Frustration . . . !!!

CJSF

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Still kicking the cartridge thing about . . . thinking during the day, I used to adjust the VTR to good advantage in the old days with an Allen key and slide the arm up or down a tad, very technical mesurement is a 'tad' . . . the Rega uses spacers, limited finesse. So be it, until one reads in the destructions . . . "use the spacers if the cartridge chosen is deeper then a Rega cartridge" . . . that's fine, but they dont say how deep a Rega cartridge is!!!! a little arrogant I feel?

OK, I seem to remember reading 'Rega cartridges are 15mm deep'? Cant find anything on the net, anyone confirm '15mm deep'. Measured the Ortofon Blue its 19mm, need the 4mm shim and a 'sleeved arm nut' again no explanation!

In fact reading other cartridge blurb, 19mm is the more common dimension . . . ?

Even more confused, I've seen 3 point fixing shims, but it looks like the Rega shim is a straightforward round shim, arm fitted RB700. . . ??? Dealer protection, driving me mad, treating the user like a numpty, its not a dificult job for those of use who like to be 'in control', but one needs the right infomation! . . . bet there is a special spanner required?

not happy . . . CJSF
 

chebby

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Plenty of people have used 2Ms on Regas with no need for spacers (myself included.)

I thinik you have chosen the wrong deck and arm for an incurable tweaker.

I advise you sell it and buy something that will allow for complete user control of every possible variable so you can enjoy experimenting.

Regas tend to be 'fit and forget'.
 

CJSF

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chebby said:
Plenty of people have used 2Ms on Regas with no need for spacers (myself included.)

I thinik you have chosen the wrong deck and arm for an incurable tweaker.

I advise you sell it and buy something that will allow for complete user control of every possible variable so you can enjoy experimenting.

Regas tend to be 'fit and forget'.

Cant agree there Chebby simply poses the question; were you getting the best from your M2?

I dont mind 'fit and forget', indeed, a good idea . . . but we have options and need to get the 'fit right first', thats essential, still the nature of the beast, despite what Rega might like to think.

I'm prepared to accept my cartridge choice is wrong, I went on recommendation, proves its not the way, modern does not meet ancient . . . at the moment? Get the adjustments right, all may still drop into place?

I've don a lot more digging on the web, came across this site:

http://daveyw.edsstuff.org/vinyl/cartridges/

Its a year or so out of date but never the less, has valuable information on a few of the cartridges I have been interested in. A very helpful option is a 2 minuet download on each cartridge, same music, put them in the same folder and click from one to another instantly. Help me no-end, obvious differences are easily heard, one liked or did not care for. Leaves me with a possible shortlist, Goldring 1042 or the Dynovector 10x5 . . . ????

Both I believe have a 19mm depth . . . means the VTA will be out . . . come full circle . . . leaves me still with the burning question, "does that lack of 4mm make any difference to the Ortofon Blue?". Am I going to blue a further £250-£300 on something that is potentially not set up right, I can not believe anyone here would think that is a satisfactory situation? Exchanging one problem for the same error and pay good money for the privilege . . . Long chat with my Rega dealer in the morning.

That sort of discrepancy should make a world of difference one way or the other? Note, I use 'difference' not better/worse, an important distinction to me.

CJSF
 

CJSF

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Well Chebby, all I can say, you are easily pleased, if my figures are right and you were happy listening to a cartridge with a VTA 4mm lower than its should have been? I cant see wanting this figure right makes me an incurable tweaker, surly right is right? The shim is a pain to put in place, but a sound engineering solution, its still the nature of the beast, discrepancies have to be catered fore . . . then, I agree, 'fit and forget'. Records are cut at varying angles but surly, thats going to be wildly out of tolerance.

Still left with the question, is a Rega cartridge 15mm deep?

CJSF
 

chebby

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"Rega VTA(Vertical Tracking Angle) Fact Sheet by Roy Gandy

Quote: "Every problem has a solution. If there is no solution, there is no problem."

The Tonearm: The maximum up/down adjustment on a tonearm is about 0.5 inches (12mm). That being approximately 1 degree VTA adjustment.
[Correction: if you do the maths' a 0.5inch variation on a 9 inch arm is about a 3° variation. You can work this out yourself once you remember that the sin() of an angle is the change in the y coordinate divided by the radius, so 0.5/9 ≈ 0.055 ≈ sin(3°)]

The Cartridge: Each model of cartridge has its own unique design which also determines the stylus VTA. Rega has accurately measured the VTA on at least one hundred different cartridge models. The lowest VTA we have measured was 24° (even though the manufacturer claimed 20°) and the highest was 36°. Most cartridges have a VTA of between 28° to 32°. The VTA of Rega cartridge is approximately 28°.

