Problems With the Schon Cartridge Alignment Template

Alignment problems can be solved with the Schon cartridge alignment template. However, it has several problems, such as construction errors, poor packaging, and inaccuracy. In this article, we discuss these topics. Before making your final decision, consider these factors if you’re considering buying a new one.

Errors in construction

Schön cartridge alignment templates have a problem with accuracy. The template assumes a perpendicular relationship between the stylus and cantilever. Although this assumption can be true in some cases, it is not always true. Using a microscope to confirm cartridge alignment is best before using a template.

Poor packaging

There is a serious problem with the Schon cartridge alignment template packaging. On this product, the spindle hole is located incorrectly by 0.5 mm. Despite the product’s potential, the packaging and construction quality ruin the overall experience. To prevent this from happening again, manufacturers must tighten up their manufacturing processes.

Cartridge alignment templates can align stylus offsets, overhangs, and null points. A user guide included with this tool explains how to use it and what tonearm and cartridge are required. A calibration table is also included in the template. Before using the product, read the instructions carefully.

Lack of accuracy

Cartridge alignment templates are inaccurate, which is the problem with Schon’s. Assumptions about the position of the spindle hole in the cartridge are made in this template, but these assumptions may not be true. Therefore, it can be inaccurate by as much as 0.5 mm. In addition to adjusting the cartridge alignment, there are other methods available.


Checking cartridge alignment with the Schon cartridge alignment template is a good idea. Approximately 0.5 mm is its precision. This template does have some shortcomings, however. The cantilever and stylus are assumed to be perpendicular to the cartridge front. Many cartridges do not conform to this assumption. The good news is that this problem can be compensated for.

It would help if you kept in mind that small adjustments will affect how the stylus relates to the null point and the lines of tangency. Make sure the cartridge is screwed in securely but loose enough to allow minor adjustments if necessary. Without this, the screws will hold the cartridge in place and negate all your efforts.

The alignment protractor is essential for ensuring the cartridge is aligned properly. The cantilever and stylus can be aligned using this plastic template with tangency lines and a null point. A pivot’s accuracy depends on how far it is from a spindle, so printing it correctly is essential. It is important to print the template to scale and the exact distance.

Read: Best phono cartridge under $500

Using a protractor instead of a template

For several reasons, you may find it more beneficial to use a protractor instead of a Schön cartridge alignment template. First, templates do not consider the cantilever offset, determined by a tangential line 90 degrees from the pivot point. Additionally, templates do not account for radial offset, which varies from cartridge to cartridge. You can align the cantilever with a mirrored surface protractor and parallax compensation.

The DB Systems Protractor can be used if you don’t want to spend money on a professional protractor. The biggest flaw of this tool is that it doesn’t provide accurate alignment lines. If you want to use it correctly, you should loosen each screw or lightly tighten it one at a time. Protractor cartridges cannot be accurately aligned if the screws are overtightened.

There is also the issue of overhang when using a protractor instead of a Schön cartridge alignment template. There is about 0.5mm of overhang in the center of the spindle when using a template. Cartridge alignment becomes impossible as a result.

A protractor’s ease of use is another advantage. As well as precision, it also prevents the stylus tip from skipping while stabilizing the tonearm. Playback is more likely to suffer from distortion when the stylus wears unevenly over time. Moreover, a protractor is easy to use and can be found online.

It is possible to achieve the correct tangency, offset angle, and null points using a protractor. The stylus tip must remain tangent to the groove by maintaining a precise tangency. By using a two-point alignment protractor, this can be accomplished.

Talha Anjum
Home is where the Record Player Is!