The importance of VTA, SRA and Azimuth - pics

jazdoc

Member Sponsor
Aug 7, 2010
2,765
71
48
Bellevue
Thanks Mark! The last paragraph sums it up quite nicely. It's a guide, nothing else; what some people have turned it into is a crutch because they don't trust their ears.
Dave is a really insightful guy. I'm amazed by how much great gear has 'Slagle Inside' :D
 

airbearing

Active Member
May 2, 2012
171
28
28
Munich - Germany
Nice shots on this thread! Really. But what are you now doing sitting in front of your wonderful diamond shots, maybe also drawing frames and angles on the print images trying to find out if your SRA is in between 91-92 degrees at best?
Hmm – you may change the tonearm parameters, VTA and VTF of course. But does this really address the issue? –Is this really the right way to adjust the SRA of your cartridge’s stylus?
I thought I really had optimized my geometry approaches to all tonearm and cartridge adjustment issues in the last years.
But how to deal with the SRA issue?
I was discussing this with my friends, “why isn`t there any tool on the market enabling the user to adjust azimuth, offset, overhang and SRA/VTA at the spot - right at the cartridge, without the so far inevitable by-effect of changing the static/dynamic parameters of the tonearm by lowering the tonearm’s base and thus moving the arm pipe away from the theoretical and practical ideal of the static balanced and resting horizontal level”?
And now I found it:
The first Headshell with flexible SRA - without changing the tonearm parameters!!!

Arché.jpg

read more:
 

audioarcher

Active Member
May 7, 2012
1,330
2
38
Seattle area
Nice shots on this thread! Really. But what are you now doing sitting in front of your wonderful diamond shots, maybe also drawing frames and angles on the print images trying to find out if your SRA is in between 91-92 degrees at best?
Hmm – you may change the tonearm parameters, VTA and VTF of course. But does this really address the issue? –Is this really the right way to adjust the SRA of your cartridge’s stylus?
I thought I really had optimized my geometry approaches to all tonearm and cartridge adjustment issues in the last years.
But how to deal with the SRA issue?
I was discussing this with my friends, “why isn`t there any tool on the market enabling the user to adjust azimuth, offset, overhang and SRA/VTA at the spot - right at the cartridge, without the so far inevitable by-effect of changing the static/dynamic parameters of the tonearm by lowering the tonearm’s base and thus moving the arm pipe away from the theoretical and practical ideal of the static balanced and resting horizontal level”?
And now I found it:
The first Headshell with flexible SRA - without changing the tonearm parameters!!!

View attachment 5405

read more:
Well that's pretty cool. If I had an arm with a removable headshell I would pick one up. You still need an arm with adjustable VTA to adjust for different record heights.

I wonder if the guy in the article reset his overhang after he adjusted SRA? I would think that overhang would be effected even more when adjusting SRA on this headshell because the arc traced by this adjustment would be steep.

I think some of Soundsmiths upper end cartridges have SRA and azimuth adjustment built in as well.

Sean
 

airbearing

Active Member
May 2, 2012
171
28
28
Munich - Germany
Yes - you need adjustable tonearm height to address different record height. But that is needed aside from SRA setting anyway.
As far as I have observed, the change in overhang is minimal as you dial in SRA. So little, that it's hard to spot.

Well that's pretty cool. If I had an arm with a removable headshell I would pick one up. You still need an arm with adjustable VTA to adjust for different record heights.

I wonder if the guy in the article reset his overhang after he adjusted SRA? I would think that overhang would be effected even more when adjusting SRA on this headshell because the arc traced by this adjustment would be steep.

I think some of Soundsmiths upper end cartridges have SRA and azimuth adjustment built in as well.

Sean
 

audioarcher

Active Member
May 7, 2012
1,330
2
38
Seattle area
Yes - you need adjustable tonearm height to address different record height. But that is needed aside from SRA setting anyway.
As far as I have observed, the change in overhang is minimal as you dial in SRA. So little, that it's hard to spot.
That's true. Now that I think about it more I don't think overhang will be effected more by setting SRA at the headshell but it would be interesting to test it out to make sure.
 
