Adjusting iLP tonearm balance

The iLP turntable has an adjustable counterweight but I can't get it to track properly. I've tried bringing it in close to increase the weight and backing it all the way out. It doesn't seem to make a difference either way. Where's the zero point? Any suggestions for a correct weight setting? Seem to recall normal weight should be around 1.5 grams.
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  • This reply was removed on 2015-01-13.
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  • I’m sad
    The video you found is for a pro-audio turntable and does not apply to the iLP.
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  • 1
    I have the same problem, Any suggestions for a correct weight setting?
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  • I’m sad
    1
    It appears to me, the counterweight really makes no difference at all, whether it's on the tonearm or not. Mr. J. Mallet, if you're reading this please assist. I've scoured the internet and haven't found many solutions to this issue. Thanks for you assistance.

    Adam
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  • 1
    I found at least a partial fix. Agree with Adam that counterweight doesn't seem to make any difference. The aluminum block isn't heavy enough to counter-balance anything. I completely unscrewed the counterweight and super-glued four 3/8-inch flat washers on its back side I screwed it back on the tonearm with the washer-side toward the front to move the weight forward. That seems to work for most tracks. The needle still wants to skate on some tracks, so on those, I put a couple of pennies just behind the screw that holds the cartridge in place to add weight over the needle. There are still a few tracks it doesn't like but it's playable on most. I'll go with this until someone comes up with a better solution.

    Mr. Maillet -- the cartridge is the one that came from the factory.
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  • Tom,

    I like your idea, very creative thinking on your part. If I can come up find some 3/8-inch flat washers, I'm going to do the same procedure as you. I know the iLP is not "Pro Audio" by any stretch of the imagination, however I would like the iLP to work. I did not have high expectations about it's performance or sound quality, but this is a little ridiculous. People will buy whatever you market them, however I'm starting to think ION doesn't care about supporting the iLP and they are well aware of its performance and sound limitations. A bit of a shame that we (the customers) are the only folks replying on these threads. Thanks again for sharing your clever idea. I have half a mind to toss the thing and watch it shatter into bits, rather than asking for a replacement. I'm certain the replacement won't be better.

    Nice work Tom!

    Still waiting to hear from Mr. Maillet...
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  • Adam,

    I converted a stack of vinyl to MP3 a while back using a regular turntable/receiver and the Audacity program. It worked pretty well, but it was a hassle to hook up the full stereo. I got some additional vinyl and figured the USB turntable would be a lot easier to use. I got the iLP on sale, but couldn't get it to play at all when I hooked it up a couple days ago. Thought I would give the online Q&A thing a try before sending it back. Trying the adjustment per the video with no success plus your comment got me thinking about adding weight, and the threaded end of the tonearm fits through the hole in a washer. Pack of 10 was under a dollar at the local hardware store. 4 seems to work, and using more washers put too much weight at the back end of the tone arm. I would want to measure the actual weight at the needle if I was using this as my full-time turntable to play the same album multiple times, but adding the pennies on the cartridge end shouldn't do too much damage for a one-time play to record as an audio file. The EZ converter software works OK, but I may still use Audacity since it gives sound editing capability and helps clean up some of the old albums. It's works with the iLP.

    I just got through a couple albums with no problems Give it a try. You can always hit it with a hammer later.
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  • My solution was to add a metric machine screw to the back of the weight. This added just enough weight to balance the tonearm. It acts as both additional weight and a extension of the threads on the tone arm to give a wider range of adjustment. I haven't measured the tracking force yet, but it seems this cartridge requires quite a bit.

    I think that either the cartridge was designed to be lighter, or the original design featured a steel counterweight, and they saved a few pennies by using aluminum. Rather shoddy.....
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  • This reply was removed on 2015-01-13.
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  • I’m Extatic
    Are my eyes deceiving me or has a representative of Ion just suggested I should weight down the cheap excuse of a cart & stylus on the amature attempt at a tone arm with a penny! Aside from thinking this would mean I have spent more on the tone arm than the manufacturer I can't belive you would suggest this is a viable solution for somebody who's just shelled out £100 on one of your products. I actually feel like re-posting this thread on as many relevant web sites as possible to detour any other innocent vinyl owners from coming within a mile of your pathetically inadequate products.
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  • I could not agree with you more, Andy! This is a ridiculous solution to a problem that comes with the product straight out of the box! Admittedly I never expected high quality components in the iLP, based on its price, but not having a solution other than for the user to guess at the weight of coins or washers, to this obviously common problem is inexcusable.
    Unfortunately, ion does not offer me the choice of an "angry" face to show how I feel about this....
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  • I’m frustrated
    1
    I agree with Anton and Andy your suggestion/recommendation shows the level of expertise and care ION puts into not only supporting their consumer products, but into the quality of ION products. It's pretty obvious that most people encountering this issue, willing to write about our frustrations on this thread, are experienced with record players, Hi-Fi, Lo-Fi, and No-Fi. My expectations about the performance or sound quality of the iLP were not high, but I hoped for more than this, shoddy at best tone arm suggestion, with a counterweight for the tonearm that weighs no more than a penny itself. Instead of taking it back to the store to swap out for another piece of crap replacement (holding back my tongue believe me) I'd rather smash the iLP to bits and tell my professional musicologists, performers, and friends to waste their money on anything, other than, an ION products.

