VTAF(tm), VTA ADJUSTMENT ON THE FLY FOR MANY TONEARM MODELS:
Pronounced "vee-taff," for VTA on the Fly. Patented. Check out the VTAF web site: http://vtaf.com VTAF(tm)
TONE ARMS TO WHICH THE VTAF HAS BEEN ADAPTED:
The VTAF can be adapted to most tonearms that have the pivot center on the same vertical axis as the tonearm mounting system.
The VTAF was developed for post mounted Rega tonearms (the RB250, the RB300 and the RB600). We have since adapted the VTAF to all of the three point mount Rega tonearms (RB251, RB301, RB303, RB700, RB900, and RB1000). In addition, we can provide VTAF units for the post mounted arms of most manufacturers. The range of VTAF variations has been extended to accept arms with post diameters ranging from the smallest up to of 1.127 inches (28.6 mm). Examples are included below. Chances are good that we can provide a VTAF for your arm. If you do not see your tone arm, please inquire. As you can see from the listing below, we can mount almost any arm to almost any table using the VTAF.
The list of tonearms the VTAF can not be adapted to is tiny compared to the list of tonearms the VTAF can be adapted to. The VTAF is not suitable for use with Graham (other than the Graham Robin)Tri-Planer or Schroeder Reference arms, which have mounting systems substantially offset from the center of gravity of the tonearm assembly. The VTAF can be configured for Schroeder DSP and Model 2 arms.The VTAF is not suitable for use with straight line tracking arms.
Arms to which the VTAF has been adapted are listed below. Let us know if you do not see your arm listed.
Telephone: 509 582 4548
An incomplete list of arms the VTAF can be adapted to includes: Acoustic Research, Ariston, ADC, Alphason, Audiocraft, Audio Note, Audioquest, Audio Technica, BBC, Bel Canto, Bluenote, Brinkman, Connoiseur, Clearaudio, Da Vinci, Decca, Denon, Dynavector, Empire, EMT, ESL, Excel Sound Corp., Fidelity Research, Formula, Grace, Grado, Hadcock, Helius, Heybrook, Ikeda, Infinity, Jelco (and any of the arms manufactured for others by Jelco), JH Reproducers, Kieth Monks, Kuzma, Linn, Linn mount arms, Logic, Mayware, Manticore, Michell, Micro Seiki, Mission, Moth, Moerch, Nottingham, Naim, Odyssey, Origin Live, Ortofon, Pickering, Rega,Rek-O-Kut, SAEC, Transcriptors, Pro-ject, Pete Riggle Woody, Rocksan, Scheu, SME, Sonus, Sansui, Shure, Signet, Sony, Sparta, Stax, Sumiko, Schroeder, Schick, Syrinx, Systemdek, Thorens, Ultracraft, VPI, Wilson Benesch, and Zeta.
VTAF for Rega Post Mount Arms like the REGA RB250, RB300, and RB600:
For Rega RB250, RB300, and RB600 arms, Origin Live OL1 (all versions), Origin Live Silver (all versions), Brit Audio version of RB250, Expressimo version of RB250, Moth Audio version of RB250, Michell Technoarm version of RB250, Incongnito version of RB250, Thorens version of RB250, and Other Versions of RB250, RB300, and RB600:
Rega Post Mount VTAF works on most turntables with traditional armboards and plinths. It also works on the Teres tables and the Michell Gyrodec and Gyrodec SE. An extension plate may be required for mounting the VTAF Guide Assembly on turntables such as the Nottingham Spacedeck, and the Origin Live Aurora and Aurora Gold, which have small armboards.
The price in beautiful engine turned Lacquered Brass finish is $180 U.S. plus shipping and insurance.
VTAF Shipping and Insurance: $9.00 USD to U.S. destinations, $15 USD to Canadia, $19 USD to other destinations, worldwide.
Also available: We now offer the VTAF in a Smokey Silver Finish (Lacquered Nickel Plate over engine turned brass). Add $36.00 USD to the amount of the order if the Smokey Silver Finish is Desired.
Also available: VTAF Teflon Upgrade (for all VTAF models): The VTAF Teflon Upgrade improves sonics over the already impressively musical VTAF. Friction lower than the already smooth and easy VTAF. Price is $36 USD, which includes shipping. Down time for home installation is 20 minures. Factory installed if purchased with the VTAF.
Also available: Rega Post Mount VTAF with Teflon Upgrade: $216 USD plus shipping and insurance.
Some non-traditional turntables with very small armboards (examples: Nottingham, Origin Live Aurora and Aurora Gold, Acoustic Research, Merrill) require an extension plate to mount the VTAF Guide Assembly. Extension plate prices begin at $15 USD. Please inquire.
Also available: VTAF Sliding Mounting Plate: Price is $48 in Laquered Brass finish, $66 in the Smokey Silver finish). We offer the VTAF Sliding Mounting Plate as a product independent of the VTAF-for-SME. This allows VTAF users with traditional plinths and arm boards to have the convenience of easily adjustable mounting distance, a benefit missing in most tone arm designs.
The VTAF Sliding Mounting Plate, like the SME sliding mounting system, allows the mounting distance (horizontal distance from turntable spindle axis to tone arm pivot vertical axis) to be easily changed to achieve the correct amount of cartridge overhang (distance from stylus to spindle axis). This is a great convenience, particularly with headshells which are not slotted, or cartridges which mount short or long (like the Denon 103 series, which mounts short).
The VTAF Sliding Mounting Plate is inspired by the SME sliding mounting system but is simpler and more trim in appearance than the SME mounting system. When used with the VTAF, the VTAF Sliding Mounting Plate is hidden by the VTAF Adjuster Wheel.
Please contact us and let us know which table and arm you will be using: 509/582-4548 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
VTAF for 3 Point Mount Rega Arms; RB251, RB301, RB303, RB700, RB900, and RB1000 arms:
$216 U.S. in engine turned Lacquered Brass finish, plus shipping and insurance.
Options: Add $36 U.S. for engine turned Smokey Silver finish. Add $36 U.S. for VTAF Teflon Upgrade.
