Turntable setup advice needed for newbie with top cartridges


Well-Known Member
Jun 7, 2017
I have been meaning to get luthiers lighted magnifying glasses. Style goes out the window :)


Industry Expert
Mar 3, 2014
the Upper Midwest
Imo, lighting and magnification are key to cartridge setup.
I use one of these and and two jewelers loupes along with a couple Artimede Tolomeo lamps.

Real glass lenses. Mine came with 4 different power lenses and a nice box to keep them.
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WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
Metro DC
Imo, lighting and magnification are key to cartridge setup.
I use one of these and and two jewelers loupes along with a couple Artimede Tolomeo lamps.

Real glass lenses. Mine came with 4 different power lenses and a nice box to keep them.
For steady hands you will need a glass of wine. this might also help.
Acoustical Systems The SMARTractor Phono Alignment Tool — Safe and Sound HQ


Well-Known Member
Dec 19, 2014
I'm 60yr+ a bucket list audiophile who over the last 6 years been researching and accumulating components for my analog+digital audio chains. Because I'm late in the game I'm trying to experience various but excellent sonics, so I purchased Lyra Etna, Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum, Aida Mammoth Gold mkII, VDH Colibri Grand Cru. I have a VPU Avenger and am in the process of purchasing tonearms including a 4point. Second arms may be ViV Rigid Float, Reed 3P, or Schroeder. Also debating on a SPU tonearm (Ortofon Century SPU, GOLD SPU, FR7fz). Still puzzling on which arm for the VDH GC because the consensus seems all over the map:

I heard horror stories of user screwed up cantilevers/stylus. Even though I can be careful, I'm have no direct experience in mounting a cartridge, but I studied how online. After receiving my cartridges, I planned to send to WAM Engineering for their stylus alignment report - I'm a big believer in getting the stylus correct regardless of cantilever or body position. I'll be picking up WAM tools and maybe an oscilloscope (have to figure how this works also).

Should I seek help mounting help (which seems like a stupid question)? If so, how should I go about this? I live in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Nice bucket list of analogue brilliance …

I understand that the analog magik set up software and disc are pretty brilliant. I use a humble combo of a free hands magnifying glass; Clearaudio gauge; Cardas and Hifi news records; spl meter, also get a powerful magnifying glass to clean your styli between record sides


Well-Known Member
Sep 26, 2013
Step 1 what you need
small screwdriver, Allen key 1.5mm- 5mm, pointed tweezers, set square or millenium block. a magnifying glass 1:6 minimum magnification. for adjusting the tonearm, digital tonearm scales, the program arc template for pc and printer that's it. cost around $100-$150 depending on quality

Link program third from the top, but it is cool site with alot stuff analogue playback and cartridge settings
Step 2 preparing the pickup for arc template.
Attention for this work leave the stylus protection on if you have one.!!!

connect the tonearm cable to the cartride using tweezers. tighten cartridge with two fingers only screwdriver. enough for the moment. use an old straight lp as a pad on the platter.
set the vertical tracking force to 90% of the manufacturer's recommendation with the tonearm scale.
then use the millenium block to adjust the tonearm height. Lower the stylus onto the lp, make the tonearm tube parallel to the platter. 20220828_002358.jpg
Then control the azimuth of cartridge, use the edges of the case to roughly straighten it. 20220828_003248.jpg
P.S last 4 stelps follow tomorrow, good night.
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Well-Known Member
Sep 26, 2013
Next step what you need for arc template protractor
A windows pc,printer,a ruler, a fine sewing needle, scissors and some tesa tape thats all.
Open the program, enter the (pivot to spindle) distance from your tonearm. then select the geometry of the tonearm (löfgrenA/B or stevenson. good tonearm manufacturers indicate these values. google that.
After that on the right side you see three buttons DIN,UNI or Typical. with this you can select how big the playable area of an LP is. my tip get 10lps from your collection measure from the spindle where the first groove starts then select uni,din or typical. then click print arc template then a second window will open where you can see all the data from your tonearm. then click ok for print.
After printing, first measure the points marked x with the ruler to see whether the print size fits x 100mm. if that's correct we start, otherwise you can adjust the value print corection factor until it's correct.
then carefully cut out the spindle hole with the sewing needle.
attention the cleaner you work, the better the result. a small video for the application.

then it looks like this, attach the template to an old lp with a couple of adhesive strips and the protractor for this tonearm is done. this only works for the selected tonearm.

create the correct pivot to spindle distance. the stylus tip must always follow the arc of a circle exactly. then it's perfect, so move the cartridge or tonearm until it fits. 20220828_104426.jpg

After that go to outer zero radius stylus tip is placed on the cross then align the cantilever between the two outer lines until it is straight. 20220828_104637.jpg
After that go inner point control it when its perfect.
tighten the screws carefully without moving the cartridge. my tip don't tighten the screws too much, it sounds much worse. the best screws in terms of sound were the gold-plated copper screws from ortofon. if you still need help. write me a personal message. for vtf,antiskating and azimuth I will give you instructions when you have installed it.
i hope it helps have fun

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