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LP120 tonearm height

Posted: 14 Aug 2018 21:11
by streetpussy
Hi,

Have had my LP120 for a while, but had to readjust the tonearm when moving the turntable to a different spot. I'm using the AT95E it came with and set the counterweight and anti-skate to 2.0. This time around I decided to adjust the tonearm height since I'm playing a lot of 180g records (hadn't thought to adjust the height before) but realized anything above 0 causes the tonearm to dip down. Even at 0 it seems to dip down a bit but at this point my eyes may be playing tricks on me. Anyone else have this issue?

http://i1174.photobucket.com/albums/r60 ... l92kdg.jpg
http://i1174.photobucket.com/albums/r60 ... 9syxwe.jpg

Re: LP120 tonearm height

Posted: 14 Aug 2018 23:20
by plyscds
Your vision is fine. Those turntables are designed that way. They are "professional" turntables for DJs. Or so it says on the carton. Well, it did on my older AT-PL120.

You have two choices. Either put some kind of shims between the cartridge and headshell to level the tonearm, or raise the record by putting something on the platter to raise the position where the record rests. It's a lot easier to raise the record. I found that on my older AT-PL120 a 1/4-inch cork mat and a 1/8-inch rubber mat provided the elevation without dampening the music and gave me the first two numbers on the tonearm height adjustment for finding a tracking angle for just about any cartridge mounting scheme you will encounter. You will have to experiment and find where your personal sweet spot resides.

Re: LP120 tonearm height

Posted: 15 Aug 2018 02:23
by streetpussy
Thanks for the info! Man, that sounds like a pain in the ass. Is there a tried and true stylus that resolves the issue with the LP120? Or should I upgrade the mat anyway? Is the current setup going to damage my 180gs? Also, if the stylus is set to line up with 180gs, I wouldn’t need to readjust it when playing other vinyl, right? Seems a bit obsessive/excessive.

Thanks again!

Re: LP120 tonearm height

Posted: 15 Aug 2018 05:58
by poutrew
You really want to upgrade the mat to a good cork or rubber mat. Additionally, you can adjust the tonearm height by setting the dial to below zero... it does go lower down a bit more, which will help in leveling out the tonearm.

Re: LP120 tonearm height

Posted: 15 Aug 2018 17:29
by Sterling1
This issue seems not to have much meaning. The A-T95 just does not appear to be sensitive to stylus rake. Of course, it could mean that A-T just overlooked the issue or it was not important enough for them to resolve it. It does seem odd though that they supply the A-T 95 cartridge for the A-T 120 turntable with adjustable VTA and the cart can not be leveled without having to resort to buying a rubber mat, or to shimming the cart. My A-T 120 with A-T95 is set at -2 and still is not level. Also, the non-functioning anti-skate device is a confidence buster. Nevertheless, in sound comparisons between the A-T 120 and my Technics SL-1210GR, I can't say the Technics sounds better. So, perhaps, buyers of A-T 120's are on to something.

Re: LP120 tonearm height

Posted: 15 Aug 2018 19:30
by streetpussy
Sterling1 wrote:This issue seems not to have much meaning. The A-T95 just does not appear to be sensitive to stylus rake. Of course, it could mean that A-T just overlooked the issue or it was not important enough for them to resolve it. It does seem odd though that they supply the A-T 95 cartridge for the A-T 120 turntable with adjustable VTA and the cart can not be leveled without having to resort to buying a rubber mat, or to shimming the cart. My A-T 120 with A-T95 is set at -2 and still is not level. Also, the non-functioning anti-skate device is a confidence buster. Nevertheless, in sound comparisons between the A-T 120 and my Technics SL-1210GR, I can't say the Technics sounds better. So, perhaps, buyers of A-T 120's are on to something.
Thanks. I'm not an audiophile by any means and 35mm photography takes up most of my money, I just simply want my records to sound good enough without damaging them. Rubber mat it is :)

Wait, how did you set it to -2?

Re: LP120 tonearm height

Posted: 15 Aug 2018 22:23
by Woodbrains
Hello,

There is a lot of discussion about tail high tonearms being 'better' it might be as well to leave it!

I have never heart either the AT table or the Technics 1200GR, but if the latter really doesn't sound any better, then it really would be bizarre. I'm never likely to hear them, either, but I'm sure those who have will chime in as to the reasons why/why not. I hope.

Mike.

Re: LP120 tonearm height

Posted: 16 Aug 2018 03:02
by streetpussy
Woodbrains wrote:Hello,

There is a lot of discussion about tail high tonearms being 'better' it might be as well to leave it!

I have never heart either the AT table or the Technics 1200GR, but if the latter really doesn't sound any better, then it really would be bizarre. I'm never likely to hear them, either, but I'm sure those who have will chime in as to the reasons why/why not. I hope.

Mike.
Interesting about the tail high tonearms allegedly sounding better. Honestly the records sound just fine to me but am just worried about damaging them. I actually have a friend with an LP120 and a nice Technics 1200 and says she couldn't notice a difference after upgrading the stylus on the LP120.

