Aro tracking

Hi, I think I may be I having a bit of an issue with the tracking on my Aro and lyra cart. I brought a double lp the other day that has only 3 playable sides, the D side is blank. A friend of mind informed me I could check tracking by placing the arm on side D and see how it sat. So I did and wow off it went to the centre!
The cart has a recommended 1.6 to 1.75 grams weight so i have it set at 19Nm (1.7grams) on the scale that came with the Aro, the counterweight string (gut) on the seconded grove in from the pillar which is 1.75grams according to the manual. The only way I can get the arm to sit static on the blank side of the lp is to drop the weight below the recommended weight and move the gut to the very outside end of the groves.
Do I have a problem and need to get somebody in who knows the Aro lp setup or is this normal?
I’m a bit concerned at the moment to tell you the truth. It sounds great any which way, I have zero experience with tone arms the Aro and the like and really would like to get it right.

Please help😳
Thanks in Advance

A blank disc is not the best way to check anti-skate/bias.

Set it as standard and just play some music, if the vocal is a bit pulled to the right then add some anti-skate, do the opposite for the left. Small changes only.
When it’s balanced you should have a soundstage that it focused and organised and natural. It should just “snap in” when it’s right.

It may take a few records to fine tune it.

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In a nutshell set it where it sounds best. I was thinking its got to be a precise science. I just can’t get over how far out it is. It’s like somebody’s got it really wrong and it has go to be me.

The forces on the arm/cart/stylus will not be quite the same on a blank disc as they are in a modulated groove. It’s useful to find a reference point to work from though.

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Hi, search for ‘Mark Dunn’ on this very forum and read his set up advice, worked for me. There was a long thread quite recently which I started, but can’t now remember what it was called! As Richard very correctly states, a blank disc does not work as a tool for setting bias.


Oh and if you can find one S/H, the Tiger Paw Audio Skale for Aro is an absolute godsend. Unfortunately Roger of TPA has been ill and they have gone out of business, but they do come up fairly regularly on dealers websites.

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I’ve just placed the gut on the middle grove and pulled the weight back to 18Nm, playing Fleetwood Mac live (the white album with the black and white photo) and it sounds lush detailed and even. I guess I’ll use that as a starting point. Man who needs friend advice when it comes to the lp12 Aro combo. I must go to bed, here in Kiwi land 12am. Hope I can sleep.

Thanks but I really would like to keep my system all naim lp12. Is the anti-skating/bias known for its inconsistency with my setup?

No, it’s not at all inconsistent. The Skale for Aro helps set azimuth correctly as per Mark’s set up guide. I may have it somewhere, if I can find it I’ll post, but don’t wait up!

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If you have it perfectly balanced for best performance, it will slide away on a blank side. So this makes setting it up not to move, a waste of time

The D side is blank. Is it Robert Plant??

Here is the link to the thread. Have fun!

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It will never be precise, simply because each record is different. If groove spacing / how fast it moves inwards is different, that would require different anti skating as the goal is to have equal pressure. I.e. neither too much force on the outer groove wall because it’s pushing it in, nor on the inner because of too little anti-skate. If setting it so it’s still on a blank record, you’ll have the former.

As you’re not likely to be setting it for each record, you just need a good approximation that will work. The small amount of error there inevitably will be (other than perhaps with the record you set it with) will not be audible.

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Just checked my ARO which I “believe” to be set up ok.

If I put the stylus down onto a moving side of blank vinyl the arm moves gently as you suggested to the inside.

If I dial out all downforce so that the arm floats, it moves gently to the right due to the bias weight acting on it.

If I then take off the bias weight, then it floats in a stationary and neutral position as logic, I think, would suggest.

This is what I observe, someone will probably tell me it’s not set up correctly.

Hope this helps. C.

Mine is on the third groove from the main tone arm base. That is the 2.0 setting of antiskate for the Aro. That is where mine sounds best. Remember that the hangar needs to be at the same height as the antiskate groove hangar pillar. It helps keep the filament level, and the force constant without changing any other settings or variations. I have a Kandid set at 1.74g tracking weight on my lp12



I don’t have an LP12 so can’t use the included stylus balance to set my Aro as there’s no mat to remove. I did use it as a starting point knowing it will be reading higher than the actual tracking force and then adjusting by ear, a pencil mark on the counterweight helps keep track as you turn it, as long as you’re not using a sKale.

With a limited number of notches to set the bias a preference can soon be found for that.

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Manchester Orchestra
“ Black mile to the surface“
Fantastic production, epic album in my opinion.

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Thank you very much for the reply’s, its all new to me as I’ve been on digital for a long long time. Have some friends who do a lot of vinyl and have a been trying to show me the light. Now I’ve send the light its created a monster. :pray:

One thing I have noticed with my Aro, across several cartridges and many years, is that it always tends to prefer a slightly heavier setting than the cartridge manufacturers recommends. I mentioned this to my dealer and he said he’d experienced the same thing. I think I also read somewhere that this was a quirk of uni-pivot arms.

My current cartridge (Krystal) is set to a speck under 2g with bias on the second slot (1.5g). I think Linn’s recommendation is between 1.7g and 1.9g, with 1.75g being the theoretical optimum?

When it sound right, it sounds right. I’ve never been terribly obsessed with measuring the tracking weight it’s been more about playing with the sound/weight until it snaps into focus and then checking what the weight is, more for reference.

Just my personal experience.

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…second grove on the bias setting maybe 1.75g not 1.5g. I think the last time I read the instructions was in 1992?