Riggle Vtaf w/Rega P9 & RB1000. Good idea or not?

Greetings fellow vinyl lovers! I am buying a Rega P9 with the RB1000 arm. My cartridge is a Clearaudio Maestro. I would really like to have VTA adjustment capability with this table and have heard very good things about the Riggle Vtaf VTA adjustment wheel. Here is the question. Is it a good idea to install the Vtaf on the P9. Has anyone out there done this and what was your experience? The RB1000 has a 3 point attachment system that is different than the less expensive Rega arms, so I am little wary of installing the Vtaf on the P9. Also, this is an expensive table to mess with and I would not want to effect it in any negative way. By the way, I have about 5,000 records, 3,000 being classical, and I play vinyl most of the time.
I did this with an RB700 (same 3 point mount as your 1000) on a customized lenco L-75 with very good results.
I do think it may require you to enlarge the mounting hole on your rega ...if you contact Pete Riggle he will undoubtedly be able to take you through the ins and outs as he is very nice to deal with and very knowledgeable.
Thank you Glide3. I guess the 3 point mounting system does not get in the way of the Vtaf adjustment wheel? What were the improvements to the sound on you Lenco?
Pete makes the VTAF so that your arm mounts right to the unit.
I find even slight adjustments in VTA to make significant differences in quality of playback so to have this ability is the benefit
I can't recommend this enough. Benefits are many, including not just the VTA-ability, which is indeed a major improvement, but the overall change to the suspension of the arm opens up the soundstage and lowers the record noise. Go for it - you won't regret it!
Thank you Slaw3 for your unrestrained enthusiasm for the VTAF. It helps get rid of my hesitation. Do you have the P9 with the VTAf in your system or another set up with the VTAF?
My vinyl rig is a VPI HW-19 JR, with RB300, with Sumiko Blackbird cart. The table sounded "nice" before, but adding this, I now hear what all the analog shouting is about.

Have you verified with Pete that he has a VTAF model for the 3 point mount Rega tonearms? Last I looked he still only had VTAF for the screw base Regas.

I have a VTAF for my RB250 and it's terrific, but I haven't seen or heard one on a P9.

To those of you who have dealt with Pete, do you find his response time rather slow?

I've sent him a couple of mails and he hasn't replied.

Pete was never incredibly quick to respond, but always patient and extremely helpful when he did. His product is top quality and he's willing to do custom work if you need it. I'm sure VTAF must be a sideline for him rather than his main line of work, so he probably has limited amounts of time to devote to it. You might try calling him too - his number's on his Web site.

He just responded to my query with some nice pics too.
Hello CMK. What pics did he send you?
Hi Jbcello

Here are the pics:
Pete can sure do some nice work.
Don't you just love the Machine Turning Pete has used?!
It appears in this case as well, that Pete has utilized some form of an Extension Plate, and this seems to have merit for a number of different Arm-Table combinations.

I have placed a review, and some pics as well on this forum of the VTAF, under "acessories: in the review section. Hope you enjoy them as well. Mark
Hello CMK,
Thanks for the pics. Yes, Pete does beautiful work. I will call him tomorrow concerning the P9 table and report back. Sorry for the late response, I have been away traveling.
Hi Jbcello
I'm currently having some issues with my Conductor, so the VTAF project will have to wait.

Post some pics when you're done. I think it'll be of interest to many here.
Personally, I will not own a Rega-based arm again, but if I did, one of Pete's VTA adjusters would be a MUST. Otherwise, I'd pass completely.
Ok, I just got off the phone with Pete Riggle who sells and designed the VTAF. Pete is a very generous guy who takes his time in explaining how the VTAF works and how it is installed. For the P9 he sells a version of the VTAF that will work with the three point mounting system of the RB1000 tone arm. With this version comes a brass piece on which the 3 point mounting system rests. (I saw a picture of it somewhere online about 3 weeks ago, but now I can't find it.) Now the regular VTAF for the RB250 increases the height of the tone arm a little less than a 1/4 of an inch. I believe Pete said .23 inches to be exact. Now, the VTAF version for the RB1000's 3 point mounting system increases the tone arm height another 1/8 of an inch on top of that, so the total arm height is increased almost 3/8 of an inch when using VTAF with the P9 or P7 arms. This is quite a bit of tone arm elevation, but Pete includes different size shims to put on the rear side of the cartridge to tilt the cartridge back to make up for the increased tone arm elevation. He says using the cartridge shim creates no negative effects on the sound and enables you to have the benefits in sound that the VTAF provides.

