Azimuth adjustment on Ikeda 407

PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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#41
Have you tried readjusting the VTA again? Is the sibilance centered or only in one channel?
 
Jul 2, 2015
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#42
The sibilance is across both channels. But it does seem more pronounced on the right channel.

The vta is set so that when i put the miniature vdH spirit level along the top of the cartridge, the bubble is exactly in the middle.
Would you advise going up or down?
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
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#43
The sibilance is across both channels. But it does seem more pronounced on the right channel.

The vta is set so that when i put the miniature vdH spirit level along the top of the cartridge, the bubble is exactly in the middle.
Would you advise going up or down?
I had the same condition. I raised the arm in back by quite a bit, perhaps 6mm. I too was listening with both headshells level according to the vdH level. This does not correspond with the arm tube also being level. The relationship between headshell and armtube with each of my SME arms is different, so ignore the level of the armtube itself. I played around for a while raising and lowering the arm by a card or two from level headshell. It helped or hurt slightly. I then started raising in 3 card increments until I was able to dramatically lower sibilance, improve the bass, and improve the spaciousness of the presentation.

I found that my complex classical or choral LPs were only fair at assessing this. I found a couple LPs with outrageous harmonic content: viola deGamba and harpsichord, and french horns and wind instruments. These helped a lot. Once the harmonics sounded natural, I was in the right zone.

Then I switched back to my orchestral and choral recordings. So much better now. Better space, still some sibilance, but the voices were much more real. Voices have similance. Then onto jazz and the acoustic bass and cymbals were right and natural. Not pronounced, just relaxed, natural tone and space with good dynamics.

My advice is to start raising your arm in back. My vdH cartridges like low bias. The 3012R lowest setting is 0.5g, so I leave it there. I can go lower with the V-12, but keep it at 0.5g too. vdH recommends 0.3-0.5 or something. Check your box. If you have some distortion in the right channel, increase bias (anti-skate) slightly.

The vdH spirit level is a good starting point, but my arms are now raised in the back and both arm/cartridge combos sound much more natural now. Good luck.
 
Jul 2, 2015
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#44
Thank you Peter, i will try again when I've walked the dogs.
I'm not using any antiskate, i can't seem to set it so that it doesn't pull the arm back across to the outer edge when the arm is raised and positioned ready to play. I will bare down on this this evening, then try the vta as you have described
Thank you again:)
 
Jul 2, 2015
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#45
Man... this has to be one of the most frustrating processes i have ever had to overcome.
I've spent three straight evenings on this now....and I'm still not there.

First success was with finding another way to adjust the antiskate so i could apply a very small amount. Previously i haven't applied antiskate.
But i just can't solve this distortion. I can make it worse, change the frequency, and I've moved it around, but as soon as i feel I'm solving it at one frequecy it appears at another, or the vocalists start lisping again

(Funny story...i spent much of day two trying to fix the vocals on James Blake's Overgrown, got to the banging my head against the wall stage and thought I'd better check the cd....turned out to be spitty distortion on the recording due to poor microphone technique)

The challenge is increased as every time i raise or lower vta, this changes the tracking weight so i have to adjust that, by tiny increments, using the fairly massive counterweight. I've already gone through a set of batteries on my electronic stylus force scales. And worse, my results aren't repeatable. So slowly drop the needle on the gauge, read the measurement, then lift it just a tad then reset it gently down, and the measurement is different, by up to a tenth of a gram. Given that my target tracking weight is 1.40g precisely, not 1.39 or 1.41, that is where the frustration builds. Plus the tracking weight varies across the arc....

I find it fairly mind boggling how all these incredibly narrow windows have to align....i mean, how does anyone ever manage it?

Ok, vent over.
Back to the whirlstoneo_O

What i seem to find is that i can raise the vta and clean up the distorted electric pianio in the mids, but by then the cymbals are splashy and the vocalists lisp
 
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PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
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#46
I have been overly focused on the alignment portion of your troubles. A friend reading this and I exchanged emails about this thread and the troubles you are describing. Perhaps your problem is one of incompatibility. Taking a step back and looking at the big picture, your arm and cartridge just may not be a good match.

The vdH Colibris are optimized for arms with an effective mass of 11-12 grams. Your Ikeda tonearm has a much higher effective mass, perhaps around 30-32 grams with headshell. This should create tracking and resonance issues which is what you seem to be experiencing. Perhaps you should try a different cartridge in that arm, or a different arm with your cartridge.

You seem to have solved your alignment problems, but you still have this persistent resonance. Have you considered the mismatch of your arm and cartridge as the possible source of your issues?
 
Jul 2, 2015
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#47
You may well be onto something Peter.
And thank you very much for taking the time to discuss the issue with a like- minded friend.

