Ortofon - The Concorde Century - how to align?

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

  1. wonky

    wonky Forum Resident

    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    Which Concorde do you use - the Concorde century?
     
  2. Chris Treece

    Chris Treece Forum Resident

    Location:
    Haworth, UK
    Pro S body, OM40 stylus.
     
    DoF likes this.
  3. wonky

    wonky Forum Resident

    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    Thanks!
     
  4. DaleClark

    DaleClark Forum Resident

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    Any reviews of the KAB ProS 40 or the Concorde century?
     
  5. recstar24

    recstar24 Senior Member

    Location:
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    very old bump - I’ve been asking and searching awhile for other users on what VTA setting they’ve found works with this combo for a level arm, since there’s no headshell to speak of, and the height measurement that ortofon gives you is useless for our purposes in using the manuals height chart. Users have commented from 0-1 which is not helpful lol and your post is the first I’ve read that’s taken the time to measure and experiment a bit. Highly appreciated!
     
  6. luicas

    luicas Active Member

    Location:
    México
    Set VTF to recommended spec. Then,...

    My first reference is trying to keep the flat bottom part of the stylus holder as parallel as possible with the record surface, at around halfway from the record’s playing surface, so you can get a good side view perspective.

    With that set, then you take out a loupe and try to see the diamond, with a backlight source. Could be your cellphone’s light, placed one the opposite side of the TT from you. The diamond’s top (top, not tip) should look a teeny bit tilted to the front.

    If you are OCD like me, you can then fine tune the diamond’s angle by adjusting VTF within the approved range. My OM10 and 40th anniversary tips get their best angle at the top end of VTF range. My OM30 needs to be dead on the 1.5g recommended VTF. So your mileage may vary.



    Pioneer PLX-1000 and modern Concordes
    Also, answering to an old post about the PLX-1000’s shorter arm tube and the Concorde’s alignment. It’s a very easy affair. Just use two headshell/socket gaskets instead of one. And if you have at least one of those slightly thicker gaskets, much better. Always use two. Or even three if you only have the super thin ones. Using double gaskets, my concordes track the 15mm overhang (Technics Stevenson) arc protractor dead on. And align perfectly at the null points. Obviously, they sound wonderful, track like champs, and have zero sibilance nor IGD, etc. Don’t let the technics crowd scare you away! :D
     
    recstar24 likes this.
  7. Oelewapper

    Oelewapper Plays vinyl instead of installing it on the floor.

    I have multiple concorde cartridge, both first gen and second gen, including the Concorde Century.
    They're made to be used with the setting on 0 VTA when using a Technics 1200 or other turntable with that standard geometry (including 52mm overhang).
    With VTA set to 0 on my SL-1200G (stock rubber mat) it is ever so slightly tail up (I've verified it using an acrylic adjustment block) and IMO that gives the best SRA results for most Ortofon styli.
     
    recstar24 and patient_ot like this.
  8. songforyou

    songforyou Well-Known Member

    Can you comment on the differences between the Century and the other concordes you have? I have a KAB ProS30 and I am wondering how significant the difference is.
    Thanks!
     
  9. Oelewapper

    Oelewapper Plays vinyl instead of installing it on the floor.

    First of all, I think the difference between the OM30 and Century styli is fairly small.
    Both are nude fine line styli and I wouldn't be surprised if those are both actually the same but with different paintjob.

    The main difference between the Century and other concordes, like the Pro S is the pure silver coils and the silver plated wires that go from the coils to the pins at the back (instead of (OFC) copper).
    The part between the coils and the pins at the back is basically a tube, which is hollow with regular concorde cartridges, but insulated with vibration dampening rubber on the Century (similar to the concept of tonearm tube insulation).
    AFAIK the KAB Concordes output voltage is 4mV, while the Century has an output voltage of 5.5mV giving it a better s/n ratio; the inductance on the Century is a bit higher though, but shouldn't be a problem if it's loaded with the correct capacitance on your phono preamp.

    As for sound: I don't know the KAB Concordes well enough (I've been impressed by them some years ago though). The Century has a very neutral sound color, so if you like warm sound, it's probably not for you (too flat). It's a great cartridge if you like the snap/fast transients of drums and other percussion and for playing very differing types of music; it's a good allrounder because it's balanced and accurate. It also performs well on less perfect vinyl (in contrast to Shibata or Gyger that picks up every speck of dust), but that's because it has a nude fineline stylus, just like the OM30.

    It took me quite some time to find the optimal anti-skating though; it's very picky when it comes to AS.
    I've also done resonance tests on the Century and probably because of the internal insulation rubber, it performed really well.
     
    patient_ot likes this.
  10. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Location:
    USA
    Very interesting observations. As I'm sure you know, cartridge output cuts both ways. Higher output could mean less headroom for hot peaks depending on the overload margin and gain settings on one's phono preamp. Over time I've come to prefer cartridges with modest output, but have used carts with up to 6.5mV on my phono preamp. I'd be curious if the Concorde Century actually measures with output close to spec, because the 2M series with the same spec'd 5.5mV output often measure higher.
     
  11. Oelewapper

    Oelewapper Plays vinyl instead of installing it on the floor.

