Alignment tool for SME V + Shelter

I've always relied on DB Protractor through multiple tonearm iterations, but was wondering if I could seek a recommendation from the board on a more accurate tool.

Setup is currently an SME V with Shelter 90x (which I believe has an IEC compliance stylus tip to mounting point?), but am getting a smidgen of sibilance on some inner tracks. I know that the Shelters aren't killer trackers, but I'm sure I could do better.

Am considering a MINT LP or Feickert.

Thanks in advance.
Nsgarch, you said:

"I understand your point, although I think "several mm" variation may be an exaggeration, especially with today's cartridges."

The two cartridges I use currently have a marked difference in the mounting position on my Graham arm. The Denon 103R sits pretty much mid-way in the slots (probably conforms to standard), but the Ortofon Jubilee sits quite close to the back of the slot. About 2mm difference, maybe more.

When Yip goes to such trouble to ascertain the *exact* diameter of individual turntable spindles (see post above) - you would be throwing away a lot of precision by not accounting for this type of cartridge variation when using the SME.

Of course, depending on the cartridges used, this may not be an issue.
Tobes, I think you miss the point of the SME's brilliant design when you say "as you no doubt realise, the SME V cannot be adjusted for effective length because of it's unslotted headshell mounts."

First of all, with an SME there is no need to adjust the effective arm length. With standard mount cartridges, the stylus/pivot distance will always be 233mm and the overhang will always be 17.8mm; which is achieved by sliding the base back and forth. When the overhang is at 17.8mm, the pivot to spindle distance is automatically correct (no need to drill a precisely located hole in the TT armboard) and the cartridge, when adjusted true and parallel to the headshell, will be tangent to the grooves at two points; and if the cartridge is standard, one need only add the difference to the 233mm and look up the adjusted overhang (DB provides a chart) and you're in business.

My only gripe is SME's roundabout and imprecise way of checking the overhang -- typically British! However, the design objective of the SME V tonearm was to fashion a headshell/armtube/counterweight-carriage out of a SINGLE casting, in order to provide the most rigid platform ever conceived for mounting a cartridge; along with their use of outrageously expensive ABEC 7 ball race bearings that nobody else uses. So you see, the single hole mounting arrangement is not an arbitrary SME affectation, but works to locate the cartridge in exact relation to the other tonearm dimensions. Setup is really a snap with a standard cartridge andnot much harder with a non-standard one.

Granted, one gives up certain niceties to enjoy the unique attributes of an SME V tonearm. For instance you can't adjust stylus azimuth; but on the other hand, any cartridge worthy of living in an SME V should come with perfectly aligned stylus/cantilever; and if it doesn't? well at those prices, it goes back for an exchange!!

Adjusting the SRA (some call it VTA) can also be frustrating if you're expecting to just 'dial it in' like a Graham or a Tri-Planar. And if your (most likely modern MC) cartridge is too short, you'll need a headshell spacer to keep the back of the armtube from hitting the edge of the record ;-)

My advice to Pureretro: You have one of the finest, most foolproof, durable and easy to set up tonearms in the world. I've owned mine since 1990, and in 2004 sent it to England for its 200,000 mile checkup (they couldn't find anything to adjust!) and to update the internal wiring. That was it! So keep the DB and buy a nice thin metal mm scale so you can check the overhang accurately. (You'll figure it out.) And if your eyesight is shot, just get a great big magnifying glass ;-)
Nsgarch, there is no need to try to 'sell' the SME-V's design to me - I owned that arm for two years myself back in 1989-91. In '91 I replaced it with the Graham 1.5T which I found sonically superior and allowed precise and repeatable adjustments of all parameters (I now have the Phantom 2).

BTW, I'm not putting down the SME - it remains a very fine tonearm. However, none of what you say changes any of the facts regarding effective length that I mentioned above and how that will effect a fixed arc tractor. And yes, the problem is real, as demonstrated by the cartridges I mentioned above.

I think that's something the OP should be aware of, nothing more.
It is merely the difference between an arc-style protractor vs. the others that rely on a multi-step process. With an arc-style that is made for a specific effective length and P2S, there is no need to do the extra steps like checking overhang. These extra steps do introduce more error and the effects of those errors do add up. It is faster, and IME, much more accurate and I'm very grateful to those who introduced me to this type of protractor, and more importantly the Best Protractor. As many others have posted around here, Yip simply builds more precision into the Best Protractor.

The results that can be achieved with an arc-style, let alone the Mint, are much easier to realize and repeat. It is simply a better tool. Just compare the steps and movements you must make with the DB. Clunky is the word that comes to mind.
Dear all,Assuming that the protractor problem is solved what about an accurate aid to measure the spindle-pivot
distance (spindel-dimensions included)?