the home of the turntable

Grace 840-F tone arm prblems.

snap, crackle and pop

Grace 840-F tone arm prblems.

Postby frankmarsi » 23 Oct 2017 23:40

10-23-17

Fellow members, I stumped regarding this arm’s ‘over-hang’.
A purchase of a vintage Technics SL-110a turntable which included a “Grace” F-840-F
tone arm has me a bit nervous about adjustments.
I’m asking if anyone knows how to set the ‘over-hang’.

The table has cleaned-up fine as did the arm.
It’s a nice looking arm however delicate it appears to be, and that has me a bit nervous.
I’m a ’S.M.E.’ Non-Improved’ user and I have those arms set-up practically perfect so, it’s not that I’m new to this area.

For my primarily testing I’ve installed a Ortofon Rondo Blue cartridge and although the 10.2 gram weight of this cartridge has the ‘counter-weight’ almost to the end of the counter-weights’ travel I’m attempting to set it all up before I do any critical listening/testing.

There are three little knurled screws around the arm’s column along with one larger knurled screw that I learned allows for ‘VTA’ settings. The difficult little three screws around the column are apparently difficult to turn but, I’m guessing these three screws are the ones for adjusting the ‘over-hang’ with. I not certain but, there aren’t any other screws to turn to use for over-hang adjustment.
As luck would have it, the 3 screws don’t have any screw driver slots and are seemingly frozen from the last adjustments that were made, I presume 45 years ago when the whole rig was brand new. I tried a small needle-nose pliers on one of the 3 knurled screws and all I did was damage the knurled slots on the screw a bit as the screw was tight and didn’t turn at all. These 3 screw are very close to the surface of the plinth and hard to get to.
If anyone with more knowledge and experience with these arms and can answer my question, I’d be very grateful.
FM
frankmarsi
member
member
 
Posts: 74
Joined: 06 Dec 2007 17:49
Location: NY

Re: Grace 840-F tone arm prblems.

Postby Alec124c41 » 24 Oct 2017 01:30

The overhang is adjusted, for the SME and very few other makes, by moving the base of the tonearm.
For everybody else, the arm is mounted with the pivot at a specific distance from the spindle, and the fine adjustment is done by moving the position of the cartridge in the headshell.
Your Grace should be mounted with the pivot 222mm from the spindle.
Then you should use an alignment protractor to properly position the cartridge. https://www.vinylengine.com/cartridge-a ... tors.shtml
The 2-point protractor can be used with anything, or you can use an arc protractor. Your arm uses the same mounting distance as the Rega arms, being nominally a 9 1/2 inch arm, so you could use one of those.
As for the Stevenson/Baerwald/Lofgren choice, they all work. Each has a slight specific advantage. You could try all three, and see which you prefer.

Cheers,
Alec
Keep them spinning.
User avatar
Alec124c41
vinyl engineer
vinyl engineer
 
Posts: 21016
Images: 76
Joined: 28 Oct 2002 04:24
Location: North of Toronto, Canada

Canada

Re: Grace 840-F tone arm prblems.

Postby frankmarsi » 24 Oct 2017 20:58

10-24-17
I failed, I tried to force what is already done simply to make cartridge changing easy for me and it didn’t work.
I have since learned to look at each arm’s specs before I plunge into a mis-informed and failure of a situation.
In any event, thanks for responding.
I’m embarrassed.
FM
frankmarsi
member
member
 
Posts: 74
Joined: 06 Dec 2007 17:49
Location: NY

Re: Grace 840-F tone arm prblems.

Postby Alec124c41 » 25 Oct 2017 00:54

That's called a learning experience.
Carry on.
The interchangeable headshell does make things easier. If you have more than one cartridge, you can have more than one headshell, each properly aligned, and requiring only resetting the tracking force.
What part of the change failed?

Cheers.
Alec
Keep them spinning.
User avatar
Alec124c41
vinyl engineer
vinyl engineer
 
Posts: 21016
Images: 76
Joined: 28 Oct 2002 04:24
Location: North of Toronto, Canada

Canada

Re: Grace 840-F tone arm prblems.

Postby frankmarsi » 25 Oct 2017 01:01

It ended as a very disheartening experience. This was compounded by a very dark and rainy day where I live.

