First Table Setup: Org. VPI Scout

Ok I finally landed the VPI Scout off the GON. Now the realization that I need to either pay a non VPI dealer to align the Orfoton Blue or do it myself. Plain and simple I don't trust the dealer and I need to learn so here we go.

I have read through the process with the help of some threads but I have some questions.

I figure I a need tracking force scale, VPI JWM Tonearm alignment jig, level and print out of a protractor.

Do I need to buy a real protractor?
Do I need to buy a test record?
Should I get the Mike F. Stereopile Video?
Will the cart orfoton blue come with washers as to not mar the heads shell when tightened?

I want to set it up reasonable well but not trying to spend more than I have to to get a good result.


The link you posted states

"Overhang and offset angle adjustment must be performed with the aid of a precision mechanical instrument."

What do you suggest I use for this?
""Overhang and offset angle adjustment must be performed with the aid of a precision mechanical instrument."

Use the alignment jig that comes with the scout. Its not hard to do. You just have to be careful when working with the TT, so you don't damage anything. But you should have no problem setting it yourself. Just take your time.

I didn't buy the table from him. He does not carry VPI. He is the kind of guy who will tell you anything he does not sell is not good. Plus a lot of other issues. I just don't think he has an interest to do it right.
I would be more than happy to set it up for you for free, if you are close to northern Colorado?

I have major extensive experience and all of the tools needed.

Just let me know.
You can spend a little and get very good results if you've got steady hands and take your time. It's not rocket science. There are at least two good free protractors I'm aware of and have used with good results. The Vacuum State protractor works very well and is my preference. One thing that will help a lot is to block the turntable platter from rotating while you are doing this. Take a glob of blu-tack or something similar and chock it between the platter and the plinth to block it in place. As far as a scale goes, an inexpensive Shure balance scale works fine for your Ortofon. A more expensive digital scale is more accurate but the Shure will be fine for now. If you are obsessively worried about marking up your headshell with mounting hardware, you can buy small nylon washers from well stocked hardware stores that can go between the screws and headshell. However, an obsessive cartridge setup guru will tell you that nylon washers will compromise optimal coupling of the cartridge and might degrade your sound. A test record is a nice thing to have but isn't essential IMO.
Thanks MoFi but I don't live near you. Love CO though.

I appreciate the explanation and link Photon46.
If you are in/near Scottsdale, Arizona, I have the tools and can assist your doing the setup.
The Fremer video is excellent- very helpful in explaining setup on a VPI Scoutmaster which is very similar to your Scout.
Thanks for the tip. I don't think the video is on there but I did find some of him setting up tables which greatly helped. This plus some of the other sites have given me some confidence.

Plus I have learned so much about turntable design and different tables ability to control or not control aspects of setup. VPI no anti skating. Rega no VTA without spacers and different methods of controlling distortion. Interesting how rega uses a system few others use to kill distortion at the end of the record.

Yeah this was a good investment of a couple of hours.
If you don't have a Soundsmith "Counterintuitive" my tip for getting the VTF and azmuith (sp?) correct is to get the VTF close but a little heavier than what is recommended. Then swivel the counterweight to get the azmuith correct and tighten down the set screw (this will invariably alter the VTF) but no matter. Then using rubber o-rings found at the local Home Depot slide as many over the counterweight stub as you need to bring the VTF to exactly where you want it. It makes the set up much less frustrating...