The Ortofon 2M Red is a fantastic cartridge, actually they all are and today we are having a little think about how to make sure that yours is set up perfectly so you are getting the best out of it. Specifically, we are looking at the anti-skate setting on your turntable and how it can affect the sound that you are getting.
What Does Anti Skate Do?
Anti-skate is a very useful feature on a turntable and it does what it sounds like it does. It is there to prevent the tonearm from “skating” across your record. This can lead to a distorted sound that can ruin a good music session and at worst, it could potentially damage your record.
Many turntables will have an anti-skate setting on them that will allow you to adjust the force of the anti-skate. If you find that you are getting a lot of skipping on your records, the anti-skate (and the weight of the tonearm) can be altered to try and fix this.
It is worth noting that some cheaper turntables may not have the ability to change the anti-skate setting as it is built in with the idea being it is one less thing for someone new to vinyl to worry about.
How Should I Set My Anti-Skate
You cannot go wrong with an Ortofon 2M Red cartridge for your turntable. Sure, they have a bit of breaking in time, but what good cartridge doesn’t? Well, once you have made sure the cartridge is attached properly and that the alignment is right. You may be tempted to tinker with your turntables anti-skate settings.
If you look at a turntable like this Audio-Technica AT-LPW30TK you can clearly see that it has a dial that is for anti-skate. You may think that cranking this up to the highest setting is the way to go, but that can cause problems!
What I would suggest that you do at first is to set the anti-skate to zero. Now, you need to make sure that your tonearm is balanced properly and then put a record on and let it play and see how it goes. You are looking for distortion and most notably any skipping. If the record plays, sounds great and you are happy. I would actually advise that you leave the anti-skate as is and just enjoy it. Tinkering with it when you are already happy is a bad habit to get into!
If the sound does have an issue, you can then start to play with the anti-skate. Just move it slightly from one to two and so on to see what setting is making things right. At the end of the day, this is your vinyl experience so you will be the judge of what is right for you. We have looked at many turntable issues and anti-skate has featured in our articles more than once! So, while it is a great feature, it is not without its faults.