VTAF for Origin Live Encounter, Illustrious, and Conqueror arms (Original, Mk. II, and Mk. III):
$216 U.S. in engine turned Lacquered Brass finish, plus shipping and insurance.Options: Add $36 U.S. for engine turned Smokey Silver finish. Add $36 U.S. for VTAF Teflon Upgrade.
Please note: In the Mark III versions of these arms, Origin Live has added an adjuster wheel similar in appearance (but not performance) to the adjuster wheel of the VTAF. The VTAF provides its all its attendant benefits with the Origin Live wheel removed.
For VTAF mounting of the Encounter, the Illustrious, and the Conqueror on non-traditional tables with small arm boards: An extension plate may be required.
The Michell Gykrodek, which does not require an extension plate for Rega and modified Rega arms, requires an extension plate for the OL Encounter, Illustrious, and Conqueror.
VTAF for Nottingham Spacearm (or other Nottingham arms) on Nottingham Spacedeck or Nottingham Spacedeck with Heavykit:
$276 USD in Laquered Brass finish (add $36 USD for Smokey Silver finish; add $30 USD for VTAF Teflon Upgrade)
This very special version of the VTAF has the VTAF Guide Posts mounted to a special plate which fits the circular armboard of the Spacedeck using existing mounting screws provided by the Spacedeck design. For this version of the VTAF, the VTAF Bronze Bushing has the outside diameter reduced slightly to perfectly fit the existing bores of the Spacedeck black Delrin riser and black Delrin pod. The aluminum arm mounting parts provided by Nottingham are removed from the Nottingham black Delrin riser and are set aside and not used. For this particular VTAF adaptation, no change is required to any Nottingham part.
VTAF for Various arms on Nottingham Turntables:
The VTAF can be provided for various arms on Nottingham tables. Please enquire.
VTAF for Nottingham Spacearm (and other Nottingham arms with similar mounting) on Nottingham Interspace or Hyperspace table:
$210 U.S. in Lacquered Brass finish (add $40 U.S. for Smokey Silver finish; add $30 U.W. for VTAF Teflon Upgrade). This version of the VTAF requires that the arm mounting hole in the armboard be opened to 1.25 inches.
A special Interspace/Hyperspace arm board drilled to fith the VTAF Bronze Bushing is available to avoid modification to the original Nottingham arm board. $60 USD for Interspace/Hyperspace armboard in Lacqured Brass finish, or $78 USD. for Interspace/Hyperspace armboard in Smokey Silver finish.
VTAF for Moerch UP4 or DP4 arm:
$208 USD in engine turned Lacquered Brass finish.
Options: Add $36 USD for engine turned Smokey Silver finish. Add $36 USD for VTAF Teflon Upgrade.
VTAF for Hadcock arm:
$228 U.S. in engine turned Lacquered Brass finish.
Options: Add $36 U.S. for engine turned Smokey Silver finish. Add $36 U.S. for VTAF Teflon Upgrade.
VTAF for Wilson Benesch Tonearm:
$216 USD in engine turned Lacquered Brass finish.
Options: Add $36 U.S. for engine turned Smokey Silver finish. Add $36 U.S. for VTAF Teflon Upgrade.
VTAF for Audioquest PT6 arm: $216 USD in engine turned Lacquered Brass finish.
Options: Add $36 USD for engine turned Smokey Silver finish. Add $36 U.S. for VTAF Teflon Upgrade.
VTAF for Empire arm: $276 in engine turned Lacquered Brass finish.
Options: Add $36 USD for engine turned Smokey Silver finish. Add $36 USD for VTAF Teflon Upgrade.
VTAF FOR SME tonearms ($276 U.S. in engine turned Lacquered Brass finish.
Options: Add $36 U.S. for engine turned Smokey Silver finish. Add $36 U.S. for Teflon Upgrade.
Includes a VTAF Sliding Mounting Plate perfectly fit to the VTAF Bronze Bushing, to replace the SME sliding base plate. Owner provides phono cables.
The VTAF for SME requires an arm board mounting slot 1.25 wide by 2.25 inches long. In addition the VTAF for SME requires assembly skills not possessed by everyone. Proceed with knowledge of your own abilities or those of a good friend or available technician. The primary challenge is working with and soldering the very thin wires internal to the tonearm.
Certain parts of the SME arm system are set aside and remain unused in the VTAF for SME installation. Parts not used include 1) the SME sliding mounting plate, which is replaced by a VTAF sliding mounting plate, 2) the phono cable plug at the base of the mounting pillar, 3) possibly the phono cables, if they are to be replaced, 4) the shield can at the base of the mounting pillar, 4) the wire ring around the mounting pillar, and 5) the circular SME mounting base.
To get an idea of the installation of the VTAF for SME, consider the following steps: 1) unplug phono cable, 2) remove shield can held in place by one small screw) 3) unscrew 2 screws holding phono cable socket and snip the 4 signal wires and the ground wire close to the phono cable socket; 4) lift out wire ring stop from the mounting pillar, 4) use Allen wrench to loosen mounting collar set screw; slide mounting collar off mounting pillar, 5) strip the ends of the very small diameter wires exiting the mounting pillar, expose about 1/8" of wire, 6) remove about 3/4 inch of the outer wrap from the phono cable where it will enter the VTAF strain relief, revealing the signal wires, 7) strip the insulation to reveal about 1/8" of the phono cable signal wires and the phono ground wire, 8) tin the ends of the five fine tonearm internal wires; tin the ends of the phono cable signal wires and ground wire, 9) slide the VTAF brass mounting pillar extension over the phono cables with the slotted end of the tube closest to the tone arm assembly, 10) insert the phono cable signal wires and ground wire through the holes in the VTAF nylon strain relief, and superglue the insulation of these wires into the holes in the nylon strain relief using standard superglue (not the gel superglue) 11) stabilize the tone arm assembly so that it can not move, 12) bring the tinned phono cable wire ends within reach of the tonearm internal wire ends and stabilize the phono cable so it can not move, 13) solder the wire ends of the tonearm internal wires to the related wire ends of the phono cable wires, 14) using thin tape provided, wrap a fold of tape over each solder joint, and trim away excess tape, 15) slide the VTAF brass mounting pillar extension over the nylon strain relief and over mounting pillar of the SME arm, making sure that the fine tonearm internal wires are not trapped or pinched in the process.
