Beginner with some issues and questions

iandb1970

Well-known member
Jan 12, 2014
6
3
10,525
Hello,

I have finally joined the vinyl 'revolution' and last week bought a Technics SL D21 Automatic Direct Drive turntable. It is fitted with an Ortofon TM20H cartridge and stylus. The cartridge and stylus are obviously not original.

Not entirely surprisingly I have had some fun setting up the turntable. The instructions suggest setting both the tracking force and the anti-skating setting to 1.25g. However on doing so when cueing down (more of this latter) the the arm swings violently inwards. After much fiddling I have set the tracking force to 1.5g (top end of the range recommended for the cartridge) and the anti-skating to just under 1.0g. However I still have a couple issues that I would appreciate some help with:

1) Whatever height I have the stylus set at when cued up when I cue down the stylus mostly does not even reach the record on the platter, and if it does, it is too light to stay in the grooves and it skips inwards. The only way I can keep the stylus in a groove is to essentially cue manually and 'press' (gently of course) the stylus in. This happens whatever setting I have the tracking force set to (high or low). I am wondering whether the pivot itself needs lubrciation. It does not feel stiff but this lack to automatic cueing is both annoying and problematic. Any idea would be welcome, including advice as to what lubrucation may help the arm pivot.

2) The movement of the arm in and out does seem a little unreliabe. When cueing down the arm does swinf inwards occasionally, but not always. As mentioned the lack of pressure does seem to lead to skipping inwards but once I have ensured the stylus in the groove there is no skipping.

This could be start of many questions but I am looking forward to help!

Cheers,

Ian
 

stevebrock

New member
Nov 13, 2009
183
0
0
1. Have you used scales to check tracking weight/force or are you relying on the gauge on your tonearm ? The gauge on your tonearm may be inaccurate so get some scales to check for definiate.

2. This is your bias - basically you have too much/little bias - nornally bias needs to be set according to tracking weight/force
 

RobinKidderminster

New member
May 27, 2009
582
0
0
I too have an old tt. I removed all the auto function mechanism tho u may not wish to! I would dial out all tracking force and bias so thee arm floats freely. It may be the tiny wires under tension as they pass through the centre spindle. The arm should float with only a small puff to move it! When its entirely free then set the tracking force with a scale (eBay few £). Bias is best tested with a test record if u can find one or by very careful listening with a particularly difficult track.

A very little wd40 by cocktail stick if things seem sticky.
 

iandb1970

Well-known member
Jan 12, 2014
6
3
10,525
Thanks.

I understnad what 'should' happen and how but the tracking issue / lack of proper cueing happens not matter what setting I put on the 'tracking' setting.

The anti-skate is similar - setting it to the same as the tracking seems to be make it worse. The settings described in my original post are those that seem to work best.

What I was getting at really are there any tricks I am missing. I have tried setting both to zero and working from there but I still have an 'issue'. It looks llike I am going to have to play with setting and perhaps lubricate the arm pivot as suggested.
 

thescarletpronster

New member
Nov 17, 2012
10
0
0
Hi Ian, welcome to the wonderful world of good old-fashioned records.

Two questions occur to me, although I should warn you I'm no expert. They're most likely things you have already attended to, but I mention them just in case...

1. Is the turntable absolutely level? Have you checked the surface you're placing it on with a spirit level? This is crucial to have it working properly.
2. I can't see a mention in your post of setting the counter-balance of the tone-arm before setting tracking weight and anti-skate. Usually the procedure is to remove all tracking and anti-skate forces and then balance the tone-arm with the cartridge in place (but no stylus guard or anything) so that it floats freely - perhaps 1mm above the surface of the platter or something like that, although I'm sure it differs from model to model. Only once you've got that set up properly do you set the tracking force and anti-skate, which essentially ensure just enough pressure of the stylus on the record to get good sound without gouging the vinyl, and to stop the arm being sent flying off to the outside by the centripetal force of the spinning grooves. I don't know your model, so might be off beam here; excuse me if so.

Hope that helps you get set up!
 

iandb1970

Well-known member
Jan 12, 2014
6
3
10,525
My model does not seem to have a counterbalance. The instruction manual does not mention a counterbalance. I only seem to have the tracking force and anti-skate. Other on-line resources have suggested the same but this model does not seem to have one. Any ideas?

The tacking force has a screw adjustment - screwing 'inwards' increases the tracking force according to the manual and screwing outwards allegedly decreases the trackinh weight. However something interesting seems to happen if I totally unscrew the screw in the direction that decreases the tracking weight and take it out. This seems to massively increase the tracking weight. No problem with cueing down now! In fact the stylus really seems to disappear into the cartridge. Don't worry, only doing this on a cheap test record. I am sure the tracking weight in this position is too high. However I have now orderd a cheap tracking weight scale so I will see what happens once this arrives.

Is the cartridge fitted a different weigth to the original? Would this be a possible cause of the issue?
 

iMark

Well-known member
May 16, 2008
451
232
19,270
If your turntable doesn't have a counter weight, you will never get it set up. I have set up many a turntable in my day and to do it properly, you have to set the counter weight in a way that the cartridge 'floats' in the air at the level of the top of the platter. Only then you start adjusting the tracking weight and anti-skating.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts