Nope, many avoid Rega for just that reason.There are after market "spacers" and such available but who needs another PITA.
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Analog has always been more ritual intensive. Setting the VTA should be a one time thing once the cartridge is installed and the spacers are a good solution because it addresses Rega's over-riding concern about rigidity.
On the other hand, if you happen to like how a particular Rega cartridge sounds, VTA is not an issue at all.
You're not alone. Rega makes very high value/performance components, but they are not, for the most part, aimed at the tweaky, perfectionist audiophile. Setting the VTA with spacers does work, but it's not very user friendly. I think the lack of azimuth adjustment is a bigger flaw. Despite what I think, the Rega tonearm is the most popular audiophile tonearm since its introduction in the early 1980s.
Good responses, with Onhwy61's being especially fair and balanced.
Zavato's assertion that, "Setting the VTA should be a one time thing once the cartridge is installed..." would have been better stated as a matter of individual sensibilities and preference. Some of us hear out-of-adjustment VTA (SRA, actually) on a per LP basis and prefer to adjust accordingly. For such listeners, a fixed-height tonearm would be a poor choice, no matter how rigid it is. Rigidly wrong is still wrong. :-)
Roy Gandy espoused several other "keep it simple" views, such as the idea that LPs need not be cleaned to play their best. That may work for some but certainly not for all. One senses that he pooh-poohed audiophile fussiness in order to encourage people to just relax and enjoy the music (and not worry about adjustments that he couldn't be bothered to offer). Keeping the listener blithely happy might stop him looking around at competitor's gear and wondering, is there more?
Rega's are decently made, set-and-forget rigs built to a price point. For the target listener they're a good choice. But above a certain price point one expects more. For some listeners, other rigs will provide more of what pleases their own ears.
Part of the issue was exacerbated when my local Rega dealer said I could keep my current Sumiko cart and he'd adjust the table so the lid wouldn't bump the cart when closed. Really? Somehow my desire for an RP6 is dimming quickly as in that price range it seems that EVERY table allows for VTA, azimuth tweeking, etc., and since my mint but elderly Linn Basik/Akito still lives (I had planned to replace it while it's still working well), and sounds fabulous, I can wait. Pro-ject RPM 10.1 used someplace...hmmm
Wolf, those higher Projects have my wallet itching as well.
I keep an ancient Planar 3 running for the sole reason it has
a greybeard carbon fiber ADC LFT-1 low mass tone arm which was set up to be exactly right for the wonderful ADC XLM-II cart.
If my last OEM XLM stylus dies before I do, I'll have to make a change.
I'm absolutely certain that a properly set up RP6 sounds great...but I like to tinker a little and adjust things myself, and shims seem like a weird remedy for VTA if I had the desire for a cart that needed that. I've read why the designer does what he does...but like I said earlier, it bugs me, but I respect the design otherwise.
I agree it's a bit of a Kluge to use spacers for VTA like I've done on my P3 but it does work well. It takes only a few minutes to pull the arm off, put the spacer in, and reinstall. Of course you then need to set alignment etc. up pretty much from scratch. So if someone wanted a new cart for a Rega deck it's not a huge deal, but if you like to cart roll it would be pretty cumbersome.