Cartridge Change Overhang Difference-Fixed Headshell

I’m using a SME fixed headshell arm and an Art9 cartridge that was mounted with a Yip mint protractor. The Art9 mid hole to tip distance is 11mm. A new Art20 is stated as being 10.5mm. Opinions wanted as to use same protractor or not or Estimate the 0.5mm and shorten the arm, pivot distance. Note, this is not about the $130.  That difference of 0.5mm would change the intended null points (Baerwald) and/or ultimately affect the sound in general shifting the distortion to slightly different points on the record? Thanks

128x128Ag insider logo xs@2xbigwave1

The YIP is designed for the tonearm, not the cartridge, so far as I know, which is not much because I have never ordered one. In any case, just adjust for the 0.5mm, if you think you can. I personally don’t think most of us can mount a cartridge with better than 0.5mm accuracy, which means you have about a 50-50 chance of perfection. After that, pour yourself a cool one and listen to music. And if that doesn’t relax you, consider that even a minute error in the zenith angle of the stylus throws off your alignment by far more than 0.5mm and that most cartridges have at least some zenith error built into them.

("Zenith" here is defined as the angle of the base of the stylus tip with respect to the cantilever, which is NOT the conventional definition of zenith. If you examine the stylus tip with the cartridge lying on its back, stylus facing up, you can quickly see how the shank needs to be square to the long axis of the cantilever.)

Perhaps I'm being thick, but if there is a difference in stylus placement once the two cartridges are mounted on your SME arm, don't you deal with that by sliding the arm in its base? The protractor used simply means you end up with the same geometry after you have done all that.

Dear @bigwave1  :  You don't have to worry about because that very small distance what it can makes is that instead to have Löfgren A set up you will have Löfgren B that several audioiphiles prefer over A ( Baerwald ).


Btw, very nice room/system you own. Congratulations.


Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,


The Mint LP target is specific to the pivot to spindle distance. Since that distance hasn’t changed, use the target. If long or short of the target, be aware that the Mint’s null points and their alignment grids  will no longer apply.

@wlutke , Was curious as to the practical performance implication of the 1/2mm difference other than those known about different null points. Thank you

Well obviously exist higher tracking error and this means higher tracking distortions.

If overhang change in any geometry kind alignment it needs to change too the P2S distance to mantain that alignment parameters. The calculated set up parameters came from the input parameters in the alignment equations: tonearm effective length and most inner/outer groove distances to the pivot where you can choose between: IEC; DIN or JIS standards. At the end of calculation the P2S is the tonearm effective length minus the overhang and that’s why everytime that overhang it needs to change the P2S to mantain the lower tracking error/distortions.




I have a Mint. My spindle to pivot was off by less than 2 mm and I could not get the cantilever to align at both null point grids simultaneously. I could get the stylus over the target at each null but the cantilever would be parallel to one null grid and not the other. The curvature of the Mint's printed arc was too steep for the added 1.5 mm s2p, affecting the angle of the grids. That was for a 250 mm s2p. What does that mean for you in a practical sense? With the overhang error don’t beat your head against the wall trying for simultaneous alignment at the nulls. Just a little bit off will affect the Mint to a noticeable degree. The Mint, like any protractor, gets the cantilever alignment only in the ballpark. What it does exceptionally well is set the proper overhang for the s2p, assuming the s2p is exactly to spec. If it’s not to spec or if the overhang is fudged, it defeats the Mint’s superior accuracy in that regard.

Dear @wlutke  : Accuracy at 100% is just that we can be " there ". So, this " battle " is losted before we arrived to it.

The first hand experiences by almost all audiophiles is that always we are out of target and the issue is that your ears along your room/system resolution and your dedicated test proccess for comparisons could or could not detect those inacurracies. Maybe the OP can't do it or maybe he can.

Over the years in some specific threads the conclusions is that our ears are away to be a perfect tool to detect minimal distortion changes even our ears are way tolerant about with out take it in count by our self.

Problem with the MINT LP protractor is when the tonearm like the SME has only two holes to mount a cartridge but the SME has its mount base that's movable and I don't know it that could help. Anyway, the SME comes wit it's own protractor and using it the OP has the solution.




Agree.  Any protractor that can compensate for p2s variance will do a better job in this instance.  When the Mint’s ability to set overhang and alignment are both compromised by the rigid cartridge mounting scheme, it goes from a mathematically correct protractor to a sloppy one.