Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

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Jmoog
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Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

Post by Jmoog » 23 Mar 2019 18:05

I just inherited a Garrard SL-72b with an Audio Technica ATS 12 cartridge on it. The cart and stylus (12S) have maybe 30 hours use on them.

I just had the Garrard refurbished at a repair shop and they said that they aligned the cartridge when doing the refurbish but when I checked it out with my protractor I didn't like the alignment. The cart simply screws into a fixed bracket that then slides into the headshell. As far as I can tell there is no adjustment that can be made on this cart setup. I have included a picture of the bracket.

I am getting unpleasant inner groove distortion and I'm not sure what can be done to rectify the situation. As far as I can tell there is no way to separate the headshell from the tonearm or else I would try to pick up a new headshell assembly that would allow for adjustment.

Any ideas anyone?

Thanks to anyone who can help.
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Landolaman1
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Re: Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

Post by Landolaman1 » 23 Mar 2019 19:16

Jmoog wrote:
23 Mar 2019 18:05
I just inherited a Garrard SL-72b with an Audio Technica ATS 12 cartridge on it. The cart and stylus (12S) have maybe 30 hours use on them.

I just had the Garrard refurbished at a repair shop and they said that they aligned the cartridge when doing the refurbish but when I checked it out with my protractor I didn't like the alignment. The cart simply screws into a fixed bracket that then slides into the headshell. As far as I can tell there is no adjustment that can be made on this cart setup. I have included a picture of the bracket.

I am getting unpleasant inner groove distortion and I'm not sure what can be done to rectify the situation. As far as I can tell there is no way to separate the headshell from the tonearm or else I would try to pick up a new headshell assembly that would allow for adjustment.

Any ideas anyone?

Thanks to anyone who can help.
Looks like a C2 headshell slide same as on my SL-95B. Unfortunately there is no way to adjust the overhang on these models. But saying that, the cartridge i have on my Garrard (PC-5MC) does sound really good with no distortion as far as my ears can tell. Have you tried another cart? May be worth a go. Neil.

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Re: Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

Post by Jmoog » 23 Mar 2019 19:50

I have not tried another cart with it as the only other cart I have is a p mount. I may purchase another cart to see if I can improve the igd. I'm tracking the ATS 12 at 1.5 grams which should be where I want to be specs wise.

I'm not sure that I love the shibata stylus that is in the ATS 12. Crazy surface noise amplification so far, at times equal to the music it seems. The shibata may be providing a little too much detail for my liking. Any suggestions for a lower cost cart that would work well with the Garrard's tonearm? I'm not sure of the mass of the tonearm.

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Re: Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

Post by Pure_brew » 23 Mar 2019 22:48

When you balance the tonearm prior to setting the tracking force and anti-skate, can the arm float freely across the table, without pulling in any direction - or seeming to be hitting any resistance?

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Re: Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

Post by DSJR » 23 Mar 2019 23:05

I forget the geometry Garrard used, but it was calculated and if the cartridge is set in the C2 carrier correctly, it won't be off in real terms, as each record you play has different inner groove distance from disc centre. Just make sure the cartridge is 'square' in the carrier and gently but firmly tightened.

The Shibata stylus could have gunk on it, needing a thorough sorting out with the AT607 stylus cleaning fluid. Check with very strong lens or microscope that the diamond is spotless. Usually, Shibata types have a clean high frequency performance, especially in today's digital times, but if yours sounds rough and emphasising surface effects badly, then I'd suspect damage or gunk as a likely issue here.

The 72B/AP76 tonearm tracking force adjustment isn't the most accurate out there and I'd suggest an external balance or whatever to confirm it. I use an Ortofon balance which is dirt cheap and fine for the job.

By the way, I use an AT120E on my AP76 and tracking at an externally measured 1.4g is superb right to side end. Did your service centre oil the trip pawls on the cam? If so, they need shooting as these parts must be kept dry in my experience for good inner groove tracking and low friction - and I don't bloody well care how Garrard did it originally, I've enough experience of what this does on my own machines - so there!** The arm isn't low mass as such but is a bit flimsy, so some cartridges that shouldn't work do and others that should, are less successful I found. My first AP76 decades ago, used to pull the stylus over at side end when the trip parts were working. I'm sure today, I could have fixed it with a damned good clean of the pawls on the cam. My current one never fails to surprise me how nice it 'sounds,' and the tonearm is basically the same as yours, albeit with a wedge between the cartridge and C2 carrier as the taller platter upsets the VTA which shouldn't be an issue with your lower platter. You won't get the 'slam' of a better modern turntable, but what's there should be clean and tidy, if a bit 'small scale.' Idler noises and 'rumble' through the stylus isn't bad on this deck either, or shouldn't be if mine is anything to go by...

