Overhang for Ortofon 2M Bronze on Rega RB301


I just purchased an Ortofon 2M Bronze cartridge and am a bit puzzled about the overhang setting. The people I purchased the cartridge from said they set the cartridge so the front of the cartridge is flush with the front of the headshell. When I checked this with the Rega cartridge alignment protractor it shows the cartridge should be roughly 2 millimeters further back in the headshell. I listened both ways and thought the setting where the front of the cartridge was flush with the front of the headshell sounded the best. The other thing I was wondering about was the tracking force; Ortofon advised from 1.4 to 1.7 grams. I initially tried it at 1.5 grams and then 1.7 grams (as recommended by the people I bought the cartridge from). Surprisingly I like it at 1.4 grams. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
bobgates
There's no such thing as one correct alignment. Different methods yield different results but none are perfect. My guess is that those who have it flush with the headshell used a two-point gauge and not Rega's single-point gauge.

As far as tracking, it's usually safer to go heavier than lighter. Too little force and the stylus can be thrown around in the groove, resulting in micro damage. Believe me, 1.7g is not going to result in significant record wear.

If you're spending $400 on a cartridge, why not invest an additional $40 on a test record? This way, you'll know whether the cartridge is performing properly at your preferred setting. If not, you can try it at 1.5g, 1.6g and so on until you get a good result. The Hi-Fi News test record is my favorite. It comes with good instructions and a two-point alignment gauge as a bonus.

There may be no such thing as 'one correct alignment', but determining the overhang by the relationship of the cartridge body to the front of the headshell is absolutely the 'wrong' way to mount a cartridge. I'd suggest you read a cart mounting tutorial (they're all over the web, but this one-http://www.audiophilia.com/features/cartridge_setup.htm-is a good starting point). Also, go to VinylEngine-there's a wealth of free, download-and-print protractors at that site (you'll need to register, but you'll then be privy to a wealth of knowledge and manuals). In particular, check the 'Library' for Rega arms-I believe there is available a Baerwald arc protractor to print out.

I'd further suggest you do this AFAP-your records will appreciate it.