Best tweak for all VPI turntables by Votan

Re: Best tweak for all VPI turntables by Votan

Postby Ayre Conditioned » Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:02 pm

Stringreen wrote:In my explorations of "tuning".....everything makes a difference. I'm a violinist...when I install different strings on my instrument there is a difference.....if I move the bridge 1/2mm in either direction there is a difference....if I play my instrument in my living room, there is a big difference than in my practice room, it sounds different in every venue I play in...different again when there are people there. I've tried all kinds of things replacing the feet on my turntable... every mat sounds different, even when the setup is adjusted in each case. Everyone has to find their own sweet spot... the sweet spot would be different for each of us. I used to manufacture resonance control devices. On my (then) music system I thought they were wonderful...a well known manufacturer evaluated them to produce them as a licensed product. (in the end they thought it too variable). On some systems, the product increased air, separated instruments and produced the "wow" factor...on other systems, they were too bright. ...so on to the glorious quest.

In evaluating the BluTac, I raised the tonearm, put the putty around and under the supporting structure....then lowered the arm for the proper VTA, squishing the putty.

I'd be open for experimenting with a solid connection (thinking brass would be where I'd start)


Hey Stringreen,
I tried various metals including brass all with the same result- harsh dynamics. I went to my local Hobby Slobby and picked up some black modeling clay. Cut off a section and put it in the microwave for 10 seconds. Knead it and roll it into a line long enough to go around and adjust to your correct height. I'm not hearing any downsides- just good stuff. If you try this I would be interested in your opinion.
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Re: Best tweak for all VPI turntables by Votan

Postby Votan » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:41 pm

Hi Ayre Conditioned,
Thanks for the very interesting feedback.
It is obvious that the behavior of each material-and not only in this mod-depends on the individual character of each setup.
Also, sometimes, when entering a new device in our system, a total update of the entire setup may be required for best results, but all of this may be very complex and laborious and not infrequently, of questionable results.
BTW, I've tried brass too and found it a bit warm for my tastes and at the same time too bright. Stainless Steel as well was a bit bold in LF and a bit too forward in HF and overdynamic. In my setup aluminum fits best so far. But everybody's MMV.
Let's hope that VA will manage to find titanium (which btw is too much expensive) for the ultimate test on the subject.
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Re: Best tweak for all VPI turntables by Votan

Postby Stringreen » Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:39 pm

Ayre Conditioned......I tried that (though not microwaved).....I doubt that would make such an improvement (when cool). Interesting that brass wasn't good for Votan...I tried so many different materials for feet replacement, and brass did it for my system...just shows to go ya.....
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Re: Best tweak for all VPI turntables by Votan

Postby Waxxy » Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:01 am

I always liked the simplicity of the non-vta tonearm mount supplied with the JMW-9 and also on the 10 1/2 inch tonearm that came with the original Classic (1). It made sense to me that the simpler, more rigid connection would allow the tonearm to perform better...theoretically at least.

I've been using the tweak pictured below for a few years now, trying to approximate the rigid coupling / mechanical grounding of the simpler tonearm base by using a cone to directly couple the arm bearing to the arm-board...

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I started off with a brass cone coupled to a quartz disc. Neither of these items is bonded to the arm / arm-board, but simply 'clamped' in place by lowing the VTA tower until snug. I had several thicknesses of the quartz disc, allowing for a certain amount of VTA adjustability.

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Eventually i needed a shorter version so i removed the brass / quartz combo and replaced it with an ebony wood cone. The ebony is handy because one can sand down the tip to the exact correct height needed to achieve proper VTA. I have three different sizes which can be easily swapped depending on the armwand / cartridge combination. I can't honestly say I heard any real improvements with either combination, but I like the theory of rigid coupling.

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Note the dust on my Aries...I expect this will sicken some of you.
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Re: Best tweak for all VPI turntables by Votan

Postby Ayre Conditioned » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:38 pm

Inspired by Waxxy's setup, I cobbled this together from my stash of junk. I believe that giving the energy a direct path to the plinth is the way to go with this tweak. This is the best sound yet from everything I've tried.
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Re: Best tweak for all VPI turntables by Votan

Postby vienna acoustics » Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:58 am

:!:
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Re: Best tweak for all VPI turntables by Votan

Postby Votan » Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:54 am

Hi Waxxy,
Without wanting to derail the thread, but observing your counterweight, I would like to ask-observe this:
VPI is supposed to use tear drop counterweights in order to lower as much low as possible the centre of gravity of the total arm-cart system (from the tonearm’s support point to the pivot needle), wanting to increase the stability of the Unipivot tonearm and reduce as far as possible its transverse wobble.
The half-moon counterweight that you use which instead holds the center of gravity up (which is not a good thing), but - on the other hand - it has markedly more mass on its more extensive side edgess (which is a good thing as it increases the transverse moment of inertia, thus stability*) has finally some other sonic advantages compared to the factory one?

*This is a point that VPI obviously has alternatively addressed by having significantly increased the mass of azimuth side weights in the latest batches of their 3DR unipivots, which additionally lowers the centre of gravity even further.
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Re: Best tweak for all VPI turntables by Votan

Postby vienna acoustics » Sat Nov 09, 2019 6:23 am

:!:
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Re: Best tweak for all VPI turntables by Votan

Postby tony22 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:00 am

I’ve been watching all this carefully with great interest. Nothing to add yet myself, but you all have me thinking. :geek:
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Re: Best tweak for all VPI turntables by Votan

Postby vienna acoustics » Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:52 am

:!:
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