View Full Version : new cartridge: trouble setting up

02-01-2009, 20:20
I recently bought a 1210 and i got a sumiko headshell and a denon 110 and fitted them today- my first attempt at anything turntable related :confused:

I don't have tracking scales or a protractor or anything but until then is there a simple way of getting the most out of my stuff??

I've sorted the arm height so it's flat and fitted the cartridge to 52mm which i think is right.. I've tried the cart both with and without the added weight which comes with it. I'm not sure which i prefer but it is much more difficult to float the arm and get the counterweight right when it is fitted- but i've heard denons prefer more weight so maybe i should turn the weight around or something? At the moment it can't go much further back :scratch:

I'm confused about how much weight to 'add' with the counterweight once the arm is floating; the cart without the added weight is 4.8g- should i add that?

If i post a photo will it be easier to advise?

02-01-2009, 20:42
Without a protractor the only way you can set the cartridge alignment is by measuring the pivot-to-stylus length (difficult) or the overhang past the turntable spindle (easier). In either case, you will need the arm specs to know which measurement to use. Then make sure the cartridge is pointing straight in the headshell.

Once you have balanced out the arm, zero the tracking weight wheel and then set the recommended tracking weight as in the Denon specs. Note it's tracking weight you want not the cartridge's weight.

02-01-2009, 20:50
pop over to the vinyl engine, you can download and print a protractor to ensure you have the cart set properly. When you have checked that and balanced the arm, you need to apply the correct VTF (downforce) for the denon to track.(go in the middle to top of the suggested weight) The technics manual should tell you how to get close enough untill you can lay hands a balance. The 110 will be fine without the extra weight I would think, it is on Rega based arms anyway.

The 110 is a superb cart, proably one of the best real world sub 230 ish carts on the market. (I know it costs a lot less than that)

02-01-2009, 20:54
Have look around on here: http://repairny.com/do-it-yourself-repair/53-dj-tutorials/113-dj-phono-cartridge-set-up.html

It refers to 'DJ setup' but you'll get the general idea. :)

Have fun!

02-01-2009, 20:56
Thanks for the quick reply.. what do you mean by arm specs?
I have seen pictures online of people using the 1210 with cartridges angled quite heavily in the headshell... should i ignore this phenomenon?
Aha with your help i have conquered the mystery of tracking weight!!! 1.8g. Thanks! Should the anti-skate be set at this also?

02-01-2009, 20:59
There's more stuff here too: http://www.fortunecity.com/rivendell/xentar/1179/theory/cartridgesetup/CartridgeSetup.html

02-01-2009, 21:02
when you have a protractor the alignment thing will become clear.http://www.vinylengine.com/cartridge-alignment-protractors.shtml
technics one is near bottom of page

02-01-2009, 21:02
Cheers for other replies also- i'll get reading...

Thanks colin, i'm very happy with it now, for a while it was hit and miss depending on the record but it's settling down a bit, definitely more detailed than what i'm used to, in a good way

setting the tracking weight has already sorted out the bass problem- it was either non-existant or boomy before and there was lots of rumble, now it's back to how it should be!

EDIT: i've bookmarked those for later mike, thanks!

Colin are you sure that's the right link LOL

02-01-2009, 21:04

That link brings up an entirely different topic here Colin!


02-01-2009, 21:08

02-01-2009, 21:12
You will be amazed how getting the cartridge properly aligned can change the sound. Enjoy the learning curve. I did!

02-01-2009, 21:14
Beechy... check out Colin's hyperlink! :lolsign:

02-01-2009, 21:16
I did. Gave me a good chuckle!

That link brings up an entirely different topic here Colin!


They're obviously redirecting any traffic coming from the AOS server to a lil' message intended for one of the admin staff here, who shall remain nameless. Unless you click the link, in which case all will become clear.

I'll bet that this will happen with any Vinyl Engine links from AOS pages...

Quite clever, heh heh :)

Any chance of those Protractors from anywhere else, Colin?

