Using the Soundsmith method of setting anti-skate COMPLETELY fixed all my sibilance and IGD issues

Discussion in 'Vinyl Nutjob World: Turntable and Related Gear' started by deniall83, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. deniall83

    deniall83 Acquaintance

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    Sorry for long title but I wanted to post about this.

    I've been frustrated as of late. I've been through a VPI Classic and a handful of carts and I just couldn't get rid of this terrible sibilance and IGD. I tried everything I could think of; less VTF, more VTF, azimuth adjustments, VTA adjustments, no anti skate, lots of anti skate etc etc. Eventually I became fed up with everything and sold the lot. Then the bug bit again and I decided I would give this one more crack. I grabbed a PLX-1000 on a stupid deal (40% off RRP) and used a few contacts to get a Benz Ace SL and Musical Surroundings Phonomena II+ at good prices. I also grabbed a Feickert protractor on the used market to make sure set up was bang on. I set everything up, played some records and BOOM! Sibilance again. I was also finding that the stylus was violently skipping the lead-in groove when I dropped it in. I was gobsmacked. I was sure the Fine Line stylus on the Benz would solve these problems but no go.

    I had set my anti skate to 2 on the dial as I was tracking at 2g so I was pretty sure it was correct and I didn't think there was a reliable way to check it. Just set and forget. Then I found a post on the SH forums about setting anti skate using the Soundsmith method. This allowed me to set anti skate by dropping the stylus in a blank part of the record (while spinning) and seeing which way it skated. Turns out I didn't have nearly enough anti skating. I had to turn the dial to nearly 4.5 before the stylus slowly tracked towards the spindle. Doing this has completely eliminated any of the previous issues I had and the system now sounds absolutely fantastic.

    I highly suggest everyone give this a go. You may find it doesn't work for you and if you don't have similar problems it might not fix anything but it's worth a shot to see if it makes any improvement.

    https://www.sound-smith.com/faq/how-do-i-adjust-anti-skating-my-cartridge

    Procedure:
    When you have it adjusted right, the arm will track on the SURFACE of the record (not in the groove) at the end of the record on the un-pressed flat space where the run-out groove is – it should track SLOWLY INWARDS toward the center at a MUCH SLOWER RATE than IF IT WERE ACTUALLY in the end groove. If you do that, then the best average Anti-Skating is set correctly.
     
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  2. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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    Anti-skate adjustment on my Kuzma 4-point using The Ultimate Analog Test LP (315Hz amplitude sweep to +12dB) at a constant tracking force using a Kiseki Purpleheart. (Right channel on bottom, left channel on top)

    No anti-skate. Right channel distortion towards the end of the sweep:

    No Anti-Skate.png

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    Anti-skate engaged at the Kuzma's minimum setting. Better, but still some visible distortion:

    Min Anti-Skate.png

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    Now I've bumped it up to the arm's middle anti-skate setting. Now the left channel is just starting to break up at the end of the sweep:

    Medium Anti-Skate.png

    ---

    Now backed off to about the 1/4 point, and it looks pretty good. I could probably nudge it just a bit more to the 3/8 point or so, but this is where I've kept it at this VTF:

    Quarter Anti-Skate.png
     
  3. Dmac43

    Dmac43 Rando

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    I actually purchased a disc that has the speed test strobe markings on one side, and blank on the other side just to check this setting.
    When I set up my TT I did the test and found similar results, the AS was set to the TF but mine was running hard towards the spindle. Turned down the AS knob by about 1/8 turn got it close, then tweaked from there to get the tone arm to run true.

    Easy Peasy method of setting AS.
     
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  4. JohnCarter17

    JohnCarter17 Facebook Friend

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    Where did you find that test record?
     

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