I can't believe how good this cartridge alignment tool is!

Grayson Dere

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If anyone is searching for a cartridge alignment tool for taking their Lp playing to the next level I can whole heartedly recommend the Mint Lp Best Tractor.
I just completed the setup procedure (took about an hour) and I'm floored at how much more detailed my record collection sounds. Right now I have Miles Davis' Kind of Blue playing and gone is the muddiness I had before along with much more articulate sounding instruments : D

https://mintlp.com/best.htm
 

1_sufferin_mind

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That type of custom-tailored protractor certainly is better than the one-size-fits-all variety. A little pricier, but anything that gets me closer to the music is worth it. You may want to look into Jim Fosgate’s handy Fozgometer. It will give your ‘table another leap forward in performance.
 

Grayson Dere

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My AV System  
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Integra DTR 7.8
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Class D Audio: SDS-470CS
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Shellbrook Audio Hybrid Head headphone amp
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Sony UBP-X700
Front Speakers
Vandersteen Model 2
Subwoofers
SVS PB-2000
Other Speakers or Equipment
Grado SR 325is headphones
Video Display Device
JVC DLA-X75
Screen
Elite Screen 120"
Other Equipment
Origin Live Aurora MKIII turntable
That type of custom-tailored protractor certainly is better than the one-size-fits-all variety. A little pricier, but anything that gets me closer to the music is worth it. You may want to look into Jim Fosgate’s handy Fozgometer. It will give your ‘table another leap forward in performance.
Thanks! I will look into the Fozgometer.
 

1_sufferin_mind

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! NEW ! Woo Audio WA6se w/ Audeze LCD-2
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Oppo BDP-95
Front Speakers
Revel Ultima Salon
Center Channel Speaker
Revel Voice
Surround Speakers
PSB Image B5
Subwoofers
PSA XV-15se w/ ICE amp
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Cary SLP98P / VPI SuperScout with JMW9 & Benz H2
Video Display Device
Samsung 60" Plasma / Panasonic 50" Plasma
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PS Audio PWD with Streaming Bridge
You’re welcome @Grayson Dere. Keep in mind that you can accomplish the same thing on a budget with a multimeter while swapping cables. There are many online guides, but the method is necessarily involved.the Fozgometer simplifies the procedure and removes frustration.
 

tesseract

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Great topic!

The one thing my TT system lacks is a protractor. I borrowed one from a friend and it did help. I am not confident it is optimal, so I play less vinyl than I would like.
 

Grayson Dere

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Vandersteen Model 2
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SVS PB-2000
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Grado SR 325is headphones
Video Display Device
JVC DLA-X75
Screen
Elite Screen 120"
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Origin Live Aurora MKIII turntable
Great topic!

The one thing my TT system lacks is a protractor. I borrowed one from a friend and it did help. I am not confident it is optimal, so I play less vinyl than I would like.
I was genuinely amazed at how much more musical information there was on my records just because of the change in alignment : )
 

tesseract

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Front Speakers
JTR NOESIS 210 RT - L/R mains
Center Channel Speaker
Chase SHO-10 - Center
Surround Speakers
Chase PRO-10 - Surrounds
Subwoofers
Chase VS-18.1 x 2 - Subwoofers
Video Display Device
Vizio E550VL
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h/k TC35C/Ortofon Super OM10/Pro-Ject Phono Box S
I was genuinely amazed at how much more musical information there was on my records just because of the change in alignment : )
Yes, sir. Alignment is of utmost importance. I let the protector get me in the ballpark, but final adjustment is by ear.
 

Grayson Dere

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Sony UBP-X700
Front Speakers
Vandersteen Model 2
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SVS PB-2000
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Grado SR 325is headphones
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JVC DLA-X75
Screen
Elite Screen 120"
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Origin Live Aurora MKIII turntable
After my experience I'm thinking it should actually be a required practice to buy the best protractor one can afford and not settle with the generic paper
ones that sometimes come prepackaged with turntables/arms.
 

1_sufferin_mind

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! NEW ! Woo Audio WA6se w/ Audeze LCD-2
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Oppo BDP-95
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Revel Ultima Salon
Center Channel Speaker
Revel Voice
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Cary SLP98P / VPI SuperScout with JMW9 & Benz H2
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PS Audio PWD with Streaming Bridge
....final adjustment is by ear.
The extra effort is richly rewarded, I’ve heard. Individual instruments and performers seem to gel into distinct positions across the stage, which suddenly locks into place when the cartridge’s sweet spot is found.
 

