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AR XA Turntable and Setting Overhang

Some Acoustic Research AR XA and XB owners aren't familiar with the importance and process for setting the stylus overhang. This may be due to the fact the AR headshell doesn't have 'slots' for the mounting screws that allow the user to shift the cartridge front to back in the headshell. So, how does the overhang get set on the AR XA turntable?

Well it all starts with the headshell and making certain it is fully seated in the arm wand - flush up against the locking collar. (In another post I'll outline the proper manner for installing your headshell. If the wrong method is used the threads on the headshell get damaged!) If the headshell isn't fully flush then the headshell will extend out too far which will throw off the overhang.

Notice the headshell sits flush with the arm collar. Not only can the correct overhang be established the headshell won't wobble when in a fully seated position. Our headshell fully seats into the arm collar for a secure fit and will allow the user to set the proper overhang.

So....with the headshell fully inserted and secure how does the user check the overhang and adjust if needed? The engineers at Acoustic Research provided for this measurement and adjustment by providing an overhang gauge and allowing the user to re-position the tonearm wand via a small set screw found at the base of the arm.

The overhang gauge is a simple tool that is placed over the record platter spindle. It is pre-measured for the optimal overhang. When the gauge is in position the arm is brought over the gauge and the stylus tip is measured while over the center of the defined point ("Needle") . Simple!

But what if the overhang distance is off and needs adjusting? That process is a bit trickier as the user will need to loosen the small set screw located at the base of the arm located near the bearing assembly. With the screw slightly loosened (don't remove!) the arm wand can be re-positioned. But be careful as you don't want to stretch or break the tonearm wiring. By loosening the set screw the arm wand can be moved in/out of the assembly. It may take some trial and error but the re-positioning of the arm wand will allow for setting the proper overhang.

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