A tracking weight experiment for LP12 owners

General HiFi discussion, using the Tune Method to evaluate performance

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Charlie1
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Re: A tracking weight experiment for LP12 owners

Post by Charlie1 » 2017-01-27 12:01

lejonklou wrote:
Charlie1 wrote:
lejonklou wrote:I think you should trust your ears. Always.
I don't though, not any more, especially via the clips. Many of them I listen to and can't hear any difference and then you guys come on and say, 'yeah, number 54 and half is best.' :)
Clips can be helpful and they can be tricky, but this is your turntable, in your room. I am very confident you can tell better from worse there.
Thanks for your confidence.

Is it usual for an Ekos to by out by 0.1 on the counterweight? Or, perhaps a cheap scale is not to be trusted? Will this interfere with what it is you're trying to find out?

I managed to find the original order:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00 ... UTF8&psc=1

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Re: A tracking weight experiment for LP12 owners

Post by lejonklou » 2017-01-27 14:02

Charlie1 wrote:Is it usual for an Ekos to by out by 0.1 on the counterweight? Or, perhaps a cheap scale is not to be trusted? Will this interfere with what it is you're trying to find out?
The arms are often a bit off. Most likely the scale is more correct. But what sounds best is my focus, as always.

All the data you're collecting helps. I'll tell you about the theory as soon as I have some more reports. I need to do it myself as well!

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Re: A tracking weight experiment for LP12 owners

Post by ThomasOK » 2017-01-27 18:11

Charlie1, most importantly I agree with Fredrik, you have to trust your own ears in your own environment. I have had clips that sounded the opposite of what I heard. Doing another set of clips often resulted in them better portraying what I heard. (I don't discount the possibility of having put a finger over the mic in some of these.)

On the first set of clips I also liked the new setting better than the older one. On the second set I wasn't sure at first as something about the guitar bugged me on the second clip, but when the voice came in I also preferred the newer setting.

It is true that it is not totally uncommon to have the scale be off a bit. This is why I always use my digital scale now so that I don't spend a lot of time trying to fine tune a setting that is significantly off.

I do have one suggestion for you. Although Linn recommends 1.75 grams for the Akiva and Kandid, in my experience the Akiva actually tended to be more musical at 1.72 grams. I noticed that some others on the Linn forum found the same thing. The Kandid, however, has always sounded best at dead nuts 1.75 grams. So you might want to try knocking it back a few hundredths and see if it is even better. Then play around with the anti-skate a bit. I have to admit that I find anti-skating changes can be quite subtle, especially on cheaper arm/cartridge combinations, but when I get to the best setting there is just something that sounds more right about it. I always use a good vocal for that setting.
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Re: A tracking weight experiment for LP12 owners

Post by kallesprätt » 2017-01-27 21:16

I made this test on my Ekos 2 tonearm and Adikt pickup. I ended up with these settings: VTF 1.73 and anti skating somewhere between 1.8 and 1.85, i find it hard to read the markings on the anti skating dial accurately.

I measured the VTF to 1.83g, before I started I measured it to 1.82 so I ended up really close to my original settings.

//Kallesprätt

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Re: A tracking weight experiment for LP12 owners

Post by lejonklou » 2017-01-27 21:38

Thank you kallesprätt!

Thomas, I'd be grateful if you could do my test, exactly as described. Don't measure with your scale until you've found the best tracking weight by ear. This is what this thread is about. I'll explain more later.

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Re: A tracking weight experiment for LP12 owners

Post by ThomasOK » 2017-01-28 00:54

That's what I thought.

First test, customer LP12, Ittok LVII, Adikt/0 (very good Ittok - 73 swings, balanced very well, no notches).
Trying 1.5/1.5 to 1.9/1.9 in .1 increments as well as 1.75, 1.7 most musical. Then tried anti-skate up to 2.0 in .1 increments. Still found 1.7 most musical. Then also tried setting anti-skate as I normally do, adjusting up and down while listening to voice (not a/b). Still best at 1.7.
Measured tf 1.62.

