Ekos SE/1 Anti-Skating Problem

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sittertal
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Ekos SE/1 Anti-Skating Problem

Post by sittertal » 2019-12-06 09:26

Hello

Two Months ago I upgraded from Kore/Ekos2 to Keel/Ekos SE. While it improved everything I noticed an unpleasant, harsh Sound on many favourite Records. I tried everything (Torque Settings on Headshell and Arm Collar/Change the Belt/Cartridge Weight etc.) Step by Step there was an improvement but the uneasy Sound persisted. Yesterday I checked the Tonarm Balance and set everything to Zero. I noticed the Arm still swings to the left even with Antiskating -0,2. To compensate this I set the Antiskating to 0,8 and the harshness was reduced. (BTW the Torque Setting on the Cartridge is now 0,68 and on the Collar 1,58)

Did any of you experience something similar with Linn Arms? Do you think I should return the Ekos?

Thanks
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Re: Ekos SE/1 Anti-Skating Problem

Post by David Neel » 2019-12-06 16:21

My new understanding is that all Ekos SE and SE/1 behave like this - mine does also. My dealer recommends an anti-skating force of about 1gm - he has been using this for some time. I'd previously found the sweet spot at about 1.75-1.8, and as it deteriorated below this I hadn't experimented. I have a new Radikal burning in with variable performance to date, so it's hard to be sure, but 1g seems to work better than conventional settings.

EDIT: Now with a new Kandid, the sweet spot is back around 1.75. Moral of story: if the cartridge is knackered, don't draw any conclusions!
Last edited by David Neel on 2019-12-12 19:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ekos SE/1 Anti-Skating Problem

Post by sittertal » 2019-12-06 17:39

Thanks David. At least I‘m not alone. Although I believe the phenomenon is more pronounced in my case, it‘s not possible to balance the arm precisely when everything is set to zero. So how do dealers set up a new arm properly?
BTW in the meantime I arrived at 0,7 and most records sound very natural.
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Re: Ekos SE/1 Anti-Skating Problem

Post by Charlie1 » 2019-12-06 18:12

Is your SE an early one?

If so, I beleive the anti-skate is about 0.2g too low...

Linn Helpline (2016-06-15) Wrote:The anti-skate was changed on the Ekos SE tonearm to increase the force being applied for a given weight from serial number 11064. To fine tune the anti-skate dial, it is best to listen to the performance after each adjustment, although we would suggest starting with 2.0g for the Akiva cartridge.
Last edited by Charlie1 on 2019-12-07 00:11, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ekos SE/1 Anti-Skating Problem

Post by David Neel » 2019-12-06 18:50

Mine is a later serial number. Tracking force on the dial is about 0.05 too low.
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Re: Ekos SE/1 Anti-Skating Problem

Post by ThomasOK » 2019-12-06 18:56

The original Ekos SE had a mis-calibrated anti-skating dial so it would generally need about .3 grams above the tracking force setting. So for a cartridge like a Kandid or Akiva that track at 1.75 the anti-skating was best close to 2.05. As noted in the quote from the helpline, Linn adjusted the anti-skating mechanism to more properly line up with the tracking force settings. This they did by shortening the string attached to the spring such that there is about .3 grams of anti-skating even when the arm is set to 0. Not my idea of the ideal fix, but there you have it.

This does mean that the arm swings out even when everything is balanced and set to 0. It does make it more difficult to get the arm balanced. I generally carefully lean a pair of needle nose pliers against the bearing housing so that the arm doesn't move laterally and that allows me to get the vertical balance correct. However, even with that balance correct the tracking force is not right. Numerous tests have shown that the Ekos SE with Kandid sounds best with the tracking force set at 1.75 grams but the actual tracking force measured with a digital gauge will end up between 1.82 and 1.96 grams. In studying this I have found that setting the dial to 1.75 and then moving the counterweight so that a digital scale reads 1.75 or 1.76 further improves the sound. It was found that using the dial to get the correct force on a digital scale by dialing it back to 1.67 or 1.55 was actually worse musically than setting it to 1.75 even if the actual tracking force was off. But using the counterweight to bring it back to near recommended force (I set this by ear and then measure) gives a further musical benefit. See this thread for more info on that:

https://www.lejonklou.com/forum/viewtop ... king+force

I have not felt the need to set anti-skating as low as what you have found which makes me wonder if Linn didn't put a little too much anti-skating on your arm when set to 0. Generally the anti-skating on the newer Ekos SE arms has been most musical close to the tracking force number. On older Ekos SE and original Ekos 1 and 2 the addition of about .3 grams usually gets it right.
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Re: Ekos SE/1 Anti-Skating Problem

