Cartridge Alignment Protractors

It’s easy to get confused with all the aspects around turntable maintenance and keeping your record collection in the best nick, that you would be forgiven for missing the memo about cartridge alignment.
What is an alignment protractor
  • How to use one
  • Protractor Types
  • What is an Alignment Protractor

    As we previously stated, proper alignment of your turntable stylus helps you to achieve the best sound out of your turntable; and a Cartridge Alignment Protractor is one of these tools you can use to achieve this. 

    How to use one

    When using an alignment protractor, it is essential to remember that you are attempting to align the cantilever and stylus, and not the cartridge body.

    Firstly, place the protractor on the platter and get it into the right position by placing the styles at each end (inside and outside of the platter) and make sure that the stylus is about the same distance from the arc at each point. 

    With the cartridge square in the headshell, move the cartridge within the headshell so that the stylus can follow the arc – this sets the overhang. Once you have done this, place the stylus on one of the grids on the protractor and check the cartridge in the headshell is parallel.

    And that’s it! It’s always good practice to double check what you have done, and make sure that all adjustments should be done with the tonearm and cartridge raised clear of the protractor.

    Protractor Types

    There are a bunch of different types of alignment protractors, from cartridge specific to universal protractors. 

    From what we know, it is best to use either a protractor designed for the specific cartridge you have, or a two-point universal protractor are probably your best bets. 

    Thomas Allman

    Thomas Allman

    Tom has loved music his whole life, starting from when he went through his parents record collection as a child (and has now accrued quite the collection himself!). Whilst completing his masters in engineering at university he began his journey working in he music industry. To date he has experience in Radio, Events, Label Management, Distribution, and Analytics.

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