Azimuth adjustment the easy way...

I actually don't have a suggestion im looking for yours. I've always done it by sight and ear but there are better methods and devices like the fozgometer. What's your favorite method for adjusting azimuth of a phono cartridge?

keep it simple, i do have a fluke multimeter but dont own an O-scope/fully outfitted tech's bench.
 
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Dec 20, 2014
243
17
18
#41
Can I be a devils advocate here?
Isn't Azimuth a bit like VTA - you need to essentially be in the ballpark, but the last bit of adjustment is not even possible due to the fact that:
a. records are fat in the middle and the edge - therefore they bow across the surface, such that Azimuth, like VTA is never going to right across the whole record.
 
Dec 20, 2014
243
17
18
#43
Hi Brian.
Ok - label area if you want to use the correct terminology.
Whilst a recess helps with the side not seeing the cartridge, unfortunately it is the other side is what is played. You often get records that are a tad thicker on the outside edge, so what you have is that from the start to the end of a record (from radius to circumference) you can, and often do have a slight convex shape. I use a clamp on one deck. and a screw down on my other - both have recesses, but this does not necessarily eradicate the issue. I have used various metal rulers to check this, and this can vary unfortunately. as a result - yes you can get your cartridge to be entirely perpendicular to a perfectly flat test record (being perpendicular is what is required) however that is not going to be perfect if your record is dipped or tilted so to speak.
 

TBone

New Member
Nov 15, 2012
1,237
0
0
#44
Hi Brian.
Ok - label area if you want to use the correct terminology.
Whilst a recess helps with the side not seeing the cartridge, unfortunately it is the other side is what is played. You often get records that are a tad thicker on the outside edge, so what you have is that from the start to the end of a record (from radius to circumference) you can, and often do have a slight convex shape. I use a clamp on one deck. and a screw down on my other - both have recesses, but this does not necessarily eradicate the issue. I have used various metal rulers to check this, and this can vary unfortunately. as a result - yes you can get your cartridge to be entirely perpendicular to a perfectly flat test record (being perpendicular is what is required) however that is not going to be perfect if your record is dipped or tilted so to speak.
true, not only are LP label thickness not consistent, the recessed/label area of many turntable platters/sub-platters/mats isn't consistent either. Add even a minor warp to those existing variables and, well, you get my drift. I do however attempt to level the LP as flat as possible, applying different shims (and varied clamp pressures) if required. Certain stylus shapes, esp. more aggressive profiles, given near ideal conditions, do greatly benefit w/precise azimuth adjustment.
 
Aug 3, 2010
196
0
16
Bellevue, WA
#45
How to Really Set Azimuth, with just a Multimeter.

Who'd have thought getting a stylus to stand straight up could generate an all-out food fight or sidetrack into discussions of album thickness and label sizes?

I've studied this subject extensively, in preparation for the Jaguar Turntable Setup Video I'm filming (which will be free online). Surely my findings won't end the debate, but it's clarified much of the confusion in my mind. In general, we all want to do the best setup, to get the best sound possible, but I find the importance of this subject is substantially overblown, that tiny micro-adjustments of azimuth do not result in noteworthy audible changes.

Visual Setup - Place a CD on the platter, drop the stylus on it and using a jeweler's loupe (about 20x), adjust the arm until you get a perfect mirror image of the stylus (not the cantilever, or body). This is how Tom Vu does setup of his TriangleArt tables, and in my opinion, gets some of the best turntable sound at these events. It's my belief that if you don't see asymmetry in the mirror image, you won't hear it in the sound.

Mono by Ear - As audiophiles, we should have a certain amount of respect for doing things by ear, whenever possible. No other methods lead to greater understanding of your sound, which can help you get to the next level. You might do these types of tests on a headphone setup, to get closer to the music. Several posts in this thread describe this method. In practice, if you can't improve the sound by ear, there's little reason to think mechanical methods will produce a notable improvement.

