From your verbal description, I am not sure what it is you were measuring, output from each channel or crosstalk.
Azimuth adjustment makes very little difference to channel balance. Azimuth adjustment is done to minimize crosstalk. In so doing, one can target ether of two goals: (1) Equal crosstalk, L to R and R to L, or (2) Minimal crosstalk without regard to whether the db of crosstalk is equal, L to R and R to L. Both goals are valid. But you can almost never achieve both of these possible goals at the same time with the same cartridge.
From your verbal description, I am not sure what it is you were measuring, output from each channel or crosstalk.
You can do a quick visual check first by dropping the stylus on a mirror. The mirror doubles the visible angle, making it easier to see with the naked eye. I would still recommend that you go further than a physical inspection. Sometimes the stylus isn't mounted exactly perpendicular to the top of the cart body. You can't see that when you do a visual inspection.
You really don't need the fozgometer or a scope to set azimuth. A DMM will work just as well. But is has to be a really good one like a Fluke. If you do use a scope, keep in mind that they vary in quality. If you're not sure how good your scope is, trust the fozgometer or the DMM.
Also, if you don't have an azimuth adjustment, just leave it alone. Shimming the cart can do more harm than good.
If you use the mirror method you should get a mirror that is surface silvered like that from a 35 mm slr camera, or your image will be way off. The foz always works for me but a new battery should be used every time. I agree re: shimming the cartridge...much too crude adjustments for tilt, and cartidge will not be mounted solidly enough.
Doing it by ear sounds like a good idea, but I would only do it as a last resort. First, it requires a fair amount of experience and practice to get good at it. Its far easier and faster for someone who's never done it before to just use a DMM. As long as the DMM is a quality unit, it will be more accurate than going by ear. There's no guesswork involved. When you're done, you know its right.
There's other factors to consider as well. The article you reference talks about tuning the room to compensate for the azimuth being off. Again, at first glance it sounds like a good idea, but its not. When room tuning is brought up, the first thing you usually think about is tuning the room vs eq/processing. There's a downside to using an eq because you're fooling with the signal in ways that can have a big effect on SQ. There's no downside to adjusting the azimuth directly. If its off, adjusting it will always be a positive thing. If you choose to leave the azimuth alone and use an indirect method of adjustment, you now have 2 problems. First, if the azimuth is off due to the stylus not being perpendicular to the top of the cart body, you still have the crosstalk. Fooling with external factors to get a center image can't eliminate the crosstalk, so its only a partial fix. Second, what do you do if you have more than one source? If you play a CD, now that's going to be off because you made proprietary adjustments meant for your TT only. When you make changes to your room, they apply to all sources, not just one.
While a fozgometer can get you in the ball park you still benefit from fine tuning by ear - the method I prefer and the rationale for it is detailed here
My now retired piano tuner did everything by ear and he did an awesome job. My current (younger aged) piano tuner does everything with electronic instruments with equally good results. Moral of the story, today's electronic instruments have the ability to replace years of training, skill, and talent. Today we have options.
" My now retired piano tuner did everything by ear and he did an awesome job. My current (younger aged) piano tuner does everything with electronic instruments with equally good results. Moral of the story, today's electronic instruments have the ability to replace years of training, skill, and talent. Today we have options."
I don't see how any of that applies here. Not only that, the last 2 sentences are just plain wrong (unless there's a communication issue and I don't understand your statement as you meant it.). An azimuth adjustment is in no way similar to tuning a piano. Azimuth is an angle. It has nothing to do with music, and its either right or wrong. You may be able to get it partially adjusted by ear, or maybe by sight, but to get the best results, measurements need to be taken.
As for the rest of it, unless you're talking about specific areas where certain electronics may be able to do a better job than the ear, you may have something. If you mean it to be a blanket statement, its not even close to being true. I'm still waiting for someone to tell me how to measure timber.
