THE CARTRIDGE MAN's Digital Stylus Force Gauge



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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.

Decibel Hi Fi introduces the digital electronic stylus balance from the cartridge man Len Gregory.

Len has a lifetimes experience in all aspects of arms and cartridges - he was the Garrott brothers man in the UK and currently hand builds a mean £500 moving magnet cartridge himself. He has been searching for an accurate stylus balance for years, frustration finally driving him to building the device that we are now able to offer.

The unit is housed in a 4” diameter moulding that contains the strain gauge mechanism, digital read-out and rechargeable battery. Battery charger is supplied. The digital electronic stylus balance is accurate to one fiftieth of a gram over the range 0-4 gms and can be used on all turntables.

Review extracts:

"... 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. March 1999, 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. May 1998, 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. February 1999, 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, February 2000

"... 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. January 1999, 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, March 2000, P7-8

Specification of stylus force gauge (stylus balance)


 Measurement Range

  0.2g to 4.2g


  +/- 0.02g over full measurement range



 Usable period

  30 Minutes per full charge


  3-digit LED

 Status indication

  Display test, battery low and voltage indication, nulling fault and overload

 Recharge cycle

  ~ 14-24 hours, 300-500 cycles min. for 80% capacity

 Usable temperature

  5oC to 35oC, non-condensing


  150g nominal


  45 mm h x 87 mm dia. (nominal)


  Non-magnetic force pad & cantilever, plastic & aluminium housing for anti-slip feet

 Charge unit

  9V D.C. @ 100mA output, mains operated - 240V or 110V, 50/60 Hz depending upon country.   Output jack plug 2.1 mm, centre positive polarity



Shipping Weight 0.3000kg
Shipping Width 0.120m
Shipping Height 0.080m
Shipping Length 0.120m

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