Correct overhang length and cartridge alignment is critical to obtaining proper audio reproduction without distortion and avoiding unnecessary record and stylus wear. Aligning a cartridge is a precision task and cannot be done properly by eye or guess work alone.
Over the years of developing turntables and testing various arm configurations, AVID developed a computer program to calculate optimum alignment, taking into account the tonearm's correct geometry. This has lead to the release of the AVID Alignment Gauges. These protractors offer high precision alignment capability, placing the stylus exactly where it should be for the best sound, longest life and lowest distortion.
"My cartridge sounded great before, but now it sounds amazing. In particular, the bass response has improved and the music seems more involving."
– HiFi Choice
Every radial tracking arm has its own "null points" or areas where distortion is zero, it is very important to align the cartridge to these points for optimum tracking, channel balance and record wear. The Universal Alignment Gaugeworks with most tonearms and allows a very high degree of setup accuracy. For the three most popular tonearms used on AVID turntables, Rega, SME & Linn, AVID developed tonearm specific Alignment Gauges. These tonearm specific models offer 100% precision alignment, in a quick, accurate and repeatable manner.
The mirrored surface of the Alignment Gauge makes all measurements easier and more accurate. The mirror's parallax effect helps eliminate sighting errors and provides better lighting which is critical in making fine adjustments on small parts. The two null points on the specific alignment tools are surrounded by parallel lines, making cartridge body alignment (both front and rear) very precise. The long "tail" alignment line is extended so that the stylus itself can be checked and aligned in case of cartridge manufacturing errors.