The Record: The VTA of a record cutting stylus is set to give the best continuous cut of the lacquer. Records are cut with a VTA which varies between 0° and 20°. On an individual record the VTA will vary by 7° or more, depending on the type of cutting head used, the depth of cut, the musical frequency and the lacquer springback. The VTA of the groove on every individual record varies by at least 7° over the record. Every record is cut under 20°.

Futility: We can see that cartridge VTA is normally around 10° higher than the record cutting angle. And the record cutting angle varies by around 7° whilst it is being played.

THEREFORE A MAXIMUM ARM ADJUSTMENT OF ONLY 1° CAN BE SEEN TO BE COMPLETELY FUTILE.
To accurately match cartridge VTA to the record cutting angle the back of the arm would need to be well below the record (impossible!) and the cartridge VTA would need to vary at least 7° whilst playing the record!

Normal advice: Most informed advice is to keep the arm tube roughly parallel to the record surface. In fact, the VTA becomes more correct as the rear of the arm is lowered as much as possible, the limit being when the arm or cartridge touches the record.

Worst case: The most extreme situation is a record cutting angle of 0° and a cartridge VTA of 36°. The result is a VTA inaccuracy of 36°.

Question: Can there be any point in playing around with 1° of VTA?
VTA adjustment is actually a neurosis NOT a technical adjustment.

An Alternative: If you alter the playing weight of a normal cartridge by 0.1 of a gram the stylus VTA will alter by around 1.5°.

Another Alternative: If the room temperature increases by 5° F, the stylus rubber suspension will soften and decrease the VTA by 1°.

"but when I alter the VTA I hear a difference"
Of course you do. Any variation or change to the very important joint between the arm and turntable will alter the sound quality. Try simply tightening or loosening the main arm fixing nut, the sound will change. Try tightening or loosening the cartridge fixing nuts, the sound will also change. Almost any change or adjustment to a turntable/arm/cartridge will alter the sound quality if one listens with an acute level of perception.

We hope we have explained to the reader that VTA adjustment is of little or no significance. There are many other simple structural changes that are more important, such as fixing the cartridge rigidly to the arm and fixing the arm tightly to the turntable."
 

CJSF

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Thanks for that Chebby . . . confirms things we know like cutting angle variations. 'Old thinking' was different, small arm height changes from cartridge to cartridge 'did' make an audible difference, remember, I do trust my ears. I'd agree with the 3 degree window mentioned however.

The strange thing about hifi is that hard figures dont always match up to the reality, as I say, may years of listening tells me small adjustments from cartridge to cartridge does make a change, thats change, not better/worse . . . that change can make the sound produced more acceptable to the ear? Puts a cartridge voice in a more comfortable listening zone to an individual. Not best for all of course, I like smooth and detailed, you prefer, lively.

Its a hands on thing, as for choosing the wrong TT/arm . . . no, I just have to nail the issue of cartridge body height, easy enough . . . at a Rega dealer with my vernier gauge if I have to! Once I know what numbers I am dealing with, I will 'fit and forget', after I have decided which cartridge to go for.

By the way, don a bit more digging and come across this site; Google 'daveyw.edsstuff.org.vinyl/cartridges/', an extensive practical cartridge review, now at least 18 months out of date, (last updated 2010) but the synopsis appraisal and 2 minute download of the sound voice of the cartridge is so helpful . . . it was to me. I down loaded 6 possibles, into the same folder, and then was able to switched instantly from one to another, narrowed it to the Goldring 1042 and Dynavector 10x5 . . . ? thats as per the site and gear used . . . At least it gives me something to work with in the real world of 'hifi dealers' . . . ?

Final point, we are dealing hear in the world of analogue, and individual taste, neither, in my experience, always abide by the rule of numbers, in the way our new digital world does . . . (expects) . . . ?

CJSF
 

chebby

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Another factor in the performance of the cartridge is the alignment/overhang etc.

I don't mean whether it's basically correct or not. I mean subleties like Baerwald vs Stevenson geometry.

Rega opt for a Stevenson geometry whereby the tracing distortion is minimised (has a null point) 6mm further towards the centre of the record where there is less groove being tracked per rotation.

The IEC standard for the innermost groove is 60.35mm and Stevenson geometry has null points at 117.4mm and 60.3mm.

The innermost Baerwald null point is 66mm so Stevenson geometry is better towards the end of last tracks (assuming the LP is IEC compliant) where distortion can be highest.