** I'm not an amateur here by the way and I do speak from some experience, most recently with my own stash of 'stuff'...

To update the cartridge, no need to stray from AT here. The evergreen AT95E has had its stylus tweaked in recent years and is an easy match to almost anything. Not sure the new VM95 models will work without butchery as they have captive threads in the body I think. Friends are speaking hugely well of the related Goldring E3, but I think that one screws in from the top unless I'm mistaken, so can't be used here. My AT120E has been refined into the AT530 and tracking force is 2g nominal (1.8g practical). The cheaper 520 I'd also recommend and currently, it's my recommendation for a ton in UK money.

P.S. The post directly above is a good one. balance the arm so the stylus is just off the level of a record. Set the bias corrector/anti-skate slider to zero and pointing up so it has no effect on the arm at all and then tap the headshell towards the centre or even try blowing it inwards. When the trip slider and cam-pawls come into action, the change in obvious free movement should be barely noticeable, but if it significantly 'stiffens' up on first try, these parts need freeing off somehow. Hopefully, this isn't the case here. Once the arm has been to the centre and back, you'll need to cycle the mechanism to re-set everything ready for the next attempt.

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Re: Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

Post by Jmoog » 23 Mar 2019 23:35

Pure_brew wrote:
23 Mar 2019 22:48
When you balance the tonearm prior to setting the tracking force and anti-skate, can the arm float freely across the table, without pulling in any direction - or seeming to be hitting any resistance?
When balanced the tonearm swings easily to the spindle but drifts back to the tonearm holder. The turntable may not be perfectly level though.

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Re: Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

Post by Jmoog » 23 Mar 2019 23:48

DSJR wrote:
23 Mar 2019 23:05
I forget the geometry Garrard used, but it was calculated and if the cartridge is set in the C2 carrier correctly, it won't be off in real terms, as each record you play has different inner groove distance from disc centre. Just make sure the cartridge is 'square' in the carrier and gently but firmly tightened.

The Shibata stylus could have gunk on it, needing a thorough sorting out with the AT607 stylus cleaning fluid. Check with very strong lens or microscope that the diamond is spotless. Usually, Shibata types have a clean high frequency performance, especially in today's digital times, but if yours sounds rough and emphasising surface effects badly, then I'd suspect damage or gunk as a likely issue here.

The 72B/AP76 tonearm tracking force adjustment isn't the most accurate out there and I'd suggest an external balance or whatever to confirm it. I use an Ortofon balance which is dirt cheap and fine for the job.

By the way, I use an AT120E on my AP76 and tracking at an externally measured 1.4g is superb right to side end. Did your service centre oil the trip pawls on the cam? If so, they need shooting as these parts must be kept dry in my experience for good inner groove tracking and low friction - and I don't bloody well care how Garrard did it originally, I've enough experience of what this does on my own machines - so there!** The arm isn't low mass as such but is a bit flimsy, so some cartridges that shouldn't work do and others that should, are less successful I found. My first AP76 decades ago, used to pull the stylus over at side end when the trip parts were working. I'm sure today, I could have fixed it with a damned good clean of the pawls on the cam. My current one never fails to surprise me how nice it 'sounds,' and the tonearm is basically the same as yours, albeit with a wedge between the cartridge and C2 carrier as the taller platter upsets the VTA which shouldn't be an issue with your lower platter. You won't get the 'slam' of a better modern turntable, but what's there should be clean and tidy, if a bit 'small scale.' Idler noises and 'rumble' through the stylus isn't bad on this deck either, or shouldn't be if mine is anything to go by...

** I'm not an amateur here by the way and I do speak from some experience, most recently with my own stash of 'stuff'...

To update the cartridge, no need to stray from AT here. The evergreen AT95E has had its stylus tweaked in recent years and is an easy match to almost anything. Not sure the new VM95 models will work without butchery as they have captive threads in the body I think. Friends are speaking hugely well of the related Goldring E3, but I think that one screws in from the top unless I'm mistaken, so can't be used here. My AT120E has been refined into the AT530 and tracking force is 2g nominal (1.8g practical). The cheaper 520 I'd also recommend and currently, it's my recommendation for a ton in UK money.

P.S. The post directly above is a good one. balance the arm so the stylus is just off the level of a record. Set the bias corrector/anti-skate slider to zero and pointing up so it has no effect on the arm at all and then tap the headshell towards the centre or even try blowing it inwards. When the trip slider and cam-pawls come into action, the change in obvious free movement should be barely noticeable, but if it significantly 'stiffens' up on first try, these parts need freeing off somehow. Hopefully, this isn't the case here. Once the arm has been to the centre and back, you'll need to cycle the mechanism to re-set everything ready for the next attempt.
The shibata tip looks pretty clean to me. I don't think that is an issue.

