Vinyl disenchantment and an easy solution

On a day off today, I did something about my dissatisfaction with replay from my records. I had noticed for a while that they were all front, no grunt.

I found that with zero tracking force and bias, the stylus floated about 6 or 7mm above the record surface. So I moved the counterweight forward into the right position, the stylus now a millimeter above the record. Tracking force and bias were then reset as per cartridge manufacturer’s instructions. Quick check that the arm was still parallel to the record. Presto! Front and grunt! Happy chap.

Passing this on in case you are similarly nonplussed with your records. The tracking force of the counterweight is an easy place to look in the first instance. Hopefully you too can get the pleasure back.


Glad you found a solution, but I’d simply get a digital gauge for a few euros and stop the guessing game :slight_smile:

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Yep, it’s a nice bit of reassurance :+1:

Goes to show - trust your instincts that something doesn’t seem right rather than convince yourself all is well

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I couldn’t sleep without one :upside_down_face: It’s hard enough to get it floating 1 mm above the record as well as Christopher did, and then you still don’t know how precise the tracking force dial on the arm really is. Rega’s, for instance, isn’t very, and the scale marks are not overly fine grained :slight_smile:

The Ittok is hard to get perfectly level but it was nice to see the dial matches the VTF with total accuracy :slightly_smiling_face:

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It’s in any case satisfying to have confirmed that all is correct. Because of all that had been said about Rega’s anti-bias dial, I spent over 50 euros on a test record, and after running the tracking tests and much adjusting back and forth I could confirm that the result was exactly the same as I would have had following Rega’s free advice. But it felt good.

(I also spent over 200 on Rega’s Atlas gauge to confirm the exact same tracking force result as the 5 euro gauge from Amazon :joy: )


Why do you think that?

This solution is definitely tonearm dependent, IMO. My arm is designed to be dialed in for VTF completely from the arm counterweight position: there is no tracking force dial on the arm otherwise. I like it that way better. The setup is more straightforward.

Cos the rubber is tight, movement is tiny and it is easy to overshoot, or not even move at all.


Thanks for all replies.

It had not occurred to me that the tracking force dial on my arm might not read correctly. So I checked it with my old Goldring stylus gauge. And it does.

Best of all, thanks to this simple fix of tracking force, I have fallen back in love with with my AT-OC9 ML/II and my records. I hadn’t been playing them much.


I huffed on the rubber and the stub to make it slide more easily. I’d seen my dealer do it.


I do not find levelling or setting my Linn Ittok to be at all difficult.
But… I have been practising this since 1982… :astonished:

(I use a twisting motion, to set the counterweight.)

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Perhaps ‘hard’ has been taken too literally. :thinking: It’s slightly fiddly maybe; I am meticulous and want the arm to be perfectly level. It’s an operation only needed after the counterweight has been removed and doesn’t need to be done again so I can take my time getting it dead level. :slightly_smiling_face:


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Beginning with an accurate measurement is a good start. Very slight adjustments that may not even show when measuring can reward your ears.

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