Preliminary results from early cartridge alignment exercises using the new protractor I bought. The protractor is the Clearaudio alignment gage. This gage is Clearaudio's version of the Dennesen Protractor.
This protractor operates by placing the protractor over the spindle, then setting the pivot to spindle distance by placing the pointer directly over the tonearm vertical bearing center. (as shown below)
The built in geometry of the gage will now set overhang for you by forcing you to slide the cartridge in it's mounts forward or backward until the stylus zeroes out on the null point of the gage. (shown below)
Offset angle is achieved by visually aligning the cartridge body with the crossing lines of the gage shown above. With the mounting screws slightly loose, the cartridge is swiveled until you can see the cartridge body is parallel to the lines of the gage. Corrective lenses with good lighting helps.
After this process I needed to re-balance the tonearm and reset VTF and azimuth. The azimuth is set using the supplied Thorens headshell fixture as is explained in the TD160 MK I user's manual. See the manual on this site if you wish to re-familiarize yourself with this.
After all alignments and re-alignments were carried out, I followed up with the Hi-Fi News and Record Review test record by running through the tests completely. The results of which are shown below:
Arm: Thorens TP16 MK I
Cartridge: Shure V15VxMR
VTF = 1.25 g (verified with Shure SFG-2 stylus force gage)
anti-skate set to .75 g on dial
Track 1: Channel ID, pass
Track 2: Phasing, pass
Track 3: Channel Balance, pass
Track 4: Channel Balance left, pass
Track 5: Channel Balance right, pass
Track 6: Bias (Anti-Skate), pass (other anti-skate settings resulted in a fail. It only passes when dial is set to .75g)
Track 7: Bias , buzzing both channels
Track 8: Bias, buzzing both channels
Track 9: Bias, fail (would not track) (not unusual)
Track 1: Tracking ability test 1, pass
Track 2: Cart/arm resonance test Lateral, (7hz wobble)
Track 3: Cart/arm resonance test Vertical, (12hz wobble)
Track 4: Trackability: pass
Track 5: Cartridge alignment, pass
Track 6: System noise, silent until volume up beyond listening levels
Track 7: Trackability: pass
Note: I also ran through this test on this arm with a previous cartridge alignment using the Thorens fixture (14mm overhang) The one difference was at Side 1, track 6. It failed anti-skate no matter which dial setting I used for anti-skate. Interesting, now it passes. Same arm, same cartridge.
Subjective. The night before I listened to a recently acquired M- copy of Pink Floyd Animals. U.S. Columbia pressing. A nice clean quiet copy. The one difference that jumped out at me today was the lead track on side 2 has hog noises. For some reason these were startling as I didn't really expect them to impact like they did. I also noticed a greater sense of space between notes. Notes hanging in space for a time. I've been getting a sense of this with the table for some time, but on this album, this time, it just seemed more noticeable. Bass seems very good. Surface noise seems lower on some records I remember as having noise. I'll need more time to evaluate that one.