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What tracking weight do you use for rebuilt mmc2?

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Lee
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Lee posted on Wed, Oct 1 2014 4:46 PM

Hi Guys,

What tracking weight are you using for an Axel rebuilt mmc2? its recommended to set it to 1.2g but it sounds much better at 1.7 to my ears. if I set it to 1.2g I seem to get distortion on really loud passages...

Any advice?

Thanks in advance,

Lee

 

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Peter
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Peter replied on Wed, Oct 1 2014 5:20 PM

Agree - they need a little more than the originals - mine was at about 1.5g. Best to adjust by ear.

Peter

Søren Mexico
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same here, 1.5 gr.

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Jeff
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Jeff replied on Wed, Oct 1 2014 5:49 PM

Peter:

Agree - they need a little more than the originals - mine was at about 1.5g. Best to adjust by ear.

No experience with these rebuilt MMC2s, yet (knock on wood that it's a while before I need a rebuild) but Peter is right on the money. Adjust by ear, no matter what the spec sheet says, if you're getting distortion, and upping the tracking a bit makes it go away, up the tracking force! Mistracking will definitely damage records, and quickly too!

Jeff

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sonavor
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Also, verify the actual tracking weight with a gauge, not just by the mark on the turntable. It could be off.

Jeff
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Jeff replied on Wed, Oct 1 2014 6:13 PM

sonavor:

Also, verify the actual tracking weight with a gauge, not just by the mark on the turntable. It could be off.

Also a good idea, I don't really trust the little adjustment gauge on the B&O tonearm as much as I do a more traditional table/arm combo. Not that you should really trust any of them.

Jeff

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Dave Farr
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Jeff:

sonavor:

Also, verify the actual tracking weight with a gauge, not just by the mark on the turntable. It could be off.

Also a good idea, I don't really trust the little adjustment gauge on the B&O tonearm as much as I do a more traditional table/arm combo. Not that you should really trust any of them.

 

I second these suggestions.  One of my tonearms is adjusted to what says is nearly 3g (it is an old TT) but the actual weight on the needle is 2.0g on a digital (calibrated) jewellers/stylus balance.  I've checked the cartridge/stylus today using a test record for mistracking and it's absiolutely perfect.

Dave.

 

Cooker
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How do you test/setup tracking force on a tangential B&O turntable to check if the slider gauge is correct?

Thanks

sonavor
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It depends on the type of tangential Beogram.  On the BG8002 I have used a Shure gauge here (near the bottom of the page).  With the BG4002 the table top is open so it is easier.  Lately I have been using a digital scale and I have to remove the platter of the BG8002 in order to have enough room.  I don't have a picture of that yet but will take one the next time I check it.

Lee
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Answered (Not Verified) Lee replied on Thu, Oct 2 2014 8:11 PM
Suggested by Cooker

It breaks up on loud passages (especially in very loud parts of Tchaikovsky's Liturgy of St John) at 1.5g but sounds better at 1.7-1.8. I'm sure it used to sound alright at 1.2g. Axel told me to send it back to him. What could have caused this difference? I've just sent off for a stylus pressure guage and a 60x jewelers glass to have a look at it. 

Cooker
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Cooker replied on Fri, Oct 3 2014 10:23 AM

Yes, I have an 8002.

What's the procedure with the Shure?

My 8002 was recently overhauled and restored and I am yet to fire it up.

I got a brand new SMMC3 and was going to set force at 1.2g. How will I know if 1.2g isn't enough? What are the obvious symptoms of not enough tracking force? I've got some mint brand new vinyl and a bit apprehensive about playing them without checking if my tracking force is perfect. Id say it would all be ok, but better to check I think.

Do you think that at 1.2g it will damage my mint vinyl or worst case is just it won't sound as good if the factory tracking scale is out of spec?

Thanks 

Dave Farr
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Lee:

It breaks up on loud passages (especially in very loud parts of Tchaikovsky's Liturgy of St John) at 1.5g but sounds better at 1.7-1.8. I'm sure it used to sound alright at 1.2g. Axel told me to send it back to him. What could have caused this difference? I've just sent off for a stylus pressure guage and a 60x jewelers glass to have a look at it. 

You had no way of knowing what the actual force on the stylus was.  Sending it back to Axel I would suggest is premature.  As I previously described, without measuring the force, you cannot rely on what the tonearm scale is telling you.  If it has just been calibrated, then that is different.

I use this stylus pressure gauge (it's actually a jewellers gauge) which can be calibrated with a 5g calibration weight prior to each use.  I got it from 'Analogue Seduction' (www.analogueseduction.net) for £54.99 at the time I bought it.

Which gauge have you bought?  Rebuilding a cartridge will change it's weight to a small degree.  Did you have the same profile of diamond put on your cart by Axel or a different profile to the original?  It will make some difference to trackability.

Another good thing to do is get a good trackability 'test record'.  I used mine a few days ago to check my cartridge seen above it it was flawless at all levels and through all of the tests.  Also checks the antiskating, phase of speakers, stereo seperation etc of your system.

Loud sections of music can be enough to bounce the stylus out of grooves on vinyl.  A rebuild cartridge is not quite the same as the original B&O supplied cartridge.  Use a gauge and your ears and don't take original printed figures as hard facts to be adhered to in this case.  From his test data, Axel should be able to tell you the ideal 'actual' tracking weight for that cartridge.

Dave.

 

 

sonavor
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Cooker:

Yes, I have an 8002.

What's the procedure with the Shure?

The procedure with the Shure is described in the instructions with the Shure product. It is just the balancing type gauge where you set the preset counter weight to the desired position (i.e. 1 gm), then let the tonearm lower onto the gauge and observe if the balance indicator on the gauge shows that it is level.

The digital gauges are easier to use but are a tight fit on the BG8002 so I have to remove the BG8002 platter.  Here is a picture of using the digital gauge on the BG8002 with an MMC1 cartridge.


sonavor
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Cooker:

I got a brand new SMMC3 and was going to set force at 1.2g. How will I know if 1.2g isn't enough? What are the obvious symptoms of not enough tracking force? I've got some mint brand new vinyl and a bit apprehensive about playing them without checking if my tracking force is perfect. Id say it would all be ok, but better to check I think.

Do you think that at 1.2g it will damage my mint vinyl or worst case is just it won't sound as good if the factory tracking scale is out of spec?

The cartridges come with a recommended tracking weight. You don't have to use that weight precisely but you should use something close to it. Obviously, the less weight you can use, the better it will be for wear and tear on the record (and stylus). I wouldn't go below the recommended weight. If you have to apply too much weight over the recommended value, then that would be a sign something is wrong with the cartridge.  When I refer to weight (or tracking force) I am talking about the actual measured force that a gauge provides, not the setting on the tonearm. As mentioned in the above thread, a rebuilt cartridge could alter the recommended value. But you have a new SMMC3 so Soundsmith should have provided a recommended tracking force for it.

Some good cartridges require higher tracking force though and even at those higher values, the vinyl record should be fine under normal playing conditions. A $1500 Grado Reference cartridge has a recommended tracking force of 1.5g.  Dirt is a worse enemy so keeping the vinyl clean and the stylus clean is more of a concern than the tracking force. Also be aware that even mint records can have some debris on them from the manufacturing process.  

Cooker
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How did you get the tone arm to lower and motor not to spin and how did you not damage the stylus when this happened?

Thanks

 

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