VPI Avenger turntable on the way to me for review with Grado Labs Epoch cartridge. It's here.

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Steve Hoffman, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. marcb

    marcb Forum Resident

    Location:
    DC area
    I can’t remember exactly.

    But almost anytime the subject gets brought up here, somebody who finds it too much effort to do so (a perfectly legitimate excuse for not doing it) says it’s poppycock and rationalizes their laziness by stating that Fremer says a 4mm change only results in a 1 degree change in VTA so adjusting VTA has nominal effect so leave it be and you can accomplish more by adjusting VTF (perhaps true)...plus records have warps anyway...and blah, blah, blah.

    All I know is I can hear the difference in minor changes in VTA.
     
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  2. chacha

    chacha Forum Resident

    Location:
    mill valley CA USA
    Absolutely. and tracking force .. and anti skate.
    You can go nuts with this.
     
  3. Drew769

    Drew769 Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    Found it and picked up a copy. Looking forward to playing around with it again! Thanks for the advice and help!
     
  4. Drew769

    Drew769 Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    What changes do you notice with anti-skate? I have noticed that on some records, the highs become more shrill and sometime sibilant the closer the song is to the end of a side (middle of the record). Does that have to do with anti-skate?
     
  5. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    No. You are mistracking.
     
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  6. Slimwhit33

    Slimwhit33 Member

    Location:
    Orange County NY
    Facsinating.. seriously.
     
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  7. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    Terribly mis-adjusted anti-skate could cause mistracking, but usually there is only very subtle channel balance imperfection that results. Maybe no sonic effect at all, because some people don't believe in using anti-skate at all.

    Mostly the effect of improprely adjusted anti-skate is a visible effect, noticeable when the cartridge is first set down on the record. Not enough anti-skate force will cause the cantilever to suddenly shift towards the record center, just as the cart touches the record. You can see the cantilever momentarily shift out of its center (straight down) orientation. Too much antiskate causes the arm to constantly and aggressively move outwards, away from the record center
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
  8. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I would also guess that no anti-skate would probably wear the stylus (and grove) more on the inside grove wall than on the outside grove wall.
     
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  9. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Bend, IN
    Flying Fish LP has arrived, looking forward to playing with it tonight.
     
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  10. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Bend, IN
    This is nuts. I had serious doubts about being able to tell the difference. To me, it's much easier to distinguish the bass acuracy and fullness than it is the finger plucking because I'm just not that experienced with what that would sound like live. But I think I've got it, or at least I've got VTA high enough to keep bass full of body and dynamics but the finger plucks sound, to me, as natural as I can expect. Going up further reduces bass body, going lower reduces bass clarity.

    I'm adjusting a Jelco SA-750L arm with am Ammonite Acoustics "improved" collar which makes VTA adjustment much easier than the factory Jelco collar by using a thicker, nylon-tipped grub screw and knife edges inside the collar to hold the shaft straight and perpendicular to the armboard. I say all this because the factory mounting system from Jelco is garbage. The shaft can easily skew due to the thin grub screw and far-too-loose tolerances.

    My method is to use digital dial calipers. I measured the top of the collar to the bottom of the anti-skate "shelf" starting out, then extreme low and extreme high. From there I just kept cutting in half.

    I started at 17.5 mm gap and ended at 18.5 mm gap. So was it far off? Nah, but I've tried 17.5 and 18.5 back to back several times and no question 18.5 sounds more natural, more dynamic, and fuller in so far as the bass definition creates more body, despite being "tail up" relative to where I started.

    At some point I may see what the total height is from the bottom of the platter to the top of the flying fish record, then do the same for a 200 gram (my thickest) and see how far apart they are. At that point, I think I coud add that delta to the actual VTA tower, and use "spacers" for records not 200 gram to keep the height consistent.

    I don't think I want to get that crazy yet, but it's not that difficult to imagine pulling off and at least nailing 140g and 180g thicknesses which is the vast majority of my collection.

    By the way, if this should go in the VTA thread, I'll gladly move it over there.
     
  11. TVC15

    TVC15 Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Sounds like an alignment issue. Did you use the VPI tool that came with your prime? Or a different protractor? Baerwald does best with my JMW 10.5.
     