02-01-2009, 21:17
In fact I think I might make Colin's post a sticky :lol:

02-01-2009, 23:04
just go to vinyl engine and search,
strange how these things work is it not?

Having followed the link from here I thought it quite amusing as well.

02-01-2009, 23:15
I did. Gave me a good chuckle!

They're obviously redirecting any traffic coming from the AOS server to a lil' message intended for one of the admin staff here, who shall remain nameless. Unless you click the link, in which case all will become clear.

I'll bet that this will happen with any Vinyl Engine links from AOS pages...

Quite clever, heh heh :)

Any chance of those Protractors from anywhere else, Colin?

Sorry, I don't get what's funny. Can you explain the joke please, Beechy? :)

All I get when clicking the link is a list of alignment protractors (nothing about admin here), which I'm sure is what Colin originally intended!


02-01-2009, 23:18
This is what I get (with accompanying pictures) when clicking on Colin's link here:

Cartridge Alignment Protractor
Posted May 30th, 2002 by Jas On this page you can download free cartridge alignment protractors for quick and accurate alignment of cartridge / stylus overhang, offset and null points. We have truly universal two-point tools such as the Stupid Protractor, and tonearm specific types for Audiocraft, Helius, Heybrook, Linn, Rega and Thorens, all with easy to follow instructions detailing how to align a cartridge.

To determine which protractor is suitable for your tonearm please read Seb's Protractor User Guide and please check scale carefully after printing and resize if necessary.

Generic (universal) protractors
Stupid Protractors
A pair of universal two-point protractors, one using the more common Baerwald alignment method as used on 99% of commercial products and the other Loefgren B (see Seb's user guide above for an explanation of the difference). Simple, accurate and widely compatible. If you aren't sure which type to use and want a free alternative to the common shop bought designs, download this one.

Stevenson alignment protractor
Another universal protractor, this time using the Stevenson alignment method with null points at 60.325 mm and 117.42 mm. This is especially useful for arms which have limited room in the headshell slots and can't be aligned satisfactorily with a Baerwald type.

Chpratz Protractor
Designed to allow users to align their cartridge at any two null points between 60 and 150mm. A quick and easy way for experimenters to judge the sonic merits of different alignment methods.For example, this could be used in conjunction with the tonearm database to compare the tonearm manufacturers alignment with the popular Baerwald type found in most aftermarket protractors.

Universal Stuff Protractor V.2.0
A mirror protractor, a variation on the classic two-point protractor - suitable for experienced users only!

Kearns Universal Arc protractor
The Arc protractor is suitable as a cartridge alignment protractor for specific tonearm lengths / mounting distances only (see instructions enclosed)

KWillis Universal Accutrak Protractor Version 2
I designed this protractor at the request of a customer. It was inspired by Garth's - of vinyl asylum fame - Incognito universal Stevenson protractor. Additional help was provided by Brian Kearns who sent me information concerning the design of his multi-arc universal protractor. Thank you Brian; and a posthumous thank you to Garth. I can also supply a custom designed plastic protractor specifically for your tonearm. Please send a PM for more details

Turntable specific protractors
These protractors are tonearm specific or use alternative alignment methodology.

AudioCraft AC300C protractor
Suitable for the Audiocraft AC300C tonearm only

Helius Aureus protractor
Suitable for the Helius Aureus tonearm only

Heybrook Universal alignment protractor
Universal two-point protractor that uses Heybrooks chosen null points of 63.5 and 120mm

Linn Ittok / LVX / LVX+ protractor / mounting template
This tool is suitable for accurate mounting and alignment of all Linn mounting pattern tonearms.

Seb's Arc Protractors
Arc protractors allow super fast, accurate cartridge alignment.

Please Note The alignment curve on an arc protractor is only suitable for the stated mounting distance. Stephlouv from belgium produced a lot of arc protractors for the french LS3-5a forum so if you don't see your tonearm listed below, you may find one adapted to your mounting distance HERE.

DO NOT use an arc protractor unless it matches your mounting distance exactly.

