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TD 145 MK II VTA Help

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TD 145 MK II VTA Help

Postby timnor » 15 Apr 2018 15:39

Hi

I have a TD-145 MK II and have been reading how to setup VTA.

I have been setting up everything, replacing oil, balancing the platter and finally I replaced the TP 62 with a TP 63 wand with an Ortofon X3-MC. Alignment looks fine. Tracking force fine. Having screwed everything back together yesterday I noticed that with the tone arm lowered the needle wasn't hitting the LP. So I lowered the tone arm bridge and all was fine.

Today I wanted to check VTA. It's hard to see but I would say with the needle lowered the tonearm is not perfectly straight but lower at the cartridge end. However the cartridge body and head shell looks to be parallel to the LP and the needle looks to be in the correct position. Here are some (bad) photos

Image

Image

So should I start trying to lower the gimbel end to achieve a perfectly straight tonearm ? What I find odd is that there is only a very little gap at the gimbel end to lower and thereby straighten the tonearm. I'm worried to mess something up with this adjustment and only want to do it if really necessary. Your opinions are really welcome.
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Re: TD 145 MK II VTA Help

Postby noisefreq » 15 Apr 2018 16:26

You were smart in going with the TP63 arm wand.
Much easier to reach proper VTA.

If the cartridge end of tonearm is lower than gimble end, you are in luck.

This can be overcome by either a thinker platter mat or better yet, a spacer between the cart and headshell.

The thickness of the spacer is unique because different carts have different dimensions.
So it will be trial and error until you find the correct thickness for your setup.

Try to find something lightweight so effective mass is not thrown out of parameters.

I've seen Thorens spacers for sale but I've used everything from packing tape to a paint stir stick trimmed to size.

If you do end up adjusting the tonearm height by loosening the Allen screws on the tonearm base, be sure you don't twist the arm base as this will change the run-out lift point.
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Re: TD 145 MK II VTA Help

Postby timnor » 16 Apr 2018 19:32

Thanks a lot for the info. I added a slipmat on top of the rubber mat and the tonearm now appears to be straight.

Where I am still perplexed is even though the arm is straight the bottom of the cartridge is not parallel to the LP and if I magnify the needle it looks slightly tipped forward. Here is a photo :

Image

Does this now look ok ?

Could it be that by adjusting the springs that the platter is now lower than before and this is why the tonearm in no longer straight ? Would another option be to tighten each spring and raise the platter ? What is the ideal gap distance between the base and the bottom of the platter ?
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Re: TD 145 MK II VTA Help

Postby markcass » 16 Apr 2018 20:44

timnor wrote:Would another option be to tighten each spring and raise the platter ? What is the ideal gap distance between the base and the bottom of the platter ?


No, because that would raise the arm's base as well as the platter (they are supported on the same springs), so you'd be back where you started.

Maybe the cartridge is slightly tilted back in the headshell.

HTH

Mark
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Re: TD 145 MK II VTA Help

Postby timnor » 16 Apr 2018 21:29

Thanks Mark,

Of course you are right ! If the cartridge is slightly tilted back in the headshell and I remove the extra slipmat the the arm is no longer straight but the cart appears to be parallel to the LP. My question is it necessary for both the arm to be straight and the cartridge to be parallel ? Does the photo above look wrongly setup ?
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Re: TD 145 MK II VTA Help

Postby noisefreq » 16 Apr 2018 22:31

The platter and tonearm are on the same suspended sub chassis. Mine is 5mm from platter to top plate.

It's hard to tell from pictures, but to my eye it looks like the cartridge is tail down.

When the stylus tip is at the proper rake angle is the important thing.

Most of the time if the cartridge is level the rake angle should be pretty close.

The arm being level is just a general suggestion as this is easy to evaluate.

If it's tail down the highs will be muted.

More weight on the Ortofon should Help but a worn out stylus is a lost cause.

You may not need the extra mat if you add a spacer to the headshell.
I suggested that before I discovered the cartridge weight for the X3-MC was so light.
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Re: TD 145 MK II VTA Help

Postby timnor » 28 Apr 2018 11:58

Thanks for the tips. I'm still confused but now I realise why ! The arm and the head of the TP63 are not horizontally inline with each other meaning if I adjust so the arm is straight the head is not straight and vice versa. I have checked this with a tiny bubble scale.

The question is should I be adjusting until the arm is straight and ignoring the angle of the head ?
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Re: TD 145 MK II VTA Help

Postby markcass » 28 Apr 2018 12:06

timnor wrote:Thanks for the tips. I'm still confused but now I realise why ! The arm and the head of the TP63 are not horizontally inline with each other meaning if I adjust so the arm is straight the head is not straight and vice versa. I have checked this with a tiny bubble scale.

The question is should I be adjusting until the arm is straight and ignoring the angle of the head ?


No, it's the cartridge (attached to the head) that needs to be parallel to the record surface, so that should be the priority when you adjust. Whether the arm tube is horizontal ('straight') is irrelevant.

HTH

Mark
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Re: TD 145 MK II VTA Help

Postby timnor » 28 Apr 2018 12:17

Thanks Mark,

I just saw this post (in German)

http://www.hifi-forum.de/viewthread-26-651.html

Where a user describes exactly the same thing. That if you lay the TP 63 upside down with the head section on a flat surface the arm pipe part is not straight. This is not adjustable as it's all one piece. So in order to have the cartridge straight the tonearm simply can't be straight ? Correct ? By design it should not be straight ? I can't be the first person to notice this but I find very little online about this which I find odd ?
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Re: TD 145 MK II VTA Help

Postby Copperhead » 28 Apr 2018 18:43

timnor wrote: So in order to have the cartridge straight the tonearm simply can't be straight ? Correct ? By design it should not be straight ?


Headshells should be straight otherwise you would have to shim all cartridges to achieve parallelism. Doesn't sound right.
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Re: TD 145 MK II VTA Help

Postby timnor » 28 Apr 2018 18:55

I believe the headshell and the cart are straight it's just that the headshell and the arm are at slightly different angles so that when the cartridge and headshell are parallel to the LP the tone arm is not. This was exactly what the above linked post was asking about.
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Re: TD 145 MK II VTA Help

Postby Copperhead » 28 Apr 2018 20:40

timnor wrote:I believe the headshell and the cart are straight it's just that the headshell and the arm are at slightly different angles


Yes, that is what I meant when I said straight. Sounds odd that it should be at an angle.
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