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geoffreyc's picture
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Tonearm 'Spacers' -Essential?
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Finally made my mind up and about to order a Rega RP6 (undecided as yet between Ortofon 2M Blue or Goldring 2500 cartridges)

Sold my beloved Linn LP12 several years ago along with a large part of my LP collection and have been trying to research on setting the RP6 up when it arrives. Am puzzled about the use of 'spacers' to raise the height of the tonearm though - am I correct in saying that the RB303 arm has no height adjustment mechanism?

Would the use therefore of spacers be absolutely essential (depending upon cartridge of course) I don't fancy having to remove the tonearm on a new turntable to fit a spacer or possibly change to a different one in the future when I upgrade cartidges'

Any help/advice much appreciated.

 

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They're really not that hard

They're really not that hard to fit, and the arm is easier to remove and refit he you think. And while most cartridges should be fine, some cartridges will need spacers.

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

"Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light"

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It's easy mate, order the

It's easy mate, order the Rega metal one, I fitted a 10x5 to my RP6 and my arm is level, btw hope you enjoy the tt

Michell Gyrodec, RB303, Benz Micro Ace H, Icon Audio ST40 w/KT88s, PS1 Phono, Kudos X2, Rega Apollo R, DAC

 

 

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RE: Tonearm 'Spacers' -Essential?

Judging from the photos of the RP6 that I viewed, your arm has the three point mount.

If this is the case, Rega makes a spacer ring offering fout sstages of height adjustment, 2mm, 4mm, 6mm, and 8mm in one piece. There are four different height blocks for each of the three feet. You simply install the piece between arm and armboard, rotate the ring to get the height that wou want, and use the three (longer) screws supplied with the kit to remount the arm with spacer on your arm board.

Here's what it looks like:

 

[URL=http://s248.photobucket.com/user/andyo5/media/drums/_DSC4390_2.jpg.html][IMG]http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg166/andyo5/drums/_DSC4390_2.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

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RE: Tonearm 'Spacers' -Essential?

You can also use one of these for finer adjustment: http://www.michell-engineering.co.uk/tonearms/new-rega-3-point-vta-adjuster/

I have one on mine — not yet had time to play with adjustment though.

 

Am considering drilling through and using bolts instead of self tapping screws. Possibly using inserts in the bottom of the plinth.

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RE: Tonearm 'Spacers' -Essential?

Interesting pdf download here  http://www.rega.dk/artikler_files/rega_on_vta.pdf by Roy Gandy about the subject of VTA.

Have heard the Ortofon 2M Black and Dynavector 10X5 cartridges both with and without spacers recently and (maybe its just my ears but the dealer who demonstrated the kit was of the same opinion) neither of us could discern any difference using RP6/Rega arm. (IF using Rega arm with another make of deck maybe a different story though)  

I know its a very controversial topic though, but I'll be using my RP6 probably with the Ortofon 2M Black sans spacers!

 

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RE: Tonearm 'Spacers' -Essential?

A general guideline is that the arm should appear to be level or tipped up slightly at the cartridge end when playing a record.

There are some folks who think that VTA is so important, that they adjust it for each record they play. Way more work than I want to do.

I tried varying VTA on my RB900 by putting first one, then two, then three records under the one that was playing. I could not hear a difference. But I am 64 years old and my hearing is less good than it was. Maybe you would hear a difference. I did not.

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RE: Tonearm 'Spacers' -Essential?

I always wondered why nobody made platter spacers — shim the arm up high then adjust the spacers under the record to suit.

Not for me — for those "crazy" people Smile

 

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RE: Tonearm 'Spacers' -Essential?

Has anyone thought, 'a that will do set up' might smear the resusults of what you are hearing to the point the 'smear' might be enough to not be able to decern the differance, one would therefor, unknowing, accept a wide compromise?  Where as, a very finly tuned turntable/arm/cartridge combination might show the differances?

I have a much tuned and modefied P5 with an Audio Mods arm that is infinitly VTA adjustable.  I can clearly hear 0.5mm changes, there is the question of the stylus, perhaps certain type of cartriges/stylus show the differances more?

I am a VTA believer, my ears tell me it is a required adjustment, however, I get it right and then leave well alone for weeks, even months and enjoy the music.