@mb1audio02 -- unfortunately you’re plain wrong when it comes to measuring azimuth using a test tone and whatever instruments you choose. As Joel notes in the piece I linked to crosstalk is not consistent with frequency and unless you have the time and patience to measure at multiple frequencies setting by ear will give the best results
There have been other methods suggested in the past. A particularly popular one was offered byVictor Khomenko in the late 90s and seems to have been widely accepted since. In our experiments, we’ve found that, while this method works very well at a given frequency (most people seem to use a 1 KHz tone for this purpose), it is unfortunately not consistent throughout the frequency range found in music. We discovered that after adjusting the azimuth for perfect balance at 1 KHz with this method, voltage readings with a 100 Hz and a 8 KHz tone give widely different results; one channel would be greatly emphasized at the lower frequency, and the other one at the higher frequency. So while the method is theoretically sound, it fails to address the reality of the musical signal, which is far more complex than a single sine tone. So, until a better and more reliable method is established, our ears will do nicely... and they’re free...
ps for measuring timber I’ve found a tape measure works quite well 😏 , measuring timbre requires a depth of musical experience and a good ear, no electronics can help here
" @mb1audio02 -- unfortunately you’re plain wrong when it comes to measuring azimuth using a test tone and whatever instruments you choose. As Joel notes in the piece I linked to crosstalk is not consistent with frequency and unless you have the time and patience to measure at multiple frequencies setting by ear will give the best results"
You may want to actually ready my posts first before telling me what I said in them. I have no idea what method you are referring to. But I can tell you that Brooks Berdan showed me this method years ago, and that's good enough for me. No offense to Victor, but I'll call him if I need help building an amp.
Don't bother trying to bait me into a senseless argument on this. I'm not responding to it. And yes, I understand the first thing you'll say is that if I don't respond, I'm wrong and that I'll lose credibility in the AG community. Believe me when I tell you I'm perfectly OK with that.
I don't see how any of that applies here. Not only that, the last 2 sentences are just plain wrong (unless there's a communication issue and I don't understand your statement as you meant it.).
Yes, it would appear that it’s a communication issue. When I first got into turntables, the home hobbyist had two options in setting up his cartridge azimuth. Have an experienced turntable technician set up the table who has over time developed the acute listening skills necessary to be able to discern the subtle difference that azimuth has on performance (similar to my old piano tuner), or develop the listening skills yourself.
Today, the home hobbyist has access to very accurate
DVM, Fozgometer etc., which will allow him to set up his azimuth without
necessarily developing the prerequisite listening skills, just like today’s
piano tuners who primarily rely on the use of electronic devices to tune a piano.
Some tune azimuth by ear and don't give a darn about measuring. Some measure azimuth using an instrument and leave it at that. And others measure azimuth with an instrument and fine tune by ear. Just because someone has a preference for a method over another, doesn't make the other 2 incorrect.
Benjie, When you say you were "way off" doing it by ear, what do you mean? Do you mean that the azimuth setting that sounded best to you was way off electrically, as determined by Feickert or Foz? Or do you mean that when you adjusted by Feickert or Foz, you got a better SOUNDING result than when you tried to do it by ear alone? After all, your subjective impression is what counts, at least in my opinion.
@stringreen -- not sure why the method for making the azimuth adjustment (ear of meter) makes any difference to how fiddly it is to do. Even with a fozgometer you're going to need to make azimuth changes and also go above and below the "correct" setting to get there. Maybe it's just a case of some arms are harder to adjust than others?
Anyway as to the question of ear vs measure I own a foz and use it to get the azimuth in the ballpark and then fine tune by ear
This stuff really matters, and the level/mirror method falls short for those cartridges (like the majority of Air Tights ime) that are not mounted that accurately. At the last Newport show 2 out of 3 AirTights (including a magnum opus) had to be mounted with a visible cant to get the azimuth right -- my PC-1 is no exception, it sounds best lilting 10-15 degrees off to the right
folk freak, "Sounds best" or measures best?
