Mint Protractor for the Classic Toneram 10.5i-SE

Does anyone with using a Mint made for this particular tonearm know what parameters Yip used to create it? Specifically, the mounting distance (Pivot to Spindle) and overhang? I saw some posts on here that suggested he uses 259 mm, which is not correct as the P-S is 262 mm. I emailed Yip but no response so far. Thanks.
For the VPI Classic 1,2 and 3 series and the 10.5i series, Mike at VPI has confirmed the correct S2P distance is 258mm for an effective length of 273mm.
Yes agreed mine is 258mm as well Classic 3. There is a caveat, if you completely remove the tonearm base, there is a bit of play with the 3 screws and the Plinth, you could move it one way or the other by 1mm or so. I think that is where the 1mm confusion comes from. But that is about it. About 1mm of play based on the pressure you put on the tonearm base as you tighten up the 3 tonearm base screws against the plinth. So based on the pressure you could get 259mm instead of 258mm by applying pressure as you tighten up the screws and you apply the pressure.

Those numbers are definitely incorrect. I measured the S2P distance and it's precisely 262 mm. This is what VPI used to have posted on their website a few years ago before they took it down. It is definitely not 258 mm, unless S2P is not the distance between the sharp pivot point and the center of the spindle, which it should be.

Also, the effective length is not 273 mm. Based on the VPI protractor, it is probably 278 mm. I reset my cartridge last night using the Mint protractor and measured what looked like 277 mm, but that's way more tricky than measuring S2P so I might be a millimeter off. When I reset the alignment using the VPI jig the effective length is about an extra millimeter compared to the Mint. These measurements are essentially the same as in this excellent and very informative article on Vinyl Engine on the VPI tonearm geometry This is the reason why I inquired about the parameters Yip is using as there is a lot of confusion about data for VPI tonearms.
Actusreus, I suggest calling VPI. After reading your post, I recalled my email from VPI and my info is correct based on the email from Mike.

With respect to the MintLP, Yip fabricates the protractor based on the information that the "end user" provides him. VPI has confirmed that the info on Vinyl Engine is wrong. I would not be surprised to learn that a lot of MintLP protractors have a S2P distance of 262 based on the incorrect info on VE.

VPI has also confirmed that the overhang is 15mm, therefore, just add that to the S2P distance to get your effective length. S2P 258mm + 15mm = 273mm effective length.

Again, all of the above info comes directly from VPI
I suggest the absolute best way to be sure is to measure yours, that is what I did. Ensure that you account for height, you want the pivot and spindle to be at the same height as much as possible. I measured from the center of the spindle to the point of the pivot, with the tonearm off of the pivot. Mine was 258mm. But like I said in my post, it is possible to get a 1mm difference based on pressure applied during the tonearm base install to the plinth. Since I have taken my tonearm base off a number of times, I ensure that when I re-install, I use a ruler to ensure I get 258mm, as I am tightening up the 3 tonearm base screws. Yip will make the protractor based on your specs, the only measurement he needs is the Spindle to pivot distance, the rest is derived.
He uses the Baerwald (identical to Löfgren A) - minimizes and equalizes distortion at the three weighted tracking error peaks resulting in moderate distortion between the inner and outer grooves.
If you type in your Spindle to pivot distance on this website and look at Baerwald this is what you will get from Yip.

BTW, I have the MINTLP from Yip configured at 258mm, Baerwald, and think it is well worth the investment.