1_sufferin_mind

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My AV System  
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Emotiva XMC-1
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Emotiva XPA-5
Additional Amp
McCormack DNA-1 Monoblocks (On Standby)
Other Amp
! NEW ! Woo Audio WA6se w/ Audeze LCD-2
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Oppo BDP-95
Front Speakers
Revel Ultima Salon
Center Channel Speaker
Revel Voice
Surround Speakers
PSB Image B5
Subwoofers
PSA XV-15se w/ ICE amp
Other Speakers or Equipment
Cary SLP98P / VPI SuperScout with JMW9 & Benz H2
Video Display Device
Samsung 60" Plasma / Panasonic 50" Plasma
Other Equipment
PS Audio PWD with Streaming Bridge
After my experience I'm thinking it should actually be a required practice to buy the best protractor one can afford and not settle with the generic paper ones that sometimes come prepackaged with turntables/arms.
Yeah, and people should be required to earn a pet license, too. Maybe that would help avoid a few less million abandoned dogs per year.

Anyway, I think “best” may have different meanings depending on your listening priorities. On one hand, some enthusiasts don’t mind laboring over an extremely fragile system component in order to enjoy music to its utmost. On the other hand, there are enthusiasts who would willingly give up that last ounce of realism in favor of enjoying music sooner and without interruptions to tweak adjustments.
 

Grayson Dere

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My AV System  
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Integra DTR 7.8
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Class D Audio: SDS-470CS
Additional Amp
Shellbrook Audio Hybrid Head headphone amp
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Sony UBP-X700
Front Speakers
Vandersteen Model 2
Subwoofers
SVS PB-2000
Other Speakers or Equipment
Grado SR 325is headphones
Video Display Device
JVC DLA-X75
Screen
Elite Screen 120"
Other Equipment
Origin Live Aurora MKIII turntable
I was thinking about cartridge alignment recently and how setup can possibly influence or bias reviews. Since there are so many ways one
can tweak their turntable setup to get better sound from them does that mean one person's experience with a cart could be vastly different
from someone else that took more time during the setup phase? So maybe that $200 cart 'could' sound like a $1000 cart?
Maybe I'm being too optimistic here : P
 

1_sufferin_mind

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Emotiva XMC-1
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Emotiva XPA-5
Additional Amp
McCormack DNA-1 Monoblocks (On Standby)
Other Amp
! NEW ! Woo Audio WA6se w/ Audeze LCD-2
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Oppo BDP-95
Front Speakers
Revel Ultima Salon
Center Channel Speaker
Revel Voice
Surround Speakers
PSB Image B5
Subwoofers
PSA XV-15se w/ ICE amp
Other Speakers or Equipment
Cary SLP98P / VPI SuperScout with JMW9 & Benz H2
Video Display Device
Samsung 60" Plasma / Panasonic 50" Plasma
Other Equipment
PS Audio PWD with Streaming Bridge
Fascinating observation and thought experiment! Hearing differences aside and all else being equal, I concur. An OCD vinyl enthusiast (is there any other kind?!) would invest significantly more alignment effort than a casual listener, and thus reap greater audible rewards. Some reviewers may shortcut the alignment process to simulate cartridge performance expected for the average user. Others may laboriously dial-in best performance for reporting a cartridge’s potential.

AnalogPlanet.com prepared a comparison of 10 cartridges mounted to the same arm using the same phono stage and song. They didn’t mention how the cartridges were aligned, or to what tolerance(s), but the files at least provide a method by which quick comparisons can be made—something not possible when physically swapping and aligning cartridges.
 

Grayson Dere

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Location
Bay Area, CA
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Integra DTR 7.8
Main Amp
Class D Audio: SDS-470CS
Additional Amp
Shellbrook Audio Hybrid Head headphone amp
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Sony UBP-X700
Front Speakers
Vandersteen Model 2
Subwoofers
SVS PB-2000
Other Speakers or Equipment
Grado SR 325is headphones
Video Display Device
JVC DLA-X75
Screen
Elite Screen 120"
Other Equipment
Origin Live Aurora MKIII turntable
Fascinating observation and thought experiment! Hearing differences aside and all else being equal, I concur. An OCD vinyl enthusiast (is there any other kind?!) would invest significantly more alignment effort than a casual listener, and thus reap greater audible rewards. Some reviewers may shortcut the alignment process to simulate cartridge performance expected for the average user. Others may laboriously dial-in best performance for reporting a cartridge’s potential.

AnalogPlanet.com prepared a comparison of 10 cartridges mounted to the same arm using the same phono stage and song. They didn’t mention how the cartridges were aligned, or to what tolerance(s), but the files at least provide a method by which quick comparisons can be made—something not possible when physically swapping and aligning cartridges.
Thanks for the link! I will check it out : )
 
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