Post by sittertal » 2019-12-06 22:54

Charlie1 wrote:
2019-12-06 18:12
Is your SE an early one?
No it‘s a brandnew Ekos SE/1.
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Re: Ekos SE/1 Anti-Skating Problem

Post by sittertal » 2019-12-06 23:22

ThomasOK wrote:
2019-12-06 18:56
I have not felt the need to set anti-skating as low as what you have found which makes me wonder if Linn didn't put a little too much anti-skating on your arm when set to 0.
I don‘t know anything abut the mechanics inside an Ekos but I also believe my arm behaves out of the norm. This evening I tried several Antiskate Settings up to 1,8 but it was definitely worse. The optimal Setting seems to be between 0,8 and 0,9. The weight is now on 1,76 on the arm and was 1,94 on the Digital Gauge. I tried your trick with the counterweight. It escapes my logic but it really works, it‘s more musical now. The Rossini String Sonatas (argo ZRG 506) sound great they go directly to the heart. I hope it‘s not only the effect of the Wine we had with dinner;-).
Thank you very much for your insights.
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Re: Ekos SE/1 Anti-Skating Problem

Post by David Neel » 2019-12-10 16:52

David Neel wrote:
2019-12-06 16:21
I have a new Radikal burning in with variable performance to date, so it's hard to be sure, but 1g seems to work better than conventional settings.
This finding should be discounted - I have discovered a further issue with my Kandid. The variability wasn't Radikal burn-in...
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Re: Ekos SE/1 Anti-Skating Problem

Post by ThomasOK » 2019-12-10 21:20

sittertal wrote:
2019-12-06 23:22
ThomasOK wrote:
2019-12-06 18:56
I have not felt the need to set anti-skating as low as what you have found which makes me wonder if Linn didn't put a little too much anti-skating on your arm when set to 0.
I don‘t know anything abut the mechanics inside an Ekos but I also believe my arm behaves out of the norm. This evening I tried several Antiskate Settings up to 1,8 but it was definitely worse. The optimal Setting seems to be between 0,8 and 0,9. The weight is now on 1,76 on the arm and was 1,94 on the Digital Gauge. I tried your trick with the counterweight. It escapes my logic but it really works, it‘s more musical now. The Rossini String Sonatas (argo ZRG 506) sound great they go directly to the heart. I hope it‘s not only the effect of the Wine we had with dinner;-).
Thank you very much for your insights.
You seem to have done everything to try and get this setup properly. Your finding of actual setting of 1.94 tracking force when the dial is set at 1.76 is not atypical as I had mentioned. I'm not sure of the logic of why adjusting the counterweight instead of the dial works but when my ears tell me different than logic I go with my ears. My best guess is there is some interaction between the spring in the tracking force dial on Ekos arms and the compliance of the cartridge that gives one place it is most musical with a given series of cartridge. Note that an Adikt tends to be most musical pretty close to an indicated 1.70 rather than the 1.75 the Kandid and Krystal appear to work best at. Since it also looks to be a bit higher compliance this might account for it.

Anyway, if the anti-skating is most musical at between 0.8 and 0.9 grams I would say that the arm was not made properly. Obviously you can get it to work but the anti-skate reading should be much closer to the indicated tracking force setting.
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Re: Ekos SE/1 Anti-Skating Problem

Post by sittertal » 2019-12-10 23:02

Last week I arrived at AS 0,9 and I thought it was fine. Although I always used the same two records when doing the listening tests. When I listened to Abbey Road the next day it sounded terrible. I lost patience and changed the AS to 1,75 which you suggestiv is normal. Suddenly the record sounded much better. I‘m now at 1,78 which sounds excellent. Many Classical Deccas and LSCs even play fantastic. It’s clear now there‘s nothing wrong with the Arm but the AS was set to 1,95 by the dealer which wasn’t correct. On the way to find a better sound I took a few wrong turns.
Some of my former Rock Favourites still don‘t sound satisfactory. Maybe the Combination Keel/Ekos SE/Kandid is so revelatory it shows what there really is on mediocre vinyl pressings.
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Re: Ekos SE/1 Anti-Skating Problem

Post by mrco99 » 2019-12-11 12:44

Good to hear you found your way back with the help of this forum - and particularly the expert advise of Thomas.