If your measurement is yielding 262mm then I would go with that for the protractor, since it is quite possible the holes in your plinth were drilled differently than mine resulting in the bigger difference from spindle to pivot. The most important is your measurement, accounting for height, not what a database says, since your plinth holes might be drilled a little differently than mine.
I confirm Brf and Captain above with the measurements. I sweated this one out too on the forums and you can probably find the threads in a search. Yip made a Mint for my Classic using these specs and it has worked out great. Yes, it ends up being different than the VPI jig because the geometry Yip uses is a bit different. Which one is correct? Only you can determine, but the Mint works great and will improve your sound due to the accuracy of set up. Yip is a true gentleman and his customer service is outstanding considering he is in Hong Kong. See my earlier thread on this topic. I got 259 mm on my spindle to pivot distance (not 258). Yip confirmed this as correct and that his standard protractor will work. You should measure again to be sure. Be sure the center of the zero line on your ruler rests in the center of the spindle, then put your ruler over the top point of the bearing without stabbing yourself on it (it is sharp). Make your measurement with your sight line straight and clear. You can't be off a mm as you say you might be. You have to measure exactly. Contact VPI if you need more specifics on how to measure.
The VPI jig will produce a different null point than the MintLP because VPI does not use one the 3 generally accepted geometries. Also, the VPI jig is expandable and is not fixed in length; therefore, it is absolutely useless in determining or measuring the correct S2P distance. The S2P distance must be first calculated correctly, and then the VPI jig is adjusted around the bearing housing and spindle.
Brf (and Captain_winters),
Thanks for your responses. A couple of things. VPI is notorious for being all over the place with their specs. Why do you assume that the info Mike gave you is correct? Get a ruler and measure the S2P distance on your Classic and see what you get. As I said, if the distance is from the sharp pivot point to the center of the spindle, as it should be, it is dead on 262 mm on my Classic.

Further, I find it funny that "VPI has confirmed that the info on Vinyl Engine is wrong." The info in the article was based on what VPI posted on their website, which they later took down, and on the measurements of their jig done by owners. So VPI has confirmed that their own info is wrong? This actually does make sense as when it came to the null points, the math simply did not work, but it just shows the lack of consistent data from VPI.

My Mint appears to have an overhang of 15 mm, but your math only works if S2P is 258 mm, which it is not, at least on my Classic. Plus, with an alignment done with the Mint, I get an effective length of 277, which again confirms that the S2P distance is 262, not 258 mm. I can't argue with the ruler. Since aligning with the VPI jig requires moving the stylus about a millimeter further out, the specs would be even more removed from what VPI is saying.

I suggest that you simply measure both S2P and the distance between the pivot and the tip of the stylus to determine what you get. Either Mike is incorrect, different Classics (as in 1,2,3,4) have different tonearm specs, or VPI is sloppy with their mounting. But we still don't know what specs Yip is using for the Classic protractor...

EDIT: I just saw the other posts. Something is definitely not right here, as the numbers do not work for me. I'm certainly not 3-4 mm off.
Actusreus, I don't own a VPI Classic table. I asked VPI about the S2P distance in order to mount a VPI JMW Classic 3 arm on another table.

A friend of mine just purchased a Classic 3 and his S2P is 258mm.

Thanks for the link to the alignment calculator; it's a great tool!

Perhaps it wasn't very clear, but I already have a Mint protractor for the Classic tonearm. I got it a few years ago, but don't have the emails I exchanged with Yip. It wasn't made specifically for my tonearm in a sense that I did not provide him with S2P; he already had stock protractors for the Classic as they were very popular. I believe they were a bit cheaper or the wait was shorter, or something like that. I wanted to confirm with others who use the protractor what S2P Yip used to make theirs since it should be the same specification. Doing research, I saw the 259 mm figure and after I measured mine, I began to question whether I should even be using the Mint, if it is indeed based on a different S2P than mine.