Dec 20, 2014
255
24
18
I am not sure whether or if you have read the article by Geof Husbands on VTA, where he questions the effect of VTA adjustment taking into account:
1. variation in record thickness
2. that such miniscule adjustments at the base of an arm translate to very small adjustments at the stylus

Whilst I am not wanting to rake up an argument, one thing that did catch my eye/ear and interest me was that he seemed to form a conclusion of sorts that the VPI 12 inch arm is very sensitive to VTA - that being the case, is it a feature of Unipivots to be more sensitive to VTA? Is it a case that their inherent mechanical instability is such that VTA takes on greater importance? Is it in fact arm specific - ie Roy gandy at Rega thinks vta adjustment is, once set a waste of time between records.
 

audioarcher

Active Member
May 7, 2012
1,330
2
38
Seattle area
I am not sure whether or if you have read the article by Geof Husbands on VTA, where he questions the effect of VTA adjustment taking into account:
1. variation in record thickness
2. that such miniscule adjustments at the base of an arm translate to very small adjustments at the stylus

Whilst I am not wanting to rake up an argument, one thing that did catch my eye/ear and interest me was that he seemed to form a conclusion of sorts that the VPI 12 inch arm is very sensitive to VTA - that being the case, is it a feature of Unipivots to be more sensitive to VTA? Is it a case that their inherent mechanical instability is such that VTA takes on greater importance? Is it in fact arm specific - ie Roy gandy at Rega thinks vta adjustment is, once set a waste of time between records.
Hi Loheswaran, I used to have a VPI 10.5i on a VPI Classic 1. I did not notice that VTA was more critical than any other arm I've had. Also had a Rega, Reed, and now a Schroder LT. I do not believe it is arm specific. The physics are the same no matter what arm you use. It can be less critical depending on the cartridges stylus shape though. A spherical stylus will not show much, if any change. Eliptical is more critical. Then you have some more advanced shapes like shibata, fine line, micro ridge, Gyger, etc. The more radical the stylus shape the more critical it is to get VTA/SRA right. Here is a link to an article about stylus shapes. https://sites.google.com/site/zevaudio/turt/stylus-shape-information

As for adjusting SRA between records, that is something you should play with and decide for yourself. Some people feel it is worth the effort, and others don't. Although I acknowledge that it makes a difference. It is not worth the effort for me.
 

VPN

VIP/Donor
Dec 28, 2013
181
9
18
You might be able to improve things by taking off the clear plastic nose of the scope, run mag full up, and focus by position. It will usually get you in closer.

I just ordered an AM4013ZT4 which is a 400-470x fixed focus scope, which you adjust focus by distance, 4mm to 7mm. Also an MS-15x Object Stage with XY Axis Adjustment, which may help getting some really tight shots.

--Bill
Hello Bill,

I am looking to buy a USB Microscope for SRA measurement. Do you like your Dino-Lite AM4014ZT4 with 400-470x?

How do you use the MS-15x Object Stage with the Dino-Lite for adjusting SRA? Do you put a microscope stand (which one?) on top of it to provide precision moving? Or do you put the Dino-Lite directly on top of the MS-15x (how do you attach it?)?

Another option that I am considering is the Supereyes A005+ with Z004 stand.


Thanks,

Vicente
 
Last edited:

david.m

New Member
Jan 16, 2014
16
1
0
Sydney, Australia
Interesting reading. A couple of months ago I bought the Feickert 'Adjust +' package & learnt my Atlas needed azimuth to be set at +.7 degree (I previously had it set to zero). With VTA I just have the tonearm parallel to gravity, I have repeatable adjustments to maintain a parallel tonearm for 180-200, 155, 125 & 100g LPs & I initially set VTF again with the arm parallel while resting on the scales. To my understanding this would ensure VTF is constant if the tonearm is kept parallel, sometimes I don't bother changing from the 180 setting for 155g LPs but do for the lightweights.

With the azimuth correctly set there was a noticeable improvement, the middle area of the soundstage seemed more solid, interestingly some LPs that were a little noisy between tracks (not clicks/pops, just audible surface noise) are now silent or all but. I hadn't played the QRP Tea for the Tillerman for quite a while, my memory was that I didn't sound that good & there was sibilance, well I've just played it and there is zero sibilance except for a little in Father & Son (I do remember this track was very unpleasant), the whole LP now sounds pretty darn good!! Just played 'In Your Eyes' of Gabriel's SO (Classic 45), it's better than previous but still a bit of excessive sibilance, think it's just in the pressing. I've notice generally with records that had occasional excessive sibilance, whereas before the excessive bits would often come from the right speaker, with the correct azimuth the sibilance is now more centred and not as prominent, often not really noticeable unless you are listening for it. I can really recommend the Adjust +, except for platter speed adjustment I've not tried the other things that it measures.
 

daytona600

Active Member
Sep 10, 2012
538
27
28
scotland
Well that's pretty cool. If I had an arm with a removable headshell I would pick one up. You still need an arm with adjustable VTA to adjust for different record heights.