At this point the cable is securely connected to the tone arm mounting pillar. The balance of the installation is quite easy compared with the above.
Applications for the VTAF are growing weekly. Please inquire. email@example.com, or 509/582-4548.
SAME DAY WORLDWIDE SHIPPING. DEALER INQUIRIES WELCOME.
ADVANTAGES (MORE THAN JUST VTA ON THE FLY):
Smooth and easy adjustment of VTA on the fly!
Continuously variable VTA adjustment . . . infinite resolution!
VTA is easy to measure, record, and reset!
Improved sound stage, imaging, inner detail, nuance, air, dynamics, pace and rhythm, and improved bass compared with the original mounting system! This is above and beyond the VTA adjustment benefit! Please check out the testimonials below.
Raises performance of virtually all tone arms.
Raises performance of modified Rega tone arms to the highest level!
After installation the tone arm can be removed and restored to the table in just moments. This is convenient and time saving when you wish to change cartridges, work on a tonearm, work on a turntable, or transport an arm or table. This is a sleeper benefit, a convenience you won't understand until you experience it!
For someone with two arms, who wants to do A/B cartridge comparisons, the VTAF allows the swapout in about one minute.
OTHER VTA ADJUSTERS, ORIGINAL OR AFTER-MARKET, DO NOT CLAIM OR PROVIDE THE ADVANTAGES LISTED ABOVE.
Go to: www//6moons.com and see discussions of the VTAF in Jeff Day's archival reviews of the Origin Live Silver tonearm, and the legendary Garrard 301 turntable. The VTAF made VTA adjustment and arm swaps easy for these reviews, and contributed to the musicality heard during the listening sessions.
Issue #153 of TAS, April/May 2005 gives the VTAF a solid recommendation ("Absolute Analog" by Stephaen Harrell, Page 18).
"Here is an indispensable bargain for users of the ubiquitous Rega Arms! The VTAF allows VTA adjustment on the fly (yes, while the record is playing!) Does it work? Absolutely! After using the VTAF?, I experienced improved soundstage, detail, nuance, and air; VTA adjustment is often necessary to get the most out of your cartridge. But the general improvement provided by the VTAF itself was a revelation! Since it takes just 10 seconds to remove or return the arm, accommodating cartridge changes, multiple tables or multiple arms with different cartridges is now uncomplicated." The Absolute Sound, p.18, April/May 2005.
Bill Heyboer, Michell Technoarm on Sota Vacuum turntable: Hello, Just a note to say the VTAF system works wonderfully on a SOTA vacuum turntable with a Michell Technoarm (Modified Rega). I had been using an Eminent Technology air bearing arm and decided to simplify. The Benz Ace MC never sounded better. The setup and instructions were easy to accomplish and you are to be applauded for your design. Thanks.
Torstein Natland, Norway, Nottingham Spacearm on Spacedeck: Hi Pete. The VTAF works fine. I am very pleased with it. The VTAF makes it sooo easy to adjust the VTA. I have found just the right VTA angel for my Van Den Hul "the frog," and now its really playing music. Worth every penny !!!!! Thanks again. Have left you good feedback on ebay. Best Regards, Torstein
David McIntosh, Rega P3, Shelter 501 Cartridge: Right now I'm pretty much in Audio Heaven (say Hallelujah!) Beautiful new preamp, beautiful new Rega with a new acrylic platter and "special" mat, beautiful new cartridge, beautiful new crossovers in the old Klipsch, and of course the beautiful new VTAF. My LP collection runs the gamut from the thinnest RCA's from the '80's to some of the most recent 200g audiophile pressings. The new Shelter 501 installed with minimal adjustment necessary and sounds nothing short of amazing. But being able to fine tune the VTA without stopping and shimming the arm is even more amazing. I really can easily find the sweet spot for not only every record but every song! This is important to me because of the amount of archival recording I plan to do. Even though my system's much improved sound quality is due to the combination of changes I've made, I can single out the VTAF as a major plus and I'm glad I made the investment.
Bill Capolongo, Origin Live Encounter arm on Teres 255 table: The VTAF is fantastic, really a big improvement! Thanks so much for helping out. I installed the VTAF this weekend. It is just great; it exceeds my expectations. I'm glad you convinced me to stay with it!
Ron Barbee, Thorens TD125, SME 3009: As the recent recipient of a version of your product which affords vertical tracking angle adjustment for my recently restored 1967 Thorens TD125 turntable with an SME 3009 tone arm, I want to encourage you to continue manufacturing this fine innovation and to recommend the incorporation of the VTAF capability to anyone with similar equipment.
The TD125/SME3009 combination has provided years of excellent service but the one major fault has been the difficult and imprecise adjustment of VTA. The VTAF is the solution and it is light enough to allow the turntable suspension to work correctly.
The advent of new cartridge technology caused me to set aside this turntable and arm combination for a number of years because vertical tracking angle became an important adjustment to attain the best performance from the cartridges I chose to use. The arrangement modified with the VTAF provides precise, repeatable setups and allows me to enjoy my recordings on vinyl without the need to guess.
In addition, to change cartridges or perform inspection or even cleaning I can just lift the assembly out of the base and have easy access to all aspects of the tone arm.
The sound has taken on another set of parameters previously not experienced. The Thorens/SME now challenges my other turntables and requires a serious decision as to where to place it in my three listening areas. It easily competes with my Linn Sondek, Panasonic SP10, and VPI tables with various top notch arms. I use Denon, Dynavector, Myabi, Pickering/Stanton, Grado and Spectral cartridges currently with great satisfaction and am going to branch out to see how other applications work with this system.
My sound systems are very high resolution and have only been enhanced by the ability to precisely and repeatedly attain the vta required for the best sound at the moment .
