Linn Ittok Arm Adjustments

I don't have the manual for this arm and need a few answers.Height adjustment{VTA} how do I perform this task?Also setting the antiskate?
thanks mike
The VTA on the Ittok is set on the locking collar that looks like the base, that is attached to the arm board. There is an allen-head set screw on the side. When you loosen it, the arm can slide up-and down in the collar. For initial setting, set the arm level with the record. When you do this, do the adjustment with the arm locked in the arm-rest. Then check the adjustment by setting the stylus down onto a record. Do not adust when the stylus is on the record, or you risk breaking your stylus assembly. Once you get it level, and lock the set-screw, then play the record and see how the frequency balance is. If the bass is too boomy, and the highs and mids seem recessed, it is too low, raise it SLIGHTLY. It the highs are too harsh, mids too forward, and bass weak, lower it SLIGHTLY. Continue with this process until you achieve correct sound for your system. Sometimes it takes many tries to get it right.

Setting the anti-skate and tracking force are done on the dials. The large dial on the bearing housing sets the VTF, and the small dial near the arm rest sets the anti-skate. The VTF should be initially set in a mid-range of the cartridge makers recommendations, and the adjusted by ear for best tracking performance. The anti-skate is usually set at the same amount as the VTF for starters, and then adjusted for any channel balance differences from there.

Before doing this, make sure that the arm is "static balanced" with the cartridge in place, and cartridge aligned properly with a protractor. Then perform these other adjustments.

you recommend setting the arm level with the record. I am in the same predicament as "Heindmmoe," above. Am not sure exactly what you mean by "level with the record." Do you mean that, when placed on the record, that the arm should be parallel to the record surface? In which case, a bubble level, set on the tonearm (no, I wouldn't actually do that!) should indicate that it is level (assuming that the platter is also).

A possibly related matter: I recently bought my first 180gm LP and was shocked at the terrible sound. Because such LPs surely must be thicker that than "normal" ones, is it essential to adjust the VTA when playing such LPs? And should the tracking force also be adjusted?

Cpdunn, yes that's right. When the record is playing, the arm tube should be level with the record surface. But this is only the starting point. From there, you must tune it in by ear, using the method I described above. Some cartridges like a small amount of Positive VTA, which has the pivot end slightly higher than level, and some carts like a slight amount of Negative VTA, which has the pivot end slightly lower than level. You have to find what your cartridge likes.
Regarding the 180 gram LP's, this can change the VTA enough to change the sound of the system. This is why many audiophile tonearms have adjustable VTA, and some have adjustable on-the-fly VTA, while playing. It is due to the thickness of the record, and other records all have varying thicknesses too, so your VTA will change some with each record you play, and the sound of the system will change slightly also. You do not have to re-set the tracking force when changing VTA, unless you accidentally knock it out with your hand while doing the VTA adjustment.
Great, Twl! Thanks very much! My arm does, indeed, have that small amount of "positive VTA" to which you referred. I have a Goldring Excel VX on an Ittock LVII arm. So, the next question is, how does one know which cartridges like which VTA? And is the Goldring in the "positive VTA" group? Thanks again for your help. What is your consulation fee?!
Cpdunn, the knowledge of what cartridge likes what VTA setting is one of the "black arts" of the analog world. I only know some of them. It comes with alot of experience with different cartridges, over a long time. I haven't used any of the newest Goldrings, but the older models all liked a slightly positive VTA. It is likely that the new ones do also.

My consultation fee is that you enjoy your record collection as much as possible.
I might send an e-mail to John at Goldring and ask him about the VTA. He's been very helpful in other matters.

In another discussion forum, you recommended a Denon cartridge (I think the same one you use in your system) for this Ittock arm. Is my memory correct? As a factory-trained Linn guy, do you subscribe to the notion that Linn tables really sound best with Linn cartridges?

YES, I am thoroughly enjoying my record collection (except that most of my old LPs are in less than mint condition and maybe need a good cleaning).
I had an LP12/Ittok with both Asak and Karma cartridges for about 10 years. I really liked it. However, I would say that on my present TT, the Denon DL103R sounds as good, and probably better than the Karma. Pretty amazing, since the Karma was over $900, and the Denon cost me only $200! Of course, the Teres is a significantly better TT than my old Linn was, so there is some problem with a direct comparison. However, judging just the sound of the cartridges, I still think that the DL103R is at least a match for the Karma. It will work on an Ittok. It is a low output cartridge though, and you'll need suitable gain for its .27mv output. After you try one of these, you'll have a hard time justifying the cost of alot of high dollar cartridges. The R model is worth the extra money over the standard DL103.

hmmm.... tempting to give the Denon a try. I am currently using an EAR phono stage which has suitable gain and will be trying out a Blue Circle in the next week or so.