FAQs on the Combined 
Azimuth, VTA/SRA Function
(For AnalogMagik Version 2 Users only)

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1) In what order should I be performing the various test functions?   Should I perform the Azimuth & VTA/SRA test last?

Users should always begin with the Speed Test to ensure speed accuracy.  If the speed is off, then a 1 kHz signal will become 0.7 or 1.3 kHz, this would yield an error message or the results will not be accurate.

Each parameter is interdependent on one another, for example, if the turntable has a platter rumbling it may generate unwanted signals at the low-frequency bands which may be higher amplitude than the test signal, this will then generate an error message.

2) What if my cartridge or phono stage has an inherent Channel Balance?

The fundamental assumption behind crosstalk analysis is that the equipment should meet minimum specifications.    Phono cartridges should have a channel balance of less than 1 dB difference and preferably below 0.5 dB.    

Crosstalk is basically a test to measure the amount of sound being picked up by the other channel.  If one channel has a higher volume, then the computer will always pick up more sound from that channel which will cause the test results to be skewed.

In such cases, you may find it difficult to bring the two Crosstalk numbers to come close together, and in some cases, it may display an error message.

AnalogMagik cannot fix Channel imbalance caused by mechanical issues, or electronic issues with the phono stage.   Certainly we can adjust the balance on the software at the input stage, but this is a fools errand.  The computer will give a false sense of security and it soothes your psychological comfort (Audiophiles love to see good numbers).  In reality, you have not fixed any channel imbalance.    

3) Can you fix the channel imbalance in my cartridge or phono stage for me?

AnalogMagik is a distortion analyzer, it cannot fix electronic or mechanical equipment issues.   We will also not act as arbitrate or dispute warranty issues with your manufacturer.

 

Cartridges are made by hand, and all of them will have some very small channel imbalance, typically below 1 dB.     Beyond that, you may hear an imbalance on your speaker, but there is a reason for a balance knob on most preamps.

4) Can you explain to me why I cannot bring the IMD% number down, or why the Crosstalk is wide between the Left and Right channels?

AnalogMagik is a distortion analyzer, it does not perform any diagnosis, nor will it magically fix issues that cause numbers to be high.  

Users should not expect the program to find a solution or be forced to give out a good number.    There are myriads of causes, and the onus is on the person performing the setup to make adjustments to improve readings.    AnalogMagik cannot fix issues inherent with the equipment, the onus is on the factory, not AnalogMagik.

 

I may not have the answer for every bad reading, but feel free to email me should you need help.   Please see the examples below, on how we helped 2 customers to diagnose their problems. 

 

5) I received an error message on the Crosstalk analysis and a very high reading on the IMD%, what does this mean?

If you receive a persistent error message or a very high reading on IMD% analysis, you can record the signal (using the Audacity freeware) and send it to us for further analysis.

As an example, one user sent us his sound file for examination.  The amplitude spectrum showed significant ripples and unwanted signals.   His Intermodulation Distortion Analysis showed a persistent high reading which fluctuates dramatically, combined with volume spikes.

His IMD% analysis registered a very high read (nearly 24.8%) and with sudden volume spikes.   He was not happy that "the program didn't work".

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We advised him to examine his turntable for rumblings, isolation or bearing issues.   Upon close examination, he discovered the bearing shaft was installed too high and it was scraping the underside of the platter.   

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After fixing the bearing issue, the IMD% reading reduced dramatically, and there were no longer any unwanted rumblings or volume spikes.

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Initially, the customer was upset thinking the program doesn't work.  At the end, we helped him discover his bearing issues, which would not have been possible if he was doing his setup purely based on visual methods or eyeballing.

5) I received an error message on Crosstalk, yet the VTA/SRA IMD% reading was very low (below 4%)?

If you are receiving a persistent error message, you can record the test signal (using freewares such as Audacity) for further analysis. 

A customer sent us his sound file, and upon further analysis, we noticed a significant attenuation of the 7 kHz 

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We asked the customer to perform a Frequency Response test using the "Loading" function.    We discovered that the frequency response was significantly attenuated for the high frequencies.  The customer told us he used his ear to optimize loading and he preferred loading which generated a sound that "rolls off the highs" as he finds his system too bright.

His frequency response was so far off that it significantly attenuated the high-frequency test signal thereby causing the test signals to be outside of the normal computation range.

After readjusting his loading to a flatter frequency response, he was able to get a crosstalk reading.



The above examples are meant to demonstrate that turntable setups require a bit of patience and diagnosis.   The nature of the vinyl format involves both mechanical and electrical issues which are interdependent on each other.    AnalogMagik attempts to identify "incremental changes" as the user makes adjustments, but if the noise, channel imbalance, and incorrect frequency response are so large that it interferes with the test signals, the program will not work.     

AnalogMagik is a tool that allows the user to measure incremental changes, it will assist you to identify and overcome certain mechanical issues and setup improvements so that signals can be retrieved accurately from a record album.

However, it does not fix or repair any issues, the onus is on the user to make changes and adjustments so that the reading will improve.