    Adam
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  • I’m frustrated
    Seems to me that ION should be either recalling the product or providing all users of it with a proper counterweight, adequate to balance the tonearm and cartridge. I look forward to seeing if J.Maillet will be addressing this issue, but so far it doesn't sound like he or she even understands what we're asking for.
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  • Hello,
    Sorry for the delay folks. Is there a chance any of you can post a video or picture of this happening?
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  • I’m FRUSTRATED
    1
    J.

    How about you test out the iLP? Because we came here for help. If you're the ION official rep then you should have access to QA many iLPs. QA at least 10-20 of them..

    Along with the counterweight on the tonearm issue, there is a hum, when the record is no longer playing, and the tonearm is back on the cradle, which sounds like shoddy electronics.

    I've done everything to isolate the hum to get rid of it. Plugged it into multiple sound cards directly, tried RCA outputs only. not plugging into phono jacks, power strips, plugging it into outlet by itself with no other electronics near it.

    I'm not happy at all with this product or the customer service. Does ION train agents to adk vague questions then disappear from the discussion boards for five days, come back and ask another vague question 5 days later, or post a video...?

    I'm sorry to be an a**, or mean in anyway but what type of customer service do you call this? Ummm I call it none at all.

    I'll send a video of me throwing it in the trash.

    Thanks for your help,
    Adam
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  • I’m pissed off
    It should be no surprise that I am having the same issue. It seems that it is a manufacturing flaw rather than a one time instance. I find it asinine that an ION rep suggests putting a penny on the stylus or washers on the counterweight as a potential solution for a flawed design. What does working on this "in-house" even mean? How could it be possible that you were completely unaware of this problem before launching?

    I'm extremely disapointed in this product and will be returning it if a viable (not a penny) option for this problem is not presented in speedy amount of time. Subsequently I will also be relaying the message via all social networking sites I participate with so no one else gets the shaft.
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  • I’m disappointed, to say the least.
    Brilliant!
    I've returned the POS to the store and gotten my money back.
    I'm outta here!
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  • I've tried coins, stainless steel #6 metric nuts and washers, nickels, dimes, pennies, and quarters and various locations on tonearm. All out of ideas.
    Sent my info to J.Maillet today (January 15, 2013). Hoping for a response soon.
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  • Just received Return Authorization form. I really tried to use all the above ideas...No Go. Sending the unit back. Disappointed and really bummed.
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  • I’m frustrated
    I'm still holding on the the iLP although I dislike it, and it's a major piece of crap, flawed in many ways, apparently ION is a company that makes very shoddy products, and they appear to be proud of it, then expects people to buy their shoddy products betting on the odds that customers will not take them back to the store, or return them. This is one of the worst record players ever made.
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  • I purchased a Sony PS-LX300USB turntable and downloaded VinylStudio and am going to see how that works. If I'm not satisfied, the turntable will be returned for a refund. I'm seriously looking at the Zoom Telephonic ART USB Phono Plus Interface - Version 2. It cost half as much and I can use my 2 existing turntables. I just my do this anyway.
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  • Jesus, thought I could come on here to find a solution. Thing hums first off when not in use, second off the needle just skirts across the record with no way to balance the tonearm. Then I honestly see that going out and buying washers is actually suggested!? What...... the hell? I'm either returning this thing or getting this company to give me one that actually works. I've had a 60$ Audio Technica that lasted great for years, but since I now live in Germany thought I'd get something with 220v. Looks like I should have kept the old one
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  • Goodbye to Everyone. After fighting this problem for 3 weeks solid, I'm outta here. Took the iLP back as defective and got my money back. You're all on your own now.
    To: J. Maillet: You might have your engineers also look into making the turntable platter bigger, as its diameter is not nearly as wide as a 33+1/3 RPM LP. I've noticed that many of my old (original LPs) are much more flimsy than I remembered them and I think that's a contributing factor to the skipping problem. Along with the inability to accurately balance the arm.
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  • Hello everyone,

    The iLP turntable pictured in the video includes a tonearm that allows for manual adjustment by the user. The instructions that shipped with some iLP units incorrectly suggested that the tonearm must be adjusted to float level for proper use. However, this model uses a ceramic cartridge which actually requires a downward pressure of 2.5g - 5g to operate correctly. It is not possible or necessary to float the tonearm on this version of the ION iLP. For the included ceramic cartridge, the tonearm will apply an appropriate amount of downward pressure throughout its range of adjustment. For best results, find a setting that doesn't skip and leads to smooth playback.

    Current turntables in ION’s lineup include tonearms that are pre-set at the factory and do not require any manual adjustment.

    If you’re an existing iLP owner, and need assistance with tonearm setup or operation, please connect with our support team by visiting www.ionaudio.com/support. If you’re still shopping, and would like help comparing models and options, we can help you with that too. We’d love the opportunity to assist you!
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