Setting Up a Turntable Overhang

Written by patrick nelson
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Setting Up a Turntable Overhang
Loosen the two screws on the top of the shell. (old vinyl player image by JoLin from

Turntable overhang adjustment is an important part of setting up a turntable. It is the process of adjusting the distance the stylus (needle) is from the pivot. The pivoting arm is attached to a shell; the cartridge is attached to the shell; and the stylus is attached to the cartridge. The optimum distance between the tip of the stylus and the pivot is determined by the turntable manufacturer. The arm and shell are known distances, but variances in cartridge and needle, depending on variables like manufacturer are unknown. So, the cartridge position, with its stylus, needs to be adjusted. This is the overhang set-up.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Overhang gauge
  • Screwdrivers

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  1. 1

    Fit the overhang gauge that came with your turntable to the shell. If you have misplaced it, you will need to obtain a new one from the manufacturer. It usually clips into place where the arm and shell meet.

  2. 2

    Adjust the overhang and facing of the cartridge on the turntable. Loosen the two screws on the top of the shell. Slide the cartridge along the shell to make the overhang set-up adjustment. The tip of the stylus must line up with the end of the gauge. The cartridge must be in line with the shell too. Make sure it is parallel and not crooked.

  3. 3

    Tighten the two screws and detach the gauge.

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