It's true that with such an improvement as Keel/Ekos SE your LP12 will now reveal the true nature of your recordings. Good pressings will sound simply wonderful, while bad ones show their flaws with the same honesty - there's no hide and seek at play anymore. In essence what is lost at the beginning can't be retrieved elsewhere down the chain.

Just enjoy the good ones even more from now on!
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Re: Ekos SE/1 Anti-Skating Problem

Post by lejonklou » 2019-12-11 13:15

mrco99 wrote:
2019-12-11 12:44
It's true that with such an improvement as Keel/Ekos SE your LP12 will now reveal the true nature of your recordings. Good pressings will sound simply wonderful, while bad ones show their flaws with the same honesty.
I disagree with this.

A better turntable and every upgrade (and with that I mean a real upgrade, not a change to a more expensive part that actually isn't any better) of motor control, arm, cartridge etc will make records sound better and become more enjoyable.

The same goes for the whole system. When upgraded, one should enjoy more records, not less. It always saddens me when I hear audiophiles claiming that with their latest system upgrade, flaws of recordings are now so evident that the number of enjoyable records are fewer than ever. And they often say this with pride, because they think that's how things should work. In reality, it's the sign of a serious downgrade.

Apologies for speaking in general terms and not about your specific problem, sittertal. Could you perhaps describe in what way some of your rock favorites sound unsatisfactory? Do you find them less enjoyable than before the upgrade?

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Re: Ekos SE/1 Anti-Skating Problem

Post by beck » 2019-12-11 18:54

I fully agree with Lejonklou on the above.

Sitterdal. I am thinking that you should get your Sondek tested for contact between motor and tramp foot and other setup problems. And get your arm checked also.

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Re: Ekos SE/1 Anti-Skating Problem

Post by sittertal » 2019-12-12 07:48

lejonklou wrote:
2019-12-11 13:15

Could you perhaps describe in what way some of your rock favorites sound unsatisfactory? Do you find them less enjoyable than before the upgrade?

Yes there are many LPs I find hard to listen to because there is some uneasiness about them now. It‘s a metallic quality and hiss especially with high-pitched instruments like Cimbals, Tamburines, Slideguitars etc. At the same time the midrange can sound fine and harmonic. I did many adjustments in the last two months, they brought improvements overall but the uneasy Charakter remains. I fear to be too focused on these high frequency problems now to accurately do any listening experiments at the moment.
Last edited by sittertal on 2019-12-12 08:08, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ekos SE/1 Anti-Skating Problem

Post by sittertal » 2019-12-12 08:04

beck wrote:
2019-12-11 18:54
I am thinking that you should get your Sondek tested for contact between motor and tramp foot and other setup problems. And get your arm checked also.
There indeed was a problem with the tramp foot on my LP12 too which I discovered and solved many months ago thanks to this forum. In the meantime I contacted the dealer. But he‘s about a three hours drive away and I‘m not quite sure whether it‘s worth it. What should I do if he thinks the TT sounds fine, what I hear is the problem of the record it sounds like that. Although I will probably sacrifice a day and see what happens.
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Re: Ekos SE/1 Anti-Skating Problem

Post by lejonklou » 2019-12-12 08:16

Judging by your description, I have no doubt that something is wrong with your LP12.

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Re: Ekos SE/1 Anti-Skating Problem

Post by mrco99 » 2019-12-12 13:54

I stand corrected, Fredrik is right on this.
Sorry if I my have added to the confusion.

When focusing on the emotional involvement all records should sound better - including the worse pressings.

I would grant your dealer at least the opportunity to see if he can resolve the issue.
Happy to hear how you get on!

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