Adjust+ and Fozgometer - These both seem to work well, but in good conscience, I can't suggest to my clients they should spend $400 to stand up a stylus, unless maybe they're doing setups all the time.


Multimeter Measurement Setup - After encountering so much confusion online and not a lot of answers, I went to the owners of the Ultimate Analogue Test Disc, Acoustic Sounds...they recommended measuring the test tones with a multimeter.

You see instructions in forums that the channels should be summed to mono (with regard to the Azimuth test tones); this is incorrect. When you're trying to compare two things, it doesn't help you to mix them together.

I've seen forum posts claiming that the multimeter method will not work without a 1khz low-pass filter. There is high frequency noise, but we're measuring frequencies far below 1khz (the crosstalk from 1khz in the opposite channel); we're not directly measuring at 1khz and there isn't a whisper of audible noise above 1khz, so I don't find a basis for this recommendation.

The process I've used with the multimeter is as follows:
  • Set my multimeter to mV and AC,
  • Connect the tonearm to the phono pre and disconnect one of the output interconnects,
  • Put one probe inside the output and the other on the outside (for RCA),
  • Play the two test tones and note the lowest measurements (about 15 for me) and ignore the track outputting higher figures (analog multimeters give a steady low reading, but using Sample/Hold to obtain the Min is advised with a digital meter),
  • Measure the other side and adjust the azimuth until the lower figures are roughly equal in both channels. (note: leave the probes in the same channel and switch the tonearm interconnects, to eliminate any phono preamp channel variations)
    --(I ran these instructions by Vlademir Lamm in an email and he confirmed the process is correct)
 
Last edited:

rockitman

Member Sponsor
Sep 20, 2011
7,075
291
83
Northern NY
#46
Who'd have thought getting a stylus to stand straight up could generate an all-out food fight or sidetrack into discussions of album thickness and label sizes?

I've studied this subject extensively, in preparation for the Jaguar Turntable Setup Video I'm filming (which will be free online). Surely my findings won't end the debate, but it's clarified much of the confusion in my mind. In general, we all want to do the best setup, to get the best sound possible, but I find the importance of this subject is substantially overblown, that tiny micro-adjustments of azimuth do not result in noteworthy audible changes.

Visual Setup - Place a CD on the platter, drop the stylus on it and using a jeweler's loupe (about 20x), adjust the arm until you get a perfect mirror image of the stylus (not the cantilever, or body). This is how Tom Vu does setup of his TriangleArt tables, and in my opinion, gets some of the best turntable sound at these events. It's my belief that if you don't see asymmetry in the mirror image, you won't hear it in the sound.

Adjust+ and Fozgometer - These both seem to work well, but in good conscience, I can't suggest to my clients they should spend $400 to stand up a stylus, unless maybe they're doing setups all the time.


Multimeter Measurement Setup - After encountering so much confusion online and not a lot of answers, I went to the owners of the Ultimate Analogue Test Disc, Acoustic Sounds...they recommended measuring the test tones with a multimeter.

You see instructions in forums that the channels should be summed to mono; this is incorrect. When you're trying to compare two things, it doesn't help you to mix them together.

I've seen forum posts claiming that the multimeter method will not work without a 1khz low-pass filter. I find no basis for this. The test tone is 1khz, with some much lower frequency undertones. When the opposite channel track is playing, there isn't a whisper of anything close to 1khz, so there's not much evidence of needing to filter anything out (audibly or on the meter).

The process I've used with the multimeter is as follows:
  • Set my digital multimeter to mV and AC,
  • Connect the tonearm to the phono pre and disconnect the output interconnects,
  • Put one probe inside the left output and the other on the outside,
  • Play the two test tones and note the higher measurements (about 220 for me) and ignore the lower figures (noise and cross talk),
  • Measure the other side and adjust the azimuth until the higher figures are roughly equal in both channels.
    (I ran these instructions by Vlademir Lamm in an email and he confirmed the process is correct)
Great post. Thanks !
 

