Cartridge Azimuth - Is It Worth The Hassle?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by colby2415, Jun 7, 2017.

  1. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockholm
    There is no necessity to adjust the azimuth, but there is an advantage in doing it. It´s a good thing to me knowing one is getting the most out of the cartridge/needle.
    I now know with my latest set up I have -33dB cross-talk from both channels, and a channel balance better that 1dB. In this case the tilting is maybe 1deg, which is no big deal.
    It´s just good to know the cartridge is performing the best it can.

    And as I see it it´s not more important with expensive cartridges, than it is with cheaper ones; I can´t see that.
     
    jupiterboy likes this.
  2. VinylRob

    VinylRob Forum Resident

    Hmmm, no necessity, just good to know? I'm baffled by your comment, with all due respect.
     
  3. back2vinyl

    back2vinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, UK
    I agree with this. Like another poster above, I have Dr Feickert's Adjust+ Pro software suite and test record and have spent a long time in the past trying to optimise the azimuth on various cartridges. I would say that in nearly 100 per cent of cases, to get an optimal result in software, you end up with a needle that's not perfectly vertical in the groove. So you're left with a choice between having a needle that's not riding straight in the groove and having some notionally perfect figure for crosstalk and phase angle. My choice was as follows: since there was no audible improvement from having a weird azimuth, I was left in no doubt that it was far preferable from a record and stylus wear perspective to have the needle perpendicular in the groove. Eyeballing it is fine - in my experience, you can get an incredibly accurate result by eye.
     
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  4. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockholm
    I said there is an advantage in doing adjustments. But there is no necessity as most people can play records perfectly fine without any adjustments.
     
    H8SLKC likes this.
  5. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockholm
    I don´t think we should assume any increase in wear.
     
  6. back2vinyl

    back2vinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, UK
    What I should have said was, unevenness in wear. But to be honest, I think what troubled me most was simply the sight of that needle leaning over. It just didn't look right and it left me feeling uneasy.
     
    patient_ot likes this.
  7. amgradmd

    amgradmd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Agreed. It has been clearly shown that styli are not consistently aligned with the cantilever in vertical axis or with respect to the zenith of the stylus. That's why I'm not put off by having a 1.5 degree off center tilt on azimuth for optimal crosstalk. I figure the stylus is off axis with the cantilever and am not concerned about wear. You could check with a microscope from the front to make sure.
     
  8. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockholm
    Yes there will likely be a situation where we think it´s leaning too much, and also when possibly wear can be more uneven. I haven´t seen that so far.
     
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  9. drbryant

    drbryant Forum Resident

    I have a test record but I haven't used it to check the azimuth. I assume it will provide a good analysis.
     
  10. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    did you find that one channel was louder than the other before you adjusted the azimuth?
     
  11. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockholm
    No, I don´t think there was much difference, before and after. Maybe just a little, but less than 1dB.

    This is plots of the 1Kh tone, from A to B, and from B to A, as a final result.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2017
  12. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
    Easy and cheap as this. I just eyeball my azimuth. In my experience, any turntable alignment you can't eyeball (weight aside, of course) won't create major problems. Mainly these days I just grab, turn, and twist that headshell into place. Brut audiophilia.
     
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  13. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    I imagine cantilevers can rotate a small amount about their axis based on suspension flexibility. So when you rotate the cartridge body to adjust azimuth, the stylus can still "seat" in the grooves the way it is supposed to and not cause any additional wear. Yet because the cartridge body is still slightly rotated, you are in effect aligning the internal components for optimized L-R output.
    It seems like there could be a little extra force on one side of the stylus but it should not be much and will reduce over time as the suspension takes a set.
     
    amgradmd likes this.
  14. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Now all we need is an electron microscope video of this so we can be sure. :D
     
    amgradmd likes this.
  15. VinylRob

    VinylRob Forum Resident

    My apologies for the confusion.

    I meant all that I said about the recommendation to address azimuth with vigor for both the concern of possible deleterious record wear and for highly accurate retrieval of sonics.

    My mistake was that I thought I knew you and your system, and I don't, I was mistaken.

    Happy listening (anyway)! and best sonic wishes.
     
  16. VinylRob

    VinylRob Forum Resident

    Not to start a pi**ing match, as this is all about fun and shared experience, and (everyone's) mileage may very... my comment was not to debunk what you offered, thou I don't feel as casual about stylus alignment as some. It just seem to me (and sounds to my ears) that most analogue rigs can sonically benefit from a more painstaking and stringent stylus set-up regiment.

    The truth may well be that one could simply hammer a rusty nail into a wood branch, drag a vinyl groove past it, and make something akin to music... thou I don't advocate this. :)
     
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  17. Bronica S2A

    Bronica S2A Active Member

    Location:
    St. Clair, MI
    I use the Audio Check Denon AD-1 record, use band 1 & 2 on side 1, and a pair of headphones. It's worked well for me.
     
  18. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockholm
    I think most needle cuts have quite a clearance, it won´t matter if the needle is slightly twisted, force wise. The contact points will be at a slightly different place at the diamond. It won´t cause any extra force, acting like twisting the cantilever, as I see it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2017
  19. Larry I

    Larry I Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    Physical alignment to get the stylus perpendicular to the record surface matters MUCH more for a line-contact type of stylus than other shapes. Line contact styli are shaped to fit in the groove more snuggly and to contact a larger area vertically (from deeper in the groove to further up the wall) than other types. You would not want a line contact stylus to be tipped over very much. For that reason, I go with getting the stylus to be as perfectly upright as I can by eye (aided by a loupe), but I suppose one could also go crazy and use a USB camera/microscope. I find it interesting that some setup gurus insist on using such equipment to set VTA at precisely 92 degrees, but do not suggest using such gear to also do azimuth. It is much easier to hear changes in VTA than azimuth, and the correct VTA is really a subjective call based on sound.
     
  20. Rob9874

    Rob9874 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Surprise, AZ
    I have high frequencies louder on my right channel than my left. High hats are very prominent on the right channel, almost sounding as if they're only on that channel. I've swapped the L/R interconnects coming out of my TT (Pro-Ject Debut Carbon) and high frequencies switch to the left. Do you think it's more of an electronics/connection issue, or could it be azimuth?
     
  21. Catcher10

    Catcher10 I like records, and Prog...duh

    What cart do you have?
     
  22. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    And what method did you use to align it? And has it always been that way? And are you sure the stylus is fully seated, provided it is replaceable?

    You could try swapping the cartridge leads between left and right just to make sure it's the cartridge. I'd be surprised if you are hearing azimuth problems.
     
    ghost rider likes this.
  23. Rob9874

    Rob9874 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Surprise, AZ
    I have the Ortofon 2M Blue. Just bought the stylus and swapped it into the existing Red headshell that came installed with the TT (had the same issue with the Red). I'll try swapping the cartridge leads, good suggestion.
     
  24. frimleygreener

    frimleygreener "It 'a'int why...it just is"

    Location:
    united kingdom
    I would imagine that as most reputable cartridge manufacturers refer to azimuth as part and parcel of reaping the maximum benefit from their products it would be a bit self defeating to ignore that advice.
     
    VinylRob likes this.
  25. Catcher10

    Catcher10 I like records, and Prog...duh

    2M Blue is elliptical, so azimuth while important in all cart setup, is not as finnicky as with a line contact type stylus. I would venture to guess your HF issue is something else....
     
    Rob9874 likes this.

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