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Ortofon - The Concorde Century - how to align?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Nubben, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. Nubben

    Nubben Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    London, UK
    Hi all,

    Have been looking at the Concorde Century as a new cartridge. Looking to upgrade my turntable to a Technics SL-1200G or GR soon as well.

    How does one dial this in if necessary (Since there is no head shell as such)? Such as the VTA if one cannot balance a bubble measure tool on the actual cartridge?

    Thanks in advance all for any input.

    Nubben
     
  2. Clay B

    Clay B Forum Resident

    Nubben

    No dialing in required. Place it on the end of your Technics or similar tonearm and it will be aligned. Balance the arm and set the tracking weight and you should be good to go. It’s so simple in concept that audiophiles have difficulty adapting.

    Just bought one for my GAE. I was curious having never tried one. Unfortunately, no listening as yet as new floors just installed and painting is next.

    Cheers
     
  3. Nubben

    Nubben Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    London, UK
    Hi Clay, thanks for the input!

    Would be interested to hear about your impressions of this Century version of the Concorde.

    In terms of the VTA, apologies but don't quite understand. Do you mean balancing the arm as in making it level with the stylus on a record or balancing it with the VTF? Since I have only used headshells before (which was easy peasy just putting the bubble on the actual head shell to get the VTA) am not sure I am grasping it.

    Many thanks!
     
  4. Dubmart

    Dubmart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    The VTA should be correct as is, the entire cartridge/headshell is designed to need no adjustment other than balancing the arm and setting tracking force, assuming the arm has the correct geometry which the Technics do. All you should need to do is attach the Concorde, set the bias force to zero, balance the arm so that the arm tube floats freely and parallel to the platter, adjust the tracking force dial, but not the weight to zero, then adjust both to the correct tracking force, (1.6 - 2 grammes), dial in the bias to the same figure, job done and VTA will be correct. If you want to be really OCD then double check with an alignment protractor and double check the tracking force, with a digital scale, but Concordes are as close to plug and play as you get. If you do happen to need to adjust the arm height it will be obvious visually, you want a 20 degree angle with the Concorde, but from memory an unadjusted Technics arm is the correct height for the Concorde.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
    DoF and Shak Cohen like this.
  5. Nubben

    Nubben Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    London, UK
    Hi Clay/Dubmart,

    Thanks very much for both your answers but still don't understand the VTA bit.

    Dubmart, if I put the VTA at zero on my dial (have a Pioneer PLX-1000) the arm might not be level with the platter neither will it be if I put it at say 5. So I need to make sure the arm itself is level and I have previously done that with a bubble. Put perhaps now I would have to use something like this? Nasotec Headshell Alignment Block

    Sorry for the novice questions, but as far as I am aware balancing and levelling an arm are two different things?

    Thanks both!

    Nubben
     
  6. Dubmart

    Dubmart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    What do you mean by VTA dial, the arm height adjustment? The arm shouldn't be level with the platter, but higher and parallel with it leaving enough room for the cartridge, I'm not familiar with the Pioneer, but would assume that the default height setting would be correct or close to it, if it's too low you will squash the suspension and cantilever and the VTA will be obviously out, likewise too high and the cart won't properly ride in the groove. If I've misunderstood and you mean the little round dial, that's for bias adjustment. You get the arm level, or rather parallel as part of balancing it, then you set the tracking force, all part of a single process, you need to do this before you can tell if the arm height is out, unless you only play 180 gramme records I'd use a 140-150 gramme record to check that as you will be in the middle for the range of thickness, I don't personally know anyone OCD enough to change VTA for every record, but I'm sure some people do.
     
  7. Dubmart

    Dubmart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    I've just had a thought, if someone on here uses a properly set up Concorde on a Pioneer they can measure the gap between the platter and the bottom of the arm, once you know that figure draw a straight line on some card at that height, place it on the platter behind the arm and you can visually see if the arm is both parallel and at the correct height, that's pretty much what you do with a SME arm.
     
  8. The Pinhead

    The Pinhead SUDACA ROÑOSO

    Plug, balance, and play. No tiny connectors or alignment to deal with; bliss !! Wished my TT could accept such a cart. It has an S tonearm, albeit a little shorter than those on Technics SL TTs.
     
    DoF and patient_ot like this.
  9. The Pinhead

    The Pinhead SUDACA ROÑOSO

    Congrats ! What a beautiful cart for the best TT out there :

    [​IMG]
     
    DoF and brandonh like this.
  10. Nubben

    Nubben Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    London, UK
    Thanks Dubmart. I am comparing this set-up with my current one which is the 2m Black. I set the levelling of the arm using the bubble making it level with the record (with the VTF applied.) Perhaps I have gotten all this the wrong way?

    I am not one of those people looking for the absolute perfect 92 degree (or whatever it is) SRA but I guess I am not grasping the concept of not making the arm level to the actual record. The VTA dial I am referring to is not the bias but the dial which lowers or lifts up the arm at the pivot. If the cartridge/headhsell would be angled in such a way that the front of it would be lower than the back of it (or vice versa) the stylus would not travel in the groove correctly (?) and not being close to the optimal degree.

