Rega RB1000 and VTA Adjustment

I only listen to vinyl and my analog system consists of a Rega P9 table, Rega RB1000 arm, Shelter 501 cart and Klyne System 6 phono stage. Rega tonearms do not allow for the possibility of VTA adjustment so I assumed that I did not need it. I thought everything sounded great... but last week I purchased spacers to adjust the VTA of the Rega tonearm to the specs of my cartidge.

The change in the sound and musicality of my system is astounding. Imaging and detail have greatly improved. Speakers seem to disappear and there is no background noise. This hobby is the best (except for flyfishing and skeet shooting ofcourse)

I did not believe that VTA adjustment could make a difference on my table. Now the problem is that I want to see what the Shelter 90x cart will sound like on the P9.

Anyone else install spacers under their Rega arms and get the same effect?

I have a lowly Rega Planar 3 but I have also found that spacers can make a large difference in the sound for non-rega cartridges. Specifically the Linn K9 and Goldring 1042, which are somewhat taller than the Rega cartridges.

Being cheap I used machine washers, but I'm contemplating having my local plastics shop make up some acrylic spacers.
Dear Rich: You have a very nice analog rig. Good to you that " discovery " the real Shelther sound.

The 90X is not only a great cartridge performer but a huge improvement over your 501 and I'm sure it will be a good match with your RB 1000 great tonearm, it is a distress that the designer don't build it with a VTA adjustements that is a critical issue in any cartridge performance.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Thanks Raul. The more I think about it, the more I want to pull the trigger on the 90X. I cant imagine how much better it can possibly get, but I need to know.
I have a 9/1000 with a Dyanavector X-2. I used Wally tools to dial everything in properly. Once the VTA got there. with spacers, I was very happy and did not see a large difference with the range of lp thicknesses. I think you would be in good shape to upgarde your catridge.

Of course, for whatever reason, I just bought a second hand rig consisiting of an Amazon 1 table and a Schroeder 1 arm. I mounted an ZYX cartrige on it and have been speechless ever since.

This is one insane and totaly engaging sport.
G_m_c: Have you tried the XYZ cart on the Rega? What do you think of the Schroder as compared to the Rega Tonearm? I dont think I would ever get rid of my table and just plan to buy more carts but I am always interested in the differences between tables and tonearms since Rega seems to have a different philosophy then most other manufacturers.
As a P25 owner that has added several tweeks, each improving the sound. I have come to the conclusion that Rega is like Henry Ford in that if you leave it as it was designed and use only Rega cartridges you could live in a perfect world. Unfortunately some of us actually listen to the music with critical ears and that is where I find the rega to come up short. Don't misundersatnd my piont here I thing the Rega is a graet TT for the money and luckily enough people have thought so enought to produce and market the tweeks. All in all a Rega is a nice place to start, but as expensive as a P9 is I think I would look at other TT's before plopping down the funds on a TT without a ground lead, VTA, choice of cabling, etc.

I have not tried the ZYX on the Rega, but I did run the Dynavector on the Schroeder for a few days. I have to be honest; the Schroeder is in a different place than the Rega. It is so nimble and light on it feet, and yet its quickness and slam of the bass is heart stopping. The Rega is perfect for what it is, and completely balanced for where it is in the ladder of turntables and arms. I could have been happy with it forever, and am a bit surprised that I am somewhere else now. It is the classic case of peeling away veils and adding detail and quickness. The Schroeder is effortless on the last song or two of an album, the Rega can struggle at times, damn anti-skate... And I use Wally tools. Setting up the Schroeder is logical and confident, the Rega is a bit hit or miss, especially on the anti-skate, and yes, the Schroeder can be raised or lowered for VTA with a set screw and a lifting screw, with total confidence and repeatability.

I will add that I disagree with Theo in that I think the Rega is completely at ease with other cartridges and good ones at that. I will also add that I have to change my etiquette with the Schroeder. No more finger lifts and easy movement of the arm to any song on an album, I now must sit down on the stool and carefully maneuver the arm into position and slowly set the needle down. I used to fly around the Rega like a DJ, changing records in seconds.
Theo: "Unfortunately some of us listen to the music with critical ears." Gee so sorry, I just listen. Thanks again Theo for reassuring me that this hobby is full of self-absorbed toolbags. I dont care if you bash my rig, but please dont flatter yourself at my expense. "Listening to music with critical ears" could possibly be the dorkiest audiophile phrase I have heard to date.

