Tonearms with no anti-skate adjustment

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jdjohn
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Tonearms with no anti-skate adjustment

Post by jdjohn » 22 Feb 2019 06:19

I am in recent possession of a Grace 704 uni-pivot tonearm, which has no anti-skate adjustment. This is not optimal IMO, but should I really be worried?

Legrace
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Re: Tonearms with no anti-skate adjustment

Post by Legrace » 22 Feb 2019 11:49

Nice arm with many positive comments online. Importance of AS feature declines with increase in tracking force. For best results suggest lower compliance cartridge with recommended tracking at 2 - 2.5 g.

Mark N S
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Re: Tonearms with no anti-skate adjustment

Post by Mark N S » 22 Feb 2019 23:07

My Kuzma Stogi uni-pivot sets up perfectly with no anti skate.

analogaudio
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Re: Tonearms with no anti-skate adjustment

Post by analogaudio » 23 Feb 2019 02:12

Anti-skate force performs two functions:

1. equalizes the downforces on the inner and outer groove walls so that the wear rates are the same. without it wear rates are unequal to some degree.

2. as a consequence of 1. the onset of mistracking due to excessive groove modulation combined with low downforce values takes place at the same loudness for inner and outer groove walls. without it the downforces on the opposite groove walls are unequal and one channel (right) starts to mistrack before left. With normal groove modulation the presence or absence of anti-skate has no effect on sound quality.

It is sometimes stated that anti-skate is necessary for the correct balance of loudness between left and right channels. When the cartridge in use is the strain-gauge type this is true because this type is sensitive to stylus absolute displacement. With all other (magnetic) cartridges anti-skate has no effect on left-right balance, this is because the cartridge is sensitive to the velocity of motion of the stylus and not to the absolute displacement of the stylus.

tep392
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Re: Tonearms with no anti-skate adjustment

Post by tep392 » 23 Feb 2019 04:13

analogaudio wrote:
23 Feb 2019 02:12
Anti-skate force performs two functions:

2. as a consequence of 1. the onset of mistracking due to excessive groove modulation combined with low downforce values takes place at the same loudness for inner and outer groove walls. without it the downforces on the opposite groove walls are unequal and one channel (right) starts to mistrack before left. With normal groove modulation the presence or absence of anti-skate has no effect on sound quality.
I have a test record that demonstrates this. There is a 300 hz track that slowly ramps up modulation. With the antiskate adjusted, I can get 95% through the track before distortion starts and it start evenly in both left and right channels. If I set antiskate to 0, the right channel will start to distort first, and at a lower modulation.

jdjohn
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Re: Tonearms with no anti-skate adjustment

Post by jdjohn » 23 Feb 2019 15:57

Thanks for all the input. We know that Grace doesn't make junk, and wouldn't make a faulty design. And I understand how a higher VTF should Help negate the lack of AS. But the famed Grace F9 is a lighter tracker at 1.2g, so I have to wonder why they would make an arm with no AS, and then a cartridge that is a light tracker. You would think the arm and cart are meant for each other, but in theory they seem to be a mis-match.

Of course my main concerns are damaging vinyl and/or uneven stylus wear.

tep392
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Re: Tonearms with no anti-skate adjustment

Post by tep392 » 23 Feb 2019 16:19

There is more to tracking ability than vtf. If that tonearm/cartridge combo tracks well without antiskate, then your good.

Japi Roelofs
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Re: Tonearms with no anti-skate adjustment

Post by Japi Roelofs » 23 Feb 2019 22:38

jdjohn wrote:
23 Feb 2019 15:57
I understand how a higher VTF should Help negate the lack of AS.
This I don't get. I always thought that higher tracking force = more friction = more skating. Which is why tonearm manufacturers suggest to match anti-skating setting with tracking force. So higher tracking force needs more anti-skating. Right?

jdjohn
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Re: Tonearms with no anti-skate adjustment

Post by jdjohn » 23 Feb 2019 22:55

Japi Roelofs wrote:
23 Feb 2019 22:38
jdjohn wrote:
23 Feb 2019 15:57
I understand how a higher VTF should Help negate the lack of AS.
This I don't get. I always thought that higher tracking force = more friction = more skating. Which is why tonearm manufacturers suggest to match anti-skating setting with tracking force. So higher tracking force needs more anti-skating. Right?
Good point, Japi. I was going off some earlier comments in this thread, but you're point is well taken :-k

lenjack
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Re: Tonearms with no anti-skate adjustment

Post by lenjack » 23 Feb 2019 23:48

The original AR of 1960 could track high compliance carts at 1g, with no antiskate. Yes, you could achieve a bit of AS, by how you dressed the arm wires at the pivot.

