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Re: [ARSCLIST] Mostly for laughs
I agree, in principle, about skating. I set up my table with alignment
protractor, set azimuth, VTA and tracking force and usually don't use
anti-skate (AKA bias). I went back and forth on it, and what it does is
counter-intuitive to me. The force is pulling the cartridge in toward
the label. You apply an equal force to yank the cartridge to the
outside of the record. The net result is that you exacerbate the
misalignment of the stylus in the magnetic gap. In other words, the
needle/stylus is still pulling in and you are pulling the cartridge body
the other way. I found that IF you get everything else right,
anti-skate is not important. On cartridges that wanted to misbehave, a
slight increase in tracking force gave the same result as
anti-skate/bias. It was something that helped when you had bad
cartridges that weren't set up correctly, and poorly polished styli with
no compliance in the suspension. That's not an issue now.
In a message dated 10/23/2006 7:11:22 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
I still don't know why the skating force makes the stylus pull IN. If
it were some kind of centrifugal force, it'd be thrown outward (or at
least my very limited brain tells me that). That's why I have four
linear tracking arms--all various Rube Goldberg type contraptions.
If you actually look at your turntable, you will notice that the tone arm is
longer than the distance between the spindle and its pivot point.
You should also notice that the far side of the record from the tone arm is
moving in a direction that will pull the tone arm toward the spindle.
Most of the time, depending on the exact geometry of the turntable setup, the
stylus is on the side of the turntable that is dragging it toward the spindle.
This is what causes the skating force that is minimized by the odd and
sometimes complex shapes and taken by tone arms to minimize tracking error. A radial
tone arm and a recording lathe do not have tracking error or skating force.
It can be adjusted to be inward or outward during parts of the record, but
can't be eliminated with a pivoted tone arm.
All of this talk about centrifugal force gets rather tiresome after a while.
1950s Hi-fi magazines had endless articles about setting up tone arms and tone
arm geometry to minimize tracking error and skating force. Tracking error can
produce a small amount of distortion but skating force just produces a small
DC offset to the position of the stylus and, unless extreme, in a poorly
designed cartridge, has no effect at all.