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Thread: Unstable Tracking Force Conundrum- a ghost in the machine ?

  1. #1
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: West Yorkshire

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    I'm Stephen.

    Default Unstable Tracking Force Conundrum- a ghost in the machine ?

    So hereís a puzzle Iíve been unable to solve - maybe someone can shed some light?

    A few days ago while using my Paradox Pulse Denon DL103-R I noted the bass was overly boomy and distorting on certain tracks - all other frequencies were fine. On checking the VTF it was 3.5g instead of the 2.5g I had set a couple of weeks prior. Putting it down to personal stupidity I reset to 2.5 and the bass was back to normal. Anyway, same thing happened again the following day- VTF measured 3.5g. Weird! To cut a long story short I reset and rechecked after an hour and it was again 3.5. Iíve repeated this on numerous occasions and the VTF drifts up by about 1g every time.

    If I swap in either my AT 33PTG/II or Goldbug Brier the VTF stays stable - no drift.

    I have recalibrated my digital balance and also used the Shure SFG 2 (very similar readings) in case the balance had gone off.

    The TT shelf/TT/platter are all perfectly level.

    The virtually new Jelco TK850s is correctly setup and arm/headshell set perpendicular using a spirit bubble and horizontal site rule.

    The Paradox Pulse is in a new Jelco HS-30 with all fixings tight.

    So I think Iíve eliminated all external factors and come to the conclusion it must be an issue with the cartridge suspension despite it being 2 years old and with only about 100 hours. Itís never been mishandled. Iíve discussed this with Terence at Paradox Pulse and he is adamant it canít be the cartridge and even if it were broken it wouldnít give these symptoms. He suggested gently depressing the cantilever with a finger - it did return to its default position on release and there was some resistance but I have no idea how it should feel. I canít believe such a test can exclude a duff suspension.

    I suggested sending it back to Terence for checking but he is sceptical and itís also a long way to send it if itís not the problem.

    Anyway, long story but Iím out of ideas now. Grateful for any suggestions.

    Steve



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  2. #2
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

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    I'm Geoff.

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    The tracking downforce can't be altered by the cartridge, I'd assume the tonearm is responsible. Maybe the internal wiring is applying unwanted torque, although it would have to be pretty stiff wire to generate a 1g difference.
    "when common sense, logic and plausibility are excluded. All that remain are foolishness and lies"

  3. #3
    Join Date: Jul 2010

    Location: Cheltenham

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    I'm Charlie.

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    Steve
    Have you tried the 103 in a different tonearm?
    Charlie
    R2R: Studer A820 1/2 inch 2 track; Otari MTR-12 1/4 inch 2 track; Sony APR 5003; Sony APR 5002; Studer A807/II. Vinyl: Platine Verdier Allaerts MC1B/Schroeder Reference & Model 2 Decca C4E/Hadcock 228 TRON Seven Reference phono. Keith Monks MkII RCM Other analogue source: Nakamichi Dragon with ANT4066 mods. Amplification: TRON Meteor preamp TRON Voyager 20B SET power. Speakers: Avantgarde Duo. Digital: does not compute

  4. #4
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: West Yorkshire

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    I'm Stephen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by walpurgis View Post
    The tracking downforce can't be altered by the cartridge, I'd assume the tonearm is responsible. Maybe the internal wiring is applying unwanted torque, although it would have to be pretty stiff wire to generate a 1g difference.
    If that were the case Iíd expect to have the same problem with the other cartridges and they are both perfect. Totally stable. I even checked again this morning - after 24 hours the VTF on the Brier is exactly as I set it so I canít fathom how it could be the tonearm unless itís because the mass of cartridge and headshell (29g) is too much for the arm. I can get it to balance but the counterweight is virtually at the end of the arm. I did enquire from Hugo (Ammonite Acoustics) if there was a heavier counterweight available but apparently not.



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  5. #5
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: West Yorkshire

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    I'm Stephen.

    Default Unstable Tracking Force Conundrum- a ghost in the machine ?

    Quote Originally Posted by topoxforddoc View Post
    Steve
    Have you tried the 103 in a different tonearm?
    Charlie
    I havenít Charlie. The only other arm I have is an SME 3009 II with fixed headshell - thereís no way it would take the mass of the Paradox.

    Walpurgisís post has got me thinking that maybe this cartridge/headshell is to heavy for the arm with standard counterweight and the knife edge bearing is being ďdistortedĒ




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  6. #6
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

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    I'm Grant.

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    no kids who might have had a twiddle? suspension could be collapsing but im not so sure that would alter vtf much. something loose on arm
    Regards,
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  7. #7
    Join Date: Aug 2009

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    Quote Originally Posted by struth View Post
    no kids who might have had a twiddle? suspension could be collapsing but im not so sure that would alter vtf much. something loose on arm
    Nope defo no kids or vagrant twiddles.
    Poltergeist?


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  8. #8
    Join Date: May 2012

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    I'm I'mteachingmarcotheartofpishanto.

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    What TFGuage are you using , I had all sorts of problems with this type
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  9. #9
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

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    I'm Grant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by worrasf View Post
    Nope defo no kids or vagrant twiddles.
    Poltergeist?


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    duffer gauge?

    no that wouldnt account for sound.. comes back to arm
    Regards,
    Grant .... ؠ

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply-doesn't-work
    .... ..... ...... ...... ................... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....
    OPPO BDP-103D - JBE SERIES 3/B&O SP1/PROJECT PHONOBOX DS2 USB - QUAD VENA 2 - IFI PURIFIER 2/TWIN PRO MONOBLOCK POWER AMPLIFIERS - LEAF HD BLUETOOTH - OPPO PM-3 PLANAR, SONY H900 & NURAPHONE HEADPHONES - ZBOOK/ IFI SILENCER/WIN10 PRO/AUDIRVANA & JRIVER - SMSL M6 DAC & IFI SILENCER - RPI 3+, DIGIONE HAT/VOLUMIO2 - EDINGDALE MK1 SPEAKERS - CABLE INC CHORD, MOGAMI, SUPRA & WIREWORLD

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  10. #10
    Join Date: Aug 2009

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    I'm Stephen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by struth View Post
    duffer gauge?

    no that wouldnt account for sound.. comes back to arm
    Checked with both digital balance and Shure SFG 2
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