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I bought a record player - how do I tweak it?


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5 replies to this topic

#1 of 6 OFFLINE   Tommy_N

Tommy_N

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Posted April 22 2003 - 04:43 PM

1st big thanks to all who helped me decide what record player to get, especially Sathyan. I was thinking about DJ equipment but I realized that I don't really have the time/money to devote to the hobby.

I ended up getting a Sumiko Project 1.2 In my previous posts I was worried about the difficulty in setting it. My last TT was a fully automatic Aiawa.

MannyE brought up a great point about buying your first TT at a B&M so they can set it up for you. I went down to my local high end shop...

Long story short I purchased a Project 2.1 The sales person explained how easy it would be to set-up, that they would help but that I should first call Sumiko if I need help because they have great customer support.

Needless to say it was pointless to buy from them since they didn't help me set it up. Not too mention I overpaid by about $20-30, including what I would have paid for shipping. I also didn't see any customer support # listed anywhere. The owners manual says to contact your dealer. (Guess where I won't be buying my speakers from Posted Image)

So I get it home and set it up. It sounds amazing. Really really good. HOWEVER I have a couple of questions and/or issues:

1 - I didn't use a single tool to set it up. As per the poor instructions I eye-balled the tone arm height and turned the weight to the set point 2.3 grams for the oyster cart. It came with two alignment protractors one of which doubles as VTF force gage. I think this is only important if I used a different cart...yes? no?

2- What is the anti-skating weight and string? I don't think I have it. I was supposed to add it to the second hook. I didn't see anything that fit the description so I skipped that step.

3- Do you always use the felt pad?

4- It wouldn't be a DIY project if you didn't have parts left over. I have a small, circular metal tube with a hole in it. About the size and shape of tubetti pasta. What is this? I though it might be the anti-skating weight but there is no string. I also have a strange key like plastic piece, Is it for the RPM changer?


Part of me says I should just leave it alone since it sounds really good, but what if I could get it to sound even better.

Thanks again

Tom


Posted Image

#2 of 6 OFFLINE   Saurav

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Posted April 22 2003 - 06:06 PM

First, congratulations on your new purchase. You've taken a step in the right direction Posted Image

Second, if you haven't done this already, go to www.audioasylum.com and read the vinyl related articles in the FAQ. It has some excellent articles on "setting up your first turntable".

Quote:
I didn't use a single tool to set it up.

Go to www.turntablebasics.com and buy their mirrored alignment protractor. You'll thank me for this advice later Posted Image

Quote:
As per the poor instructions I eye-balled the tone arm height and turned the weight to the set point 2.3 grams for the oyster cart.

Those two are fine. The website above also sells a VTF (vertical tracking force, or weight) gauge, but the dials on most TTs are reasonably accurate.

Quote:
It came with two alignment protractors one of which doubles as VTF force gage. I think this is only important if I used a different cart...yes? no?

OK, so you already have a protractor. I would still get the one I mentioned above, but this is a good starting point. No, the alignment is very important for any cartridge you mount on the TT. If it came with one pre-mounted (or your dealer mounted it for you), you may be OK, but I would still check the alignment using the protractor to make sure it's right. If it's off, you'll end up damaging your cartridge and your vinyl over time.

Quote:
What is the anti-skating weight and string?

The metal cylinder you mention later sounds like the AS weight. Don't know why the string is missing. Take a look at this image, it's the best one I could find:

Posted Image

As far as I know, the thing to the left of the tonearm pivot/counterweight is the AS mechanism. And yes, you need this too, or you won't get the correct sound from your rig, and you risk premature wear if the AS is way off too.

Quote:
Do you always use the felt pad?

You could start a holy war with that question Posted Image Try it both ways and see what sounds better to you. Remember that the angle of the cartridge changes when you add/remove mats, so if you hear a change it may not be due to the mat itself, it may be due to the different cartridge angle. Usually, if a manufacturer includes a mat, it's meant to be used. But hey... Posted Image

Quote:
I also have a strange key like plastic piece

Could that be a stylus guard for the cartridge? If it is, it should slip on under your cartridge and protect the stylus if you're mounting/removing the cart or moving the table.

