Best Alignment Protractor?

What are the best Alignment Protractors?


"'perfect theoretical alignment' to the scheme used by Mint" is, I'm afraid, an oxymoron.  There is so much misunderstanding about setting up cartridges that is only enhanced by such statements.

Mint probably uses one of the usual standards, Baerwald, Lofgren, Stevenson or whatever, but fails to note in its advertising what that standard is.  Reason enough IMO to stay away.  The popular ones have been known for at least three generations.  My guess is that they use the most popular one, Lofgren B.  It is used by most devices whether expensive or inexpensive.


I used 

“Perfect theoretical alignment”  as meaning perfect overhang and zenith for the scheme used, knowing full well that the scheme is a compromise and not tracking perfectly at all places on the record.  No need to read more into it than that.  If you used a Mint you would realize the point.  The amount of extra work and time and frustration of the Mint yields no advantage.

@dogberry I’d considered buying one of several “pricey” alignment jigs(protractors, gadgets) while using an SME 3009 S2 tonearm with several cartridges.., I was using basic Hudson HiFi (my dog’s name is Hudson - seemed like a no-brainer) tools and then bought a paper Tracking Wizard protractor from a guy in Poland (IIRC. Ebay anyway) which worked well. I use my eyes, ears and Ortofon test record and was pretty happy with the setup but wanted better. I finally went ahead and bought an SME V about a month ago in original box with tools and hardware and, using the alignment tools provided and instructions seemed anticlimactic at best, total time involved after mounting cartridge and arm - about a half hour. It’s now with SME tonearms in Canada awaiting rebuild, rewiring (1.2m continuous Cardas wire from cartridge clips to RCA jacks recovering several dB signal insertion loss along the way) and with any luck I’ll have it back by Christmas. New Year’s then… So I saved a couple hundred bucks in alignment tools by buying a tonearm that cost ten times as much as the tools. A once in my lifetime investment. YMMV. BTW 3009 tonearm is listed on ePay now.

I like the latest edition WallylTractor (the full disk). Pivot to spindle must be set with their slick gauge. The mirror on the WallyTractor is a must, otherwise you are guessing on Zenith alignment at the null points. The disk has many arcs for different effective lengths, each with Lofgren or Baerwald for both new and older records. Their online calculator is easy to determine the correct arc. I have set up many tables with it… easy and precise, and one stop shopping.