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. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

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  2. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockholm
    The problem that we have is of course we cannot adjust VTS and SRA independently. So if we want 91deg SRA we´re stuck with what we have with other parameters.
     
  3. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    True. And the point of my long description and picture is that we should NOT be stuck with a specific spec for SRA, because (1) SRA addresses accuracy of tracing high frequencies only, and (2) listening to both bass quality and highs quality, then adjustment by ear, will actually result in a different setting for best tonearm height.

    For best sound, and many of us here have heard it, we should be adjusting tonearm height for a best sounding compromise of SRA and VTA.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
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  4. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockholm
    If the bass is mono it´s a moot point adjusting for the bass, of course. For me adjusting for the treble only generally is so much more important than anything else.
     
  5. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    This is not true. Stereo or mono has nothing to do with it. VTA and SRA are important for both. Just yesterday, I installed a new mono cartridge, played a mono record, and adjusted tonearm height with exactly the same listening results as a stereo record with a stereo cart.

    Now, it IS true that with a spherical stylus shape, SRA is either not-at-all important, or at least much less critical than for a line contact/MicroRidge/elliptical shape. Does this mean that we can set our tonearm height anywhere, with a spherical cartridge, and it will always sound exactly the same? Nope, it definitely DOES sound different, and that is mostly because of VTA, not SRA.

    It is a geometric fact that if the arc radius created by the cutter cannot be closely reproduced by our cartridge, then it cannot accurately track the wider excursion traces of the record groove. This arc radius is set by VTA, and this is most audibly noticeable in the bass and mid-bass.

    But, I suppose that if someone REALLY doesn't care much about bass and mid-bass quality, then that is his perogative. And if he doesn't care much about highs quality either, then he should just set the tonearm at any random height, maybe choose a particular SRA because a reviewer said-so, and enjoy the music. That is what we are really here for: to enjoy listening to the music in our own way.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
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  6. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockholm
    There is of course nothing that points to that concentration getting the treble optimal isn't a good way. And that also having the arm perfectly parallell to the platter isn't an optimal way.

    What we must understand is if the treble works as it should, all else will follow. The needle and the cantilever is driven by the modulations of the groove, nothing else, this is very important to see. If the driving force isn't large enough, there will be mistracking.
     
  7. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    I agree that the needle must be driven by the modulations of the groove, and "nothing else". If my cartridge's stylus has EXACTLY the same angle as the sides of the record groove, AND the cantilever length follows PERFECTLY the arc made by the original cutter, then all is well.

    But I disagree, from (1) personal listening experience, (2) my engineering experience with manufacturing tolerances of any consumer product and (3) from simple understanding of arc geometry, that the arm parallel to the platter solves anything. That is just a lazy assumption that every cartridge manufacturer lined-up their cartridge body, stylus angle, cantilever angle, cantilever length and magnet/coil orientation PERFECTLY at their factory, for every record, no matter that records themselves have variance in vinyl thickness and groove characteristics.

    Believe me, I am lazy about setting VTA. I set it once, to approximately optimum for a Flying Fish record, and then leave it that way for all other records. But I don't claim that this is optimum, only that it is easy and pretty close to VERY good.

    Of course, choose your method of aligning a cartridge and then enjoy. But please do not try to convince anyone but yourself, that setting the arm parallel is the optimal way. Nor that if the treble sounds OK then the alignment is already optimal. I have written enough about this. Thank you, everyone, for reading. :chill:
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
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  8. chacha

    chacha Forum Resident

    Location:
    mill valley CA USA
    What’s interesting is my table ( Linn LP12 w Ekos 1 arm) is extremely sensitive to anti skate. A slight bit too little and the tempos and groove of the music is sluggish. A slight bit too much and the tempo and groove is too aggressive and doesn’t really swing. I have to get exactly just so for it to sing and swing so it sounds like flesh & blood.
    Not sure what this really means. If the table and or arm might be out of adjustment or if everything actually is at it should be. It’s 28 years old now.
     
  9. jcmusic

    jcmusic Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Terrytown, La.
    I recently discovered that by watching the cantilever from a frontal view it is easy to see any deflection the cantilever may exhibit. What I found is that if the cantilever deflects towards the edge of the record, you need to add more anti skate which the case for me. I added more anti skate until when the cantilever touched the record surface there was no deflection in either direction. My ears tell me this is correct because it sounds cleaner and I can't hear any distortion.
    I am very happy with this result, also use this method on different parts of the record to fine tune your anti skate...
     
