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A Few Turntable Questions -- curved tonearm? stylus bouncing?
archagon
post Nov 14 2006, 03:42
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Hello, Hydrogenaudio!

I recently purchased a used SL-1200MK2. It appears to be in great shape (even the pop-up light still works!), but I'm a complete newbie when it comes to the following:

1. Is dropping (and subsequently bouncing) the stylus from a height of ~2 inches likely to hurt the cartridge or tonearm? (whoops! it's so light...)
2. When at rest, part of the tonearm isn't parallel to the platter. It curves downward at a slight angle towards the end, positioning the cartridge below the platter. Is this normal? (edited in Paint for clarity) (it's a bit difficult to photograph, sorry!)



Side view:



Thank you!

This post has been edited by archagon: Nov 14 2006, 04:10
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Axon
post Nov 14 2006, 03:49
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1. Possibly, but I doubt it. The cantilever suspension might have been broken by the fall.Unfortunately there really aren't any rules of thumb that tell you if your cart is hosed or not. If it sounds worse than before, you should toss it. Personally I've done worse things to a cart with no ill effects that I can hear.

2. Yeah, that's probably wrong. This looks like a rather nasty azimuth error, actually. It looks like the tonearm needs to be rotated. I don't own a 1200 so I don't know how to do this, but I assume it's easy.

What you should be aiming for is, roughly, for the bottom side of the cartridge to be parallel to the record plane.
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AndyH-ha
post Nov 14 2006, 03:54
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This dropping and bouncing is likely to damage the cantilever and maybe the cantilever suspension inside the cartridge. If it skittered sidewise, it might shear off the stylus.

At rest, it is normal for the stylus tip to be below the top of the platter. Gravity is a major factor keeping the stylus in the groove, it can't have some force holding it above the LP. I don't know the normal shape of that particular tonearm, not having observed one up close.
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Robbie
post Nov 14 2006, 10:56
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QUOTE (archagon @ Nov 14 2006, 03:42) *
Hello, Hydrogenaudio!

I recently purchased a used SL-1200MK2. It appears to be in great shape (even the pop-up light still works!), but I'm a complete newbie when it comes to the following:

1. Is dropping (and subsequently bouncing) the stylus from a height of ~2 inches likely to hurt the cartridge or tonearm? (whoops! it's so light...)
Certainly not recommended. But these turntables are likely to be fitted with DJ cartridges which, whilst not offering quite as good a sound quality as a similar price Hi-Fi cartridge, are much more robust than Hi-Fi cartridges. (ie They are designed to withstand back cueing and scratching, which would kill most Hi-Fi cartridges, as well as a much higher tracking weight.)

QUOTE (archagon @ Nov 14 2006, 03:42) *
2. When at rest, part of the tonearm isn't parallel to the platter. It curves downward at a slight angle towards the end, positioning the cartridge below the platter. Is this normal? (edited in Paint for clarity) (it's a bit difficult to photograph, sorry!)
Where it sits when not playing a record is unimportant.

When playing a record the tonearm and cartridge top should be parallel to the record surface. The tonearm height can be adjustment to achieve this by rotating the base of the tonearm.

Also make sure you set the anti-skate correctly: After setting the tracking weight, using a blank record (ie no grooves) the stylus should stay in the same location on the record - not drift towards the center or out towards the record edge. If you don't have a blank record, then setting the anti-skate to the same value as the tracking weight will give an approximate setting.
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AndyH-ha
post Nov 14 2006, 11:31
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That old tale about using an ungrooved record surface for setting bias is misinformation, it does not give the correct results. There is plenty of information available if one wants to search it out.

There are test LPs with tracks especially for this purpose. The setting can also be done fairly well on any mono LP where the anti-skate is set to give identical results from both channels, preferably with no buzzing.
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Robbie
post Nov 14 2006, 20:56
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QUOTE (AndyH-ha @ Nov 14 2006, 11:31) *
That old tale about using an ungrooved record surface for setting bias is misinformation, it does not give the correct results. There is plenty of information available if one wants to search it out.

There are test LPs with tracks especially for this purpose. The setting can also be done fairly well on any mono LP where the anti-skate is set to give identical results from both channels, preferably with no buzzing.
I stand corrected. smile.gif
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archagon
post Nov 22 2006, 05:55
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Thanks, all!
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