I don't check this board very often these days, so feel free to email me if you have any more questions.

#3 of 6 OFFLINE   MannyE

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Posted April 23 2003 - 04:45 PM

Tommy! Great purchase! Your dealer sounds like a dick. The guy I bought my TT from set it up for me at no charge and told me that if I had any questions I could call him or bring it in and he would help me.

You will either learn how to set it up yourself so that you won't have to worry next time, or when you feel like upgrading (and you WILLPosted Image ) try another place and make sure that the price you pay includes setup. (I paid list and the guy threw in the setup for me, but he was very cool and will get my dollars when I upgrade)

The key-like plastic object is most likely a tool to help you change the drive belt from 33 to 45. If your Pro-ject is anything like my MMF, then you have to lift the platter and use the key to hook onto the belt and move it into the corresponding track. If you look at the small wheel on the motor, you will see that it has two locations, one for 33 and 45. The key is supplied so you don't touch the belt with your fingers and get oil on it. Over time the buildup of oil from your hands will cause the belt to slip.

ENJOY!
Ni!!

#4 of 6 OFFLINE   Sathyan

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Posted April 24 2003 - 11:33 AM

FYI the manual is here: http://edi-zain.de/p...df/manual12.pdf

It's only 8 pages so read it.

Quote:
1 - I didn't use a single tool to set it up. As per the poor instructions I eye-balled the tone arm height and turned the weight to the set point 2.3 grams for the oyster cart. It came with two alignment protractors one of which doubles as VTF force gage. I think this is only important if I used a different cart...yes? no?


yes it (VTA, force, azimuth) needs to be adjusted for each cartridge. don't assume its correct out of the box. put the table in the place where it will be used and then make adjustments.

The retail table comes with the necessary tools - use them; don't try to eyeball settings these are very fine adjustments - although I recommend the Shure SFG-2 stylus force gauge ($20) if you want to setup an expensive cartridge.

Quote:
2- What is the anti-skating weight and string? I don't think I have it. I was supposed to add it to the second hook. I didn't see anything that fit the description so I skipped that step.


you need this, it should be in the box. look on page 2 #16 and page 8.

here's a picture of the 'table. http://members.fortu...yan/project.jpg

I've circled the weight. If the 'table didn't come with the weight, ask your dealer. The "string" is like a fishing line.

Quote:
3- Do you always use the felt pad?


yes, I do - I'm afraid I'll scratch the record otherwise.

Quote:
4- It wouldn't be a DIY project if you didn't have parts left over. I have a small, circular metal tube with a hole in it. About the size and shape of tubetti pasta. What is this? I though it might be the anti-skating weight but there is no string. I also have a strange key like plastic piece, Is it for the RPM changer?


belt changer - page 2 #3a


#5 of 6 OFFLINE   Tommy_N

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Posted April 24 2003 - 04:57 PM

Wow, thanks for all the info. The manual you posted is more indepth than the manual that came with my TT.


I just want to make sure I've got this correct. The weight goes on that metal part that sticks up. Just like in the pic Sathyan posted. The string, which is missing from my TT goes goes through the hole on the weight and then onto # 15 in the pic - the weight adjustment scale.

What exactly does that control. I know it is the anti-skating, but what exactly does it mean. I tried looking through some links over at AA but some of them were rather advanced. It will be easier to understand them now that I have my record player.

Thanks again

Tom

#6 of 6 OFFLINE   Saurav

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Posted April 25 2003 - 04:05 AM

Because of the physics/geometry of the way the stylus sits in the record groove, it experiences a force that pulls it in towards the spindle. This causes it to make uneven contact with the groove walls (it presses harder against the inner wall and doesn't make good contact with the outer wall). The Antiskating control tries to compensate for this by adding an outward rotational force on the tonearm. You need to set it so that it (roughly) balances/cancels out the skating force experienced by the cartridge. Usually, the dials are calibrated so that if you set the AS dial the same as the VTF (weight) value, the AS force is roughly correct. If you want to set it accurately, you'll need to get a test record, and listen to special tracks while adjusting AS. The tracks are designed to let you hear the effects of increasing/decreasing contact.

Hope that made some sense.


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