Author Topic: Help with mounting a cartridge in a headshell  (Read 1953 times)

Offline irengineer

Help with mounting a cartridge in a headshell
« on: December 03, 2017, 12:40:13 PM »
I have a Denon DL-103R cartridge with a slightly shew cantilever. Not too bad, just bad enough to occasionally skip backwards in a track. The solution is a headshell with adjustable azimuth, with a slightly skew angle to get the cantilever perpendicular to the record surface. I bought a Dynavector headshell for this purpose. The azimuth adjustment is great, but the Denon does not mount well in the cartridge. The cartridge is to low, meaning that when the cartridge is on the record, the back of the headshell drags over the record surface. I need to create about 3-4 mm of clearance, so am looking for a kind of shim that I can place between the cartridge body and headshell. Any ideas?
“Somebody was trying to tell me that CDs are better than vinyl because they don’t have any surface noise.  I said, “Listen, mate, life has surface noise.” 

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Offline adrian111

Re: Help with mounting a cartridge in a headshell
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2017, 04:03:28 PM »
Pics?

Offline irengineer

Re: Help with mounting a cartridge in a headshell
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2017, 04:13:47 PM »
These pics are the best I can get. The cartridge is barely held in place by these screws.

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“Somebody was trying to tell me that CDs are better than vinyl because they don’t have any surface noise.  I said, “Listen, mate, life has surface noise.” 

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Offline skollie

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Re: Help with mounting a cartridge in a headshell
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2017, 04:49:18 PM »
I have a Denon DL-103R cartridge with a slightly shew cantilever. Not too bad, just bad enough to occasionally skip backwards in a track. The solution is a headshell with adjustable azimuth, with a slightly skew angle to get the cantilever perpendicular to the record surface. I bought a Dynavector headshell for this purpose. The azimuth adjustment is great, but the Denon does not mount well in the cartridge. The cartridge is to low, meaning that when the cartridge is on the record, the back of the headshell drags over the record surface. I need to create about 3-4 mm of clearance, so am looking for a kind of shim that I can place between the cartridge body and headshell. Any ideas?

This setup will destroy your records.  Instead of messing-about with shims, can't you adjust the arm at its pillar?

skollie
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Offline irengineer

Re: Help with mounting a cartridge in a headshell
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2017, 04:57:25 PM »
Have not thought of adjusting arm pillar. Clearly what I tried today with an adjustable headshell will not work in it's current configuration.
“Somebody was trying to tell me that CDs are better than vinyl because they don’t have any surface noise.  I said, “Listen, mate, life has surface noise.” 

John Peel ( the longest serving of the original BBC Radio1 DJs)

Offline skollie

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Re: Help with mounting a cartridge in a headshell
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2017, 05:30:59 PM »
Fit the stylus guard when you futz with arm adjustment.

skollie
If you don't like my principles, I have others - Groucho Marx

Offline irengineer

Re: Help with mounting a cartridge in a headshell
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2017, 05:51:36 PM »
 :winkwink: Did that, just took off the guard for the pictures.
“Somebody was trying to tell me that CDs are better than vinyl because they don’t have any surface noise.  I said, “Listen, mate, life has surface noise.” 

John Peel ( the longest serving of the original BBC Radio1 DJs)

Offline vleisman

Re: Help with mounting a cartridge in a headshell
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2017, 07:54:17 PM »
Not sure azimuth is the solution.  The headshell shouldn't be lower than the cart. First I'd check to Make sure The arm is level, lifting it might help.
 What about aligning the cart skew in the head and leaving the azimuth as it should be?

Offline fdlsys

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Re: Help with mounting a cartridge in a headshell
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2017, 08:36:12 PM »
Are you absolutely certain that skipping occurs because of small cantilever skew? Could you post a photo showing the skew?
Also, check that turntable platter is perfectly level and that tonearm pillar  is perfectly perpendicular to the plane of the platter meaning that pillar is 100% upright.
Then, check that you have adequate VTF for the cartridge and that anti-skating is not excessive.
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Offline irengineer

Re: Help with mounting a cartridge in a headshell
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2017, 08:42:52 PM »
Maybe I am not clear on this. I am using a Grace G660-P 12" tonearm. When using a non adjustable Grace headshell, the Denon cartridge fits fine. However, the cantilever on the Denon is not 100% perpendicular to the record. A suggestion by Fdlsys was to try a headshell with azimuth (side to side) adjustment, tilting the headshell slightly to get the cantilever perpendicular with the record. When complete, I will play the known track again and see if the azimuth adjustment had any effect. For reference, my ZYX Bloom R3 plays perfectly through this track. This is an experiment to see if the azimuth corrected the skipping or whether the Denon's conical stylus is the issue, as opposed to the ZYX's shibata profile. The only azimuth adjustable headshell I have on hand is an exotic Dynavector. However, the top metal plate of the Dynavector is thicker than that of the Grace headshell. Problem 1 is that I now need longer mounting screws that what works with the Grace. Secondly, when fitting the Denon to the Dynavector (just barely with the existing screws), the azimuth adjustable bottom portion of the Dynavector drags on the record. Thus, the headshell needs to be lower than the azimuth adjustable end, so I need to get the cartridge lower. Unless there is another way, the only way I can think of to get the cartridge lower is to add some shim between the cartridge and the headshell. I need to create around 3-4 mm of clearance. You can see the issue in the photographs earlier in the post, where it is clear the headshell hardware is lower than the cartridge.

