How do I check the cartridge alignment on my turntable?
April 18, 2016 8:29 AM   Subscribe

I have a Toshiba SR-F770 turntable, and I'd like to check the cartridge alignment for the first time, but I don't have a copy of the manual and the online sites offering it for download seem sketchy. I read this article but there are a few things I don't understand.

There are different cartridge alignment protractors here, but which one should I use? The Gizmodo article I linked to above says "Many turntable manuals specify an ideal distance from the back of the headshell to the tip of the stylus, so consult your table's manual and screw in the cartridge into the headshell's adjustable slots so this measurement is correct," but is there a way to figure out this distance if I don't have the manual?
posted by The Card Cheat to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
the manual suggestion is a short-cut. this is basically geometry, based on the distance from pivot to needle and the angle of the head. which is what an alignment protractor is all about. so an alignment protractor is just fine if you don't have the manual.
posted by andrewcooke at 8:57 AM on April 18, 2016

Yep, the manual suggestion is kind of in the absence of these alignment calculators/protractors. As for which one you should use, the one up top looks the most like my mirrored protractor that I use, and the description includes: "Simple, accurate and widely compatible. If you aren't sure which type to use and want a free alternative to the common shop bought designs, download this one."
posted by destructive cactus at 4:56 PM on April 18, 2016

For setting the distance from the back of the headshell to the tip of the stylus, I'd recommend a Technics overhang guage.

For setting the rest of the tonearm geometry (VTA and stylus azimuth in particular), I'd recommend a alignment gauge like this.
posted by the matching mole at 10:43 AM on April 19, 2016

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions! The Gizmodo article that claims this is a simple process is a filthy lie.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:23 PM on April 19, 2016

the technics overhang gauge above is for technics tonearms. i doubt that is what you have on your toshiba turntable.
posted by andrewcooke at 2:06 PM on April 19, 2016

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