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Using turntable with very little or no anti skate set...

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by MonkeyMan, Nov 21, 2020.

  1. MonkeyMan

    MonkeyMan A man who dreams he is a butterfly? Thread Starter

    I was having trouble with my tonearm drifting outside the edge of the record while lowering when I was starting to play, so I had to take several tries to get the stylus to land in the lead in groove. I decided to try reducing the anti skate, which did solve the problem. I now have almost no anti skate applied. Is this a bad practice? How else could I have solved the drift issue?
     
  2. Davey

    Davey like smoke from a lithium dream

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Maybe try adding some friction to the armrest on the cueing device so the arm doesn't move laterally so easily. Maybe there is oil on it, try cleaning with alcohol. There's usually rubber on either the rest or the arm.
     
    punkmusick, Alan2 and LakeMountain like this.
  3. mkane

    mkane Strictly Analog

    Location:
    Cloverdale,CA
    Look at the cantilever when it's in the groove. Is it straight or cockeyed? This will tell you if there enough or to much AS applied.
     
    JustGotPaid likes this.
  4. Chazz

    Chazz Music Addict

    Location:
    Southeastern, US
    Also, make sure your turntable is perfectly level. If it is off a bit, it could cause your tonearm to not drop straight down. Once you have confirmed that the deck is level, start at the lead out section of an LP and drop your tonearm. Try to aim in between two of the lead out grooves. The objective here is to have your tonearm very slowly drift toward the spindle before the stylus catches one of the lead-out grooves. If it drifts too fast, you need more anti-skate. Start by using zero anti-skate and increase until your reach this result. That should be just the right anti-skate.
    Peter Ledermann from SoundSmith has a couple great videos of this on his website, below is a link for you.

    https://www.sound-smith.com/faq/how-do-i-adjust-anti-skating-my-cartridge

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
    I've seen dozens of armrests which aren't parallel to the record, a minor "appliance of science" has cured some minor drift.
     
  6. Pythonman

    Pythonman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Indiana
    To recap, level the turntable first of all and then with the antiskate force of your choice make sure the stylus lands squarely into the groove of the record while playing without deflection of the stylus or cantilever to the left or the right. If that can be achieved with little or no antiskate, and if there's no distortion in either or both channels you should be fine. There are a couple of good test records with antiskate torture tracks you and use to confirm your settings to a further degree.
     
    MonkeyMan likes this.
  7. ssmith3046

    ssmith3046 Forum Resident

    I used a new AR-XA turntable that I bought new for many years. Put a just released V-15III on it when it was new. It's amazing that there was no antiskate on those and they sounded great. No problems with tracking or sibilance.
     
    joelongwood likes this.
  8. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Katy, TX
    I will emphatically state that this is bad. You are correcting your own inability to compensate for this drift on your tonearm lift. This is not the intended purpose of the the mechanism. For the sake of your listening experience in the short term and lifespan of your records in the long term do something different. You can move the stylus inward and allow it to drift, correct the drift by any of the recommendation above, or learn to place the stylus by hand.

    I will state that I've owned cartridges where the correct setting was almost no anti-skate. I can't actually tell you the setting, because I own Rega turntable and there isn't a linear scale on the plunger. I know this was the correct setting because this is where it sounded the best and I got there by using a series of techniques including verifying tones on test record to get to that setting. But I've never played with the anti-skate setting because of drift during the lowering of the tonearm lift mechanism. I used to own a Music Hall that drifted. I just learned to move the stylus about 5 grooves inward and it would land exactly where I wanted it. I could nail the bands between the tracks.
     
  9. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Sweden
    No, these have little correlation and its not a proper method.
     
  10. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Sweden
    Level the table, check VTF and drop the arm on deadwax. Check what settings you need to get the arm to move slowly in, out and stand still.
     
  11. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident

    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    My 1210GR is dead nuts level front to back. When I originally set it up I followed the set-up guidelines to the T. Then after playing and listening, I started making minor adjustments (I'm running the AT VM95ML). The only one that seemed to help improve things a tiny bit was backing off the anti-skate just a bit. Of course, it could have merely been psychological... I don't have all the test records and gear some audiophiles seem to collect. My ears are my only guide and the rule is, if it sounds good, it is good.
     
