If you’re a vinyl enthusiast, you know that maintaining your turntable is crucial to getting the best sound possible.
One important aspect of turntable maintenance is adjusting the anti-skate feature. This small outward force applied to the tonearm helps counteract the tendency of the arm to move inward towards the center of the record, which can cause distortion and wear on your stylus and records.
In this article, we’ll be focusing on how to adjust anti-skate on the Technics SL D2 turntable. Whether you’re a seasoned audiophile or a beginner, this guide will help you get the most out of your turntable.
So, let’s get started!
How To Adjust Anti-Skate On Technics SL D2
First, it’s important to note that the Technics SL D2 turntable has a P-mount arm, which limits your choice of cartridges but makes setup a snap as all P-mounts are meant to be aligned and properly adjusted for tracking force without your intervention.
To begin adjusting the anti-skate, start by setting the anti-skate control to the same value as the vertical tracking force (VTF) used. This will get you in the ballpark.
Next, listen carefully to the last few minutes of a record to determine if more or less anti-skate is needed. Listen for distortion, particularly in the form of sibilance (that annoying hissing sound produced when pronouncing certain letters or combinations of letters such as “s” and “sh”), and determine if it appears to be louder on one channel, the left or the right.
Adjust the anti-skate value until the distortion is minimized. Now listen carefully at two or three different points across the record. If you used an alignment protractor to align your cartridge, listen at the alignment points. Listen for any differences in tone, dynamics and soundstage at these points. If there are differences, some tweaking of the anti-skate adjustment may be needed.
If adjusting the anti-skate does not clear up a particular problem, there may be another reason for it. Contact our Audio Solutions Department for further advice.
Understanding Anti-Skate On Turntables
Anti-skating is an important feature on turntables that prevents the tonearm from skating across vinyl records and causing unpleasant sound quality during playback. Due to the offset between the cartridge’s axis and the tonearm’s pivot, the force applied by the rotating disc to the cartridge tends to draw the tonearm toward the center of the record and distort the balance of the sound and wear suffered by the stylus and vinyl groove.
To prevent this, an appropriately-sized opposing force (a rotational torque) is applied at the tonearm. This is accomplished in various ways by dedicated mechanisms, depending on the tonearm’s manufacturer, ranging from a small counterweight adjustable by a knob, to adjustable spring or magnetic mechanisms, usually calibrated in grams of force.
It’s important to note that while the angular velocity is ideally constant, the peripheral velocity of the moving groove against the stylus is not, varying from approximately 50 cm/s down to 15 cm/s from start to finish of a 33 rpm, 12″ record. The angle of skew of the stylus cartridge with respect to a chord of the circular record (and groove) while the tonearm rests on the record is also variable. Thus, any opposing force applied to the tonearm to counteract skating, if not variable during the playing of the record, is fixed, and at best an average value, only really perfectly in balance with the skating force at just one unique radius from the center of the disk.
Anti-skating schemes perform a useful function in minimizing asymmetric wear of styli and grooves, although not eliminating it entirely. Linear-tracking turntables were invented in part to eliminate the possibility of skating. Overall, anti-skate is crucial for maintaining good channel balance, minimizing distortion, and reducing stylus and record wear during playback.
Tools Needed For Adjusting Anti-Skate On Technics SL D2
In order to adjust the anti-skate on a Technics SL D2 turntable, you will need a few tools. First and foremost, you will need a Hi-Fi test record, such as the HiFi News Test LP mentioned in the raw text above. Additionally, you will need a spirit/bubble level to ensure that the turntable is leveled in all planes, and a tracking force gauge to measure the vertical tracking force (VTF) used.
It may also be helpful to have an alignment protractor on hand to ensure that your cartridge is properly aligned, as well as a lubricant to apply to the anti-skate mechanism if it is stiff or not moving smoothly. Finally, it’s always a good idea to have a good quality stylus on hand to ensure that any issues with skipping or distortion are not caused by a worn-out needle.
With these tools at your disposal, you should be able to adjust the anti-skate on your Technics SL D2 turntable and enjoy optimal sound quality from your vinyl collection.
Tips For Getting The Best Sound From Your Turntable
1. Use a high-quality stylus: A worn or damaged stylus can cause skipping and distortion, so it’s important to use a high-quality stylus that is in good condition.
2. Keep your records clean: Dust and debris on your records can cause pops and crackles, so it’s important to keep them clean. Use a record brush or cleaning solution to remove any dirt or debris before playing.
3. Check your tracking force: The tracking force is the amount of weight that is applied to the stylus as it tracks the grooves of the record. Make sure you have the correct tracking force for your cartridge and adjust it if necessary.
4. Check your alignment: Proper alignment of your cartridge is essential for getting the best sound from your turntable. Use an alignment protractor to ensure that your cartridge is aligned correctly.
5. Adjust your anti-skate: The anti-skate mechanism is designed to counteract the inward force that occurs when the stylus tracks towards the center of the record. Adjusting the anti-skate can help improve tracking and reduce distortion.
6. Use high-quality cables: The cables that connect your turntable to your amplifier or receiver can have a big impact on sound quality. Use high-quality cables to ensure that you’re getting the best possible sound.
7. Keep your turntable level: A level turntable is essential for proper tracking and sound quality. Use a spirit level to ensure that your turntable is level and adjust as necessary.
By following these tips, you can get the best possible sound from your Technics SL D2 turntable and enjoy your vinyl collection to the fullest.
Troubleshooting Common Anti-Skate Issues On Technics SL D2
If you’re experiencing issues with your Technics SL D2 turntable and the anti-skate feature, there are a few common issues that may be causing the problem.
One issue could be too much pressure on the stylus. This can cause the tonearm to drag back towards its cradle and off the edge of the record, even with the anti-skate setting at 0. In this case, it’s important to check the recommended weight settings for your cartridge and make sure you’re following them. If the weight is too high, it can cause excessive pressure on the stylus and lead to these issues.
Another issue could be a misaligned cartridge. If your cartridge is not properly aligned, it can cause tracking errors and affect the performance of the anti-skate feature. To fix this issue, use an alignment protractor to ensure your cartridge is properly aligned.
Lastly, if you’re still experiencing issues with your anti-skate after troubleshooting these common issues, it may be time to contact an expert in audio solutions for further advice. They can help you diagnose any other potential issues and provide guidance on how to fix them.