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Rega RP3: correct VTA for Ortofon 2M- from the horse's mouth

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Rega RP3: correct VTA for Ortofon 2M- from the horse's mouth

Postby jr41 » 11 Feb 2012 20:21

Hi All,

Since deciding I want to get an Ortofon 2M Bronze to replace the Elys2 currently on my RP3 (not happy with the IGD and sibilance), I've been trying to determine what the correct VTA adjustment is for the 2M and this turntable. A roughly equal number of people seem to recommend a 2mm, 3mm or 4mm adjustment.

I decided to cut to the chase and e-mail Ortofon directly. I got a reply from them today advising 3.2mm is the correct adjustment. I thought this would be useful information to share.

It seems Isokinetik is the only company which offers the closest height 3-point spacer, at 3mm (2mm+1mm). I would be grateful to hear from people using this spacer, TT and cartridge, and whether they were able to use the original wood screws which came with the RP3 to mount the arm after inserting the spacers?

Thanks.
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Re: Rega RP3: correct VTA for Ortofon 2M- from the horse's m

Postby Guest » 12 Feb 2012 01:14

Michael Lim makes a 3.8mm pretty close to a 3.2
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Re: Rega RP3: correct VTA for Ortofon 2M- from the horse's m

Postby photok » 12 Feb 2012 03:08

Here is a set of three spacers which includes a 1mm, 1.5mm and a 2mm spacer so you could try 3mm and 3.5mm and see which you like best.

http://www.soundsupports.com/page9.htm

Also, my 2nd hand P7 came with 6mm of spacers installed by the previous owner and I'm pretty sure he still used the original screws so you should be just fine if they are still using the same length screws for the RP3.
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Re: Rega RP3: correct VTA for Ortofon 2M- from the horse's m

Postby Blueguitar » 12 Feb 2012 12:54

Hi,

When I bought an Ortofon 2m Black for my P3-24 I emailed Ortofon and they told me 4mm was the correct height for spacers - that being said I tried 2mm and 4 mm and settled on the 2mm as sounding the best to my ears. I really don't think it makes that much difference - records are different thickness, there are often slight warps that cause the stylus to go up and down and changing VTF by .1 gram will change VTA. I bought the adjustable spacer (2mm, 4mm, 6mm and 8mm) which makes it easy - and they give you longer screws.

Have fun!
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Re: Rega RP3: correct VTA for Ortofon 2M- from the horse's m

Postby mr.datsun » 12 Feb 2012 14:01

jr41 wrote:I decided to cut to the chase and e-mail Ortofon directly. I got a reply from them today advising 3.2mm is the correct adjustment. I thought this would be useful information to share.


Why not get one of those threaded versions that gives variable heights? Then you can get 3.2 mm.

With regards the exact height, 3, 3.2 or 3.6 – isn't the correct height the one that makes the arm exactly level and parallel to the LP surface?
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Re: Rega RP3: correct VTA for Ortofon 2M- from the horse's m

Postby jr41 » 12 Feb 2012 15:48

Thanks for your responses everyone.

mr.datsun wrote:
jr41 wrote:I decided to cut to the chase and e-mail Ortofon directly. I got a reply from them today advising 3.2mm is the correct adjustment. I thought this would be useful information to share.


Why not get one of those threaded versions that gives variable heights? Then you can get 3.2 mm.

With regards the exact height, 3, 3.2 or 3.6 – isn't the correct height the one that makes the arm exactly level and parallel to the LP surface?


Hi mr.datsun, thanks for your reply.

Yeah, I looked at the variable height VTA adjusters - Michell Engineering do one - but I wondered if these might reduce the rigidity of the arm, or even introduce play?

I understand that to be the case too. I assumed the measurement provided by Ortofon will result in an arm that is exactly parallel?
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Re: Rega RP3: correct VTA for Ortofon 2M- from the horse's m

Postby jr41 » 12 Feb 2012 15:51

Blueguitar wrote:Hi,

When I bought an Ortofon 2m Black for my P3-24 I emailed Ortofon and they told me 4mm was the correct height for spacers - that being said I tried 2mm and 4 mm and settled on the 2mm as sounding the best to my ears. I really don't think it makes that much difference - records are different thickness, there are often slight warps that cause the stylus to go up and down and changing VTF by .1 gram will change VTA. I bought the adjustable spacer (2mm, 4mm, 6mm and 8mm) which makes it easy - and they give you longer screws.

Have fun!


Thanks Blueguitar. Your point about variable record thickness, warping and VTF are good ones, and a reminder not to get too hung up on this!

Can I ask the make and model of the spacer you went with?
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Re: Rega RP3: correct VTA for Ortofon 2M- from the horse's m

Postby mr.datsun » 12 Feb 2012 20:06

jr41 wrote:Hi mr.datsun, thanks for your reply.

Yeah, I looked at the variable height VTA adjusters - Michell Engineering do one - but I wondered if these might reduce the rigidity of the arm, or even introduce play?