But, to continue because I'm determined to lick this issue, I'm thinking about locating another SL-1100 arm board cut with an SME opening and using an after-market sliding SME mounting with a 19MM hole which I'm hoping
will accommodate the Grace arm shaft which is 19mm also.
The first SL-110a I've used had a Dynavector DV-505 tonearm and I was satisfied with much success.
What I noticed with the Grace arm was a degree of acoustic-feedback which surprise me because in all of my tonearm swaps, I never had any feedback.
My new thoughts are with the weight of the Grace counter-weight as with a 11gm cartridge like the Ortofon Cadenza Blue and even the Rondo Blue brings the counter-weights most of its travel all the way back and away from the pivot point which isn't good. Might anyone know of an available additional weight that won't look 'jerry-rigged' or fall off?
I thought of a small magnet but that may be counter-productive or possibly harmful to any near-by cartridges?
Any opinions are welcome.
Attachments
sme sliding mount.jpeg
frankmarsi
member
member
 
Posts: 74
Joined: 06 Dec 2007 17:49
Location: NY

Re: Grace 840-F tone arm prblems.

Postby Alec124c41 » 25 Oct 2017 01:23

I have an SP-1100. It would be easy enough to make another armboard, using 9mm Baltic birch ply. Michael's craft shops sell reasonably sized pieces.
I also have an SP-10, that came with an SME 3009 mounted to the plinth. I cut a piece of black plastic that I had, to cover the big SME hole, and mounted a Jelco arm at the proper distance. It works and sounds very well.
Is your problem trying to position the cartridge properly in the headshell slots, or are you trying to use an SME headshell without slots?

Cheers,
Alec
Keep them spinning.
User avatar
Alec124c41
vinyl engineer
vinyl engineer
 
Posts: 21016
Images: 76
Joined: 28 Oct 2002 04:24
Location: North of Toronto, Canada

Canada

Re: Grace 840-F tone arm prblems.

Postby frankmarsi » 25 Oct 2017 17:19

10-25-17

Hi Alec, I enjoy having all of my cartridges set in every head-shell be the same distance.
Keeping all the cartridges mounted the same distance facilitates quick changing of cartridges because all I have to do is re-balance the arm, then set the weight. I explained this above. It makes for less hassle when changing, and keeps the mood going.
I operate three turntables in my system and I like the uniformity.
FM
Attachments
AR-LST BEST incolorcopy  copy.jpg
frankmarsi
member
member
 
Posts: 74
Joined: 06 Dec 2007 17:49
Location: NY

Re: Grace 840-F tone arm prblems.

Postby Alec124c41 » 25 Oct 2017 17:43

Nice set-up you have, there!
I swap headshells and cartridges around, too. I don't find too much discrepancy between tonearms, so it works.

Cheers,
Alec
Keep them spinning.
User avatar
Alec124c41
vinyl engineer
vinyl engineer
 
Posts: 21016
Images: 76
Joined: 28 Oct 2002 04:24
Location: North of Toronto, Canada

Canada

Re: Grace 840-F tone arm prblems.

Postby frankmarsi » 25 Oct 2017 19:02

Hello everyone, this is my ultimate system so far. I'm still working on a second and third system in other rooms.
Everyone of my tone arms has allowed for quick changes except the Grace 840-F.
Arms in use are primarily S.M.E. 3009 Non-Improved in system #1.

In system #2, I'm using my Dynavector 505, another SME 3009 Non-Improved, and a Jelco 750D.
In system #3 I will be using a SME 3009 Improved plus a Micro-Seiki 303 or ?

In every case the cartridge mounting I use has been a successful 'base-line' of mounting and setting the cartridges in their head-shells for quick changes and has not been a problem as all are using the same 'over-hang' distance. It assures me of consistent tracking, azimuth, and VTA, and all with-out inner-groove-distortion as long as the cartridges themselves are of a similar height of the respective bodies. Only this Grace 840-F arm has given me a problem. I guess this is what I get when I try out different arms?
I'm looking for another possibility of a good arm as I truly enjoy working with tone arms and tables, any suggestions for another arm from anyone?
I've ordered another arm board for the SL-110a along with the sliding mounting base for the silly little Grace arm as it seems like an interesting arm and I'm determined to make a valid attempt at using it. I'm still not certain of the Grace's quality of sound yet. The slight acoustic-feedback the Grace arm produced was rather disappointing and may be a disqualifying trait I may not settle for thereby forcing me to look for another type of arm. Of course, with all of this changing an arm like the newer SMEs or other stationary head shell type of arm is omitted.

The extra parts I ordered should enable me to continue using my convenient system of 'pre-setting' cartridges and head shells for easy and fast changing. Hopefully, maintaining my mood and musical 'head-space'.
FM
P.S. Alec, can you guess what components I'm using in the above foto?
frankmarsi
member
member
 
Posts: 74
Joined: 06 Dec 2007 17:49
Location: NY

Re: Grace 840-F tone arm prblems.

Postby Alec124c41 » 25 Oct 2017 22:46

I think I'm seeing SAE, McIntosh, Altec Lansing, maybe Marantz, but I could be way off.