In my experience the anti-skating on the Ittok usually mirrors the tracking force pretty closely, unlike most Ekos.
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Re: A tracking weight experiment for LP12 owners

Post by Charlie1 » 2017-01-28 10:55

ThomasOK wrote:I do have one suggestion for you. Although Linn recommends 1.75 grams for the Akiva and Kandid, in my experience the Akiva actually tended to be more musical at 1.72 grams. I noticed that some others on the Linn forum found the same thing. The Kandid, however, has always sounded best at dead nuts 1.75 grams. So you might want to try knocking it back a few hundredths and see if it is even better. Then play around with the anti-skate a bit. I have to admit that I find anti-skating changes can be quite subtle, especially on cheaper arm/cartridge combinations, but when I get to the best setting there is just something that sounds more right about it. I always use a good vocal for that setting.
I rechecked the weight via digital scale last night and it actually read 1.72. I found that the figure varied a little each time I lifted the stylus off and put it back down. Sometimes it would read 1.75 again so the scale itself is not very consistent. I then played around by ear and decided the current weight was the best I could find.
beck wrote:To get it even better you could try small changes with your bias (anti-skate).
Next I tweaked the anti-skate a bit and did find a slightly lower setting that seemed a tiny bit better.

I didn't expect to find any improvement from this exercise but pleased to report it's all sounding a little better. Thanks for everyones input. Fredrik, please should if you need anything retesting, or done differently etc.

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Re: A tracking weight experiment for LP12 owners

Post by finster » 2017-01-30 07:22

Hi, just completed the "experiment" tonight - definitely intrigued to see the overall goal, all very cloak and dagger:)

Ekos 2 with Lyra Kleos.

My preference was 1.7 vtf (according to arm)
1.9 anti-skate, although this one was more subtle.

The vtf above read 1.72g on my electronic scale.

System: lp12 with Kore, mober PSU with Maxon DC motor, tramp 2 on audio tech shelf. Linto into Classe CP800 pre, Keltik KXO, 2xTundra stereo (high and mid), bryston 9B SST on bass.

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Re: A tracking weight experiment for LP12 owners

Post by sittertal » 2017-02-02 17:58

Hello

This was a opportunity to get down to business and check the best setting for the Cartridge. My dealer set it up about three years ago. The weight was at 1.63 and the Anti-Skate at about 1.7.

I did three sessions on three evenings. (When doing a tune-dem I'm never quite certain of the outcome: Did I get carried away with less importent details or did my mood change during the evening etc.) Finally I ended at the same point everytime: 1.72 g and 1.9 anti- skate.

On the last evening I exactly followed the instructions and started with 1.5 g. After I had the best sounding weight I compared the anti-skate settings and I was surprised how much the difference was between the different positions.

I have an LP12/Cirkus/Kore/Ekos II/Kandid/Lingo III (I belive)/Linto on Ikea Lack tables.

Kind Regards
Paul
Klimax LP12, Klimax Radikal, KK, Twin Chakra, 242 (KK & 242 first Gen.)

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Re: A tracking weight experiment for LP12 owners

Post by finster » 2017-02-02 22:37

Hey Paul, very interesting results exactly the same as mine. Maybe not surprising given our decks are almost identical!

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Re: A tracking weight experiment for LP12 owners

Post by lejonklou » 2017-02-02 23:36

Thank you finster and sittertal!

I realise I haven't reported myself yet. I have been completely absorbed by digital stuff but will redo my LP12 calibration this weekend. And then summarise and tell you about the theory.

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Re: A tracking weight experiment for LP12 owners

Post by paolo » 2017-02-04 16:20

Hello,
with my Ekos SE/1 Kandid best tracking is around 1.75g (antiskating a bit less than 1.8) on the Ekos dial, which is around 1.84g measured with the digital scale.

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Paolo

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Re: A tracking weight experiment for LP12 owners

Post by Mikeg » 2017-02-04 20:19

ThomasOK wrote:That's what I thought.

First test, customer LP12, Ittok LVII, Adikt/0 (very good Ittok - 73 swings, balanced very well, no notches).
Trying 1.5/1.5 to 1.9/1.9 in .1 increments as well as 1.75, 1.7 most musical. Then tried anti-skate up to 2.0 in .1 increments. Still found 1.7 most musical. Then also tried setting anti-skate as I normally do, adjusting up and down while listening to voice (not a/b). Still best at 1.7.
Measured tf 1.62.

In my experience the anti-skating on the Ittok usually mirrors the tracking force pretty closely, unlike most Ekos.
So is it best to match the anti-skate with the arms vtf dial or the digital scale vtf (which I presume is more accurate)?

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Re: A tracking weight experiment for LP12 owners

Post by Mikeg » 2017-02-06 16:27

Just a thought on 1.7 being the ideal vtf setting for the Adikt. I see that Linn no longer have a recommended vtf setting for the Adikt of their website - it used to be 1.75. Also Goldring had the same recommended setting for the 1012 but this has been reduced to 1.7. Is someone there reading this site?

