I ordered Yips’ Mint LP Tractor after some suggestion by fellow ‘Goners when I was seeking advice for a cartridge upgrade for my VPI Scoutmater/JMW9. The cost was $110, which included the protractor (made specific for my TT/Arm combination), a lighted 3X magnifying glass, a 10X Lupe magnifying piece (an option), and insured shipping from Hong Kong to my home.
Yip communication was excellent and my Tractor arrived in about 2 weeks. I waited for a day when I had enough time to set up my new cart properly (an Zyx Airy 3), with no worries of being rushed. I made sure I had 4-6 hours to move my TT to a well lit area, level it, set it up, move it back to its’ “home”, re-level, and listen.
It turned out it only took me about 3 hours for the whole task. But I was still glad I was not rushed.
First I checked my alignment with the VPI alignment tool that came with my Scoutmaster. It was right on.
Using the Mint Tractor there was a slight variance. It took me a while to get the hang of how to hold and use the Lupe, relax my eyes, and perfect my work. It was tedious, but not miserable or overly dificult. The alignment is VERY ACURATE. It seems this is a tool for audiophiles who want perfection, as apposed to those who want a quick set up. Even so I believe a patient novice could use this tool and achieve perfection (thanks to Yips’ tips and photos). Most in this hobby should be willing to do the work (IMHO).
Boy, is it worth it. After setting my TT up back in its’ home and listening a bit I was rewarded with a new sound that is more relaxed, better defined, more detailed, smoother. It really maximized what my TT/Arm/Cart combination can do. The differences are both subtle and profound. This is a tool I will not do without. Thank you Yip for your wonderful product and great service.
Here is a link to Mint:http://mintlp.com/index.htm