It's all very subtle. When I bought my 2M Blue I printed off both protractors, attached to card and aligned for Baerwald (for Rega) and Stevenson (for Rega) spending a couple of days playing records on each setup.

In the end I opted for Stevenson geometry. (The one Rega use.)

Basically Baerwald geometry means inner groove and outer groove distortion must be equal whereas Stevenson puts more priority on minimising innermost groove distortion.

I cannot post the source of these protractors (sorry) due to house rules. But search Baerwald and Stevenson and protractor on Google and you will probably come across a site that (from it's name) looks dedicated to vinyl. If you register, there is much very useful and in-depth information and resources (and a good read if you like that sort of thing.)
 

CJSF

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chebby said:
Another factor in the performance of the cartridge is the alignment/overhang etc.

I don't mean whether it's basically correct or not. I mean subleties like Baerwald vs Stevenson geometry.

Rega opt for a Stevenson geometry whereby the tracing distortion is minimised (has a null point) 6mm further towards the centre of the record where there is less groove being tracked per rotation.

The IEC standard for the innermost groove is 60.35mm and Stevenson geometry has null points at 117.4mm and 60.3mm.

The innermost Baerwald null point is 66mm so Stevenson geometry is better towards the end of last tracks (assuming the LP is IEC compliant) where distortion can be highest.

It's all very subtle. When I bought my 2M Blue I printed off both protractors, attached to card and aligned for Baerwald (for Rega) and Stevenson (for Rega) spending a couple of days playing records on each setup.

In the end I opted for Stevenson geometry. (The one Rega use.)

Basically Baerwald geometry means inner groove and outer groove distortion must be equal whereas Stevenson puts more priority on minimising innermost groove distortion.

I cannot post the source of these protractors (sorry) due to house rules. But search Baerwald and Stevenson and protractor on Google and you will probably come across a site that (from it's name) looks dedicated to vinyl. If you register, there is much very useful and in-depth information and resources (and a good read if you like that sort of thing.)

Keep it simple, use the patractor suplied with the P5.

Had a chat with Rayleigh HiFi today . . . there comment on the arm height issue, things have changed recently, and the thinking is fit the shims as required . . . ? but they cant dem the 1042, but do have the Dynavector 10x5 on dem, as well as another cartridge I have been toying with in my mind . . . a 'Linn Addict', its a re vamped Goldring, I think derived from a 1042? or was it a 2500? Anyway, Rayleigh think it might fit my 'pipe and slippers' style perfectly?

A lot of dosh . . . ??? CJSF
 
Not sure if that particular Linn was made by Goldring, but pretty sure one or two models were. The Goldring 2000 series is made by Nagaoka. All a bit incestuous these days.

Re VTA, my Rega arm is lower at the pivot than the parallel 'ideal' as my Grado is a bit deeper than a Rega cart. But it sounds fine. I think Gandy makes a very persuasive point, and cartridges all sem to measure in excess of 20 degrees, never less.

Like chebby, I'd recommend the vinyl engine site, and it will be right up your street. I've seen it referenced here before and it is no rival. You can debate stylus profiles and VTAs all night!
 

altruistic.lemon

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Rega use a single point protractor which is close to Stevenson, but not strictly speaking exactly the same.

I went from the Rega to the Baerwald when setting up their tonearms on different decks - seemed more precise.

Later comment: Dunno why I posted the above, it's relevant to zilch.
 

CJSF

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nopiano said:
Not sure if that particular Linn was made by Goldring, but pretty sure one or two models were. The Goldring 2000 series is made by Nagaoka. All a bit incestuous these days.

Re VTA, my Rega arm is lower at the pivot than the parallel 'ideal' as my Grado is a bit deeper than a Rega cart. But it sounds fine. I think Gandy makes a very persuasive point, and cartridges all sem to measure in excess of 20 degrees, never less.

Like chebby, I'd recommend the vinyl engine site, and it will be right up your street. I've seen it referenced here before and it is no rival. You can debate stylus profiles and VTAs all night!

Thanks 'nopiano' . . . I seem to be getting a reputation as a tinkerer . . . ? True 20 years ago, these days, I want a simple life, reacquainting with all these old LP's and CD's, the fit and forget scenario is just fine . . . However, with an engineering background, I cannot do a 'that will do job' . . . right is right, wrong is wrong, its as simple as, get it right, then forget it.

I probably will always be trying things, like cable revers for instance, it was simple and proved to be very affactive, the granit slabs, again, worth while. I dont look at those as fiddling, they were a positive move forward, giving a truly 'better' voice to the system.

