Add Headshell weight to track better?

I got a VPI scoutmaster and a Cartridge Man MusicMaker III, it sounds great but it's also picking up more surface noise than I would like. While doing some research I found that they are not exactly compatible. Would adding headshell weight allow it to track better and therefore pick up less surface noise?
In the 60's and 70's in college, the thing to do was to scotch tape a penny to the top of the headshell. I guess we don't do that anymore...

On a somewhat more serious note, I presume you've washed your records.

On a definitely more serious note, make sure your cartridge is aligned properly and the tracking weight is what the manufacturer of the arm or cartridge suggests. Beyond that I don't know if there is too much you can do. If you put enough weight on the headshell that surface noise is damped, you're also damping a lot of the other vibrational information in the record groove. You'll be significantly downgrading the performance of the table. Unfortunately, vinyl lovers have to put up with a bit of surface noise unless you want to replace the record with a new one, or a CD.
Howdy Toufu,

1) go do some resonance checking on:

2) It could just be that some added weight (but VERY little) could be of some help.
That could be if your arm resonance is out of the acceptable band (too high, my best guess).

3) And there's another suggestion entirely, but I promise it will work! Consider the use of a Step-Up transformer, my best guess is, your phono-pre does not have such.
Your cart has 0.4mV output so it can work with a low ratio trannie. Around 1:12 to be on the save side, 1:16 could still work without risking a phono-pre overload.

It will give you a number of benefits (not pocket though!) and reduced groove-noise is one, appart from greater dynamic range, detail etc. I've done it, so I speak from experience (mind, I don't sell any of the stuff either).

I tried my darntest to get reduced groove-noise, - I clean my records with a Hannl-MERA (best I know of). Only since having gone with an SUT can I say it is acceptable. A lot of groove-noise happens in the very high frequency band (Ultra sonic band) and what you hear are just the lower sub-frequencies/harmonics of all that pop and crackle mess. A properly set-up SUT will take care of a LOT of that, but of course not all!
Take care,
>>04-24-09: Axelwahl
Howdy Toufu,
And there's another suggestion entirely, but I promise it will work! Your cart has 0.4mV output so it can work with a low ratio trannie<<

Very bad suggestion and information.

The output is 4.0mV not 0.4mV
Audiofeil is right, the MusicMaker cartridges are designed to go directly into an MM phono stage. Inserting more gain (via SUT or otherwise) is likely to overload the phono inputs and cause increased distortion.

As to the original question, I doubt that adding a headshell weight will have much impact on surface noise. The MusicMaker is designed for low-mid mass tonearms, which is exactly what you've got (assuming JMW 9). Not sure where you got the idea they're a mismatch, but they're not obviously so by the specs.

1. Record cleaning, including effective fluids and vacuum pickup, as Markphd said. This is vital. There's no substitute.

2. Upgrade phono stage. Many phono stages (including virtually all inexpensive ones) exaggerate transients from surface irregularities. Switching to a higher quality, better built phono stage almost always reduces the sonic effects of each "click" and "pop".
Hi so sooooooooory,
I got this 0.4 mV from a website and it was obviously VERY wrong.
So SUT in NOT an option at all.
Please accept my apologies, and thanks for watching out with a pealed eye.
seems I got this cart just VERY wrong, can't even blame the web no more, so it must be entirely my fault.
And I sure got my private helping from Audifeil for being so daft.
Good to have some watch-dog about, catch out folks that don't have their act straight!

I truly had it to be a MC cart and it sure isn't one, we don't use these around my place so much, no excuse I know.
I will be more careful, 'cause it don't feel so good to make such silly mistakes, believe me.
Dear Toufu: Like Doug point-out a a Record Cleaning Machine is a must for you if you don't have it yet.

Other two issue could be on the cartridge set-up, specially on VTA and azymuth and in the load capacitance for that cartridge: you can try with changes here.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Even if the cartridge is not very sensitive to load capacitance. It could help too try change in loading impedance.