Cheers,
Alec
Keep them spinning.
User avatar
Alec124c41
vinyl engineer
vinyl engineer
 
Posts: 21016
Images: 76
Joined: 28 Oct 2002 04:24
Location: North of Toronto, Canada

Canada

Re: Grace 840-F tone arm prblems.

Postby frankmarsi » 26 Oct 2017 02:14

Oh, I'm sorry, "way-off" is correct. No prize for you today.
More like four AR-LST speakers, double PL-700 Series II, Carver 4000 pre, SAE 1800EQ, Sansui 517 tuner. One Thorens TD125 with A.T. ART-9, two SL-120's with Delos and Kleos cartridges. Revox A77, cassette and Marantz CD-63LE, Marantz 5001.
I'm not that into CD, 99.9% vinyl for me.
frankmarsi
member
member
 
Posts: 74
Joined: 06 Dec 2007 17:49
Location: NY

Re: Grace 840-F tone arm prblems.

Postby Alec124c41 » 26 Oct 2017 02:29

I spotted the Revox and the SAE. The rest I'm not familiar with.
Those speakers are very impressive, and you have the stuff, and the space, to use them. =D> =D> =D>

Cheers,
Alec
Keep them spinning.
User avatar
Alec124c41
vinyl engineer
vinyl engineer
 
Posts: 21016
Images: 76
Joined: 28 Oct 2002 04:24
Location: North of Toronto, Canada

Canada

Re: Grace 840-F tone arm prblems.

Postby frankmarsi » 26 Oct 2017 18:00

Alec, if you lived closer, you'd enjoy those wonderful speakers in my weekly listening sessions. Toronto is about 7 hours away, I've been there twice in the '70s.
I know for sure that you'd appreciate these speakers as much as I do.
The big double PL-700 Series II amps are necessary to power them to realistic volume levels at all times.
I have a vast LP collection of almost 7000 LP's. Progressive rock, classic rock, most types of Jazz, most types of Classical music. All are enjoyed by me exclusively on vinyl soley.

Alec, do you have any considerations for other tone-arms?
I'm thinking about a classic Fidelity Research FR64 in silver as I see myself growing towards heavier cartridges in the future. However, first I must do more research.
FM
frankmarsi
member
member
 
Posts: 74
Joined: 06 Dec 2007 17:49
Location: NY

Re: Grace 840-F tone arm prblems.

Postby Alec124c41 » 27 Oct 2017 03:04

Both space and finances have limited my exploration of big speakers, or big-ticket tone-arms, for that matter.
My Jelco SA-750E 10" arm, with both weights, mounted on the SP-10 (original) is my big splurge, and I am perfectly satisfied with it. Changing cartridges sounds like changing seats in the concert hall.
I have used a Blue Note Boboli on it, with the heavy counterweight The Boboli weighs in at 12 grams.
BTW, the speakers I have in my main system are Watson Labs Model 10s. It took me 30 years to get them. Beautiful imaging and ambience, and a lot easier to keep happy, though probably not as capable as yours when it comes to reproducing Pink Floyd at concert levels.

Cheers,
Alec
Keep them spinning.
User avatar
Alec124c41
vinyl engineer
vinyl engineer
 
Posts: 21016
Images: 76
Joined: 28 Oct 2002 04:24
Location: North of Toronto, Canada

Canada

Re: Grace 840-F tone arm prblems.

Postby frankmarsi » 27 Oct 2017 18:14

Hi Alec, your speakers certainly look capable of good performance.
Do you do your own up-keep on them? What are you driving them with?

I found an newly made arm board from England that's made of plexiglass. That in addition to a sliding SME mounting plate made in China with a adapter that will accommodate a Ortofon tone arm diameter of 20 MM column which should also match up to the Grace's column size.
I hoping when I receive all of these parts from vendors that I will meet up with complete success, fingers crossed.

Last-nite I tried the Grace arm with the best I could do with the set-up limitations of it not being as precise as it could be. I wasn't impressed with it's sound using a Ortofon Cadenza Blue. It is susceptible to acoustic feedback whereas my SME 3009 Non-Improveds and my Dynavector don't allow any feedback at all as set-up presently.

The Grace's sound seemed to be a bit 'thin' sounding along with a bloated bass while the frequency spectrum response seemed very limited comparatively speaking. Transients were almost absent, transparency was largely absent also.There seemed to be an amount of 'congestion' to its sound over all.
So, I wasn't impressed of course but, I'll wait till I can properly set it up in the next few weeks when the board and mounts arrive to be more objective.

If all else fails,the new arm bard is being cut for an SME mounting so I could always use one of my SME arms instead.
FM
frankmarsi
member
member
 
Posts: 74
Joined: 06 Dec 2007 17:49
Location: NY

Next

Return to Turntables and Tonearms