Azimuth adjustment on Ikeda 407

Jul 2, 2015
858
113
80
Scotland
#1
There isn't any, right?
In which case,
given that my turntable is level in all directions,
and a vdH spirit level on top and across the width of the cartridge shows the outer edge to be higher than the inner edge,
is my tone arm damaged?
Alternatively, can any great sage advise how to correct azimuth? I will be most grateful☺

The acoustic flaw i have is a slight distortion from the right channel in the upper midrange, on certain tracks only.
When i swap the leads on my monoblocks the distortion also swaps channel, so the distortion does not emanate from power amp or speakers

Any advice muchly appreciated
gav
 

shakti

Well-Known Member
May 9, 2015
725
661
135
Cologne, Germany
#2
There isn't any, right?
In which case,
given that my turntable is level in all directions,
and a vdH spirit level on top and across the width of the cartridge shows the outer edge to be higher than the inner edge,
is my tone arm damaged?
Alternatively, can any great sage advise how to correct azimuth? I will be most grateful☺

The acoustic flaw i have is a slight distortion from the right channel in the upper midrange, on certain tracks only.
When i swap the leads on my monoblocks the distortion also swaps channel, so the distortion does not emanate from power amp or speakers

Any advice muchly appreciated
gav
All Ikeda Tonearms are shipped with a Headshell, which includes Azimuth adjustment.

please put the spirit level at first in front of the headshell on the record itself . Please do it on the 3 positions (the result might differ)

Than put the spirit level on top of the headshell and put it in the same level, than the it was before, laying on the record.

This will give you a good starting point to adjust the Azimuth specific for your cartridge.

The difference in sound is similar as with changing Antisskating.

The colibri will not work properly with Fotzgometer oder the Feickert program, better to do it by ear.
 
Jul 2, 2015
858
113
80
Scotland
#3
Thank you very much Shakti, i will try that when i get back from walking the dogs
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
4,678
1,373
415
Utah
#4
There isn't any, right?
In which case,
given that my turntable is level in all directions,
and a vdH spirit level on top and across the width of the cartridge shows the outer edge to be higher than the inner edge,
is my tone arm damaged?
Alternatively, can any great sage advise how to correct azimuth? I will be most grateful☺

The acoustic flaw i have is a slight distortion from the right channel in the upper midrange, on certain tracks only.
When i swap the leads on my monoblocks the distortion also swaps channel, so the distortion does not emanate from power amp or speakers

Any advice muchly appreciated
gav
The distortion could be a result of mistracking or misalignment and not only the fault of azimuth specially since you hear it only on certain tracks. My own previous experience with alignment of Ikeda tonearms was negative, I couldn't get perfect alignment across the record and had to setup for least compromise at either end but not perfect.

I don't like the bubble level for checking azimuth prefer the reflection method. You can use a small thin mirror or look at the cartridges reflection in the record, very easy to see if it's tilted.

david
 
Jul 2, 2015
858
113
80
Scotland
#5
Thank you gents, for both your replies.
I just ordered a thin compact mirror online after trying the vinyl reflection method David advised, but wanting to be more sure. It looks very close, perhaps a little canted, but a mirror will leave no doubt.
It should arrive Monday.

In the meantime and following Shakti's directions i used the bubble level on the record itself across three positions and found the record to be perfectly level across the arc of the arm, but there remains a discrepancy between the perfectly level record and the apparently incorrect level across the width of the headshell. By detaching the headshell and reattaching, but canted over as much as the guide pin will allow, i have made a small improvement, but to get the bubble perfectly level would require more leeway than the guide pin allows

David may i ask your opinion of the two potential alternate arms on my radar?
That would be a Schroder LT, and one of the latest variant Kuzma 4point with the ruby bearing. The Schroder would be for Colibri on the Beat, Kuzma for a Miyabi Fuuga on the 301.
I would imagine that the LT would certainly resolve any alignment or mistracking issues?

