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Hey folks. I just got SRA dialed in on my Lyra Delos on an ET 2.5 tonearm. Had that "snap into focus" experience for the first time in a good while. Played "Pegasi" by Jesca Hoop and had goose bumps for about the whole song. The reason for the post is because there was one tool that punched way out of it's weight class in making that possible. A mini pocket microscope. I won't link to a specific one 'cause I ain't shilling, but searching for 'mini pocket microscope' will get you on several, all under $10. It's 2 barrels, one for the lens and one for the light. I'm not sure if mine is 45x or 60x, but it's easily up to the job. What worked for me was to put the stylus down right at the edge of the LP and tweak it so that when the edge of the lens casing was touching the edge of the LP, the diamond was in perfect focus. From there it was no problem seeing the SRA and adjusting it. The image of the diamond is plenty big enough. FWIW I also own and have played around with a USB digital microscope on a laptop. I got some great pics, but it's way more expensive and a major PITB, but if you don't trust your eyes and want to use the graphing capabilities that brings to the table, knock yourself out.
I wouldn't attempt aligning a cartridge without my USB microscope.
My latest cartridge, the Ortofon Quintet Black S, has a cantilever that is very thin and short. As a result, being able to see the cantilever in relation to the alignment pattern is quite the challenge.
Enter the good old USB microscope. It is handy for anything that requires better eyesight than I have. Unfortunately that's quite a list of things.
Using the USB microscope made the alignment easier but it was still a challenge due to the close proximity of the underside of the cartridge body to the alignment jig. The cartridge rides pretty close to the LP surface.
I like the Ortofon cartridge but aligning a DL-103D was a lot easier.
We don't shush around here!
Life is analog...digital is just samples thereof
The 60x is a great tool for stylus inspection to make sure the stylus is clean. Easier to adjust VTA by ear rather than the 60x.
I have a 60x "microscope" bought for stylus viewing.
Short Answer: It's Completely useless.
60X basically lets one see IF the diamond is still attached and possibly How dirty it is.
No way imaginable to see wear .
Gonna need a 300X as ...Minimum.
Since you have had success, it could be useful to the rest of us, perhaps, if you can have another look at your 'scope and tell us if it is a 45X or a 60X 'scope. The difference could be important.
I recently bought one of those pocket scopes (50X I believe) but it was difficult to keep a steady image. Your idea of resting the scope at the edge of the record is a good one. Will have to try that out.
what do you use for your visual reference?
I'm not questioning that it can't be done. I'm just not sure how this allows a "snap into focus" set up other than by chance.
"The piano ain't got no wrong notes." Thelonious Monk
I confess to eyballing 92 degrees based on looking at that angle printed on a piece of paper and counting on the memory. When I started, the diamond looked to be at 90. Using the ET, it was easy to raise the arm a few mm and see the effect. I may be at 91 or 93, but given varying thicknesses of LP's, that's OK.
For a 9"/230mm tonearm to get the SRA from 90 degrees to 92 requires an 8mm rise at the pillar.
For a 12 inch it's close to half an inch!
Pillar to stylus distance on an ET II is just a little over 8". It's also one of the few arms where you can adjust VTA/SRA without changing overhang. My guess is my adjustment was around 5mm.
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