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Re: Tonearms with no anti-skate adjustment

Post by tlscapital » 24 Feb 2019 02:09

jdjohn wrote:
23 Feb 2019 22:55
Japi Roelofs wrote:
23 Feb 2019 22:38
jdjohn wrote:
23 Feb 2019 15:57
I understand how a higher VTF should Help negate the lack of AS.
This I don't get. I always thought that higher tracking force = more friction = more skating. Which is why tonearm manufacturers suggest to match anti-skating setting with tracking force. So higher tracking force needs more anti-skating. Right?
Good point, Japi. I was going off some earlier comments in this thread, but you're point is well taken :-k
Exactly. Through my gradual conversion into very heavy effective mass on my SME SII to optimize the performance of my Denon DL-102 cartridge, in the final stage of this mass enhancement of my tonearm I had to to purchase a heavier anti-skate weight as well. To know what weight to purchase, I studied the matter for the first time in my life...

To realize how important it is and what different bias systems do. Yes, VTF is often taken as a "scale" reference but it's only a "ball park". The "inertia" of the bearing will play some part as well. And so is the ergonomic/mass distribution on the tonearm. Some tonearms manufacturers opt for no "anti-skate" device accordingly. Like in "less is more".

My understanding on this is that an anti-skate device might impair such bearing system/design and the bias forces at work are then likely less of an issue than to try to correct it. So they chose to produce such a tonearm without a device that would actually be more of an issue than a benefit where the most care is brought to it's peculiar "bearing".

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Re: Tonearms with no anti-skate adjustment

Post by nat » 25 Feb 2019 00:19

AR argued that if the point of antiskating was to keep the stylus from pressing on the inner side of the groove with more force than the outer side, then a little more tracking force would accomplish that goal. Since the groove walls are at 45 degrees, if the stylus presses horizontally against one side more than the other, the stylus will try to slide up that side of the groove. Shoving it back down with a little more tracking force will force into equal contact with the other side.
I don't know if the assumptions behind this idea are correct, or if it is truly effective, but it is true that the sound produced by the AR can be very good indeed. It is also true that applying antiskating torques the cantilever, quite visibly so with very compliant stylus, so avoiding that complication must be a good thing.
I was a high compliance true believer, but I was always bothered by how far out of true my Sonus and AKG cantilevers were when antiskating was applied. Even the Shure M91ed showed the effect.
I wonder if the enthusiasm for MCs that followed the heyday of high compliance cartridges was, at least in part, the consequence of both audible and visible lessening of that deflection of the cantilever.
I've kind of wandered back to high compliance cartridges, but I'm less concerned about antiskating - I won't apply it to the point where the cantilever is affected. This means I rarely use the recommended amount, but I don't worry too much.

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Re: Tonearms with no anti-skate adjustment

Post by tom6to1 » 25 Feb 2019 04:13

I have commented on this elsewhere. I have a Shure M75ED2 with a SAS stylus. On an SL-1200 with a fluid damper and anti-skating set to match VTF it did not perform well. On a Sansui SR-B200 (low-end belt drive) with a simple arm without anti-skating it sounds wonderful. I only have the one data point but I suspect the simple arm likes higher-compliance cartridges and anti-skating makes no difference in that case. Of course I don't have other data points for this cartridge (other turntables with high-compliance arms with or without anti-skating) to test with. This is another one of those - it depends - things with turntables and cartridges. Anyone else with a similar experience?

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Re: Tonearms with no anti-skate adjustment

Post by vinylrayk » 25 Feb 2019 17:01

My observation is that the various comments to the effect of “works/sounds better with no anti-skate” are examples of experiences where too much anti-skate was being applied or there were deficiencies/defects in the anti-skate mechanism or in the arm itself. Consider the arm manufacturer’s AS dial settings to be a starting point approximation only. I have always had a preference for high compliance cartridges and have found that the best compromise setting for AS is the spot when you cue the arm down there is no visible sideways deflection of the cantilever as it settles down to play. The same principle would apply to medium/low compliance cartridges but the deflection effect becomes more difficult, if not impossible, to observe. While fans of low compliance cartridges might derive some comfort in not seeing sideways deflection of the stylus with no or too much AS applied, the side forces are still there and contribute to less than optimal tracking. Remember too, that any anti-skate setting is a compromise since stylus drag and the resultant skating force varies with groove modulation and is not a constant. Even so, IME a judicious amount of AS on my conventional pivoted arms is better than none. This is why my main driver is a servo driven linear tracker, whose geometry imposes no side forces on the cantilever.

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Re: Tonearms with no anti-skate adjustment

Post by tlscapital » 25 Feb 2019 17:42

Well my cart is of ultra low compliance and my tonearm of the rather very heavy effective mass and with no right anti-skate adjustment either a half gram above or below than my "ideal" setting I have found, I see the cantilever pulling out or inbound accordingly... So in my case the anti-skate force is crucial I am afraid.

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