BruceD

VIP/Donor
Dec 13, 2013
980
42
28
#48
Hmmm--I tend to agree with Brian--I found the playback of the tones frankly all over the place and difficult to pin down

maybe others have had better luck

I still vote the Adjust+ software the "most" accurate method at this time anyway

BruceD
 
Aug 3, 2010
196
0
16
Bellevue, WA
#49
Hmmm--I tend to agree with Brian--I found the playback of the tones frankly all over the place and difficult to pin down
I assume you're referring to meter readings all over the place. Confirm that you're not setting the meter to DC, because that doesn't work. AC readings remain relatively consistent for me when I replay the test tracks.
 
May 30, 2010
15,330
605
113
Portugal
#50
Who'd have thought getting a stylus to stand straight up could generate an all-out food fight or sidetrack into discussions of album thickness and label sizes?

I've studied this subject extensively, in preparation for the Jaguar Turntable Setup Video I'm filming (which will be free online). Surely my findings won't end the debate, but it's clarified much of the confusion in my mind. In general, we all want to do the best setup, to get the best sound possible, but I find the importance of this subject is substantially overblown, that tiny micro-adjustments of azimuth do not result in noteworthy audible changes.

Visual Setup - Place a CD on the platter, drop the stylus on it and using a jeweler's loupe (about 20x), adjust the arm until you get a perfect mirror image of the stylus (not the cantilever, or body). This is how Tom Vu does setup of his TriangleArt tables, and in my opinion, gets some of the best turntable sound at these events. It's my belief that if you don't see asymmetry in the mirror image, you won't hear it in the sound.

Adjust+ and Fozgometer - These both seem to work well, but in good conscience, I can't suggest to my clients they should spend $400 to stand up a stylus, unless maybe they're doing setups all the time.


Multimeter Measurement Setup - After encountering so much confusion online and not a lot of answers, I went to the owners of the Ultimate Analogue Test Disc, Acoustic Sounds...they recommended measuring the test tones with a multimeter.

You see instructions in forums that the channels should be summed to mono; this is incorrect. When you're trying to compare two things, it doesn't help you to mix them together.

I've seen forum posts claiming that the multimeter method will not work without a 1khz low-pass filter. I find no basis for this. The test tone is 1khz, with some much lower frequency undertones. When the opposite channel track is playing, there isn't a whisper of anything close to 1khz, so there's not much evidence of needing to filter anything out (audibly or on the meter).

The process I've used with the multimeter is as follows:
  • Set my digital multimeter to mV and AC,
  • Connect the tonearm to the phono pre and disconnect the output interconnects,
  • Put one probe inside the left output and the other on the outside,
  • Play the two test tones and note the higher measurements (about 220 for me) and ignore the lower figures (noise and cross talk),
  • Measure the other side and adjust the azimuth until the higher figures are roughly equal in both channels.
    (I ran these instructions by Vlademir Lamm in an email and he confirmed the process is correct)
I have found that minimizing crosstalk with a proper record gives a much more precise result than just equating the maximal value, and always use an oscilloscope or a spectrometer to carry the measurement. Although we can use a quality multimeter for this purpose, many cheap multimeters are optimized for 50/60Hz and will give an inaccurate reading at 1000 Hz. We can easily get free software to emulate the oscilloscope or the spectrometer with a PC soundcard.

The null technique uses only the maximal values, inverting the wires at the cartridge for one channel. Then you must sum them to mono - equal values result in zero.
 

