Get a DB protractor so that you can properly adjust overhand no matter what the arm-table combo.
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I have the same set-up and I had mount my Shelter 501 the same way, I thought it was weird at first, but it works, sounds great to my ears. I used the both the Geodisc and the cartridge alignment tool that came with my VPI turntable and both put the cartridge in the exact same spot so I figured I had it dialed in correctly.
My VPI SSM w/ JMW9 Sig arrived recently and I just mounted my Shelter 901. Same observation as you, I had to push the cartridge all the way forward to hit the alignment mark. In fact, it's still a hair short but soundwise it was fine.
FYI, problem also exists on JMW10 when mounted on Aries.
I had Shelter 501 & JMW9 before, but not at the same time. My experience with 901 w/ JMW9 Sig so far has been pretty positive.
New Shelter 501 mkll on my jmw 10.5, same problem as cited here. All the way forward still missing the jmw protractor dot by about 1 mm. I am convinced this is a combination of Shelter and VPI incompatibiity. VPI should make a warning on their website warning of this issue.
It sounds good though...makes me wonder how exact OH really has to be...
I am using a 501 on the standard JMW9 and it sounds wonderful. Elusive Disc installed the cart as I bought it with the table and it was almost all the way forward. When I installed the 3 gram headshell weight I had to remove the 501 and reinstall it and I was able to get it to line up perfectly with the dot on the VPI provided alignment tool.