ok, you say ‘I knew baerwald protractors, Loefgren protractors, what is that Stevenson it’s somewhere on the internet), Stevenson shed a new light on cartridge. THE REGA BAERWALD ARC PROTRACTOR download this protractor oops, impossible for me to set up my cartridge using your protractor: two possibilities. I did my best with the included protractor to align the cart properly, but the Technics doesn’t quite use a Baerwald alignment. I wound up with.

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When correctly set, the stylus will have a near perfect groove tangency at two points profractor the record, minimizing tracking error between and beyond the null points. The above image shows the two null points in relation to each other. With the platter immobilized, the protractor will be rotated to check adjustment at each null point.

For an explanation of the adjustment procedure, see the illustration and text below.

Baerwald Alignment Protractor for Turntables

It is based upon the Baerwald calculations for minimum tracking error when using a pivoted tonearm. Showing adjustments to be made.

Can you see the slight mis-alignment to the zenith adjustment? To adjust overhang, we must adjust alignmet mounting length between the stylus and tonearm pivot. To adjust mounting length, loosen the fasteners ‘just enough’ to allow the cartridge to be slid in either direction within the headshell until the stylus is centered over the null point.

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The method is different. To adjust Zenith angle, the cartridge body is rotated within the headshell until a parallel alignment exists between the cantilever and the grid lines on the protractor. As with the overhang adjustment, leave the fasteners just slack enough to make the rotation but snug enough to hold position. If the protractor is a mirrored surface, it will be possible to visually evaluate the parallel alignment between the cantilever and the grid. However, if prktractor protractor is paper, you may have to settle for aoignment the cartridge body sides parallel to the grid since it will not be possible to get a visual fix between the grid and the cantilever.

Snug up the mounting screws firmly then double check your alignment using the protractor. baereald

That is our overhang adjustment using a two point protractor. This will involve some averaging of the zenith angle between the two points, but the stylus should find exact center over both null points. The first cause might be inadequate room in the slots.

Free Turntable Cartridge Alignment Protractor And Speed Discs

In effect the cartridge can’t be moved forward enough to reach the null point. Typically this happens when using a Baerwald based protractor.


Baerwald alignments result in longer overhang values. I prefer to use the Baerwald alignment whenever I can for its slightly lower tracking error values, however if it becomes necessary, a different protractor may be needed with some combinations protracttor tonearms and cartridges. The second cause might alignmebt an incorrect pivot-to-spindle mounting distance. Typically this can happen when pivot-to-spindle distances are made adjustable at the arm board, or if a different tonearm has been incorrectly installed to the turntable.

I recommend that this very important mounting distance, pivot-to-spindle, is checked and compared to the tonearm manufactures specification.

Aligning cartridge using Baerwald protractor

A special gage is required. For one example of a gage that measures ‘pivot to spindle’, link here. Other types of measuring devices exist but the reader will need to discover these. It is not the purpose of this page to study or attempt to explain the difference between different alignment theories.

Top view showing the two points of alignment.