Adjusting VTA on Ortofon Cadenza Red on SME IV Arm

windup600

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Ben APFEL
I have just bought an Origin Live platter mat (1mm). It sits on an Orbe platter on my Gyrodec. I thought that adjusting the arm height would be easy. I get how to unlock the arm and raise or lower the height, but I am totally lost on how to get the precise VTA for the cartridge (26 degrees?). I have the ruler that comes with the SME IV arm. The instructions say 3mm from the underside of the arm. I wish there was a service in North London that came to your house and set up your turntable in situ for your for a small fee. Does anybody know of anything near Crouch End? I don't really want to have to pack up the turntable and then set it back up again. Can anybody help even with some online advice on how to get the VTA right? Thanks

 

flapland

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The ruler isn't the best way of setting VTA I am afraid as it assumes all cartridges require the arm centre line and cartridge top to be parallel to the top of a typical lp. Some cartridges thats fine in fact I suspect most but others prefer to run bottom up at the rear or down at the rear. I suspect parallel is ok for the Cadenza.

Hope thats of some help. I nearby but sadly busy next few days as I have a new TT arriving tomorrow plus Vet and GP visits.

 

vacdac

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Hi Ben,

Setting neutral vta as as starting point by eye really couldn't be easier. If the bottom of your carts body is flat & many are this can be a helpful visual aid & you just check that its lined up flat & parallel to the surface of the record when the stylus is cued up onto a nice unwarped record. I've often found that the underside of an armtube is also good as a reference point.....Not in your case tho' as IIRC the SME's armtube is tapered. The top of the H/Shell should make a decent 'Sighting Point' I'd have thought tho'

I have a set of the three bubble levels you can buy for little money, which are an invaluable tool for TT setup. There's a diddy H/Shell level that only weighs 0.23g & this is also ideal for doing this & particularly useful if your arm/Headshell is adjustable for azimuth.

I'd always aim for neutral VTA as a starting point & tweak accordingly to tame treble/bass a little if necessary or even just to find if any given cart has a VTA 'sweetspot'. Certainly t' diddy level I mentioned should be something you could trust if you're perhaps a tad unsure re set-up....but I find I use the whole set surprisingly often. :geek: :D

 

vacdac

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:^Pretty indespensible IMV Ben......just amended my post slightly to also mention you could use the top of t' H/Shell as another sighting point prolly.

BR.

C.

Just bought a small spirit level on eBay which will hopefully help in terms of fine tuning.
Here's the ones I use.....available from this e-bay seller fer £7-99 for the set of three.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/TURNTABLE-SETUP-SPIRIT-LEVEL-KIT-SETTING-UP-TONEARMS-AND-TURNTABLE-3-LEVELS-/171011833485?pt=Turntable_Parts_Accessories&hash=item27d1197e8d.

%24T2eC16Z,%21ysE9sy0i2wQBQV%29hE6ESw~~60_12.JPG


 

Popey

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Ben,

I've just had a quick squint at the instruction manual on vinyl engine.

A bit further on from the bit about positioning the arm with 3mm clearance, it goes onto explain that the precise setting is achieved using the ruler printed on the alignment gauge to measure the distance between the record surface and the printed lines on the sde of the arm - see page 14 of the manual for more info (sections 419 and 420).

I'm sure if you take your time, you'll be fine.

Best of luck

Cheers

Mark

 

Clive197

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I run a Cadenza Bronze in an Ittok LVIII. After experimenting with VTA Over a number of months and driving myself dulally I came to the conclusion that "level is best"

 

vacdac

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Makes perfect sense Clive......Ortofon have a good rep for setting the SRA (Stylus Rake Angle Correctly) & their Q.C. is top notch & in general a benchmark for other mfrs. :cool: :^

I've pretty much found the same with my Rondo Red that level VTA is best & to be fair also for my 2 AT OC9ml ii's & also the AT33EV, whereas the AT F3iii benefits from going slightly tail down on my own deck & also that of a mate who uses one too. This was also the case with her Sumiko BPS Evo iii too....& I believe QC can vary somewhat with these so experimentation would be in order.

TBH IMV a little experimentation would seem sensible with any new cart & listening to any previous owners experiences/thoughts would also be smart & could save you a little time too. :^

LEVEL TO START OFF WOULD ALWAYS SEEM THE BEST STARTING POINT THOUGH..........just buy a H/Shell level they're well worth it!!!

