Sansui SR 525 - Out of Control Tonearm - Please Help

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thattreeguy
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Sansui SR 525 - Out of Control Tonearm - Please Help

Post by thattreeguy » 03 Jan 2018 02:57

Happy new year fellow vinyl fanatics! Thanks for reading.

So a new ebay turntable purchase seems to require a new Vinyl Engine post. This time around its an amazing sounding Sansui SR 525. Very nice cosmetically. I attached an LPGear headshell/Tonar 555 cart. Sounds really good, but nothing is ever all good...

The tonearm seems to float very loosely. When I position the arm over the record and let go it swings outward. When I painstakingly position the arm stable and lower the arm lifter the stylus will float outward and go down at an angle instead of straight down which I fear could damage the cantilever.
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I'm about 80% sure I have the antiskate weight (on"fishing"line) attached correctly. I have the tracking force set (using a scale) at 1.5 grams and when I set the bias weight accordingly, the swinging out is severe, so I tried adjusting the weight down. Even with the weight string set all the way back towards the back of the tonearm it still swings although much less. Should I ditch the antiskate weight all together?

Is this a common phenomenon with the 525 tonearm? Could the tonearm be broken? Can it be adjusted and how would I do that? Could it be the bearings???

Any input would be greatly appreciated. Please dumb down your responses for the technically challenged. Thank you so much!

nat
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Re: Sansui SR 525 - Out of Control Tonearm - Please Help

Post by nat » 04 Jan 2018 00:23

If you are using a scale to set tracking force, make sure the scale platform is at the same height as the record surface. And the manufacturer's method of setting tracking force using the marked slip disc on the counterweight is quite accurate, and easier than a scale, so it might be worth trying, though some people are convinced that nothing could possibly be more accurate than a cheap digital scale, even if used incorrectly.
It is hard (impossible, in fact) to see the cuing platform in your picture. It's possible that the platform is supposed to have a high friction surface (rubber) that is missing, and that would allow the arm to slide outward.

thattreeguy
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Re: Sansui SR 525 - Out of Control Tonearm - Please Help

Post by thattreeguy » 04 Jan 2018 05:11

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Thanks for responding Nat. Tracking force is accurate. I lowered to 1.4. Mfg recommends 1.1-1.5. Set alignment with protractor. Table is balanced. Arm lifter is intact. Cannot accurately set antiskate though because arm swings out. Maybe its a more sensitive tonearm than Ive experienced (maybe the "knife edge"...I guess I need that defined). Although it doesn't seem right that I can't set the bias to what the manual recommends.

Facelift3
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Re: Sansui SR 525 - Out of Control Tonearm - Please Help

Post by Facelift3 » 10 Jan 2018 09:13

I too have a lovely sr 525, amazing table.
I have always had a bit of "outswing" as I lower the arm to the record.
This was very pronounced if I set the anti skate to the same as the vtf. ditched that.
Do you have any one sided lps? If so set the blank side of the lp up lower the stylus onto it and adjust the anti-skate weight until the stylus tracks without pulling to the outside of the lp, nor the spindle side. This is as close as you'll get the correct antiskate. The markings that attach to the fishing line for antiskate should be taken with a grain of salt. Not accurate.
use a cd surface if thats the only way but get ready to prevent the stylus from falling off the outer edge of the cd.
Disregard the manual instructions and do it by eye. At least thats my experience with this arm.
I have a denon 110 on it at the moment-tracking force 1.8 gr, in the way I described to set TF the weight's on the 2gr notch. pretty close.
Hope this helps.
This table just keeps impressing me.

Facelift3
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Re: Sansui SR 525 - Out of Control Tonearm - Please Help

Post by Facelift3 » 10 Jan 2018 09:20

I should add that I have never used a cd surface, just read reports of others using one. Maybe someone else can chime in.

