My new alignment template generator

the thin end of the wedge
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wolfie62
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Re: My new alignment template generator

Post by wolfie62 » 29 Dec 2017 16:08

For giggles and to satisfy my curiosity, I grabbed my 2 Hoffman protractors from the folder in my filing cabinet. I have one for a Stevenson DIN alignment and a Lofgren B DIN alignment for my Denon DP45F TT. I have a badly scratched copy of Joan Baez. I just compared alignments of 2 headshell using protractors on the TT mat, and on the record. I found no difference. I was still able to split the line of the arc, and still reach parallelism with the null points.

For the purist, go with the the record+protractor, if it makes you more confident in your alignment. But it isn’t necessary from my experience.

Glad to know that both my headshell and mounted carts are still in a dead-on alignment!

I use the Stevenson for my ADC XLM Integra ST cart+ headshell, and Lofgren B for the Denon headshell + Shure V15-RS cart.

Sunwire
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Re: My new alignment template generator

Post by Sunwire » 29 Dec 2017 18:04

My reasons for taping the template to the record have nothing to do with the correct height.
It just makes it easier to precisely align the hole over the spindle (use a light behind the record to line it up before taping the template down, then punch the hole) and to keep the template flat, and to make it more durable.

wolfie62
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Re: My new alignment template generator

Post by wolfie62 » 29 Dec 2017 19:39

That isn’t foolproof enough for me. A GREAT MANY records, if not most, are punched slightly off center. So your ability to align the template exactly on center of the spindle is comprised before you even start.

First I put scotch tape over the spindle hole mark, front and back of the paper. I use a razor knife to cut a circular hole in the template, being very careful to cut on the printed spindle hole marks. Allows for very precise lining up of the template to the spindle of the TT. I only used the record for height adjustment; my template is dead on lined up with my spindle.
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Drewan77
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Re: My new alignment template generator

Post by Drewan77 » 30 Dec 2017 19:49

Very sensible (& correct!) advice wolfie.

Greatest accuracy is determined by:
a) ensuring actual pivot-spindle is the same as entered into the software (preferably after measuring).
b) printing exactly to scale.
c) carefully cutting out the hole so the template then fits tightly around the spindle.

If all are as above, this protractor produces superb results*, identical on the same alignment to either the Dr Feickert or Mint protractors I own.

*Conrad also made me a red print version so that it is easier to see the stylus tip following the centre of the arc under strong magnification. Very useful.

Sunwire
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Re: My new alignment template generator

Post by Sunwire » 30 Dec 2017 21:31

While I agree that many records are punched off-center and this can be a problem in playback, it doesn't have any effect I can see when using the template.
The record is not turning. :)

My reason for aligning the template over the record hole before cutting is to make this precision operation easier and quicker.
No tape is needed over the template hole.
No precision cutting with a knife is needed.
You simply hold the record up between your eye and a strong light source, then slide the template around until the template hole is precisely aligned with the record hole.
Then hold the template firmly in that position while you tape it down to the record.
Then you can be as sloppy as you want in actually cutting the hole in the paper. It doesn't matter any more because you've already got it aligned.
I'm sure some people are really good at cutting very precisely with a knife and at putting tape over the hole without causing any wrinkles, but you can completely avoid both difficulties with my method.
And when the template is taped down to the record, you don't need to worry about whether the template is flat (the record is flat, so the template is flat) or whether the hole in the template is getting worn and pulled out of shape.
Of course, you want to choose a record that has a nice tight-fitting hole in it, so there is no play between the spindle and the record hole.

Both methods can work well. I'm just suggesting a method I haven't seen elsewhere that seems to work well for me and solve a couple of problems.

wolfie62
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Re: My new alignment template generator

Post by wolfie62 » 31 Dec 2017 03:21

The entire reason for alignment of the cartridge/stylus is to reduce or control error.

Using a record to align one’s template has too many opportunities for adding and introducing errors.

Records are very rarely flat. Rarely do they maintain flatness if they once were flat.

My platter is much flatter than most all records, and it maintains its flatness far better than vinyl records.

My spindle is always precisely placed on the plinth, and it doesn’t move. It is one of 2 true reference points for alignment. Record holes are often off center punched.

The printed template is precisely layed out to scale. The only precision you can achieve is determined by how accurately one aligns the template to one’s TT spindle. Maintaining precision of the template to the actual spindle is critical; maintaining precision of the template to a punched hole in a record defeats the precision of the spindle/template alignment.

Rather than making the process easier, taping the template to a record actually adds steps and introduces opportunities for error.

