I am using a digital scale from Ortofon
This scale is as accurate as any of my other scales that I have used in including my Shure and Ortofon non digital ones!
In my opinion, in this modern era , it is foolish to use a Shure stylus force gauge, when for the same cost or maybe a little bit more one can have a digital scale. Iused the Shure scale for 35 years, so I certainly am not making fun of anyone who still uses it. But it is evident from experience that a decent digital scale gives you a far more accurate and repeatable result. So much about using the mechanical scale is a matter of judgment just to begin with, not to mention the friction at the pivot point which also is a source of inaccuracy. Further, The sliding weights that counterbalance the cartridge are very difficult to place exactly. Anyway, you can spend from $30 to probably 250 or more dollars for a digital scale, but I think odds are they are all the same inside. I use the Ortofon DS3 digital scale, because it appears to be a quality product and it gives accuracy within .01 g. Try that with a shure scale. But there is no need to spend big bucks for a digital scale, like I said. The Riverstone seems to be the cheapest ever, so if you don’t like it spend a little bit more and get something you do like.
I use the Technics SH-50P1 strain gauge.
Alternately, occasionally, the Clearaudio Weightwatcher - but I would never buy one of these because sometimes the cartridge cant be weighed because the cartridge body overhanging the stylus prevents you from placing the stlyus on the scale. A major failure for a product that costs a fortune.
Not cheap but if you’re a dedicated vinyl person, recommended.
Not to offend, but the Shure balance scale is a piece of crap. When I referenced it to and through what I now own, it was off by a wide enough margine that audiophiles shouldn’t accept.
I was surprised to read years ago that Fremer was still recommending it!
The digital scales can be off. I check them with little calibration weights.
The Ortofon I currently use is right on but it sits awkwardly on my gizmo so I ordered a Riverstone which should work better. It looks like a great product for the money. People here seem to like it.
The Musou is sold under 20 different names and costs anywhere from $12 to $129 for Pro-Ject's version. So much for exclusivity.
The Wally Scale's claim to fame is measuring the VTF at record level. If you have a neutral balance tonearm it makes no difference whether the measurement is taken at record level or an inch above. VTF stays the same. Examples include the AR-XA, the Kuzma 4 Points, The Schroder CB and the Reed 2G. There are others I'm sure. To be a Neutral Balance arm the center of mass of the counterweight and the center of mass of the cartridge have to be in the same plane as the vertical bearing which ideally should be at record level. The center of mass of the cartridge will be above record level and the center of mass of the balance weight will be below record level. How do you tell functionally? Set the balance weight so the tonearm balances perfectly horizontally. Lift the head shell an inch and let go. Most tonearms will oscillate up and down looking for that balance point. A neutral balance arm will just stay there, an inch up.
No hunting. Neutral balance arms track irregularities in the record's surface much better leading to lower distortion levels.
Now there are many scales that measure at and around record levels like most of the ones mentioned above but a neutral balance arm has important benefits above and beyond a steady VTF anywhere within an inch of record level.
Audite84 and vassilis, I hate to tell you this but the same scale is available on Amazon for $40.00 under the "HiFi Guy" name. The Chinese do this all the time. They design a gauge for Ortofon then either sell it to other people like Jelco or sell it themselves undercutting the price substantially. You have wandered into a perfect example. This scale also shares a lot in common with the Riverstone gauge. It would not surprise me if the internal mechanism is the same. The Pro-Ject is another example. Ortofon might tell you that theirs is "selected" for better tolerances which is doubtful. I have an Ortofon DS-1 which I am sure I overpaid for. It only reads down to 10ths which is also not good enough for the Gizmo.
I use the Audio Additives Stylus Force Gauge. Relatively inexpensive, extremely accurate and easy to use. I also still have and will never part with my old trusty Shure SFG-2 that I bought in the 70s. It's old school (i.e. not digital; all counterbalance mechanical), reasonably accurate and will never fail. I keep it on hand in case the digital conks out and I have to order a new one.
fsonic, I hope your Lyra is "singing", not "signing". Music is no fun when translated into hand gestures. (A little time out for humor here.)
Mijostyn, Can you provide a URL to the gauge that looks just like the Ortofon DS3, only cheaper? I bought the Ortofon only because I was in Tokyo, and there it was on shelf, for sale at a cost much less than the US price or even mail order prices. I had to have some trophy to show for my trip that would fit in my luggage. So I bought the DS3 and a few carbon fiber headshells, also much cheaper there than here. Normally, I would not have paid so much as our local DS3 prices, for a stylus force gauge. On the other hand, it's been superb in use. I also own three Shure SFGs (lord knows how that happened) and one of the more conventional Chinese made digital gauges that I used for a while before discovering that with certain LOMCs that contain very powerful magnet structures, the cartridge could be attracted to the weigh pan. Almost killed my Ortofon MC2000 that way. But only the MC2000 seemed to cause the problem of all my cartridges. That is something that everyone should be aware of in selecting a digital SFG; the weigh pan must not be ferrous. Since this was one of the more expensive of the Chinese types (see URL below; there are many versions that look just like this one), I wonder whether they all potentially will have this issue, but again, only with very powerful magnet structures in the cartridge, which means very LOMCs. The Ortofon DS3, incidentally, has no such problem.http://www.ebay.com/itm/Digital-LCD-Turntable-Cartridge-Stylus-Tracking-Force-Scale-Gauge-0-01g-Accurate/393123171892?hash=item5b87f78e34:g:zLwAAOSwULZgHhZv
Mijostyn, I just searched for the HiFiGuy digital stylus force gauge on Amazon, and what comes up is exactly like the digital SFGs on eBay, for which I provided a URL as an example in my above post. That is not at all like the Ortofon DS3, which is shown in the URL provided by Vassilis, above. What makes you say otherwise? Funnily enough, Amazon wants about $4 more for it (or 33% more) than do any of the vendors on eBay for the same item, even the same brand name. Typical of their mark-up.
Jokes on me; I paid $100 for my older digital SFG (not the DS3), about twice the then going rate, because mine has an all-metal body.
I just use the Shure stylus force gauge at the set-up. Then I make fine adjustments with a familiar album. Then recheck after the fine adjustment. It has always been within the manufacture's recommended force. I think spending the time on the alignment of the cartridge is more important than the accuracy of the stylist force. (as long it not to heavy)