NYC/NJ Turntable Setup Expert

Good Evening All,

I am looking to purchase a new cartridge (targeting Hana SH or MH) for my VPI Aries I turntable. Ultimately, however,  I would like to commission an expert to come to my home and help setup the cartridge/TT. Does anybody have any recommendations (outside of Fremer, $500 for a setup is outside my budget) in the NYC/NJ-metro area that provides this service, perhaps a dealer, and is good at it? 

Spend a few bucks on a cartridge scale. The $20 Shure is fine. Spend $50 on the MoFi Geo-Disk. Read the directions. Follow the directions. Learn. Save. What's not to like?
Seriously, its not hard.

Watch Fremer on YouTube. Except when he goes into all the gadgets he loves but you don't need. Watch mostly because Fremer is fun, and also to see how easy it is, and also because this is one of those things that's a whole lot easier to follow watching someone do it vs reading about it.
Main points- do this on a nice clean well lit kitchen table, with plenty of time (an hour at least, even though it will take maybe half that) and with a few little tricks even Fremer doesn't know (but I sure do!)
Tape the platter so it doesn't move. Place a Q-tip on the record. Position the Q-tip between the cartridge and the platter. This will prevent the cartridge from going too low, eliminating the #1 risk of damage.
That's it. Watch Fremer. He has at least 2 full videos on YouTube. Its just not that hard. He makes that point over and over again.
I have a downforce scale, all the tools, protractor, etc.; I've actually done it before. It's not a hard process, but for a reasonable sum of money or through a dealer whom I may purchase the cartridge from, I'd rather have somebody else do it. The TT is used and got some years on it, too, so I wouldn't mind the 2nd opinion on the set-up to make sure all is in order.

The Q-Tip trick is intriguing, though, certainly not a trick I've used before. Ultimately, still would prefer not to do it and commission the expert assistance. 

I recommend my friend - the best setter-upper: Michael Trei: [email protected]

his price is reasonable 


Thank you, Herb. I've seen Michael Trei in my previous searches,  good to hear another recommendation on him!
Nice to see Herb Reichert posting here thanks Herb!
Call Audio Connection in Verona, NJ.  

That said, who the hell am I to reply in the same thread as Herb Reichert!!  Close it down; the man has spoken!  :)

Johnny R is a great guy to get the cartridge from :-) super dude - crazy about analog

The Herb endorsement is very strong, can't deny that!

Audio Nexus is the closest Hana dealer in my area, but I haven't heard much on them. Audio Connection I've heard nothing but great things and I've been hoping to do business with them! 

Just email Fremer he is a decent enough person who may be able to offer assistance.

I am in the same boat. In NYC, looking for expert turntable setup.
Call Nick at the Audio Connection in Verona, NJ. He is Johnny R’s vinyl guy and has set up my turntables since 1995. He has a few of the Hana cartridges on display for demo.

Good Luck!

Thanks for the advice, appreciate it. I actually emailed Audio Connection last week inquiring about this and they never responded to me, sadly.

 Thanks for your email
Yes, Audio Connection is a VPI and Hanna dealer.
  Please excuse the unconscionable delay
   best to phone call Audio Connection
 It would always be best to bring in the table as Nick has unmovable test equipment and a reference system that your table would be finalized with.
If purchasing a cartridge any additional cost would be assessed on time and if any parts Belt etc needed and fairly priced.
9732391799 or Nick our table specialist at 9732397089
 text me at 9738094467 anytime Best JohnnyR 
I’m in Plainfield, NJ, 07062. where are you?

If in NJ, close, I’m retired, have time and the needed tools, years of experience, and will help you mount and set it up for the exorbitant price of 1 beer (after completion!).

Not ’expert’ like people who charge for it, just ’experienced, it will sound great’ setup. I'ts acquired skills and confidence, not rocket science.

You will do it, with my tools and guidance, and thus end up confident for future adjustments yourself.


well my friendly offer sure shut this thread down.

an acknowledgement and polite decline would have been nice. 

It's been said many times: No good deed goes unpunished.

Got your email last week, thanks for getting back to me and no worries at all about the delay.  Will be giving you a call during business hours!


My sincere apologies on the delayed response, I have been in the midst of a grueling move (2,000+ lbs of stereo equipment and records sure doesn't help) and haven't been paying my usual attention to the hifi world. Very generous offer and an example of the good that this little community offers. I am at the end of the moving process, might be able to take you up on that!

If I lived in Plainfield, I would be calling you.  There are some that find it difficult to set up turntable correctly.  You can show that how to do it, so they can do it the next time.  Since you are retired, you should offer your services on craigslist.  You can charge to cover your gas and a little for your time.  
I'm too busy re-checking mine!