  10. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    And also (to get really depressed), side one of your LP could be stamped from parts cut in 1960 and side two cut from parts cut in 1970! So you don't even have the same VTA on each side of one record! It's enough to make yer hair fall out.

    I once had an MCA pressing of the Who's TOMMY. Side 1 was -1, side 2 was -5, side 3 was -10 and side 4 was -12! So-1969 to 1975 cutting/mastering all on the same two-disk set.
     
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  11. FLEMKE

    FLEMKE Forum Resident

    Location:
    CROOK COUNTY IL
    You can make yourself crazy with those adjustments. I found a "sweet spot" and let the music play.
    Tim
     
  12. owsley

    owsley Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston
    I have a VPI Prime with a new Clearaudio daVinci cartridge. Not as high end as Steve's gear but this is pretty darn good nonetheless. Breathtaking sound. I had a Clearaudio Concerto before but the daVinci is a worthwhile upgrade, particularly with high end reproduction which has more 'depth' if that makes sense. Percussion like cymbals, bells, triangles sound 'fuller' and more natural. The Concerto's high end sounded a but tinny.

    The one negative with the Prime and Avenger is that without a dustcover, you'd better have a optimal room construction, room dampening and turntable isolation to eliminate as much bass vibration as possible else you'll get loads of feedback particularly on records that are not cut very hot where the volume has to be cranked. Those 3D tonearms that balance on a needlepoint are so hypersensitive to outside vibrations. I guess there comes a point when you upgrade your audio to high end gear, you'll have to upgrade your house as well :)
     
  13. gov

    gov Active Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Help settle a debate amongst friends will yas ;)

    If VTA is "X degrees" at parallel and one RAISES the arm (TAIL up) by raising the arm height, is X now higher or lower in degrees?
     
  14. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockholm
    It´s of course 'higher'.
     
  15. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    Did you see the picture that is just a few posts above this one? When you raise the arm, the "x degrees" VTA gets higher, and the "x degrees" SRA gets higher by exactly the same number of degrees.

    Now, to get even more detailed in my answer, if you could lower the arm SO FAR that the entire cantilever is actually parallel to the record, that would be 0 degrees VTA. Of course, there is no way you could actually lower the arm that much, because the back of the arm would be lower than the entire turntable, so this is just a concept to understand what VTA actually means.
     
  16. Catcher10

    Catcher10 Forum Resident

    ......and this is why vinyls sux and 8-track tapes rulez supremo!
    :laugh:
     
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  17. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    No, this is why playing vinyl is a hobby, just on its own, beyond the hobby of merely enjoying music.
     
  18. Tullman

    Tullman I prefer analog

    Location:
    Boston MA
    So...how does the Avenger sound?
     
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  19. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockholm
    I don´t feel is sux, but it´s complicated and how things work isn´t always helped by different statements.
     
  20. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Don't know, probably. It's always around.
     
  21. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    Steve hasn't said much about how it sounds, yet, because it keeps getting better as the Grado Epoch cartridge breaks-in AND as we keep tweeking. Plus, we are still waiting for @vpiindustries to send us another tonearm, so we can mount another cartridge (Kiseki Purple Heart), compare the two cartridges on the Avenger, and compare to how he heard the Kiseki sound on other turntables.

    Plus, the Grado, now mounted on the Avenger, has an odd combination of 1.0 mV output level and 47000 ohm requirement. This has limited us to using solid state phono stages only, for the time being, until we acquire a 1:3 step-up and a 1:3 head-amp. I received the head amp last week, but still waiting for the transformer step-up. Once these allow us to boost the output to 3 mV, then we can play the cartridge into any of Steve's phono stages.

    So, there is a lot more work we still have to do, before Steve can write his detailed review.
     
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  22. Catcher10

    Catcher10 Forum Resident

    Guys it was a joke........relax....It is Saturday!
     
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  23. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    I know it was a joke, but a good joke, worth replying to.:winkgrin:

    We must not have different ideas and different statements! Even worse, maybe one of us will learn something, and change our idea.:oops:
     
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  24. Try1256

    Try1256 Member

    Location:
    Winter Springs, Fl
    With a BAT VK-P6 or VK-P12 you can get the appropriate gain at 47k
     
  25. gov

    gov Active Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Well you two helped me get a beer...so thanks
     
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