Thanks for a fine product and a wonderful enhancement to my old new playback system.
Bob Olson, email, OL Silver: The VTAF with Teflon has made my little OL Silver sound better in most respects than my much more expensive SME-V. You guys done good!
Phil Hyun, email, Rega Planar with RB600 arm: I just wanted to tell you that I installed the VTAF into my Rega Planar 25 with RB600 arm yesterday (took about 30 minutes and I used a Forstner bit and a litle sanding) and had a good listen today. The improvement in sound is really staggering. The P25 sounds totally different. MUCH better. It's just livelier, more realistic, and the music is just way more 3 dimensional. Like it pops out of the air and with much greater clarity and detail. I'm just grinning from ear to ear. I can't wait to show this to all of my audio buddies. I think it's safe to say you can expect some more orders from the Portland area soon. Thanks for a GREAT product at an affordable price!
Tubesforever, Vinyl Asylum: When I added the Pete Riggle VTAF (vertical angle on the fly system) to my table, I was not expecting such a great increase in sound and smiles. With just a turn of an adjustment wheel while listening to the song, I can adjust the VTA and just nail it every time. It is easy to hear the sound just snap into place. Bass, midrange, vocals all improved in every area describable. This Pete Riggle VTAF is the real deal and should be considered strongly by anyone who truly loves vinyl.
Dale Humphrey, email, Roksan table, Roksan Tabriz arm: An absolute joy to deal with. Pete is patient, understanding, and will take every necessary step to ensure his product exceeds your expectations. Have a tonearm without adjustable VTA? You must investigate the VTAF!
Kevin Convey, email, heavily modded VPI HW19 MK4 and Rega RB300: Count me among those who have drunk the Kool Aid on the efficacy of the VTAF. You'll remember that I wondered whether the unit had left my heavily modded VPI HW19 MK 4 and Rega RB300 with less bass response than before. Using your instructions, I tested my J.M. Michell VTA adjuster against the VTAF for bass response. Not only was the result no contest in favor of the VTAF with regard to bass response, but also with respect to air, soundstage and just about every other audiophile metric you could think of. Just to test myself, and having read somewhere Origin Live's suggestion that its tonearm not be overtightened to the armboard, I auditioned my RB300 with the Michell's VTA adjuster nut both tight and loose. Again, the result was no contest: the arm sounded far better with the nut loose. But the VTAF sounded even better than that. To paraphrase the Bible: He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. So consider this a thank-you note. Thanks not only for suggesting a way I might satisfy my own ears about the difference the VTAF makes, but for designing and marketing such an useful, elegant and great-sounding device in the first place.
George McKelvey, Moth Alamo S table, Rega RB250 arm with Michell Technoweight and Incognito wiring: Uncoupling the tone arm from the plinth has had a dramatic effect all by itself. I'm really impressed with your product. It is ingenious, easy to install, and it works as advertised.
Jim Howard, Kenwood KD500 table and arm: I am now playing the Grado Ref Master on my Kenwood's KD 550 arm that I modified to work with the VTAF. The VTAF transformed the sound of this arm. It was midfi at the very best, but with the VTAF it just continues to amaze me. I am not sure if I could live without VTAF now that I have tasted it! Kinda like chocolate but a whole lot better! Reminds me of Sarah MacLaughlins "Ice Cream"!
Dennis Pitzer, Michell Gyrodec Table and Zeta arm: Well, with the patience of Job, you walked me through each step of the installation process (much simpler in reality than perceived). Ultimately I spent more time re-aligning my Lyra Helikon with Wallytractor than I did installing the VTAF! The results are simply stunning! As a High Fi enthusiast for over 25 years, I can honestly state that no single improvement; component upgrade, tweak etc. has gotten me closer to the absolute sound as the VTAF. I am hearing musical passages, inner detail, sound stage and frequency range extension that I did not dream possible. As I actively listen to my record collection, I find my jaw dropping in amazement and sheer pleasure. Thanks very much for engineering such a fine product, selling it at a fair price, and supporting your customers in a "world class manner"!
Jeff Horiguchi, Nottingham Hyperspace Table and Mentor Arm (special adaptation of VTAF, $199.98): I set it all up over the weekend and it is a thing of beauty. The VTAF works as you described and is a joy to use. It really could not have been any easier to use, install and to order. I would not hesitate to recommend to someone else.
Jim Howard, Audio Asylum DIY, Kenwood KD-500 table and arm: I have sold scientific instruments for 13 years. I have a decent background in electronics, some engineering experience, some physics, and 5 years of high end audio sales experience. I have heard, sold, and set up some really awesome gear.
When my VTAF arrived I carefully modified my Kenwood KD-500 tonearm mounting board for the VTAF bronze bearing insert. This took about an hour. Be patient. Get it right the first time. I plugged it all in, dropped the arm into the bushing and sat back to listen to some favorite records.
Oh my gawd..... Heaven help us all.
With my new VTAF a simple adjustment up or down just snaps the sound in place. My initial impression was "wow the bass is clear, tight, and perfectly extended."
The VTAF nails the bass perfectly, and the midbass now has flesh. You can hear the skin of the fingertips slip past the bass strings. I've never heard this before on recordings. Regarding the human voice, I am still in disbelief. I can hear a human head singing to me from center stage, not a voice coming from between the speakers but the actual head. Folks it is pure fun to hear the singer right there in your room, mouthing the vocals of your favorite songs. Sara MacLaughlin modulates her notes by changing the shape of her mouth. She twists her jaw as she sings and you can see her doing it in your sound field.
In the the upper midrange I hear the drummer pressing the brushes into his cymbals. I hear his sticks being swirled on the drum heads instead of being struck against them. I hear percussion as you expect to hear it, with pace and rhythm, and emotion. Listen to some well recorded drum music with the VTAF and you will hear new magic you never heard before.
The VTAF so improved my high frequency sound that I was transfixed. Never have I heard vinyl get a cymbal, a triangle, or a transient so accurately.
