The Stylus - Needle In The Groove

Stylus alignment settings

The diagrams below depict the following stylus alignment settings. 

Zenith - Offset angle

The angle of the stylus within the groove as viewed from above.

Azimuth

The angle of the stylus within the groove as seen from the front of the stylus.

SRA - Stylus Rake Angle & VTA - Vertical Tracking Angle

The angle of the stylus within the groove as seen from the side of the stylus.

VTF - Vertical Tracking Force

Vertical Tracking Force is the applied weight in grams to the stylus as it tracks the groove of the record. Every cartridge has a manufacturers recommended VTF to achieve the best balance of force applied to the cantilever and stylus tip.

Anti Skating / Bias

As the stylus tracks the vinyl records groove there is a rotational force pulling the stylus inwards towards the centre of the record and predominantly to the side of the inner groove wall which contains left channel information.

Inner Groove Wall = Left Channel

Outer Groove Wall = Right Channel

To counteract this force described as ‘Skating’ or ‘Rotational Bias’ there is a setting on the tonearm called Anti-Skating or Bias control. 

 

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