Temperature Dependance of Anti-Skate Setting

Temperature Dependance of Anti-Skate Setting

Postby cbl117 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:23 pm

I wanted to share an observation pertaining to anti-skate, and the influence of room temperature on the tonearm wire 'arc', and subsequently the amount of anti-skate applied by the 'arc'.

Bottom Line: Temperature swings (in my case ~20F; 55F to 75F when fully warmed up) can have enough influence to affect tracking ability. For example, I was getting slight mistracking on certain difficult passages only in the left channel. I know these records well, and use them to confirm my system is dialed in. So, when I start hearing mistracking, I start reviewing all my setup parameters to see what's changed. I checked everything (level, offset, zenith, azimuth, VTA, VTF), and found no issue. I eventually figured it out. Turns out it was the 'stiffness' of the tonearm wire 'arc' varying over temperature, and when cold it added too much anti-skate. When my system was fully warmed up, everything tracked fine. Caveat: I'm using a headphone system, so my ability to hear slight mistracking is magnified.

I wanted to share that experience to possibly help someone from chasing their tail...
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Re: Temperature Dependance of Anti-Skate Setting

Postby Jazzgene » Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:00 pm

Thanks for the post. I concur. Ambient temperature does affect the turntable performance. I think the vtf is greater in warmer temperature as well.
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Re: Temperature Dependance of Anti-Skate Setting

Postby Brf » Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:08 am

That is quite a variance in ambient temperatures (~20F). I would imagine that this would be more of an isolated occurrence than the norm. In your situation, it might be more beneficial to use VPI's mechanical A/s device instead of a twisted wire approach. IMHO, you can dress the VPI tonearm wire to be fairly benign with respect to it's influence on a/s.

Also, what you might be hearing is the effect of the cooler temperature on your cartridge suspension as most are spec'd to run optimally at 70 degrees.
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Re: Temperature Dependance of Anti-Skate Setting

Postby Golear » Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:47 pm

This is great info. Once upon a time, they used to specify the temperature at which cartridge compliance measurements were done.
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Re: Temperature Dependance of Anti-Skate Setting

Postby cbl117 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:15 pm

Brf wrote:That is quite a variance in ambient temperatures (~20F). I would imagine that this would be more of an isolated occurrence than the norm. In your situation, it might be more beneficial to use VPI's mechanical A/s device instead of a twisted wire approach. IMHO, you can dress the VPI tonearm wire to be fairly benign with respect to it's influence on a/s.

Also, what you might be hearing is the effect of the cooler temperature on your cartridge suspension as most are spec'd to run optimally at 70 degrees.


It may be more of a norm for folks living in SoCal. I own an old (109 years old) bungalow with wall heat in the main living room. My office is in the back of the house and temps can vary as much as 20F when we get a cold spell.

You're spot on brf, I've dressed the tonearm wire to be 'almost' neutral with respect to skating force. I use the mechanical AS and use one donut. I have noticed that my VTF drops about 0.03g in that 20F variance (2.03g when cold, 2.00g when warm). That supports the stiffer cantilever suspension theory (stiffer suspension = cart sitting higher = more VTF on unipivot design).
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