Rega Baerwald alignment protractor v.2
Suitable for Rega tonearms only, mounted at exactly 222mm (standard) mounting distance. This single point design is especially quick and easy to use and includes an arc for rapid double checking.

Rega Stevenson alignment protractor v.2
Suitable for Rega tonearms mounted at exactly 222mm (standard) mounting distance. Identical to the Baerwald protractor above but designed using Stevenson null points which gives alignment closer to Regas and is useful when the headshell slots don't give enough room to align your chosen cartridge using the Baerwald design.

Technics Arc protractor
Suitable for those Technics turntables that have an arm mounting distance of exactly 215mm, such as the SL-1200/1210/1300/1400/1500/1600 etc. Please check the tonearm database for the mounting distance of your arm before using this protractor. Also note that Technics arms do not use baerwald alignment as standard, so you may have to offset the cartridge in the headshell in order to align with arc.

Thorens Arc protractor v.2
Suitable for those Thorens tonearms that have a mounting distance of exactly 215.6mm. See enclosed instructions for compatible tonearms.

All Cartridge / Tonearm alignment protractors on this page are freely downloadable for non-commercial use.

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02-01-2009, 23:22
Odd... both me and Mike get redirected to some other VE forum pages that are clearly intended to be read by people coming from AOS. The link works fine if I copy and paste it into a new browser window. I guess it depends which browser you're running. Anyway I'll send you a screenshot separately...

02-01-2009, 23:24
Please do :)

It's odd that my browser often seems to behave differently to Mike's and yours! There was that thing with the Lenco on Dave's website and now this... :scratch:

If they're starting some pish I'll soon put a bloody stop to it!!


03-01-2009, 00:10

This is mine, and only the 2nd cartridge i have fitted so a novice ,what do you think, its a Townshend protractor.

03-01-2009, 00:30
I've got one like that somewhere I think.

Are you supposed to muck about with graph paper n' stuff? :scratch:

03-01-2009, 08:47
This is mine, and only the 2nd cartridge i have fitted so a novice ,what do you think, its a Townshend protractor.

I think that looks great. Spot on as far as I can tell, at least for those positions. The Towshend is set up to allow checking against multiple positions across the radius of the record, for minimum distortion throughout, rather than out, mid, in - are the other points ok. How does it sound?

03-01-2009, 15:04
This is mine, and only the 2nd cartridge i have fitted so a novice ,what do you think, its a Townshend protractor.

If you like the Technics SL1200 you should buy the MintLP Best Tractor and you won't have any trouble for the future mounting any cartridge available


just write to Yip telling him your TT type and stock arm

04-01-2009, 20:37
Hi nick

thanks ,well it sounds pretty damn good' it took to me 2 attempts to get it there and i am well chuffed ,the thing is it sounds so different to the stock headshell and AT120e i was using and i won't be going back to that.

the soundstage is wider and deeper with a lovely openness that you get with MC's.

06-01-2009, 23:44
On cartridge setup.....

Also make sure you have the correct loading. My TT has been sounding shite for a while now. I tried to convince myself that it was just me but I just couldn't really listen to it without getting fed up with it. I fart arsed around for ages with alignment, VTA, stuffing different foams in the arm tube, all sorts of crap.

For some reason I checked the underside of my Phono amp just now, the place where the dip switches live to set gain and load. All the switches were down which isnt right. Chances are when I had the amp out on the side one of the girls got curious and popped them all down. They're not easy to get to or move accidently. I duly moved them to the correct postion and I now get wonderful music.:):):):):):):):):)

Its very easy to overlook the obvious

29-01-2009, 15:31
I've been running the DL110 for a while now and it's great. Don't have much to compare it to other than my CDP but i am pleased by the results.. I want to try the mintLP protractor but can't afford that right now- does anyone have one of these?

29-01-2009, 15:59
The Mint LP protractor is custom manufactured for each turntable/arm combination, so you're unlikely to be able to borrow anyone's I'm afraid.