Level on tonearm

Re: Level on tonearm

Postby thegage » Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:34 pm

Brf wrote:As an alternative, a lot of users have spoken highly of the Millennium - Acrylic VTA Block - https://www.musicdirect.com/analog-accessories/millennium-acrylic-vta-block

That's what I use. There are less expensive options out there (https://www.amazon.com/Nobsound-Acoustics-Turntable-Tonearm-Cartridge/dp/B07794JXYZ/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1520620390&sr=8-3-fkmr0&keywords=tonearm+vita+%26+cartridge+azimuth+ruler) but I don't know how accurate they are.

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Re: Level on tonearm

Postby Brf » Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:31 am

The only place where absolute level means anything is the platter and motor. I really don’t understand the obsession with absolute level on a tonearm as it guarantees nothing. A level tonearm is a recommended starting point, a vta average, where good sound can be repeatedly achieved (on average).

Since cartridge’s are hand made, they are not perfect, therefore, each cartridge must be adjusted up or down from the baseline level average to achieve optimal sound. IME, the baseline level just needs to be close, as you will be adjusting the vta by ear to achieve optimal performance.

My question, what is the difference between a 180 and 178 degree baseline, when both can be repeated?
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Re: Level on tonearm

Postby Golear » Sat Mar 10, 2018 11:03 pm

Took me a while to get the question. I think there's no difference, since, no matter what the starting point may be, we're going to set the final position by ear.

But if we consistently start from level, then one may just have to fine-tune by ear. And I know the final position will be a little lower, or most likely, a little higher. Also, it may be obvious which way to turn when one goes from a thin LP to a 180 gram LP. However, it's not entirely obvious when going from a thin LP to another thin LP.

By the way, going back to the original post, how about permanently attaching a long bubble level to the counterweight? The mass of the bubble level would be accounted for by moving the counterweight closer to the pivot. There's already a threaded hole in the counterweight on my arm, and the distance of the bubble level from the tonearm pivot will amplify any departure from level. I'm still not sure that the bubble level will be sensitive enough, though. My previous tonearm needed frequent adjustments, and one method of doing them involved a bubble level. It was a pain. The bubble seemed to have some "inertia" - may be it was very cheap, or the bubble was too big for the tube that it was in.
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Re: Level on tonearm

Postby mflaten » Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:57 pm

I like Harry's idea: "A thought would be one that was about 1" long with "V's" put in the bottom on both ends and place that on the tonearm itself near the pivot. " Since the tonearm is tapered another way would be to have a tapered gauge that could be put on a record and under the tonearm to sight level.

My understanding is when setting up the cartridge, SRA is set by shimming the cartridge with the tonearm level not by raising or lowering the tonearm so knowing level is important.

I really like the 2nd pivot but I think it could be machined into the tonearm base and also where the pivot slides on the "surface plate" is a little hokey. The surface plate could also be machined into the tonearm base for more precision.
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Re: Level on tonearm

Postby Brf » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:12 am

"V" grooves incorporated into a small scale spirit level will only work on tonearms with an uniform diameter.
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Re: Level on tonearm

Postby mflaten » Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:26 pm

Put the spirit level on the collar by the pivot where it is uniform.
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Re: Level on tonearm

Postby Johnny » Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:02 pm

mflaten wrote:Put the spirit level on the collar by the pivot where it is uniform.


A 1 inch spirit level will tell you nothing, way too course, a gimmick at best. You are better off using a milenium block or an index card which will give you more accuracy without upsetting the tonearm vtf
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