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Re: A tracking weight experiment for LP12 owners

Post by lejonklou » 2017-02-06 21:28

Ok, so I just did this by-ear adjustment myself; it's around 1.75 on both force (VTF) and anti skating with my Ekos SE/1 and Adikt. Although I think the VTF is best a bit closer to 1.7 than 1.8, so maybe I should say 1.73. Anti skating seems perfect at 1.75.

To summarise, I'm writing a list arranged like this:
Member, arm, cartridge, VTF on arm, Anti-skating on arm, [measured VTF with digital scale]

markiteight, Ekos 1, Lyra Dorian, 1.7, 1.75-1.8, [-]
Charlie1, Ekos SE, Akiva, 1.73, 2.03, [1.84] (this was your first report, after that I got confused)
Erik, Ekos SE/1, Akiva, 1.75, 1.8, [-]
kallesprätt, Ekos 2, Adikt, 1.73, 1.82, [1.83]
Thomas, Ittok LVII, Adikt, 1.7, 1.7, [1.62]
finster, Ekos 2, Lyra Kleos, 1.7, 1.9, [1.72]
sittertal, Ekos 2, Kandid, 1.72, 1.9, [-]
paolo, Ekos SE/1, Kandid, 1.75, 1.78, [1.84]
lejonklou, Ekos SE/1, Adikt, 1.73, 1.75, [-]

Time to present the theory!
Paolo came up with this idea, not me. He said that he'd been trusting the reading of his digital scale when setting the VTF, but lately he's tried setting it by ear instead and found he got better results that way.

I think he's onto something very interesting here. Because if you set the VTF entirely by ear, it seems you always end up with between 1.7 and 1.75 on the scale of the arm. When you later measure with a digital scale, it can show either more or less (often in the region of 1.6 to 1.9). But adjusting the VTF setting of the arm in an attempt to get the "correct" reading on the digital scale will make your turntable less tuneful.

If we look at the numbers above, the theory that Linn arms should always be set to between 1.7 and 1.75 appears to be confirmed - at least on this list. Which conclusion can be drawn if the theory proves to be true, all of the time? That the optimal VTF setting of the arm has to do with the arm, not the cartridge! It appears that the arm performs best with a certain tracking force setting, and as the arm is more important than the cartridge (in the hierarchy of the turntable), this is more important to the final result than the actual VTF applied to the cartridge.

Why would the arm perform best with a certain tracking force setting? I don't know. It could be due to a resonant frequency in the spring that creates the VTF. Or maybe anyone has a better theory?

Please keep doing this by-ear adjustment and report the results! And if you later change your best setting because a digital scale shows a different number, please keep in mind that you may be fooling yourself.

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Re: A tracking weight experiment for LP12 owners

Post by lejonklou » 2017-02-06 23:44

This theory that it's the arm that "dictates" the VTF setting could of course be false. It could also be that it's only true within certain limits of optimal VTF for the cartridges used. So for some cartridges, that for instance require more than 2.0, the optimal setting of 1.7-1.75 on the arm might no longer be optimal.

If it IS true, however, new possibilities open. Such as first adjusting by ear, ending up with a setting between 1.7 and 1.75 and then fine tuning the VTF with the counterweight, using a digital scale.

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Re: A tracking weight experiment for LP12 owners

Post by finster » 2017-02-07 06:03

Could it also be connected to the arm compliance? All the Linn arms are medium compliance so maybe it's no coincidence that a common vtf range is the more optimal by pure listening test.

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Re: A tracking weight experiment for LP12 owners

Post by Mikeg » 2017-02-08 10:20

One of the problems I can see if you don't use a digital scale and simply rely on the arm's dial (I know you are not suggesting that) is that it is not repeatable. Prior to this discussion I had found that, with an Adikt in my Ittok, 1.853 was the ideal setting but changing it slightly to either 1.823 or 1.873 was significantly worse. I found the same with anti-skate, there was a definite sweet spot.

In the past I had tried 1.7 but was not happy with the result. However since then I have made a few changes to my system. I have installed the Kore and a Tramp 2, ditched the Mana glass and now my LP12 sits on a Tiger Paw Vulkan board on a Mana wall shelf. I have also recently added a TP Skale. So I decided to try again, 1.7 was good but 1.62 (as per Tom's post) was much much better.

I haven't been able to try this just using the Ittok's dial because I have found the best results with the Skale is a fixed dial setting of 1.5 and adjust the rest with the counterweight. The 1.5 fixed setting was significantly better than balancing the arm as normal and both were better than using 1.0 as the fixed setting

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Re: A tracking weight experiment for LP12 owners

Post by beck » 2017-02-08 10:40

Mikeg wrote:One of the problems I can see if you don't use a digital scale and simply rely on the arm's dial (I know you are not suggesting that) is that it is not repeatable. Prior to this discussion I had found that, with an Adikt in my Ittok, 1.853 was the ideal setting but changing it slightly to either 1.823 or 1.873 was significantly worse. I found the same with anti-skate, there was a definite sweet spot.