I understand that to be the case too. I assumed the measurement provided by Ortofon will result in an arm that is exactly parallel?


jr41, I hadn't thought of the rigidity – I have no experience of the ME adjuster and you may be right. I have a Rega 2mm round spacer to run my Planar3/RB300 with the DV 10x5. I run mine with a very slight downward tilt towards the back of the arm and I think 4mm would have been too high. Also, the 4mm wouldn't even fit as the threaded neck on the RB300 is too short to take another. Talking of rigidity I 'd rather have no spacer and do think about going to a Rega Exact for that reason but I enjoy the 10x5 too much to risk changing.
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Re: Rega RP3: correct VTA for Ortofon 2M- from the horse's m

Postby watercourse » 12 Feb 2012 21:43

Not sure the rigidity issue is of consequence, at least IME. I have the Riggle VTAF, which modifies mounting the arm from the plinth to the VTAF unit. The VTAF has increased quality and quantity of bass, as well as soundstage and imaging. Read some reviews as well, but I have found a significant improvement in the VTAF. Best thing is, you can reverse the mod if you have a three-point mount arm.
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Re: Rega RP3: correct VTA for Ortofon 2M- from the horse's m

Postby jr41 » 13 Feb 2012 19:47

mr.datsun wrote:jr41, I hadn't thought of the rigidity – I have no experience of the ME adjuster and you may be right. I have a Rega 2mm round spacer to run my Planar3/RB300 with the DV 10x5. I run mine with a very slight downward tilt towards the back of the arm and I think 4mm would have been too high. Also, the 4mm wouldn't even fit as the threaded neck on the RB300 is too short to take another. Talking of rigidity I 'd rather have no spacer and do think about going to a Rega Exact for that reason but I enjoy the 10x5 too much to risk changing.


I've read that a slight downward tilt improves sound, in fact I think Rega themselves recommend this.

I looked at the Rega Exact, but based on my experiences with the Elys2 and the reading I've done on Rega cartridges in general, I'm inclined to steer clear of them. The RB303 uses a three point mounting system, so providing the spacers are fixed I don't imagine they'll introduce any play. Nice cartridge, I've read lots of good things about the 10X5 - it's another option I'm considering.
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Re: Rega RP3: correct VTA for Ortofon 2M- from the horse's m

Postby jr41 » 13 Feb 2012 19:48

watercourse wrote:Not sure the rigidity issue is of consequence, at least IME. I have the Riggle VTAF, which modifies mounting the arm from the plinth to the VTAF unit. The VTAF has increased quality and quantity of bass, as well as soundstage and imaging. Read some reviews as well, but I have found a significant improvement in the VTAF. Best thing is, you can reverse the mod if you have a three-point mount arm.


Thanks for your recommendation watercourse, I'll check it out.
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Re: Rega RP3: correct VTA for Ortofon 2M- from the horse's m

Postby watercourse » 13 Feb 2012 21:11

jr41 wrote:
mr.datsun wrote:jr41, I hadn't thought of the rigidity – I have no experience of the ME adjuster and you may be right. I have a Rega 2mm round spacer to run my Planar3/RB300 with the DV 10x5. I run mine with a very slight downward tilt towards the back of the arm and I think 4mm would have been too high. Also, the 4mm wouldn't even fit as the threaded neck on the RB300 is too short to take another. Talking of rigidity I 'd rather have no spacer and do think about going to a Rega Exact for that reason but I enjoy the 10x5 too much to risk changing.


I've read that a slight downward tilt improves sound, in fact I think Rega themselves recommend this.

I looked at the Rega Exact, but based on my experiences with the Elys2 and the reading I've done on Rega cartridges in general, I'm inclined to steer clear of them. The RB303 uses a three point mounting system, so providing the spacers are fixed I don't imagine they'll introduce any play. Nice cartridge, I've read lots of good things about the 10X5 - it's another option I'm considering.


A downward tilt (back of cartridge higher than front) will typically shift the tonal balance towards higher frequencies, while a backward tilt (back of cartridge lower than front) will tend to decrease the high frequencies.

The ideal VTA will give you wide soundstaging and good imaging, as well as balanced frequency response. Different cartridges may have different ideal VTA or stylus rake angles, for instance, my Shelter 901 was best when riding lower in back.

Of course, the advantage of using a Rega cart is that your VTA is optimized without needing any spacers or other adjustments. Just align the cart, set the VTF, and you're ready to roll.
WT Amadeus, Shelter 501 II, DV20xl, Benz ACE SL > Aleph Ono, Bel Canto PL1/Mac Mini/DAC3 > Pass INT-30A > DeVore Nines
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Re: Rega RP3: correct VTA for Ortofon 2M- from the horse's m

Postby lofijunkie » 14 Feb 2012 03:17

Get the taller spacer from Michael Limm and be done with it. You will drive yourself crazy reading suggestions on whats "proper" Since that spacer is best as you will get, the .5mm or whatever isn't going to make a devastating sonic difference. Besides,the accepted adj. is a hair tail down. If you want to get technical, over time the cart suspension wears and sags, so you would actually need to adjust vta to compensate. That stuff you think about if you have a 10K setup. It all goes out the window since all records have different thickness. Its a Rega- you can practically eyeball adjustments and it will sound good. Let your ears be the judge.
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Re: Rega RP3: correct VTA for Ortofon 2M- from the horse's m

Postby MadMax » 16 Feb 2012 17:26

I'd be very interested to hear your opinion of the Bronze once you fit it. I have a P3 with an Elys 2, and my eye is wandering...
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Re: Rega RP3: correct VTA for Ortofon 2M- from the horse's m

Postby jr41 » 16 Feb 2012 20:37

MadMax wrote:I'd be very interested to hear your opinion of the Bronze once you fit it. I have a P3 with an Elys 2, and my eye is wandering...


Sure thing. I plan to get it at the end of month (if I have enough pennies left over!). I'll post some pics and a comparison to the Elys 2. Out of interest, do you find the Elys 2 is bad for IGD and sibilance too?
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