FAQ: Turntable Setup Guide Info Thread

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Black Hoodie, Sep 29, 2018.

  1. Black Hoodie

    Black Hoodie Well-Known Member

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    @mcherry

    Mods Please Pin. Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
  2. Black Hoodie

    Black Hoodie Well-Known Member

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    Please add your Turntable Setup Questions, Posts, Tips, etc. here.
     
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  3. Black Hoodie

    Black Hoodie Well-Known Member

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    Setting/Checking Vertical Tracking Force (VTF). Easy. Difficulty Level 2-5. Patience, preciseness, practice. Just be aware that cantilevers are delicate and can break if you are not careful with setup, testing, and cleaning.

    I suggest even checking your current VTF to make sure nothing is off from shipping /setup, etc and to get into practice. After that checking it once a month for good measure along with other turntable maintenance, cleaning, etc. is a good idea.

    Each Cartridge/Stylus has it's own factory recommended VTF range. So you should check VTF with any change. Sometimes you may want to run a little over or under based on your rig, listening tests, etc.

    Pickup a Shure Tracking Force Scale (about $25) or a Digital Scale ($10-15) on Amazon, Ebay, or your favorite record store/music shop. @HiFi Guy and others here will have good digital scale suggestions.

    Uturn Orbit Setup Guide (VTF instruction at the bottom):
    https://uturnaudio.com/blogs/uturn/how-to-change-your-turntables-phono-cartridge



     
  4. Black Hoodie

    Black Hoodie Well-Known Member

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    Changing a Grado Prestige Stylus, Easy, 2 out 5 difficulty IMO. See video below.

     
  5. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Well-Known Member

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    A couple of tips-

    Make sure your platter is level both front to rear and side to side.

    Always set your tracking force before aligning your cartridge. If you align first, your overhang will change slightly when you change tracking force.
     
  6. mcherry

    mcherry Spam Slayer ☠️ & Moderator Extraordinaire

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  7. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Well-Known Member

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    One more tip:

    If the cartridge you are installing has seperate nuts and bolts, get some blue painter's tape. Take a small strip and either:

    Tape the bolt where it goes on the cartridge. Use your finger from underneath to keep the bolt stationary.

    Or

    Fold the strip back on itself to make a circle. Stick the bottom to your finger. Place the bolt on the top and raise it from underneath to mate with the top mounted bolt.

    If you get any unsightly adhesive residue on your cartridge body, it can be removed with a Q Tip slightly dampened with isopropyl alcohol. Use very gentle strokes and the adhesive will come off.
     
  8. lee newman

    lee newman Well-Known Member

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    I’m gonna need pictures. I’ve read this several times and don’t get it.
     
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  9. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Well-Known Member

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    I didn't take pictures when I did it and am not taking the cartridge off to take pictures.

    You could also put something sticky on your fingertip and stick the nut to your fingertip to hold it in place until the bolt grabs the threads.
     
  10. dbarila

    dbarila Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking at a friend's TT that he got 2nd hand. There's no cartridge on it. Will these wires connect directly to the pins on the cartridge or am I missing a piece in between. My U-Turn/Grado have long metal pins coming out of the back.

    1016182009.jpg
     
  11. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Well-Known Member

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    They'll connect directly. It's easiest to loosely mount the cartridge with one bolt then connect the wires.
     
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  12. dbarila

    dbarila Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! I've never fully set up a tone arm before so I'm sure I'll be checking in with some more questions if he wants me to go ahead with it. Unfortunately I can't even really tell if it's working properly because the belt snapped as soon as I tried to put it back on.
     
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  13. Black Hoodie

    Black Hoodie Well-Known Member

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    Proceed with caution and patience. Those wires and connectors can be easily broke. Using tweezers or computer tools can sometimes help if you have bass player fingers.

    When I have access to wires I like to to clean the connectors first with Deoxit spray before mounting/connecting the cartridge.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018
  14. dbarila

    dbarila Well-Known Member

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    Looks like the cartridge to my friend's TT will be here today so I'm going to try and install it tonight. A couple questions.

    Does anyone have a good tutorial about balancing the tone arm?

    Do I alight the cartridge and then check tracking force? Or set tracking for and then align the cartridge?

    Thanks!
     
  15. lee newman

    lee newman Well-Known Member

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    Cart then force.
     
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  16. dbarila

    dbarila Well-Known Member

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    Who dis? (And what is on your face?)
     
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  17. lee newman

    lee newman Well-Known Member

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    It’s from when I had my sleep study in what March, something like that anyhow...
     
  18. dbarila

    dbarila Well-Known Member

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    So I'm bored at working and found this video on balancing the tone arm. Just one question... at the 4:33 mark after the tracking force is set should the tone arm still float like that? Shouldn't it be tracking on the record if tracking weight is set?



    Also, I should align the cart prior to balancing as well?
     
  19. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Well-Known Member

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    No. Force then align. If you do force last, your alignment can change when the tracking force is dialed in. More weight makes the stylus "forward" and less will make it "rearward". Yes we are talking a minuscule amount, but if you want to do it correctly, force first.
     
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  20. lee newman

    lee newman Well-Known Member

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    Listen to this guy over me.;)
     
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