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Anti-skating makes no difference in sound on Rega P3-24

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Anti-skating makes no difference in sound on Rega P3-24

Postby kring » 13 Sep 2010 13:45

Hi all

I love this site.

I have a question regarding the anti-skate setting. I have a Rega P3-24 with elys2 pickup, and worked a lot on making it sound as good as possible. When adjusting the anti-skating it is really hard for me to hear any difference in sound. So my question is – am I doing something wrong? I listen to any changes in the high, mids and bas but nothing really changes.

I have put the weight on the needle to a bit more than 2 grams, so I don’t think that's enough to setting anti-skate out of function.

By the way, I don’t find my self to be a rookie in sound. I play music and record music in a studio, so hopefully I am not going deaf :shock:

Regards,
Thomas
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Postby safe1 » 13 Sep 2010 14:01

Hi,

you don't really need 2 grams or more for the Elys2.
If you want to add a little bit more than factory 1.75g,
do it 1.80 or 1.85 or 1.90.

Anyway,

you are not alone there, i couldn't hear any difference while
experimenting with my anti-skating on my P3...

Until i set it to 0 (zero). And stayed there.

Try it.


P.S. i'd recommend a test record though, like HiFi News test record. Helps.
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Postby kring » 13 Sep 2010 18:54

Thanks Safe1.

I have now set the weight on the stylus lower, and set the anti-skate to zero. Still, I can't really hear a difference (if anything the top distorts a bit after the change). Is anti-skating just a placebo? I know that theory says that anti-skating is essential, but why can't I hear a change in the sound. It actually annoys me a bit...
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Postby Guest » 13 Sep 2010 19:25

Hi kring and welcome to VE,

Try listening through headphones, it should become apparent... :wink:

Regards

Dave... 8)
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Postby safe1 » 13 Sep 2010 21:04

Kring,

i never tried what synsei suggested as i can't connect headphones to my amplifier, it's got no headphones input.

So i don't know if that works but if synsei says so i've no reason not to believe it.

One thing i know for sure is that Rega anti-skating is a joke.

I guess that you set your anti-skating anywhere between 1.5 and 2 as we almost all did when we bought our Rega TTs.

Rega anti-skating even at 1 is TOO much already for the Elys 2 VTF.

It's hard to decide about when you are close to the correct anti-skating by ear.

I do all my anti-skating adjustments with HFN test record.

What i discovered is that even with anti-skating at 0 (zero), (with the Elys carts) the anti-skating is too much and the left channel distorts at HFN tests.

Above 0, (where you already have enough distortion on left channel), you simply make the sound a little bit worse but you never had a reference point how it should be if it was correct, so you don't really "hear" the change in the sound. It's NOT correct already...

I did modify a little my anti-skating housing and managed to set the anti-skating at such a low level when the HFN test record wouldn't distort on either channels or distort evenly at both of them.

It's only then that i put a normal record on my P3 and the difference of the sound was immediate and obvious.

Try the "headphones" trick and if that doesn't work for you, borrow or buy a Test Record. It'll help you understand what's going on with Rega anti-skate.

Notice though that cartridges with finer styli than Rega, e.g. Ortofon, Denon Dl-1xx, Goldrings, etc. don't really care too much SONICALLY for a wrong anti-skating value. What happens to them by means of uneven wear -> i don't really know....

Best regards.
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Postby JaS » 13 Sep 2010 21:24

safe1 wrote:Notice though that cartridges with finer styli than Rega, e.g. Ortofon, Denon Dl-1xx, Goldrings, etc. don't really care too much SONICALLY for a wrong anti-skating value. What happens to them by means of uneven wear -> i don't really know....

Weird; I've found the opposite to be true :-k If I stick a 1006 elliptical stylus on my Goldring 1000, changes in the anti-skate setting are very difficult to hear and you have to move the slider 1g to hear any difference. With the 1042 Gyger S stylus the coarse adjustment on the Rega becomes a problem as it's difficult to move it a small enough amount to hit the 'focus point'. I haven't used the dial type on the later Regas but I'm guessing it's a vast improvement.

Regards,
JaS
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Postby hesson12 » 13 Sep 2010 21:40

I really don't think you should expect to hear the effects of anti-skating adjustments on any turntable unless it's grossly off, in which case one channel or the other could distort. If it sounds okay, I'd say it IS okay. Until recently, VPI didn't even offer anti-skating adjustment, to show you how important they think it is.
-Bob
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Postby JaS » 13 Sep 2010 22:00

hesson12 wrote:I really don't think you should expect to hear the effects of anti-skating adjustments on any turntable unless it's grossly off, in which case one channel or the other could distort.