Tape doesn’t wrinkle the paper around the spindle cut area any more than tape wrinkles the paper by taping it to a record in several places. Actually less chance for “wrinkle” at the spindle area than taping the template to a record. The paper and tape are cut together using a razor knife at the spindle area.

I prefer fewer steps, less error, more precision, and not having to be concerned about the warpage of my template, now or later when I need to use it again.

Sunwire
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Re: My new alignment template generator

Post by Sunwire » 31 Dec 2017 07:07

The record I use is flat. I wouldn't use a warped record.
If the hole in the record is punched off-center, it doesn't matter, at all.
The record is placed on the spindle, which IS the center. So the hole in the template is precisely aligned with the spindle.
Paper is rarely flat, but it IS flat if it's taped to a flat record.
That's part of why I prefer to tape it down. I don't have to worry about wrinkling my template or being careful about wear and tear on the hole I cut with a knife.
Once the template is taped to the record, it's not going to get wrinkled or worn.

I'm sure folks can try either way and see what they think.

wolfie62
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Re: My new alignment template generator

Post by wolfie62 » 31 Dec 2017 21:23

It’s just the fallacies in your assertions here that the paper template is not trustworthy without a vinyl record backing, to make the template “more accurate.” Your reasoning is based on something that isn’t an issue to start with, namely “wrinkling” of the paper at the spindle cut out. And, that your tape doesn’t cause wrinkles in the paper because the vinyl backing magically makes your tape wrinkle-proof. That is called a “straw man argument.” You invent an issue so you can knock it down with your solutions.

Do you see any wrinkling of my template anywhere in the pic I posted? No, you don’t.

To each his own.

Sunwire
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Re: My new alignment template generator

Post by Sunwire » 31 Dec 2017 23:51

I never said my method was "more accurate", so I don't know why you're putting those words in quotes as if I wrote them.
Yes, when I look at your photos, the edges of the template are not straight. The paper is bowed, it's not flat. "Wrinkle" was really not the right word. Bowing of the paper is more my concern.
I think I've explained my reasons for my method.
I doubt it makes much, if any, difference in accuracy.

wolfie62
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Re: My new alignment template generator

Post by wolfie62 » 01 Jan 2018 02:15

Excuse me??

The edges of the template are bowed? Where?? The template is flat against the platter. The tonearm and stylus are flat against the template, which is flat against the platter. There are no bows in the picture. As closely as I can look, I just can’t find the “bowing” of template here that you keep insisting is there.....
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Sunwire
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Re: My new alignment template generator

Post by Sunwire » 01 Jan 2018 21:14

Happy New Year, wolfie!

wolfie62
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Re: My new alignment template generator

Post by wolfie62 » 02 Jan 2018 00:22

Happy New Year!! Does this make me a flat earthier?

mjwraw
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Re: My new alignment template generator

Post by mjwraw » 12 Jan 2018 11:41

Whilst I understand that manufacturers recommended settings can be disregarded as long as one has an accurate Pivot to Spindle measurement, and the arc and null points will be correct for any given alignment geomotery.

But what I am trying to do (just for my own satisfaction) is create a template which actually mirrors the manufacturers recommendations for my arm, and these are:

Effective length 230, Overhang 18, Offset angle 24°

And try as I might I cannot find any combination of Inner and Outer groove radius that gives these precise numbers, and are also within reasonable measures for inner and outer grooves (close to DIN / IEC). Can anyone who is better at maths give me the the figures I need to use to generate the template ?

JaS
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Re: My new alignment template generator

Post by JaS » 12 Jan 2018 12:04

mjwraw wrote:Whilst I understand that manufacturers recommended settings can be disregarded as long as one has an accurate Pivot to Spindle measurement, and the arc and null points will be correct for any given alignment geomotery.

But what I am trying to do (just for my own satisfaction) is create a template which actually mirrors the manufacturers recommendations for my arm, and these are:

Effective length 230, Overhang 18, Offset angle 24°

And try as I might I cannot find any combination of Inner and Outer groove radius that gives these precise numbers, and are also within reasonable measures for inner and outer grooves (close to DIN / IEC). Can anyone who is better at maths give me the the figures I need to use to generate the template ?
They are just rounded IEC Lofgren A figures for an arm mounted at 212mm. They are so close you wouldn't be able to see/hear a difference.

212
230 (230.049)
18 (18.049)
24 (23.966)

https://www.vinylengine.com/tonearm_ali ... =calculate

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Re: My new alignment template generator

Post by mjwraw » 12 Jan 2018 12:40

Excellent, thank you JaS !

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