Today I get to listen to every record as if for the very first time. The VTAF lets you dial the sound perfectly every single time, allowing you to make a thick sounding album sound more dry, or a dry record sound more full. Some of my more marginal recordings of great music, though still flawed, are more listenable with the VTAF. VTAF allows you to adjust the sound so voices are perfect. Everything sounds better when you nail the VTA and you can do it in seconds. It is amazing that 1 to 3 degrees up or down affects the music as it does, but your ears will not deceive you. VTAF is the answer to getting more smiles out of every moment you listen to Vinyl.
So in summary, you owe it to yourself to try the VTAF. It has made the most impressive change to my vinyl listening experience. I hope you will be brave enough to experience the VTAF for yourself.
David Sloane, Audio Asylum Review, 6/9/05, Origin Live Encounter Arm on O.L. Aurora Gold table (special adaptation of VTAF for the Aurora Gold table with small armboard, $199.98): Let me say that it is truly a work of art (I love industrial art of ANY kind) and it is installed in the Aurora Gold/Encounter arm and it is probably one of the most incredibly elegant and beautiful inventions I've ever seen. It performs incredibly well, and I think it's the best couple-hundred bucks I've spent in this hobby. The fact that it is such a simple and direct solution to what was truly the only "beef" I had with the whole turntable subsystem, to me reflects true genius. I took pictures along the way, and there are one or two special points that need to be addressed when installing on an Aurora Gold. Check out David Sloane's web site documenting his installation of the VTAF on the OL Encounter and Aurora Gold: www.sloanezone.com/vtaf/vtaf.html
Joseph P Horvath II, Audio Asylum Vinyl, (jphii) 6/26/04, Teres turntable: "Installation is extremely easy. If you can change a tone arm, you can install the VTAF. Going in, I had a couple of reservations . . . the arm just sits there. No nut to tighten at all . . . I was skeptical . . . the guide is the only thing that holds the tone arm in place (keeps the tone arm pedestal from rotating) . . . that had me a little worried too. So I put on an album I know inside out . . . the VTAF seemed to bring out a new level of detail I had been missing . . . it just seemed more 'right.' So I put on another album I know well . . . Same thing. New levels of detail, previously unheard. And the fun thing is, now I can change VTA on the fly! Seriously, I changed it on the fly, and not one skip, period. And my TT sits on a rack that is , lets see, 'structurally challenged.' If you have a Rega based arm, this will be the best hundred bucks you ever spent."
Bill Allen, Bauls Audio, BIX turntable: "I have the VTAF in play. Very cool I must say. Slick even. The strange thing is that the VTA on the fly is secondary to the improvement in the soundstage. Even my wife is playing vinyl albums again, a good sign."
Jeff Kane, Clearaudio Evolution Turntable: "I put off installing the VTAF for the longest time... Was afraid to trash my P25 etc etc etc. Well, I just got a Clearaudio Evolution and got REALLY tired of doing the 'ol up and down with the VTA adjustors it had on it so the Dremel and I got busy. Funny that I wouldn't touch the P25 but I dove right in on the Clearaudio. As for the sonics... Well just the ability to adjust VTA on the fly is a HUGE boon but for what ever reason (decoupling the arm from the plinth maybe?) the noise level has dropped and the imaging is quite a bit more focused and defined now . . . I definitely heard an improvement with the VTAF . . . LOVE it! P.S. The setup looks PERFECT on the Clearaudio as it matches their hardware100%... It looks like something they would've done. VERY nice. Will be placing an order for a VTAF for the P25." Mike Price, VPI HW-19 Mk. IV turntable, email, 8/9/04: "Couldn't be much easier. My platter mat was thick enough so that I didn't have to do any shimming. This thing works great and sounds even better!!
Barry Howard, VPI HW-19: "The installation instructions were foolproof and after the 45 minutes that it took to remove my Expressimo Audio VTA and install yours (mostly sanding the hole in my Corian armboard and adjusting height so that the cartridge body was parallel with the record) I was playing music. I decided to test the VTAF with a new 180 gram pressing of Cat Steven's Tea For The Tillerman . . . my initial test disc as I have upgraded my VPI HW-19. Five seconds into "But I Might Die Tonight" I'm sure that my mouth was hanging open. Every aspect of the presentation had improved beginning with the bass that was better defined with more kick and there even seemed to be more quantity. There was more detail revealed at all frequencies. The mids and highs were more natural and the soundstage became wider and taller - just plain bigger with greater transparency. Amazingly there was not a compromise for all of this improvement . . . The improvement to my HW19 was greater than adding the SAMA ($400 stand alone motor assembly) and on par with adding the Scout platter and inverted bearing ($300)! All of this has been accomplished without even adjusting the VTA. I will look forward to playing with the height adjustment over time. Thanks again for a well engineered product.
Brad Ellis, heavily modified AR XA-1: It is just as you promised - more detail, tighter bass, better sound-stage, easy to install and use and gorgeous to look at! Thank you so much for another brilliant DIYer's dream item. The VTAF has just brought me closer to my ideal sound than I have ever been before. After 20 plus years, I think I am finally hearing what I have been searching for. I hope I have conveyed that I am thrilled with the VTAF.
Leonard Cue, Luxman version of the Rega P3 turntable: "Well thought out and comprehensive instructions made installation a breeze. The precison cartridge shims supplied allowed the VTA adjustment range to be set just right. The arm being practically free of the deck has improved clarity, giving the perception of improved timing and space. The VTAF moves the Shure V15xMR cartridge from sounding like a good technological trick, to the production of actual music."
Ken Perkins, Audio Asylum, 12/19/04: I've just installed the VTAF on a VPI jr. with an Origin Live 250 and have come to the conclusion that it's one of the best tweaks or mods I've ever done to a turntable/arm. Regardless of the VTA adjustment (it's basically set where it was), I'm convinced the actual mount has contributed to my sound the most. It's more open, there's more air with a blacker background, and dynamics and "pace" are outstanding. The depth of the image is hard to believe and I'm using 30 year old modified Large Advents!