I will try to measure it again, just to make sure. Btw, how different do you find the alignment with the Mint vs. the VPI jig in terms of the stylus position on the grid? For me, the offset angle is identical, but the stylus is about 1 mm further out with the VPI jig.
I used Feickert Protractor to measure S2P distance on my VPI Classic 3 and I got 258 as well. I tried both VPI protractor and MintLP and slightly prefer Mint's result as well.
I looked back at my email with Yip and he did not mention what he used for my JMW 10.5i arm (I ordered his mintLP while I still have Classic I, I use the same protractor for my Classic 3 now, assuming that it would be the same).
Interesting, I optimize my VTA the realign with the MINTLP. For my cartridge I have 9 turns on the VTA tower. I then realign with the MINTLP with the 9 turns on the VTA tower, that ensures I am right on with the arc protractor at my optimal VTA. I just checked the Jig, with the same 9 turns, and the stylus is still within the dot, but towards the back of the dot, towards the pivot. It is not centered on the dot. Of course if I lower the VTA the stylus moves up, so I could change the VTA and make it come right on. Bottom line, when the MINTLP is right on, with my 9 turns on the VTA tower, I am towards the back of the dot on the VPI jig.
Would it be possible for you to compare the position of the stylus on the VPI grid with the alignment using the Mint? If your cartridge was aligned with the Mint, all you have to do is position the VPI jig and observe where the stylus lands on the grid. This would go a long way toward clarifying the specs on my Classic. Thanks!
Using VPI alignment, the tip of the stylus would be
between 0.5-1mm behind mint protractor. I am having a bit of a difficulty as my VPI protractor has a bit more wiggle room than Feickert protractor when seated on the platter so
there is going to be a little bit of give and take here.
Captain_winters, you are right. I was wondering about the same thing as I recalled that when I first got mint protractor, I thought that mint required me to move the cartridge backward a notch as well. Anyhow, my VPI protractor was not quite setup properly. I never used this protractor actually since my local dealer used his VPI protractor to setup my table initially then after awhile, I used mint protractor to readjust the cartridge again which I liked the result better. Anyhow, so I took out the arm and readjusted VPI protractor again to make sure I get the right lenght where the protractor snug up against the armbase with as little wiggle room as possible. After doing that, the tip of the stylus that is alligned right on the line with mint protractor sits pretty much on the back edge of the dot on VPI protractor. However, this is with VTA adjusted to the sound that I like using mint protractor, since VPI protractor is thinner, the actual point may be different yet again.
The VPI jig wants more overhang. Using the calculator:
MINTLP uses Lofgren A (Baerwald) the overhang is 15.025mm. Maybe the VPI jig is using Lofgren B the overhang is 15.422mm

Löfgren B - minimizes distortion between the inner and outer grooves resulting in the lowest average RMS distortion at the expense of slightly higher distortion close to the inner and outer grooves
Thank you both. I appreciate your responses!

Interesting points about the VTA. I must say I get a headache thinking about compensating for the actual difference in thickness while listening to records after aligning with the Mint. Since the Mint is thicker, every time you re-align, you will necessarily be changing the VTA/SRA at the record level, which would in turn alter the arc followed by the stylus in comparison with the Mint arc. Perhaps if you could hear what the Mint sounds like at that thickness, you could then readjust by ear. Confusing!

Anyway, for me the difference seems to be about a millimeter between the two alignments, which perhaps tells me that my S2P is after all slightly bigger than the standard 258 mm.

Last question: what is the overhang on your Mints?

Thanks guys!
I've convinced myself that the MINTLP uses IEC standard Lofgren A (Baerwald), which at 258mm results in 15.025mm. The Lofgren B IEC standard comes out to 15.422mm which might be the difference between the MINT and the VPI jig. It looks pretty close to a half a mm. The VPI jig wants more overhang which is consistent with Logren B.
Of course non of this solves your problem of 262mm spindle to pivot. Might I suggest you download Conrad Hoffman's program and print out IEC Lofgren A at 262 and compare it to your MINT protractor. I suspect your MINT is either 258mm or 259mm, since both of those numbers were used in the past. You could also print out a 258 and 259 and check those against your MINT and then you would be sure of what you have. Ultimately though you might consider using Hoffmans printout at 262, since that is you spindle to pivot distance.
On the VTA question I convinced myself that the MINT protractor is the thickness of a standard record. Therefore with your VTA set and alignment to the MINT your standard records will be "on the arc". Based on my measurements you need 50 units on the VTA tower UP to compensate for 180 gram records. So for standard thickness records you are good, for 180 gram raise your VTA tower by 50 units.
One more point about MINTLP and classic spindle. The spindle gets a little fatter as it meets the platter the last half mm or so. That is why my MINTLP never was flush on the platter, also why it seems thicker than it really is. What I did was countersink the back of the spindle hole of the protractor with a bigger hole, using my drill and drill bit. You have to go about half way through the hole, once you do that, the protractor will sit flush on the platter. It takes a while because it is glass, but it worked for me without cracking the glass, and I just used a standard bit. With that complete and the protractor sitting flush you can convince yourself it is the thickness of a standard record.

