Turntable Alignment is driving me insane Help!

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by JohnProton, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. JohnProton

    JohnProton
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    I bought an alignment tool and got it today by Acoustical Systems -the Smarttractor and for some strange reason I just cannot get it to go in the pivot at 222mm which it says on the site Im using the verify arm Clearaudio | High End - made in germany but when I measure it its off and I cant figure out why, am I doing something wrong or is there something wrong with the tonearm lol. When i put it in the indentation of the pivot it measures 227mm but thats not what it says it should measure on the site. so Im really cluless and its been doing my head in, Ive tried it in each of the holes on the alignment tool like lofgren a, lofgren b and uni bin etc and its off on them all so I have no idea am I doing something wrong? Anyone have any ideas?

    Heres some pictures.

    set to what it says my arm length is 222mm
    20180911_155746.jpg

    Arm pivot indent off
    20180911_155757.jpg

    Aligned up to to Uni P2S
    20180911_155933.jpg

    Smart tractor on Clearaudio Concept with Verify Arm
    20180911_160225.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
  2. Khazul

    Khazul
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    Wow - was it worth it if its all this much hassle to set up?
     
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  3. stu mcc

    stu mcc
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    Hi John,
    it seems as though something is off in the basic set up of the protractor but it's not one I've seen , let alone used ; there are a few videos available on youtube , if you haven't watched them it might give you a pointer only other suggestion is to ask the seller of either your gauge or deck.
    Hope you get sorted ,

    Stu.
     
  4. JohnProton

    JohnProton
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    I figured out why it was off I just needed the unscrew the turntable from the bottom and then turn it until it was aligned, but now Ive got another probem it hovers over the top, not enough weight even though i have set the tonearm and set the tracking to 2.0g which is what my cartridge's tracking force is, my turntable manufacturer has said my tonearm should be a perfect match and accepts upto 20g and my cartridge is 11g so im a bit at a loss really with it
     
  5. JohnProton

    JohnProton
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    I dont give up easily But Im starting to think the same thing lol
     
  6. Khazul

    Khazul
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    Well I don't have anything fancy, just an Technics SL1210M5G with an ortofon 2m bronze in it. It took me about 10 minutes to fit and align the cartridge with the aid of a cheap digital tracking force scale and an alignment and test LP with alignment guage (HiFi news I think from years ago) and using the camera on my mobile phone to help see more clearly. OK, so I know what I am doing, but even for those who don't, there are plenty of good youtube guide videos around.

    Even if I had a really expensive turntable and cartridge I don't suppose I would be taking any more effort (it just gets scarier the more expensive the stylus) as fundamentally without linear tracking (which has its own issues) then it is simply never going to be technically perfect and always a best effort compromise. The point of vinyl is for the result to sound as enjoyable as possible. If the turntable and/or cartridge is that finicky that getting an enjoyable sound out of it is hard work, then I suggest the turntable and/or cartridge is a design fail, no matter what claims of potential audio perfection the manufacturer may make.

    If you want perfect - go digital with a high quality DAC.

    I must admit, I don't see the point of the gadget you have unless there is a means to adjust the position of the tone arm pivot position as surely that it what it is telling you - the pivot position is not quite where it is expected to be?
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  7. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin
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    This is the first time I've ever heard such horror stories about a Clearaudio; normally they are considered really easy to install, especially with the clear documentation (yours: https://clearaudio.de/_assets/_pdf/manuals/tonearms/CA_Verify_E+D.pdf) and simple ability to adjust everything,provided you have a "setup kit".

    To post #4, have you confused the antiskating with the tracking weight? Antiskating has a gauge, but for tracking weight you have to measure the weight yourself with a gram scale, and if it weighs down at 2g, it can't be "hovering". Clearaudio have an expensive scale (Weight Watcher: Clearaudio | High End - made in germany), but I would expect your dealer to be able to lend you one.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  8. JohnProton

    JohnProton
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    No I weighed it with this scale which came in at 2.0g it was hovering over and not even touching the record even after I made sure the record was level with the arm, I tried adjusting the height of the arm up and down and it still was hovering at 2.0g and not touching the record. 20180914_071931.jpg 20180914_072050.jpg
     

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  9. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Just a suggestion, but with most tonearm lift mechanisms there is a range of adjustment to them. Check that the tonearm is not still resting on the tonearm lift. If it is, there could be a set screw or something that would allow you to adjust it.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  10. Khazul

    Khazul
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    And/or the entire tone arm height.
     