Trying to resolve this distortion issue has lead to me getting to grips with cartridge installation in a way that is new to me, and the troubleshooting process has been immensely rewarding in terms of the improvements I've made. Overall analogue is now sounding really lovely, leaps and bounds from where it was just a month ago
But still this mild distortion persists, it was present with my other Colibri on the same arm, so David's observations certainly make sense.
 

shakti

Well-Known Member
May 9, 2015
725
661
135
Cologne, Germany
#6
the Ikeda headshell has a screw to be opened, than you can rotate the headshell in nearly any angle.
I do not understand the problem you have in turning the headshell into the correct position?

But may be you are only looking for a reason to buy another tonearm :)

Which is fine..., but no need to compromise the quality of the Ikeda 407, which is a great tonearm, if used in the appropriate way :)
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
4,678
1,373
415
Utah
#7
Thank you gents, for both your replies.
I just ordered a thin compact mirror online after trying the vinyl reflection method David advised, but wanting to be more sure. It looks very close, perhaps a little canted, but a mirror will leave no doubt.
It should arrive Monday.

In the meantime and following Shakti's directions i used the bubble level on the record itself across three positions and found the record to be perfectly level across the arc of the arm, but there remains a discrepancy between the perfectly level record and the apparently incorrect level across the width of the headshell. By detaching the headshell and reattaching, but canted over as much as the guide pin will allow, i have made a small improvement, but to get the bubble perfectly level would require more leeway than the guide pin allows

David may i ask your opinion of the two potential alternate arms on my radar?
That would be a Schroder LT, and one of the latest variant Kuzma 4point with the ruby bearing. The Schroder would be for Colibri on the Beat, Kuzma for a Miyabi Fuuga on the 301.
I would imagine that the LT would certainly resolve any alignment or mistracking issues?

Trying to resolve this distortion issue has lead to me getting to grips with cartridge installation in a way that is new to me, and the troubleshooting process has been immensely rewarding in terms of the improvements I've made. Overall analogue is now sounding really lovely, leaps and bounds from where it was just a month ago
But still this mild distortion persists, it was present with my other Colibri on the same arm, so David's observations certainly make sense.
I've tried many different tonearms over the years and didn't anything that sonically matches SME 30xx-R series irrespective of tt and cartridge used. All my AS2000 customers use multiples of it now as do many others here who tried the SME in the past couple of years on my recommendation. The tonearms you mention are fine but IMO & experience none of them come even close to the SME sonically and are much more complex to set up properly also. I'm not a fan of linear trackers with or without air bearing, I just wanted to be clear on that too.

David
 
Jul 2, 2015
858
113
80
Scotland
#8
the Ikeda headshell has a screw to be opened, than you can rotate the headshell in nearly any angle.
I do not understand the problem you have in turning the headshell into the correct position?

But may be you are only looking for a reason to buy another tonearm :)

Which is fine..., but no need to compromise the quality of the Ikeda 407, which is a great tonearm, if used in the appropriate way :)
No, not at all, my apologies, i should have been clearer.
On your advice i have changed to the Yamamoto HS-1As African black wood headshell, so not using the Ikeda headshell.
Additionally I'm using the Dereneville damping pad between cartridge and headshell, as per your advice. Both additions combined have made a notable improvement in control of the treble frequencies, which was the aim☺
 

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
1,683
1,180
230
the Upper Midwest
#9
... You can use a small thin mirror or look at the cartridges reflection in the record, very easy to see if it's tilted.

david
I like a small first surface mirror for this.

Also, as ddk suggests distortion could be other issues. Possibly anti-skate if tracks are closer to the run-out.

Kuzma for a Miyabi Fuuga on the 301.
The 4Point works very well with the Fuuga - i really like this cartridge.
 
Last edited:
Jul 2, 2015
858
113
80
Scotland
#10
I like a small first surface mirror for this.

Also, as ddk suggests distortion could be other issues. Possibly anti-skate if tracks are closer to the run-out.



The 4Point works very well with the Fuuga - i really like this cartridge.
Thank you for your post, tima.
The distortion seems to occur at any point in the arc of the cartridge. It can be at the start middle or end of the record, but it does occur always at the same frequency, the upper mids / lower treble. its invariably an electric piano or Hammond organ that seems to set it off.

