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Cartridge scraping on record, please Help

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Cartridge scraping on record, please Help

Postby i_like_macs » 19 Dec 2017 20:17

Hello,

I know very little about turntables, so I apologize if my knowledge is quite poor. Many years ago, I acquired a Systemdek IIX for $50. I put a Grado cartridge on it, which worked fine for a while. More recently, the cork mat on the plastic platter (the one on top of the glass platter) started to peel off, so I used some 3M spray glue to stick it back on. This didn't quite work well and made the surface of of the cork mat to have ripples, which also made records mounted on it to have ripples. These ripples move the cartridge up and down quite a bit, which scrape the record surface. I raised the tonearm height at its base to minimize scraping, but then the needle becomes too high for the cartridge needle to contact the grooves on records.

Could someone please tell me what I should do? Can I buy a replacement cork mat somewhere? One option could be to take the turntable to a shop but I didn't want to be charged a lot of money for simple repairs. I noticed that this website hosted manuals on the Systemdek IIX, so I thought it would be a good source of information. Thank you very much in advance.
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Re: Cartridge scraping on record, please Help

Postby Alec124c41 » 19 Dec 2017 20:49

You can make a cork mat from shelf liner or cork sheet. It doesn't' have to be stuck to plastic.
Leather works well, too, and sounds a little different than cork.

Cheers,
Alec
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Re: Cartridge scraping on record, please Help

Postby i_like_macs » 19 Dec 2017 22:50

Thank you very much for your Help Alec!

Maybe I should strip the old cork and lay another sheet of cork on top of the plastic platter. Due to poor health, I'm not that inclined at the moment to perform much DIY. Are there replacement cork mats (or any mats) sold for a Systemdek IIX?
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Re: Cartridge scraping on record, please Help

Postby Alec124c41 » 19 Dec 2017 23:08

Again, you don't need the plastic.
There are several cork mats available. Any one will fit. Just don't pay silly money for one.

Cheers,
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Re: Cartridge scraping on record, please Help

Postby i_like_macs » 20 Dec 2017 00:39

Thank you again Alec. That's good to know that any cork mat will fit my turntable!
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Re: Cartridge scraping on record, please Help

Postby i_like_macs » 20 Dec 2017 00:40

And I'll skip the plastic plate and attach the cork mat directly on the glass platter.
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Re: Cartridge scraping on record, please Help

Postby Alec124c41 » 20 Dec 2017 01:16

It doesn't even have to be attached.

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Re: Cartridge scraping on record, please Help

Postby i_like_macs » 20 Dec 2017 02:34

I was shopping around and saw several thicknesses of cork mats (i.e., 1/8", 3/16", and 1/4"). Are there advantages to getting a thick mat or should I aim to maintain the thickness of my current mat made of plastic and cork? I'm guessing that, to be on the safe side, I should maintain the current thickness (i.e., about 1/8") so that the cartridge needle makes contact with record grooves.
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Re: Cartridge scraping on record, please Help

Postby Alec124c41 » 20 Dec 2017 04:01

1/8"is fine.

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Re: Cartridge scraping on record, please Help

Postby i_like_macs » 20 Dec 2017 04:43

Thank you very much for being generous with your Help
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Re: Cartridge scraping on record, please Help

Postby i_like_macs » 29 Dec 2017 03:15

Hello everyone,

I purchased a cheap $10 cork mat from Amazon, and now my records stopped scraping! Hurrah! Thank you again Alec for your very useful Help. I can now listen to records again.

DSC_0002.jpg


However, although no longer scraping, the bottom of the cartridge still looks dangerously close to the record surface.

DSC_0001.jpg


Could someone please tell me whether this is all right, or if not, what I should do? I do own something called the "DB Systems Phono Alignment Protractor." Is this device useful for the problem at hand?

As always, thank you very much in advance for any Help to be received.
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Re: Cartridge scraping on record, please Help

Postby Alec124c41 » 31 Dec 2017 05:31

No problem there.
Some cartridges hace a small round bump on the bottom that will touch the record before the stylus cab get damaged.

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Re: Cartridge scraping on record, please Help

Postby i_like_macs » 01 Jan 2018 07:07

Thank you again for the information Alec! Happy New Year from California!

Using the nice manual of the Systemdek IIX downloaded from this site, I also adjusted the platter to be level and about 0.5 cm from the plinth using the three screws.

Next, I plan make adjustments to the Profile tonearm. For now, the tracking force and anti-skate are both set to 1 gram, but I have no idea whether this is what they should be set at (or for that matter what those terms even mean). Maybe that Phono Alignment Protractor I mentioned earlier has something to do with adjusting these things. Anyhow, for starters, I'll see if I can locate a manual for the tonearm.
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Re: Cartridge scraping on record, please Help

Postby Alec124c41 » 01 Jan 2018 15:23

The vertical tracking force (VTF) is what holds the stylus in the groove. A small scale under the stylus will read that. Too little VTF will allow the stylus to bounce in heavily modulated passages, causing distortion, and possibly damaging the vinyl.
The Grado cartridges have a recommended VTF of 1.25, recommended, with aange of 1.0 to 1.5 grams.
To properly set VTF, first you must balance the arm. Set AS to 0, and rotate the counterweight to where the stylus will hover at the height of the record surface. Put arm in the rest, and, without moving the counterweight, set the dial on its front to 0 at the top. Then rotate the entire counterweight to 1.25. Then set AS to 1.
The Sumiko arms have scales that are not the easiest to read. I use a flashlight and reading glasses.
The arm should be level, when playing a record.
The stylus has an overhang of about 15 mm, meaning that it will reach that far past the center of the platter spindle. This is why the cartridge is angled, and means that the stylus puts more force on the inside wall of the groove. The anti-skate, or bias, is to equalize the force on the inside and outside walls.
I use several arms, of differing lengths, so I use a 2-point protractor that works for all of them. Thid sets the correct angle and length of the cartridge position.
To use a 2-point protractor, set the stylus on the crosshairs of the outer grid, and square the cartridge with the grid (anti-skate off).
Move the stylus to the crosshairs of the inner grid (Move the protractor, too).
If the front of the cartridge is angled toward the center of the record, move it forward in the headshell, and start over.
If the cartridge is angled away from the label, move it back, and start over.
When you have the cartridge squared in both grids, with the stylus on the crosshairs, tighten the screws, and reset the VTF and AS.
That is a very nice turntable, and should sing sweetly.

Cheers,
Alec
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Re: Cartridge scraping on record, please Help

Postby i_like_macs » 05 Jan 2018 05:44

Hello Alec,

With your easy-to-follow instructions, I could adjust the vertical tracking force and anti-skate. Thank you very much for the hand holding!

DSC_0004.jpg


I've also adjusted the cartridge position, which I'm unsure whether I performed correctly.

DSC_0002.jpg


Is it alright that the needle comes in contact with the protractor? It looks quite fragile and I didn't want to damage it. I did place the needle over each crosshair and made sure that the cartridge lined up with the lines on the protractor. Another question I have is why there are two pieces; a clear part and an opaque one.

Thank you very much in advance for the further Help to be received.
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