Cartridge Calibration

Unleash the Potential of Your Analog System!

Playing music through an analog system has many virtues and can be a joyous, satisfying musical experience. If you have invested in a decent turntable, tonearm and cartridge, you simply won’t hear the beauty of what your system can do if it has not been optimised. There are many parameters that influence the way a cartridge tracks through the grooves of a vinyl record (eg. VTA, azimuth, antiskating, tracking force, etc). A cartridge needs to track at the right angle and be perfectly balanced to perform at its best. Sometimes, very small adjustments to your cartridge alignment can make a world of difference. A cartridge that is set up 85% to its potential will sound OK. However, the nuanced, micro-detail that is contained in those grooves will only be picked up and communicated properly if the cartridge is calibrated perfectly.

Analog SystemAnalog System

Nirvana Sound Can Help

We are passionate about analog replay. In fact, our partners are organising an intervention to cure us of our vinyl record addiction. And they think it’s going to work! Our resident analog guru Mark Döhmann regularly holds cartridge & tonearm set-up information sessions and Wally Tools training sessions. We also set up turntables and train owners of new high-end turntable how to set-up and maintain their systems. However, a comprehensive calibration process using the suite of WAM Engineering Wally Tools is highly recommended for optimum performance results. This is where Chris comes into the picture.

5.3 Degree Zenith ErrorVinyl Record

Meet Chris Camilleri, our Analog Calibration Specialist

Chris is a music fanatic, an audiophile with an amazing system (that’s used almost every evening) and one of the most friendly and generous people you will ever meet. He’s a passionate analog guy with decades of experience and is obsessed with optimisation. This passion for tinkering with equipment led him to meet Mark Dohmann a few years ago. His teachings about turntable calibration have always fascinated Chris and after years of learning, acquiring the right tools and developing extensive experience with calibration techniques, Chris was appointed as Nirvana Sound’s Analog Calibration Specialist. Chris’s knowledge, attention to detail, patience and perfectionist attitude have made him one of Australia’s best cartridge calibration experts and coupled with his generous & witty personality, he has become a favourite among the Nirvana Sound community. If you decide to order our comprehensive cartridge calibration service, Chris will visit your home or premises and deliver the service.

Team Thumbnails Chris Camilleri

Our Comprehensive Cartridge Calibration Service

Nirvana Sound offers our clients a Comprehensive Cartridge Calibration Service. This is the most thorough, professional set-up service available and is intended to provide you with a fully optimised set-up of your analog system. Once this service has been completed, your system should be sounding its very best.

Who can order it? Anyone can order it. You do not need to be a previous Nirvana Sound client.
Where does it take place? At your home at a time that suits you.
How long does it take? It takes about 6 hours to complete.
What does it cost? Please contact Nirvana Sound for the details.

What does it involve?

The Comprehensive Cartridge Calibration Service involves the following aspects:

  1. You will be contacted prior to your appointment that we can have information relating to:
    1. Your setup. This includes high-level information about the components in your system. In particular, we will need information about your phono stage, turntable, tonearm and the cartridge which you would like to be fitted.
    2. Any specific issues you may have with what you’re hearing now.
    3. Accessibility to the rear side of the equipment, and workspace available (eg. table top) to perform calibration and measurement works.
  2. Think of a record or two that you would like to listen to before calibration work begins. We will listen to this together if possible.  The same record(s) will be played after calibration work is complete to test and ensure everything is operating well.
  3. We will be making measurements of your current cartridge height and vertical tracking force.
  4. The cartridge will be removed and stylus measurements will be made under a microscope.
  5. The cartridge will be re-fitted to test for any unwanted anti-skate forces.
  6. Approximate cartridge overhang and offset angles will be set.
  7. The dynamic stylus rake angle will be measured and adjusted if possible.
  8. The cartridge overhang and offset angles will be fine-tuned.
  9. Vertical tracking force will be set.
  10. Anti-skate will be set.
  11. Azimuth will be adjusted (if possible).
  12. The phono stage or step-up transformer loading will be adjusted (if applicable).
  13. Re-fitment and test listening will be performed.
  14. You will be contacted a number of days after the calibration work is complete to ensure everything is still sounding great.
  15. A high-level report of our findings and measurements during the calibration process will be emailed to you.

Please contact the team at Nirvana Sound for further information about this service or to book Chris to pop in and work on your system.

Your ears will thank you!

Analog System