An accurately aligned cartridge will keep the needle in the groove, minimize tracking errors, and achieve the most accurate sound from your turntable. Correctly mounting and aligning your cartridge, is a multi-step process that involves several tools, and some patience…but the results are well worth it! To give you a better idea of how to get started in this task we have simplified the process in 6 easy steps:
1. Insert the screws and nuts through the tonearm headshell in order to hold the cartridge in place. (Do NOT initially tighten the screws all the way down!)
2. Once loosely attached, use tweezers to connect the four tiny wires that come from the tonearm to the cartridge’s color-coded ends.
3. Before tightening the mounting screws to the arm’s headshell, the cartridge’s alignment must be set correctly. Use an alignment tool to align the cartridge. We recommend tools offered by Acoustic Solid, Acoustical Systems, Baerwald, Feikert, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, and VPI.
4. Use a “pivot spindle” measuring tool to set the distance between the tonearm pivot and the spindle. This distance should be specified by the manufacturer of your turntable.
4. Align the cartridge stylus using a mounting template.
5. Now that all adjustments have been made, tighten the mounting screws. (Make sure not to over tighten them!)
For more information about this, and all things turntable set-up, download our Complete Turntable Set-Up Guide today!