The tracking force adjustment does seem pretty unreliable. On the anti skate/bias corrector bar, which symbol indicated the anti skate side of the bar, the circle or the oval?

I'm not sure if the trip pawls were oiled or not.

The AT95E is probably what I will go for. I've been looking at those for awhile.

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Re: Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

Post by Pure_brew » 24 Mar 2019 02:13

The scale is marked for styli types - oval for elliptical and circle for conical.

You might want to experiment with tracking force on the highest end of the recommended max, and anti-skate at zero - then 50% etc., in case the calibration is off.

On the shibata - I don't know why you would have all that noise unless something is wrong.

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Re: Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

Post by DSJR » 24 Mar 2019 11:24

The 72B can take better than a 95E, but this one is workable in almost anything, tracking at around 1.8 to 2g. A bit safe and bland sounding though, to me at least. If you still have inner groove issues, it's either the tonearm's trip parts binding or adding too much drag, or maybe your records are damaged/worn.

If a diamond stylus looks ok visually, it tells nothing I'm afraid and even a loupe isn't powerful enough to really show what the diamond looks like. Fine line, Shibata and other fancy profiles have quite 'sharp' edges to them (not quite what I'm trying to convey, sorry) and they easily collect grunge from the record groove which can 'stick' solidly in place. the AT607 bottle of fluid plus brush is mandatory for AT cartridges at least and a good seeing to plus a brush from back to front if you're careful, sometimes needs two or three goes to clean if this is an issue. I 'saved' a Supex 900E by doing this and the diamond underneath was still good as viewed by a proper microscope.

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Re: Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

Post by Jmoog » 24 Mar 2019 13:42

When I picked up the Garrard from the repair shop the tracking force was backed out completely to zero and the anti skate on the conical side was set to around 3 and a half. Is this a feasible setup for the Garrard? I didn't notice any tracking problems with these settings but it seemed to me that a tracking force set to zero couldn't be right so I adjusted both tracking force and anti skate to 1 5 grams per the specs of the cart.

I'm not that familiar with this turntable though. Did the repair tech know something about setting this table up that I don't know?

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Re: Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

Post by DSJR » 24 Mar 2019 21:12

First thing to check. Set the tracking force dial to '0' and have a look at the back end of the tracking force spring. I've never found reference to setting this, or not, but the rear of this spring sits in a delrin mount which is attached to a screw which can adjust fore and aft movement of this mount. The spring musn't be loose at this point, but neither under much tension. If it looks ok, don't try to 'adjust' it please.... the visual downforce gauge is very crude, but if the pointer is in between the '1' and '2' you'll get a pretty fair approximation to 1.5g.

The Garrard anti-skate is set slightly low and as Shibata types need far higher levels (I sincerely apologise, I forgot to mention this) of what we call 'bias correction' and 'everyone else' call anti-skate (!), so setting the weight to the 3g mark isn't an issue as long as the stylus doesn't 'skate' outwards badly in a blank section of the lead out grooves. The exact amount of correction varies from stylus to stylus anyway and Garrard's calibration marks are a guess at best*

I'm sure you know how to balance the arm and set downforce? Adjust the downforce 'pointer' to line up as well as possible with the '0' and then rotate the counterweight to get the stylus floating roughly level with the top of a record. The needle pivots on these arms are heavily spring loaded, so you won't get a smooth up and down movement of the balanced arm as you do a Dual for example, but the head will oscillate up and down a couple of times before returning to rest. the counterweight is easily dislodged so try to get it looking 'true' when balancing out. the downforce can then be dialled up.



*My Zero 100 sample conversely, gives too much correction in its magnetic arrangement, so for 2g tracking force, I set the bias to 1g or so on this deck sample.

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Re: Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

Post by Pure_brew » 24 Mar 2019 23:59

So in an ideal world, the arm would first be balanced to compensate for the weight of the cartridge, then the vertical tracking force (VTF) would be set for the manufactures spec for that cartridge.
Then you would set the anti-skate to match the weight you set. Pretty typical overall.

Manual reference: https://www.vinylengine.com/library/gar ... -72b.shtml

However -As DSJR has pointed out, things are not always as they seem.

If the turntable was set to zero grams on the scale, then the weight was set by turning the counterbalance weight and then measured with an aftermarket scale. Presumably. I can only guess that the 3.5 setting on the anti-skate was set to match the downward force - or a groove-less test record was used to observe the behavior of the anti-skate function.

