Cartridge Man digital stylus forge gauge allows you to accurately set phono cartridge downforce, the accuracy of which is crucial in getting the best sound from your entire turntable set-up. Setting up a cartridge incorrectly can result in anything from degraded sonic performance, to mis-tracking and even damage to the record and stylus. Correctly setting setting stylus force is vital to musical performance:too heavy and it becomes laboured in its midband and boomey in the bass, too light and it sharpens the music.
Many stylus force gauges are only accurate to 0.1g, can be fiddly to set-up and offer a non-optimum measurement height - often meaning that you have to remove the platter to check the weight, which can result in a non-optimum measurement. The Cartridge Man's Digital Stylus Forcegauge now offers a more accurate solution, featuring an enhanced measurement range (down to 0.05g), which is easy-to-use and competitively priced. A lifetime solution that will allow you to always experience the full potential of your phono cartridge.
'The importance of setting up a turntable correctly is only appreciated by those why have completed this task. Until then you just do not know what you are missing'
'Used in conjunction with the test record, you have all the tools needed to set up a turntable system to perfection. All professionals/shops should own these. If someone comes to set up a turntable and doesn't have one ask why not - its like a doctor without a stethoscope' (TNT-Audio online)
'Now I'd go further and say that for anyone who takes the job seriously, then its essential equipment. This thing is a DIY-ers delight. Expensive? Yes, but then the best normally is' (Hi-Fi+ magazine)
- Andrew Harrison, Hi-Fi News, 3/99, P21
- ... this offers the element of repeatability, such that fine-tuning can be cross-referenced to accurate readings, and 'sweet spot' settings can be noted down. ... the Digital Stylus Force Gauge makes it far, far easier - and still more precise.
- ... this balance also offers an order of magnitude greater precision, and the confidence that the three-significant figure display corresponds to the actual tracking force (QC calibration is made with lab-grade weights and the unit is temperature compensated).
Myles B. Astor, Ultimate Audio, 5/98, P2
- A Technics guage (1.525g) was used to test and verify the 'Cartridge Man's' accuracy ... yielding an average of 1.49g +/- 0.03g (SD) immediately upon turn-on, compared to 1.51g +/- 0.01g (SD) three minutes later.
- ... The best news of all is that the 'Cartridge Man' is a huge improvement over the Technics Electronic gauge - ease of use, easier-to-read LEDs, more stable readings, and a 'zero' that doesn't fluctuate.
- Don't wait until it's too late; get these babies while they're still available!
Michael Fremer, Stereophile, 2/99, P51-52
... This neat little digital-readout device sells for $299 - a little more than a third of the cost of the Winds gauge - currently the industry standard. ... One thing I really like about the new gauge is that, unlike the Wind's weighing beam - which protrudes from the side, ... the Cartridge Man's beam is well protected. I used a 2g brass weight lab-certified ... the Cartridge Man measured the weight as 1.98g, which for me is more than adequate.
Roy Gregory, Hi-Fi Plus, 2/00
... The Cartridge Man's balance may seem expensive at £ 199, but it pales into insignificance against the Winds. ... I love the Winds, but what price its simplicity and cool looks ? Me, I'll settle for the Cartridge Man balance. It does exactly the same job, it just places a little more onus on the user.
Jimmy Hughes, Hi-Fi Choice, 1/99, P13
... Obviously, the £ 199 asking price is high for something the average punter will use rarely, and on cost grounds, will be limited to serious vinyl enthusiasts, retailers and reviewers. Nevertheless, a worthwhile investment for those unwilling to accept second-best!
Specification and features
Measurement range: 0.2g to 4.0g.
Accuracy: better than 0.05g over full measurement range
Useable period: 30 minutes per full charge
Display: 3-digit LED
Status indication: Display test, battery, nulling, overload
Recharge cycle: ~ 14-24 hours
Useable temperature: 5°C to 35°C
Weight: 150g nominal
Dimension: 45mm h x 87mm diameter
Construction: Non-magnetic, anti-slip feet
Charge unit: 9V D.C. @ 100mA output supplied
But there is a solution: The Cartridge Man's stylus gauge. This thing is heaven. It's genuinely accurate, designed specifically for styluses, with a dimple in the miniscule measuring tray that sits 3mm above the platter (i.e. a 200gm record). It's incredibly easy to use and speeds up the process of cartridge setup to no end. Does it make a difference? It does - and a crucial one. The tension of the cantilever and the correct operation of the magnets depend on accurate vertical tracking force. For an Allaerts, the maximum tolerance is .05 gm. The Music Maker is another cartridge that only releases its true potential when accurately set up.
I used to spend several hours in a frustrating circle because I couldn't get the basic parameters right so I'd have to repeat the whole process several times. Sometimes I'd give up or run out of time and live with a compromised sound and the risk of damaging records. From a sonic point of view, there is simply a huge chasm between a properly set-up turntable and a compromised setup. The vivid colors, huge dynamics, accuracy of pitch, width and depth of soundstage, crisp three-dimensional highs and sinuous bass notes... the list is endless. Every aspect of reproduction is affected by setup and I'd rather have a run of the mill turntable that's been well set up than a real high flier that's been set up indifferently. I've also been rather shocked by the cavalier method that some retailers use to set up. It's not as though they could make up these measurements by eye or "experience" - though they do pretend. You either have the right tools or you don't. The digital gauge is the right tool and I can't recommend it highly enough. 6Moons
Ideal with The Cartridge Man Digital Stylus Force Gauge DFG420B & 180g TEST LP