what are your cartridge set up go to

What alignment tool are you using and has anyone used those forceps style tools that grip the connectors instead of basically squishing it ? 
I use the Feickert protractor and find it accurate and easy to use. I've never owned the Nasotec tweezers, but they seem like a useful tool. I just use needle nose pliers and and grab the cartridge clips by the solder flange. Seems to work fine.
Best Tractor/Mint Lp glass dedicated template is my alignment tool of choice, but i have a few more including the Feikert on my shelf gathering dust. the Mint Lp removes all ambiguity from the process.

fool proof.


i use tweezers, a light touch, and a good light........for attaching the cartridge clips.

i have 4 turntables and 5 active arms. and am very happy with my process.
I own the Nasotec tweezers - gets the job done. Less chance of damaging the clips/cable with my chubby fingers. I've owned the Feickert protractor, but prefer the Acoustical Systems SmarTractor. Its pricey (~650), but worth it IMO.
Protractor without Pivot to Spindle measurement is useless for those who own multiple tonearms and turntables. 
If your tonearm is not fixed to turntable by manufacturer then your fist step is PS distance check, before cartridge alignment.

PS ruler must be on protractor, just like Dr. Feickert NG, then you can start with PS distance first and after with 3 given methods (on one protractor: Baerwald, Lofgren, Stevenson). This is really the best money can buy, all in one! This is Feickert NG (great quality and price to have all in one).
I have a variety of tools, including a CartAlign and the old Dennesen Soundtractor. But my go-to gauge is a WallyTractor, which has a mirrored surface so that you can actually align the cantilever. I also use a digital VTF gauge and a digital speed gauge and have an assortment of test records from Shure and Ortofon. Hand tools are just basic needle-nose pliers and jeweler's screwdrivers.
I have a great aligment tool designed by the late AJ Conti for his tables.  Also several small tools, magnifying glasses and a shure analog and digital VTF gauge.  The hifi test record, lots of lights and plenty of patience.
This is my Dr. Feickert NG in alignment of Grace LEVEL II Ruby, from the front view it's easy to align by the cantilever. From the top view it’s very easy to align by cartridge body.
thanks for everyones input, my table is modest too most here ,a vpi classic with 10" jmw arm and 
  • van Den Hul colbri xgm
Dear @oleschool :  My vote goes too for the MINT LP that's a dedicated protractor for your TT/tonearm. Ask for Baerwald alignment geometry.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
Dennesen Soundtractor.  I also have a cart alignment tool that came with my do-I-still-have-it? Shure V-15.  A couple of very lightweight bubble levels.  A couple pairs of precision tweezers I inherited from my dentist dad.
I am by no means cheap, but is this setup really worth $130.00 ,if it is  I will order .
I use the alignment template that came with my Basis Vector arm, but this magnifying, lighted headpiece is fabulous.  Gets you up close, well-lit and fits over eyeglasses.  And it's cheap.

No doubt an "audiophile version" would cost $500. 
Got a new cartridge about a month ago an AMG Teatro it was mounted by Nick at Audio Connection best guy for the job

Merry Christmas

I have a van den hul colbri ,it is outstanding ! I was asking about tools for set up etc .

With VdH Colibri it’s so easy to adjust on any protractor because the cantilever is open from the top view, just like Lyra on Feickert!

Only Feickert will give you 3 alignment method on ONE protractor. Even if you will change turntable or tonearm, or cartridge, you can still use only Feickert with any of them. 
I use the Feickert protractor.  Took me a while to understand how to really use it.  I'm satisfied with the results I get. 
I downloaded a template from Vinyl Engine that works pretty well.  I have a Lyra Skala on the end of a Jelco TK-850L.  The VTF get adjusted, then the cartridge is aligned against the template.  Then I listen, set the VTA and start the process again to verify VTF and alignment.  If it VFT or alignment has changed, or needs changing, The process repeats until everything is set and sounds "right."
I have a Technics SL-1500C with a Ortofon 2M Bronze. I use a Starrett Machinist Cross Test/Plumb Level for TT leveling, a Technics Needle Gauge Adjustment tool for over hang with a Ortofon Cartridge Alignment Tool for cross checking , a Riverstone Audio Stylus Tracking Force Gauge, and a Hudson HI-FI Azimuth Alignment Block for head shell alignment. For the electrical connections, I use a pair of Crescent miniature needle nose pliers.
The Nasotec tweezers are great. I also use a pro ject align it tool, seeing as most of my arms are of the 9c, 9cc variety. It’s somewhat similar to the feikart, but it instead has a small disc which rests precisely on the top tonearm bearing. I find it to be pretty accurate when checked with alternate methods. Also, I use a mirrored protractor by Hudson hifi which is pretty good. I have a decent usb microscope and a nice magnifier on it’s own stand with integral flexible wand and bright led light which helps with visibility. I would highly recommend the usb microscope, as it makes nailing the overhang measurements quite easy. It’s amazing to see the stylus at great magnification. Lastly, I use a digital stylus force gauge by pro-ject. 
Dear @oleschool : MITN LP is a great, inexpensive, accurated and dedicated protractor for your TT/tonearm. You can get something in true better or more accurated than MINT LP,  the price here  does not speaks of its high quality and useful it’s.

The second post in this thread was posted for this gentleman @mikelavigne that owns four TT and he uses the MINT LP, this was his advise to you. Look his stunning ( for say the least ) room/system:


+1 on the Dennesen Soundtractor. Super accurate and easy. The Neve knockoff has exact geometry but is not as easy to see visually in the target. The original Dennesen (Baerwald) uses a dimple for the stylus just like the brilliant SME protractors that are supplied with their tonearms. A great feature for older eyes :-)

Any small needle-nose type pliers can be beneficial for attaching cartridge clips only. For removal, I prefer to scrape the clips off the cartridge pins using a micro straight edge screwdriver which prevents any trauma when the clips are released. Use of a small exato-knife can help get things started if the clips are buried to their edge against the cartridge body or plastic color rings.

FWIW - I'm also partial to the use of what VPI calls an azimuth rod. Used longitudinally on top of a cartridge/headshell will allow for a neutral VTA measurement prior to tweaking. Unfortunately, many headshells are not on plane with their armtubes . . .
feickert and mint lp

then i went well tempered labs, so now, nothing  😁