In the past I had tried 1.7 but was not happy with the result. However since then I have made a few changes to my system. I have installed the Kore and a Tramp 2, ditched the Mana glass and now my LP12 sits on a Tiger Paw Vulkan board on a Mana wall shelf. I have also recently added a TP Skale. So I decided to try again, 1.7 was good but 1.62 (as per Tom's post) was much much better.

I haven't been able to try this just using the Ittok's dial because I have found the best results with the Skale is a fixed dial setting of 1.5 and adjust the rest with the counterweight. The 1.5 fixed setting was significantly better than balancing the arm as normal and both were better than using 1.0 as the fixed setting
Very interesting. Opens up new ways of doing it.
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Re: A tracking weight experiment for LP12 owners

Post by Spannko » 2017-02-08 19:00

What a fascinating topic! Even though I don't have a turntable any longer, I just love this type of enquiry and can't wait to hear what the outcome is.

I wonder if the position of the counterweight (when set for best sound) creates an arm resonance which works harmoniously with the other resonanances within the turntable?

For the last 3 years I've been experimenting with different equipment support designs, and I've a feeling that creating harmonious resonances are really important.

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Re: A tracking weight experiment for LP12 owners

Post by beck » 2017-02-08 21:16

beck wrote:
Mikeg wrote:One of the problems I can see if you don't use a digital scale and simply rely on the arm's dial (I know you are not suggesting that) is that it is not repeatable. Prior to this discussion I had found that, with an Adikt in my Ittok, 1.853 was the ideal setting but changing it slightly to either 1.823 or 1.873 was significantly worse. I found the same with anti-skate, there was a definite sweet spot.

In the past I had tried 1.7 but was not happy with the result. However since then I have made a few changes to my system. I have installed the Kore and a Tramp 2, ditched the Mana glass and now my LP12 sits on a Tiger Paw Vulkan board on a Mana wall shelf. I have also recently added a TP Skale. So I decided to try again, 1.7 was good but 1.62 (as per Tom's post) was much much better.

I haven't been able to try this just using the Ittok's dial because I have found the best results with the Skale is a fixed dial setting of 1.5 and adjust the rest with the counterweight. The 1.5 fixed setting was significantly better than balancing the arm as normal and both were better than using 1.0 as the fixed setting
Very interesting. Opens up new ways of doing it.
I have now tried setting my Ekos1 to 1.5 fixed and adjusting the counterweight slightly so I got the same needle pressure at the tip.
At first I was surprised by the even better definition but after a short while I felt a creeping sensation. A bit too "staccato" not feeling the long lines of the music. Going back to normal made me convinced that it gives me better music.
Just my two cents in my system with my Ekos1.
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Re: A tracking weight experiment for LP12 owners

Post by tokenbrit » 2017-02-08 22:58

Are you using a skale too beck, like Mikeg, or just experimenting to see if his experience works with your standard (?) Ekos1?

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Re: A tracking weight experiment for LP12 owners

Post by beck » 2017-02-08 23:35

tokenbrit wrote:Are you using a skale too beck, like Mikeg, or just experimenting to see if his experience works with your standard (?) Ekos1?
Standard Ekos1 and just experimenting. :-)
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Re: A tracking weight experiment for LP12 owners

Post by ThomasOK » 2017-02-10 21:24

OK, now this is getting really interesting. I should mention right off that I have always adjusted tracking and anti-skating by ear and just used the gauge as a double-check or to give a starting setting on arms with no built in settings (such as Rega RB100 and RB200 series). In fact I actually find seting the correct tracking force more difficult when I adjust both it and anti-skating at the same time as recommended for this test. Each does slightly different things and I find it easier when I isolate the two by setting the approximate tracking and anti-skating forces, then fine tuning the tracking force and then fine tuning the anti-skating.

