Dynamic vs Static VTF on a SME V. Can someone explain the differences in sound?

I've been playing a bit with the percent of dynamic vs static VTF on my SME V. As noted in other posts, a mostly static VTF seems to be a bit faster, more transparent, but also leaner, flatter and less rich. A mostly dynamic goes in the other direction, richer, more textural, more bass, but somewhat less transparent and a bit slower. Now these differences are with using the exact same VTF measured with a good digital tonearm scale. Can someone explain the differences in sonics between the two? I would guess it must have something to do with physics.....as does everything......  :)

I have found that a combination of the two , in my system, gives me the best results, but as I said, I am curious as to why.



Its very simple - the dynamic VTF is dampening the stylus motion, reducing dynamics. The static does not.. By using a mix of both you are using less dampening than using dynamic balance only provides. 

The optimum very much depends on how flat your records are and arm/cartridge compliance matching. Listening is the best way to decide for yourself.


On another (current) thread, Evilteddie mentions that he has had his SMEV modified by SME so as to remove the dynamic tracking-force spring (effectively making it into a Series IV from that point of view). Assuming one's records are reasonably flat and thus static downforce is a good choice, what would you expect the advantage (if any) to be from having the spring device removed, over and above simply setting it to zero? Thanks


Agree with @mijostyn a subtle improvement. If you are chasing the ultimate, worth trying, but you need to be sure the mod is reversible, or else you will devalue the arm. You have to be sure also that you do not disturb the bearings.

We use to remove the VTF spring from Rega RB300's back in the day - definitely audible reduction of "mechanical noise" for want of a better description.

Personally I am not a fan of anything that dampens arms/cartridges, you will get a better result with good matching of arm and cartridge and careful set up.

Any dampening tends to slug the sound.


It would really be something to have done in the context of a general overhaul of the arm performed by SME. 


Yes I agree - if the SME V is older, a service from SME is well worth the time and money. They will bring everything up to standard, including new arm tube if required.

Dear @jim94025  : Normally dynamic VTF mechanism uses a spring and this fact make what @dover  posted: " audible  "mechanical noise" . This simple fact means that no matters what a static VTF set up using just the force of gravity will degrades less the cartridge signal.

Normally going against the  gravity's force is not good in a tonearm because there is no true flat LP surfaces : always exist waves at micro and macro levels and in the dynamic VTF the tonearm will be try to mantain always the same tracking force level and this says that during the tracking of a wave in the high crest the cartridge suspension is suffering/distressing changing too the VTA. The static VTF permits that that happens in more gentle way with lower suspension distress. Maybe under some specific scenarios the dynamic VTF could help in some way to the cartridge tracking but as always been staic or dynamic exist trade offs. I prefer to use the gravity's force in this specific VTF issue.


Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,