Because THAT much tilt indicates rather poor quality control during cartridge manufacture or inaccurate measurement of crosstalk. Since Air Tight cartridges are hardly in the budget category, if I owned one that needed that much tilt to deliver decent crosstalk figures and assuming the measurements are accurate, I would send it back to its makers.
When you tilt by 10-15 degrees, you are putting seriously uneven wear on the stylus tip and you may also be damaging grooves, depending upon the shape of the stylus tip.
I've written this before, so please forgive me for being redundant, but in setting azimuth, one might choose to go for equal amounts of crosstalk in both directions, L to R and R to L. Or one might choose to go for the least crosstalk, regardless of whether the db are equal in both directions. I've been setting azimuth electrically for years, using a Signet Cartridge Analyzer and their test LP, plus my Triplanar tonearm which permits very easy adjustments. In all my experience, those two possible goals are never coincident with each other, which is to say that if you want equal crosstalk, the absolute db of crosstalk will be higher (more crosstalk) than if you just go for the least amount without worrying about equalizing. I believe the Foz is designed to equalize crosstalk. Sometimes going for equal crosstalk requires a lot of tilt, which I don't like to live with, for reasons mentioned above.
lewm -- turns out I’m lousy at estimating angles in my head, taking a quick measurement (using my iphone level app) it’s clear that the tilt I was seeing on my headshell is more of 2-3 degrees at most -- odd how small deviations from horizontal seem much larger than the same deviations from vertical -- must be something to do with how we are wired to examine the horizon?
Anyway as what we are trying to do is get the stylus exactly vertical and given how probably difficult it is to be sure you’ve mounted a tiny bit of diamond into a shank of boron/aluminium at exactly the right angle it’s not that surprising that even $15K cartridges can be off.
I do agree however that it’s disconcerting to see and part of the reason I’ve recently moved away from this brand of cartridge
Crosstalk will depend upon the angle that the distal end of the cantilever, where the coils are mounted in the case of an MC cartridge, makes with the stationary magnet structures that thus create the stereo signal. That part of the cartridge, the business end, cannot be seen from without; we can't know what's going on there, in most cases,without taking the cartridge apart. (Maybe you can see it in a van den Hul; I never checked.) If the magnets are not symmetrically arranged around the moving end of the cantilever, then that will affect crosstalk dramatically, in a negative way. Since it is possible to build a budget cartridge that is nearly perfect (not absolutely perfect, but nearly) in this regard, I would posit that needing a significant tilt (optimal azimuth several degrees off horizontal) is not acceptable in any very expensive cartridge. I guess one could argue over the definition of "very expensive", but $15,000 is off the charts.
@lewm no one is suggesting that the cantilever is off, the issue is with the stylus. Here's a clear explanation of the difference from Mikey (paragraph 8)
Neither Mikey nor I are perfect. He wrote (among many other words):
"Were the stylus perfectly aligned with the cantilever, cantilever perpendicularity to the record surface would guaranty minimum crosstalk and correct setting of azimuth."
He left out what is going on at the other end of the cantilever. As I said, if the magnets are not correctly aligned around the vibrating cantilever/coil assembly, then too, the cartridge will not achieve best crosstalk when the stylus/cantilever are perpendicular to the V-shaped groove. So, in sum, he left out the bit about the magnets; I left out the point that he makes above and elsewhere throughout his paper. Put us together, and you've got a more complete story.
Read more at http://www.analogplanet.com/content/crazy-little-thing-called-azimuth-part-1#VtqFlkIgexQq2XZJ.99
I like to thank you all for your input , I do think now the fozgo is a very accurate tool , that is the question now for me can you adjust your
cartridge in the way that left and right output are exactly the same ?
My problem is the Dynavector te kaitora rua , when I adjust the cartridge to get a near output of both channels , the cartridge angle is oblique .
I think the cantilever is out of adjustment , perhaps by the use of a tangial arm .I replaced the arm by a Holborne normal arm ,bought another
cartridge , the Dynavector DV XX2 MK 2 , and now I have perfect values measured . The kaitora will be checked here in Holland by v/d Hul.