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VTA adjustment for different LP types

Wharfedale Diamond 11 Series

Fiftyfifty

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Hi,

Changes in VTA appear to have a dramatic impact on sound quality. However, the ideal VTA is different for normal records, 180 gm reissues and the extra thin records as in old bollywood albums. I thought I could address this by adjusting the VTA for the 180gm and then using one or two layers of 0.5mm thin material as padding on the platter for the thinner LPs. Want to know the experiences of others: Do you guys adjust the VTA midway and forget about it, or do you have any other solution short of having to adjust the VTA each time? Please share your views.

Cheers!
 

jls001

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Some cartridges are definitely more sensitive to VTA change. Depending on the what cartridge one uses, the effect of raised/lowered VTA may/may not be audible. Also, the nature of the extra mat will most likely change the sonics. I usually choose a record of medium thickness for setting VTA. It's too much of a bother trying to get it right for every record being played, I feel.
 

Fiftyfifty

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Thanks Smedhavi and Joshua,

Yeah, it looks like my Clearaudio Virtuoso cart is pretty sensitive to VTA differences or there's too much snake oil in my ears. My tt does not have a specific VTA adjustment facility but I can move the tonearm pivot up and down with an allen key. It will surely be a bother to keep adjusting each time I listen. Hence the padding solution. Currently I place the LP directly on the acrylic platter without a mat but with a clamp over the LP. The VTA is adjusted for 180gm. If I use a thinner LP, I need to raise the platter by less than .5mm, for which I wonder what DIY substitute to use. The stock mat is over 1 mm thick which is too much. So, I was considering cutting out some thin art-card discs that I could throw onto the acrylic platter when needed. And I don't know if the art card will have some sonic attribute ( most likely not). Seems clumsy! Any suggestions?

I could just leave it as it is, but I've heard the difference and now the bug has got me ;)
 

Selvin

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In my system I am not hearing any difference in the range of +/- 1mm from the manufacturer recommended set point.
 

jls001

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I heard the greatest difference VTA makes on an Audio Technica ART9 cartridge. At the right VTA everything just fell into place. Before that bass was bloated, etc. So if one uses a cartridge with an advanced geometry (elliptical, Shibata, etc), it is definitely worth playing around with VTA.
 

Fiftyfifty

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I heard the greatest difference VTA makes on an Audio Technica ART9 cartridge. At the right VTA everything just fell into place. Before that bass was bloated, etc. So if one uses a cartridge with an advanced geometry (elliptical, Shibata, etc), it is definitely worth playing around with VTA.

'Fell into place' is what it is! At one particular setting, everything about the music just goes to another level. I can imagine going through several upgrades without paying attention to such settings and, hence, never knowing your tt's real potential. Just underlines the need for effort on correct setup. And I wonder why manufacturers don't cover more details on ideal setings in their manuals
 
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