I have had other arms that were damped and the amount does make a difference but the effect on the sound depends on the cartridge and rest of the system, I never found any rule except experimenting till you have it the way you like it.
Many people have had experience with it, in this and other unipivots. In general too much damping sounds, well, like too much damping! Dull, slow, attenuated highs, sluggish, flat, undynamic etc. Too little damping sounds bright, aggressive, edgy, etc.
Also speaking in general, TINY changes in the amount of fluid are audible. I've heard differences on a Graham 2.2 by removing or adding the smallest amount possible using the point of a pin. The sweet spot for damping fluid, at least on that arm, is extremely tiny. This was true with 5 or 6 different cartridges. Each one needed a different amount, as Stanwal suggested, and it took experienced listeners hours, not minutes, to find the right amount for each one.
Most important, until you've optimized VTF, SRA/VTA and Azimuth, playing with fluid damping is putting the cart before the horse. You can't tell whether you need ANY fluid until you understand the basic behavior of a specific cartridge on a specific tonearm. Fluid damping, if any, should wait until you're confident all setup parameters are optimal.
I have the Vector 3 tone arm on my Basis TT, and have experimented with using different amounts of silicon fluid in the well, and to me the most balanced sound comes from when the fluid was at the bottom of the radial bearing as the instruction (AJ) told me to do. I find that when I have the arm sitting level on the sharp pointed stem, the flat surface underneath the arm should just touch the surface of the silicone fluid.. It shouldn't be submerged and drenched in the fluid.
The amount that AJ recommends should be the minimum amount to use. You can experiment with more but I wouldn't recommend using less.
I agree with Gslone and Dre, the Vector has to have damping fluid to work properly. Start with just enough to reach that vertical bearing.
Thanks for your responses,cartridge is a Koetsu red,I think maybe I need to experiment with the level,I am happy with VTA and VTF,azimuth is fixed,it's just a tad bright on some tracks,which I never noticed with the Koetsu on my previous VPI SSM.
Azimuth is adjusted for a level headshell at the factory. The adjustment location is on the lower right side of the pivot location toward the front. It's hidden below the rim of the damping fluid cup. I would not suggest adjusting it unless you are comfortable doing so. The adjustment if very sensitive as well.
If the koetsu is slightly bright, the two parameters I'd check would be VTA and phonostage loading. That is if you are sure VTF is correct, the alignment is right, the cartridge is secure in the headshell, and the damping fluid covers the bottom of the arm.
Phonostage is an ARC PH5,now fitted with the Russian Rocket tubes,used to use 500ohm on the VPI,have now set to 100,tracking at 1.9 grammes,as before,have been playing with the VTA this afternoon and that seems to be going in the right direction,have yet to settle on the optimum setting,but am getting there.
Thanks for your advice,whilst the arm is the easiest unipivot I have ever set up,fine tuning is another matter and not just the arm,with this arm fitted to the 2200,I found the prodigiuos bass masked the midrange on my speakers,fitting bungs in the ports has cured this.
I just got into vinyl and bought a Basis 2200 because it is proven winner and a well planned and made table. As i am not into tinckering too much, i am thinking and i might be alone in this, but i would think for a table at this price range and a company owner that devotes his livelihood to putting out the best product, i would think he would have already tried all fluid levels and went with what is the best for his tables to sound thier absolute best? IMHO.
Does anyone have a copy of the arm set up DVD they could copy for me,have tried the UK importer with no luck,would be willing to cover any cost.
I see it's been 2 1/2 months since your prior post, are you still having brightness issues on some LP's? Did you use the Mint LP for cartridge set up? Have you tried setting the SRA at 92* and adjusting VTF than anti skate to deal with brightness? I have a Vector 3 on a 2500 and find I have to make very small adjustments in VTA for some record, when I had the Vector 1 with a Koetsu Urushi Black the combo wasn't at all "bright". Next I would look at the tubes in the PH-5 and possibly just bite the bullet and get some Amperex 6922's or other NOS, non Russian tubes!!! A friend had a PH-3 SE and was amazed by the improvement when he switched to Amperex.
It is impossible to determine what would be the optimum amount of dampening for all the possible arm- cartridge combinations. It will at least partly depend on the rest of the owners system, room and taste. And even if it were possible, knowing audiophiles, some would violently disagree. I am sure if any of us make it to heaven [ highly doubtful LOL] God will be deluged with suggestions about how to improve the Heavenly Music.
Does anyone know where i can source the silicone fluid for the Vector 4 Tonearm ?
Have you tried a basis dealer?
You can also buy damping fluid directly from Basis. Just send them an e-mail.
Yes, but dealer do not carry stock of the damping fluid.
OK, will write to Basis directly. Thanks !
Anyone knows the viscosity grade for the Basis Vector 4 tonearm ?
Have written to Basis to purchase the damping fluid but yet to receive their reply.
Try, Galen Carol Audio.
One of my friends just bought a basis debut used here on Audiogon. He overfilled the sillicon too much. Now the sillicon is all over the tonearm ball bearing assembly. Is there any effective way to get the sillicon out of the bearing?