SF/Bay area turntable cart install help

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Soundhead, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. Soundhead

    Soundhead Senior Member Thread Starter

    Do we have any San Francisco/Bay Area members that have experience installing carts and dialing in VTF/Azimuth etc and who would be willing to help me with a cart install?

    I just bought a new cart and I'm not too confident I'll do a good job with installing it. I did install my previous cart but it was mostly by eye and it would be nice to have it done by someone who knows what they're doing.

    Happy to pay for your time etc.
     
  2. Soundhead

    Soundhead Senior Member Thread Starter

    Anyone able to help?
     
  3. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
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  4. Soundhead

    Soundhead Senior Member Thread Starter

  5. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    Be advised the scope of the services he offers and charges for might be beyond what you’re looking for. Another possibility is Tone of Music in Noe Valley.
     
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  6. Soundhead

    Soundhead Senior Member Thread Starter

    I did wonder about that, he seems very high end and my guess is the cost would be pretty high, most likely beyond my reach. I'll message ToM and see if they offer that service.
     
  7. Soundhead

    Soundhead Senior Member Thread Starter

    Last bump for this thread, a final plea to anyone in the SF/Bay area who could help before I give it a go myself
     
  8. Dale A B

    Dale A B Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Greenville, WI
    If It were me i’d Follow instructions on YouTube videos to get more comfortable beforehand.
    Get a bright light ready and go for it!

    DAB
     
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  9. Soundhead

    Soundhead Senior Member Thread Starter

    Yeah, I did that last time. I have the tools, protractor, digital force gauge etc I just would have liked someone with experience to either watch over as I do it or show me how they do it.
     
  10. mkane

    mkane Musics a Passion

    Location:
    Cloverdale,CA
    when do you live. I'll help. I have a fozmeter and Fiekert
     
  11. Soundhead

    Soundhead Senior Member Thread Starter

    That would be amazing, I'm in the Sunset district in San Francisco.
     
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  12. bluesaddict

    bluesaddict High Tech Welder

    Location:
    Loveland, Colorado
    :righton:

    This why I like it here so much!!
     
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  13. David B.

    David B. Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    That's a lovely offer from mkane above. Hope that works out.

    But if not, I'd suggest joining the San Francisco Audiophile Society (it's something like $25/year) and asking for assistance on their online members' forum. www.sanfranciscoaudiophilesociety.com. I'm sure someone knowledgeable and experienced from the Society would respond to your request for assistance.

    Good luck,
    David B.
     
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  14. sberger

    sberger Grumpy(but grateful) geezer

    The things that you want to do are really not that difficult, especially after the first few times. If you can get somebody to show you in person great, but looking at a couple YT videos, reading a few posts on the various forums will get you up to speed pretty quickly. And the thing is that turntable set up is not necessarily a set and forget type thing. So being able to know the in's and out's of your table so when it comes time to tweak is necessary. My recommendation is go at it yourself, and when you run into issues just ask questions here. Plenty of folks have been in your situation at one time or another, so we are all here to help.

    And by the way, I am no techie. Not even close. I can't use most tools. But I realized years ago that if I'm going to collect vinyl, I should figure out how to set tracking force, azimuth, etc..

    Good luck.
     
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  15. mkane

    mkane Musics a Passion

    Location:
    Cloverdale,CA
    I taught myself and it took a very long while to trust my adjustments. It's reassuring to have help by your side. It's not that difficult after you've done it a dozen times. This will lead to cartridge rolling. AMHIK (ask me how I know)
     
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  16. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    When you watch a pro do it, it looks easy. I tend to be very methodical, make sure I have all the tools and parts handy, and just take it slowly. Good lighting is critical. If I need a break, I take one. I have assembled and disassembled my big heavy turntable about 30 times in the last month, trying to get it to balance with a second arm and arm tower (30lbs plus arm) on a Minus K isolation platform. You really don't know where you are with this particular set up until the arm towers are in place, with fairly precise pivot to spindle distance adjusted.
    At that point, I've been unable to achieve full isolation which is a bear.
    It also means I've mounted and dismounted the cartridges many times, which I don't like doing, because each time brings some risk. I get the trepidation if you are dealing with expensive cartridges. Put the stylus guard on. One thing that I don't like is that the Koetsu stylus guards are very hard to put on-- and put the cantilever at risk.
    Mounting hardware- have it sorted- is the cartridge self tapping or does it require bolts?
    Do you have a good stylus gauge? I have several and get different readings from each; I finally broke down and bought the Ortofon DS-3- it seems more accurate than the cheapies and gives more consistent readings.
    Alignment- different protractors can give you different readings. I also use different magnifiers depending on what I'm doing. The angle of view is deceiving.
    Azimuth- the Foz is OK, I tend not to get too worried about channel balance. Most of the time, unless the cantilever or stylus isn't mounted precisely in the cartridge, I get decent readings without having to adjust azimuth at the arm.
    I am used to setting up a linear tracker which is easier in some ways-- no null points- a straight line, no anti-skate as such, but it requires incredibly precise leveling with a slight tip inward toward the spindle, but not so much that the stylus skates inward. That part is probably one of the hardest to adjust. With the pivoted arm I have been trying to add, I'm back to more normal set up with a protractor-different readings from different protractors and anti-skate, which is hit and miss at best. I remove the anti-skate weight altogether during set up, and when I adjust it, I'm applying far less than what stylus force would dictate. I do use the technique advocated by Soundsmith and Frank Schroeder about watching how the record plays out at the end. It is informative, if not definitive.
    I keep a few loupes and magnifiers handy, along with a box of alcohol wipes for my hands, to keep them clean and dry.
    I know this makes it sound far more difficult than it is, but when you watch somebody who does this every day, they make it look easy. I'm just very painstaking in my approach and take it slowly. Once done, I like to know it is dead on- and you can tell pretty quickly by how it plays, tracks and sounds. I'll adjust VTA only after the cartridge is broken in- i will usually start with the manufacturer recommendation; same with VTF, I usually apply the 'middle' amount of force recommended. Obviously, if you change VTA, you should check stylus force again.
    Once you've done this a few times, you do have a good sense of the steps. But it does pay to have somebody who has a lot of experience do the set up if you can find them. I used to use somebody in NY- easy. In Austin, I don't have anybody, so I had to do it for myself, and it had been a long time. (I set up many tables as a kid, but it was a different world then, I'm older, I don't have the vision I did as a youngster, but I am more patient).
    It's more precision, small, painstaking work than anything complex or difficult. I don't use software programs, which seem to be the latest thing, or digital microscopes, which I found hard to use.
     
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  17. Anton D

    Anton D Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chico CA
    Agree!

    Give them a look, plus you may meet new audio buddies!
     
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