CJSF

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RE: Tonearm 'Spacers' -Essential?

I am with CJSF on this one. I've played around for years with VTA on Rega's and a few other makes of arm / turntable and believe I can hear very slight differences but only on the more expensive cartridges that I have tried. Perhaps it is a fact that certain 'cuts' of stylii are more succeptable, I don't know for sure. I certainly would not spend ages worrying about it - just play the music. Smile

 

Motto: Never pay full price for anything, there is always room to haggle!

Tom Evans Audio Design amplification / Acoustic Zen speakers.

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RE: Tonearm 'Spacers' -Essential?

I heard a Gyrodec/RB300 combination during the summer that a friend was selling - he used a spacer on that (think 2mm) We both agreed there was some difference to the sound with and without spacer (Ortofon 2M Black cartridge), but of course that was with a Rega arm on another manufacturers deck, personally after the dem I had the other week (at least to my cloth ears) were there was no discernable improvement with a spacer using Rega deck/Rega arm and the two cartridges that I have previously mentioned. Its an argument that will probably have no definitive conclusion while they still make turntables!

There is a very interesting article here if anybody would like to read it:-

http://www.tnt-audio.com/sorgenti/vta_e.html

 

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RE: Tonearm 'Spacers' -Essential?

geoffreyc wrote:

I heard a Gyrodec/RB300 combination during the summer that a friend was selling - he used a spacer on that (think 2mm) We both agreed there was some difference to the sound with and without spacer (Ortofon 2M Black cartridge), but of course that was with a Rega arm on another manufacturers deck, personally after the dem I had the other week (at least to my cloth ears) were there was no discernable improvement with a spacer using Rega deck/Rega arm and the two cartridges that I have previously mentioned. Its an argument that will probably have no definitive conclusion while they still make turntables!

There is a very interesting article here if anybody would like to read it:-

http://www.tnt-audio.com/sorgenti/vta_e.html

 

I think that tell you somthing . . . ? the more sophisticated you get, the more small changes become important and audible.

It also throws a '?' over just what and/or how much are you actualy hearing at the budget/lower end of the TT market . . .  :? 

CJSF

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RE: Tonearm 'Spacers' -Essential?

If you read my post again I said there was 'some difference' to the sound from the Gyrodec with/without the spacer I didn't say it was better with the spacer - I wouldn't say the difference was significant, it certainly didn't improve my listening enjoyment.

More like six of one and half a dozen of the other, and I could quite happily live with the sound reproduced either way.

I think the conclusion of all this is that we should make buying/upgrade decisions based on what we hear ourselves, if someone perceives that adding a 1 or 2mm spacer improves sound quality then great, for me though it doesn't (at least not with the kit that I've heard to date)

Am currently waiting for my RP6 - can't wait!

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RE: Tonearm 'Spacers' -Essential?

geoffreyc wrote:

If you read my post again I said there was 'some difference' to the sound from the Gyrodec with/without the spacer I didn't say it was better with the spacer - I wouldn't say the difference was significant, it certainly didn't improve my listening enjoyment.

More like six of one and half a dozen of the other, and I could quite happily live with the sound reproduced either way.

I think the conclusion of all this is that we should make buying/upgrade decisions based on what we hear ourselves, if someone perceives that adding a 1 or 2mm spacer improves sound quality then great, for me though it doesn't (at least not with the kit that I've heard to date)

Am currently waiting for my RP6 - can't wait!

I did read your post carfully enough to pick up on your point.  I am sugesting not catigoricaly stating . . . 

You are right of course, what I like as a sound other may not . . . However, this does not change the fact, 'there is a change to be heard' . . . and I would sugest it is more audible as you get more sophisticated equipment?

CJSF

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RE: Tonearm 'Spacers' -Essential?

My point exactly. If you are up in the realms of real hifi turntables and £1000+ cartridges you might very well be a bit more critical about VTA and, quite probably, the arms will have adjustments for this inbuilt - a la Audiomods and various others.

 

Motto: Never pay full price for anything, there is always room to haggle!

Tom Evans Audio Design amplification / Acoustic Zen speakers.

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RE: Tonearm 'Spacers' -Essential?

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