The best you can achieve with 'the 2 screws and 4 clips' is a compromise. The tolerance of your compromise depends on the stylusshape. It always is about which compromise to take and how to most closely approach it. It is relative. So don't be afraid to make your own compromise. Just like you chose your stylusshape according to your own ability to make correct alignment decisions and the skill to carry them out. Or have it done for you.
Then there is azimuth, this is an absolute. But many arms have no adjustment for it just because it is an absolute. Straight is straight. So if your cartridge is out of whack youre straight out of luck.
Now where does the TLC come in? Well, if you can adjust azimuth you will need a small mirror to set the arm straight. And if you cantilever/tip is not properly aligned to the body you will need to listen. And relisten, and adjust, and listen again. But the reward is: when it's right, it's right. Unless you are using a unipivot arm.
And then there is the VTA. Again: no absolutes. It can be, with a perfectly plane lp, but they hardly ever are. And if you change a thick 200gr for a thin 120gr, again: you will need to adjust. And with a Rega arm, you can't. Or you need a washer under the 120gr lp. And for many other arms you will have to fiddle with a tiny screwdriver to adjust the height of the arm, never knowing where you had it correct. There are very few arms with on the fly VTA adjustments.
Many if's, but's and unlesses. There's analog for you. Never a boolean when you want it.
Edited by ]eep - 9/30/13 at 3:47pm