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In the Forum: Analog Playback
In the Thread: USB microscope for setting VTA
Post Subject: Using Visual Aids to Get StartedPosted by Paul S on: 10/23/2013

In another thread here, I discussed how I developed an "empirical" VTA system for my very "sharp" stylus. With it I can adjust the tonearm height relative to measured record thickness, which I found varies close to 3X, from the thinnest to the thickest records in my collection.  Although this system is a big time saver for me, the bases for it were relative points of adjustment that I originally determined and confirmed by ear, and I know of no other satisfactory way to make these original determinations, upon which the relative "mechanical" settings are based.  While an enlarged view of the stylus might well have helped with adjustments in the early going, it could only be truly helpful with ears as confirmation.  Also, like Romy says, there are plenty of other relevant non-visual issues to take care of during initial cartridge set-up, and all these are also ultimately dependent on one's hearing.

Likewise, a Wally Tractor or similar set-up tool can save a lot of time and frustration, to help get things "close enough" to finalize settings by ear.

The main thing I would want from an enlarged view of my stylus is to gauge cleanliness and wear.

Best regards,
Paul S

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