Brian Sloan, email: Another convert here in New Zealand. Great kit. Appreciated that you even included the plastic pipe sanding forms for enlarging the mounting hole. I was surprised at how stable the tone arm feels after installation. That stability seems to transfer directly into the music. The soundstage became more focused and palpable. I was also surprised that I ended up adjusting the tone arm a lot higher than previous calculations had suggested. You can't argue with your ears as the final judge! I've saved the best for last . . . you gave me my vinyl "Kind of Blue" back! Previously unlistenable. That alone was worth the price of this kit.
Richard Golladay, Origin Live Silver on Spacedeck: Does the VTAF work? Yep! Does it play my records better? Yep! At this point I'm not sure whether the improvement in sound is attributable to the fact that the arm is not rigidly mounted. I will say that the ability to get VTA right for every record will improve its sound, most particularly when using a fine cartridge. I have more dollars in my Clearaudio cartridge than I have in the Table, arm, mods, and VTAF put together. I have found so far that the the sound stage is wider, images more precise, with improved delineation of instruments in space. Please feel free to use me as a reference. This is a good product, and worth the cost.
Bill Wilborn, email, custom Sonus Formula IV on custom turntable: I've succesfully installed the VTAF. I can confirm that it sounds very good and that I can readily change VTA without skipping a groove. Thanks a lot.
VTAF TEFLON UPGRADE TESTIMONAILS:
Mark Williams, VPI HW-19 MK IV with RB300 and Dynavector 20X: The VTAF Teflon Upgrade installation was a breeze. The keys are to take your time and keep the Xacto blade as clean as possible, using the alcohol wipes provided. Also, be sure to handle the Xacto blade carefully! The complete install only took me about 20 minutes. My VTAF now adjusts more smoothly with the upgrade and I do think that the sound from my VPI HW-19 MK IV with RB300 and Dynavector 20X has taken another leap forward.
PHOTOS: The first four of the accompanying photos show the VTAF mounted on Thorens TD124 and TD125 turntables, show the workings of the VTAF, and show a quick and easy way to measure and reset VTA. The standard lacquer protected engine turned brass finish is depicted in the first photo.
The fifth photo shows the Teres turntable of Joe Horvath II with the VTAF? installed.
The sixth photo shows optional Smoky Silver finish (protective lacquer, over nickel plate, over engine turned brass). Add $30.00 to the amount of the order for the Smoky Silver finish.
The seventh photo shows the footprint of the VTAF. The large circle represents the adjuster wheel. The small circle represents the base of the guide system.
The eighth and ninth photos show the VTAF mounted by Jeff Kane on his Clearaudio Evolution turntable with a transparent acrylic plinth. One of these is an overall shot. The other is a closeup of the VTAF taken from below the transparent plinth, revealing the simplicity of the installation.
The tenth photo shows Pete Riggle with his King of Audio dunce cap in the Cain & Cain room at the 2004 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. Standing with Pete is Jason, now the proprietor of Cain and Cain, after the passing of the late great Terry Cain. The show was a lot of fun. Met a lot of good people.
The eleventh photo shows a special VTAF for the Origin Live Encounter arm. The arm post of the Encounter is the same as the arm post of the Rega RB250, 300, and 600 arms. Only the Guide Assembly is different from the Standard VTAF.
The eleventh photo also shows the appearance finish of current production VTAF units, selected for durability of appearance. Engine turning gives a jeweled look, providing a rich appearance.
The final photo shows the version of the VTAF for the Spacearm on the Spacedeck or other table with small area armboard.
SETUP FOR THE CORRECT VTA RANGE:
The goal in setting up the VTAF is to get the cartridge slightly low in the rear when the VTAF is at its lowest setting. This corresponds to a low VTA. Where a height setup adjustment is required, there are several approaches described in the installation instructions. One sure-fire approach is by shimming under the rear or front of the phono cartridge with precision brass shims provided in thicknesses of .010, .020, .030, .040, and .050 inches. Each .010 inches (.25 mm) of shim under the rear of the phono cartridge gives an effect equivalent to increasing the platter height or lowering the arm board by 1/8" (3.2 mm). Each .010 inches of shim under the front of the phono cartridge gives an effect equivalent to decreasing the platter height or raising the arm board by 1/8". The total VTA adjustment range of the VTAF is 0.5 inches, allowing a wide range of easy adjustment once the initial setup is complete.
High resolution, continuously variable adjustment: Each full turn of the adjuster wheel results in only .025" height change.
The VTAF is elegantly simple, attractive in appearance, solidly constructed, and precision machined from solid brass and steel. The appearance parts are solid brass. A luxurious and durable finish is provided by brushing the brass to provide a jewel like appearance (faux engine turning) protected by a heavy coat of clear lacquer.
HOW IT WORKS:
A thin walled tubular steel precision adjuster screw with extra fine external threads slips over the threaded mounting post of the Rega? tone arm system, and is held there by a thin walled ring threaded onto the mounting post.
A precision machined solid brass adjuster wheel with knurled edge for thumbwheel action (2-1/4" outside diameter, 1/10 inch thick . . . 56 mm x 2.5 mm) runs smoothly on the extra fine threads of the adjuster screw.
Each turn of the solid brass adjuster wheel raises or lowers the tone arm pedestal by exactly 25 thousandths of an inch (.625 mm). Less than a full turn produces proportionally less change. An easy-to-see witness mark is provided on the adjuster wheel.
A substantial bronze thrust bushing slip fits to the arm board hole and accepts the adjuster screw in a vertical sliding fashion, with only a few thousandths inch clearance, precisely locating the tone arm pedestal on the arm board.
The tone arm pedestal is not fastened down to the arm board, but is supported by the bottom surface of the adjuster wheel resting flat on the precision top flange of the bronze thrust bushing, under the influence of gravity. Because the tone arm assembly is essentially balanced over the pivot point, the tone arm pedestal naturally rests level, without any tipping tendency. This precise but non-rigid "floating" connection of the pedestal to the arm board is the key to better sonics from the tone arm.
