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An Illustrated Definition of Terms

Tonearm Alignment for pivot tone arms

overhang_web.jpg (97898 bytes) Overhang, Pivot to Spindle Distance, Null Points., Tonearm Pivots; Horizontal and Vertical

SRAvta_web.jpg (68512 bytes) Effective Length, Vertical Tracking Angle (VTA) Stylus Rake Angle (SRA)

Azimuth ; the good and the bad

vta_flr_set.jpg (32383 bytes) Adjusting VTA. on a Thorens TP16

BPS3d_styl.jpg (22192 bytes) Cartridge / Arm matching, Effective Mass, Resonant Frequency, VTF, Compliance

2pt_1.GIF (90061 bytes) Adjusting Overhang with a 2 point protractor

DSC_4504.JPG (104263 bytes)Adjusting Overhang with a TAD Arc protractor

How to set up a three spring suspended TT really well, by Tim Bailey M30sprg.jpg (19050 bytes)

  Additional Suspension Notes, by Steve Clarke


Adjusting Overhang using the Clearaudio  protractor

linen magnifier.jpg (214203 bytes)

Other terms not illustrated on this page ......  and their definitions:

vinyl microscopy

H1000735-Record_stylus_playing_record2C_SEM-SPL.jpg (71589 bytes) H1000086-SEM_diamond_stylus_travelling_through_LP_grooves-SPL.jpg (47978 bytes)


.......is related to the ability of the stylus to follow the groove path on the record.  Poor alignment or a worn stylus will hinder tracking. but sometimes a particular record will have a passage of extreme amplitude that will prove difficult for some cartridges/stylii to accurately track.  Then the result is that the stylus does not remain centered and in complete contact with the groove walls...but rather is violently repelled by the grooves from being in constant contact.

Further notes on measure of turntable performance: measures.htm


R7_2_torture.jpg (195393 bytes) 

At The Analog Dept we test tonearm tracking ability under the most demanding conditions.


Related spreadsheets (MS Excel) 

John Elison's Löfgren Alignment Calculator **
Brian Kearn's Arm Data Calculator
Freek's Resonant Frequency Calculator


**  Recent Discoveries with regard to Löfgren and Baerwald theorums



...........I have recently updated my Tonearm Alignment Geometry Spreadsheet in honor of the original pioneer and inventor of modern tonearm alignment geometry. You will find a revised Excel spreadsheet attached to this email. Graeme Dennes, Klaus Rampelmann and I would be grateful if you would replace the current spreadsheet on your website with the attached revision. Also, please change the link title to read "John Elison’s Löfgren Alignment Calculator."

Commonly, we think of the name Baerwald in conjunction with tonearm alignment geometry, but in truth it was actually Professor Erik Löfgren of the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, who developed and published the first tonearm alignment equations in 1938. Baerwald, Bauer, Seagrave and Stevenson produced identical equations, differing only in notation and arrangement. Therefore, had there been no further writing by anyone other than Professor Erik Löfgren, we would still be able to mount and align a tonearm and cartridge today with the certainty that distortion due to lateral tracking error would be minimized.

In honor of Professor Erik Löfgren’s contributions, Klaus Rampelmann has translated Löfgren’s original paper from German into English. You can find a copy of the new English translation at the Vinyl Engine website.


Here is an announcement that was posted on the Vinyl Asylum in November of last year.


As a result of these recent developments, we would be grateful if you would update your webpage with the attached revision.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.



John Elison