From reading past posts I gather it has to do with the tonearm height. Why is it a concern? What relationship does it have with tracking? Why even bother other than it being something else to fudge with?
Have you bought a TT? I don't see one in your profile.
I have technics sl d303 from my misspent youth that I recently pulled from the closet. Having been into tube gear, RtoR, horns and Tube FM, I know about tweaks and upgrades. So I'm trying to understand beforehand if I should get the bug.
I don't think the Technics arm has adjustable VTA, so you'll need to shim between the cartridge and headshell. You should start at level, and if the sounds seems bright, decrease VTA (add very thin shims so the arm slopes up to cartridge). If it's too dull, decrease VTA.
is a matter of whether the stylus is sensitive to VTA/SRA adjustment (Spherical = less sensitive, Line Contact = greater sensitivity) and the degree of difficulty in making that adjustment. You've received a lot of good responses but noone had addressed the human factor...the difficulty of making the adjustment.
If your tonearm has the facility to make that adjustment with little to no effort then you'll find yourself making the adjustment. Unfortunately not many arms make it that easy so most people use the approximate best setting and live with the results.
I added a Riggle VTAF to an OEM RB300 and its pretty dammed easy to set the VTA each time you spin a LP. The only thing that would be easier if the VTA adjustment were remote controlled. If that were a common feature I wonder how many people would claim it wasn't that critical.
We don't shush around here!
Life is analog...digital is just samples thereof
160 gm or so record and set it and leave it alone. I'd rather listen to music than f&*k with VTA every record. When you set up set the arm level and work up and down from there. IME once you get it right you'll know and you can leave it alone from there on. YMMV
What's the first thing the dealer says to do? Get them aligned! Why? Because only by aligning the tires so they track the road with as little resistance as possible can you get the best gas milage, handling, etc. Making the tires sit straight in relation to the car body ( they call it caster, camber, toe-in and toe-out ) also prevents uneven or excessive tire wear.
Now, picture that stylus in the groove. In order to get the best response from the ridges in the vinyl, the sides of the diamond should be as perfectly perpendicular as possible. Why? To prevent the effects that improper raking will present ( tilted too far inward or too far forward ) as it vibrates. The amount of improper groove contact would appear very small when the VTA is set wrong, but at the point of contact with the groove, the problem is control and the most efficient tranference of the sound energy.
The enemy here, is heat. Like your tire alignment, the stylus that is 'raked' properly runs cooler. At the point of proper VTA, the sound blossoms, sound-staging is widest, dynamics increase, tracking is easiest and vinyl wear is at it's lowest all because the stylus is making the least vertical contact with the groove wall- resulting in the least amount of generated heat.
Bottom line: New tires? Get that alignment done. Stylus VTA? Adjust it until you hit that sweet-spot that every cartridge has. It's there, trust me. And when found, don't be too hard on yourself for not working the problem sooner. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.
I mean it, it really was a phenomenal way to describe alignment.
I would have written about 6000 words and I still wouldn't have conveyed the idea as perfectly. I doff my chapeau to you, sir.
There is more medicine in a single song than any hospital.
Hey, thanks. I was actually watching my tire dealer aligning my son's new tires when the coorelation just sort of popped into my head. I began wondering of what it would be like to be sitting on that stylus as it traverses those groove walls, bouncing, swaying, and vibrating like hell.
What a crazy, scary scene that would be...
Actually, this sketch illustrates the different meanings of "VTA".
What's called VTA in this sketch, is the common "cause" of the stylus rake angle (SRA) and what's called the vertical modulation arc here: Change the angle of the arm relative to the record surface, and both the angle of the stylus itself (SRA) and the angle of the movement of the stylus will change -- VTA as the name of the whole vertical-angle thing.
The vertical modulation arc is VTA as opposed to SRA.
In both horizontal alignment, azimuth alignment and vertical alignment we can distinguish between the stylus angle and some kind of movement angle, the latter apparently the most important point of horizonal and azimuth alignment, whereas both SRA and VTA (in the narrow sense) are often discussed in the vertical alignment.
of the playback stylus should approximate the line of contact of the disc
cutter's stylus when cutting the acetate.
this is more of an issue with those styli that have a long contact area such as a van den hul or line contact stylus rather than a conical stylus shape.
in the link below is some info that will shed light on this matter.
> > "If the setting is too high (where the arm slopes down toward the cartridge), the bass region generally gets muddy and thick, and the cartridge may sound more bright and strident than it should. Setting it too low (where the arm slopes down from the cartridge) may result in overly taught bass, and a reduction in upper frequency information."
Interesting page, but I completely disagree with the sonic effects listed for SRA/VTA. IME too high (arm slopes down to cartridge) results in overly taut bass and prominent highs, exaggerated surface noise and increased sibilance. Too low results in fat, slow bass, subjectively rolled-off highs and poor pace and rythm.
the sonic effects listed but the explanations of vta and sra are fairly right on. i couldnt draw a diagram so i did the next best thing.
there are probably better explanations out there in cyberland.
lots of detailed threads on this subject. but in a nutshell, VTA (vertical tracking angle) sets the Stylus tracking angle or in other words sets the angle the needle lays in the groove. It along with azimuth and overhang ensures the needle gets to the bottom of the groove, and is able to pick up all the information the groove has to offer. With most cartridges, the sound stage will open up, the balance of highs, lows and mids will be best resulting in a high quality of sound. VTF or tracking force is the other "knob" that dramatically influences this. Walker audio (website) has a very simple way to set up your system. Once set, you do not have to tweak it (unless you are one of those who cant keep your hands off the player)
Try it, you will like it
It is the angle of the stylus tip on the groove of the record. Get it wrong, and you miss nuances of the music, but get it right, and everything comes to life. Some cartridges could care less, like conical ones, but others, like line contact varieties, can be quite picky. Your mileage may vary, as VTA tweaking is a controversial topic.
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