer edge of the record, while too much will result in deflection to the left, toward the center of the record).

Yet in every one of those cases I have been able to readily find an anti-skating setting that results in NO perceivable left or right deflection at ANY point on a record.

All of which would seem to say that the variation of skating force at different points on a record is not as great as some perhaps believe. And would also seem to say that the fact that skating force does not remain the same at different points on a record is not in itself a rationale for setting anti-skating to zero, or for ignoring it altogether.

Jim, related to all of that is the procedure I have used to set anti-skating over the years, which I described in my two posts dated 4-11-2016 in this thread. If your cartridge has medium to high compliance you may want to consider using it. (I suspect this procedure may not be useful for many or most cartridges having low compliance, because the cantilever may not deflect readily enough to make the procedure useful). At a minimum, though, I suggest that you perform the visual check I describe to help confirm that the adjustment you settle on is not severely out of whack.

Best regards,
-- Al

Dear Ralph (Atma-sphere), I beg to differ slightly with your analysis.  For a typical pivoted tonearm that is mounted such that the stylus overhangs the spindle and the headshell has an offset angle, there will always be some skating force, even at the two null points on the surface of the LP, because at the null points, the headshell offset angle per se will still be a cause of some skating force.  Although the cantilever/stylus is, at those two points, tangent to the groove, the tonearm itself is not, due to the headshell offset.

To Almarg, The 4th  paragraph of your response is what I have generally read in various audio magazine including the out of print Stereo Review  The  order of my turntables has been Garrand SL95B,  Thorens 160( actually borrowed from a friend while my Benjamin-Miracord TT sat in a service shop for three months)  Sonograph turntable,  VPI Junior,  Rega 3-24,  Project DC Carbon, and currently a refurbished Thorens TD-145  

To my best recollection, only the Garrand SL95B and possibly the B. Miracord  employed "hook, line and sinker" anti-skating device  For the record,  both  Thorens indicated above did not use this type of anti-skating. The Thorens anti-skating  is simple, but also seems like a toy. You crank a dial on the tonearm to match the tracking force. In addition, it has a scale of  elliptical and conical  stylus , and a scale should you play your LP after using a liquid cleaner. According to a Thorens tech  was the method used in Europe, (possibly only Thorens)

The Rega P3-24 despite its excellent tonearm also employed an anti -skating device that was set by moving to the prescribed setting represented by a series of notches which their inadequate manual illustrated There was a small dial to move to the prescribed notch. I hope Rega has no plans of getting into the drone missile business. It appeared to me a primitive and imprecise device, regardless of  what side of the anti-skating argument you are on.  I don't recall if it was called "magnetic" in the ads or manual

In the August 2016 issue of  Stereophile, there is a full sheet ad on page-46  for  Project's  "upgraded" RPM3  in "fire engine red"  The ad lists in bullet points its improved featrues including  "magnetic anti-skating mechanism"   which is carried forth on the RPM 5  and the RPM-9  tables; The (discontinued) Project 1bXpression clearly shows the fishline and sinker anti-skating, but not the new Project 2BXperience SE. The (discontinued) Music Hall 5.1 table has the device, and also the Music Hall "Ikura" table. 

It appears  that some TT manufacture employ a magnetic anti-skating mechanism to its higher end tables, but this is not necessarily  consistent as can be seen on the MH 5.1, and possibly their new MH 5.3 table.

 Marantz 15 S1  table, and Clearaudio Concept TT do not use the fishline etc etc.    Quite an audio conundrum!!!    Thanks , Jim    

Dear Ralph (Atma-sphere), I beg to differ slightly with your analysis. For a typical pivoted tonearm that is mounted such that the stylus overhangs the spindle and the headshell has an offset angle, there will always be some skating force, even at the two null points on the surface of the LP, because at the null points, the headshell offset angle per se will still be a cause of some skating force. Although the cantilever/stylus is, at those two points, tangent to the groove, the tonearm itself is not, due to the headshell offset.
So you're saying that despite being perfectly tangential, skating forces still exist? IOW that they are generated by the arm and not the geometry of the stylus in the groove?
One way of demonstrating this is to raise the arm, stare at the cartridge from the front, wrap an elastic around your cartridge body (not the stylus/cantilever** ) and pull straight out toward you.

** Not responsible for any beheaded cartridges. 8^0

Hi Henry - hope you are enjoying your winter.
Its been terribly hot/humid here. Been staying at the lake up north (for me) pretty much full time. Sunnyjim thanks for letting me catch up on your thread.

"HOOK. LINE, AND SINKER" ANTI-SKATING"


funny...good one. :^)


I never expected such an impassioned discussion over the anti-skating used on many turntables.