Wimbo
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Re: Sansui SR 525 - Out of Control Tonearm - Please Help

Post by Wimbo » 10 Jan 2018 09:36

Facelift3 wrote:I too have a lovely sr 525, amazing table.
I have always had a bit of "outswing" as I lower the arm to the record.
This was very pronounced if I set the anti skate to the same as the vtf. ditched that.
Do you have any one sided lps? If so set the blank side of the lp up lower the stylus onto it and adjust the anti-skate weight until the stylus tracks without pulling to the outside of the lp, nor the spindle side. This is as close as you'll get the correct antiskate. The markings that attach to the fishing line for antiskate should be taken with a grain of salt. Not accurate.
use a cd surface if thats the only way but get ready to prevent the stylus from falling off the outer edge of the cd.
Disregard the manual instructions and do it by eye. At least thats my experience with this arm.
I have a denon 110 on it at the moment-tracking force 1.8 gr, in the way I described to set TF the weight's on the 2gr notch. pretty close.
Hope this helps.
This table just keeps impressing me.
Totally agree.

Vanni
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Re: Sansui SR 525 - Out of Control Tonearm - Please Help

Post by Vanni » 10 Jan 2018 20:44

Great table indeed the SR525. One of the greatest things about this deck is that it's hugely underrated and therefore one can find this deck in decent condition for very little money. I love mine, and the only thing that I don't like much is the grey veneer. A year or so later Sansui introduced the SR-636, which looked prettier but was just the 525 minus the grey veneer.

The arm did swing out a lot at first, and I thought it was only due to too much Anti Skating but that wasn't the problem. It stopped swinging out after I cleaned the rubber on the cuing platform and the underside of the arm where it meets the rubber with some Iso. alcohol. I also changed the position of lateral weight, and did what the user manual instructed (the right side of the rod should only protrude some 2mm and not more).

I can understand why some may think they need to lower the AS as this arm being a knife-edge design does give that impression. But I've experimented a bit with AS on this arm, and there's nothing wrong with the AS, in fact I've just put on the AT95EX cart on it again, tracking at 2.10gr and the AS is set at 2gr, and the arm doesn't skate out at all but stays put.

Personally, I think that setting AS on a blank record or cd is the wrong way to go about it. I did try this out on this table, and the only way I could get the arm to stay still was to lower the AS to half or even less the value of the TF. Problem was that I could hear the sound wasn't balanced when listening through headphones, and I trust my ears more than I do a blank record.

Facelift3
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Re: Sansui SR 525 - Out of Control Tonearm - Please Help

Post by Facelift3 » 10 Jan 2018 22:47

Hey Vanni, great advice. With the AT95EX what were you using to test if the anti skate was correct?
Also I think having the lateral weight setting 2/3mm as per the manual must have something to do with getting the antiskate working optimally. Now that I think of it, since I stuck to the prescribed 3mm in the manual, everything seems to function better. I originally thought this Lat. weight was more to do with azimuth, There are two screws at the end of the tonearm pipe, are these more for azimuth?

The OP's photo of the Lat. weight rod looks to be sticking out around 10mm.

To the OP, you must check if your TT is level. Get a spirit level, preferably a small round bubble level that you know to be true, and level the HELL out of the shelf the plinth and the platter. Make sure everything is dead on as possible. This may Help.

tcolegrove
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Re: Sansui SR 525 - Out of Control Tonearm - Please Help

Post by tcolegrove » 10 Jan 2018 23:26

Regarding using a CD for anti-skate adjustments - find a an old laser disk (12"). Works like a charm!

thattreeguy
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Re: Sansui SR 525 - Out of Control Tonearm - Please Help

Post by thattreeguy » 11 Jan 2018 10:11

THANK YOU to everyone who participated in my thread. I knew VinylEngine wouldn't let me down.

I definitely had the lateral weight inserted far too much. The tip is now protruding exactly 3mm (measured with a caliper).

The main culprit for the swinging out of the tonearm is the arm lifter (RIGHT ON VANNI!!) The rubber has lost its tackyness and the arm slides right across it. Cleaning with iso alc has helped, but I'm hoping that Rubber Renue will Help even more.

The SR 525 sounds awesome! I love this turntable!!

DIGITAL SUCKS, ANALOGUE IS KING!

Vanni
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Re: Sansui SR 525 - Out of Control Tonearm - Please Help

Post by Vanni » 11 Jan 2018 16:27

thattreeguy - that's great news. Yes, a rubber restorer should do the trick, but in my case the rubber is still in great shape so just a dab of Iso was all that was needed.

