Technical jargon and industry shorthand can be intimidating and confusing when you are just becoming familiar with a hobby—and hifi has PLENTY of it! We thought we would save you a trip to your google-machine, and spell out what some regularly used acronyms mean when talking specifically about your vinyl set-up!
ASF (Anti-Skating Force)—
This is the equal but opposite force that turntables use to counter the frictional vector force that pulls the tonearm towards the center of the record (also known as “skating”).
VTF (Vertical Tracking Force)—
The amount of “weight”, or downward force, that the cartridge stylus exerts on the grooves of the record. This force can be measured by the stylus force gauge, and adjusted by sliding the tonearm’s counterweight forward or backward to achieve a specific weight range specified by the cartridge manufacturer.
SRA (Stylus Rake Angle)—
the angle at which the stylus is raking the record grooves. The optimal SRA angle is the angle at which the record grooves are cut (in most cases 92 degrees).
VTA (Vertical Tracking Angle)—
the angle at which the cartridge stylus sits in the record’s grooves when viewed from the side of the tonearm (this in turn, determines the SRA).
PRaT (Pace, Rhythm, and Time)—
This is often used to qualify how good or realistic audio equipment is at sound reproduction. Does it make you move? Is it toe-tapping?
For more information about turntable-related terms and turntable set-up in general, check out our Complete Turntable Set-Up Guide!