Has anyone out there used these cartridge shims with their Vtaf? Where there any negative results from doing this?
Hello 4yanx,
Please elaborate on your thoughts.
I am intriqued by the strength of your opinion.
Ok folks, I found the picture of the VTAF for the 3 point mounted Rega tonearm.
Here is the link.
As you can see this VTAF lifts the tonearm a bit higher, which is a concern of mine, but Pete insists that his shims take of the problem with no negative effect to sound or performance.
I would of course be correct, and of course no disrespect at all to Pete, and his products, that Pete's VTAF is in some ways a "Band-Aid" trying to cure-correct the deficiencies of certain, Less expensive Tonearms.

We have to be thankful that Pete did come along, and offer a modification to enable VTA on the fly for many less than state of the Art Tonearms which do in most cases nowadays incorporate adjustable VTA on the fly.

I wouldn't suspect the Brass to be a detriment to sound, but if there was some way I could avoid using any brass shims, I would personally prefer that option-solution, perhaps more from a cosmetic standpoint, more than anything. I'd personally rather have Cartridge squarely buttoned firmly to headshell, rather than having to cant Cartridge Body to achieve correct VTA-SRA.

An Arm that is "Ass High" IMO does look better than a Cartridge which is "Ass Low", and looks like it is almost scraping the LP when in play.

If the Platter-Platter Bearing could've in some way been shimmed in height, this would be one other way to correct additional Arm height, but also may incur other problems with Belt-Pulley height alignment as well?

A seperate Armboard could somehow perhaps be lowered, thus lowering Arm in the process?

One could perhaps slightly countersink the Bronze Bushing in Armboard?. One must remember, the face of Bushing must remain above Armboard surface in order to correctly work with the cooresponding Knurled Adjusting Nut. I think Pete touches on this in some wording I once read on his site, or another article of his? Mark
I thought of something in regards to using the Riggle Vtaf with the Rega RB1000 and P9. If one used the Cartridge Man Isolator between your cartridge and head shell of the arm, then the extra height of the Vtaf would be compensated for and there may be no need for the use of the shim the comes with the Vtaf.
I put it on my rb300 arm on planar3 and love it,would never buy another table without vta adjustment .
Jbcello - did you go through with the Pete Riggle VTAF mod on your P9? If so, what was the result? I too am a P9 owner. With thanks
Hi Jbcello,

I would like also to have your impression about the Pete VTAF...I have a P9 too and I am thinking about this device;

Please, any comments ? I am trying to install the VTAF in the RB1000 / Rega P9 and I am facing a lot of problems concerning the tonearm height. Even using a higher spacer between the cartridge and headshell, adjusting the lift mechanism to the lowest level, the tonearm is still positive in around 3mm.
Actually the spacers supplied by Pete are supposed to be installed only on the rear of the cartridge top surface and I am little concerned by that since by adding a spacer only in one are of the top cartridge can alter the stylus angle. As a result, I am still trying to use a spacer right now that covers all top cartridge surface.

The VTAF adds 11mm to the total tonearm height which seems to high for me. For sure I am in touch with Pete, but any help from somebody that has already used it in a Rega P9 / RB1000 ( or any Rega table with 3 points tonearm ) will be very helpful. I am using the VTAF with the extension supplied by Pete ( in order to avoid to make an addition hole in the plinth ) which add an extra height of around 4mm in the total VTAF heigh, comparing to the "normal" VTAF.

