Tweaks by ear

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There’s certainly a great deal of debate whether or not turntable setup is an art involving both measurement and listening.

There are those that will claim they can set up a table without ever listening to it, that their techniques and tools are so advanced as to be infallible. And, of course, the opposite opinions.

The best table setups I have heard were, as with most things audio, combinations of precision tools and tweaks by ear.

Most of us haven’t a problem relating to dialing in the VTA (Vertical Tracking Alignment) by ear. Tiny differences can have major impacts on imaging and tonality.

Few would argue that arm/headshell/cartridge combinations impact performance. After all, these are delicate mechanical systems we’re dealing with and at the end of the proverbial day, we have to rely on skill, judgment, and our ears to polish performance to a bright luster.

Tweaking by ear can be akin to stepping out on a ledge with a new idea or making a statement others may criticize.

Trusting our own senses can often be a challenge.