VAS Nova Signature Setup

VAS Nova Signature Setup

Postby Dizastical » Fri Feb 26, 2021 10:55 am

I have been fine tuning my Nova Signature over the last few days. I am amazed at the sound quality! I have never had music sound so fluid and wonderful. Steve is a cartridge genius! I only have one little problem Im hoping you guys can help me with. I have played 8 hours of music so far. 3 LP have had a random BASS distortion at various places across the entire LP side. Its not a continuous distortion on every bass hit. Its very random and is not isolated to inner, outer or center grooves. It is only coming from the right speaker. Im not sure how to fix it. Here are my setup specs as of now....

VTF = 1.70
VTA = Perfectly Level
Azimuth = 1.50* Tilted Counter Clock Wise (set with Adjust+) Perfect azimuth with -33.4 db separation in L & R. Phase Angles are 121* & 161*.
Alignment = Baerwald (set with Dr. Feickert protractor)
Anti Skate = One Twist of Lemo Wire. (does not drift at all in runout groove, Moves extremely slow to runout limit)
Table is 100% level measured on playing surface.
Loading = 1000 ohms on Herron VTPH-2A

What should I try to fix the right channel BASS distortion? It does not distort the highs or mids at all.

Thanks for your time.

Dave
VPI Prime Modded/ VAS NOVA Signature / Phoenix Eagle PSU / Phoenix RoadRunner Tach / Herron VTPH-2A / Musical Fidelity M6si / Furman Elite-15 PFi / Furutech Power Cords / Audio Sensibility Interconnects / Blue Jeans Cables / Martin Logan Motion 60XT
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Re: VAS Nova Signature Setup

Postby Brf » Fri Feb 26, 2021 11:31 am

Is the distortion present and consistent every time on the 3 albums referenced?
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Re: VAS Nova Signature Setup

Postby Dizastical » Fri Feb 26, 2021 11:40 am

Brf wrote:Is the distortion present and consistent every time on the 3 albums referenced?


Yes it is Brf. BUT it is in random areas across the LP. I had reached out to Steve and he said all my specs look spot on except for the loading. He said that the loading of 1000 ohms may be too high. His reasoning is because it is only distorting bass. Does this seem correct? I was not aware that loading could have such an affect.

Dave
VPI Prime Modded/ VAS NOVA Signature / Phoenix Eagle PSU / Phoenix RoadRunner Tach / Herron VTPH-2A / Musical Fidelity M6si / Furman Elite-15 PFi / Furutech Power Cords / Audio Sensibility Interconnects / Blue Jeans Cables / Martin Logan Motion 60XT
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Re: VAS Nova Signature Setup

Postby Brf » Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:34 pm

Dizastical wrote:
Brf wrote:Is the distortion present and consistent every time on the 3 albums referenced?


Yes it is Brf. BUT it is in random areas across the LP. I had reached out to Steve and he said all my specs look spot on except for the loading. He said that the loading of 1000 ohms may be too high. His reasoning is because it is only distorting bass. Does this seem correct? I was not aware that loading could have such an affect.

Dave


Steve is probably recommending a 200 ohm loading. I would typically agree with this as a starting point if you had any phono other than a Herron. Herron's don't need a lot of loading if any. I run my Herron unloaded. You can always try a lower loading, but I doubt that will alleviate the issue.

Try increasing your tracking weight to 1.75g measured at the record surface. Also, as an experiment, put a set of cork like coasters under each TT foot to see if the platform is providing some low level vibrations which are exciting the cartridge.
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Re: VAS Nova Signature Setup

Postby Dizastical » Fri Feb 26, 2021 1:27 pm

Brf wrote:
Dizastical wrote:
Brf wrote:Is the distortion present and consistent every time on the 3 albums referenced?


Yes it is Brf. BUT it is in random areas across the LP. I had reached out to Steve and he said all my specs look spot on except for the loading. He said that the loading of 1000 ohms may be too high. His reasoning is because it is only distorting bass. Does this seem correct? I was not aware that loading could have such an affect.

Dave


Steve is probably recommending a 200 ohm loading. I would typically agree with this as a starting point if you had any phono other than a Herron. Herron's don't need a lot of loading if any. I run my Herron unloaded. You can always try a lower loading, but I doubt that will alleviate the issue.

Try increasing your tracking weight to 1.75g measured at the record surface. Also, as an experiment, put a set of cork like coasters under each TT foot to see if the platform is providing some low level vibrations which are exciting the cartridge.


Steve recommends 500 Ohm loading. Harry as well as many other Nova owners say that running 1000 ohms really opens up the highs. I have eden sound terra stone footers on maple with maple shade iso blocks. It may be due to floor vibrations though. One time it was happening on a track last night, there was an obsured amount of bass that could be felt in the floor 12 feet away from the speakers. The component rack is only 3' from the right speaker so Im sure the table is getting some vibration. I was going to try tracking at 1.75. Harry says this is the optimal tracking force for this cartridge. I started at 1.70 because it is the mid point of recommended VTF. He has also recommending slight tail up as well and Im at 100% level at the moment. Maybe tail up with tame the bass a bit. I have 2 slabs of soapstone that I may try putting under each speaker to see if it helps. The speakers are on thick burber carpet with a 1' pad on top of a 2x4 sub floor over concrete. Ill try your suggestions and report back. Aside from this random right channel bass distortion, everything sound amazing and crystal clear. So far it has only happen on 3 out of 21 sides Ive played. The 3 LPs are very bass heavy so maybe there is too much resonance.

