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Tonearm / cartridge.
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Old 19th June 2010, 08:18 AM   #1
jonatan is offline jonatan  Netherlands
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Default Tonearm / cartridge.


first off, I am really enjoying my vinyl, but also like to tweak. I experience some distortion on some LPs. for example, the Jackson Brown Live LP with Stay at the end (inner groove) distorts and gets messy when he starts singing the stay bit, especially the letter s distorts. Now I think those are tracking errors and want to fix some of them because I found the store realigning the cartridge fixed it for some LPs to some degree anyway. I was now wondering if upgrading my tonearm from the Thorens default to something nice would be a good step into solving this problem, I have a Denon DL110 mounted on my current Thorens tonearm, I think TP 16 MK II..

Been browsing the internet alot to find information about mounting a new tonearm, but haven't been able to find something that really gave me an idea as to how to go about it.

The arm I was looking at is an ortofon AS 212 or maybe a SME arm. Soldering of the wires is no problem. I can find some information on mounting the SME. none for the ortofon. Anything I should know here? Tools I should have? Seen an article with some sort of measure system to decide on the proper mounting point of the tonearm, would I require such a tool? And where would I be able to get it.

Also always had some trouble aligning the cartridge, but found a nice article on vinylalignment.co.uk which I think I will try out. Even though the store aligned it for me, I want to be able to do it myself, so I will probably end up with an improperly aligned cartridge for some time. Any advice here, as to maybe what tools / special items to use? or is the VAS tool quite sufficient?

Hope I can get some advice.

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Old 18th July 2010, 02:40 PM   #2
Panicos K is offline Panicos K  Europe
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Which Thorens turntable is it?

Last edited by Panicos K; 18th July 2010 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 19th July 2010, 04:49 PM   #3
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Tonearm / cartridge.
Yes, what Thorens turntable do you have? One of the earlier SME 3009 Series I or Series II should be within reasonable reach, just avoid the later S2 Improved with the plastic knife edge bearing..

I think you will find the Ortofon AS-212 prohibitively expensive unless you have a line on a cheap one..

Note that these early stereo arms are not particularly happy with light tracking, low mass cartridges either. (Despite what the specs say) I am currently using a modified 3009 Series II (on an SME 20/2!) with a Zu/Denon DL103 which at 14gms is very heavy, in addition I have added the supplemental rider weight, tracking at 2.5gms .. This is the best sounding cartridge/arm/TT combination I have experienced so far in 30+ yrs of tinkering.. Just don't mis-handle it...

http://www.vinylengine.com can provide answers to many of your questions..
"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." - Thomas Paine

Last edited by kevinkr; 19th July 2010 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 19th July 2010, 09:02 PM   #4
Panicos K is offline Panicos K  Europe
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I think the TP16 was fitted on the TD166MKII ?Is it the one with the solid headshell and removable arm tube?As kevinkr said SME series 2 will be a good match for both the Thorens and the Denon 110.Another good match would be a Linn Basik Plus or LVX.Both Linn arms can be found easily on e-bay and at lower prices,most of the time half than the SME prices.
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Old 19th July 2010, 09:12 PM   #5
hags is offline hags  United States
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You have inner groove distortion and possible sibilance issues and you want to change the arm?

You can go to Vinyl Engine | The Home of the Turntable and download a boatload of info on alignment and setup. You can also download protractors that will work for your specific table and arm.

For the issues you discribed I'd look at alignment, VTF or upgrading the cartridge before the tonearm. Unless the tonearm has obvious problems you're money ahead doing some homework. I've had zero issues regarding IGD, sibilance or other mistracking when using micro-line/line contact type styli.
"Some lures are designed to catch fish, others are designed to catch fisherman."
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