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Old 23rd October 2007, 11:10 PM   #1
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Default VTA- what am I really hearing?

If I raise the pivot of my arm so it's a bit more than horizontal, HF rich sounds like trumpet take on a beautiful "real" quality. On some records, say old Herb Alpert, there's no downside, it just sounds great. Unfortunately, other records, say male vocals, seem to get a broadened sound stage, lack solidity, and aren't entirely satisfactory. My question is this- does changing the pivot height mostly change the frequency response, or is something else involved? My ears say there's more to it, but my ears have been fooled more than once.
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Old 24th October 2007, 01:27 PM   #2
KP11520 is offline KP11520  United States
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Hi Conrad,

Could the difference you are hearing be related to how the stylus contacts the vinyl? I believe the optimal postitin to the vinyl is perpendicular (from all 360 degrees). Maybe this is what changes and now that the stylus might be up to one degree off (or more), it contacts the vinyl in a skewed sort of fashion. It sounds better in some instances and worse in others so I would think that it is not optimal. The enhancements you are hearing just may work with this skewing because the areas where the stylus contacts the vinyl differently are exaggerated maybe. On others, the exaggerated parts aren't sonically pleasing. I don't think the frequency responce changes but rather the focus of the contact.

I guess the fine setup details on a TT really do make a big difference. Does any of this thought make any sense to you?

I was six when Herb and the Tiajuana Brass were really cooking. I remember that I loved them even at that age! And the big show on TV was "The FBI." Where have all those years gone?

What is VTA?

How has the Fall been so far up by you? Absolutely beautiful here!

Regards//Keith
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Old 24th October 2007, 01:51 PM   #3
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The more I think about it, the more this makes sense. Also, if you skew the stylus for instance, let's say the higher part is further away than perpendicular and the lower part (tip) is closer than perpendicular, you would also have a timing issue (slight) and maybe that is what you are hearing when you say the soundstage gets bigger. Just something I thought of that might explain it! Ouch, my brain is getting too much exercise!

Regards//Keith
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Old 24th October 2007, 09:25 PM   #4
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VTA is vertical tracking angle. It will very from record-to-record and the shape of your stylus (and resolution of the support gear) will have an effect on how much differnce it can make.

dave
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Old 24th October 2007, 09:41 PM   #5
KP11520 is offline KP11520  United States
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That's exactly what I was trying to say! All I had to do was put VTA?

Like Miss Emily LaTella from "Saturday Night Live" fame said....."Never Mind!"

Conrad already said it with only three letters. I love efficiency! But now I have nothing to add!

Thanks Dave!

Regards//Keith
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Old 25th October 2007, 12:36 AM   #6
arnoldc is offline arnoldc  Philippines
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The most important thing is SRA (Stylus Rake Angle) and not VTA although they are related.

This depends highly on the type of cartridge that yo use. Some manufacturers have their stylus designed in such a way to conform to the cutting lathe angle and will not be seen as perpendicular to the record.

In my experience, these types of cartridges, i.e. Zyx, Clearaudio, have the best immunity to surface noise, and at the same time, sounds best in my system.
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Old 25th October 2007, 02:07 AM   #7
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I think I remember why I gave up audio years ago. Tonight I tried to record some waveforms to listen and compare, changing nothing but VTA (and SRA- they're quite firmly attached to each other). Problem was, I couldn't duplicate what I had heard previously. Like every other effect I've tried to pin down, the minute I started chasing it, it vanished in thin air. I almost think weather, how much sleep I've had, and what I ate for dinner, and how relaxed I am, affect my perception of sound as much as anything else.

I'll try again at some point. What I wanted to do was post links to a couple files of maybe 20 seconds, at various VTAs, and see what others thought. For the moment I'm going with the theory that high fidelity exists entirely as a figment of my imagination.
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Old 25th October 2007, 02:57 AM   #8
KP11520 is offline KP11520  United States
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It is amazing that as I get older that I find such wonder in the details. They are truly what is really interesting in almost everything in life. And this too! Thank you gentlemen!

Arnold, are these type cartridges MM and/or MC and are they all expensive? Do they sound good in lesser expensive TTs as well?

Regards//Keith
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Old 25th October 2007, 03:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by KP11520
MC and are they all expensive?
Yes. Yes.

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Old 25th October 2007, 01:56 PM   #10
arnoldc is offline arnoldc  Philippines
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Quote:
Originally posted by KP11520
Arnold, are these type cartridges MM and/or MC and are they all expensive? Do they sound good in lesser expensive TTs as well?

Regards//Keith
The characteristic I described was for Zyx which is MC and Clearaudio leaf-bodied MC line. They're over $500.

The Clearaudio Sigma (older line) is also designed the same way and I used this on my JVC turntable, and worked extremely well.

I do not bother much with SRA/VTA, I make sure that they're setup in parallel to the record surface, and I enjoy the music. Not much tweaking, and it's waste of music playing time.

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