Rerurn to Romy the Cat's Site

In the Forum: Analog Playback
In the Thread: USB microscope for setting VTA
Post Subject: More fun with VTAPosted by mem916 on: 10/22/2013

It's ok, I was just being a smart-ass about Fremer. 

Yes I understand that VTA is the angle that the needle hits the record and that the elevation of the tonearm base is how it is adjusted.

Here is a picture of my turntable and arm:

You can see that there is a big knob on the top of the arm post.  That post is threaded for raising and lowering the arm.

Here is how it went for me before I had the USB microscope.  You have to start somewhere with a new cartridge, right?  Since the usual advice is to start with the cartridge body parallel to the record surface (the top flat part of the cartridge, that is)  I used one of Wally's handy tools to accomplish this.  Not sure if you have seen it but it looks like an ice skate and it bolts on where the cartridge is.  First you measure the height of your cartridge and then bolt this "skate" on in place of the cartridge (along with some shims to make the height the same).  Adjust the arm up or down until the skate "blade" is perfectly flat on the record and you know you have your cartridge body parallel with the record surface.  Now I had a place to start.  Then what?  Adjust up or down until you hear a difference - either better or worse.  Etc etc.  Well this method had me setting the VTA so far off of the optimum that I would never adjust enough in the right direction to get anywhere near the right spot!  (I now know, based on finally getting some large obvious improvement in the sound that I am getting out of my table that I am at least very close to the right VTA).  So previously I would always give up because no matter which direction I went off of that "body is parallel to the record" baseline I couldn't hear much of a difference.  I think I went one full turn of that knob in both directions and I was two full turns too low or something like that.

So I hope this explains my experience and why using Fremer's method helped me. Really it's Wally's method though - Fremer is just publicizing it on his website.  For sure if I had had the patience to keep fiddling with my VTA adjustment I would have found the spot eventually where it started sounding better.  But I didn't. 


Rerurn to Romy the Cat's Site