Thank you,
Well...I ask for some help. I have tried to install the VTAF in my P9 and it does not work, I mean, the total weight increases in 11mm ( I bought the VTAF with the base in order to avoid to make a new hole in the P9 pitch ). Even using differente kind of spacers, I can not achieve a good VTA. It is still too height. In addition, the screws supplied are longer than needed, do not allowing the correct adjustment. I have alredy contacted Pete but, even showing a good attention, I was not able to solve the problem yet. At the end, I am not using it and I am really frustated. I will appreciate any help.
I am about to purchase the VTAF for my P5. Hba, any luck with the P9 installation? Any suggestions anyone else?
As I bought the VTAF with the base included ( in order to avoid to make any role in the plintch ), it is not working on my P9. Too high. Unfortunately, I could not find a way to install.
Here's another angle. I have purchased an Audiomods arm for my Rega P9. The Audiomods arm is a re-engineered Rega RB250 with built in VTA, made in England. It's performance is at the very least, the equal to the RB1000. It has vastly improved the sound of my P9 and it has VTA on the fly. Incredible value too.
So I have been experimenting with the 3-point mount VTAF on my RB700 arm and Rega P5 for about a month now, and am writing to report on what I've found. I had already added a Groovetracer Reference subplatter, platter, and counterweight/stub and used the Herbie's Way Excellent II mat with SuperSonic stabilizer. I am using a Shelter 501 II and a Heed Quasar pre.

I'll cut to the chase, the VTAF simply makes the RB700/P5 a much higher resolution machine. From top to bottom, details are now much cleaner than with the stock mount, and this is most noticeable in a wider and deeper soundstage, proper bass weight and delicacy, and when you get the VTA set right, the imaging just locks into place. I'm more of a set and forget kind of guy, but when you dial in the right VTA the improvement is really hard to ignore. Luckily, I've found that there is a similar setting for most standard pressings, so there's not much fiddling needed, and adjusting the VTA up for 180g or heavier pressings is really easy. Not a problem. Tracking is also vastly improved: my setup can now pass the HiFi News test record tracking #3 test with no problems now.

As others have mentioned, the 3-point mount adds a significant amount of height above the stock mount. I did not use the one-piece VTAF and arm bracket, which adds more height. Because of the extra height the VTAF does add, I first made a 1/4" thick mat out of the same foam material as Herbie's mat to make up for the difference. However, the spindle barely protruded above the LP center hole. Even though I don't use a clamp, it didn't look so great. But there was no mistaking that it sounded much better than the stock mount, and tracked much better as well, that I thought I'd try an alternate setup.

I next experimented with a small rectangle of Herbie's Grungebuster material mounted between the cartridge and headshell without the 1/4" thick mat. However, it didn't offset the height enough to give me full use of the VTAF range.

I next combined the Herbie's Grungebuster piece with one of the thinner brass shims (#2) provided with the VTAF, and got the full usable range from the VTAF. However, to me, the combo was a bit overdamped compared to the 1/4" foam mat alone.

Finally, I tried just a thicker brass shim (#4), and have been using it ever since. It has no sonic penalties, doesn't take away from the P5's sleek look, and the VTAF unit adds a touch of rugged classiness with its custom lacquered nickel finish.

I have only interacted with Pete as a customer, but I've found him to be a great person, inventor, and craftsman, and I learned quite a bit about turntables, dedication to art and technique, and life in general while fine-tuning my setup with Pete's help. He is an asset to the audio community and has helped take my P5 to another level. If you were on the fence about the VTAF especially with the higher-level Rega tonearms, take the risk, this one's worth it.

P.S. After I installed the VTAF I also rewired the arm with the Incognito kit. The rewire also brought the performance up a notch in overall smoothness and definition without harshness especially in the top end, and even better bass. But what was most impressive is the silence that I now get from the phono source now that the arm is grounded. With a more silent source, the details are much easier to discern and increases the sense of ease and musicality of the entire setup. Also recommended, but you might do just as well DIY-ing this one if you've got the skills and the Cardas litz wire.
Watercourse, can you close the dust cover using the VTAF?
I also have a P5 maxed out but I don't think I would use a mat of any sort on the Groovetracer Acrylic platter that I use with a TT Weights clamp. This works very well. I hear no problems with the RB700 Wiring.
I'm looking at the twin belt motor pulley though.

Sorry for the late response, but yes, I can close the dust cover with the VTAF. However, I remove the dust cover completely when playing, and only put it back on when not playing.
As for the mat and GT platter, because I have excessive vibrations coming from a light rail system nearby, I need additional isolation that the mat provides.
Twin belt motor pulley? Is this with the stock motor?