Facelift3 - The manual states 3mm for the lateral weight, and that one doesn't have to change this setting when you upgrade the stock cartridge, which was the SV-27A (nice sounding cart btw, but alas only conical replacement styli are available). This is wrong as they should have said no need to change the 3mm setting IF the weight of your new cart is approx the same as the stock cart, around 5gr-6gr. I've tried quite a few carts on this deck and if their weight is considerably more (like 7+ grams) then the rod settings have got to be changed too.

You're right in thinking the lateral weight is not for adjusting azimuth, as that's something else entirely. If you're thinking of those two tiny screws on the underside of the arm near the pivot, then I strongly suggest you leave these well alone as things can get quite complicated ;) If the headshell is tilted to one side, a better idea is to slightly loosen that tiny screw that is located at the front of the arm (the one on the underside of the arm near the headshell) and very very carefully wiggle the headshell to it's correct position before tightening the screw again. The problem is that this only allows you a very minimal movement but, in some cases, it is just enough. I did this on a Pioneer PL12D I have and it corrected the slight tilt of the headshell. It is very fiddly though.

Vanni
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Re: Sansui SR 525 - Out of Control Tonearm - Please Help

Post by Vanni » 11 Jan 2018 16:51

Facelift - Re. the anti skate settings, I'm a firm advocate of setting it by ear. I've got to admit I was a bit lost when I first attempted this method, but there are a couple of things that can Help you. For instance, a mono record is great for this thing as the sound has got to be absolutely dead centre. Another thing that helps me is to listen to a good sounding original issue vinyl record that I'm very familiar with and then listening again to the same album but this time on cd. Mind you, the cd version has got to be a well recorded original issue and not remastered. Then I listen closely to the left and right channels, and play around a bit with the AS settings.

I do this with all my carts, and generally,I find that the best AS setting is always a bit lower than the TF. This includes elliptical styli too, even though some argue that ellipticals need more AS than what the TF is set at.

I think the turntable manufacturers were (or are) right all along when they state on the user manual that AS is closely related to TF and that one should set AS to the same value of the TF :wink:

Facelift3
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Re: Sansui SR 525 - Out of Control Tonearm - Please Help

Post by Facelift3 » 12 Jan 2018 22:47

Ah thanks for this info Vanni, I originally had some small issues with azimuth on the 525, loosened the two screws at the front and yes its very fiddly, so much so that I thought stop there before you do more harm than good...however I think it worked because the cart body looks quite even now when viewed from the front.
About the mono thing, yes I have a few mono scott walker lps I could use to this end, try and get scotty dead center, sounds like a good game actually, I think he'd find that somewhat amusing. Then again probably not.
Alas, my ears are the real problem with channel imbalance these days, the left is more damaged than the right so things always sound a little skewed to the right. Then yesterday I adjusted the balance knob on the amp to compensate for this, it works well. I suppose balance could also be called hearing imbalance compensation control for musicians!!
Imagine that printed on the face above the balance knob. HAHA.
The cart I have on the 525 now is a denon110 total weight 4.8 grams. Should I leave the lat. weight at 3mm?
Had the AS set a 2gr, have dropped to 1.5 gr notch just then...

smeg68
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Re: Sansui SR 525 - Out of Control Tonearm - Please Help

Post by smeg68 » 12 Jan 2018 23:25

The purpose of the lateral weight on the 525 is to balance out the S shape of the arm to ensure that both knife edges sit properly in their seats. In normal use it shouldn't be necessary to alter this though of course with VERY heavy carts it might need to be pulled out a touch more. Emphasis on a touch - a small movement here is a big change compared to what happens at the headshell end.

I also have a 525 in my collection and it's a fine table :)

Facelift3
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Re: Sansui SR 525 - Out of Control Tonearm - Please Help

Post by Facelift3 » 12 Jan 2018 23:48

Ok great, on my table the lateral weight rod sags, it starts off horizontal then the weight on the end pulls it down, the rod ends up slightly diagonally down towards the weight end, any way to tighten this up. Maybe the screw at the very end of the arm tube, behind the counterweight?

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