Mechanical Anti Skate

Re: Mechanical Anti Skate

Postby JimTimP » Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:58 pm

VinBob,

Just to clarify, the deflection your dealer is looking for is AFTER or BEFORE the stylus reaches the record?

Because if it's before, I will take issue with that observation. If the stylus is not in contact with the record - fully - then it is not influenced by the skating forces of the records rotation.

If it's after, then maybe OK, just my visual acumen is not that great as I've never been able to detect that minute of deflection. Maybe I've got it set right enough not to????

FWIW, when I used the Diana Krall 4th side, and the Peter Ledemann test with my Soundsmith Voice cartridge, I got a single groove (scratch?) showing on the otherwise pristine surface. I did have anti-skate applied per Peter. I'm gonna say that is close enough for me.
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Re: Mechanical Anti Skate

Postby VinBob » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:46 am

JimTimP wrote:VinBob,

Just to clarify, the deflection your dealer is looking for is AFTER or BEFORE the stylus reaches the record?

Because if it's before, I will take issue with that observation. If the stylus is not in contact with the record - fully - then it is not influenced by the skating forces of the records rotation.

If it's after, then maybe OK, just my visual acumen is not that great as I've never been able to detect that minute of deflection. Maybe I've got it set right enough not to????

FWIW, when I used the Diana Krall 4th side, and the Peter Ledemann test with my Soundsmith Voice cartridge, I got a single groove (scratch?) showing on the otherwise pristine surface. I did have anti-skate applied per Peter. I'm gonna say that is close enough for me.


Hi JimTimP - I would assume its AFTER based on the following response from the dealer, but I would suspect one would need some serious hawk-eyes to see how the stylus behaves:

Lower the stylus onto the record and observe if it gets pulled inward or pushed outward.

Cheers,
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Re: Mechanical Anti Skate

Postby WntrMute » Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:28 pm

It does not take an eagle-eye to see the inward or outward movement of the cantilever. I don't have the best of vision having undergone multiple laser treatments on both eyes and it is perfectly clear if the stylus pulls the cantilever one way or another.
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Re: Mechanical Anti Skate

Postby jonathanb » Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:32 pm

WntrMute wrote:It does not take an eagle-eye to see the inward or outward movement of the cantilever. I don't have the best of vision having undergone multiple laser treatments on both eyes and it is perfectly clear if the stylus pulls the cantilever one way or another.


It all depends on the cartridge in question. This method works nicely with a VAS Nova (or similar cartridge) but is utterly impossible for my Transfiguration Phoenix as its short cantilever is tucked too far from the front of the cartridge to be visible when in play.
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Re: Mechanical Anti Skate

Postby WntrMute » Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:58 pm

That is a fair point Jonathanb.
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Re: Mechanical Anti Skate

Postby oldskooldude » Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:25 pm

I use the mechanical anti-skate. I have tried none at all and the twisted wire. I have a SoundSmith Voice. Peter Lederman insists that it needs anti-skate. His point, which is well taken, is that the CL and Shibata type stylus need it to stay in contact with the groove properly. Think about their shape and how they ride the groove. If I understand what I have read, even Harry agrees with Peter, about his carts specifically. So I went about the technique he describes on his web site, and he is specific to the VPI tone arms. It should work for any cart that has an exotic tip.

https://www.sound-smith.com/faq/how-do- ... -cartridge

You have to read the whole thing and then follow the procedure for VPI tonearms. Patience. Trial and error, over and over. I used five brass washers and four of the rubber grommets. It will vary for each record because of differences in the vinyl. I used the Acoustic Sounds test record for all of my tests so I could follow Peter's other tests more easily. Your overhang, VTF, azimuth and SRA also must be dead on. Do anti-skate last. It will mess with your azimuth adjustment, so keep an eye on that. Once it was dialed in I noticed an improvement in the sound stage image, cleaner mids and highs. Don't get me wrong, I thought everything sounded fantastic before I implemented anti-skate. It wasn't a suttle change for me either. There was an immediate noticeable improvement.

The time investment was well worth the payback for me. I do check the azimuth each play because with the anti-skate hooked up it has a tendency to yank the tone arm as you position it and sometimes it has to be wobbled to assume the correct azimuth position. If anybody can give me advice on how to avoid that I would greatly appreciate it. Maybe VPI could make it so it won't do that.
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Re: Mechanical Anti Skate

Postby Stringreen » Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:51 am

All this discussion of a/s is laughable...A/S needed or not is constantly changing...you can't do it right. I find that the better the cartridge is dialed in the greater the difference with/without a/s.
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Re: Mechanical Anti Skate

Postby suntea » Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:48 am

Stringreen wrote:All this discussion of a/s is laughable...A/S needed or not is constantly changing...you can't do it right. I find that the better the cartridge is dialed in the greater the difference with/without a/s.

I agree. I never use anti skate on my Classic 3 and there is no pull either way. I tried it at first but took Harry's advice and never looked back. Set Azimuth, VTA, etc. correctly and you are good to go. Maybe this is different for another table model.

I think Harry knows best.
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Re: Mechanical Anti Skate

Postby Dorian » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:03 pm

The question for SoundSmith carts specifically is do you trust Peter Ledermann or Harry? I went with Peter.
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Re: Mechanical Anti Skate

Postby babybird » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:11 pm

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.
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