    I haven't actually measured it, but I have compared it to my 2M Black (rated at 5mV), Concorde MK2 Club and Concorde Nightclub MK2 (both 8mV); the 2M Black gives about the same signal strength and the other two concordes give a higher signal strength.
    So from a relative perspective it seems about right.
    My phono preamp (SPL Phonos) works well with all of them, but the 8mV input gives a rather high (but not too high) output on my phono preamp, so I have to turn the volume down quite a bit after switching to one of those.
     
    patient_ot likes this.
  12. recstar24

    recstar24 Senior Member

    Location:
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    Thank you for chiming in! What would you account for the poster that I quoted that found a VTA of 1 to be perfectly level (placed on record, using a ruler and liner gauge along the length of tonearm), whereas you found a VTA setting of 0 with an acrylic adjustment block to give just slightly tail up?
     
  13. Oelewapper

    Oelewapper Plays vinyl instead of installing it on the floor.

    I have no idea, either the 1200GR is slightly different from the 1200G (unlikely though) or one of us has inaccurate measurement equipment (maybe) or an inaccuracy because it comes down to 'eyeballing' in the end (most likely: an optical inaccuracy due to angle of view or angle at which the ruler/acrylic block is placed along the s-shape tube).
    I do have a small round level spirit though, which i normally use on top of the headshell for a second verification, but those can't be placed on top of a concorde cartridge :p

    Edit: I just rechecked, it's indeed slightly tail up, but less than I remembered, less than half a mm from left to right on the adjustment block (about 6cm wide).

    Edit2: This probably explains why it's slightly tail up on 0 VTA: Ortofon DJ FAQ Cartridges
    On paragraph 3 it says the effective height is 14mm (from center of the connector), while the Technics 1200G manual recommends 0 VTA for an cartridge height of 17mm (from bottom side of the stock headshell, which is about 2mm above center).
    [​IMG]
    Just my guestimation though.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2020
    patient_ot likes this.
  14. recstar24

    recstar24 Senior Member

    Location:
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    thank you! I appreciate it. One last question, with your acrylic block, are you checking that with concorde on top of an actual record? If checking from the stock mat, that could probably explain it too.

    I’ve seen the concorde measurement you’ve referenced, i forwarded it on to Kevin at KAB a while back. I wish they gave us a more applicable height measurement that was from bottom of stylus to actual top of the concorde body, as that 14mm spec is from bottom to center of cart, which is weird. I do know the G and GR VTA spec in manual specifies cart height with stock headshell, and if I recall the mk2 spec is using their stock mat which was the thicker mat, hence the differences.
     
  15. Oelewapper

    Oelewapper Plays vinyl instead of installing it on the floor.

    Yes I have checked it with a nicely flat 160 grams record (used to be standard, but 180 grams seems to be the standard nowadays).
     
    recstar24 likes this.
  16. DaleClark

    DaleClark Forum Resident

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    I know the 40th Concorde is based on the Blue cartridge/stylus. Is the Century based on any regular model like the bronze or black? Any other opinions on sound with the Century?
     
  17. DaleClark

    DaleClark Forum Resident

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    On my GR, my KAB Concorde seems level at 0 Height
     
    Oelewapper likes this.
  18. Fralle

    Fralle Member

    Location:
    Sweden
    I have the same combo but use Stylus 30 instead. Can I just ask what you have the arm height and anti skate set to? Also are you able to set the arm lock mechanism to 3 o clock like the manual says? I almost pulled my finger of and could not get it past something like 1 or so.
     
  19. Fralle

    Fralle Member

    Location:
    Sweden
    I'm new to this. Just had ny GR for about a week and I'm coming from a Rega planar 3 that dosen't have any VTA settings. But to my eyes it seems to be level at 0.

    Only weird thing is that I have to set the anti skate way up to 2.5 to track properly on my HiFi news test LP. If I use the blank record test I have to set it way up to 3 to get it to be still.
     
  20. Oelewapper

    Oelewapper Plays vinyl instead of installing it on the floor.

    Same here with my 1200G, but from real life listening tests, I found that AS at about 2.0 seems to be working the best.
     
  21. Fralle

    Fralle Member

    Location:
    Sweden
    Interesting! Is it the same with the G model that it is darn near impossible to turn the arm lock to position 3?
     
  22. Oelewapper

    Oelewapper Plays vinyl instead of installing it on the floor.

    Yes, that's normal, it's the same for the old 1200MK2 and even Hanpin turntables have that, like the Pioneer PLX-1000.
    It's a lever that turns a rod that protrudes the top of the cylindrical tonearm base; on the inside it's asymmetrical, so that a connected metal plate is pushed against the inside wall of the tonearm base when passing the 12 hours position.
    That provides friction.
    The more it's turned, the more friction it provides against turning (similar to a drum brake), but there isn't some kind of notch or click to lock it in place. The friction itself keeps it in place.
     
  23. Fralle

    Fralle Member

    Location:
    Sweden
    Thanks mate! So that means it should be ok to leave it around 12.30 or 1 even if the manual tells me to do the impossible?
     
  24. Oelewapper

    Oelewapper Plays vinyl instead of installing it on the floor.

    As long as the lever is tightened firmly it’s fine; it can handle quite some force.
    Don’t over tighten though!

    Edit: mine is somewhere between 12 and 2 o’clock position.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2021
  25. Fralle

    Fralle Member

    Location:
    Sweden
    Sorry for all the questions but since we use almost the same setup I thought I'd ask: Do you use the aux weight? I don't and I actually think the counterweight is a bit to far from the pivot. I wish I could have it much closer really.
     

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