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adjusting the azimuth

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adjusting the azimuth

Postby lpman_t » 04 Jan 2003 22:34

Hi, I have some few questions that I would like to share with you and have your opinions about the needle being perpendicular to the record surface.Last night I decided to try to adjust the azimuth on Project 9 tonearm /Shure V15 .I found out that the needle was not perpendicular to the record surface when the cartridge was parallel to the record surface.I revolved the arm until the needle was perpendicular on the record surface( or almost perpendicular) Then I recognized that when I used the stabilizing brush of the cartridge the brush didnt completely touch the record as the cartridge(arm) was revolved towards left(towards the spindle).I wonder if a cartridge manufacturer can make such a big difference when mounting the needle to the cartridge,or am I not doing the adjusting correctly? ??? Then ,I decided to try it with an other cart.(Grado) The same problem ..the cart. wasnt parallel to the surface of the record when the needle was perpendicular on the surface. >:( I began to think that there s a problem caused by the manufacturers or by me...By the way I used the pro-ject s cartridge alignment tool for the adjustments,the tool includes a mirror for the azimuth adj. I also checked the needle to be perpendicular on some LP s. I found the sound a bit warmer and smoother when I used the cartridge body parallel to the record,but when the needle was perpendicular to the surface I think the sound became dry and cold just like digital formats. So,any of you had a problem like that before?What should I do?Should I leave the cartridge just parallel to the mirror /record surface or the needle to be perpendicular ? ??? regards, lpman_t
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Re: adjusting the azimuth

Postby lpman_t » 11 Jan 2003 23:33

As I have solved the problem I can reply myself.The needles of the Shure and the Grado were not perpendicular in the groove when the cartridges were parallel on the mirror(or the vinyl) because the needles of these two cartridges had been bent because of the excessive anti skating force caused by the tonearm.The tonearm(pro-ject 9) has only 3 levels of antiskating adj. For ex. if you use the Shure at only 1 gr. as it is recommended you have only one choice of anti skating which is also used for 1.5 grs. I replaced the needles and checked the azimuth again .When the cartridges were parallel on the mirror, the needles were perpendicular too.Then I checked the positions of the needles on an LP and there was no more azimuth problem. Now at least I have learned that I will have to be more careful with the difference between the recommended tracking force and the tonearm's antiskating as this pro-ject tonearm does not allow precise adjustment for antiskating. Regards, lpman_t
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Re: adjusting the azimuth

Postby Guest » 13 Jan 2003 11:32

Could you please tell us how you decided the azimuth was "correct"? Using a mirror so that the cantilever and its reflection look like a straight line is the "elementary" way but this could be a degree or two out, don't you think? I have read of several ways to check azimuth ... like reversing the cartridge leads in one channel and then etc etc ... but they haven't worked for me. I have just bought a new arm which has easy azimuth adjustment - it's a unipivot - so I would like to know how to figure out that I have got it correct!! Any suggestions welcome!! Regards, Andy
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Re: adjusting the azimuth

Postby wolfman » 14 Jan 2003 22:28

Hi--whish I could help on this one but all I can do is muddy the waters. I have a Shure Cartridge Analyser which is designed specifically for this function. I was amazed that Shure would and  did send me, at no charge, test records to do this test with - at no charge including the postage !!! Hard to believe, no ?? Anyway, here is the problem : When I adjust my Clearudio Gamma S the cartridge body is no longer perp. to the record surface. As a matter of fact it is off by a fair bit, so mutch so that I doubt the accuracy of the tester. What to do ?? Well, I guess I really should try another cartridge and see if I get the same result. I can't say that I really hear a difference running it either way which leads me to believe, for the moment anyway, that azumith is not as critical as we might believe. I will try another Cart by the weekend and let you know what I find. Bernard
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Re: adjusting the azimuth

Postby sleepy » 15 Jan 2003 20:45

Regard the Bias setting on Project and other arms with thread weight,, you can adjust the bias also by moving the arm out of parellal with the side of your turntable this increases or decreases the lenght of the bias thread in relation to the arm. A mirror wont work the azimuth as there is no garentee that it is flat and at the same height as your record (azimuth will change with height).You need a proper set up rig and record for this. Most cartridges will be slightly unparellel when the needle is correctly alinged, remmeber you are aligning the stylus not the cartridge. Assuming the rest of you set up is fine correct azimuth will give you a crisper cleaner and more solid sound with better stereo seperation.
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Re: adjusting the azimuth

Postby wolfman » 20 Jan 2003 19:11

Well Mr. Sleepy, you certainly got that right. I spent part of Saturday adjusting the azumith on my cartridge with a Shure cartridge analyzer and test record. This was not an easy job - even with the Shure. I have a Morch unipivot tonearm with eccentric counter wieghts that need to be swung off-center to achieve proper azumith and I must tell you that the difference in position of the cartridge vis-a-vis the Lp between minimum crosstalk and too much is very, very slight indeed. There is no way that I can see anyone doing this properly without an analyzer and test record. As it is my catridge is slightly off being perpendicular to the record when properly set up, but again, there is no way you would be able to tell where it should be without the proper equipment. I would suggest that your best bet, without an analyzer, is to just simply mount the cartridge perpendicular to the LP and leave it at that. The odds of you getting the azumith any better by eye/ear are propably about the same as just leaving it perpendicular. Good luck - Bernard
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Re: adjusting the azimuth

Postby sleepy » 20 Jan 2003 20:08

Wolfman , were the results woth it?I got my azimuth very close to right once then I moved it and have never managed to get it back again, I found a profound improvment with my dynavector, in a Wilson benesch arm ,and have been thinking of getting the proper equipment to take away the guess work. Do shure sell these cartridge analysers?
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Re: adjusting the azimuth

Postby wolfman » 20 Jan 2003 20:59

Was it worth it ? Well yes, if only to rest assured that my Clearaudio Gamma S, which tracks at 2.8 gramms was not in fact carving its own groove... ::)      Did I hear a difference...well,,,,I cannot say for certain, to be honest and as I cannot switch back and forth I am left with it the way it is. The Shure - which is no longer available, btw - also showed a difference in output of 1 db between the channels and after adjusting the azumith I do need to adjust the balance more often than before.  Overall though I do not think that there is a huge difference - not enough to make me run out to buy an analyzer if I didn't already have one. As I have only just completed this adjustment, give me a few more days of listening before I answere you. I will let you know what I think later this week. Regards - Bernard
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Re: adjusting the azimuth

Postby wolfman » 27 Jan 2003 17:09

Hi...   I cannot in all honesty say that I hear a signifigant difference now that the azimuth is properly adjusted . It sounded really good before and still does. I will say though, that at a tracking force of 2.8 grammes, it is kind of nice to know that the tip is riding in the groove properly !! I can also tell you that there is definately no way you can do this by eye. Those of you with rigid headshell/tonearm of course will have no choice in the matter. To you , and those who do not have access to a analyser I would say this :  Relax, get it perpendicular to the record surface and just be happy with that.  Enjoy some tunes !! Bernard
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Re: adjusting the azimuth

Postby sleepy » 27 Jan 2003 18:32

Its going to depend on the cartridge and the shape of the stylus as to what effect azimuth will have, also depends on how revealing the rest of the system is. When I bought a new pair of speakers last, i had to redo all my turntable set up as it was revealing distortion that wasn't there before.
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