This arm and cartridge were not purchased to work as a pair, for the reason you have given. I intend to place a Fuuga on the Ikeda, and the (or a different) Colibri on a Schroeder LT.
The Ikeda and this Colibri were bought as the two less expensive, first rungs on my twin turntable ladder, so very much a temporary marriage of convenience at the time.
I have a Schroeder LT on order, but with about a ten month lead time.

In the meantime i bought another preowned Colibri, this one with the Stradivarius finish and designed to work with a heavyweight arm. I found this to be technically superior but less enjoyable, with greater extension at both frequency extremes, but the treble was just too forward, and the bass too laid back. However, as we have established, at the time i did not have it correctly aligned, which is likely a significant factor, and the bass presentation was determined by the type of wood used in the body, with my basic African Grenaille wood variant being noticeably more forward in the mid bass than my Koa Strad (heavyweight arm variant)

As ever in my tales, the IB wildcard makes it's presence known; during cleaning the Koa Strad some clumsy doughnut (me) mistook the tiny coils for cat hairs, and gently plucked them off:oops:

I will get this heavyweight arm variant Strad sent off and repaired, and then try again with that. Which also helps move me A step closer towards a Master Signature like you have, Peter; my contact has a Brazilian Pau wood MS Strad that i have my eye on, but again that won't be happy with the Ikeda, so the upgrade will likely happen once i take delivery of my Schroeder LT.


This does all make sense now. As i was raising and lowering vta, i would pass through zones where everything else really sounded noticeably better; bass was taunt and firm, vocals became sweet and airy, there's a real snap to the beat and I'm thinking, this is the best I've ever heard vinyl sound, please let this be the correct setting.....and then like a child on a train with their nose pressed up against the window as they whizz pass a funfair, the disappointment rises as a single distorted instrument line confirms that no, you will not be getting off at this stop...
 

howiebrou

Well-Known Member
Jun 29, 2012
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#48
You may well be onto something Peter.
And thank you very much for taking the time to discuss the issue with a like- minded friend.

This arm and cartridge were not purchased to work as a pair, for the reason you have given. I intend to place a Fuuga on the Ikeda, and the (or a different) Colibri on a Schroeder LT.
The Ikeda and this Colibri were bought as the two less expensive, first rungs on my twin turntable ladder, so very much a temporary marriage of convenience at the time.
I have a Schroeder LT on order, but with about a ten month lead time.

In the meantime i bought another preowned Colibri, this one with the Stradivarius finish and designed to work with a heavyweight arm. I found this to be technically superior but less enjoyable, with greater extension at both frequency extremes, but the treble was just too forward, and the bass too laid back. However, as we have established, at the time i did not have it correctly aligned, which is likely a significant factor, and the bass presentation was determined by the type of wood used in the body, with my basic African Grenaille wood variant being noticeably more forward in the mid bass than my Koa Strad (heavyweight arm variant)

As ever in my tales, the IB wildcard makes it's presence known; during cleaning the Koa Strad some clumsy doughnut (me) mistook the tiny coils for cat hairs, and gently plucked them off:oops:

I will get this heavyweight arm variant Strad sent off and repaired, and then try again with that. Which also helps move me A step closer towards a Master Signature like you have, Peter; my contact has a Brazilian Pau wood MS Strad that i have my eye on, but again that won't be happy with the Ikeda, so the upgrade will likely happen once i take delivery of my Schroeder LT.


This does all make sense now. As i was raising and lowering vta, i would pass through zones where everything else really sounded noticeably better; bass was taunt and firm, vocals became sweet and airy, there's a real snap to the beat and I'm thinking, this is the best I've ever heard vinyl sound, please let this be the correct setting.....and then like a child on a train with their nose pressed up against the window as they whizz pass a funfair, the disappointment rises as a single distorted instrument line confirms that no, you will not be getting off at this stop...
You should try the 9GSS Ikeda Cart on the 407. Very dynamic. I'm loving mine.
 
Jul 2, 2015
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#49
Wotcha Howie...and there was me, going to recommend a Colibri to you:p

I'll take a look, see if any (9GSS) are about....
 
Likes: howiebrou
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#51
They seem like hen's teeth?
None on sale currently in the uk
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
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#52
Progress often comes in small increments. Other times in big moves. I took this photo of my godson in an important regatta. He's wearing the red cap. The other boat is flatter(mast angle), which is better, but the leader's crew got her spinnaker up faster and won the mark rounding. So now, they are slowly pulling ahead.

I find that progress in audio can be similarly slow or in sudden bursts.

DSC_7514.jpg
 
Jul 2, 2015
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#53
Some of the recurring pleasures of posting here are the glimpses of other members' lives outside of this interest. Especially when they are pursued with the same focus and perfectionism that is required to achieve success on their audio journeys

Is it especially gratifying that your godson shares your passion for sailing?