Re: LP120 tonearm height

Posted: 16 Aug 2018 11:52
by Sterling1
streetpussy wrote:
Sterling1 wrote:This issue seems not to have much meaning. The A-T95 just does not appear to be sensitive to stylus rake. Of course, it could mean that A-T just overlooked the issue or it was not important enough for them to resolve it. It does seem odd though that they supply the A-T 95 cartridge for the A-T 120 turntable with adjustable VTA and the cart can not be leveled without having to resort to buying a rubber mat, or to shimming the cart. My A-T 120 with A-T95 is set at -2 and still is not level. Also, the non-functioning anti-skate device is a confidence buster. Nevertheless, in sound comparisons between the A-T 120 and my Technics SL-1210GR, I can't say the Technics sounds better. So, perhaps, buyers of A-T 120's are on to something.
Thanks. I'm not an audiophile by any means and 35mm photography takes up most of my money, I just simply want my records to sound good enough without damaging them. Rubber mat it is :)

Wait, how did you set it to -2?
The A-T 120 VTA adjustment feature does not stop at ZERO marking. The device can be turned counter clockwise some more. BTW, the rubber mat may level the cartridge but again the stylus rake of the A-T 95 does not seem sensitive to minor angle divergence. One thing for sure, unless you need a felt slip mat for DJ work, the rubber mat is superior for a multitude of reasons.

Re: LP120 tonearm height

Posted: 16 Aug 2018 12:05
by Sterling1
Woodbrains wrote:Hello,

There is a lot of discussion about tail high tonearms being 'better' it might be as well to leave it!

I have never heart either the AT table or the Technics 1200GR, but if the latter really doesn't sound any better, then it really would be bizarre. I'm never likely to hear them, either, but I'm sure those who have will chime in as to the reasons why/why not. I hope.

Mike.
If a realitively inexpensive turntalbe can be engineered with enough precision to properly track records with X cartridge as would a realitively expensive turntable fitted with X cartridge then a very similar experience should be expected.

Re: LP120 tonearm height

Posted: 16 Aug 2018 13:07
by MetalT75
When I was getting back to vinyl early this year I figured I don't want to put a lot of money into a TT if, in the long run, I wouldn't play that much vinyls but only occasionally (I was wrong!). So I bought LP120.

After I got to test it I noticed that the tonearm was tilting heavily nose down even though the VTA adjustment was turned as low as possible (below zero). I started searching for information and noticed discussions about the matter here and there stating that it's a design/manufacturing fault which could be rectified only by dismantling the TT and modifying the VTA adjuster a bit. I also found a TT setup instructions page and LP120 was used as an example of wrong VTA set up... Many people used thick mats to correct the VTA. I put 4 LPs on top of each other to see how much I would have to raise the platter. Even then the tonearm was not level and I was running out of spindle. I found out that the tonearm was level only on the arm rest...

On top of that I noticed that the antiskate had absolutely no effect. It didn't matter if the dial was set to 7 or 0. Then I read that it also is a design fault. The spring is way too weak to do anything and AT had offered a stronger replacement spring in the US. At that point I decided to return the TT and get a better one so I wouldn't have to battle with basic issues that should be in order even in cheap TTs. If there are adjustments, they should work and you should be able to set the TT up correctly at least with the stock cartridge. My friend had a more expensive and better model AT and he had no such issues. The tonearm was level and AS was working.

I'm not a VTA believer. I don't think small changes in the tonearm heigth matter at all. If the tonearm is pretty much level you should be good to go. But when it's so far off like with LP120 it must have some effect at least with better carts than the stock at95e.

Re: LP120 tonearm height

Posted: 20 Aug 2018 21:45
by streetpussy
Okay so I bought a 1/4" cork mat and a Technics 1/8" rubber mat with the intention of stacking them. Well, the amount of spindle left with this combo seems a little crazy. With the 1/4" cork mat alone, there is a big improvement in tone arm balance but am not sure if this is spot on or not. This is 180g vinyl with the tone arm height as low as it can go so the problem will come back with other records. How does this look?

1) with the Audio Technica felt mat
2) with the cork mat alone
3) with the cork and rubber mat stacked
4) the cork and rubber mat stacked with a 180g record

http://i1174.photobucket.com/albums/r60 ... pt5okl.jpg

http://i1174.photobucket.com/albums/r60 ... ygraka.jpg

http://i1174.photobucket.com/albums/r60 ... qfaza2.jpg

http://i1174.photobucket.com/albums/r60 ... bdgohu.jpg

Thanks!

Re: LP120 tonearm height

Posted: 21 Aug 2018 02:18
by Sterling1
streetpussy wrote:Okay so I bought a 1/4" cork mat and a Technics 1/8" rubber mat with the intention of stacking them. Well, the amount of spindle left with this combo seems a little crazy. With the 1/4" cork mat alone, there is a big improvement in tone arm balance but am not sure if this is spot on or not. This is 180g vinyl with the tone arm height as low as it can go so the problem will come back with other records. How does this look?

1) with the Audio Technica felt mat
2) with the cork mat alone
3) with the cork and rubber mat stacked
4) the cork and rubber mat stacked with a 180g record

http://i1174.photobucket.com/albums/r60 ... pt5okl.jpg

http://i1174.photobucket.com/albums/r60 ... ygraka.jpg

http://i1174.photobucket.com/albums/r60 ... qfaza2.jpg

http://i1174.photobucket.com/albums/r60 ... bdgohu.jpg

Thanks!
If your turntable was mine, I'd just use the rubber mat and then shim the cartridge with a thick enough shim to allow use of the turntable's VTA adjustment to raise pivot of tonearm to get cartridge perfectly level. I'd make the adjustments on a 180 gram LP, since the VTA adjustment is more practical for "audiophile" recordings, usually pressed on 180 gram material.

Re: LP120 tonearm height

Posted: 21 Aug 2018 03:11
by streetpussy
I wouldn't even know how to go about doing that. Are there pre made shims? Do I have to completely disassemble the cartridge? How do I know what size to use?

Re: LP120 tonearm height

Posted: 21 Aug 2018 09:58
by Sterling1
streetpussy wrote:I wouldn't even know how to go about doing that. Are there pre made shims? Do I have to completely disassemble the cartridge? How do I know what size to use?
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Delrin-Headshe ... SwXf1acbRQ