Sunnyboy1956

Member Sponsor
Feb 22, 2014
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New Delhi, India
#51
There is , IMHO, a simple way to check if your azimuth setting is on cue. Take a mono record, preferably female vocal with minimal accompaniment and play it with a stereo cart. I use a Julie London LP. If your azimuth setting is off the vocal image will not be dead centre but will cling to one speaker etc. I am not suggesting that this is a substitute for the Foz or other software based solutions but a starting point to figure out whether you have a problem to begin with.
Pradeep
 
Aug 3, 2010
196
0
16
Bellevue, WA
#52
There is , IMHO, a simple way to check if your azimuth setting is on cue. Take a mono record, preferably female vocal with minimal accompaniment and play it with a stereo cart. I use a Julie London LP. If your azimuth setting is off the vocal image will not be dead centre but will cling to one speaker etc. I am not suggesting that this is a substitute for the Foz or other software based solutions but a starting point to figure out whether you have a problem to begin with.
Pradeep
It's hard to argue with this approach. A measurement method may very well produce a technically more accurate balance of readings, but if the difference can't be distinguished by ear, then what purpose is it serving?

For my purposes, telling people to use a mono recording (which most are not set up for) can be rather confusing.
 
Aug 3, 2010
196
0
16
Bellevue, WA
#53
I have found that minimizing crosstalk with a proper record gives a much more precise result than just equating the maximal value
Thank you for pointing that out Microstrip. I wrote the instructions incorrectly, which I will edit now. It's the lower-bound measurement we're watching, which is equalizing the crosstalk.
 

BruceD

VIP/Donor
Dec 13, 2013
980
42
28
#54
I assume you're referring to meter readings all over the place. Confirm that you're not setting the meter to DC, because that doesn't work. AC readings remain relatively consistent for me when I replay the test tracks.
Hello, Yes I tried with both settings and the AC definitely superior -I still found accuracy as tad difficult to pin down--but I agree your method has potential and merit --especially in saving $$'s on the alternatives:)

Possibly my Fluke is not as controlled as yours with dedicated readings--I have three source LPs of the test tones --the AProductions one I found worked the "smoothest"

The Adjust + is still my go to one-- very pleased with the results.

Appreciate the Tips

BruceD
 

Sunnyboy1956

Member Sponsor
Feb 22, 2014
245
0
16
62
New Delhi, India
#55
For my purposes, telling people to use a mono recording (which most are not set up for) can be rather confusing.
A little curious...what's confusing about playing a mono LP on a stereo rig ?
 
Aug 3, 2010
196
0
16
Bellevue, WA
#56
Not difficult to play the record, but it might be challenging for a novice to do the setup by ear. I haven't heard the record, so maybe it's easier than I assume, but I also don't want to explain how to find this one or a suitable mono pressing.

A little curious...what's confusing about playing a mono LP on a stereo rig ?
 

MPS

Member
Jun 20, 2016
43
11
8
Finland
#57
Thumbs up for Dr. Freickert Adjust +

I can't see a better and more accurate way do adjust cartridge azimuth. Oscilloscope can do the same thing but Adjust+ gives clear graphical presentation of each adjustment to make each step logical.
Fixed tonearms such as SME V can still be used if cartridge is adjusted with shim plates, washers or something similar. These will make difference in sound as well so please experiment a bit.
 

Folsom

VIP/Donor
Oct 26, 2015
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Eastern WA
#58
I find by ear to be very easy. It's probably going to be phase > crosstalk most of the time. If by ear is not easy then by all means get a tool to help!
 

MPS

Member
Jun 20, 2016
43
11
8
Finland
#59
Ear is giving the final judgement as always.

Goal is to optimize azimuth, how you get there may vary. To do adjustment by ear would require a tonearm with easy and quick azimuth adjustment. Then again trying to adjust with SME V or similar, things get bit complicated and I find Adjust+ to just the right tool in that case. I don't trust "azimuth" methods which don't eliminate the effect of channel imbalance, they will give erratic results.

Here 's an example how I got optimal adjustment with four tries. The HTA angles are not true values only indication of direction and amount of adjustment, they are used as relative values.

 

Folsom

VIP/Donor
Oct 26, 2015
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#60
When I adjust by ear I get the image centered first. Then within that area it's tiny adjustments, and eventually it's bingo where the clarity jumps forward. It takes awhile, more than 4 tries...
 

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