Question: How do I set up the tonearm on the AT-LP3 turntable?
Answer: There are four relatively simple steps to setting up the tonearm on the AT-LP3 turntable.
Step 1. Assembling the Tonearm
a. Insert the headshell/cartridge assembly into the socket on the end of the tonearm tube.
b. With the headshell inserted, turn the locking ring on the socket counterclockwise (to the left) to draw the headshell into the socket. Tighten the ring until snug.
c. With the tracking force gauge ring facing toward the front of the turntable, install the counterweight onto the back of the tonearm by turning it counterclockwise (to the left), stopping about halfway up the back section of the arm.
Step 2. Balancing the Tonearm
a. Remove the cartridge’s stylus (needle) protector from the stylus by pulling the protector straight forward (not downward). Save the protector for future use.
b. While holding the headshell by its sides, remove the cable tie used to secure the tonearm to the tonearm rest during shipment.
c. While still lightly holding the headshell, turn the counterweight in the direction needed to adjust the tonearm balance so that the tonearm is floating level (parallel to the record) when you release the headshell. Note that turning the weight counterclockwise (to the left) causes the weight to move forward on the arm, adding more weight to the stylus end of the arm and turning the weight clockwise (to the right) causes the weight to move backward on the arm, reducing the weight at the stylus end of the arm.
d. Return the arm to the tonearm rest.
Step 3. Setting the Tracking Force
a. Being careful not to turn the counterweight itself, turn the tracking force gauge ring on the front of the weight so that the “0” position lines up with the centerline mark on the top of the tonearm. The ring turns independently of the weight. You should now have a perfectly balanced (level) tonearm set to “0” gram reference.
b. To set the actual tracking force, turn the counterweight (not just the ring)* counterclockwise (to the left) until the centerline value matches the recommended tracking force value for the cartridge you are using. In the case of the supplied AT91R Cartridge, this is 2.0 grams.
*Note that the ring will turn with the weight.
Step 4. Setting the Anti-Skate Adjustment
While a record is playing, a force acts on the stylus tip to pull it inward toward the center of the record. This force can be counteracted by applying a counterforce in the form of an anti-skate control. Set the anti-skate control to the same value as the tracking force, which in this case is 2.
This entire turntable setup process may be viewed in the following video or on the AT-LP3 Set up Blog
If you have any questions or issues regarding the setup of your AT-LP3 turntable, please feel free to contact our Audio Solutions Department for assistance.