The big problem is that it's a moving target, but like azimuth adjustment on a tape deck it's worth finding the centre of the sweet spot; it's just that with spherical and elliptical styli it's a wide spot so nothing to stress about.

Until recently, VPI didn't even offer anti-skating adjustment, to show you how important they think it is.

There's nowt as queer as folk :) Mayware were very relaxed about mounting distance, Rega still don't provide VTA adjustment on their top arms, and Naim provided no overhang or offset angle adjustment on the Aro. If Roy Gandy, Harry Weisfeld and Guy Lamotte got together and built an arm it would be a breeze to setup (and probably sound fantastic!).

Regards,
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Postby analogaudio » 13 Sep 2010 23:25

There is a reason anti skate adjustments may not be audible. First because it affects only the behaviour of the Right hand channel. Second it increases the loudness the Right channel will play before it begins to mistrack. Playing a piece at normal or low groove cutting level there is no unequal distortion in Left and Right to be heard.

The loudness of groove cut required for mistracking distortion to set in is typically reached only during loud peaks in the music, and it is only objectionable with clean clear low distortion music, you might not notice the distortion when playing a grungy hard rock track with distorted guitars.

But with solo piano in particular, or voice, you will clearly hear the distortion begin on the loud peaks in the right channel. Adding some anti skating allows the Right channel to keep up with the Left.

Eventually if the signal level is pushed on up further the distortion becomes gross on both channels, but that's not what antiskate is for, antiskate allows the Right channel to track loud sections with low distortion matching the Left channel.

Antiskate is relevant with pivoted offset tonearms, and the effect is inherent in the geometry of the arm type no matter what VPI says.

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Postby kring » 14 Sep 2010 07:45

Many thanks guys! I really appreciate your input.

I have listened for distortion on loud peaks in vocal, but not focusing on the right channel, as Ted suggest. I will try to adjust the anti-skating through headphones, as Synsei suggest. My amplifier does however not have headphones input, so I will try to borough one at the local hifi shop today. And while I'm there I'll look for the HFN test record, as Safe1 suggests. I already have a blank record for adjusting anti-skate, but maybe the HFN test record is better. I think I will wait a bit with the modifying of the anti-skating house until I hear if the above-mentioned things make a difference.

Again, many thanks I appreciate it!
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Postby Guest » 14 Sep 2010 11:48

I have a slightly alternate take on AS, but with similar conclusions. My 2p worth :

It might be normal to hear very little difference with AS settings. It depends on how much stylus/groove friction is going on (in turn on alignment and quality/type of diamond polish and cut, and wear). It also depends on cartridge suspension stiffness and damping, as it is the suspension that must accomodate (the headshell that moves) in producing the observed tracing distortion.

In a silent groove with no anti-skate, tonearm drag is always on the inner groove wall. In fact, unless the groove gets very curvy (as in high levels esp at inner grooves and with high frequencies), tonearm drag always pulls on this wall. The line of force for the tonearm drag is the tracking offset angle, typically c 27 deg. Until the groove angle exceeds this, the pull (and associated friction) is always on the same wall.

Optimal AS arranges for the force on both groove walls to be equal in a silent groove.

As to what one can hear as AS is altered and becomes optimal, as I see it, is a) an improvement in peak level trackability, esp on pure right side b) a change in the type of ever present distortion from 2nd harmonic to 3rd harmonic c) a shift in the location of harmonic distortion from right to centre.

It's possible that none of these occurs at a significant level in normal play, or is masked by a larger effect. And that's why the effect can vary between setups, IMO.

Optimal AS varies between records, and to some extent across the disc, in principle. So I wouldn't get too hung about achieving perfection, it probably won't last long, and as a rule normal variation is very tolerable.
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Postby hannes123 » 01 Oct 2010 10:47

Hi!

Quite old thread, sorry 'bout that, but...

I have few discs with looong lead-out, so i set antiskating by putting the stylus between the lead-out grooves (on that shiny surface) and turning the AS knob until the tonearm wasn't moving to either direction.
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Postby 13oots2 » 02 Oct 2010 21:32

I have noticed anti-skate makes little difference on my Rega deck using RB301 and Denon DL-110, yet seems to make a huge difference on my FrankenTechnics SL2000. Can anyone shed some light on that?
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