Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Setting VTA/SRA

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Setting VTA/SRA

    Click image for larger version

Name:	millennium_block 1.jpg
Views:	1368
Size:	35.5 KB
ID:	2649




    While using an USB scope increases the odds of finding the right geometrical relationship between the stylus footprint and groove, the final determination still must be made by ear! I was wondering what record (s) everyone uses to hone that geometry and what specific things do you listen for to guide you to the right spot?

    Now of course, the thickness of the LP is important --and because I listen in general to thicker slabs of vinyl -- my final determinations are in general done with a 180 G disc.

    For many years the Nonesuch recording Heliotrope once recommended by Michael Shrieve decades ago in the pages of TAS served as a setup record. Later on I switched over to using Dave Wilson's Razzamatzz Vol. 1 in large part because of conversations with Dave and what specifically to listen for on his recording. (Last I heard, Dave still used this album to set up his cartridges.) I generally find keeping it simple at the beginning (even a well recorded piano works here) really avoids making mistakes. Perhaps the most common mistake is using VTA/SRA as a tone control eg. lowering the arm to reduce the upper octaves.Usually I listen for the focus of the instrument and that AHA point when all of a sudden the instrument locks in. At the same time, I pay attention to the crispness of the transient attack as well as its decay. Another detail that AIDS in setup too is the whistle and whether or not you hear it blurred or not.)

    Once comfortable here, I like to move onto something like the Super Analogue release Super Percussion and now keeping track of the frequency extremes. Are the drums focused, tight and dynamic while at same time are the percussion instruments defined and delicate. When that comes together, I know I'm in the ballpark and then it's minor changes are all that are necessary. Some friends actually keep track of each label and what the height of the arm should be. It's also important to remember that not only do records vary in thickness but there was no uniform cutting angle used in the early stereo LPs . Click image for larger version

Name:	MILLENNIUM-Anlageblock-01.jpg
Views:	588
Size:	957.7 KB
ID:	2648


    And if not using a scope, I generally start with the arm parallel to the platter using the Millenium Audio Vision clear block though I have place an order for the new Acoustical Systems VTA/SRA block. That should be arriving in a couple of weeks. For a tapered arm, I usually adjust for parallel using the headshell.

    http://www.rutherfordaudio.com/defau...artstylus.html
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
    -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

  • #2
    Personally I haven't any use for usb microscopes to setup cartridges. These things need to be held without movement rich up to the cartridge, not easy and you must have the space around the table too which many don't. The hassle involved in that is already too much effort then one needs some kind of monitor to view a stylus sitting in a groove, what does that tell anyone? Even if you had a tool that visually could could give you a numeric value for what you're seeing on the screen, not sure if such a tool even exists, the final SRA/VTA still has to be decided subjectively by one's ear! Then re-adjusted again as the cartridge breaks in and ages, wo why bother? I've tried Chachkas like the one in the picture and on that link too, they're hard to see through, where you position them changes your view and again in the in the end one has to fine tune with one's ears. Same question again why bother? You know very well Myles that cartridge setup is really a learnt skill, you need experience, a trained ear and the most basic tools, protractor and maybe a scale if your arm doesn't have one. There's no magic angle, formula or rocket or any tool that I've come across that can replace experience.

    david
    Manufacturer: American Sound Turntables and The Nothing Rack
    Distribution: NEODIO

    Special Sales: van den Hul
    Industry Representation: Lamm, Kharma OLS Speakers, Ortofon, ZYX, Keith Monks, Audio Desk, Jensen Transformer, Venta Airwasher

    Unique Items: Vintage Horn Speakers
    http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...stening-room-1
    http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...earfield-setup

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by david k View Post
      Personally I haven't any use for usb microscopes to setup cartridges. These things need to be held without movement rich up to the cartridge, not easy and you must have the space around the table too which many don't. The hassle involved in that is already too much effort then one needs some kind of monitor to view a stylus sitting in a groove, what does that tell anyone? Even if you had a tool that visually could could give you a numeric value for what you're seeing on the screen, not sure if such a tool even exists, the final SRA/VTA still has to be decided subjectively by one's ear! Then re-adjusted again as the cartridge breaks in and ages, wo why bother? I've tried Chachkas like the one in the picture and on that link too, they're hard to see through, where you position them changes your view and again in the in the end one has to fine tune with one's ears. Same question again why bother? You know very well Myles that cartridge setup is really a learnt skill, you need experience, a trained ear and the most basic tools, protractor and maybe a scale if your arm doesn't have one. There's no magic angle, formula or rocket or any tool that I've come across that can replace experience.

      david

      Ha! I know you have strong feelings on the subject.

