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Old 01-12-2016, 08:50 AM
Herb Hunter Herb Hunter is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Maine
Posts: 18,372

Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
Please, please, please don't make me go back and join audiophile message boards!

Ok, so I got my stereo set up and running last week.

So, I adjusted everything as to how I was told to by the guy at the vintage electronics place. Basically, he said install the the cartridge on the headshell, balance the tonearm where it's parallel with platter, then add just enough weight to where the needle touches the record, and that should do it.

But when I got it hooked up, it totally sounded like cr@p. Everything was sort of distorted and just sounded bad.
Iím surprised by some of the responses to your post.

The vintage guy gave you bad or incomplete advice. Stylus cartridges are designed to operate at a specific pressure which is critical. If you balance the tonearm by first setting the dial to zero and then turn the counterweight until it is parallel with the platter then dial in, say, 1.5 grams of pressure you will be satisfied with the sound you get from your records. I mentioned 1.5 grams because it is likely that is the correct pressure for your Shure cartridge. Shure specified 0.75 to 1.5 grams for all the Shure cartridges Iíve used and it is better to err on the high side then the low side.

Two more things, if the stylus in your cartridge is elliptical, it is important to align the stylus; if it is conical, alignment is unnecessary. (elliptical styluses track high frequencies better but are more costly) If you bought a used turntable, the stylus may be worn and need replacing. Youíll need a low power microscope to see if the stylus is worn. If in doubt, I would replace the stylus.

A worn stylus, or one tracking grooves with insufficient pressure, will prematurely wear out you records.
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