When cantilever not parallel to cartridge sides

A newbie question:

I have only bought two new cartridges so far and found that in both cases, the cantilevers are not parallel to the sides of the cartridge bodies. In both cases, I have to twist the cartridge bodies by 20% or so in order to properly set the correct zenith angle.

I wonder is this normal? or should I send it back to the dealer for exchange?
No thats not normal..I could understand if you bought a couple used and that was so,but new should arrive straight and pristine in a proper fitting box to keep it protected.......I would send them bach for sure....
Your estimate of 20% (72 degrees!) is difficult to imagine for a new cartridge, or a used cartridge, or anything other than a completely, utterly and irretrievably trashed-because-it-got-run-over-by-a-truck cartridge. No cantilever would bend anywhere near that far without breaking.

However much it's off, I agree with Thorman. A new cartridge ought to have a cantilever that's within 2-3 degrees of parallel to the body. In percentage terms that's < 1%.

Get a refund or a replacement.
Dear Viper z: I agree that is not normal. I ssume both were new cartridges and I don't know which ones are but on some ( very few ) cartridges you can find that the cantilever is not at the center of the cartridge's body but certainly not a 20% off, maybe is less that that.
Anyway, you have to make the cartridge set up not with the body but with the cantilever shape and if the performance is good then could be no problem at all. For any one of us in this thread it is very dificult to give you a more precise answer because we are not seeing the cartridges. Doug is totally right: 72 degrees!, no way.

So it is your call to send it back or keep it.

Regards and enjoy the music.
I am very very sorry.. Pls accept my apology. I meant to say that the angle is about 20 DEGREES off! (Not 20%!).

Please allow me to attach this picture below, please click on it and see if this cartridge alignment is normal.


Thank you all.
sorry again.. reposting the link to the picture I refer to in my previous post:
..let me guess....ORTOFON.... Yes send it back. Would you buy a new car with a pushed in fender??
Photo is blurred but it looks like an Audio Technica not an Ortofon Stringbean.

Keep in mind that the cartridge sides, and the cantilever of course, are not always parallel to the headshell sides when properly aligned with your protractor.

Good luck.
Rather than a new car with a pushed in fender, one where the wheels were not aligned. That is the effect you have here -- mis tracking.

Cartridge set up/alignment can compensate for a few degrees of manufacturing error. As others suggested, use the cantilever to do so, not the sides of the cartridge body. But compensating for anything CLOSE to 20 degrees will likely mean either a bent cantilever or internal misalignment of the coil(s) and magnet(s).

No worries about newbie questions, we all had to learn this stuff at some point. And most of us are still learning. 8^)
Aligning the cartridge body is never very accurate, not good at all.

Using the picture, I measured the angle difference between the front edge of the tonearm and the front face of the cartridge and it is 5.719 degrees. It's way off.

It's normal that it's off by minor degree, but even then, it should not be noticeable just by looking a it.

Thanks guys.. sounds like I do have a case to ask for an exchange!!
>>I measured the angle difference between the front edge of the tonearm and the front face of the cartridge and it is 5.719 degrees. It's way off.<<

This is immaterial. Quite often the cartridge is not parallel with the headshell in correct playing position. It is quite possible for the cartridge to be offset 20% from parallel and still be aligned properly. Depends on the cartridge and headshell configuration.

Without a view of the stylus in playing position, we cannot discern if the OP claim is true or not. I believe he is confusing cartridge postition in the headshell with the cartridge sides and stylus being parallel.
Dear Audiofeil,

In the one short year that I was able to cull together an anologue set-up, I've relied heavily on these forums. There have been plenty of helpful veterans, like yourself, whose advice I have cherished and benefitted from. I have also benefitted a great deal from Audiogon member Stingreen. He has a turntable model above my VPI Scoutmaster. To have referred to him previously in one of your above posts as "Stringbean" in whatever tone that you may have meant as humorous, is, in my opinion, insulting. That statement does not bode well for your character and your sense of empathy or sensitivity towards your fellow Audiogn members.

Please keep your sarcasm to yourself. But continue to share your knowledge, as I have learned from it.

Best Regards,
Provided the cantilever is not bent like a side show phallus, the cartridge can
very likely be correctly aligned using a Mint LP Best Tractor protractor.

The investment in the Mint LP will be valuable as long as you own the same

How about a hug?