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Keel Akiva alignment
2009-02-20, 09:37
Post: #1
Keel Akiva alignment
Hi all,
Given the one piece nature of the Keel sub-chassis/armboard and the fixed nature of a three point cartridge mounting, is it almost impossible to get cartridge alignment wrong on an Akiva/Keel/Ekos deck? (leaving VTA out of the equation for the moment). Thanks

Wenge Sondek, Ekos SE, sKale, Keel, Khan, Radikal D, Akiva, Urika + Sarum TA, Nak ZX-9, Nac 552DR, SNAXO 242, Supercap 2, 2x Nap 250.2s, SL2s, Fraim (plus Qute, Totem Rainmakers. Modded TD 160, CB Nait 2, Kans)
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2009-02-20, 09:58
Post: #2
RE: Keel Akiva alignment
Nope!! As an Ekos/Arkiv owner I would say that there is still quite a bit of scope to not have the cartridge squarely attached to the tonearm. Equally, as you mention, VTA adjustment is still required as before. It is easier to fit the cartridge with three mounting bolts but not without some skill. The Keel makes no difference to how easy set-up is in my view.

Regards
CJ

Main: Michell Orbe/SME V/Lyra Delos/CA 640p Oppo105 Marantz AV8801 Linn 5125 Dynamik Focal Diablo Utopia III Komponent106 Komponent104

Profession: Owner of Krescendo HiFi - Specialist in second hand Linn and Naim
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2009-02-20, 10:15
Post: #3
RE: Keel Akiva alignment
CJ1045 Wrote:Nope!! As an Ekos/Arkiv owner I would say that there is still quite a bit of scope to not have the cartridge squarely attached to the tonearm. Equally, as you mention, VTA adjustment is still required as before. It is easier to fit the cartridge with three mounting bolts but not without some skill. The Keel makes no difference to how easy set-up is in my view.

Regards
CJ
I guess that my thinking was that overhang can't be adjusted due to the lack of a slot for the third bolt. Getting the cartridge square in the headshell is therefore easier as it's a matter of checking that the front of the cartridge is parallel with the front edge of the headshell. The Keel leaves no room for error in the interface between armboard and sub-chassis and does away with the need for the Kinky alignment tool. Azimuth has never been adjustable on the Ekos. So there are far fewer variables left (arm height and the squareness of the cartridge in the headshell being the only two I can see). is that right?

Wenge Sondek, Ekos SE, sKale, Keel, Khan, Radikal D, Akiva, Urika + Sarum TA, Nak ZX-9, Nac 552DR, SNAXO 242, Supercap 2, 2x Nap 250.2s, SL2s, Fraim (plus Qute, Totem Rainmakers. Modded TD 160, CB Nait 2, Kans)
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2009-02-20, 11:06 (This post was last modified: 2009-02-20 11:09 by linnewbie.)
Post: #4
RE: Keel Akiva alignment
Yes, you can do something on the azimuth by placing thin paper between the akiva anbd headshell.

I have the problem with my Akiva.
[Image: DSC04312.jpg]

From the photo you can see that the right raised land is a bit higher than the left and I get this distortion on the right channel. With a spacer (thin paper) and the problem is solved.

About the effective length on the akiva, I buy a Mint Tractor and I have to get rid of the 3rd screw to do it right.
[Image: DSC05702-cutout.jpg]

Now, no more distortions.

LP12 / Radikal / Ekos SE / Keel / Khan / sKale / Kandid / Uphorik
Klimax Kontrol / Cary 211 FE / ProAc Response 3.8
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2009-02-20, 19:48
Post: #5
RE: Keel Akiva alignment
linnewbie Wrote:Yes, you can do something on the azimuth by placing thin paper between the akiva anbd headshell.

I have the problem with my Akiva.
[Image: DSC04312.jpg]

From the photo you can see that the right raised land is a bit higher than the left and I get this distortion on the right channel. With a spacer (thin paper) and the problem is solved.

About the effective length on the akiva, I buy a Mint Tractor and I have to get rid of the 3rd screw to do it right.
[Image: DSC05702-cutout.jpg]

Now, no more distortions.

Funny I have also noticed my Akiva does not site truly vertically from the headshell. Is this a more common problem? Cant say I have actually heard distortion though?? Don't make me paranoid!
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2009-02-21, 03:21
Post: #6
RE: Keel Akiva alignment
Stu Wrote:Funny I have also noticed my Akiva does not site truly vertically from the headshell. Is this a more common problem? Cant say I have actually heard distortion though?? Don't make me paranoid!
You can try placing Akiva on the mirror and look down from the top.
The front center line should be in line with the reflection and try to move your head left right to check if it is truly vertical.

LP12 / Radikal / Ekos SE / Keel / Khan / sKale / Kandid / Uphorik
Klimax Kontrol / Cary 211 FE / ProAc Response 3.8
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2010-03-02, 23:52
Post: #7
Rolleyes RE: Keel Akiva alignment
Always very interesting to read you all, thank you.

More food for thoughts>

Trampolin III provided with ulrika is to me definitely unsatisfactory.
Up to the point that I wrote to Linn. Got no reply though (but who gets answers from valhala, gods don't have customers, do they ?). Our dear old LP12 deserves better than these cheap jelly-like feet.

