Note: Turntable setup tools are final sale only, and are not covered by our return policy.
The Cardas Frequency Sweep and Burn-in Record is a unique tuning tool for system set-up, diagnostics and maintenance. The "Sweeper", in addition to the standard tones, includes relative and absolute polarity checks, vocal channel identification and frequency sweeps that ultrasonically clean the cartridge stylus and degauss the entire system. And, locked, pink noise grooves that repeat endlessly, blank plateaus, even a sync label to check platter speed all on a 180 gram pressing.Side 1 "Sweeper" 45 rpm. (Also works at 33 1/3rd rpm.)
Suggestions for Use by George Cardas
The most important tools on this record are the Side 1 Frequency Sweeps. Play one of these tracks through your system at a low, normal level and it will degauss the cartridge and the system, plus clean the stylus ultrasonically. You may hear clicks and pops in the high frequency section after use. This is caused by the accumulation of junk which has fallen off the stylus during ultrasonic cleaning. Clean the record to remove the debris.
The sweeps are also useful as room tuning tools for setting up wall and ceiling treatments. Simply sit in the hot spot and play the sweep at a low level. The image should be centered and stable in a well focused room. You can ignore changes in volume which are caused by comb filtering. Hard reflection points in the room can cause a shifting in focus, so padding these points will help stabilize the image.
An interesting speaker set-up trick is to listen to the low frequency, out of phase tones while sitting in the listening position. The note should cancel completely if speakers are positioned symmetrically. Try both tones and pick the one that works best for your room.
The higher frequency tones must be measured in order to be compared. You can use these if you have setup machines and other ways of measuring. They are good for crosstalk type azimuth adjustments. Start by listening to or measuring the channel opposite the one being played and adjust it to minimum level. If you have an oscilloscope, a triangle wave should have straight sides if all is right.
The continuous pink noise grooves at the end of Side 2 are unique. They are concentric groves, not normal spirals. The stylus will stay in the grove until lifted out. Use these continuous grooves with discretion, to break in a new cartridge, but only after it is properly set-up. Part of this break-in process is the adjustment of the final azimuth.
If all adjustments on the arm are correct and the table is perfectly level, the arm should track very slowly inward on the smooth sections of Side 2. This is an "after proper adjustment" test! It is not a way to adjust the tone arm.
If the system is out of relative phase, you will have to determine where one channel is reversed. It will often be one of the speaker connections or one of the cartridge connections. If the output of the out of phase, locked grooves (Side 2, Track 3) are combined, they should null. This can be used as an azimuth check.
The 1/2" wide, Unmodulated Plateaus on Side 2 are for checking cartridge alignment and tone arm bias. On level tables, properly adjusted arms will track slowly inward on the Plateau.
The Sync Label is used to determine the rotational speed of the platter. One set is for 60 cycle alternating current in the U.S. and the second set is for international, 50 cycle use. If you view the label under a lamp, the stroboscopic effect of the light will make the appropriate lines on the label appear to stand still when the speed is correct.