First off, I'm going to put my tail between my legs and admit I was wrong about the S2P distance. After re-measuring it again with great care and a friend's help, it is indeed 258 mm. I think I didn't account for the difference in the height angle between the spindle and pivot.

Now, the info you provided is awesome, and pretty much what I've found as well. I do believe Yip uses Bearwald so the overhang should indeed be close to 15 mm as you stated. I think VPI uses their own geometry, which is close to Lofgren B, but not exactly it. The Vinyl Engine article I linked to explains it in more detail. A few years ago I had a conversation regarding protractors with Mike, and if I recall correctly, he said the VPI jig was designed to minimize distortion in the last 1/3 of the record.

As far as the Mint not fitting over the spindle, I initially had some difficulty fitting it as well, but after working it a little, it eventually went all the way down snugly and now fits perfectly. I guess it does not matter now since you fixed it anyway.

Once again, thank you all, especially Captain_winters, for your feedback and contribution to this thread. There is a lot of great info in it that will hopefully help many others.
Great news I am glad it is 258mm, yes the height makes a big difference. The spindle to pivot distance should be measured on the same horizontal plane.
As another point, after you dial in your VTA, realign with the MINT, otherwise your stylus will not be on the ARC. And all that work to get your stylus perfect is in vain. VTA changes make a big difference on the MINTLP, as you increase the VTA height, you will need to pull the cartridge forward to compensate, and keep the stylus on the arc.
Ken Willis makes a custom protractor (Accutrak) for any specific application. Just send him the model turntable and tonearm and also measure the pivot to spindle distance. Manufacturing tolerances vary by a millimeter or two since most table/arm combos are assembled by hand and not on an assembly line. Get a metal ruler from harbor freight for a couple of dollars and measure the distance.
Your question was answered in the first post with the source cited and you completely dismissed it as wrong and slammed the poster. Later, it was confirmed that the S2P info on VE was incorrect based on info provided by VPI and again you refuted the claim.

Twenty posts later, you learn how to use a ruler and now decide that the first post was correct and that the info on VE is wrong. Thanks for contributing to the confusion by vehemently stating facts that were indeed wrong.

Why are you so angry? The only "slamming" in this thread was your tirade that brought nothing to the discussion. But thank you for telling us that apparently you're having a bad day, or are an angry man in general, or both.

At worst, I criticized VPI for providing inconsistent data, which is understandably frustrating and nothing new. The Classic tonearm WAS mounted with a S2P of 262 mm at some point, and Ken Willis still makes two protractors for the Classic tonearm based on two different S2P distances (258 and 262 mm, not to mention Yip who apparently uses 259 mm) so my skepticism was valid, and measuring can be tricky. I have no problem with a manufacturer changing specs on their product, but a heads-up for the customers would be nice (e.g., through adding an identifying symbol when a product is changed). The very tonearm in question is a good case in point as good luck finding its true effective mass, and which version you actually have if you're a Classic turntable owner - aluminum, steel, a combination, a combination with more damping? So yes, I did dismiss the data provided by VPI based on my experience, but did not slam the poster.

Similarly, to say that the article on Vinyl Engine was based on the wrong info is just nonsense as when it came out it was based on the specs released by VPI and on the measurements of their own jigs. The article might have less substantive validity today after VPI apparently changed some of their specs, but it certainly makes a valid point regarding lack of transparency and confusing information from the manufacturer. I love my turntable, and think VPI is a great company, but I wish they made it a bit less frustrating for owners of their products in this hobby where great accuracy is the key to the desired goal of faithful music reproduction.

In the end, all was clarified, and I see no confusion, just a lot of good info and a cordial discussion. That is until you decided to change that. So thank you very much sir. I hope you feel better now.
Have your read your response to those who politely responded to you.

Brf, those numbers are definitely incorrect. I measured the S2P distance and it's precisely 262 mm. This is what VPI used to have posted on their website a few years ago before they took it down. It is definitely not 258 mm

Also, the effective length is not 273 mm

Why do you assume that the info Mike gave you is correct? Get a ruler and measure the S2P distance on your Classic and see what you get.