Not having kids the closest i get to mentoring is discussing how to modify japanese cars with a spotty local yoot as he serves me my Chinese takeaway:p
 
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#54

howiebrou

Well-Known Member
Jun 29, 2012
1,232
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#55
That is the mutts nuts Howie
So both arm and cartridge are gold?
Yup. My tables is black and gold and my SME 3012 is too so it was an aesthetic choice more than anything else. The cartridge is gold anyway I believe. Send me a PM if you are interested. You might be surprised at the price.
 

shakti

Well-Known Member
May 9, 2015
676
504
135
Cologne, Germany
#56
Thank you Peter, i will try again when I've walked the dogs.
I'm not using any antiskate, i can't seem to set it so that it doesn't pull the arm back across to the outer edge when the arm is raised and positioned ready to play. I will bare down on this this evening, then try the vta as you have described
Thank you again:)
Your tonearm is in the wrong position. Your have to turn the tonearm more to the outer side. If you move the arm to the record start, the small pin should not have started to touch the antiskating weight. This should happen with the first grooves.

Than you are able to use antiskating without have a problem to move down the arm in the beginning of the record.

If you look into vdh FAQ section, you can read, that a VDH cart should run with 1/3 of VTF as Antiskating measure as a start.
VTA should be like 3mm higher on the back of the arm as a start.

I assume, that you still use a lighter wood headshell to lower the effective mass of the 407 and to increase the damping .

Headshell wires should be pure copper, no silver.
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
6,544
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North Shore of Boston
#57
Some of the recurring pleasures of posting here are the glimpses of other members' lives outside of this interest. Especially when they are pursued with the same focus and perfectionism that is required to achieve success on their audio journeys

Is it especially gratifying that your godson shares your passion for sailing?
Very gratifying. He races with my kids. I mostly solo daysail. Both audio and sailing require a lot of tinkering, adjusting, and assessing, for best performance - right up until you know what you are doing. Fortunately, it can take a lifetime and be a lot of fun.
 
Jul 2, 2015
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#58

  1. Your tonearm is in the wrong position. Your have to turn the tonearm more to the outer side. If you move the arm to the record start, the small pin should not have started to touch the antiskating weight. This should happen with the first grooves.

    Than you are able to use antiskating without have a problem to move down the arm in the beginning of the record.

    If you look into vdh FAQ section, you can read, that a VDH cart should run with 1/3 of VTF as Antiskating measure as a start.
    VTA should be like 3mm higher on the back of the arm as a start.

    I assume, that you still use a lighter wood headshell to lower the effective mass of the 407 and to increase the damping .

    Headshell wires should be pure copper, no silver.
The strangest thing has happened.
I'd settled on a vta setting that gave incredible, mind boggling bass but mild distortion present across both mid and tops if there is an instrument hitting those resonant frequencies. Most material sounds near perfect, and i was really enjoying my records.

After a couple of days off listening, when the only thing i had done was make minor visual adjustments to anti skate (in the light of your advice) and measure vtf, i went to play a record this afternoon.
And the needle just refused to find the groove, with faint, incredibly distorted signal and skating off if bias was applied, skating inwards if there was none

Either I'm missing something obvious, or I've damaged the stylus without realising?
First thing i checked was vtf, it was near perfect. Then i checked overhang and alignment, both are fine. Checked all my connections, but no issues and it's clearly a mistracking issue.
Checked the vta, it's precisely where I'd left it on a compromise setting that i was really enjoying.
What have i done?
I'm mystified.
Cd sounds perfect btw

Answering your above, yes i am using the Yamamoto wooden headshell with it's copper wires, I'm also using a Derenville pad as recomended by yourself
How do i measure the antiskate?
I have the weight set at it's lightest setting, and i was just trying moving the slider towards the pivot and away, to understand your advice. This is the only intentional change i had made, yet i can't solve the issue by reversing it
 
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Jul 2, 2015
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#59
I've resigned myself to the idea i must have damaged the stylus somehow.
Likely while reordering my rack as i removed my outgoing cd player's power supplies. I was super careful, but there must have been a t- shit! or cable snag event. The stylus doesn't appear damaged, there's no play or movement, visually everything looks fine. The other possibility is that my Onsow ZeroDust stylus cleaner sucked the diamond off from the tip
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
11,058
2,021
433
E. England
#60
Gavin, we've all been there. I once invited a classical musician audiophile and p/t critic over. As I lined up an lp turned to talk to him, my sleeve caught my LT air armwand causing it to carreer across the lp, demolishing the cantilever. Demo over, £1k cart blitzed, embarrassment factor at Ten.

And then the time I fell on my tube monoblock, shattering a pair of 1000°C 211s, somehow escaping not burning myself badly in the process.
 

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