Unbiased reviews of new vinyl releases, audiophile reissues, and more

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Analog Accessory Review: Audio Additives Digital Stylus Force Gauge

Photobucket

Myvinylreview debuts a new feature today, Analog Accessory Review. I've chosen to review a digital tracking force scale because it's one of the most useful tools in keeping your vinyl rig sounding its best.  Despite that fact, many of us have never acquired one because of the prohibitively high cost.  At only $80, this scale from Audio Additives, finally puts one within the reach of any audiophile.


The Audio Additives Digital Stylus Force Gauge is sold via the online audiophile website, Music Direct.  The first unit I received was unfortunately DOA--however, the second unit arrived double-boxed, and worked without a hitch.  Made in China, this scale is made of metal and feels quite substantial. It is housed in a padded jewelry-style case, complete with a small screwdriver to install the included batteries, as well as a five-gram calibration weight. The large, easy to read, digital readout allows the user to toggle between grams, ounces, carats, and dwt. This scale also has a taring feature, which isn't really applicable in the measuring of tracking force. Using the five-gram calibration weight consistently returned results accurate within two one-thousandths of a gram.

I tested the real world performance of the Audio Additives as a tracking force scale, by using it to measure the tracking force of my own cartridge.  I recently had my local dealer set my cartridge's tracking force  at 1.90 grams. The Audio Additives scale measures to three decimal places, or to the thousandth of a gram. When I used it to measure the tracking force of my cartridge, I consistently received readings within a few thousanths of 2.000 grams from the Audio Additives scale.  I determined that the additional .1 gram of measured weight can be attributed to the height of its platform, which is a bit higher than is optimal for this application.

I compared the Audio Additives scale to the $799 Winds Arm Load Meter ALM-01, which has real time calibration, and which consistently returned readings that were .1 gram less than the Audio Additives scale. Going back to the Audio Additives scale, I was able to compensate for the increased platform height by removing the foam mat on my turntable. Doing so, resulted in consistent readings within a few thousanths of the correct tracking force of 1.900 grams. This appears to be the only issue with the usability of this scale--and depending upon the thickness of your mat, you may or may not be able to use the trick I discovered. Otherwise, you should be able to be confident that the readings you receive will be very close to .1 gram over the actual tracking force. 

It appears that this scale sourced from China may have originally been made for some other purpose, such as weighing jewelry--rather than specifically as a stylus force gauge. While it isn't perfect, it is the only such scale that I know of that measures to the thousandth of a gram, that is also so reasonably priced.  At $79.99, it is just over twice the cost of the clunky Shure balance beam tracking force scale, which is not only difficult to use, but isn't nearly as accurate.  If you're comfortable with subtracting .1 grams from the reading--or, if you can fashion your own work around, such as removing your mat, and you don't already own your own digital scale--you should definitely consider picking up this very affordable option from Audio Additives and Music Direct.

Recommended

click image below to
order from Music Direct
Photobucket

20 comments:

James Reid said...

Just recently bought one myself.
The adjustment on my $2,000 SME 309
is Mickey Mouse...count the turns on a
screwdriver? No way.
James

wm3 said...

A great accessory. Be careful where you buy it from, many hi-fi companies re-brand these with their logo and on-sell for a hefty premium.

Daisy Liddell said...

Wow! Great tool! Thanks for sharing!

-RDJacobs.com

Anonymous said...

Don't put limits on what you eat as much as you do how much you are eating. You could always join a fitness related group on Facebook, though. Let's say you want to be able to run 10 miles without
stopping.

Also visit my blog fun fitness tips and facts

Anonymous said...

Information that informs the public and makes them good citizens
is the kind of quality information that one can be proud
to call news, and if it ever goes completely out of style, may
the Lord help us, for it will be the end of civilization as we know it.
Both the content and presentation of news are drastically different from what it used
to be. I want to mention a part of the Prime
Law (Twelve Visions Party) which is part of Neothink.

my page :: Latest Daily News

Anonymous said...

