VAS Nova Signature Setup

Re: VAS Nova Signature Setup

Postby Drew769 » Mon Mar 01, 2021 10:13 pm

You know, because you say the distortion comes and goes at random spots on any given side of an LP, I have to think the problem is likely alignment based. I had that issue with my first VAS and it turned out to be that the cartridge wasn’t aligned correctly. I would check out the cartridge using the VPI supplied jig to see how it is positioned relative to that. If it’s different, then I would try the VPI jig. As you probably know, every alignment is a compromise, so you are looking for the alignment that minimizes the amount of negatives (and places on an LP side where distortion will occur).
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Re: VAS Nova Signature Setup

Postby Lewisranchmike » Mon Mar 01, 2021 11:03 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


I initially started at 500ohm and then went up to 1000. Just that much more detail and extension in music

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Re: VAS Nova Signature Setup

Postby Dizastical » Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:41 am

UPDATE:

Last night I replaced the pivot spike and I inspected the bearing. The old spike definitely had a slight roundness to the tip. The bearing looks perfect. After the spike replacement, I reset VTA to level, VTF to 1.70 and left azimuth at 1.5* CCW (tested with Adjust+). No change at all in distortion! I did however really get up to the speakers and found the distortion is coming from my midrange drivers. This is coming from BOTH left and right speakers. Its is still random and on different spots across the LP. It is on most LPs now. So the problem has gotten worse, or I am noticing it more now than when I first mounted the cartridge. I moved VTA up and down, and played with VTF, all with no success. Steve said he aligns his cartridges for VPI tables with a VPI jig. He also likes to use the Denneson alignment as well. I will be re-aligning the cartridge tonight with my VPI jig. He said he has never had good results with the Dr. Feickert jig. As far as the loading goes, I'm blown away by the sound with NO loading plugs on the Herron. Unloaded seems to let the cartridge breath and stretch out a bit. Keith had told me a few times to run my MC cartridge unloaded. I'm glad I finally listened! So I have found out that the loading is not the problem. It has to be down to nailing the alignment. If you guys have any other advice I'm all ears! Ill keep you posted on the results tonight. Fingers crossed....

Dave
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Re: VAS Nova Signature Setup

Postby Fishflood » Tue Mar 02, 2021 1:11 pm

Are you certain it's not a tube problem? I would maybe look at that single third 12AT7 (output stage) since it's happening on both channels. I had great luck with a Mazda tube here although the EI that Keith uses are also very nice.
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Re: VAS Nova Signature Setup

Postby Dizastical » Tue Mar 02, 2021 1:41 pm

I listened to the same LP right before I removed my Zephyr. The zephyr sounded great on all the problem LPs. These were compared within three days of each other and no other changes were made to the system. Thank you very much though! I had never thought of that.

Dave
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Re: VAS Nova Signature Setup

Postby Dizastical » Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:46 am

Another Update:

Last night I aligned the cartridge with the vpi jig. I emailed Steve pictures as I was doing alignment. He agreed that my final results were perfect. These were my settings pre alignment.....
Azimuth level
VTA two turns up from level
VTF 1.75
Anti skate lemo twist
No loading on phono stage

After alignment I put all settings back to the above list. The highs were a little bright so I lowered arm 1 full turn and reset VTF to 1.75. The cartridge sound incredibly good. Best I’ve ever heard. But the midrange distortion is still there. It didn’t seem to get any better. How can this be? Everything else sounds so perfect. It’s like there is one small frequency window that the system can’t track properly. It’s not due to the volume of the amp. I know this because if I turn down the volume very low, the distortion is still there just quieter. I still have to adjust my azimuth tonight with the Adjust+, but I highly doubt it is going to fix the problem based on my previous tests. Not sure what to do next. Could this be a problem with the phono stage? I had a MM cartridge before this cartridge. Maybe I was not using a portion of the phono stage that I am now, and there may be an issue with the unit or tube(s)? It almost sounds like a clipping sound when it happens. Not sure what to do next.

Dave
Last edited by Dizastical on Wed Mar 03, 2021 9:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: VAS Nova Signature Setup

Postby Brf » Wed Mar 03, 2021 9:09 am

Can you send the cartridge back to Steve for either testing or exchange?
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Re: VAS Nova Signature Setup

Postby Dizastical » Wed Mar 03, 2021 10:34 am

Brf wrote:Can you send the cartridge back to Steve for either testing or exchange?


He advised me this morning to try tracking the cartridge at 1.85 grams. If that doesnt work then I am sending the arm and cartridge to him for a Bi-Wire upgrade and cartridge inspection. Do you think it could be something wrong with the phono stage? It seems to be the worst on bass/midbass heavy LPs. Also, changing VTA does not effect the problem at all.

Dave
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Re: VAS Nova Signature Setup

Postby Brf » Wed Mar 03, 2021 10:54 am

Dizastical wrote:
Brf wrote:Can you send the cartridge back to Steve for either testing or exchange?


He advised me this morning to try tracking the cartridge at 1.85 grams. If that doesnt work then I am sending the arm and cartridge to him for a Bi-Wire upgrade and cartridge inspection. Do you think it could be something wrong with the phono stage? It seems to be the worst on bass/midbass heavy LPs. Also, changing VTA does not effect the problem at all.

Dave


IMHO, very unlikely that the Herron is causing the distortion issues.
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Re: VAS Nova Signature Setup

Postby Dizastical » Wed Mar 03, 2021 11:17 am

Brf wrote:
Dizastical wrote:
Brf wrote:Can you send the cartridge back to Steve for either testing or exchange?


He advised me this morning to try tracking the cartridge at 1.85 grams. If that doesnt work then I am sending the arm and cartridge to him for a Bi-Wire upgrade and cartridge inspection. Do you think it could be something wrong with the phono stage? It seems to be the worst on bass/midbass heavy LPs. Also, changing VTA does not effect the problem at all.

Dave


IMHO, very unlikely that the Herron is causing the distortion issues.


Thats what I think as well. Re-aligning the cartridge with the VPI jig, I noticed the VPI jig put me back about 1mm in the headshell compared to the Baerwald on the Dr. Feickert. I'd think that such a change would have done something to the distortion. But it did not.

Dave
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