New Cartridge Sliding Onto Record Label Too Easily

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by PauGasmall, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. PauGasmall

    PauGasmall Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    I'm having a problem ever since I upgraded my cart recently.

    When I get to the end of a side, the needle falls into a loop with a clunky sound once every rotation, regardless of the record. And when I go to lift the dust cover to stop playing, unless I lift it SUPER gently, the needle jumps off the wax and slides onto the label. Neither of these things ever happened with the stock cartridge.

    Something off with my tracking force maybe? My tracking force gauge reads 1.8 but I had to turn the counterweight back much lower than 1.8 to get there...
     
  2. PauGasmall

    PauGasmall Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    Anything?
     
  3. Davey

    Davey define a transparent dream

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    That's on your AT-LP120? What cartridge did you upgrade to, and what are you using for a tracking force gauge? Have you checked it for accuracy? Is the anti-skate working? With the tonearm balanced and floating, and anti-skate set to zero, does it move freely in horizontal plane with very little force, and stay where you position it? Can you then adjust anti-skate and have the tonearm pull outward? I'd guess tracking force and anti-skate are set low.
     
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  4. JohnO

    JohnO Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    It could be tracking force, antiskate, cart mounted wrong, or a defective stylus.
    If the old cart gave no such problem, I think it is one of the latter two. The cart could be tilted up or down in relation to the proper angle for the stylus to be in the groove. (Around here called "VTA" vertical tracking angle.) Or the stylus itself could be mounted wrong on its cantilever, or it could be a defective stylus tip.
     
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  5. Slick Willie

    Slick Willie Decisively Indecisive

    Location:
    Sweet VA.
    When installing the cart, did you adjust VTA?
     
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  6. PauGasmall

    PauGasmall Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    Thanks for all the replies. I'm not sure about the VTA piece, but I used a protractor and was able to align the cart pretty well to that. And I also have one of those cartridge overhang tools to align to. In any event, I slightly increased the tracking force (about 0.1-0.2g more) and it seems to be working fine now.

    For reference, my new cart is the Ortofon 2M Blue and my old cart was the stock AT95E that comes with the AT LP120.

    Does anyone have further info on the meaning of VTA/what I should do to ensure it's correct? Thanks!
     
  7. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney
    Please tell me once you've installed the new cartridge in the headshell did you do anything with the weight at the end of the arm? what exactly?
     
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  8. vinylsolution

    vinylsolution Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO, USA
    Is you tracking force gauge digital like this one? Saves me a lot of time having one of these.
    It sounds like your tracking force is not calibrated right from what you are describing.
    You can look into VTA here, but I doubt that is the root cause of what you are experiencing, even if it is off.
     
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  9. I333I

    I333I Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ventura
    Luckily for you, it doesn’t sound like a problem that can’t be fixed. There are plenty of good suggestions and problem solvers above.
     
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  10. PauGasmall

    PauGasmall Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    Thanks for the link on VTA. Yes I have that exact tracking force gauge, but what I found is that the reading I get on it is markedly lower than the estimate I get from balancing the cartridge against the counterweight manually. I think this led to the tracking force being a bit too low. I adjusted it up a bit and it seems to have solved the problem.

    Question about using a tracking force gauge like this one: do you just drop the needle (gently of course) directly onto it? Is that safe?
     
  11. PauGasmall

    PauGasmall Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    I first did a manual adjustment to set the tracking force like I used to. Then I measured it with my digital tracking force gauge and further adjusted it to get to the target tracking force in the cartridge's instructions.
     
  12. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney
    Ok, so you have a scale? Then that rules out having set the wrong weight. The cartridge is very fragile but there is no problem placing the stylus on the scale as long as you don't drop it abruptly.

    I doubt you'll be able to adjust the angle of your tonearm (VTA) on your type of turntable but I also doubt is the cause of the problem. So you are saying it now works fine or still not quite? The needle could be dirty, sometimes may not be clearly visible and could be enough to prevent the stylus from going well inside the groove there are some microfiber brushes to deal with that and also some gelatin silicone like Onzow from Japan.

    a couple of other things come to mind the arm lifter may not be going all the way down and might keep the arm hovering over the record that could be quite a possible cause. normally applying little pressure with your hand on the lifter while playing a record might confirm whether that is causing the problem.
     
  13. PauGasmall

    PauGasmall Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    I think it's about the tracking force. Making minor adjustments to the force seems to have fixed the issue. I'll keep toying with it but I think I'm set. I think my scale is just crappy, may need to upgrade.
     
  14. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney
    Good to hear is working.
     
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  15. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Anti skating doesnt really work on that table, so not much to do there, and I suspected that to be the main problem.
     
  16. PooreBoy

    PooreBoy ~Well Respected Man~

    Location:
    East TN
    When you installed the new cartridge, did you rebalance the tonearm...so that it read '0' when it floated? If not then you should do that, and then set the tracking force accordingly.
     
  17. JBStephens

    JBStephens I don't "like", "share", "tweet", or CARE.

    Location:
    South Mountain, NC
    The AT120 requires 1 gram more of antiskate than the tracking force would indicate.
     
  18. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Im not sure this applies universally and that sometimes even more is needed, or it cant even be reached.
     

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