Had a chat with a 'new to me', local quality hifi dealer, he sounds like he understand where I'm coming from, prepared to dem cartridges to! appointment Saturday morning.

CJSF
 

def lugs

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Dammit Chebby
smiley-smile.gif
I now need to understand how the VTA can alter by 7 deg while cutting a record. Can someone explain?

chebby said:
"Rega VTA(Vertical Tracking Angle) Fact Sheet by Roy Gandy

The Record: The VTA of a record cutting stylus is set to give the best continuous cut of the lacquer. Records are cut with a VTA which varies between 0° and 20°. On an individual record the VTA will vary by 7° or more, depending on the type of cutting head used, the depth of cut, the musical frequency and the lacquer springback. The VTA of the groove on every individual record varies by at least 7° over the record. Every record is cut under 20°.

7 degrees seems an enormous variation from "the depth of groove" , "laquer springback", "frequency" etc especially when taking into account that 12mm of vertical height adjustment on the tone arm only gives 3 deg!
 

MajorFubar

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It's an old rule, but they used to say to adjust the VTA so the arm and record are parallel during play. Without resorting to protractors, rulers or worrying about how tall a cartridge is, that's what I've always set as a baseline, using nothing but my eyes. Afterwards, a tiny adjustment up or down (one tad or maybe even half a tad :D) usually hits the sweet-spot.

It's not even an exact science because different record thicknesses will change the VTA, as will swapping the mat for a thicker or thinner one.

Sadly I can't help you with your shimming problem. My old antique TT has an arm whose VTA is adjusted by loosening an allen bolt.
 

CJSF

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MajorFubar said:
It's an old rule, but they used to say to adjust the VTA so the arm and record are parallel during play. Without resorting to protractors, rulers or worrying about how tall a cartridge is, that's what I've always set as a baseline, using nothing but my eyes. Afterwards, a tiny adjustment up or down (one tad or maybe even half a tad :D) usually hits the sweet-spot.

It's not even an exact science because different record thicknesses will change the VTA, as will swapping the mat for a thicker or thinner one.

Sadly I can't help you with your shimming problem. My old antique TT has an arm whose VTA is adjusted by loosening an allen bolt.

You have got it MajourFubar . . . A tad here or there hits the 'sweet spot', so precise . . . analogue is not an exact science, no matter how many mathematical formulae are rolled out. I assumed Rega had followed the 'parallel tone arm' theory, hence, know the depth of a Raga cartridge and the parallel idea could be maintained with spacers that Rega do make!

Hifi was a black art in my day . . . it still is 20 years on . . . ?

. . . worshiping at the shrine of the 'Allen key' . . . :pray: CJSF
 

chebby

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Get yourself a 1.27mm (1/20th inch) Allen key to adjust the height of the arm cueing/arm-lift platform after you have raised the arm with a spacer.

You might also want to experiment with reducing the bias/anti-skate setting to a value of around half the tracking weight (or less). If you track at 1.8 grammes (optimum for a 2M Blue) then try setting the bias/anti-skate to between 0.5 - 1.0

Rega arms tend to heavily over-bias. It may even improve the 'harshness' you complained of.
 

matthewpiano

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I've always been impressed by Rega's own cartridges when I've hear them. I once heard an Exact on a P5 and thought it was superb and much more what I feel vinyl to be about than some of the other more 'digital' sounding alternatives I've heard (such as the Sumiko). I'm planning on a Rega RP3 in the not too distant future (after the likely purchase of a Brio-R amp) and will be sticking to a Rega cartridge.

Have you thought of sticking with Rega for the cartridge?
 

MajorFubar

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CJSF said:
Hifi was a black art in my day . . . it still is 20 years on . . . ?
by its nature, certain aspects of it always will be, because it remains a personal experience and not an exact science, even during a time when digital replay should theoretically have swept away nearly all subjectivisms, certainly at the source end.
 

CJSF

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chebby said:
Get yourself a 1.27mm (1/20th inch) Allen key to adjust the height of the arm cueing/arm-lift platform after you have raised the arm with a spacer.

You might also want to experiment with reducing the bias/anti-skate setting to a value of around half the tracking weight (or less). If you track at 1.8 grammes (optimum for a 2M Blue) then try setting the bias/anti-skate to between 0.5 - 1.0

Rega arms tend to heavily over-bias. It may even improve the 'harshness' you complained of.

Closer inspection, shows my arm is the 3 point fixing type, everything goes up or down together, re adjusted tracking weight/bias and checked the alignment with supplied protractor, have another listen . . . see how it plays in.