G_m_c: thanks again for your response. I love the ability to change records in seconds. Thinking long and hard about purchasing a 90X or XYZ. Bought a Heavyweight which will arrive on Thursday. Very excited.
A discussion I may be able to participate in.
First, I totally agree on the flyfish comment. Here in So. Fl. it is awesom.
Re. Rega I also have a P9 with the RB 1000. I had the 501 with it but have now made a switch to a Van Den Hul Black Beauty Sp.X The combination with the correct spacers is excellent.The 501 was good but the VDH is much superior. The 90X should be a good match.
Now the interesting part about this thread is that I am looking to upgrade the arm. I have reached the conclusion that the Rega table can stay for a bit longer but I am on the verge of purchasing a Schroeder DPS. The design is fastcinating and I hope sounds as good as it looks.
I know many Goners will be critical of the Schroeder on the P9 but why not. At some point I am sure I will get the twitch again and change out the P9 but for now this may be a bid improvement with the ability to change VTA
and fine tune. Also, eff. arm mass is important. The RB 1000 has an EFF. mass of 10. The Schroeder 12 with a certain type of wood used in the arm.
Make sure the cart. is suited to the tonearm mass.
This is a great hobby.
Hello Rich62 and all,

I would like to add some of my findings using almost exact front end rig as yours.
Besides 9/1000 combination there is Klyne 6 preamp, as well as Rowland Consonance on occasion.
The cartridge used is ZYX Airy 2 Cosmos Crystal, which is nude version of Airy 2.
In short this is one absolute fantastic combination, quite unlike any other cartridge which I used before (Audio Technica ART 1000,
Madrigal Carnegie One, AT -170 ML). The synergy between cartridge and tone arm is awesome, but I would like give you some thougths on the way to improve your sound while tweaking your 9. The detail explanation of all my tweaks can by rather long, but to put it in a few words, the 9 works better if you take of any of necessary part to play the record.
I know that this sound rather strange, but each of these tricks are reversible, without any kind of damage to the 9 itself.
I went on that route because I was taking off the plastic lid the other day in order to mount the cartridge. The music become significantly clearer, but at the same time without any of the nastiness such as the rise of the upper registers. It took me quit some time to realize that all this happened just because of taking the lid off.
After that take off the beautiful maple surround off and there another level of progression in the same direction took place.
I was flabbergasted by the whole new picture which that rig produce. After that, I take off the plastic box which surrounds the motor assembly below the turntable. Jet another (but this time very small) progression. At the end I replace the feet of the table with aluminum spikes (better than wood or brass in this location).
All this is easily reversible and in case that you are not sure in some of your findings you can put back that part and listen again. But you would not, I am sure.
All this leads you to one completely new and rather strange ( very small) 9 which I find beautiful in his new found minimalism, because the whole turntable is now just a little bigger than the record itself.
There are quite a few tricks which you can use in order to further improve your 9 such as outer and inner weights for the record, shims and weight for the tone arm, and you can send me an e-mail if you want, and all will explain you my progress with the 9/1000 combination in details. I can send you some pictures of my creature if you like.
Hope that this helps. All the best,
Docsavage: If you purchase the Schroeder tonearm, please make a posting about your findings. Never heard about an owner of a P9 changing out the tonearm. Van Den Hul's are incredible carts, if you have not already, you should get the april or may issue of HiFi+ magazine that had a great article about Ven Den Hul.

Great hobby, insane at times but great. I fish in Central Pa, (Spruce Creek, Penn Creek area) lots of fun. Some day I will vacation to the keys for some salt water fly fishing.
Very interesting and logical tweeks.
All that stuff can add resonance!
I bet it is very minimal and sleek looking, as you say.
I have a Rega 300 and I had this idea for a semi adjustable VTA rig. I picked up a second locking nut on Ebay and I plan to screw it on above the arm board and the original nut on below the arm board. I can then loosen the bottom nut and screw the top nut up or down to adjust and then retighten the bottom nut. I haven't got around to doing this yet (this particular turntable is apart at the present time) but I thought the concept would work. Anyone ever try this?

Not a skeet shooter, but a dedicated trap shooter.
Thanks for the reference on Van Den Hul article. I will check it out.
The Schroeder uses a Rega mounting scheme. After some research and exchanges with Thom, Rep for Schroeder, I think I can mount the Schroeded arm to the P9 with little effort and no scars should I sell the 9.
I can't afford a new TT at this time so I say go for the arm for now, especially after reading the post on P9 tweaks. Thanks Kate. I have very much enjoyed the P9 with the RB1000 but I feel I need to take the next step. VTA and all.
I will post when the Schroeder arrives.

I started fishing in the Catskills many years ago. I loved it but salltwater is awesome and down here its year round.
Also shot skeet for several years. Too many hobbies. Had to boil it down.
Docsavage: Having too many hobbies leads to having to make life altering decisions. Should I buy the Shelter 90X cart or a Rizzini over/under 20 gauge or a bamboo rod or a Hardy reel or should I go to Montana to fish....

At this point I need to hit the powerball. Life would be so much easier if I just was into vinyl.


There are many ways to skin this cat. Your idea is simple, effective and inexpensive.

There are of course several afermarket VTA adjusters for Rega arms. Some simply thread on to the post, sit above the armboard and function exactly as you described. The Origin Live one is similar to your idea, though it's probably more expensive.

Others are thinner than a Rega mounting nut, which means the arm's base position is not raised up so much. Whether this is good or bad depends on how far your arm needs to be raised.

One of the cleanest designs is the Expressimo. It's not only quite thin, raising the arm by less than .5mm at the lowest setting, it also extends down the post into the mounting hole by 1/2" or more. This helps keep the arm post from wobbling about, but may require reaming out the mounting hole a bit.

There are quite a few others, including Pete Ruggle's VTAF (search ebay or Audiogon) and the Teres VTA adaptor. These are more functional, but of course they're more expensive too.