Get a ruler and measure the S2P distance on your Classic and see what you get. As I said, if the distance is from the sharp pivot point to the center of the spindle, as it should be, it is dead on 262 mm on my Classic.

I get an effective length of 277, which again confirms that the S2P distance is 262, not 258 mm. I can't argue with the ruler.

A basic understanding of geometry will tell you that a 4mm difference in the S2P distance cannot be achieved between a level and non level tone arm (unless we are talking about the VTA tower being adjusted upwards by inches and not mm).

You asked a question and then proceeded to argue and discount the responses from seasoned Audiogon members who know a few things about VPI tables. I don’t have a problem with questions, but you always answered in the definitive when in fact you were wrong.

You took select quotes from several of my posts out of context to prove something that I'm not quite sure is relevant to anything except to fuel some sort of a forum feud. I guess you forgot to quote from the posts where I admitted I was embarrassed by insisting on my wrong position, and openly thanked posters personally for their input. If Brf felt offended by me calling into question information he got from VPI, I'm sure he was more than capable of expressing himself, and he does not need you to advocate for him.

Look, it's a hobby forum where members come to get information, clarify information, exchange information, ideas, and express their, sometimes strong, opinions. In my opinion this is precisely what occurred in this thread and no lines were crossed, and apparently nobody except you had their sensitivities offended, which is rather absurd considering you were not even a part of it until now. I sincerely admitted I was wrong, and sincerely thanked all for their feedback and great info, including personal thanks. What else do you want me to do? If you give me your address, perhaps I can come over and give you a foot massage. Would that make you happy? Ridiculous.
You just don’t get it.

It is okay to post a question and challenge a response, but “your” challenge was never in the form of a query, but merely refuting the answers and never wavering on your original thought.

You got an answer in the first post, and instead of saying, “are you sure, because mine measures differently” you simple state “those numbers are definitely incorrect”.

So, what did we learn?

1) Classic JMW S2P distance is 258mm,
2) Overhang is 15mm,
3) Effective length is 273mm
4) Info on VE is wrong

So everything you originally claimed was wrong.

So, what did we learn?

1) Classic JMW S2P distance is 258mm,
2) Overhang is 15mm,
3) Effective length is 273mm
4) Info on VE is wrong

Are you really so obtuse? Or do you have reading comprehension problems?

1) Classic JMW also came with an S2P of 262 mm so my belief was not baseless or impossible.
2) I did not argue about overhang.
3) Effective length is 273 mm for S2P of 258 mm, but would be different for 262 mm.
4) The info on VE was not wrong when the article came out, and is still correct with respect to some VPI tonearms.

What I don't get is the purpose of you continuing to post in an otherwise dead thread and going after me. What are you trying to accomplish? Actually, I don't even care at this point. You made your point; I made mine. Good day to you, sir.
There was a question brought up about the Effective Mass of the VPI tonearm. I did receive information directly from VPI that the effective mass of the Classic 3 tonearm is 11.1 grams. That arm is called the JMW-Classic 3 damped stainless steel tonearm. At the time I received this information I tested it. I computed the resonant frequency with the calculator based on my tonearm, cartridge compliance and weight. I then then tested it with a test record and the frequencies came out very similar. I therefore convinced myself that the effective mass information for the classic 3 tonearm was correct.
For the Classic 1 the effective mass I have seen stated as 10.5 g, 11.2 g, and 12.3 g. No information as to the material it is made of. However, it is very comforting to see that VPI has definitely got better about providing consistent information regarding its products. They've also improved their customer service with regard to answering phone calls. It used to be all but impossible to get them to answer the phone, but this is no longer the case. It seems to have coincided with Mat Weisfeld's joining the business.
I have a new VPI Classic 3 on order. Does anyone know what the S2P is? I've read 258 and 262. Mine is being manufactured right now by VPI. :)

I want to buy one of the AccuTrak Protractor. Just not sure if I need the 258 or 262.

Anyone know?


258 mm