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  1. SmarTractor - Markedets mest nøyaktige protractor for perfekt setup av platespiller!

    3 Kommentarer Av Endpoint Audio - 06.11.2014 12:15

    Navn:      SMART_01.jpg
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    SMARTractor - 4.490,-


    Hvor viktig er det å stille inn en platespillerstift riktig?
    Jeg har sett påstander om at dette ikke er kjempeviktig og at enhver protractor duger. For en god del så stemmer kanskje dette, men har du lagt penger i et kostbart anlegg og er opptatt at det skal formidle musikk på en så riktig måte som mulig - hvorfor stille inn en pickup sånn circa?

    La oss se på hvilke størrelsesforhold vi faktisk snakker om her:

    La oss forstørre opp dimensjonene til noe sammenlignbart i det virkelige liv.
    Vi ganger opp alt med 1000!
    Tonearmen din er nå 300 meter lang og Pickupen er på størrelse med et normalt hus!
    Selve nålen er på størrelsen med en VW transporter.
    MEN - det polerte området på en moderne pickup er fremdeles kun på en størrelse som er max 2 mm x 6 mm.
    Dette lille området på 2x6 mm henger på enden av en 300 meter lang stang!
    Når vi da snakker om en liten feilinstilling på 0,5 mm når vi bruker en printet protractor, så vil dette tilsvare 50cm på utsiden av en perfekt linje hvor kontaktområdet er 2x6mm.

    Det sier seg selv at man her misser en masse informasjon - og det som ikke plukkes opp her kan ikke tilføres noe annet sted i kjeden.
    Vi bruker masse penger på å oppnå perfekt lyd - så det å kunne stille inn et så delikat redskap som en arm og pickup riktig er ikke bare viktig, men essensielt.

    Dette er grunnen til at SmarTractoren ble laget med laserpresisjon - slik at du kan stille opp ditt utstyr 100% riktig.



    I juli 2014 satte GECOM - Technologies igang med å teste Acoustical System SMARTractor og resulatene viste klart hvor viktig et godt verktøy er.


    A comparison of phono alignment protractors for cartridge alignment


    Published July 26th, 2014 by gecom-tech, Germany

    GECOM-Technologies bought the SMARTractor in July 2014 and this comparison was conducted without our knowledge. We only learned about this when the article was published. GECOM-Technologies GmbH is an independent Precision-Lab for measurement technique, EMS-material and high-end audio R&D - located in the northern part of Germany in Ganderkesee. Permission was granted by GECOM-Technologies GmbH to publish this article on our website.

    This picture shows part of GECOM-Technologies' extensive HF-measurement facility.


    A comparison of phono protractors for cartridge alignment

    As generally agreed, the process of aligning a phono cartridge “right” is a fairly complex one and anything but easy.
    The magazine “Stereophile” published a well written and very informative article on the topic:

    www.stereophile.com/reference/arc_angles_optimizing_tonearm_geometry/index.html

    I will take this article as the basis of my comparison of phono alignment protractors.
    In this comparison I will concentrate on minimizing tangential error and thus minimizing tracking distortions.

    There are 2 major versions of protractors:

    One features 2 separated points (version 1) where the cartridge has to be aligned.
    The other features 1 single mark point (version 2) for the orientation of the cartridge and the cantilever - which needs to be aligned to make sure the later is in-line with the pivot of the tonearm.

    With version 1 you need to know both “null points” of the given tangential curve.
    This allows you to choose them by measuring the offset angle at the given mark point.

    Version 2 usually offers different mark points for several tangential curves to choose from.

    One of the least expensive protractors is from Ortofon.
    With this protractor the spindle hole was way too large.
    The protractor is made from very thin material.
    Prior to start the alignment, you should support it by a layer of strong cardboard to simulate the thickness of the LP.
    This protractor is a member of version 1 - sporting 2 null points.

    The thickness of each line is approx. 0.25 mm.
    The mark points - null points - are even larger.
    A precise routine with a derivation less than 0.5 mm and error smaller than 0.5° is very hard under these circumstances.


    Please note:
    this photo - as well as all pictures taken of the protractors featured in this article - were shot with macro lens and in identical distance.