Myself I have never met any audiophile that was not passionate. And vinyl guys (not really gals from my experience) are over the top.
I mean this in a good way. After all we could be into other things causing no good. We are not hurting anyone.




Ralph, I am saying that when the cantilever/stylus is tangent to the groove, the friction force generated by the stylus to groove resistance has a vector directed tangent to the groove, too.  But because the headshell is offset with respect to a straight line drawn from the cantilever to the pivot, there will still be a skating force due entirely to the headshell offset angle.  Interestingly, if you use an "underhung" tonearm (no off color pun intended) with zero headshell offset, then there can be only one null point on the surface of the LP with respect to tracking angle error, but at that one null point, skating force will also be zero, because the forces will line up with the pivot.

TLDR (too long, didn't read - so some of this may have been covered) ...

In general (because especially with anti-skate, there are no hard and fast rules), the smallest bit of anti-skate has worked best for me ... definitely err on the side of too little (to retain dynamics) rather than too much.

With some unipivots, a touch of anti-skate can have a secondary positive effect of stabilizing the arm a bit.

Gravity vs. magnetism?  Both are constant forces, and you can engineer a system so either one works (progressively increases as you track toward the inner groove), or alternatively is sub-optimal.

Cheers,
Thom @ Galibier Design
Dear @sunnyjim : My response is: none.

As a fact exist no one AS mechanism that's accurate. It's i9mposible to have it in a totally mechanical imperfect medium with a pivoted tonearm.

Any one of us can say that we hear/listen better quality perfomance level with out any kind of AS or with AS at maximum or minimum but in all cases we are far away from true.

We need always AS ( if we use it or not is a different matters. ) problem is that what we can choose to do it is non-accurate including what @almarg  posted  and I refer to him with all respect.

Subject is very complex because we have to deal: with different recorded velocities at each LP and on each LP those recorded velocities changed at random at different place/distance in the overall LP recorded surface, we have way different compliance cartridges and this means not that we have low/medium/high compliance but different cartridge compliance figures over the whole compliance range that exist in all cartridges!, cartridges has different stylus shape tips and different level of quality of those stilus tips because some one are better polished than others and all of these has an influence of the AS needs ( I remember that in  one of my AT tonearms were 3 alternatives of AS depending of the stylus shape. ), off-center LPs ( all LPs. ) needs different AS, even the warps in LPs ask for different AS because at each single warp VTF change, exist tonearms that use damping oil like many unipivots or the SME or Triplanar or Townshend, etc, etc.

AS level is affected with each of those non predictable changes/parameters and some others.

So, an accurate universal perfect AS mechanism is non-existent yet.

Regards and enjoy the music,
R.
Thom...you probably know this already, but VPI’s Antiskate gizmo is the only one that I am familiar with, that can be set to progressively add or remove a/s either toward the beginning, middle, or end of the rescord....simply by rotating the device and having the arm straight out is the most a/s. As the tonearm travels along the record the weight moves out increasing the effect. When the weight is raised, (or lowered passed horizontal) there is less force on the arm itself where the weight/ force is more on the pivot of the a/s gizmo itselt.

To rauliruegas,  Without a doubt, understanding anti-skating is much more complex that I  had imagine.  Almarg mentioned  some of the points you make in his last response.  I often wonder with all these mechanical and geometrical parameters if analog is really worth it.  As you said it is an imperfect medium. 

 I recently had some bad experiences with both used and new LP's. It seems  even  new  LP's come with their share of pop clicks and surface. noise  About a month ago I purchased a brand new, sealed LP from Music Direct of Vivaldi 's "Four Season" featuring Isak Perlman as lead violin.. His performance is robust and simply spectacular  However, sound quality  was  often marred by pops (some almost explosive) clicks, and  consistent surface noise. The vinyl must have been sourced from  Goodwill stores recycling bin.  And this is supposed to be a new LP!!!

.I have read for years above the declining quality of vinyl used for LP pressings.  I have a 35 year old copy of CCR's LP "Pendulum"  which is virtually silent during play despite less plays than some other older LP's I still have in my modest collection.    

 I just purchased from the Discogs internet used record  Mozart's "Six Quartets Dedicated to Haydn" played by Quartetto Italiano on a Philips label ( issue date unknown, possibly early 1960's)  The performance is sublime, a testament to the dedication and brilliance of  the four musicians.  The sound quality is also extraordinary with a "your are there presence "  However, the vinyl has its share of flaws despite the seller's description of being "almost mint"  The  booklets that accompanies the 3 LP set are beginning to yellow which may be a clue to its age.  So far, I have only played the first LP.  Early out on side two, there is a distinctive hollow echo distorted sound which I know from experience indicates badly worn grooves from either a cheap cartridge or two many plays.  Nevertheless, it is fine recording and a keeper.   Thanks for the comment.