I wonder if the guy in the article reset his overhang after he adjusted SRA? I would think that overhang would be effected even more when adjusting SRA on this headshell because the arc traced by this adjustment would be steep.

I think some of Soundsmiths upper end cartridges have SRA and azimuth adjustment built in as well.

Sean
just bought one of there protractors - very cool
Acoustical Systems The SMARTractor

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xef-1CzwjCg


picresized_cache_16072183.jpg
 
Feb 7, 2015
30
0
6
Naperivlle, IL
I've been following this tread and others relative to proper SRA procedures. I ordered and received an USB microscope and found that my SRA setting was well past the desired 92 degrees. Even after I lowered my arm (Graham 1.5TC - Phantom Elite on order) to the lowest setting I still couldn't get within 4 degree of where I needed to be. And my cartridge sounder worse (dull & lifeless) when I lowered it to the maximum allowable position.

So my question is... if I must shim the backside of my cartridge (Koetsu Rosewood Signature) in order to get it to the desired 92 degree setting, what should I use for shim material. I've seen several negative comments about the use of a shim and the detrimental impact it has to the sound of the cartridge.

Kyle
 

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
5,637
240
63
Boston, MA
Another way to adjust SRA is by affecting VTF, in your case, increase it in order to lower it. But don't forget, all these adjustments affect overhang, alignment and azimuth, so you have to re-adjust. I would resort to shimming as the last option. So is your VTF where it needs to be?
 
Feb 7, 2015
30
0
6
Naperivlle, IL
ack...

Yes, all adjustments other than SRA are spot-on. It appears as though the only option I have to get into the 92 degree SRA setting is to shim the back portion of my cartridge. If I must do so, I'm looking for input on what to use as shim material.
 

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
5,637
240
63
Boston, MA
I have no idea what works best... call up a couple of dealers and MusicDirect to see if they have anything to offer
 

Sunnyboy1956

Member Sponsor
Feb 22, 2014
245
0
16
62
New Delhi, India
ack...

Yes, all adjustments other than SRA are spot-on. It appears as though the only option I have to get into the 92 degree SRA setting is to shim the back portion of my cartridge. If I must do so, I'm looking for input on what to use as shim material.
With all parameters except SRA spot on, how does it sound ? That's the only true test and all the SRA theory IMHO is a lot of hokum pokum. My recipe is simple : align the cart with a good protractor preferably one with 2 null points, set VTF and have the arm as parallel as can be. Then slowly adjust VTA, either begin by lowering the arm base or raising it until you hit a sweet spot. Obviously use a recoding that you are familiar with. I have never bothered about SRA. Read the review of the Lyra Etna in Stereophile and the manufacturers comments.
Pradeep
 
May 14, 2014
380
0
16
With all parameters except SRA spot on, how does it sound ? That's the only true test and all the SRA theory IMHO is a lot of hokum pokum. My recipe is simple : align the cart with a good protractor preferably one with 2 null points, set VTF and have the arm as parallel as can be. Then slowly adjust VTA, either begin by lowering the arm base or raising it until you hit a sweet spot. Obviously use a recoding that you are familiar with. I have never bothered about SRA. Read the review of the Lyra Etna in Stereophile and the manufacturers comments.
Pradeep
+1

Null point adjustments and overhang are the key here. If they are not set properly, the rest of the adjustments/trials will not be effective. If you have a Graham arm, then go with its own aligment jig, it has been proven to be better. Regarding vta, if you have a recent Graham tonearm , it should have air bubble level so trying vta is very easy to play around flat bubble level. Remember to check azimuth setting for even small adjustments in vta/vtf combination as it may change from its ideal position, for best results you can use either a fozgometer or adjust+ software. I would not worry about SRA too much being honest.
 

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. A place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss existing and new audio products, music servers, music streamers and computer audio, digital to audio convertors (DACS), turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel to reel, speakers, headphones, tube amplifiers and solid state amplification. Founded in 2010 What's Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing