Perfect setup for AT-LP120 USB Turntable

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Boltman92124
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Re: Perfect setup for AT-LP120 USB Turntable

Post by Boltman92124 » 03 Apr 2018 21:22

I just set-up with Lofgren Arc for the first time and I'm very pleased. It's nice to use that calculator for the LP120 since the specs are slightly different than a Technics 1200.

I aligned all 6 of my headshells with Lofgren this weekend. (took awhile!). Definitely sounds better than the Technics Arc protractor or the AT Stevenson gauge. I also like how the carts don't have to be as far forward as Baerwald/Technics. The overhang ended up being right at 52mm still. I definitely like arc protractors better.

I've got the VTA issue handled too and more accurate VTF with a separate gauge. Things are dialed in nicely now.

Thanks!

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Re: Perfect setup for AT-LP120 USB Turntable

Post by Boltman92124 » 03 Apr 2018 21:42

The balance of what I've done to my LP120 is
1.) Perfectly level the table
2.) Upgrade to the heavier counterweight. I found that the VTF dial is NOT accurate with this and added a digital scale.
3.) Use 1/4" cork mat and Technics 2mm rubber mat to correct the VTA and quiet the platter.
4.) Upgrade the pre-amp to the Emotiva for MM and MC.
5.) Use the AT618 record weight to improve contact with the cork mat.
6.) Upgraded the headshells with various alternatives and upgraded the lead wires/cables.
7.) I added some silicon to the arm lift to fix the damping after a year or so.
8.) Anti skating hasn't been an audible issue. I usually leave it near zero. The floating tonearm returns to it's rest with about 1.5/2.0 applied. At zero, the arm returns to the first track or so...so I think there's already some natural anti-skating going on with it. Nice channel balance with all of my carts.

I haven't had any other issues with my LP120. It has been very reliable and benefited from lots of tweaking for sure....including proper alignment.

Quartz_Lock10729
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Re: Perfect setup for AT-LP120 USB Turntable

Post by Quartz_Lock10729 » 04 Apr 2018 20:07

BMRR wrote:
FileFixer wrote:Antiskating Force: 3.0g (bias setting based on very known audio track and VU meters with 1dB scale)
This part does not surprise me. Hanpin's antiskating mechanism is very weak :|
Hey BMRR,

With regard to the 120's anti-skating, being that File found that a 3.0 bias setting was necessary with a lower tracking force value, what do you think I should keep my bias on if I'm running the 95E at around 2.35 grams of VTF?

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Re: Perfect setup for AT-LP120 USB Turntable

Post by BMRR » 05 Apr 2018 18:48

Is 3 as high as it goes? If so, I'd certainly set it at 3. If it goes higher, start at 3 and then experiment with higher settings and listen for any difference/improvement.

Boltman92124
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Re: Perfect setup for AT-LP120 USB Turntable

Post by Boltman92124 » 05 Apr 2018 21:48

Quartz_Lock10729 wrote:
BMRR wrote:
FileFixer wrote:Antiskating Force: 3.0g (bias setting based on very known audio track and VU meters with 1dB scale)
This part does not surprise me. Hanpin's antiskating mechanism is very weak :|
Hey BMRR,

With regard to the 120's anti-skating, being that File found that a 3.0 bias setting was necessary with a lower tracking force value, what do you think I should keep my bias on if I'm running the 95E at around 2.35 grams of VTF?
Try this- Set anti skate to zero. Float your tonearm with the cartridge as you would do to set VTF, leave floating. Gently move the tonearm to the center spindle and let go of the arm. Where does it end up? If the arm moves back to the arm rest or close, you have the same natural anti skating going on that my LP120 does. If it stops somewhere over the platter, adjust the anti skate enough so that it returns to the arm rest. That's how I set it on my LP120.

Regardless of all of that, the best test is just to see if you have any channel imbalance when playing. Do your vocals float center stage as they should? If so, your in the good zone.

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Re: Perfect setup for AT-LP120 USB Turntable

Post by Ghaasl » 06 Apr 2018 02:48

I set my anti skate by ear. I put a mono record on, stand an equal distance between and away from my speakers (equal lateral triangle), close my eyes, and listen. If the music is right in the center, the antiskate is dead on. If not, I adjust a little at a time. If it’s worse, I go the other way. My VTF is around 1.8g, antiskate set to 1.5 or so.

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Re: Perfect setup for AT-LP120 USB Turntable

Post by Quartz_Lock10729 » 07 Apr 2018 22:22

BMRR wrote:Is 3 as high as it goes? If so, I'd certainly set it at 3. If it goes higher, start at 3 and then experiment with higher settings and listen for any difference/improvement.
No, it goes up to 7...

May I ask why you'd suggest setting it at 3 -- is this because the spring, as we have been discussing, is notoriously weak?
Last edited by Quartz_Lock10729 on 07 Apr 2018 22:26, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Perfect setup for AT-LP120 USB Turntable

Post by Quartz_Lock10729 » 07 Apr 2018 22:24

Try this- Set anti skate to zero. Float your tonearm with the cartridge as you would do to set VTF, leave floating. Gently move the tonearm to the center spindle and let go of the arm. Where does it end up? If the arm moves back to the arm rest or close, you have the same natural anti skating going on that my LP120 does. If it stops somewhere over the platter, adjust the anti skate enough so that it returns to the arm rest. That's how I set it on my LP120.

