The Cartridge Man Digital Stylus Force Gauge
Users of vinyl are well aware of the importance of being able to accurately set their cartridge tracking down-force.
Failure to do this can result in anything from degraded sonic performance, through to mis-tracking and even damage to the record and stylus.
The only readily available method of setting the down-force has been the Shure Force Balance - fine value for money, but suffering from only 0.1g resolution, somewhat fiddly set-up and a slightly non-optimum measurement height.
The Cartridge Man has now introduced a highly accurate, enhanced measurement range, easy-to-use and competitively priced all-electronic Digital Force Gauge. The unit will prove itself indispensible when requiring an absolute and consistent tracking force reference.
Specification and features
Measurement range: 0.2g to 4.0g.
Accuracy: better than 0.05g over full measurement range
Useable period: 30 minutes per full charge
Display: 3-digit LED
Status indication: Display test, battery, nulling, overload
Recharge cycle: ~ 14-24 hours
Useable temperature: 5°C to 35°C
Weight: 150g nominal
Dimension: 45mm h x 87mm diameter
Construction: Non-magnetic, anti-slip feet
Charge unit: 9V D.C. @ 100mA output supplied
"This electronic balance offers the element of repeatability, such that fine-tuning can be cross-referenced to accurate readings, and 'sweet spot' settings can be noted down. ... the Digital Stylus Force Gauge makes it far, far easier - and still more precise.
... this balance also offers an order of magnitude greater precision, and the confidence that the three-significant figure display corresponds to the actual tracking force (QC calibration is made with lab-grade weights and the unit is temperature compensated)."
Andrew Harrison, Hi-Fi News, 3/99, P21
"A Technics calibration standard (1.525g) was used to test and verify the 'Cartridge Man's' accuracy ... yielding an average of 1.49g +/- 0.03g (SD) immediately upon turn-on, compared to 1.51g +/- 0.01g (SD) three minutes later.
... The best news of all is that the 'Cartridge Man' is a huge improvement over the Technics Electronic gauge - ease of use, easier-to-read LEDs, more stable readings, and a 'zero' that doesn't fluctuate.
Don't wait until it's too late; get these babies while they're still available!"
Myles B. Astor, Ultimate Audio, 5/98, P2
"... This neat little digital-readout device sells for $299 - a little more than a third of the cost of the Winds gauge - currently the industry standard. ... One thing I really like about the new gauge is that, unlike the Wind's weighing beam - which protrudes from the side, ... the Cartridge Man's beam is well protected. I used a 2g brass weight lab-certified ... the Cartridge Man measured the weight as 1.98g, which for me is more than adequate."
Michael Fremer, Stereophile, 2/99, P51-52
"... The Cartridge Man's balance may seem expensive at £199, but it pales into insignificance against the Winds. ... I love the Winds, but what price its simplicity and cool looks ? Me, I'll settle for the Cartridge Man balance. It does exactly the same job, it just places a little more onus on the user."
Roy Gregory, Hi-Fi Plus, 2/00
"... Obviously, the £199 asking price is high for something the average punter will use rarely, and on cost grounds, will be limited to serious vinyl enthusiasts, retailers and reviewers. Nevertheless, a worthwhile investment for those unwilling to accept second-best! "
Jimmy Hughes, Hi-Fi Choice, 1/99, P13
"I bought the Cartridge Man's DFG ... and have found its performance well on par with the Winds device, which retails at nearly four time the price. That is what I call value for money."
Victor Kempt (letters page), Hi-Fi News, 3/00, P7-8