Mechanical Anti Skate

Re: Mechanical Anti Skate

Postby spinblackcircle » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:49 pm

babybird wrote:In the past I have used mechanical anti skate and was a proponent of this method. However currently this is not the case. Using SoundSmiths method of judging correct anti skate at the lead out grooves of a record time and again without any mechanical anti skate employed my tone arm/cartridge barely moves if at all toward the center spindle and this is WITHOUT twisting the tone arm wire. If I employ even a tiny bit of mechanical anti skate with only one rubber washer the tone arm rapidly and immediately moves to the outside of the record. If I twist the wire one turn tighter, tone arm immediately moves to fast to the inside record spindle. If the tone arm wire is twisted loose one turn the results are very similar to the one rubber washer mechanical anti skate.

I have a theory on why at least on my system the mechanical anti skate is not necessary. In one word its gravity. Using one of the high quality bubble levels (Ortofon I think) my platter is leveled very precisely at the mid point of a record where the stylus would be in the groove. However once a record is clamped onto the platter, yes I still use the delrin screw down clamp, the record now has a downhill hill pitch (from center to outside edge) of approximately 1.5º ± a 1/4th of a degree depending on the thickness of the record. The culprit is the rubber washer thats installed on the spindle. No matter how tight the clamp is screwed down the center of the record where the label resides is noticeably elevated compared to the outside circumference. Now 1.5º might not sound like much to anyone, but at one point I actually tried to level the platter with clamped record which turned out to be an exercise in futility. The right front foot was literally elevated by half an inch or so and still the record/platter combo was not dialed into a zero.

My suspicion is the slight bit of downhill (outward) slope creates just the right amount of anti skate on its own. For those not using the rubber washer your results could be considerably different.

Hope this helps.



I recently went from using a HR-X Weight and Ring back to the screw down clamp with the washer and had similar results. I also went from a SoundSmith Zephyr to a Grado Reference Master at the same time. I am no longer using the mechanical A/S.
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Re: Mechanical Anti Skate

Postby Audiolad » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:25 pm

My comment about anti-skate is not to reflect on the fine craftsmanship of their turntable. However, I am not impressed with the cavalier attitude toward anti-skate capability. Forty Five years in the turntable consumer world has taught me that if you have a good enough cartridge and accurate enough speakers, the distortion at the end of the record is quite noticeable. My old turntable is a Rega with magnetic anti-skate and there's doesn't activate completely until the last third of the record. The requirement for reverse force isn't noticeable until beyond the mid point, but especially near the end of record. Use a dangling weight method seems old engineering, and it doesn't work absolutely. The old hats learned to use a longer wire/line so the weight is sitting on the surface, and it doesn't engaget until half way across the record. That is the easiest and purest way to set the anti-skate. I'm sorry but a twisted wire simply is avoiding the issue in designing the arm. I hope in the future VPI will reconsider the necessity to have a well oiled method to address the anti-skate requirement. Thank you.
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Re: Mechanical Anti Skate

Postby Brf » Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:53 pm

Audiolad wrote:My comment about anti-skate is not to reflect on the fine craftsmanship of their turntable. However, I am not impressed with the cavalier attitude toward anti-skate capability. Forty Five years in the turntable consumer world has taught me that if you have a good enough cartridge and accurate enough speakers, the distortion at the end of the record is quite noticeable. My old turntable is a Rega with magnetic anti-skate and there's doesn't activate completely until the last third of the record. The requirement for reverse force isn't noticeable until beyond the mid point, but especially near the end of record. Use a dangling weight method seems old engineering, and it doesn't work absolutely. The old hats learned to use a longer wire/line so the weight is sitting on the surface, and it doesn't engaget until half way across the record. That is the easiest and purest way to set the anti-skate. I'm sorry but a twisted wire simply is avoiding the issue in designing the arm. I hope in the future VPI will reconsider the necessity to have a well oiled method to address the anti-skate requirement. Thank you.


A couple of points for clarification.

The vpi mechanical anti-skate force increases as the arm moves towards the records spindle. The weighted pivoted arm swings in an arc, with the greatest force exerted on the fishing line (increased anti-skate) when the weighted arm is parallel to the playing surface.

You can have the vpi mechanical anti-skate engage at any point on the record by modifying the mono filament line.

I agree, the twisted tonearm wire is inconsistent and rudimentary but users report excellent results.
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Re: Mechanical Anti Skate

Postby Johnny » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:38 pm

Brf wrote:
Audiolad wrote:My comment about anti-skate is not to reflect on the fine craftsmanship of their turntable. However, I am not impressed with the cavalier attitude toward anti-skate capability. Forty Five years in the turntable consumer world has taught me that if you have a good enough cartridge and accurate enough speakers, the distortion at the end of the record is quite noticeable. My old turntable is a Rega with magnetic anti-skate and there's doesn't activate completely until the last third of the record. The requirement for reverse force isn't noticeable until beyond the mid point, but especially near the end of record. Use a dangling weight method seems old engineering, and it doesn't work absolutely. The old hats learned to use a longer wire/line so the weight is sitting on the surface, and it doesn't engaget until half way across the record. That is the easiest and purest way to set the anti-skate. I'm sorry but a twisted wire simply is avoiding the issue in designing the arm. I hope in the future VPI will reconsider the necessity to have a well oiled method to address the anti-skate requirement. Thank you.


A couple of points for clarification.

The vpi mechanical anti-skate force increases as the arm moves towards the records spindle. The weighted pivoted arm swings in an arc, with the greatest force exerted on the fishing line (increased anti-skate) when the weighted arm is parallel to the playing surface.

You can have the vpi mechanical anti-skate engage at any point on the record by modifying the mono filament line.

I agree, the twisted tonearm wire is inconsistent and rudimentary but users report excellent results.


Hey Brf, how in the heck do you know this stuff??? Thanks for the support on the forum.
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Re: Mechanical Anti Skate

Postby Stringreen » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:37 pm

....and by rotating the device around its attachment to the junction box you can place maximum exertion at the beginning, middle, end or any place in between the record side.
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Re: Mechanical Anti Skate

Postby VinBob » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:08 pm

Stringreen wrote:....and by rotating the device around its attachment to the junction box you can place maximum exertion at the beginning, middle, end or any place in between the record side.


I wish there was a video demonstration or detailed illustrations on this stuff to fully appreciate the reasoning behind this excellent information you guys share with us...
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Re: Mechanical Anti Skate

Postby JimTimP » Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:24 am

BRF is a mechanical genius. No, he really is. I think this stuff is intuitive for him.
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Re: Mechanical Anti Skate

Postby Orchids1 » Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:13 pm

I've corresponded with Brf (Brent), and, while I originally thought he was Batman, I now believe he is Dr. Strange. He uses his mystical and inhuman intellectual powers to answer the unanswerable. When he deems it necessary, or in response to an entreaty that moves him, he will transport himself back in time and alter the actual physical form of an audio component, without our awareness, so that it will conform in our time to what he supremely knew was always best. I believe he has also occasionally changed preexisting physical laws to the same end. I hope that clears things up for all of you. VPI and all of us are, indeed, fortunate to have him on our side. Imagine what could happen if he fell under the influence of the evil Rega empire. Rich
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Re: Mechanical Anti Skate

Postby JimTimP » Sat Aug 19, 2017 3:36 pm

He should change his name to: "Scotty".
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