A simple precision machined solid brass vertical guide assembly captures the horizontal projection of the Rega? tone arm pedestal, allowing vertical motion of the tone arm pedestal, but preventing the pedestal from rotating in the bronze bushing. The vertical guide assembly adjusts smoothly and easily to minimize free play between the guide system and the pedestal projection.
The brass adjuster thumbwheel raises and lowers the tone arm pedestal easily, smoothly, and precisely, with the record in play. The user can hear changes in the reproduced sound as adjustments are made.
MEASURING AND RESETTING VTA:
One of the attached photos shows how a deck of ordinary playing cards, not included, can serve as a thickness gage to measure, record, and repeat the preferred VTA setting of any record.
This is an excellent method for measuring, recording, and repeating VTA settings, working easily with poor vision or in low light.
Each card is very close to 10 thousandths inch thick, providing more than adequate resolution for resetting VTA. But why keep track of pedestal height in inches, when it can more easily be recorded by playing card count? Simply mark on the record jacket the number of playing cards corresponding to the preferred VTA.
COMPATIBILITY WITH VARIOUS TURNTABLES AND TONEARMS:
The VTAF works with firmly suspended turntables such as the Nottingham tables, the Garrard 301, the Thorens TD124, the Teres, the Rega Planar models, the Clearaudio Evolution and the Bix.
The VTAF?also works with spring suspended turntables such as the Thorens TD125, 150, and 160 models, the Linn models, the Acoustic Research tables, and the Merril tables.
Week by week the range of turntables on which the VTAF has been installed grows. The turntables on which the VTAF has been installed include Nottingham Spacedeck and Interspace tables, Basis tables, the Michell Gyrodec and Gyrodec SE, the Origin Live Aurora and Aurora Gold, SOTA tables, Thorens TD124 and TD125, several other Thorens models, the Garrard 301, several Rega Planar models, Acoustic Research models, Merril tables, Teres tables, several VPI models, the Clearaudio Evolution, the Bix, the Lenco, the Kenwood 550, and a number of other models.
We are providing conversions which will allow the VTAF to be used with most arms. Please enquire.
Once the bushing is installed in the arm board or turntable deck, it is a snap to remove/replace the arm from/to the turntable for work on the cartridge. The arm is simply lifted out of the bushing while the cables are guided out of the turntable base and through the bushing. This eliminates the need to get under the turntable base to remove or replace the arm. No kidding, this is a huge benefit.
With additional bushing and vertical guide parts (available separately), a tone arm may be easily transferred from one turntable to another in just moments.
With additional adjuster wheel and adjuster screw parts (available separately), tonearms may be quickly interchanged on a given turntable.
Detailed installation and user instructions are provided. The arm board mounting hole is drilled or enlarged to accept the 1.25" outside diameter of the thrust bushing. Complete instructions, 60 grit abrasive paper, and two dowel shaped sanding forms are provided with the VTAF? for enlarging an existing mounting hole. Complete instructions are provided for marking and making a new hole.
A retrofitting kit (not provided) is available for those who may wish for any reason to restore the arm mounting hole to the 25 mm diameter standard for Rega? arms. There has been no call for these.
OTHER PRODUCTS MANUFACTURED AND OFFERED BY PETE RIGGLE ENGINEERING AND AUDIO:
THE VTAF TEFLON UPGRADE (U.S. $30, includes shipping and handling):
BENEFITS of the VTAF TEFLON UPGRADE:
The VTAF Teflon Upgrade adds significantly to the already remarkable sonic benefits of the VTAF.The Teflon Upgrade Reduces adjuster wheel friction making the already smooth and easy VTA Adjustment on the Fly even smoother and easier.
The VTAF Teflon Upgrade is easy to install. Estimated down time is 20 minutes.
The VTAF Teflon Upgrade Adds only .010" to the minimum achievable tone arm pedestal height.
VTAF TEFLON UPGRADE DESCRIPTION:
The VTAF Teflon Upgrade kit provides a thin Teflon dry lubricating and damping layer to the bottom of the VTAF Adjuster Wheel, to the Top of the VTAF Bronze Bushing, and to the tone arm pedestal extension surfaces contacted by the VTAF Guide Assembly.
INCLUDED IN THE VTAF TEFLON UPGRADE KIT:
The VTAF Teflon Kit includes full instructions, self adhesive teflon for the bottom of the VTAF Adjuster Wheel, self adhesive Teflon for the top of the VTAF Bronze Bushing, self adhesive Teflon disks for VTAF Guide Assembly contact points, wipes for preparing the metal surfaces to accept the self adhesive Teflon, and a sharp blade for trimming excess Teflon from the VTAF Bronze Bushing and from the VTAF Adjuster Wheel.
VTAF TEFLON UPGRADE GUARANTEE:
No risk. In the unlikely event you are not fully satisfied with the VTAF Teflon Upgrade, please contact us within 90 days for a no questions refund. Return of used VTAF Teflon Upgrade product is not required. If VTAF Teflon Upgrade product is unused, return will be requested.
To discuss the VTAF Teflon Upgrade feel free to contact:
Pete Riggle Audio
2112 South Olympia Street
Kennewick, WA 99337
Telephone and Fax (Pacific Time Zone, GMT minus 8 hours): 509.582.4548
VTAF TEFLON UPGRADE ORDERS:
VTAF Teflon Upgrade Kit: U.S. $36.00 including shipping and insurance.
The VTAF Teflon Upgrade will be factory installed if ordered in conjunction with a VTAF purchase.
VTAF TEFLON UPGRADE SHIPPING AND INSURANCE:
Worldwide shipping. No extra cost for shipping and insurance. Shipping and insurance are included in the purchase price of the VTAF TEFLON UPGRADE.
COUNTERWEIGHT FOR THE COMMON MAN (tm):
$90 USD in Lacquered Brass finish; $108 USD in Smokey Silver finish:
Pete Riggle Engineering and Audio is now offering the CCM (Counterweight for the Common Man), a structural upgrade for Rega tone arms. Images of the CCM in the standard Lacquered Brass finish and in the optional Smokey Silver finish can be seen in a continuously running ebay ad for the CCM. Go to the ebay home page and search on VTAF to find the ebay ad for the CCM.