Sunnyjim.....Although I greatly admire Perlman, he's not my favorite interpreter.   ..a wonderfully nice man, but I prefer Kuijken's 4 Seasons.   You probably will have to get a used copy...I think it's out of print, but he plays it with gut strings...wonderfully.  Also, his unaccompanied Bach Sonatas and Partitas are without peer.  The Absolute Sound said it was their one selection for the desert isle escape.  (many years ago)
"I have read for years above the declining quality of vinyl used for LP pressings. "

During the 1970s oil embargo and price spike the major record labels responded by making "ultra thin" disks (120 gram or less?) and upping the percentage of recycled vinyl. To make matters worse most did not even bother to punch out the paper label before recycling. This resulted in little "hair like" fibers embedded in and sticking out of the grooves. I believe most of the vinyl used today is "virgin" vinyl. Most of the "clicks" and "pops" are probably due to pressing related issues.

@nandric 

Dear chakster, I prefer the Lustre 801. Excelent tonearm but with

mediocre lift construction. And, as Raul already recommended, the

counterweight(s) should be used in the usual way avoiding magnetic

VTF adjustment. This way the counterweight(s) can be get nearer to

the pivot.


Sorry for the off-top, but which silver external cable do you use with Lustre 801 ? I just managed to get missing counterweight "A" for my lustre and i hope soon the arm will be mounted on PD-444 turntable. The missing link is silver cable. 
Lewm said:

Ralph, I am saying that when the cantilever/stylus is tangent to the groove, the friction force generated by the stylus to groove resistance has a vector directed tangent to the groove, too.  But because the headshell is offset with respect to a straight line drawn from the cantilever to the pivot, there will still be a skating force due entirely to the headshell offset angle.  Interestingly, if you use an "underhung" tonearm (no off color pun intended) with zero headshell offset, then there can be only one null point on the surface of the LP with respect to tracking angle error, but at that one null point, skating force will also be zero, because the forces will line up with the pivot.

Tangency (null points) is not enough to eliminate skating force.  Lew says it quite well, but maybe it needs to be said a different way as well.

Skating force is the vector sum of the forces of the record "dragging the stylus in a generally forward direction".  Forces sum and  cancel each other.

The amount of drag and its direction is a function of groove friction and geometry.  The friction part is what makes it tricky, because this in turn, is a function of record velocity (changes across the record), the dynamics of the musical passage (varying resistance to larger "wiggles" in the groove), the condition of the vinyl, the shape and polish of the stylus, and ... I'm probably forgetting something, but you get the picture.

Here's a visualization that might help (and spare you the vector math):

  • Hold your left arm out in front of you (horizontally) with your palm facing toward the right.
  • Bend your wrist so your fingers point further to the right, so it resembles the headshell/cartridge offset.
  • Have someone tug on your fingertip in a direction parallel to your bent hand.
This is our null point case.  Your hand will move to the right (skating force).

So, even at the null point, there's some skating force.

As Raul and others have correctly stated, there is no single correct anti-skate setting for your rig because of the frictional factors I mentioned in the third paragraph.

Cheers,
Thom @ Galibier  Design
Hi Stringreen,

Actually, lever based (gravity) anti-skate systems vary the force across the record due to the angular change of the weight (it's distance from the fulcrum relative to the downward force of gravity).  Designs with thread (string) like the Tri-Planar can be adjusted  somewhat to change the point at which the force engages, and sufficiently for the vaguaries of the unpredictable skating environment (is it hockey season yet?).

Given the unpredictability of skating forces, you can't really do better than this.  IOW, a perfect solution for a situation which can't predicted will ultimately be no better.  I don't want to speak on behalf of VPI, but I think this has been their philosophy all along.

Somewhat related to this ... some anti-skate designs can help stabilize a unipivot tonearm to a certain extent.

Cheers,
Thom @ Galibier Design
To Stringreen.   Thank you for heads up about the recording of Kuijken's  performance of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons"  I will have to check around possibly on Amazon and Discogs for the recording. I will assume if was an LP recording, not a CD. 

Dear chakster,  I used Van den Hul D 501 and Silver Cable with

Lustre (then) and with FR-64 s (silver version) at present. If you

are not familiar with ''Silver Cable'' consult Don (Griffiths).

Here's a visualization that might help (and spare you the vector math):

Hold your left arm out in front of you (horizontally) with your palm facing toward the right.
• Bend your wrist so your fingers point further to the right, so it resembles the headshell/cartridge offset.
• Have someone tug on your fingertip in a direction parallel to your bent hand.
This is our null point case. Your hand will move to the right (skating force).

