Cartridge set up and kit

  • Baerwald (B)
  • Lofgren (L)
  • Stevenson (S)

0 voters

Watched this and now I need a decent microscope, and maybe a decent test record or something like the Dr Feickert adjust + or similar for azimuth…

Ok… I appreciate this is based on absolute application to perfection. Cost and practically means it’s not always easy to be so accurate.
Realistically I buy the force gauge, borrow a protractor, maybe try a decent test disc and if I’m lucky I get a cart that’s pretty true and my angles are close anyway.
If I’m jackpot lucky I source a microscope and sort my angles, and get some software to correct and establish azimuth.
It was interesting and I appreciate the effort and cost of set up is proportionate to the cost of your stylus.
I did wobble a bit when he said a Shibata Stylus needs to be really angled correctly to get balance.

Interested in what people prefer as a set up and as a cleaning regime to avoid ruining the groove over time as the diamond gets build up burnt on.

These are handy:




Stylus force


Warning: you are entering the zone at which paranoia increases at an exponential rate inverse to the diminishing returns you can expect :smile:


In my largely successful bid to become the world’s worst foo pusher I sold a really decent stereo microscope with camera mount to raise some cash…

I may regret it . . . but then, every time I’ve tried to venture beyond the alignment protractor that came with deck and arm, the lack of agreement by those who should know better than me about what does and does not matter puts me off bothering - too much OCD, too much risk of breaking something.

I do use a decent digital stylus gauge even tho’ the cart I have (Haughtyfon Cadenza Black) is not very fussy about tracking force. The gauge is worthwhile simply because the design of the counterweight on my arm is shit (and I really must get around to designing a replacement…) Pro-ject’s (I don’t sell their stuff any more) “Measure-It” gauge is really nice quality -

And I did spend a lot of time sorting tracking angle, because the Cadenza is fussy about it - mostly done by ear because the the lack of a horizontal underside to the cart makes doing it properly by eye difficult.

Azimuth I can cheerfully forget because there’s no adjustment for it - though a visual check with a mirror suggests it’s physically OK, and channel balance and imaging are good.

None of the MC carts I have seem fussy about cables, but experimentation with resistive loading on the various Naughtyfons I’ve had suggests they’re fussier than the spec sheets suggest - with 33-56K being best, so the routine 47K of many 'stages pans out well. Going above or below this tends to cause lifts at either end of the frequency range.

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Oh and them little pots of unsticky sticky gel for cleaning the stylus tip are priceless - so easy to use that even a cack-handed cunt like me can use it each side.

Aided and abetted by a decent RCM of course, again, a shout-out for Pro-ject whose £300 VC-S has been one of the best investments I’ve made since finally embracing vinyl - I wet clean errrything, even new vinyl, in the hope that build-ups of waxy, oily stuff are avoided.

At risk of stating the obvious - wash yer bloody hands before handlng vinyl: human paw grease is a mix of fat, water and salt - you don’t want that shit on yer stylus.

And this stuff:
Priceless when I clean the deck - cartridge guard on and spray on to a small microfibre cloth then carefully wipe the lot over, rather than spray. Have yet to find a finish that is in any way damaged by it (waxed/oiled/French-polished wood are likely to be exceptions), and what’s good for keeping dust at bay, is good for keeping your cart in good nick.

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I use the free printable alignment protractors off the Vinyl Engine, one of those digital scale things like above off ebay, and this to check and adjust.

Oh and my ears.

Seems to work for me, all my turntables sound equally as bad :+1:

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Christ, what a pain in the arse vinyl is.


I like to use an oscilloscope and test tones to align me stylus.

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If you want to make it, its an OCD nightmare, for example -


I feel that it is worth pointing out, that if you are indeed handling your vinyl absolutely correctly when getting any albums out for a play. Then you absolutely shouldn’t be getting any greasy dab marks transferred from yer mucky paws onto the playing surface. Any LPs I’ve cleaned properly with my vacuum RCM (which is long since all of 'em) tend to stay that way for a long time.

IME yer paws would have to be fairly grubby indeed if only handling LPs edge on, in the correct manner for any serious transfer to take place. I do use a Goldring ExStatic carbon brush with velvet pad prior to play of each side & find that once cleaned properly this small ritual/regime works for me & it is extremely rare for me to get fluff on the stylus even.

Fremer is a cold hearted arrogant wanker:

I watched that and the only thought was ‘I really hope the same thing happens to you’

Does that include @J_B

“10 Thumbs Johnnie” is the exception to most rules - including several genetic ones…


Cuntz :dizzy_face:


Fairly typical of a lot of good Christian American’s from what I’ve seen

Not that it matters a jot but Fremer isn’t a Christian.

Burn him.

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Possibly not the best judged joke of all time if you think about it…

On a cross fashioned from Mpingo cable lifters?

Why would I want to do that?