If this was set to a heavier weight, it may have been needed for the overall operation of this turntable being that it's 40+ years old - and a changer, which adds additional mechanical complications.

I think you should check with the shop on how they set this up. Running heavier and eliminating distortion during playback is not always a bad thing, as long as it's not beyond spec for that stylus. Mistracking/high distortion on the inner grooves can be more damaging than tracking heavy - but heavier than spec tracking can shorten the life of the stylus.

If you are getting distortion now, and you weren't with the original setup, then I suspect it was originally set to track on the heavy side and there are some setting inaccuracies being compensated for. There is no way to tell for sure what the tracking weight was originally set to, unless you had checked with an aftermarket scale before making changes.

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Re: Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

Post by Jmoog » 25 Mar 2019 12:22

Pure_brew wrote:
24 Mar 2019 23:59
So in an ideal world, the arm would first be balanced to compensate for the weight of the cartridge, then the vertical tracking force (VTF) would be set for the manufactures spec for that cartridge.
Then you would set the anti-skate to match the weight you set. Pretty typical overall.

Manual reference: https://www.vinylengine.com/library/gar ... -72b.shtml

However -As DSJR has pointed out, things are not always as they seem.

If the turntable was set to zero grams on the scale, then the weight was set by turning the counterbalance weight and then measured with an aftermarket scale. Presumably. I can only guess that the 3.5 setting on the anti-skate was set to match the downward force - or a groove-less test record was used to observe the behavior of the anti-skate function.

If this was set to a heavier weight, it may have been needed for the overall operation of this turntable being that it's 40+ years old - and a changer, which adds additional mechanical complications.

I think you should check with the shop on how they set this up. Running heavier and eliminating distortion during playback is not always a bad thing, as long as it's not beyond spec for that stylus. Mistracking/high distortion on the inner grooves can be more damaging than tracking heavy - but heavier than spec tracking can shorten the life of the stylus.

If you are getting distortion now, and you weren't with the original setup, then I suspect it was originally set to track on the heavy side and there are some setting inaccuracies being compensated for. There is no way to tell for sure what the tracking weight was originally set to, unless you had checked with an aftermarket scale before making changes.
Yes, I set both tracking force and anti skate to zero then moved the counter balance weight to level the tonearm before dialing in 1.5 grams on both the tracking force and the anti skate. I wish I would have listened to the Garrard more the way it was set up from the repair shop but I started changing the settings almost immediately when I got it hooked up. Resetting the tracking force and anti skate are easy enough but I'm not sure exactly where the counterbalance weight was. I'll play around with it to see if I can get close to the shops setup to see if that's cuts down on the igd.

Also I ordered a new AT95E cart yesterday to see what kind of improvement that might provide. The ATS 12 I have on the Gerrard now is 40 years old but only has maybe 30 hours use on it. Regardless it has some corrosion in places although the repair shop said it looked ok. I am getting a digital tracking force gram scale as well to see where I am at with weight.

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Re: Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

Post by DSJR » 29 Mar 2019 13:50

The 95E won't have the 'brilliance/clarity' up top in comparison to a good working 12S, but the rest shouldn't be too different I reckon. The current version of the 12S is most likely the VM95S* which is the thick end of £200 ($200?), but the VM mount isn't properly compatible with the Garrard (it screws in from the top). My left-field choice for my own AP76 was the old AT120E (now the AT VM530EN to give full title) and this sounded surprisingly good in this arm.

The 95E should track at 1.8 - 2g in this arm with no difficulty.

* The AT VM540 is better, with posher internal wiring, but these days, I'd probably suggest a deck upgrade first before investing this much in a cartridge for the SL72B/AP76.

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Re: Garrard SL-72b cartridge alignment adjustment?

Post by Jmoog » 30 Mar 2019 12:50

DSJR wrote:
29 Mar 2019 13:50
The 95E won't have the 'brilliance/clarity' up top in comparison to a good working 12S, but the rest shouldn't be too different I reckon. The current version of the 12S is most likely the VM95S* which is the thick end of £200 ($200?), but the VM mount isn't properly compatible with the Garrard (it screws in from the top). My left-field choice for my own AP76 was the old AT120E (now the AT VM530EN to give full title) and this sounded surprisingly good in this arm.

The 95E should track at 1.8 - 2g in this arm with no difficulty.

* The AT VM540 is better, with posher internal wiring, but these days, I'd probably suggest a deck upgrade first before investing this much in a cartridge for the SL72B/AP76.
I've got the 95E but I notice that the cantilever and stylus don't match up between the two carts when lined up side to side with the 12S in the headshell. The 95's stylus is further out physically from the headshell wires than the 12S. Does this make a difference? I don't see how that can be adjusted in the headshell.
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