Regardless of all of that, the best test is just to see if you have any channel imbalance when playing. Do your vocals float center stage as they should? If so, your in the good zone.
I do not have any channel imbalance that I can detect; perhaps a SLIGHT favor to the right channel?

I DO get horrendous inner groove distortion on all records though with the AT95E, so would INCREASING anti-skating help this, or does this have nothing to do with AS?

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Re: Perfect setup for AT-LP120 USB Turntable

Post by Quartz_Lock10729 » 07 Apr 2018 22:25

Ghaasl wrote:I set my anti skate by ear. I put a mono record on, stand an equal distance between and away from my speakers (equal lateral triangle), close my eyes, and listen. If the music is right in the center, the antiskate is dead on. If not, I adjust a little at a time. If it’s worse, I go the other way. My VTF is around 1.8g, antiskate set to 1.5 or so.
If I'm experiencing inner groove/tracing distortion, would AS need to be increased or decreased?

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Re: Perfect setup for AT-LP120 USB Turntable

Post by Ghaasl » 08 Apr 2018 01:24

Quartz_Lock10729 wrote:
Ghaasl wrote:I set my anti skate by ear. I put a mono record on, stand an equal distance between and away from my speakers (equal lateral triangle), close my eyes, and listen. If the music is right in the center, the antiskate is dead on. If not, I adjust a little at a time. If it’s worse, I go the other way. My VTF is around 1.8g, antiskate set to 1.5 or so.
If I'm experiencing inner groove/tracing distortion, would AS need to be increased or decreased?
I think that has to do more with cartridge setup than AS. I’m no expert, though.

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Re: Perfect setup for AT-LP120 USB Turntable

Post by Drewan77 » 08 Apr 2018 13:04

Quartz_Lock10729 wrote:If I'm experiencing inner groove/tracing distortion, would AS need to be increased or decreased?
Depends if IGD is in both channels or only one. If both, it can be caused by several things, including:

- quality of the cartridge
- quality of the arm (esp bearings or drag from arm wiring)
- stylus shape & wear
- poor alignment
- inappropriate VTF
- damaged vinyl grooves

....in my experience, incorrect AS tends to show up as one channel breaking up & distorting.

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Re: Perfect setup for AT-LP120 USB Turntable

Post by BMRR » 08 Apr 2018 15:41

Quartz_Lock10729 wrote:is this because the spring, as we have been discussing, is notoriously weak?
Correct. :) But there's also a lot of variability from unit to unit, so you'll probably want to experiment with it. For example, if the tonearm wires were shorter/tighter/stiffer in your TT than in most others, you might require a lower AS setting than other LP120 users. Or if your tonearm wires were longer/softer/looser, you might require a higher setting. It is this variability/inconsistency from unit to unit that results in some LP120 users reporting an essentially perfect turntable while others are able to list 10 or 20 things that are wrong with theirs.

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Re: Perfect setup for AT-LP120 USB Turntable

Post by Quartz_Lock10729 » 08 Apr 2018 21:13

I think that has to do more with cartridge setup than AS. I’m no expert, though.
Thanks; just asked because there is some turntable literature out there that suggests antiskating devices are for "fine-tuning the tracking of a stylus in those difficult inner grooves"...

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Re: Perfect setup for AT-LP120 USB Turntable

Post by Quartz_Lock10729 » 08 Apr 2018 21:14

Drewan77 wrote:Depends if IGD is in both channels or only one. If both, it can be caused by several things, including:

- quality of the cartridge
- quality of the arm (esp bearings or drag from arm wiring)
- stylus shape & wear
- poor alignment
- inappropriate VTF
- damaged vinyl grooves

....in my experience, incorrect AS tends to show up as one channel breaking up & distorting.
Thanks Drew; indeed, I'm not experiencing any distortion in a PARTICULAR channel...the whole presentation just sounds brittle, sibilant and splatty in general when the arm reaches the end of an LP.

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Re: Perfect setup for AT-LP120 USB Turntable

Post by Quartz_Lock10729 » 08 Apr 2018 21:16

BMRR wrote:Correct. :) But there's also a lot of variability from unit to unit, so you'll probably want to experiment with it. For example, if the tonearm wires were shorter/tighter/stiffer in your TT than in most others, you might require a lower AS setting than other LP120 users. Or if your tonearm wires were longer/softer/looser, you might require a higher setting. It is this variability/inconsistency from unit to unit that results in some LP120 users reporting an essentially perfect turntable while others are able to list 10 or 20 things that are wrong with theirs.
Is there ANY way to tell if AS is working okay without floating the arm and instead monitoring performance? In other words, if I'm not getting any abrupt jumping-in at the lead-in grooves and if the arm is moving rather slowly to the spindle in the runout grooves, can it be assumed AS is working at least decently?