    Hopefully I will understand it soon, don't give up on me! :)

    But perhaps I just have to take your word for it plug and play once I buy it.

    Thanks!
     
  11. Dubmart

    Dubmart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    Nubben, don't worry, I'm pretty sure that the Concorde is fine at the same arm height as the 2M Black, at least I've switched between a Concorde and 2M Bronze on a Technics SL-1210 MK2 and don't recall needing to change the arm height. Just get the arm properly balanced and set the tracking force and bias and you should be good to go, reading a forum like this can easily lead to unfounded worries about your set up. The Concorde versus the 2M Black will be an interesting comparison, two nice carts.
     
    snorker likes this.
  12. Nubben

    Nubben Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    London, UK
    Ok, thanks Dubmart!

    Appreciate your taking your time.

    Nubben
     
    Dubmart likes this.
  13. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Not sure how you would properly use a bubble level on a cartridge, must be a very light weight one, but most of us just set the VTA adjuster so the tonearm is parallel to the record surface with stylus in the groove, with the correct tracking force set, and whatever mat you plan to use, typically using an index card or something with reference lines to eyeball. Then adjust by ear from there, if you wanna get the best sound.
     
  14. recstar24

    recstar24 Senior Member

    Location:
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    I have the KAB pros Concorde with 40 stylus, and it works wonderfully on my technics 1200gr. It truly is a set and forget kind of thing! I went to it from an ortofon 2m blue and did not need to adjust VTA.
     
  15. cmcintyre

    cmcintyre Forum Resident

    Your current turntable (Pioneer PLX 1000) requires a distance of 54mm from stylus tip to headshell collar - the Concorde cartridges have a 52mm distance - they are not designed to plug straight into the Pioneer and doing so will result in a less than ideal alignment.

    On the other hand, either of your proposed turntables (Technics SL1200G or Gr) are a perfect fit as they use the same effective arm length as the SL1200 that came before.

    The Concorde cartridges were designed to be "plug and play" on the Technics with a 52mm distance from stylus tip to headshell collar.

    (You might still need to adjust tonearm height).
     
    McLover, punkmusick and recstar24 like this.
  16. McLover

    McLover Senior Member

    Location:
    Athens, Tennessee
    Also, bear in mind with Ortofon Concordes since the original ones were discontinued, they are designed for 52 mm overhang only. This overhang is not adjustable. The original low mass Concorde models did have adjustable overhang. Also, there are new Ortofon OM technology cartridges for DJ use, which are not compatible with older OM bodies or accept HiFi styli. They're just different enough to not be compatible.
     
  17. Right. The Concorde Pro S body seems to be the same as the OM body, and will accommodate the 20, 30 and 40 stylus. KAB has sold them that way for years, even though Ortofon is just coming around now! He can probably take credit for this Centurty edition. :laugh:
     
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  18. Nubben

    Nubben Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    London, UK
    Thanks all for your input.

    A worry I have is re replacement styli. Since this cart is limited edition - what happens when it sells out? Have not heard or read anything about any replacements.
     
  19. They’ve got to make a replacement, right? I bet the 30 and 40 stylus fit also, though they don’t have the chrome look.
     
  20. McLover

    McLover Senior Member

    Location:
    Athens, Tennessee
    Yes, you likely can use any OM styli you like save for the new Concorde DJ models, the QBert, and S-120, whether DJ or HiFi.
     
  21. RPM

    RPM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Easter Island
    Stylus Century
     
  22. Nubben

    Nubben Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    London, UK
    I just wanted to check - I cannot afford the SL-1200 at the moment but would like to get the Concorde Century before they sell out. Would adding the Concorde to my PLX-1000 (no matter the overhang difference) in any way damage the records due to this difference? Could I safely play my records until I have saved up for the SL-1200?

    (Sorry for the perhaps stupid question!)

    Many thanks
    Nubben
     
  23. McLover

    McLover Senior Member

    Location:
    Athens, Tennessee
    Get the overhang data on it before using it on the Pioneer. And using a conical stylus is an option, the OM1s stylus will be gentle on records, track around 1.8 grams and good compliance and full range response. And track great.
     
  24. Chris Treece

    Chris Treece Forum Resident

    Location:
    Haworth, UK
    Just to resurrect this thread..... On my 1210GR, with Concorde fitted, standard issue rubber mat & LP in situ - the tonearm height dial needs to be set to '1' to achieve a perfectly level tonearm. Checked with a ruler and lined gauge along length of tonearm - perfectly parallel with top of vinyl.
     
  25. Curiosity

    Curiosity Just A Boy

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Indeed. The entire point is it IS already so all you do is having checked the tonearm height is correct is balance, set downforce, fine tune the anti-skate and enjoy! Love my concorde.
     

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