Vinyl Asylum: Mint lp Protractor arrived today. Four 1/2 hours later.... by email@example.com
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I'm so exhausted I'm going to bed, but the pertinent details:
Customer service: Excellent, great email communications throughout the shipping process.
Packaging: Excellent, everything arrived Registered Mail, and carefully and thoughtfully packed
Instructions: Couldn't be clearer, and this is the first time I've used a protractor other than VPI's extremely easy and recommendable one. The pictures describing how to avoid Parallax error are very helpful as well.
Fit and finish of the protractor: Wow. Fit snugly over the spindle-hole without any perceptible give. The etchings on the glass are easy to see as possible and perfectly straight even under 10X magnification.
Ease of use: I won't sugar-coat: by the time I finished the alignment, (probably not taking the recommended breaks as often as I should have), I was feeling a little headachy and nauseous. I went all out, not only lining up the needle perfectly across the whole arc, but going further and centering it within the ultra-thin arc line with the aid of magnification.
Step 2 involves aligning the cantilever between the "railroad tracks" on the inner and outer null points, and it's quite hard on the eyes to focus on relationship between actual lines and their reflections, (exploiting the Parallax effect to insure a perfect sightline) and then refocus on the relationship between cantilever and actual lines.
As one can imagine...this could get frustrating really fast. It is really hard to avoid leaning on (and unfortunately disturbing) the platter which must remain stationary. I must hasten to add that I can't imagine any protractor and/or devices which would make the process easier. I was able--with everything supplied--to unquestionably get everything lined up, and then some, with magnification.
Resulting improvement in sound: The new alignment did *not* improve or smooth out "hot" strings or "blatty," unflatteringly-recorded brass, two issue which I'd hoped would be improved. The improvements were surprising in other ways. Unquestionably more separation of instruments, better airiness, more low-level details...everything was "opened up" and "fleshed out" more in each 3rd of the Lp, especially the last 3rd. The "unflappability quotient" (if that makes sense), of my cart definitely went up.
I would recommend this Protractor for two reasons, 1)definitely a marked improvement in sound as described, and 2)for all the micro-surgery hassle, I couldn't imagine anyone--if one believes in the accuracy of the protractor--second-guessing his work, once all is triple-checked and the items put away. The supplied magnification allows from some extreme accuracy, providing you'll provide patience, good and fresh vision and a steady hand.
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Topic - Mint lp Protractor arrived today. Four 1/2 hours later.... - firstname.lastname@example.org 00:04:22 03/31/09 ( 36)
- Do you have to go through this same process to check alilgnment of your cart from time to time? - rich121 22:40:35 03/31/09 ( 1)
- I'm good for awhile. : ) - email@example.com 22:49:58 03/31/09 ( 0)
Records not improved. - docw 10:05:47 03/31/09 ( 2)
- Dyna 20xl, but I should clarify, hoping to tame Bernstein's strings in 60's Columbia recordings, for example - firstname.lastname@example.org 15:17:03 03/31/09 ( 1)
- try Szell's - docw 16:32:59 03/31/09 ( 0)
Classical records for which there was fantastic improvement, and some disappointments still - email@example.com 09:30:23 03/31/09 ( 4)
- RE: Classical records for which there was fantastic improvement, and some disappointments still - Dave Pogue 12:38:13 03/31/09 ( 3)
- RE: Classical records for which there was fantastic improvement, and some disappointments still - firstname.lastname@example.org 15:15:39 03/31/09 ( 2)
- RE: Classical records for which there was fantastic improvement, and some disappointments still - Dave Pogue 08:18:28 04/1/09 ( 1)
- I only have two Lp's which sound suspiciously "dull" all the way through: - email@example.com 09:28:46 04/1/09 ( 0)
Excellent review and comments. Thanks for posting. nt - Maniac 07:35:43 03/31/09 ( 0)
Maybe I'm the exception - Biff 07:19:13 03/31/09 ( 4)
- Good argument for replaceable styli... - Bry 05:22:17 04/2/09 ( 0)
Alignment induced fatigue - jsusky 07:56:01 04/1/09 ( 0)
RE: Maybe I'm the exception - firstname.lastname@example.org 09:44:15 03/31/09 ( 0)
Everyones life is short! Exactly why it's... - VynylTap 08:04:55 03/31/09 ( 0)
Great review. Here's my take... - wgallupe 06:14:06 03/31/09 ( 6)
- LOL, yes I've got some nose-prints (oils) on my platter and melted my hair at one point getting too close to - email@example.com 09:48:26 03/31/09 ( 2)
- Ya, I used a halogen light too. I think I got sunburn on one side of my face ;)......nt - wgallupe 15:00:06 03/31/09 ( 1)
- Use LED lighting as it is bright and cool! (nt) - vinyl survivor 19:55:58 03/31/09 ( 0)
RE: Great review. Here's my take... - John Elison 07:30:05 03/31/09 ( 2) Similar experience... - VynylTap 05:15:46 03/31/09 ( 4)
- Dyna 20xl and the phono stage within the Musical Fidelity A308 - firstname.lastname@example.org 09:52:29 03/31/09 ( 3)
- RE: Dyna 20xl and the phono stage within the Musical Fidelity A308 - DocSamG 10:43:04 03/31/09 ( 2)
- I don't think so at all, though I look forward to a stand-alone. (nt) - email@example.com 15:18:06 03/31/09 ( 1)
- RE: I don't think so at all, though I look forward to a stand-alone. (nt) - DocSamG 16:29:03 03/31/09 ( 0)
RE: Mint lp Protractor arrived today. Four 1/2 hours later.... - John Elison 00:24:34 03/31/09 ( 4)
- I asked Yip about this and it varies depending upon the table... - VynylTap 07:13:15 03/31/09 ( 3)
- College Daze - jsusky 07:42:49 04/1/09 ( 0)
- RE: I asked Yip about this and it varies depending upon the table... - John Elison 07:32:55 03/31/09 ( 1)
- I've actually thought about buying a 2nd "custom" - VynylTap 08:07:05 03/31/09 ( 0)
RE: Mint lp Protractor arrived today. Four 1/2 hours later.... - AlbumAddictED 00:18:00 03/31/09 ( 2)