      I agree. I'm only thinking today where the number of people (or stores) that can properly set up a cartridge is becoming as rare as people (with Andre and Brian being two people I would trust my cartridges with) who know how to run an record press. Plus to help people extract from the cartridge all the performance the transducer is capable of.

      I find it interesting that many people, some reviewers included, set their VTA/SRA for one record and never change it even listening to say a Mercury or RCA vs a modern 180 or 200 gm record. Or even one of those dynawarp type discs.

      So I'm looking at it from the point of view how can we get to the optimal geometry quicker or more easily. Especially as we get older. But like you said, it's only a rough guide, you need to know what to listen for. There is no substitute for experience.

      One thing that I was trying to point out is that adjusting VTA/SRA by listening to the upper octaves can be misleading. You can adjust over a wide range with little change but when you find that magic area, then the smallest changes makes all the difference in the world.

      I'm sure you have a couple of favorite LPs that you use listen to when setting up cartridges!
      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
      ________________________________________

      -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
      -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
      -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
      -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post


        Ha! I know you have strong feelings on the subject.

        I agree. I'm only thinking today where the number of people (or stores) that can properly set up a cartridge is becoming as rare as people (with Andre and Brian being two people I would trust my cartridges with) who know how to run an record press. Plus to help people extract from the cartridge all the performance the transducer is capable of.

        I find it interesting that many people, some reviewers included, set their VTA/SRA for one record and never change it even listening to say a Mercury or RCA vs a modern 180 or 200 gm record. Or even one of those dynawarp type discs.

        So I'm looking at it from the point of view how can we get to the optimal geometry quicker or more easily. Especially as we get older. But like you said, it's only a rough guide, you need to know what to listen for. There is no substitute for experience.

        One thing that I was trying to point out is that adjusting VTA/SRA by listening to the upper octaves can be misleading (and end up with cartridge too low). You can adjust over a wide range with little change but when you find that magic area, then the smallest changes makes all the difference in the world.

        I'm sure you have a couple of favorite LPs that you use listen to when setting up cartridges!
        Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
        Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
        ________________________________________

        -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
        -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
        -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
        -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
        -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
        -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
        -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
        -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
        -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
        -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

        Comment


        • #5
          The simplest thing I found is a mini level on the headshell to get you in the ballpark. I do have several records that I use for VTA/SRA setup and agree about listening for the overall right sound for setting up but sometimes I use the bass balance and articulation when I'm uncertain.

          david
          Manufacturer: American Sound Turntables and The Nothing Rack
          Distribution: NEODIO

          Special Sales: van den Hul
          Industry Representation: Lamm, Kharma OLS Speakers, Ortofon, ZYX, Keith Monks, Audio Desk, Jensen Transformer, Venta Airwasher

          Unique Items: Vintage Horn Speakers
          http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...stening-room-1
          http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...earfield-setup

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by david k View Post
            The simplest thing I found is a mini level on the headshell to get you in the ballpark. I do have several records that I use for VTA/SRA setup and agree about listening for the overall right sound for setting up but sometimes I use the bass balance and articulation when I'm uncertain.

            david

            +1

            Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
            Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
            ________________________________________

            -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
            -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
            -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
            -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
            -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
            -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
            -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
            -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
            -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
            -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

            Comment


            • #7
              Dietrich Brakemeier has come up with a new tool for assessing SRA, VTA, and azimuth. He names it SMARTstylus. Not sure the distribution is squared-away but I heard it will be ~ $150.