However, for the purposes of this test I followed the procedure outlined by Fredrik and adjusted both initially at the same time. So here are the results of test number 2:

Overture Audio store demo Klimax LP12 on NOKTable (is the plug subtle enough?) with Ekos SE/1 and Kandid:

Trying 1.5/1.5 to 1.9/1.9 in .1 increments as well as 1.75, 1.75 most musical. Then tried anti-skate up to 2.0 in .1 increments plus 1.75. Also found 1.75 most musical. Then I measured the tracking force at 1.9 grams! I measured this with anti-skate off as it changes the reading - usually subtracting about .02 grams because of the side force. This seemed strange so I dialed everything back to 0 and double-checked the level of the arm with record and mat off the patter but it still looked perfectly level to me and had the normal Ekos SE freedom from friction. Dialed it all back up and checked settings again and again found the tracking dial setting of 1.75 most musical after also testing 1.725 & 1.775. Then I did my usual method of anti-skate setting, adjusting while the record is playing, and found 1.79 to be the most musical. Seems my settings are virtually the same as those from Paola although the measured tracking force is somewhat higher.

But then I decided to experiment further and do a few A/B comparisons adjusting the counterweight slightly while leaving the settings as they were. I went both above and below the setting it was at. This was most interesting for two reasons. First is that there was indeed additional musical improvement by adjusting the counterweight. Higher was definitely worse but lower made an improvement in the tune. The second was that I didn't feel the differences were as big as those made by adjusting the dial. But the measured tracking force of the most musical position of the counterweight is 1.73 grams! It is definitely sounding really good in here right now!

I will test this on additional turntables, especially mine at home. But this certainly gives an additional confirmation that there appears to be an optimum setting for the arm that may be more important than that for the cartridge. Maybe there is some resonance characteristic of the spring that works best with the other resonances in the arm/cartridge system? But it also indicates that further improvement can be gained by then adjusting the counterweight to the best tracking force for the cartridge. I think it would be good if others tested this idea as well. If this works for me on additional turntables I will have just added an additional step and even more musical performance to my setups. Very cool!
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Re: A tracking weight experiment for LP12 owners

Post by beck » 2017-02-11 12:50

ThomasOK wrote:OK, now this is getting really interesting. I should mention right off that I have always adjusted tracking and anti-skating by ear and just used the gauge as a double-check or to give a starting setting on arms with no built in settings (such as Rega RB100 and RB200 series). In fact I actually find seting the correct tracking force more difficult when I adjust both it and anti-skating at the same time as recommended for this test. Each does slightly different things and I find it easier when I isolate the two by setting the approximate tracking and anti-skating forces, then fine tuning the tracking force and then fine tuning the anti-skating.

However, for the purposes of this test I followed the procedure outlined by Fredrik and adjusted both initially at the same time. So here are the results of test number 2:

Overture Audio store demo Klimax LP12 on NOKTable (is the plug subtle enough?) with Ekos SE/1 and Kandid:

Trying 1.5/1.5 to 1.9/1.9 in .1 increments as well as 1.75, 1.75 most musical. Then tried anti-skate up to 2.0 in .1 increments plus 1.75. Also found 1.75 most musical. Then I measured the tracking force at 1.9 grams! I measured this with anti-skate off as it changes the reading - usually subtracting about .02 grams because of the side force. This seemed strange so I dialed everything back to 0 and double-checked the level of the arm with record and mat off the patter but it still looked perfectly level to me and had the normal Ekos SE freedom from friction. Dialed it all back up and checked settings again and again found the tracking dial setting of 1.75 most musical after also testing 1.725 & 1.775. Then I did my usual method of anti-skate setting, adjusting while the record is playing, and found 1.79 to be the most musical. Seems my settings are virtually the same as those from Paola although the measured tracking force is somewhat higher.

But then I decided to experiment further and do a few A/B comparisons adjusting the counterweight slightly while leaving the settings as they were. I went both above and below the setting it was at. This was most interesting for two reasons. First is that there was indeed additional musical improvement by adjusting the counterweight. Higher was definitely worse but lower made an improvement in the tune. The second was that I didn't feel the differences were as big as those made by adjusting the dial. But the measured tracking force of the most musical position of the counterweight is 1.73 grams! It is definitely sounding really good in here right now!

I will test this on additional turntables, especially mine at home. But this certainly gives an additional confirmation that there appears to be an optimum setting for the arm that may be more important than that for the cartridge. Maybe there is some resonance characteristic of the spring that works best with the other resonances in the arm/cartridge system? But it also indicates that further improvement can be gained by then adjusting the counterweight to the best tracking force for the cartridge. I think it would be good if others tested this idea as well. If this works for me on additional turntables I will have just added an additional step and even more musical performance to my setups. Very cool!
Can you reject or confirm a theory I have that the distance of the arm behind and in front of the counterweight should be around the same (6 mm on my Ekos1) to the end of the arm from the back of the counterweight and from the front of the counterweight to the first contact point between the "house" and the arm?
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