 
G

Guest

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I run a Cadenza Bronze in an Ittok LVIII. After experimenting with VTA Over a number of months and driving myself dulally I came to the conclusion that "level is best"
Would have thought the at around 10-11g both the SME IV and the Ittok would be very much at the 'low mass' end of the scale to make a decent fist of getting the best out of a Cadenza, which with a compliance of 12 is surely (though not quite in SPU territory) on the low compliance end of things and therefore likely to benefit from a higher mass tonearm, such as the Jelco 750d which is more like 20g.

Anyway not an ideal pairing for either I'd have thought, resonant frequency would be getting up into 14-15hz territory (a BAD THING) while there might be an audible lack of control and even potential for a tip-up in frequency response.

So if you aren't getting the best out of it it may not necessarily be a VTA issue.

 

Von Krolock

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Start off level but don't be afraid to experiment.

My Cadenza Blue seems to work better with the arm slightly down at the pivot.

 

Clive197

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Would have thought the at around 10-11g both the SME IV and the Ittok would be very much at the 'low mass' end of the scale to make a decent fist of getting the best out of a Cadenza, which with a compliance of 12 is surely (though not quite in SPU territory) on the low compliance end of things and therefore likely to benefit from a higher mass tonearm, such as the Jelco 750d which is more like 20g.Anyway not an ideal pairing for either I'd have thought, resonant frequency would be getting up into 14-15hz territory (a BAD THING) while there might be an audible lack of control and even potential for a tip-up in frequency response.

So if you aren't getting the best out of it it may not necessarily be a VTA issue.
Ittok was/is a medium to high mass arm with an effective mass of 11.6gms, which rather puts you theory down the pan.

Henley Designs who distribute Ortofon in this country confirm that the Cadenza range is perfectly suitable for the Ittok.

oh just checked, the SME MkIV is a low to medium mass arm at 9.5gms.

 

huwge

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I use the sme bits that came with my V

Occasionally fiddle using test records, spirit levels etc but get in a mess of 'tweakery' anxiety and end up going back to sme basics

John Michel had sme arms in mind for his decks so I reckon it makes sense to use them as the designers suggested

My only lasting 'tweaks' are :-

Achromat, but I'm still slightly anxious about this, clamp or not?

Bottom line:

Wall stand

Scrupulously level

'Bounce'

Fresh oil and belt annually (maybe just dismantling etc. corrects 'drift')

Oops, must be after midnight

JJ and bed :)

 
G

Guest

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Ittok was/is a medium to high mass arm with an effective mass of 11.6gms, which rather puts you theory down the pan.Henley Designs who distribute Ortofon in this country confirm that the Cadenza range is perfectly suitable for the Ittok.

oh just checked, the SME MkIV is a low to medium mass arm at 9.5gms.
Since when was 11.6 g anything even approaching 'high mass'? Total bollocks. Low to medium in my book. The SME IV is well known as a lowish mass arm (the REALLY low mass ones like the SME Series 3 having totally died out along with Shures tracking at sub 1g).

Run the calculator and see - you are talking about 14hz+ resonant frequency which is getting towards the unacceptable.

 
S

skyman

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Setting up VTA against the headshell parallel to platter only achieves exactly that. It bears no relevance to the sight angle the tip achieves in the groove. Tracking force will alter the rake angle of the cantileaver and the cantileaver angle to platter will alter over time. The simplest and most accurate way of achieveing correct VTA is to use a x10 loop and look at the tip angle in the groove and use your ear to establish if thats where it suits.

 

themadlatvian

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Since when was 11.6 g anything even approaching 'high mass'? Total bollocks. Low to medium in my book. The SME IV is well known as a lowish mass arm (the REALLY low mass ones like the SME Series 3 having totally died out along with Shures tracking at sub 1g).Run the calculator and see - you are talking about 14hz+ resonant frequency which is getting towards the unacceptable.
They haven't died out, honest Tom!

My Series 3 works beautifully with my Denon DL304, though as you say it was pretty specifically designed to pair up with the high compliance/ultra low tracking weight Shure V15 IV and V15 V cartridges.

 

Clive197

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Since when was 11.6 g anything even approaching 'high mass'? Total bollocks. Low to medium in my book. The SME IV is well known as a lowish mass arm (the REALLY low mass ones like the SME Series 3 having totally died out along with Shures tracking at sub 1g).Run the calculator and see - you are talking about 14hz+ resonant frequency which is getting towards the unacceptable.
Just ran a Tonearm Resonance Calculator and the resonant frequency of. Linn IttokLVIII and Cadenza cartridge is 9.729Hz.

Work it out for yourself using the many calculators that are available on the net.

Arm 11.6gms

Cartridge 10.7gms

Cartridge Compliance 12

If your going to sprout facts and figures at least get them correct!

Also checked resonant frequency with SME MkIV which comes out at 10.222Hz

 

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