              Wally Malewicz's WallyVTA is a great little tool for getting the top of the cartridge parallel to the record. Use it for thin and thick records to get a VTA tower or tonearm default mark for each.





              ... well, after actually clicking on the link in the first post, I see the SMARTstylus is now available.
              Last edited by tima; 02-20-2016, 12:57 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by tima View Post
                Dietrich Brakemeier has come up with a new tool for assessing SRA, VTA, and azimuth. He names it SMARTstylus. Not sure the distribution is squared-away but I heard it will be ~ $150.




                Wally Malewicz's WallyVTA is a great little tool for getting the top of the cartridge parallel to the record. Use it for thin and thick records to get a VTA tower or tonearm default mark for each.





                ... well, after actually clicking on the link in the first post, I see the SMARTstylus is now available.

                Ha! I must be thinking very loud. I was talking to Kevin Wolf a while back (when he was at VANA) about getting the tool to play with and review. He left VANA and that fell apart. Last week I managed to track down the distributor and it turns out that Rob/Chad at Rutherford Audio is now distributing the product. They are currently waiting for 20 to arrive and hope to hear soon about getting one in house! Maybe when Stirling has some experience with the tool.

                Wally's stuff is good but is he delivering?
                Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                ________________________________________

                -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post


                  Ha! I must be thinking very loud. I was talking to Kevin Wolf a while back (when he was at VANA) about getting the tool to play with and review. He left VANA and that fell apart. Last week I managed to track down the distributor and it turns out that Rob/Chad at Rutherford Audio is now distributing the product. They are currently waiting for 20 to arrive and hope to hear soon about getting one in house! Maybe when Stirling has some experience with the tool.

                  Wally's stuff is good but is he delivering?

                  I had known it was Rutherford but promptly forgot, as your link pointed out to me.

                  Wally? The key in my experience is to call him on the phone, spend 20 minutes talking analog and tell him what you want to order. The conversation is priceless. I've heard the issues, but he's always delivered my orders - lucky me - and I had to call him back only once!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I've had the Wally VTA (along with a Wally Tractor) for years. Quickest, easiest way I've seen to get the arm parallel for a starting point.
                    Steve Lefkowicz
                    Senior Associate Editor at Positive Feedback
                    -
                    Analog: Linn LP12 (MOSE/Hercules II), Ittok, Dynavector 19a, iPhono2; Pro-Ject RPM-1 Carbon, Sumiko Pearl, iFi iPhono.
                    Digital: Samsung 300E5C notebook, JRiver Media Center 26, Tidal HiFi and Qobuz Studio), iFi iDAC2, iFi iUSB3, iPurifier2.
                    Electronics: Burson Conductor Virtuoso, DIY switch-box with TKD 10K pot, Antique Sound Labs MG-SI15DT-S, Burson Timekeeper Virtuoso, Jolida JD1000P, B&K ST140.
                    Speakers: Tekton Double Impact, Tekton Lore, Magneplaner .7, ELAC Debut2 B6.2, Debut F5 and Debut B6, Emotiva Airmotiv B1, Sound Dynamics 300ti.
                    Interconnects: Morrow Audio MA1, Vermouth Audio Black Pearl, Nordost Solar Wind, Audioquest Evergreen
                    Speaker cables: Morrow Audio SP4, Vermouth Audio Red Velvet, Nordost Solar Wind, Nordost Flatline, Audioquest Q2.
                    Digital cables: Straightwire USB Link, Aural Symphonics Digital Standard xxv USB, Belkin PureAV.
                    Accessories: Sound Organization turntable shelf, Mondo racks, Pangea Audio Vulcan racks, Pi Audio Group Über BUSS, Monster HTS2000 power conditioner, Sound Organization speaker stands, Pangea Audio speaker stands, Kinetronics anti-static brush, Pro-Ject VC-S record cleaner, Spin Clean record cleaner.
                    Headphones: Schiit Valhalla amp, Meze Audio 99 Classic and 99 Neo, Beyerdynamic DT770Pro, 1More Triple Driver Over Ear, 1More MK801, 1More Triple Driver IEM

                    http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...ounding-system

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X