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Thread: Nice and cheap tonearm and cart VTA tool

  1. #1
    Join Date: Sep 2011

    Location: Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland

    Posts: 240
    I'm stuart.

    Default Nice and cheap tonearm and cart VTA tool

    This looks pretty decent for the money, just ordered one so will let you know if it's any good when it arrives. Should make checking the arm is level a bit easier!

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2219963626...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

  2. #2
    Join Date: Feb 2011

    Location: Oxfordshire, England

    Posts: 192
    I'm James.

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    Thanks for the link, I've bought one too !!

    Jim.

  3. #3
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Durham - UK

    Posts: 1,261
    I'm Ken.

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    It's the stylus/cantilever you need to check against the record/platter.

    Checking the arm/headshell or cartridge body presumes the cantilever is exactly true and they quite often aren't.

    I doubt the accuracy would be any greater than a spirit bubble placed on the headshell and you could make one by laser printing on to acetate for Pence.

    And, unlike the ebay pictures, you have to have the stylus on a record, for it to work.

    It's just another thing to store in a drawer
    Last edited by Qwin; 05-06-2017 at 11:37.
    Ken

    http://www.jkwynn.co.uk/
    DIY Technics/ProJect based Turntable + Terminator linear tracker + Ortofon MC20 Supreme / Pro-Ject Phono box & Pre Box RS / KMTech Active X-Over / Nakamichi AVP1 Power / DIY Sealed Three Way Speakers / Stello CDT100 Transport / DAC Magic.

  4. #4
    Join Date: Sep 2011

    Location: Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland

    Posts: 240
    I'm stuart.

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    It'll get me in the right ball park much quicker than my usual faffing around and then I can adjust by ear to what I think sounds best.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Durham - UK

    Posts: 1,261
    I'm Ken.

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    Yes, final adjustment by ear as none of these things will get you exactly right.
    Ken

    http://www.jkwynn.co.uk/
    DIY Technics/ProJect based Turntable + Terminator linear tracker + Ortofon MC20 Supreme / Pro-Ject Phono box & Pre Box RS / KMTech Active X-Over / Nakamichi AVP1 Power / DIY Sealed Three Way Speakers / Stello CDT100 Transport / DAC Magic.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Oct 2016

    Location: Hampshire

    Posts: 106
    I'm Mel.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Qwin View Post
    It's the stylus/cantilever you need to check against the record/platter.


    I doubt the accuracy would be any greater than a spirit bubble placed on the headshell.............

    I can never understand why people do this - bearing in mind the tracking weight is likely to be only around 1.5 - 2.0 arms why put a heavy weight on the headshell to cause the cantilever to sag like heck and probably cause damage to the cart. Surely its best to keep anything off the cart while setting up and use external gauges ?

  7. #7
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 15,277
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

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    Agreed - though I imagine the idea is to adjust the counterweight so as to conterbalance the weight of the bubble-level, whilst maintaining the chosen tracking force for the cartridge. All a bit of a phaff really. I just use the alignment protractor turned on its side.
    Have you listened to this month's choice in the Album Club?

    Barry

  8. #8
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Durham - UK

    Posts: 1,261
    I'm Ken.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cycleallday View Post
    I can never understand why people do this - bearing in mind the tracking weight is likely to be only around 1.5 - 2.0 arms why put a heavy weight on the headshell to cause the cantilever to sag like heck and probably cause damage to the cart. Surely its best to keep anything off the cart while setting up and use external gauges ?

    Wrong assumption, the spirit bubble I use weighs 0.23g I usually use the mid point tracking weight so its additional weight usually falls well within the cartridges useable range. I can't see any change in ride height when I use it, record thickness variations would be greater. No way is it going to cause damage, give people the benefit of having common sense, I'm not talking about using a 30mm diameter puck, which would act as you suggest.

    I've considered glueing it to my headshell, making it a permanent visual aid.
    Last edited by Qwin; 05-06-2017 at 19:46.
    Ken

    http://www.jkwynn.co.uk/
    DIY Technics/ProJect based Turntable + Terminator linear tracker + Ortofon MC20 Supreme / Pro-Ject Phono box & Pre Box RS / KMTech Active X-Over / Nakamichi AVP1 Power / DIY Sealed Three Way Speakers / Stello CDT100 Transport / DAC Magic.

  9. #9
    Join Date: Oct 2016

    Location: Hampshire

    Posts: 106
    I'm Mel.

    Default

    Bonded to the head shell I would agree with you as the balance weight would be taken into account in setting the tracking weight. Unfortunately many bubbles on eBay weigh closer to 2.5 to 5 grams or even more and photos shown of these in use on this forum sitting on the arm and head shell do not give a good insight to setting vta or horizontal orientation unless it is mentioned the balance weight needs to be accounted for.

    Personally, bearing in mind cartridge costs I prefer gauges which do not touch the arm at all.

    That said we all have different views and its good to air the pros and cons of them all from our own personal perspective.

    Mel

  10. #10
    Join Date: Sep 2014

    Location: brighton uk.

    Posts: 2,122
    I'm jamie.

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    Cheapest solution for me was to glue some graph paper to some cardboard and eye it through to get the cartridge bottom level,interestingly the tonearm after this was done was tilting back which is how most 2m black owners end up with.
    My System/ Yamaha NS1000M,Mordaunt Short Signifer,Monitor Audio R952 MD,Pioneer PLC-1700, DD,TT, Townsend Elite rock 2,,Alphason HR-100S-MCS,Ortofon 2M BLACK ,Sony 700ES Amp,Sony X555ES CD Player, Nakamichi ca5 pre amp ,

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