    You see clearly the very prominent outline of the “arrow” - more than 0.5 mm, which makes the actual alignment very difficult.
    It is enough however for a first “general” positioning.

    Another member of version 1 is the protractor made by van den Hul.

    This protractor is made from mirrored plastic and features approximately the thickness of a standard LP.
    The hole for the spindle is quite accurate and has only very little “play”.
    The lines are approx. 0.5 mm “strong”.


    The picture clearly shows the “double lines” - an effect of the mirrored surface.
    Due to the way too broad lines, a precise alignment is however practical impossible.



    A member of version 2 is the protractor made by Clearaudio.
    The effective length of the tonearm is marked in steps of 1 mm - with a resolution of 0.2 mm.
    The center drill for the spindle has significant play - approximately 0.5 mm.
    There is a choice of 4 different tangential curves - made possible by easy-to-change mounting of the main plate.

    The stroke width of the lines is 0.4 mm.
    The main plate has approximately the thickness of a standard 140 gram LP.




    Because of the stroke width plus the 0.5 mm play of the spindle hole a precise alignment is not possible. The price for this protractor is approximately EURO 200.

    Another member of variant 2 is the SMARTractor by Acoustical Systems.

    This is a mirrored plastic plate with a choice of 5 tangential curves.
    The plate itself features the thickness of a modern 180 gram LP.
    The center hole has absolutely no play - all the user has to do is to select the fitting center insert from a choice of 3 different inserts coming with the protractor.
    The effective length of a given tonearm can be precisely read out with an accuracy of 0.01 mm.
    If the pivot isn’t clearly marked on the bearing house, there is a special crosshairs / reticule coming with this protractor which is very helpful to align to the pivot. Further to this, there is also the supplied choice of a needle pointer for the pivot.
    The marking lines are explicitly fine - with a mark width of only 0.1 mm.
    This is the only protractor under review featuring single laser-shot alignment point for the stylus tip of the cartridge.

    There is a very precise read-out possible here, tanks to the supplied metal and glass magnifier in its dedicated frame.
    For a comparable precise read-out the other protractors in this survey all would need a USB-microscope.

    In summary this is a real precision-tool.


    The red pointer marks the laser-shot indention for the stylus tip.
    The larger point below is the mirrored image.
    Same applies to the lines - the thinner line is the laser-engraved mark line, the slightly thicker the mirrored image.


    Despite its retail price of approximately EURO 500, I can recommend this protractor with a clear conscience.

    Precision, easy operation and operational reliability justify the price.

    The result of the more precise alignment was reviewed with a test record with a constant 1kHz test tone over the full record side.

    First we made a measurement of a combined alignment with the Ortofon and Clearaudio protractors. The output of the phono preamp was connected to a Rohde & Schwarz UPD Audioanalyzer. The summary klirr factor (distortion factor) was measured and weighted over the whole record side.
    The result was 1.22 % distortion.

    Following this we aligned the very same tonearm/cartridge combination with the SMARTractor and repeated the measurement.
    The result was 0.48% distortion.

    This improvement is significant and was clearly audible verified in listening tests.



    This is the SMARTractor set-up during alignment.
    A sensible and effective product.


    mvh
    Tom E.
    tom@endpointaudio.no
    47832922

  2. Antall kommentarer 3

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  3. #2
    Hifi Freak JackX's Avatar
    Ble medlem
    Mar 2002
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    Ser bra ut - men hvordan bestiller man den? Har du forhandler(e) i Oslo?

    mvh

  4. #3
    Hifi Freak grammofon's Avatar
    Ble medlem
    Feb 2011
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    Dette minner meg om alignering av teleskoper. Blir aldri bra nok.... Meade leverer teleskoper med GPS som alignerer seg selv automatisk.
    En ide også innen Hi-Fi? Laserstyrt, helautomatisk protraktor!
    mvh
    Harald

  5. #4
    Bransjemedlem Endpoint Audio's Avatar
    Ble medlem
    Apr 2013
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    Tønsberg
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    Se min butikk
    Klikk her
    Torget
    10
    Protractoren bestilles på telefon, email eller pm.
    Vi har ingen forhandlere i Oslo enda.

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