The benefits of a bubble level

Well. In all fairness, no one ever said that cartridge alignment was simple.

So, today, I got to spend an hour dialing in my Ortofon Windfeld cartridge. With luck, this is “it” — I revisited VTA and azimuth, specifically. Guess what? Both were pretty miserably off. Whoops.

The cartridge hasn’t even got 10 hours on it so far — it’s practically brand freakin’ new. But it was just … off. And guess what? Now, it’s not.

(He said ‘snot’, har har).

As you can tell, my humor is greatly improved — even if my sense of it is still appallingly bad.

[insert smiley grin here]

It’s not that the table sounded bad, per se, it’s just that it was pretty thoroughly average. A bit veiled. A bit muddled. A bit “why did I do this again?” All I have to say is, a little alignment goes a l – o – o – o – n – g way.

So, now on to the business of breaking in the cartridge. This is the really hard part. You know, the lounging about and swapping out vinyl. Yeah, I know, this is a total hardship. But, well, someone has to do it and quite frankly, that’s how I roll — I’m just takin’ one for the team. Yep! Ahhhhh. I mean, er- ah-, “oh how dreary!”

You know what I want? The Cartright. I saw this announced (again) at RMAF this year. Have you heard of this gizmo? Its available in two versions. One is a cute little device with enough knobs on it to make any Fozgometer utterly green with envy. The other way to get this is as an app for the iPad/iPhone. Apparently, there’ll still be some little widget needed to run from the tonearm cable into the iDevice, but whatever — you’ll be able to see all the same settings there that you’d be able to see on an actual physical unit. I’m assuming that pricing is going to remain at the $1,000 price point for the gadget, but I have no idea, nor do I have a clue what the app will cost. I almost don’t care — either would have been insanely useful just now instead of relying on my educated (where ‘educated’ = “wild, off the cuff, dead reckoning”) guestimation of all those settings, which while I’m sure they’re good enough for government work, could most definitely be dialed in quite a bit more precisely (but then, can’t they always?). More to come on that score.

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