CJSF
 
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CJSF said:
MajorFubar said:
It's an old rule, but they used to say to adjust the VTA so the arm and record are parallel during play. Without resorting to protractors, rulers or worrying about how tall a cartridge is, that's what I've always set as a baseline, using nothing but my eyes. Afterwards, a tiny adjustment up or down (one tad or maybe even half a tad :D) usually hits the sweet-spot.

It's not even an exact science because different record thicknesses will change the VTA, as will swapping the mat for a thicker or thinner one.

Sadly I can't help you with your shimming problem. My old antique TT has an arm whose VTA is adjusted by loosening an allen bolt.

You have got it MajourFubar . . . A tad here or there hits the 'sweet spot', so precise . . . analogue is not an exact science, no matter how many mathematical formulae are rolled out. I assumed Rega had followed the 'parallel tone arm' theory, hence, know the depth of a Raga cartridge and the parallel idea could be maintained with spacers that Rega do make!

Hifi was a black art in my day . . . it still is 20 years on . . . ?

. . . worshiping at the shrine of the 'Allen key' . . . :pray: CJSF

Would that be the metric TAD or the imperial TAD ? :grin:
 

CJSF

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Wow!!! . . . what a difference a little care and adjustment makes! Bias was off, and the balance was not that good IMHO? now tracking at a 'tad' over 2g's and bias is around 1g, as close as I can judge with the crude indications on the arm.

Now listening to Peter Gabriel; 'Rythymn of the heat' . . . not missing a beat, top end is crisp, the glassy, clinical edge has gone! The dynamics of the recording are impressive to the point of goose bumps . . . volume unlimited at midday on a Friday . . . :dance:

So, keep money in pocket, let it run in a bit more, order a shim set . . . ;)

Was it bad set up? suppose I should have checked, still rusty after all these years . . . my impatience? or it simply needed the rough edges knocked off. Even my mood when I decided it was not right, I can get a bit strained and edgy myself late at night . . . ? We will never know . . . Its sounding good at the moment, sitting here at the computer, typing away, speaker each side, like wearing giant headphones, the base rattling my teeth! Sitting so close, one can appreciate the detail the cartridge is extracting, with minimal surface noise, its doing a good job . . . 100% turnaround, saved a few quid . . . :cheer:

By the way, at my vintage, I work in 'Imperial tads' . . . :cheers:

CJSF
 

chebby

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CJSF said:
Wow!!! . . . what a difference a little care and adjustment makes! Bias was off, and the balance was not that good IMHO? now tracking at a 'tad' over 2g's and bias is around 1g, as close as I can judge with the crude indications on the arm.

Rega RB arms have always had very heavy handed bias/anti-skate. So long as the deck is perfectly level you could probably get away with setting less than 1.

The only mis-tracking I have ever experienced - on a Rega - was when the anti-skate/bias was set 'correctly' to match the tracking force!
 

CJSF

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. . . just to clarify, the 'Ortofon Blue m2' is no 'pipe and slippers' presentation, but I can live with it now the glassy, clinical top end edge has gone. It is showing signs of smooth, which has always been a criteria of mine, and has an excellent base end, overall there is good detail . . . it will run in a little more, I might even come to love it . . . :? Lets not be too hasty . . .

Will I buy a new stylus when this one needs replacing . . . thats a question??? another question, shims, do I need them . . . on current form, probably not? See how the m2 shapes up over the next few weeks.

CJSF
 

CJSF

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Broken bell boards now painted satin black, will the paint dry quickly enough for me to re install this evening? Getting twitchy, want to have a listen to some vinyl . . .

Had a look through my LP's, found 3 'test records'; HiFi Sound, The Sheffield Track Record and Ortofons own Pick up Test Record . . . I know, I'm tweaking . . . no, they will sit in readiness, if I feel things are not going well, which they currently are, then I have the where-with-all to sort it out, or drive myself mad! . . . "mad I've always been mad" . . .

800testrecordsIMG_4686copy.jpg


CJSF
 

MajorFubar

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Glad you've sorted it.

You used to be able to buy test-records with an uncut band on them which allowed you to set your antiskate, such as the BBC Stereo Test Disc that I have here, BBC REC 355. Mind you, some people argue that the usefulness of an uncut band is questionable, because the required antiskate on an uncut band will be different to when the stylus is being pulled slowly inwards by a record's groove.

It's another one of those things where you should let your ears be the best judge, I guess :)

As a matter of interest (well it fascinated me, anyhow) the antiskate control on my old Thorens TP16 arm has different settings on it depending on whether you're playing the record 'wet' or 'dry'...go throw that variable into the mix! :help:
 

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