  12. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    Please tell me more about why you wrote "this is nuts". I hope to read you say that this test so effective, and easy to hear, that it proves VTA makes an obvious difference.

    I believe you heard your "obvious difference" with a change of only 1mm in tonearm height. Please try a change of just 0.5 mm, and tell me what happens to the sound of those string plucks.
     
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  13. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Bend, IN
    Hi @Warren Jarrett! That was just excitement, not condemnation :) I was hoping the rest of my post would provide context but if not - to me, it's "nuts" how well this record shows tiny changes in VTA. Since I was working with a dial caliper, I was able to hear differences with .2 mm in change of VTA height. I had settled on 18.3 mm of gap as the sweet spot, but then tried 18.5 and the plucks became just the most subtle amount more crisp and settled in the soundstage. Going higher I felt they started to sound almost artificial, if that's a fair way to describe it.

    I had also tried 17.5 mm, 18.0 mm, and then to 18.3 and with each increment, bass felt more realistic as I moved up AND the plucks came more into focus.

    I would swear to you that I personally have never been able to hear much difference between, say, 1.7g of VTF and 1.8g of VTF. And knowing that VTA is directly tied to VTF, I was skeptical about my own ability to tell the difference. That I could, and so easily, was "nuts" to me.
     
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  14. gov

    gov Active Member

    Location:
    NYC
    So for those of us who don't have adjustable on the fly VTA, what should one add off this record to arrive at a middle ground of a 180g pressing? Any suggestions? I use business cards for my piss poor adjustable pro-ject arm. Maybe 2 more business cards for a 180?
     
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  15. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    That is JUST EXACTLY what I wanted to read you say. That is simply wonderful and heart-warming to know that a mere 0.2mm made an audible difference.

    Now, what shall we say to Micheal Fremer, next time we see him? Better yet, if you ever see David Shreve, walking around an audio show, please share with him your experience. He will enjoy hearing about it, as will I, if you see me.
     
    marka likes this.
  16. gov

    gov Active Member

    Location:
    NYC
    To be fair to Mr Fremer, I'll have to locate it but if I recall he didn't say it didn't matter but more that he didn't feel it was necessary to stress over a different setting for every record.
     
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  17. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Well, stressing isn't what we want to do but if it's easy and it's a record you love (either because of the music or the amazing sound, or both) than doing a little VTA adjusting can work wonders in dialing in the perfect presentation of the sound.

    Remember, it's not only the pressing thickness that matters but the position of the original cutting head stylus. That being said, don't lose sleep over it but have fun with it.
     
  18. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    A wrinkle in my VPI review, it seems the 10" arm that came with my VPI Classic 2 will not work on the VPI Avenger's arm board. Warren tried it and it just wouldn't line up.

    So, trying to get another 12" arm from VPI so we can continue on with our Cart comparison. Hopefully it will happen soon!
     
  19. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    According to RIAA dimensions a 180 gm record is 0.73 mm thicker than a standard LP. With a 10" tonearm this translates into a Tonearm angle / VTA change of 0.165 degrees- in other words not quite two-tenths of one degree. I would say to split the difference if you can- if your arm is set to sound its best with standard vinyl, see how it sounds raising the tail by .365 mm, which close to the .3048 mm thickness of a business card.
     
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  20. chacha

    chacha Forum Resident

    Location:
    mill valley CA USA
    Must be nice to be able to dial it in like that. My Linn is just a big Allen wrench and hope for the best with a lift or drop.
    One size has to fit all.
    :rolleyes:
     
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  21. Manimal

    Manimal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southern US
    And no beer!
     
  22. Manimal

    Manimal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southern US
    Maybe he ( Fremer) meant continuous adjustment for different record thickness.
     
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  23. chacha

    chacha Forum Resident

    Location:
    mill valley CA USA
    Likely. Which is quite a different thing.
     
  24. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germantown, Md.
    Increasing the anti-skate pulls the tone arm closer to the spindle right?
     
  25. Cliff

    Cliff Magic Carpet Man

    Location:
    Northern CA
    No. Increasing A/S force pulls the wand out from the spindle.
     
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