AnalogMagik Tutorial No. 10:
(Function available on Verison 2 Only)
Based on popular demand, AnalogMagik Version 2 has added a Channel Balance function.
Play Track 3 on side B (33 rpm) or D (45 rpm) of the TEST LPs, which is the 1 kHz test signal track for Optimizing the Gain level; the Channel Balance function will display the amplitude (volume) difference between Left and Right Channel in dB.
Please note that AnalogMagik is a distortion analyzer that displays what it reads. It cannot repair channel balance issues with your phono stage or cartridge.
Most cartridges are handmade and will always have a slight channel balance difference. The unofficial industry standard seems to be between 0.1 dB and 0.9 dB. Beyond this level, you may hear a skewed sonic image and one channel being louder vs the other.
Channel balance is essential because the accuracy of the Azimuth (Crosstalk measurement) is affected by Channel Balance. The results will be amplified if your phono stage or cartridge has a channel imbalance.
If you have a 1 dB imbalance, your crosstalk difference will be greater than 2 dB.
If you have a 2 dB imbalance, your crosstalk difference will likely be > 3-5 dB.
Some phono stages, such as the Burmester 100 Phono, can account for channel balance differences. This will only compensate for the imbalance from the speaker volume; it does not repair the imbalance with the cartridge, and therefore, crosstalk readings will still be bad
And if Channel balance causes crosstalk to be bad, do not tilt the cartridge to compensate for volume differential because it will not work. Please see the Azimuth section of this website.