Is the anti-skaiting adjustment obvious? (sp)

madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
edited August 2003 in 2 Channel Audio
I used to think it was until tonite. I played an lp I have never played before. It seems almost as if the grooves were further apart than normal. The needle was causing subsonic noises from bouncing back and forth. I started playing with the anti-skate control and found I could get rid of the noise. After setting to the best position I then played CCR remastered by kevin gray (excellent lp) and took note of how it sounded. I then moved the anti-skate back to where I used to have it (set at the stylus pressure) and it lost some really great sound. The lp has never sounded so good! Just thought I would throw this out there. As the anti-skate was adjusted it seemed as if I was dialing in the midrange beauty of the lp.
Vinyl, the final frontier...

Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
Post edited by madmax on


  • Tour2maTour2ma Old School Posts: 10,176
    edited August 2003

    Short answer: No.

    Long answer....
    On most tone arms the tracking force and anti-skate settings are estimates at best. Error starts with the setting of your zero balance of the tone arm, the **** or slding of the counterweight(s), which is an eyeball estimate. Then on top of this error, the arm's tracking force dial can also be off.

    Bottom line is your actual tracking force may be off 0.2 grams (or more) from what you think it is.

    Now you always start, and many often end, the anti-skate adjustment process by setting it equal to the tracking force setting. Bad news here is the tracking force may not be accurrate to start with, and the anti-skate adjustment scale is often even less precise than the stylus force.

    But all is not lost...
    First, invest in a good, inexpensive stylus force balance such as the Shure SG-2 (~$20 at Audio Advisor).

    Second, with good knowledge of the true tracking force, you now have a good starting point for the anti-skate, but some trial and error is in order. Slowly increase the anti-skate until the playback deteriorates and note the setting. Then return to the original setting and slowly decrease it until the sound deteriotes and note the setting. Note that you may actually pass through the "sweet spot" with one of the above adjustments.

    The average of the two settings should be optimal.

    Shure, and others, also sell test LP's (Shure calls theirs "An Audio Obstacle Course") that include tracks to optimize settings. They are nice to have, but they are not essential.

    I do suggest that an older, less prized LP be used for the fine tuning. Mono LP's do very well as the signals are equal. Headphones are also useful for the fine tuning process.
    More later,
    Vox Copuli
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Old English Proverb

    "It's easy to get lost in price vs performance vs ego vs illusion." - doro
    "There is a certain entertainment value in ripping the occaisonal (sic) buttmunch..." - TroyD
    "Death doesn't come with a Uhaul." - Dennis Gardner
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited August 2003
    I'll keep my eye out for a test lp like the shure. Great advice all around! I tweaked the VTA and for/aft (don't know the name of it) adjustment while playing but never thought of pursuing the AS adjustment. Just goes to show that if you overlook something it may be killing your sound without you knowing it!
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
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