  11. stu mcc

    stu mcc
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    Try , with the arm locked on the rest , pressing down gently on the cueing platform and then operate the cue lever up and down a few times - I have known the damping fluid in brand new arms be a bit too viscous . If that doesn't work then as Steve said there should be screw to undo on the front of the platform and adjust there.

    Stu.
     
  12. JohnProton

    JohnProton
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    Thanks, no it wasnt on the restarm lift and there isnt a screw to adjust the tonearm
     
  13. JohnProton

    JohnProton
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    ive tried all differtent tonearm heights and a 2.0g setting but still it hovers above, ive gone right to the bottom but as you lower the height the weight has to go furth back and I think where it should be for the cartridge the weight wont go that far back. I came across this for my turntable. my current turntables weight is 133grams Clearaudio Concept Heavy Counterweight 155gm
     
  14. DT79

    DT79
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    Did you buy the turntable from a local dealer? If so then they should be willing to come and set it up for you.

    If you didn’t buy it locally then is there a local dealer who will come at set it up for you at a price? It might seem galling to have to pay even more to have it set-up for you, but you could consider it an education at the same time.

    I got a Clearaudio Performance DC/Clarify/Concept MC package and although it was fiddly and nerve wracking, I had no such issues setting it up.
     
  15. JohnProton

    JohnProton
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    No it wasnt local it was hifi corner and they no longer seem to sell clearaudio now and I got it in 2013 ive had a few cartridges but none weighed 11g
     
  16. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin
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    If the tracking force measures at 2g, then the counterweight is correct and needs no further adjustment, such would in fact be detrimental. The weight of the platter is of no concern to the arm's setup, and the weight of the cartridge is compensated for by the counterweight's position, which permits 2.5g - 17g, meaning 11g is well within the limits.

    My guess is that you have set the arm too high relative to the platter, so that it can't be lowered sufficiently. This (the vertical tracking) can be adjusted as per the instructions and illustration at the bottom of page 6 of the manual (link in my earlier post). It's also possible you need to adjust the arm's pivot height as per your turntable's instructions. You already had that issue with the arm's pivot position, which was 5mm out.

    A final possibility is that you have the wrong tonearm base for your platter / arm combination, preventing sufficient adjustment. For your Concept - Verify combination you need the AC031-5 (https://clearaudio.de/_assets/_pdf/manuals/tonearms/Tonearmbase_Catalogue_E.pdf).
     
  17. JohnProton

    JohnProton
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    The tracking force is correct and i have now corrected the pivot with the alignment gauge and Ive tried lowering it making it higher, making it so its level with the record and still no go, it is the universal or standard base Im using that comes with it, I think it may be the arm thats buggered it just floats no matter where the arm is and at 2.0grams it just doesnt touch it, this is funny actually because i found another person on another forum justy by googling with what seems to be the same problem Problem with needle not touching record on Clearaudio Concept I'm now wondering if I should get a new arm for this clearaudio or just buy a different turntable like a thorens classic I dont really seem to be getting much luck with this.
     
  18. JohnProton

    JohnProton
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    I guess I could try putting a mat on to see if it brings it up a little but I dont want to damage my cartridge by putting too much pressure/weight on it
     
  19. MikeFaulkner

    MikeFaulkner
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    So When you say "float" does this mean the arm moves easily side to side and up and down? Or is there something which is preventing the arm, a resistance if you like, from touching the record? What happens if you remove the counterweight altogether?

    Like Mark above, I'm in the camp who thinks something has gone wrong when you adjusted the arm.
     
  20. JohnProton

    JohnProton
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    It was floating like from side to side if i changed the antiskate to go to the centre of the record it would float that way not touching the record, at 2.0g instead of on the record.
     
  21. JohnProton

    JohnProton
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    If I take off the counterweight it suddenly goes from floating evenly to a sudden drop with all the weight of the back of the tonearm downwards and the cartridge head end high up
     
  22. MikeFaulkner

    MikeFaulkner
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    Hang on a minute. You remove the counterweight and the head shell goes up? It should be the other way around! Can you take a couple of photo's of your deck without the protractor so we can have a good look and try and solve your issue?
     

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