So, for the last few months my LP's have just not sounded very good. Muddy, distorted, blah. Something had to change. I had convinced myself the the Grado had finally given up the ghost. So I wet cleaned my stylus, no better. I brush it several times through each listening session, so no big surprise. So I remember reading of the "terrible" effect of using Rega's magnetic anti-skate system, so I set it to zero. Better balance, cleaner, still not right.
So I get my alignment gauge and measure it, and it's off scale by 1(!)%, or a few millimeters. I go to the computer, re-scale and reprint and measure it. and my overhang was off almost 3mm! Wow, what a difference in only 3mm.
So, now I'm in the groove, I turn the VTF to zero, get the digital scale and use the balance weight to set the tracking. No springs, no magnets, just bearings doing their thing. Now we're cooking. Who knew?
Moral of the story, even those of us who have been long spinning could use a reminder every now and again, setup setup setup! Before you spend needless cash, spend time!