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Numark TTUSB tonearm adjustment
rocket_pc
post Feb 10 2010, 10:56
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PS:

The Shure cartridge that you mentioned in this thread, was $59 dollars a few weeks ago, now $89. The recent results show that only the needle component minus the rest of the cartridge. And there is mention that this Shure cartridge won't match the tonearm on my Numark. The Shure website shows their price at $140. I just want something that is decent quality that won't grind into the threads like this groovetool.

Don
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Knowzy
post Feb 11 2010, 07:50
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QUOTE (rocket_pc @ Feb 10 2010, 01:48) *
The Knowzy website had a tool for sorting out turntables according to their features. I had chosen obviously to keep out DJ turntables, and believe that the Numark was listed after cutting out the DJ turntables.

There were a few errors with this turntable that I have since corrected.

My mistake was believing that the Numark TTUSB was the same as the Ion Audio TTUSB. It's not. Here is how they differ:
  • Pitch control slider. This was the one and only factor that switched this from a regular turntable to a DJ turntable.
  • Aluminum Platter vs Ion's plastic
  • Adjustable gain according to this conversation. There's a good chance the Ion version has it too.

QUOTE (rocket_pc @ Feb 10 2010, 01:48) *
even that the cartridge on mine is called a "groove tool," had taken me by surprise.

To my surprise, I got the specs for the GrooveTool out of Numark today.

The specs don't read like a DJ cartridge as far as I can tell. They read like a $20 cartridge, which it is.

The big question in my mind what disadvantages the spherical tip has over the elliptical tips.

Here's the specs for the GrooveTool:
QUOTE
Frequency Response:

20Hz-18,000Hz




Output @1KHz

2.4mV,




Channel Separation @1KHz

26dB,




Channel Balance @1KHz

Within 2dB,




Tracking Force

2.5 to 3.5grams,




Stylus Tip

Spherical .6mil,




Cartridge Weight

3.2grams,




Tracking Ability

90u @3grams,




Recommended Load

47k ohms and 275pF,




Lifetime (under normal use)

1600 Hours



QUOTE ( @ Feb 10 2010, 01:48) *
I don't want to grind out the threads on my vinyls with this groove tool.

You don't need to worry about that, particularly if you're going to do a single pass through your album. Just set your tracking force near or at 3.5 grams.

QUOTE (rocket_pc @ Feb 10 2010, 01:48) *
Can anybody tell me of a a quality cartridge to replace the cartridge that is on my turntable?

For $55 you can pick up the Ortofon OM 5E. It's the same cartridge and stylus found in the best USB turntable- the $500 Pro-Ject Audio Debut III USB.

You'll save yourself a gram of tracking force. You'll get an elliptical tip. I expect it will sound noticeably better. But it's not going to turn a Numark TTUSB into a Pro-Ject turntable.

Don't forget, if you buy a new cartridge, you'll have to mount it and align it, which requires some skill. The cartridge the comes with the turntable is already mounted.
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cliveb
post Feb 11 2010, 19:21
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QUOTE (rocket_pc @ Feb 10 2010, 09:48) *
Can anybody tell me of a a quality cartridge to replace the cartridge that is on my turntable? I'd rather replace the tonearm, while replacing the cartridge, to be certain that the cartridge matches the tonearm, and tonearm that has fine adjustment of the counterweight than this groove tool/ tonearm.

I don't have much more to add above what Knowsy has already said, except to address your desire to replace the tonearm as well as the cartridge.

I don't have any personal experience with the Numark TT, but looking at pictures of it on the web, I'd say that replacing the tonearm looks to be a difficult operation. The tonearm has a base that looks to be an integral part of the whole turntable - it's clearly not intended to be a replacable part (in the way that the tonearm on say a Thorens or Linn turntable is easily replaced). In contrast, it clearly has a detachable headshell with 1/2" fixing centres, so mounting a new cartridge will be relatively straighforward. Go with a modest HiFi moving magnet from the likes of Ortofon, Audio Technica, Shure, etc, preferably with an elliptical stylus. And download & print out a cartridge protractor so you align it properly. You can get a basic one here, or if you're interested in looking at a variety of types, see here.
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rocket_pc
post Feb 11 2010, 23:09
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Thank you for your reply, cliveb and knowsy, It would be nice if this Numark TTUSB had a tonearm with fine adjustments - a threaded counterweight. I'm not going to worry about it. I'll follow the instructions at the begining of this tread, on tonearm adjustment.

I don't know that much about turnables yet. From the specifications shown here of the Ortofon OM 5E and the Numark TTUSB, I can't really distinguish the difference other than the tracking force - to replace the Numark. I noticed when looking up a Stanton (mentioning below) review that the sperical has less "burn" factor than the eliptical, however compromised sound. I am figuring the round needle compensates for damage by the heavy tracking force.

From the review, <http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/frr.pl?ranlg&1179802283&read&3&4> it appears that the Ortofon OM 5E is a darn good cartridge.