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“Somebody was trying to tell me that CDs are better than vinyl because they don’t have any surface noise.  I said, “Listen, mate, life has surface noise.” 

John Peel ( the longest serving of the original BBC Radio1 DJs)

Offline irengineer

Re: Help with mounting a cartridge in a headshell
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2017, 08:45:51 PM »
Just saw Fdlsys's post. The Grace has no anti-skate. Everything is level as it should be, including the Grace headshell when mounted. Only thing skew is the cantilever, hence the azimuth test. I will take a close up picture of the cartridge cantilever and post it here.

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“Somebody was trying to tell me that CDs are better than vinyl because they don’t have any surface noise.  I said, “Listen, mate, life has surface noise.” 

John Peel ( the longest serving of the original BBC Radio1 DJs)

Offline Aqualung

Re: Help with mounting a cartridge in a headshell
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2017, 08:51:47 PM »
Quote
Then, check that you have adequate VTF for the cartridge and that anti-skating is not excessive.

+1
On most of the tables I play with, anti-skate is either not even present, or set very, very low (0.5). This would be, in the main,
for carts tracking at 1 - 1.5g (VTF). Once a cart (many older tables) track at 1.8/2+g, I personally think anti-skate is almost unnecessary.
I have seen it more often than not set too high, and not adding any value - rather impeding play.
Especially those hanging weight type anti-skate efforts - I love (looking at) them, but I set them to almost zero.

Oh, and the other thing that I have found, a few times, causing a "backwards skip" was impeded tone-arm wires below deck.

Just my observations, and may not be your truth :-)  :thumbs:
I love music - analog and digital. Even listening to the Blues makes me happy. During the day I coach and counsel, after hours I indulge in my second passion - listening to vinyl and restoring turntables. Some I keep, some I sell...

Offline Aqualung

Re: Help with mounting a cartridge in a headshell
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2017, 09:01:20 PM »
Maybe I am not clear on this. I am using a Grace G660-P 12" tonearm. When using a non adjustable Grace headshell, the Denon cartridge fits fine. However, the cantilever on the Denon is not 100% perpendicular to the record. A suggestion by Fdlsys was to try a headshell with azimuth (side to side) adjustment, tilting the headshell slightly to get the cantilever perpendicular with the record. When complete, I will play the known track again and see if the azimuth adjustment had any effect. For reference, my ZYX Bloom R3 plays perfectly through this track. This is an experiment to see if the azimuth corrected the skipping or whether the Denon's conical stylus is the issue, as opposed to the ZYX's shibata profile. The only azimuth adjustable headshell I have on hand is an exotic Dynavector. However, the top metal plate of the Dynavector is thicker than that of the Grace headshell. Problem 1 is that I now need longer mounting screws that what works with the Grace. Secondly, when fitting the Denon to the Dynavector (just barely with the existing screws), the azimuth adjustable bottom portion of the Dynavector drags on the record. Thus, the headshell needs to be lower than the azimuth adjustable end, so I need to get the cartridge lower. Unless there is another way, the only way I can think of to get the cartridge lower is to add some shim between the cartridge and the headshell. I need to create around 3-4 mm of clearance. You can see the issue in the photographs earlier in the post, where it is clear the headshell hardware is lower than the cartridge.

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Ok, I see your problem, and it is actually clear in the pic of that headshell.
I don't believe there is any problem with adding a spacer between the headshell and the cart (as long as you find the right length fixing screws (no big problem)) apart from THE EXTRA WEIGHT you are adding on the headshell side - will you counter-weight be heavy enough to set the correct tracking force? (I have seen very light plastic spacers, and also heavier metal ones).

Then make sure to set the VTA correctly, and this is when moving the arm pillar up in the collar might become necessary.

All this is lots of fun to experiment with, and solve!  :thumbs:

I love music - analog and digital. Even listening to the Blues makes me happy. During the day I coach and counsel, after hours I indulge in my second passion - listening to vinyl and restoring turntables. Some I keep, some I sell...

Offline irengineer

Re: Help with mounting a cartridge in a headshell
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2017, 09:01:31 PM »
Recommend VTF for the Denon DL103-R is 2.3 - 2.7 gram. It is currently set at 2.3. I have tried it lower (2.0) and higher (2.5) with no difference. In terms of my tooling for setup I use a 5.00 gram calibrated electronic stylus scale and an Acoustical Systems Smartractor protractor. Have a range of bubble levels to check azimuth and other tonearm and turntable levels.


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“Somebody was trying to tell me that CDs are better than vinyl because they don’t have any surface noise.  I said, “Listen, mate, life has surface noise.” 

John Peel ( the longest serving of the original BBC Radio1 DJs)

Offline irengineer

Re: Help with mounting a cartridge in a headshell
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2017, 09:03:35 PM »
My Grace arm has two counterweights and both can be useful at the same time. I could balance a brick ;-)


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“Somebody was trying to tell me that CDs are better than vinyl because they don’t have any surface noise.  I said, “Listen, mate, life has surface noise.” 

John Peel ( the longest serving of the original BBC Radio1 DJs)