We ship worldwide. Dealer inquiries are welcome. Contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone or fax at 1-509-582-4548.
The CCM (Counterweight for the Common Man) is mechanically similar and sonically equivalent to the Origin Live OL1 structural upgrade. The CCM structural upgrade differs from the OL1 structural upgrade in available finishes and in price. The beautiful finishes of the CCM match those of the Pete Riggle Engineering and Audio VTAF (pronounced vee-taff, VTA adjustment on the Fly, patent pending). At about half the price of the OL1 structural upgrade, the CCM is a real bargain, in keeping with the wonderful value present in the Rega RB250 arm and the Pete Riggle Engineering and Audio VTAF.
The Counterweight for the Common Man uses precision machined parts. Parts include a beautifully finished Alloy 360 brass counterweight, a non- magnetic stainless steel stub, a threaded non-magnetic stainless steel insert into the tone arm, a socket head cap screw securing the stainless steel stub to the rear of the tone arm, a flat point socket head set screw to secure the counterweight to the stub, and a conical washer under the head of the cap screw to allow the user to adjust the tension with which the stub is attached to the rear of the tone arm. An Allen wrench is included for assembly and stylus force adjustment. Machining and finish are of the highest quality.
Our ears tell us the performance of the CCM is equivalent to that provided by the OL1 structural upgrade . . . and we are great admirers of the Origin Live modified Rega 250. In the day of the $3000 U.S. tone arm it is easy to forget to remember what a great arm the OL1 is, especially when equipped with the Pete Riggle Audio VTAF, which provides another tremendous improvement to this already fabulous arm. Our OL1 is still sending us to heaven on a regular basis using a Denon 103L cartridge. Our OL1 counterweight has been replaced by the CCM to match the appearance of the VTAF.
Finish options for the counterweight proper are Lacquered Brass (protective lacquer over engine turned solid brass)or Smoky Silver (protective laquer over nickel plate over engine turned solid brass). Before final finishing the surface of the counterweight is faux engine turned for a rich appearance and durability, whether in Laquered Brass or Smokey Silver.
James Chee T. Loh, Rega RB300: The Counterweight for the Common Man is excellent, works very well. Sounds great on my Rega RB300.
Bernie Candy, Rega RB300: Just to let you know that having had your counterweight for a week or so, how impressed i am!! The humble P3 with an acrylic platter fitted, your CCM counter weight and The P6 Tonearm lead now sounds amazing! Your modification puts it into a different league altogether!! With your modification I suspect I would have to pay a small fortune to better the sound.
Greg Owen, Rega RB250: I love my CCM structural modification. It has really improved my Rega RB250.
Willie Chu: The CCM is quite beautiful to look at. It sounds better than my previous upgrade counterweight, which is the Expressimo Heavyweight. I think the improvement is due to the better arm stub provided with the CCM.
Gerard Paquet: Pete is a superb seller - friendly, helpful. CCM is as described. Fast shipping. Completely satisfied. Highly recommended!
The CCM is priced at $90 USD in Lacquered Brass and $108 USD in Smoky Silver. These are budget prices for decidedly non-budget construction, finish, and performance.
CCM Shipping and Insurance:
Shipping and insurance for the CCM is $7.20 U.S. to U.S. destinations, $9.60 USD to Canada, and $12.00 USD to Europe, Australia, and Asia.
Shipment will be by Priority Mail within the U.S. and by International First Class Mail (air) outside the U.S. Most shipments will take place within 24 hours of receipt of order.
No Questions Return Privilege:
The CCM may be returned for a full refund within 90 days of purchase.
Payment by PayPal is preferred, to the PayPal account of email@example.com . Payments shall be in U.S. funds. A money order, international money order, bank check, cashier's check, are acceptable. A personal check on a U.S. bank is acceptable. Mail check or money order to
2112 S. Olympia Street
Kennewick, WA 99337
Credit cards on U.S. banks are accepted by phone or fax to 1-509-582-4548. Shipment will be made when the payment clears.
ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT USED DURING VTAF DEVELOPMENT AND CONTINUING IMPROVEMENT OF THE VTAF AND RELATED PRODUCTS:
Listening sessions during development of the VTAF were conducted using Rega RB250 tone arms modified by Origin Live and Express Machine, mounted on Thorens? TD124, Thorens TD125 Mk. II, and Garrard 301 turntables, played through a Wright Audio Products AG phono stage, an integrated 845 single-ended tube amplifier designed and constructed by Pete Riggle Audio, the Yamamoto A-08 single ended 45 tube amplifer, and rear loaded single horn Ben loudspeakers by Cain&Cain? using Fostex? 208 Sigma loudspeaker drivers. Phono cartridges used during development were a Denon DL103 moving coil cartridge and a Grado Prestige cartridge. The recent addition of a Keith Herron VTPH mc phono stage has revealed even further the remarkable sound stage, imaging, inner detail, nuance, air, bass clarity, and musicality provided by the VTAF and the VTAF Teflon Upgrade.
SHIPPING AND INSURANCE:
WE SHIP WORLDWIDE! Shipping and insurance for the VTAF or the VTAF with TEFLON UPGRADE is $7.40 by Priority Mail within the United States. Outside the U.S. shipping and insurance will be by Air Letter Post. Shipping and insurance is $12.75 to Canada, $15.40 to Mexico, and $16.20 to the U.K., Europe, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, and most other destinations worldwide. All amounts stated are in U.S. dollars.
The preferred payment method is through PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org . Personal check, cashier?s check, or money order, accepted, payable to Pete Riggle. Credit card payments will be accepted by telephone (509/582-4548). The no-questions return period is 90 days. Sales tax of 8.3% will be added to sales sent to addresses in Washington State.
To discuss interest or concerns you may have regarding the VTAF? feel free to contact: Pete Riggle Engineering and Audio, 2112 South Olympia, Kennewick, WA, 99337, USA; telephone and fax 509/582-4548, email PeteRiggle@msn.com.