Notice down in the article he suggests that it is of no use to replace a cartridge on a "cheapy" turntable with the Orofon. I don't know if this includes the Numark TTUSB:

"It just does not pay to put a highly compliant expensive cartridge in a cheapy turntable. Believe me ...years ago when I was younger and fooling around with this stuff...I tried ! It just doesn't work ! Just try a Shure V-15 Type III in a Garrard SL-125B and you'll find out what I mean...no, don't try it ! The higher tonearm friction is just too much even for the cart here. A more appropriate stiffer compliance higher tracking force cheapy cartridge like the Stanton 500AL would be better here and yield surprisingly good results."


Maybe I should look up the Hydrogenaudio faqs about this: if there are vinyl cleaning tools neccessary and a how-to page. With a quality needle like this, I believe the LPs should be rid of dirt. When I tried recording several years ago (2001 or other) I had gently washed some of the records in dishsoap water. That may be sub-standard here, I don't know. I'll use a camera lens brush to remove dust from the needle.


Is there a place to report trojans on websites? Maybe I should call Mcafee. There was a trojan at Sam Ash music that began to download onto my computer when clicking on their number for Skype (from the google listing). McAffee found it when I scanned my computer immediatly afterward. This is the second time I got a trojan from that link. (I had forgotton about it since the last time it happened.)

Don


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paulhyland
post Feb 14 2012, 20:30
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QUOTE (cliveb @ Jan 22 2010, 07:27) *
QUOTE (Knowzy @ Jan 22 2010, 05:27) *
I would say the average turntable buyer, particularly in this price range...

What the average turntable buyer does should not necessarily be regarded as the recommended procedure :-)

QUOTE (Knowzy @ Jan 22 2010, 05:27) *
... follows the counterbalance method described by DVDdoug, then the "easy" anti-skate method described Axon and nothing more. The next adjustment seems to be alignment and, from what I hear, it's a project that takes commitment.

If by "alignment" you're referring to mounting the cartridge correctly in the headshell (ie. so that it is tangential to the groove at the two optimum points across the extent of the LP), then this is in fact the first thing to do, before you set tracking force and antiskating. To align the cartridge correctly requires the use of a simple protractor. (You can download one here).

You should also check that the cartridge is vertical when viewed head-on, although this is rarely adjustable except by adding thin shims. Fortunately even cheap pickup arms tend to be fairly level in this respect.

That nails my problem exactly. When I look at the cartridge/headstock from the front, it seems to be tilted severely to the right (or twisted clockwise), so it seems as though the tonearm somehow was twisted or something, but I can't figure out how it happened. (I think it was OK when I first tried it, but it was stored and the stylus broke off, so I replaced the cartridge with a nicer Audio-Technica that fit the unversal mount). Thus every record skips backwards, as though it has very high anti-skate set, no matter how I adjust the weight and skating.

I tried shimming with a couple washers from the other (AT) headstock. It sounds like I just need to do more of this until I get it looking more-or-less level with the platter. Question: is there any tool or technique to perform this alignment with vertical? Besides leveling the table and then trying to measure the level-ness of the cartridge?

I also plan to perform the horizontal alignment with protractor you have described here - thanks!
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Feb 15 2012, 14:41
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QUOTE (paulhyland @ Feb 14 2012, 14:30) *
QUOTE (cliveb @ Jan 22 2010, 07:27) *
QUOTE (Knowzy @ Jan 22 2010, 05:27) *
I would say the average turntable buyer, particularly in this price range...

What the average turntable buyer does should not necessarily be regarded as the recommended procedure :-)

QUOTE (Knowzy @ Jan 22 2010, 05:27) *
... follows the counterbalance method described by DVDdoug, then the "easy" anti-skate method described Axon and nothing more. The next adjustment seems to be alignment and, from what I hear, it's a project that takes commitment.

If by "alignment" you're referring to mounting the cartridge correctly in the headshell (ie. so that it is tangential to the groove at the two optimum points across the extent of the LP), then this is in fact the first thing to do, before you set tracking force and antiskating. To align the cartridge correctly requires the use of a simple protractor. (You can download one here).

You should also check that the cartridge is vertical when viewed head-on, although this is rarely adjustable except by adding thin shims. Fortunately even cheap pickup arms tend to be fairly level in this respect.

That nails my problem exactly. When I look at the cartridge/headstock from the front, it seems to be tilted severely to the right (or twisted clockwise), so it seems as though the tonearm somehow was twisted or something, but I can't figure out how it happened. (I think it was OK when I first tried it, but it was stored and the stylus broke off, so I replaced the cartridge with a nicer Audio-Technica that fit the unversal mount). Thus every record skips backwards, as though it has very high anti-skate set, no matter how I adjust the weight and skating.

I tried shimming with a couple washers from the other (AT) headstock. It sounds like I just need to do more of this until I get it looking more-or-less level with the platter. Question: is there any tool or technique to perform this alignment with vertical? Besides leveling the table and then trying to measure the level-ness of the cartridge?

I also plan to perform the horizontal alignment with protractor you have described here - thanks!


If a cartridge skips backwards, it could be that the routing of the tone arm wires is applying a torque to the arm.

Adjusting cartridge alignment is often done using drafting tools - plastic squares, protractors, and the like. Most of the gauges that you may need can be drawn onto heavy cardboard with the same tools.
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