Use the best screws when attaching your precious MC cartridge, please.
Extremephono is conceived as my personal quest for music perfection. First and foremost, I develop products that satisfy my first own musical quest: accurate, dynamic, air, speed, transparency, frequency extension, better and cheaper.
Once, I slipped my flat-head screw driver, and left a mark on my brand new Ekos tonearm. This cost me hundreds of dollars in diminishing the resale value. I learnt my lesson. But then I realized there is no place to find the proper screws to fit cartridge to tonearm.
Well, I have a solution. This is not high-tech, and not new idea, but just plain old good quality work to find the best supplier and spec'd out for the best mounting hardware.
The Extreme Solid Solid Mounting Kit consists of 2.5mm hex-bolt made of alloy, with matching nuts from the same material. So what's so great about it ?
Tight grip and solid torque. Using a 2mm Hex Allen Key, the cartridge can be torque down tight and flat, but please don't strip or crack a plastic cartridge - Extremephono is not responsible for excessive violence. A firm and tight torque maintain mechanical stability and allow vibration from stylus to escape smoothly, improving resolution and bass response.
Alloy is non-magnetic. Here's the audiophile spin. MC cartridge has very strong and powerful magnet inside the cartridge, and it outputs a a tiny signal. All mounting hardware, even a famous Mxxxxx's $8.95 kit (I was really disappointed) provided cheap $ penny/each ferrous steel screws. Do you want to pay for a MC cartridge and get sub-par performance caused by the steel screws magnetically 'fluxing' the coil?
No more slippage. Never scratch another cartridge and tonearm.
Correct torque along the pick-up system (cartridge-tonearm-armboard) is critical for maximum mechanical performance. A torque screwdriver is ideal for such application, in lacking of a torque screwdriver, here're some suggestions:
1. Tighten the cartridge hex bolt. Rotate until resistance is felt, then continue another 3/4 rotation to tighten, never too tight. Make sure that there is no surface deflection in either cartridge mounting area or headshell area. The tightness is just 'finger tight' - you should be able to do this with fingers twisting the hex key to prevent excessive application of force.
2. Make sure that the VTA locking screw is tight, but not too tight. Some Linn users follow the 'Linn doctrine' to the book and over-torqued the VTA screws. When VTA screw is too tight, the bass will become constricted, and midrange/treble becomes too brittle sounding, . Correct torque/tightness is 'hand tight', or 7-9 lbf/in.
3. The arm base tightness - tight but not too much. For Rega arm, the ideal tightness is just slightly over what's necessary stop the arm from rotating. For Linn or other arms where bolts are used, the bolts should be 'hand tight', about 7-9 lbf/in. Also, make sure the armboard should not be deflected as a result of tightening the bolts.
What is 'hand tight' ? Lock your elbow, just use the hand to tighten the screw/bolt. If you bend the elbow, you could apply too much force from your whole arm, easily reaching 15-20 lbf/in, excessive for tonearm application.