  12. regore beltomes

    regore beltomes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Helenville, WI
    My table does not even have a anti skate provision and it's a very expensive machine.
    Leave it set where it works the best for you.
     
    ssmith3046 likes this.
  13. mkane

    mkane Strictly Analog

    Location:
    Cloverdale,CA
    soundsmith says different
     
  14. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Sweden
    If Soundsmith is what you are quoting then quote a little more extensively:

    "The following is useful, but not all-telling. With medium or high compliance cartridges (NOT with most moving coil design), look at the position of the cantilever when it is up in the air, and when it is on the record, both at the beginning and at the end. Look for a change in position initially upon set-down, as well as after 1-2 minutes. If you DO THIS BEFORE adjusting as above, you will have a gross method to verify that you have problems with skating forces, as it should not change position. If it does, the A-S is VERY wrong. The best way to tell if it is very wrong is to look how the cartridge behaves on the flat surface, as described above."

    What you wrote is far from what is described here.

    It works on some cart types, at the end and beginning, after 2 minutes, and shows you if you are WAY off, its "not all telling". Ledermann also fails to mention yet another point which is that this assumes your alignment is perfect. If your alignment is off this will always look off no matter what AS you have and only on the nullpoints.
    Thats why this is a pretty poor method in my mind.
     
  15. Wayne Nielson

    Wayne Nielson Forum Resident

    Technics turntables (at least my SL1200MKII and SL1210MK5) have a dead spot in the first 1/2" (12.52mm) at the beginning of the record, just for the purpose of dropping the tone arm at the start without any pull from the AS. At least it seems to be less strength, discovered this when using my blank disc to set up AS. More friction on the arm lowering pad may fix the problem so you can go back to normal AS setting.
     
  16. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Sweden
    He doesnt have a Technics table though.
     
    Stanton56 likes this.
  17. Otlset

    Otlset under western skies

    Location:
    Temecula, CA
    For years I've been using my tonearm with the least amount possible of anti-skate set. Like the OP, my tonearm *very slightly* drifts outward when lowering it to the record. This thread has prompted me to experiment with no anti-skate applied to the arm just to see (once again after a long time) if I could detect any change in the sound.

    Not much really, except *maybe* the sound is just a bit more 'relaxed' than with the very slight outward pulling of the anti-skate applied. I think I'll keep it this way for a while, to see if long-term I can tell any differences.
     
  18. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Sweden
    Anti Skate doesnt change the sound generally, just mitigates a bit of distortion if set at a good value.

    0 Anti Skate is just wrong though. Physics tells us this.
     
  19. Wayne Nielson

    Wayne Nielson Forum Resident

    I realize that. I was describing how other table makers solved the drop/AS problem. I also agree that no AS is a formula for record and stylus wear.

    BTW, I have relatives in Upplands Vasby.
     
    Leonthepro likes this.
  20. coolhandjjl

    coolhandjjl Embiggened Pompatus

    Location:
    Appleton
    If it’s a high compliance stylus, that is indeed a good initial check (assuming it’s straight under no load and azimuth is correctly set)
     
  21. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Sweden
    Check my response for a rebuttal.
     
  22. Otlset

    Otlset under western skies

    Location:
    Temecula, CA
    You know, I've been listening with no anti-skate throughout the day now, and I find I prefer it that way! Yes, I know it's wrong, but I can't help myself!
     
    Danilo likes this.
  23. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Sweden
    It doesnt though. Make samples of different settings and listen between them or adjust Anti Skate on the fly while playing a record. Theres nothing to it.

    All youre doing is wearing the stylus, grooves and cantilever to one side.
     
  24. coolhandjjl

    coolhandjjl Embiggened Pompatus

    Location:
    Appleton
    Everything is just an opinion. Remember, an s shaped arm has offset pivoting, sometimes the lateral weight kills two birds with one stone.
     
  25. Wayne Nielson

    Wayne Nielson Forum Resident

    Actually, an S shaped tonearm puts the pivots in line with the cartridge mounting. A straight tonearm with straight pivots is the problem as the cart rides warps crooked, it pivots up more to one side then the other because of the offest. Probably off by as much as 23° (plan view).
     

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