Step 1: Get The Basics In Place
The following are the fundamentals for optimal turntable performance:
Your turntable is leveled.
Your cartridge is correctly aligned in terms of overhang and tilt. To do so, we recommend using a cartridge alignment protractor.
The azimuth angle is correct: when you look at the cartridge from the front, the angle the cartridge cantilever makes with the surface of the disc should be 90 degrees. On most cases, azimuth is correct with the turntable factory settings.
The Vertical Tracking Force (VTF) is set to the optimum value. Begin with the value recommended on your cartridge specifications sheet. Increase the VTF if the sounds is too bright, has little bass, and the midrange sounds hollow and empty. Reduce the VTF if the bass becomes muddy, the treble becomes dull, and the sound loses air.
The anti-skating is properly set. We recommend using a mono recording to do so. The solo voice or instrument should be centered when the antiskating value is correct.
The tonearm is parallel to the record when the cartridge is reading the record. You can use a VTA / Azimuth Alignment Gauge Block or just use your eyes.
If your cartridge stylus shape is conical or elliptical, you can stop here. You are all set.
If your cartridge stylus shape is hyper-elliptical or better, you can proceed to VTA / SRA fine-tuning.