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Turntables that can lower or raise platter height

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  • Turntables that can lower or raise platter height

    Does anyone know of any turntable manufacturer that allows their platter to be raised or lowered, thereby allowing easy SRA adjustment for tonearms that do not have an easy SRA adjust ability? I mention this simply because I have an SME IV installed on my VPI HW-19 MKIII and have found dialing the SRA to be a treat with this table by simply raising or lowering the platter from the bearing shaft which has a threaded screw, which holds the thrust pad. It has made my life much easier when installing a new cartridge and was wondering if others do as well and why others don't.

  • #2
    Isn't there an aftermarket VTA on the fly collar for the SME? Riggles or something? I never used it. The big Kuzma has free-standing arm pods that will adjust with a digital readout of height, I don't use the pod up or down adjustment because his arms include VTA on the fly as part of the arm assembly. It's there, I assume for arms that don't have easily adjustable VTA (and I could switch my arm to a cheaper, non-adjustable pod if I added an SME or other arm that didn't allow easy adjustment. But that table isn't cheap. 'Tis a good table though.

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    • #3
      Yes, I believe it's the Pete Wriggle adjustment, it consists of a threaded collar but the work required isn't easy and I believe it requires another hole to be drilled on the armboard. The SME arms did have a crude tool, that came with the damping trough, that would allow the height to be lowered or raised but while it's effective it is rather crude in my opinion. But the VPI bearing with its thrust screw allows me to make minute adjustments. First I get the arm be parallel to the record surface, I usually go a little higher, then the platter is raised or lowered until everything comes together - brilliant! I wish more manufacturers would do this and I have heard of at least one manufacturer who does but don't know their name or if anyone else does this.

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      • #4
        Yes it is Pete Riggle
        I have installed the VTAF system in both my vintage tables and have adapted 5 tonearms with the spin wheel, I can change tonearms faster than a cartridge
        Once I set up a cartridge on the tonearm I simply unplug the cables pull them out and put it in adjust Tracking force and that is it, it takes less than a minute. Some ask why and the answer is simple, not all cartridges like the same tonearm, my tonearms are Pete' Woody, custom rosewood, Grace 714 teak, Mission 774, Acos R 200, Jelco A/R, I have found the best sounding cartridge for each tone arm and never change them, with the exception of the Acos which has a removal head shell, I have five titanium azimuth adjustable head shells for that one and use the five compatible cartridges for it.

        The VTAF system is not hard to adapt at all, any way it wasn't for me. I am not sure that I understand the philosophy of an adjustable platter it seems like another mechanical weak point to create mechanical rumble, the VTAF is a floating system mechanically and electrically as opposed to being rigid mount. I do not ground the tonearm to the table only at the pre amp for the metal ones, there is never any noise. I have Three Grados which I have never heard hum ( they seem to be famous for the hum ) Makes me wonder why?

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        • EdAInWestOC
          EdAInWestOC commented
          Editing a comment
          I have a VTAF on a Rega RB-300 with Incognito wiring and Michell Technoweight (that I put on a Denon DP-62L). I like it a lot. It was a little work to install but worth the effort. The DP-62L is in storage now.

      • #5
        I was going to say VPI HW19 but you beat me to it. I don't know of any other table.
        Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
        Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
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        • #6
          Not being familiar with the internals of the VPI HW19, I'm having a hard time picturing the relation of the bearing, plinth/chassis and the adjustment screw. The entire bearing assembly gets raised or lowered and takes the platter with it. Is the adjustment screw independent of the bearing, acting against the bottom of it? Is there any impact on horizontal platter rigidity? It certainly is a different approach to VTA adjustment!

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          • #7
            I have never taken it apart but it appears the screw on the bottom of the bearing holds the thrust pad inside the bearing. They used to do this to most of their bearings until they switched to the inverted bearings. I have attached a photo, you can see the screw on the bottom of the bearing.

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            • #8
              It looks like a nice path for mechanical noise, I wonder if the cartridge picks it up or not .

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              • #9
                No, I haven't heard any, then again maybe my cartridge a Shure V15 MK V is not as resolving as others and maybe it's there.

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                • Guest's Avatar
                  Guest commented
                  Editing a comment
                  It's there but Its absence may be more conspicuous than its presence.

              • #10
                The shure v 15 is the correct cartridge to turn mechanical rumble into romantic harmonics, I would be willing to bet that a low output m/c would be sending you on a search for the source of noise in between the passages.

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                • volvic
                  volvic commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Only one way to find out, time to invest in a Goldring Elite MC cartridge and find out.

              • #11
                Originally posted by volvic View Post
                Does anyone know of any turntable manufacturer that allows their platter to be raised or lowered, thereby allowing easy SRA adjustment for tonearms that do not have an easy SRA adjust ability? I mention this simply because I have an SME IV installed on my VPI HW-19 MKIII and have found dialing the SRA to be a treat with this table by simply raising or lowering the platter from the bearing shaft which has a threaded screw, which holds the thrust pad. It has made my life much easier when installing a new cartridge and was wondering if others do as well and why others don't.
                That would be interesting, something like ride control on a race car but with finer adjustment parameters on a tiny scale. Most ride control is either air or hydraulic. Humm
                Chris
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                • #12
                  Reach out to PeterA. He uses a SME 30/12 and a SME V-12 arm. He adjusts VTA for most every record, I am pretty sure just by using the mechanism that SME provides...your SME IV should be very similar....
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                  • Guest's Avatar
                    Guest commented
                    Editing a comment
                    The SME IV was designed from the SME V but the IV does not have VTA adjustment like the V.
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