Setting Up a Phono Cartridge

The Andre Jennings Way

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Cartridges,
Tonearms
Setting Up a Phono Cartridge

Like everything else I’ve written about in this article, azimuth adjustment can be a tedious process, but the results are certainly worth the effort. In the end this is the reading Andre got by means of Adjust+ (and his own inexhaustible patience):


You may not be able to see this on the page, but the final crosstalk measurements show -35.5dB L-to-R and -35.4dB R-to-L. Now, these aren’t just sterling numbers (although they are that); the results are instantly and dramatically audible in playback.

(Just as a side note, after mounting, connection, VTF, alignment, SRA, and azimuth, Andre also measured THD via Adjust+ with the Goldfinger Statement in the Da Vinci Virtu tonearm and came up with the best results he’s ever seen from any cartridge and tonearm: 0.21% in the left channel and 0.29% in the right.)

Throughout all of these procedures, each parameter is rechecked as necessary to ensure that subsequent adjustments haven’t affected the others. And once again and above all other considerations, your ears should be the final arbiters when fine-tuning the setup.

Although it takes considerable expertise, getting everything just right in cartridge setup—as Andre does—has a tremendous effect on the overall sound. Those who dismiss analog as a form of nostalgia simply haven’t ever heard a great turntable, tonearm, and cartridge set up by a genuine expert. Thanks to Andre I have (on many occasions), and I’m here to tell you that, IMO, hi-fi playback doesn’t get better than this.

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