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PlatterMatter 2nd September 2007 02:46 PM

DIY Tonearm Mounting Template ???
Hi everybody.
One thing that I find is ALWAYS sought after in the Vintage Turntable and Tonearm world, is the Tonearm Mounting Template.

Having been a Night Club and Mobile DJ for 32 years (so far), I find it no surprise that I have developed an interest in Vintage Turntables and Tonearms.

This being the case, I have started gathering a collection of the above, and have found, a lot of the fun is the trial and error, learning, and success of gathering all the peices to complete the given project and/or restoration.

What I find astonishing, is that I have yet to locate a source of information, on how to create a Tonearm Mounting Template, for any type of Tonearm.

Forgive me if I'm incorrect, but my assumption is, that there is a set of rules/formula/procedure - whatever - that goes into creating such a tool.

Now to my question:
Does anyone know how the creation of this tool can be achieved?

Nanook 3rd September 2007 07:06 AM

no universal template ....
effective tonearm length, and headshell (or in the case of tonearms without headshells, cartridge) mount angle. are required.

Then just draw it in autocad or something similar. There is an expensive alignment protractor that can help ($200 + USD). The most critical to start, is the spindle to centre of pivot (arm) distance, the effective arm length, and the cartridge offset angle. Then the cartridge alignment flavour--Stevenson, Baerwald,

from there it's just drawing the stuff out.

earsandeyes 3rd September 2007 01:55 PM

I think most of what you are looking for can be found on the It has the most extensive database on tone arms and their mounting distances. As well as a set of classic articles on tone arm geometry with the relevant formulas.

Nanook, I think, is referring to cartridge alignment tools (protractors), formula's and spreadsheets can be found amongst others on enjoythe

The whole process of aligning is very well described in a recent 6moons article. I do share the experience in that article (personal experience: over 25 yrs, 7 different cartridges in 4 different tone arms over time) that the optimum, sound wise is just that "1mm" of the calculated optimum.

just my 2cts of shared collective know-how on the amazing web.


Nanook 4th September 2007 12:40 AM

that was pretty much what I was eluding to. Each tonearm manufacturer has an effective length, overhang, and cartridge angular offset measurement, and cartridge alignment is taken into consideration.

Although I have been thinking about this today and it may be possible to create an adjustable setup "jig". It would be a combination alignment guage and transom, with some adjustability for cartridge offset angles, based on the tonearm manufacturer's specification.

PlatterMatter 6th September 2007 09:20 AM

Thanks guys,
looks like it'll be head down and bum up for a little Math & Technical Drawing - I've had a look at a few helpful hints, and general type instructions I've found on the web.

For a newbie, this will be an enjoyable task when completed correctly.

I've got some templates for various arms that I have, and that I can evaluate the end results with - should be interesting...

sq225917 6th September 2007 10:35 AM

speak to Seb on vinylengine i wa sunder the impression he had a math-cad or excel spreadsheet that outputted the curves.

Nanook 9th September 2007 10:01 AM

technical drawing...
is not really needed too much. A simple "lit: versionof any CAD program, and an understanding of a little terminology, and a little knowledge about geometry.

Believe me, if I can figure this out, anybody can:)

PlatterMatterI'll gladly post a couple of drawings to get you started if you might think it would be helpfull.

PlatterMatter 9th September 2007 10:24 AM

Thanks Nanook - a couple of drawings will no doubt help, and will be greatly appreciated.

I'm like a kid walking into a toy shop - looking forward to it heaps...!!

Thanks guys!!

Nanook 13th September 2007 06:01 AM

as sq225917 posted, the vinylengine is a good source of information. Sebs basic diagram which is here gives a good explaination.

This can be modified to become a "universal" type of mounting template or alignment guage, based on tonearm length and headshell offset. But that info will be needed regardless, if you do not have an original template or alignment guage.

And there are 3 different alignment types.

If all you need is a basic mounting template, just to locate the tonearm pivot then that is pretty easy too Geometrically speaking, but maybe not easy to do practically.

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