Thanks for your help.

Dave
VPI Prime Modded/ VAS NOVA Signature / Phoenix Eagle PSU / Phoenix RoadRunner Tach / Herron VTPH-2A / Musical Fidelity M6si / Furman Elite-15 PFi / Furutech Power Cords / Audio Sensibility Interconnects / Blue Jeans Cables / Martin Logan Motion 60XT
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Re: VAS Nova Signature Setup

Postby tom collins » Fri Feb 26, 2021 6:05 pm

if your floor is suspended, your problem is likely to be bass feedback to the table. if you are using subs, try playing the record with them disconnected. I eventually got a KAB rumble filter for the subs when I had a suspended floor. I am on concrete now so don't have those issues any longer.
TNT6HR, rim drive, superplat, outer ring, weight, 12.0, 12.7, 3d arms, SDS, SRA platform; Ortofon Cadenza Bronze, SS Gold Denon, Grado ME+ carts; Cary PH302/2 phono; Coincident Frankenstein IIs and preamp; Devore 88 speakers; 2 Goldenear Supersubs.
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Re: VAS Nova Signature Setup

Postby Fishflood » Fri Feb 26, 2021 6:14 pm

If you can do a wall shelf, you'll be amazed at the improvement in general but especially the tightness of the bass. At least that's been my experience over the years.
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Re: VAS Nova Signature Setup

Postby Brf » Sat Feb 27, 2021 9:15 am

Dizastical wrote:
Steve recommends 500 Ohm loading. Harry as well as many other Nova owners say that running 1000 ohms really opens up the highs. I have eden sound terra stone footers on maple with maple shade iso blocks. It may be due to floor vibrations though. One time it was happening on a track last night, there was an obsured amount of bass that could be felt in the floor 12 feet away from the speakers. The component rack is only 3' from the right speaker so Im sure the table is getting some vibration. I was going to try tracking at 1.75. Harry says this is the optimal tracking force for this cartridge. I started at 1.70 because it is the mid point of recommended VTF. He has also recommending slight tail up as well and Im at 100% level at the moment. Maybe tail up with tame the bass a bit. I have 2 slabs of soapstone that I may try putting under each speaker to see if it helps. The speakers are on thick burber carpet with a 1' pad on top of a 2x4 sub floor over concrete. Ill try your suggestions and report back. Aside from this random right channel bass distortion, everything sound amazing and crystal clear. So far it has only happen on 3 out of 21 sides Ive played. The 3 LPs are very bass heavy so maybe there is too much resonance.

Thanks for your help.

Dave


Dave, I would also try adjusting your vta angle. There is so much inconsistency between the stylus angle affixed to the cantilever between the same model of cartridge. Steve offers a general guide, but one needs to experiment as no two samples are the same, similar, but not the same.
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Re: VAS Nova Signature Setup

Postby Dizastical » Sun Feb 28, 2021 10:40 am

Here’s an update on what I tried last night.
Tried 1.75 VTF.
Raised arm 2 full turns from level.
Tried 1.65,1.70,1.75 VTF.
Removed 1k ohm loading plugs.
Lowered arm in 25 mark increments.
Tried various tracking forces at each 25.
Changed azimuth from 1.5* ccw to level.
Lastly, put back to starting point, which is.... 1.70 VTF, level VTA, one twist anti skate, azimuth 1.5* ccw. But this time I left loading plugs out due to an increase in inner detail and wider sound stage.

Unfortunately the distortion is still there and now I’m hearing it from both channels. I swapped rca cables left and right and distortion follows. I turned down volume to where the bass could not interfere with tracking and distortion is still there. So this is definitely a tracking / alignment issue. I’m testing all this with the same track. Herbie Hancock and the head hunters. Side one. Distortion is during certain bass notes when the keyboard is at the same tone. Makes a speaker top off sound. Happens all over the side so it’s not inner or outer specific. Unless anyone has anymore suggestions, I’m going to re align the cartridge again for the 3rd time. I’m very ocd about set up so I know it’s correct. I have aligned it with the dr Feickert using baerwald method. I have always aligned with azimuth level then adjust azimuth last. This is correct right? Wouldn’t I get an incorrect alignment if I kept the headshell at 1.5* ccw? Thanks for all your help guys. I’ve never had such a difficult time setting up a cartridge! The thing is..... it sounds so amazing except for the distortion.

Dave
VPI Prime Modded/ VAS NOVA Signature / Phoenix Eagle PSU / Phoenix RoadRunner Tach / Herron VTPH-2A / Musical Fidelity M6si / Furman Elite-15 PFi / Furutech Power Cords / Audio Sensibility Interconnects / Blue Jeans Cables / Martin Logan Motion 60XT
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Re: VAS Nova Signature Setup

Postby Brf » Sun Feb 28, 2021 11:27 am

Dave, it could be the album pressing. Can you play the offending album on another system, perhaps a dealer’s system?
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