Listening for Proper VTA Setting

I had to take my old Eminent Technology 2 tone arm apart to replace a wiring harness.  It is back together now and sounds good, but I am paranoid about whether I have the adjustable VTA set properly.  If anyone could suggest any particular recordings or instruments to listen to refine the VTA setting or any visual clues I would really appreciate hearing about it.

Showing 1 response by ct0517

You have the only tonearm in existence - that I am aware of - with a patented system for adjusting VTA.
How it works - when you raise the armtube higher and lower - vertically - with the VTA lever, the worm gear system in the VTA block, at the same time pulls the arm tube in and out - horizontally - this keeps VTF and other settings intact.

Setting Initial VTA - VISUAL CLUE 1

Use the VTA lever to center the VTA in the middle of its range.

The Vertical Height of the tonearm is correct when the middle of the Air Bearing - See the Inscribed Line in the Manifold Casing - is at the record surface position.

That’s it. It’s that easy.

To make VTA adjustments

Start with cartridge/armtube level and adjust by ear.


If you are using the VTA dial - you can make a note of the VTA position for unique records
We know that American and European cutting machines used different vertical angle cuts. Included record angles. So there is not one right VTA setting, and everything is also affected much, by what is in each of our audio chains - speakers and the Room.
If you are set up properly you can do all the adjusting on the fly, as the record plays, and you listen to the music. I don’t use the VTA dial anymore and prefer to change settings by ear if a record seems off.


You will find many VTA tips at the ET 2 Tonearm Owners Thread.

Hope this helps King Harold and come say high at the ET2 thread linked above.

Some points from the ET 2 tonearm owners manual.

Not all cartridges will be improved by using them at some angle other than the intended design angle. the top of the cartridge parallel to the surface of the record.

If the measured vertical tracking angle of a cartridge is high (greater than 22 degrees) its vertical performance will probably be improved by tilting it back 2 or 3 degrees. (front goes up) to match present vertical angles on records.

If the measured vertical tracking angle of a cartridge is 18 -20 degrees it will probably perform best when its top is mounted mounted parallel to the record.

Some cartridges are sensitive to small changes in VTA, some are not.

Cheers Chris