Fine tuning: Airy3 on DPS

I recently received my Schroder DPS arm and mounted my Airy 3 (LO). For those who have this combo:
a) anyone use damping as optionally indicated in the manual
b)where does VTA end up for best sound? Back slightly below horizontal? Any experience in fine tuning this combo appreciated. I have the ebony version, only 2 ever made.
Nice combo! Congratulations.

IME a good starting VTA point for a ZYX can be set as follows: view the cartridge from the side. You'll see a ridge running the full length of the acrylic body just above the bottom of the cartridge. That ridge should typically be level or VERY SLIGHTLY nose down. Adjust by ear from there.
That's good information, thanks!
I noticed how sensitive the Airy3 is to improper VTA.
The Schroder (on my Garrard 301) is very revealing and thus facilitates this dialing in.
Greetings from the house of Galibier,

Play around with the tightness of the screw that locks down the counterweight. Frank has shown me that in most cases a *very* light touch is required on this screw. You'll get a more live sound this way - not ringing or "ragged" in any sense, but more dynamic - similar to what you hear by separating the magnets a bit.

Keeping the counterweight screw barely tight allows you to use more damping on the magnets (closer spacing) so that the arm tracks dynamic passages more gracefully. If you keep the counterweight screw too tight, you will find yourself opening up the magnet gap more to compensate for the lost dynamics. The problem with this is that you won't track dynamic passages as well.

All of this is not very obvious, and even if you don't do it, you have an incredible sounding tonearm. If you pay this last bit of attention, you'll be making better sound than most owners, and many dealers.

Similarly, with many cartridges, the tightness of the central headshell screw (the hex screw) can be used to tune the dynamics. It's a surprisingly loose setting - almost to the point where you feel as if the cartridge can get moved out of position with a gentle twist. If you play with these two settings you'll know more about your Schroeder than 98% of the owners out there.

ZYX cartridges without any of the factory weights - use the brass cartridge carrier (adds 5 gms).

Thanks for that guidance, Thom.
I find it hard to understand how the tightness of a counterweight grub screw can be so influential. But I shall try it asap.
Doug, what loading does the Airy prefer in your experience?
I currently am running 300 ohms, but maybe I should go down to 100.

If you're running into a high gain phono stage (no transformers) then IME 100 ohms is ABOUT right. Every system is unique however. In one (slightly bright) system an Airy 3 wanted something a bit lower than that. I haven't heard one in any system where 300 ohms was right, though YMMV of course.

In any system, be prepared for changes during the break-in period. If you've read my review you'll remember that our Airy 3 needed 6 or 8 progressively lower impedance settings during the first 100 hours. Don't be surprised if what sounds well-balanced today becomes too bright tomorrow. Our Airy 3 did that repeatedly. Be patient, it's worth it, but don't expect any adjustment to hold until you have at least 100 hours on the cartridge.

The sign of full break-in is a sudden and startling integration and extension of soundstaging, imaging and air plus a reduction of grain in the upper mids and treble. When those things happen the cartridge's impedance needs should remain stable and the adjustments Thom suggested should hold for longer than a few hours or days.

Enjoy the ride!