I am in fact pleased to glance at this webpage posts which contains tons
of useful facts, thanks for providing such information.


Also visit my site: www.talentmayhem.com

Anonymous said...

This is my first time visit at here and i am in fact pleassant to read everthing
at one place.

Here is my site - Continued

Anonymous said...

choose numerous softwares that are capable enough to satisfy your necessities.
Men2hire is the best friendship, companionship & London Escorts
Agency available for online dating and booking. While almost every cat
is a work of aesthetic beauty, they are often animals that combine silliness and a fierce disposition.



My homepage :: simply click www.facebook.com

Anonymous said...

Firstly, you must exercise; without proper workout, you can
bid goodbye to your dream of having a flat tummy. By now it's a well established scientific fact that outdoor exercises are really good for your mental and emotional, as well as your physical health. The problem is that many do not follow through with their fitness plans and thus fail within the first 3 months of starting a new fitness plan or routine.

Also visit my web blog - www.thepressreleases.info

Anonymous said...

Thousands protest in Russia at rallies across the nation.
If the news channels telecast from all over the world, it is termed as world
news. These have become world famous with all the passing days.


Here is my weblog; http://www.latestdailynews.com

Cynthia Mcardle said...

What an awesome accessory! This is really perfect for my work. Thanks for sharing this amazing post!

-RDJacobs.com

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's what I was searching for, what a information! existing here at this website, thanks admin of this web site.

Feel free to visit my website: Biotechnology and Bioengineering

Anonymous said...

Or maybe you look at it from a monetary standpoint and decide that Guy
Ritchie and Madonna divorce was worse because they were married so long and have children and there is a lot of money involved.
Talking of the walking dead, congratulations to Hugh Hefner, who
is getting married at age 84 to 24-year-old beauty Crystal Harris.
She married singer Mark Anthony in2005 and released her next
album called Rebirth.

Also visit my site; thesciencesphere.com

Anonymous said...

Or maybe you look at it from a monetary
standpoint and decide that Guy Ritchie and Madonna divorce was worse because they were married so long and have children and there is a lot
of money involved. Stay connected with for the latest tit-bits
of pick me up news and cool celebrity pictures.
This is why the said Albanian gossip thashetheme celebrity news blog page is written in Albanian '.

Here is my web-site; www.ouaa.org

Anonymous said...

Helping optimistic people excel - in 7 areas of life is her mission.
' The picture is just as worrying for youngsters - by 2010, it's predicted 22 per cent of girls and 19 per cent of boys between the ages of two and 15 will be obese, with girls under 11 at particular risk.
Get your heart rate up with a quick burst of fast movement.



Check out my homepage; fitness tips at home

Anonymous said...

Sometimes we can't imagine that sports are so funny but we really enjoyed when we look at funny sports pictures, moments and videos. Emotions have great impact on our human body because when we have emotions, our body changes throwing our body in balance and preparing us for remaining happy and healthy. We are offering the latest news updates about your famous celebrities.

my page ... http://alleanzadellasalute.info/wiki/BriannakgSorensoncw

Anonymous said...

Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as
though you relied on the video to make your point.

You clearly know what youre talking about, why throw away your
intelligence on just posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something
enlightening to read?

My page: diet that works

Anonymous said...

It is considered to the start of the Arab Spring and would go a long way in forcing the politicians to effectively govern the country.
Indeed, internet is the best source of because it is easily accessible and fast.

They can also update news on their site as and when the event occurs
while the newspapers have to wait until the next morning.

Also visit my web site - Latest Daily News

Anonymous said...

My coder is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP.
I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he's tryiong none the less. I've been using WordPress on several websites for about a
year and am worried about switching to another platform.
I have heard great things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can transfer all my
wordpress posts into it? Any help would be really appreciated!


my blog post: sapphic

Anonymous said...

Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful post.
Many thanks for supplying these details.

Here is my site - http://chaupal.biharfoundation.in/

Post a Comment