Originally Posted by reeltime
OK.. Got a bit of a setup issue here.
VPI Scout TT-- JMW 9 arm -- Clearaudio Virtuoso Wood cartridge
The wood cartridge is too light for the arm. Included is the weight that allows compensation for the light cartridge. Installed, I can find an accurate VTF of 2.2g
Here's the issue: VTA. The rake on the cartridge is pretty extreme (the distance from the needle end of the cartridge is thicker than the rear). To make the bottom of the cartridge parallel to the platter surface, the pivot must be dropped to a very low height-- so low-- there's almost no room to raise the arm.
I can only think of two solutions-- One: insert a wedge shaped weight that lowers the rear of the cartridge off the shell further than the front of the cartridge. Two: Exchange the cartridge to a model that doesn't have a steep rake like the Clearaudio Virtuoso Wood.
Is there another adjustment on the table I haven't thought to adjust? I'm new to the VPI Scout.
Oh dear - here we go again.
This is a rather common problem - back in the day and now. Ideally and theorethically, the cartridge SHOULD be as shallow ( low height from the sylus level to the arm mounting platform )
and light. The only widespread turntables that adhered to this were Dual models - it is a PITA to find today a cartridge that is shallow enough ( arm normally can not be adjusted in height ) and light and COMPLIANT enough. Old Ortofon FF/VMS/M Series of magnetic cartridges spring to mind, Ortofon LM Series ( very rare, very hard to get ), Audio Technica AT 51 in its 1/2" mount version - finito. Linn MCs ( Asak, Klyde, etc ) were also very shallow - for perfect match with the Ittoh arm.
But other than above, ALL other carts seem to go the path of least resistance - which is to say
height is "normal" ( approx 17 mm or so ) and weight is around 6 g or more.
Do not change the Clearaudio because of the fact VPI did not care to provide for anything but mainstream cart compatibility. I am no friend of Clear Audio MCs, but their MMs are very good.
There used to be (and probably still can be found someplace) "spacer weights" that go between the tonearm/headshell and cartridge - giving you approx 2 mm height increase you need plus added mass. If you REALLY struggle to get it, please PM me - I might still have a sample or two around.
Do not know if your VPI arm does have antiskating mechanism - if it can not be retroffitted in case there is none, CHANGE the arm ASAP. Do not know where the notion no antiskating is a good thing in an arm with offset angle comes from - but it is NOT GOOD FOR YOUR RECORDS !!! The higher the VTF, the more problematic is antiskating, that is true - but totally without it is guaranteed your right channel on all your records will be irreparably demaged without use of antiskating. VPI can claim whatever they wish ( better sound without antiskate ), but laws of phyisics will not bend for them. If they are trying to ameliorate the fundamental cartridge/arm resonance ( at approx 10 Hz ) this way, it is paying Paul by robbing Peter.
There is a very intriguing and interesting tonearm design just hitting USA ( it was at CES ) -
the VIV Labs "Rigid Float ": http://www.sibatech.co.jp/viv/rf.html . For those reading German, here is a good review: http://www.blackforestaudio.com/ I happened to be able to visit Black Forest Audio a couple of years ago and its founder/owner/#1 http://www.blackforestaudio.de/cms/front_content.php is truly an audio maverick - you will not find any bad sounding product in his range.
There is no such thing as the perfect banana, but this arm just might be capable of bridging the gap between linear tracking and pivoted arms - with the potential of besting them both in the process. Something I would like to have a possibility to audition and possibly be seduced by.
Edited by analogsurviver - 2/14/13 at 12:56am