I have tried many different shelves on my wall mounted steel frame - heavy granit, light wood, Ikea stuff, acrylic, glass, compound, etc. - none really worked well with TIII. Making a big hole in a wood shelf to bypass TIII and going back to the initial rubber feet (on the plinth) with significant results made me wonder if a shelf was actually necessary.

The answer is no.

Lucky enough, my wall-mounted frame has four adjustable spikes exactly where the initial LP12 feet were, so I simply put the LP12's plinth directly on spikes... and found that it works somptuously well. First time ever I managed to have evrything - plinth + Keel + platter - absolutely level, and music now flows with total freedom, voices in particular are perfectly smooth and articulate. Again, absolutely no change was made to the turntable itself.

So better have the LP12 coupled than isolated, with aim at letting the Keel work its own life. I am now very happy with my [lp12-radikal-ulrika-ekos SE-akiva-KKontrol/Dynamik-KTwinChakra(x4)-KTunebox-Klimax350/Dynamik] system, but was close to give up simply because of this crappy TIII baseboard feet which come with ulrika and is not up to the usual Linn standards.

Akiva now...
Regarding distorsion, it is possible that there are manufacturing issues as pointed out in UK's HIFI News issued some months ago (LP12 vintage with radikal/ulrika review). But mine is perfect so there is nothing wrong with the design. Although still mounted with 3 screws, I took the risk to get rid of the protection shell as it was proven to be a resonance trap. It now looks like some sort of Lyra cardridge and seems dangerously exposed but in fact I have experienced absolutely no manipulation problem so far. As such, it reads very well with lower than 1.9g tracking force. Ultimate results are at, say, 1.88g provided that antiskating is adjusted accordingly. But as Akiva is extremely sensitive to antiskating, I would suggest you first start with this kind of adjustment (on a perfectly level LP12, of course).

Hope this message is helpful.
Enjoy music (all sorts)!
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2010-03-03, 01:46
Post: #8
RE: Keel Akiva alignment
Interesting that you should mention the question of azimuth. I had to adjust my original Ittok to correct this and have been alarmed to discover that the Ekos that I replaced this with has also been incorrectly manufactured. I spoke with Linn and they have asked me to take it back to the local dealer where it will be examined. Correcting this will obviously be an expensive procedure as the headshell and tube are bonded and not bolted.

It will be interesting to find out what they propose.

I have also found that the Arkiv is quite sensitive to set up, particularly trying to find the balance between tracking weight and anti skate. Then I checked the azimuth and realised that this was probably not helping.
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2010-03-03, 13:02
Post: #9
RE: Keel Akiva alignment
Hi

Most turntables will have a series of small errors which may affect azimuth.

The first is the bolting of the bearing to the chassis.
The second is whether the chassis is absolutely flat .
The third is the junction between the chassis and arm-board.
The fourth is whether the arm-board is absolutely flat.
The fifth is the bolting of the collar to the arm-board.
The sixth is whether the head-shell is exactly at right angles to the gimbal and pillar.
The seventh is the "set" of the cantilever and stylus .

The reality is that there will be a series of small errors which cumulatively can affect whether the cartridge is at perfect azimuth to the record.

It is dangerous to assume that an error is caused by the arm,especially if a second arm shows the same apparent error to the first.In loosening the Ittok head-shell and adjusting you may be trying to compensate for an error elsewhere and at the same time compromising the arms performance.

Linn made a decision back in the 1970's that the gain in rigidity was so important that it outweighed the advantage of the traditional collar type adjustable head-shell.

I first visited Linn in 1982 and saw Ittok arms being individually unboxed from Japan and tested before they were signed off as passing quality control.

There was a 3 inch thick block of metal around 18" square.Each arm was bolted into another block which rested on the first.The end was placed on another ,movable block in order to check the azimuth of the head-shell.If it passed this test then the arm would go on to friction tests.There would,of course be some sort of tolerance to assess this and some arms would fail.

Another poster mentioned looking at the vertical line at the front of the cartridge in a mirror but this can also be misleading as the plastic body has some give on the metal part of the cartridge that it is wrapped around.

It is ,of course possible that a head-shell has been incorrectly fitted but it is unlikely.It is more likely to be an error elsewhere and I am particular ,for example about the flatness of the pressed chassis and all of our new LP12's and Cirkus Kits are tested with an engineers bar.This is simply to ensure that my customers get the very best and some other retailers are equally as fussy which is why people travel to us.

As Linn stated at the time they considered that the mechanical rigidity outweighed a small error in azimuth that was possible when a number of parts are bolted together.(The Keel improves this aspect dramatically).

One can get very paranoid at this sort of thing and end up looking at the deck rather than listening to it.I certainly would not consider packing the interface between the headshell and cartridge to compensate.

Colin Macey. WYSAH Beaconsfield.

www.whatyouseeandhear.com
www.wysah.com
01494 681300.
email colin@wysah.com
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2010-03-03, 15:13
Post: #10
RE: Keel Akiva alignment
Thats what I would have presumed - its mounted on a keel and I have also checked the relationship between keel chassis, armboard area, cirkus bearing, inner and outer platter etc. All are true (as you would expect at the price) apart from the arm.
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