At first i thought my right channel tweeter was on the way out, but i ruled that out by swapping channels around going into the power amp, which swapped the distortion to the other channel. Also It isn't present with digital sources.
I would say that pretty much any record with information at that frequency will exhibit the distortion.
Also i don't use anti skate- i don't find it helps the sound, perhaps this is where I'm going wrong?
Thank you again for your assistance
Gavin
 

djsina2

Active Member
May 31, 2019
401
174
43
49
#11
Thank you for your post, tima.
The distortion seems to occur at any point in the arc of the cartridge. It can be at the start middle or end of the record, but it does occur always at the same frequency, the upper mids / lower treble. its invariably an electric piano or Hammond organ that seems to set it off.

At first i thought my right channel tweeter was on the way out, but i ruled that out by swapping channels around going into the power amp, which swapped the distortion to the other channel. Also It isn't present with digital sources.
I would say that pretty much any record with information at that frequency will exhibit the distortion.
Also i don't use anti skate- i don't find it helps the sound, perhaps this is where I'm going wrong?
Thank you again for your assistance
Gavin
If you have distortion in one channel it’s likely AS.
 
Jul 2, 2015
858
113
80
Scotland
#12
If you have distortion in one channel it’s likely AS.
Just experimenting now.....initial results promising, thank you!
 
Jul 2, 2015
858
113
80
Scotland
#13
Ok the distortion is still present at the same frequencies, but reduced and now evenly distributed across both channels
When i return later i will go back and experiment with different combinations of static and dynamic balancing, but this time while using anti-skate
 
Jul 2, 2015
858
113
80
Scotland
#14
Now that I'm using anti skate I've made a small increase in tracking weight, this serms to be helping tame the treble
 
Jul 2, 2015
858
113
80
Scotland
#15
Success!
As suggested by Shakti i swapped back to the original headshell, then remeasured azimuth.
According to the spirit level it was perfect.
So now i knew the issue was the Yamamoto headshell. Close examination revealed the tiny hole that permits rotation of the headshell when you insert a tiny allen key. So i made the required adjustment, and instant improvement, the treble is tamed, sibilance controlled, bass tightened and vocals now perfectly centred

Thank you all for your help
Gavin

Ps
Still can't settle on an anti skate setting though, but now it feels more academic
 
Likes: shakti
Jul 2, 2015
858
113
80
Scotland
#16
Bugger. Looks as though i spoke too soon.

Azimuth is now perfect, with a corresponding improvement across all frequencies, bass especially
However I'm still getting occasional distortion in the the upper mid / low treble, across both channels wheras before correcting azimuth it was just on the right channel

Sounds above and below are crystal clear, you think you've got it sussed, and then a guitar, electric piano or vocal line will just sound horribly distorted, like a dirty stylus, while the cymbals above sound perfectly clean, and bass below full and powerful

Does anyone have any suggestions?
I've remounted the cartridge multiple times, to no avail, using a Dr Feickert protractor.
Tracking weight is 1.40 grams
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
4,678
1,373
415
Utah
#17
Bugger. Looks as though i spoke too soon.

Azimuth is now perfect, with a corresponding improvement across all frequencies, bass especially
However I'm still getting occasional distortion in the the upper mid / low treble, across both channels wheras before correcting azimuth it was just on the right channel

Sounds above and below are crystal clear, you think you've got it sussed, and then a guitar, electric piano or vocal line will just sound horribly distorted, like a dirty stylus, while the cymbals above sound perfectly clean, and bass below full and powerful

Does anyone have any suggestions?
I've remounted the cartridge multiple times, to no avail, using a Dr Feickert protractor.
Tracking weight is 1.40 grams
What you describe is an alignment issue.

david
 
Jul 2, 2015
858
113
80
Scotland
#18
Thank you David.
Will try harder...
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
4,678
1,373
415
Utah
#19
Jul 2, 2015
858
113
80
Scotland
#20
A Dr Feickert analogue protractor
 

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