Doug G. wrote:Well, small changes in the position of the cantilever magnet within the magnetic field of the cartridge will theoretically change voltage outputs of the channels, thus affecting the sound field. Adjusting both the VTF and anti-skate can vary the cantilever position.
As long as the stylus stays in contact with both groove walls, just set the adjustment to where you think it sounds the best.
Thanks, this is my take on it. Also, since VTF affects VTA/SRA (more or less, depending on the compliance of the cartridge), changing the VTF is going to alter the sound. This idea that just because a cartridge manufacturer specifies a VTF range for a cartridge, does not at all mean that the cartridge will sound the same (tonally or in some other respect) throughout that range. The thing with analogue is that practically every change can have a discernible effect on the sound. What I can say from personal experience of quite a number of cartridges on several turntables is that changing the VTF within the range specified by the manufacturer definitely changes the sound in a way that I would describe as "tonal balance". I do agree that there's a lot of misinformation out there about turntable setup and I take much of what I read with a pinch of salt, but I've read a number of quite in-depth articles that at least look authoritative (well, they convinced me they know what they're talking about
) and they describe changes in bass/treble, soundstaging, and so on that result from VTF changes, so I'm pretty sure it's not my imagination or some basic setup issue (I'm darn sure my cartridge is well aligned, for example). As regards anti-skate, I'm coming to the conclusion that relatively few people have got this set absolutely correctly (if there is such a thing), and most either follow the tonearm manufacturer's advice (which is usually set it the same as the VTF) or do as you've suggested and set it to what sounds best. As my original post mentioned, in my hands the latter approach has left me befuddled because small changes to VTF and anti-skate can alter the sound in similar (though not exactly the same) ways. I've seen articles about using the "relative dynamics" method for setting anti-skate (comparing the dynamics of the left and right channels), such as this one: http://www.hifiportal.co.uk/Articles/Ar ... 0Guide.pdf
While this didn't work for me exactly as described, I could certainly hear that changing the anti-skate affected the overall dynamics of the sound - too low and it sounded a little vague and unfocussed, too high and it sounds a bit lifeless and "heavy". So I've come to conclusion that I can't be far away with my current AS setting of a little under the VTF value.