Audio Technica turntables are known for their high-quality sound output and exceptional performance. One of the critical components of any turntable is the tonearm, which is responsible for holding the cartridge and stylus, and placing it on the record.
It is essential to balance the tonearm correctly to get the best possible sound quality from your Audio Technica turntable. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to balance your Audio Technica tonearm.
Step 1: Set up your turntable
Before you start balancing the tonearm, make sure that your turntable is set up correctly. Place the turntable on a level surface and ensure that it is stable. Also, ensure that the cartridge and stylus are correctly installed and aligned.
Step 2: Turn off the turntable
Make sure that your turntable is turned off before you start balancing the tonearm. This will help prevent any accidental damage to the stylus or cartridge.
Step 3: Adjust the counterweight
The counterweight is the small weight at the back of the tonearm. It is used to balance the tonearm and apply the correct tracking force to the stylus. Begin by moving the counterweight along the tonearm until it is positioned in the middle.
Step 4: Set the tracking force
To set the tracking force, you will need to refer to the cartridge’s specifications to find the recommended tracking force. This information can usually be found in the user manual or on the manufacturer’s website. Once you have the recommended tracking force, adjust the counterweight until the tonearm is level.
Step 5: Set the anti-skate
The anti-skate mechanism is used to prevent the tonearm from skating across the record. It is set to match the tracking force and should be set to the same value as the tracking force.
Step 6: Test the tracking force
After you have set the tracking force and anti-skate, test the tracking force by playing a record. The tonearm should glide smoothly across the record, without any skipping or jumping. If the tracking force is too light, the stylus may jump, and if it’s too heavy, it may damage the record.
Step 7: Fine-tune the balance
If the tonearm is not perfectly balanced, you may need to make small adjustments to the counterweight until it is perfectly level. You can do this by using a stylus force gauge or by carefully adjusting the counterweight until the tonearm is level.
In conclusion, balancing the tonearm on your Audio Technica turntable is a crucial step in ensuring that you get the best possible sound quality. With the above steps, you can easily balance your tonearm and enjoy high-quality sound from your turntable.