So, even at the null point, there's some skating force.

Cheers,
Thom @ Galibier Design

This is much safer than the elastic band method wrapped around the cartridge body I mentioned earlier ........:^)

Atmasphere
At any rate, I've yet to find any LP that can cause distortion or mistracking of the cartridge at any point, so it must be all good, right?


IMO it is all good with vinyl. Here is my take on it and with a personal example.
Firstly imo vinyl play produces good distortions. Meaning distortions we like.

I have had this Technics sl1200 lying around for a long time and for the last 20+ years was used for the purposes of loaning out. First to work friends and then these same friends kids. It went out 5 or 6 times during this time period. I got it back about a year ago and finally sold it to a 21 year old lady recently. Anyway....Set up it with a basic Grado black it sounded good; everyone was happy with it. They would use it and then decide if they were going to get a deck, or if it was not for them just return it.
Now up against better tables/tonearms, in the same room and gear (including cartridge) the sound differences were very clear and the "distortions" very evident. Here the linear tracker reveals a very different soundstage, and it plays clean on the last songs of records .....very often the best songs ! But until you hear this in your own room to make a direct comparison - you don't know.
The key being same room/gear. Different tables different rooms - can't be done. The room is the big factor. That sl1200 table on its own, set up well sounds just fine. I realize now that the $350 I sold it for with cartridge was a mistake. Should have kept it to spread the vinyl virus at the cottage. But somewhere there is a happy lady spinning tunes.

Hold your left arm out in front of you (horizontally) with your palm facing toward the right.
• Bend your wrist so your fingers point further to the right, so it resembles the headshell/cartridge offset.
• Have someone tug on your fingertip in a direction parallel to your bent hand.
This is our null point case. Your hand will move to the right (skating force).

So, even at the null point, there's some skating force.
Thanks!


Dear @ct0517 :   """  Here the linear tracker reveals a very different soundstage, and it plays clean on the last songs of records .....very often the best songs ! But until you hear this in your own room to make a direct comparison - you don't know """

I did it with 3-4 LT in my system and listen on very well know friend's systems and yes the soundstage sounds different but nothing that really matters enough to pass from pivoted to LT tonearms and soundstage can " sounds " different for other factors as simple as the material or combination of materials used on the tonearm manufacturing by design. Soundstage comes not because an intrinsic LT characteristic but for several other factors.

LT units are imperfect ones nothing is perfect and LT has its own trade offs.
If the magic " key " on tonearms was  the LT design then you can be sure not only me but any one used to own it instead pivoted tonearms.

Perhaps AS is the least important parameter/factor involved in the very complex cartridge/tonearm/accurate set up/LP quality level performance including that "  it plays clean on the last songs of records " that we  can have with pivoted tonearms too.

As everything in audio LT is an alternative but till today pivot tonearm is the " king " of the tonearms that surrounded almost all audiophiles and for very good reasons.

LT works for you, good for you, have fun with!.

Regards and enjoy the music,
R. 


Dear Sunnyjim,  Don't let this rambling discussion defer you from enjoying the wonders of music on LPs.  Hang on to the first principles, with which everyone agrees: (1) Skating force varies due to predictable and unpredictable factors across the surface of the LP, and there is to this day no sure Anti-skate mechanism that can sense variation in Skating force and automatically adjust accordingly.  That's the bad news.  (2) The good news is that a very tiny amount, for many, the least amount of AS, is "good enough" to eliminate  or dramatically reduce both audible distortions and wear on LPs and styli that result from the skating force, without any need to worry about variations in the skating force.  And finally, if this message still leaves you feeling anxious, there's always the linear tracking tonearm option.  No matter how you slice it, LPs rule.

I use a blank record and set the antiskating to keep the arm inn the same position. I have tried placing it near the outer edge, the center, and close to the inner part and noticed no difference.

I use an Ikeda 407 Long arm and their 9TT cartridge.
tbg....this method doesn't work....a waste of time.
Sonnyjim....I agree with lewn.   Either use a very little a/s or none...but listen to your music with enjoyment.  A/S is a tiny accomodation to the setup.  Overhang adjustment, VTF, and proper azimuth means so much more.
As I remember it, I backed off anti-skate incrementally from what appeared(both channels sounded equal-in a way) to be a "correct" anti-skate setting, and the result was an increase in the life(liveness?) of the music, and, therefore, to a more correct setting.  That shows the danger of using something(anti-skate) to correct for something else(unequal channel balance).  It is best to play with "settings" enough to see what those do, and not base settings on other things.