Adjust anti-skate on Project Primary

carboniferous
Post Reply
vext01
member
member
Posts: 60
Joined: 26 Jun 2017 00:20

Adjust anti-skate on Project Primary

Post by vext01 » 19 Mar 2018 14:23

Hi,

One of my turntables is a Project Primary. I'm using it with a Thakker OM5e equivalent stylus.

When starting a record playing (using the lowering lever), the stylus almost always jumps into the first track prematurely. Sometimes I can get it right by lowering the stylus manually, but I'd like it if the lever worked.

The stylus is lowering slowly and the tracking force is fine too, so sounds like an anti-skate issue? The problem is, this is one of those plug and play turntables with the anti-skate (and tracking force) factory set. I can see how I would change the tracking force, but anyone know if I can adjust the anti-skate somehow?

Cheers

nat
long player
long player
Posts: 4574
Joined: 07 Nov 2002 19:05

Re: Adjust anti-skate on Project Primary

Post by nat » 19 Mar 2018 22:38

Is the rubber pad on the platform still there, and is it clean? And is the pin under the arm that contacts that platform still there?
I'm operating on memory/intuition, so the details may not be correct, but look at the contact area and see if it has sufficient friction.

vext01
member
member
Posts: 60
Joined: 26 Jun 2017 00:20

Re: Adjust anti-skate on Project Primary

Post by vext01 » 20 Mar 2018 10:02

Hi Nat,

Great minds think alike. I checked the rubber platform shortly after posting. I cleaned in up with some IPA alcohol, but it didn't seem very dirty and still had its grip.

The lowering platform and pin is all OK.

I think this is perhaps to do with either the anti-skate or (if possible?) the tightness of the bearings in the horizontal direction.

I tried a few different things to narrow it down, one of which was to lower the stylus onto the record with the platter stationary, and then turn on the platter. Indeed, often the stylus jumped inward after the start of the first track. I think this takes the lowering mechanism out of the equation...

Hrm.

vext01
member
member
Posts: 60
Joined: 26 Jun 2017 00:20

Re: Adjust anti-skate on Project Primary

Post by vext01 » 20 Mar 2018 15:52

A couple more details.
  1. This occurs using an official Ortofon OM5e stylus too (borrowed the one off my other turntable).
  2. It's worse on records with don't have the raised tracks on the lead in.
  3. I re-measured the tracking force. It's more like 1.65 instead of the 1.75 recommended for the cart.
Is that 0.1g likely to matter?

Solist
senior member
senior member
Slovenia
Posts: 893
Joined: 08 May 2017 18:49
Location: Ljubljana

Re: Adjust anti-skate on Project Primary

Post by Solist » 21 Mar 2018 05:59

Hi!

I do not think this is an anti-skate issue. The arm should not be moving towards the center of the record in the first place. The anti-skate is used to push the tonearm away from the spindle, so if not working properly (too high value) it would cause the arm to slide away. If set too low it would still cause the arm to slide away from the spindle. So..

Did you level the turntable?

It might be a horizontal balance issue of the tonearm itself.

vext01
member
member
Posts: 60
Joined: 26 Jun 2017 00:20

Re: Adjust anti-skate on Project Primary

Post by vext01 » 29 Mar 2018 17:02

Hi,

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I now own a spirit level. It's not totally flat it seems. The left side of the TT needs to go up, and the back needs to go down.

I would have thought lowering the back would make the issue worse.

I've just had a look at the feet on the turntable and found that they are not adjustable, so I might have to wedge something underneath.

Solist
senior member
senior member
Slovenia
Posts: 893
Joined: 08 May 2017 18:49
Location: Ljubljana

Re: Adjust anti-skate on Project Primary

Post by Solist » 29 Mar 2018 17:41

No problem. Remember that when levelling the TT the most important part that needs to be level is the part where your needle is tracing the groove.
That might be causing the skip. I usually put pieces of paper to get it level. Cheap and effective.

vext01
member
member
Posts: 60
Joined: 26 Jun 2017 00:20

Re: Adjust anti-skate on Project Primary

Post by vext01 » 24 Apr 2018 16:26

Hi,

I'm actually still having issues with this turntable. It's now level and the problem persists.

I have a feeling that the tone arm lowering mechanism is dropping too slowly. I've tried removing as much of the lubrication grease as possible from the arm lowering mechanism. I even tried a little WD40. The tone arm still crawls down super-slowly :(

Solist
senior member
senior member
Slovenia
Posts: 893
Joined: 08 May 2017 18:49
Location: Ljubljana

Re: Adjust anti-skate on Project Primary

Post by Solist » 24 Apr 2018 18:49

Tonearm dropping too slowly should not be the cause of the problem. The tonearm is supposed to drop slowly, so that it does not damage the stylus and vinyl. On my tonearm it takes 3-4 sec until the needle makes contact with the record.

Removing the grease was a bad idea. The grease is there to make the descend as smooth as possible. And using WD40 was a really bad idea.

Maybe post a video?

vext01
member
member
Posts: 60
Joined: 26 Jun 2017 00:20

Re: Adjust anti-skate on Project Primary

Post by vext01 » 24 Apr 2018 21:01

Yeah, maybe I'll post a video.

(I'm not too worried about the grease or WD40 since I can always add new grease. FWIW it made zero difference anyway)

turntableguru
Posts: 3
Joined: 21 Dec 2013 21:57

Re: Adjust anti-skate on Project Primary

Post by turntableguru » 11 Apr 2019 00:45

I have repaired and modified several of these. People purchase them as they are a handsome looking kit. However, these are truly, cheaply constructed units. After cleaning the lift unit with brake cleaner or alcohol, repack the mechanism with white lithium which is similar to what Pro-Ject uses from the factory. Failing that, in Europe these arms are easily had as spares from the distributor. If you are in the USA, you will find Sumiko is of little help. As for "factory set" anti-skate, this is a fairy tale. They merely picked the lightest cartridge in the market that worked with the drag inherent in the arm. If you remove the arm you will find an aluminum barrel with a set screw. This is to keep the two horizontal cartridge bearings in place. In no way should one attempt to add bias by increasing thrust on the bearings by adjusting the Aluminum barrel. I have modified these low-fi arms in my shop with an aftermarket anti-skate set up that is similar to what you find on the Essential. This requires some machining. My advice for most would be to contact Pro-Ject and purchase an Essential arm (as you are stuck with that 8.6 effective length) or sell it and buy a better kit like the 40 year old Pioneer PL-512, the most underrated Rega clone ever made, and if you find a Japanese one pay a little more. The Japanese HDF is superior to the Korean MDF.

daveayerst
Great Britain
Posts: 1
Joined: 09 Jan 2020 23:41

Re: Adjust anti-skate on Project Primary

Post by daveayerst » 09 Jan 2020 23:52

I have this exact problem with a brand new Project Primary E.

It seems worse on some records than others. It is particularly bad on records that have the combination of a wide lead-in zone and a sharp lead in sweep. The stylus is drawn sharply towards the centre of the disc by the lead-in groove which causes the arm to skate over the first two or three grooves of music.
If I drop the stylus very close to the start of the music or between tracks, the arm never skates.

The turntable is level and on a stable surface.

Post Reply