Tri planar and shelter 901 and Verdier


I have to set up my new Tri Planar with my Shelter 901 next week, do you have some advice for me?

I have seen on a notice that there is some silicone furnished with the tonearm, in wich case must I use it ?

If you also have advices to set the Tri planar properly on a Verdier they would be welcome.

Dear André: Why don't you ask directly to Verdier about that tonearm?

Regards and enjoy the music.
Hello Tenmus,

Raul's suggestion is very good. Verdier should be able to help with mounting the arm.

As far as I can tell the dampening fluid is optional and is provided for those who prefer a slightly less dynamic presentation.

DougDeacon has written a very informative thread about setting up and using the TriPlanar. A search here will quickly pull it up.

1. If your Verdier's armboard isn't drilled for the TriPlanar then it needs to be. The arm comes with a jig that positions the three holes for the mounting screws. Whoever is drilling the armboard will need that jig and the TriPlanar manual, to make sure they're using the jig right.

Depending on the hardness of your armboard material you may want to have the holes tapped for the machine screws that come with the arm. The cocabolo armboard of my Teres is hard enough to be tapped with fine threads. This results in superior coupling of arm to table.

BTW, I placed washers on the screws before tightening them down, to prevent scratching the mounting plate.

2. Once the arm is mounted, set the pivot-to-spindle dimension to the specified 233.5mm. The pivot point on a TriPlanar is very easy to identify. You can lay a ruler directly across from spindle to pivot to confirm the mounting distance.

3. After that, follow the instructions in the TriPlanar manual. They're well-written, fairly complete and presented in a sensible order.

4. Mount and align your 901 using the TriPlanar's enclosed mounting protractor, unless you have something better for Baerwald alignment. (The only one I know of that's better is a Wally Tractor.)

5. Most Shelter users tend to like a SLIGHTLY tail-down attitude, so that might be a good place to begin for arm height.

5. Some of the ideas on the thread mentioned by Dan_Ed fall into the realm of "tweaking", but a couple could be considered vital safety measures. None of them are covered in the TriPlanar manual, so it's worth checking that thread. Here's a link:

6. The silicone damping fluid is definitely optional, and few if any owners that I know actually use it. I certainly don't. It softened dynamics and muddied the sound on every cartridge we tried it with (Shelter 901 and six or seven ZYX's). I'd suggest getting to know the arm and its sound well before bothering. (I'd actually suggest not trying it at all, but I know you will! But I predict you'll end up cleaning the trough out anyway.)

Good luck and enjoy!
Thank you Dan and Doug for your answers.

Dan I have a question for you:

If the tone arm is mounted exactly at the good place with the jig ,isn't the pivot- to spindle distance automatically the good one?

Does it mean that on the TriPlanar you can move the armwand forward or backward to modifie this distance when the toearm is soon fixed?

Hi Tenmus,

Doug is the really the more experienced with this tonearm, I'm still looking at mine in the box. Perhaps he will chime in when the fog of Christmas Cheer has worn off. In the mean time, I'll try to fight through the fog.

From the directions and looking at the way the jig is used I would say that the pivot-to-spindle distance is set if the jig is held securely while marking for the mounting holes.

As for moving the armwand forward or backward I would not do that since you would change the effective length of the arm. I'm not sure if you are asking this question because you are worried about the armboard being too far away from the platter? I do not have hands-on experience with the Verdier but it does look to me that the armboard can be turned closer to platter by loosening the mounting bolt. You would probably want to loosen that bolt while you line up the Triplanar jig. Once you get the holes properly aligned on the armboard then I would carefully snug down the bolt to hold it in place while you mark the mounting holes for the arm. Turning the armboard will give the same effect you are looking for without changing the armtube length.

Please note that I'm going on pictures of your table so check this all out for yourself before doing anything permanent. I'm guessing that I'm close to how this should work as there has to be a way to mount 9" and 12" arms on that table.
At this level I think professional installation might be the way to go.
DougDeacon, when you refer to setting the pivot-to-spindle distance after mounting the arm are you suggesting that the jig is just close or is this just a check that the distance is correct? The instructions don't seem to suggest that such and adjustment is necessary if the jig is used. Still, I could see this being very easy with a pivoting armboard.

Actually, Greg, the installation is very straight forward. The mounting jig is very simple and almost fool proof. A picture would be self-explanatory but I've not played around with posting pictures here. Depending on one's mechanical aptitude and tool availability it should be less than an hour of work even with tapping the holes. But I do agree that if one is not sure experienced help should be sought out. Either way I think it would be wise to understand the process.
Sorry Dan I have made a confusion, my question was adressed to Doug.

In fact I want precisions because It seemed to me that if the tonearm is mounted correctly on the arm board ( with the jig) wich Doug describes as the first step, the second step ( find the pivot- to spindle distance) is automatically fixed by the first step???


Thanks Doug
Yes, I'm curious about that statement as well since the instructions don't mention that as a next step after mounting with the jig.
Dan, I have installed an arm on my sota star and on my vpi aries 2. but both times the arm board was pre-drilled. While drilling a hole seems easy,even if done correctly it can look ugly. I never do anything myself unless I can afford to replace it if I screw up. My Sme IV slides back and forth on a a sled. So if you are off a little it's okay.

When dealing with components like these the measurements should be as tight as possible.

I agree that if you have reasonable handyman skills you should be okay. Take your time. As carpenters say measure twice cut once.

The tri planar remains at the top of wish list.
Hi Greg,

I know exactly what you mean and I don't want to imply that this task should be taken up with nothing more than an electric drill and some large felt markings. But if one has the capability to mark the positions using the jig and center punch, then drill and tap the holes on a stationary drill press it does become a standard milling operation.

I've been looking closer at the supplied jig and it is quite possible that one could be off by a millimeter either way. The jig's manufacture is fairly precise but there is enough play that could lead to some small error in placement. This would make it quite important to be as exacting as possible when mounting on a fixed armboard. As you say, measure twice (and perhaps thrice) and drill once. With pivoting armboards this tolerance is a bit more forgiving as the jig will probably get you to within a millimeter. Then the fine adjustment could be made with slight movement of the armboard much the same way as the SME slide works. While true that the pivot is traveling in an arch, in the limit of a few millimeters this should be of no consequence. This may be what Doug was referring to when he mentions measuring the distance after mounted and it would make perfect sense to do so.

But he's teasing us with his silence! Probably out fighting the mall-ites.
Hello Dan ed and Tenmus

I had a Triplanar and I did not like the supplied jig provided because it was definately off. With a setup like the Verdier it will allow for correction of errors because it is on the outriger type armboard as apposed to a fixed board.

The Triplanar also allows for some room for error if you buy some 8-24 screws instead of the 10-24 screws that were supplied.
Also if you look at the bottom of you Triplanar it has the big slotted screw holding the plate with the three holes in it. If you loosen that (it is very tight so be careful, use the largest tightest size so it fits snung) it will rotate it you need to move it.
The link below will show you how to get the proper setup without using the gig and you will feel more confident in you setup. All you need is a ruler marked in MM.

If you gents need more help I can talk you through it over the phone, it is quite simple if you see the photo's in Wally's setup page.
Just email me.

Assuming the jig is accurately made and used you are right, the spindle-to-pivot dimension will be set automatically. However, as Pcosta mentioned, I too have seen inaccurate jigs from TriPlanar. Mark the holes and check everything before you dril

As Pcosta mentioned and Dan_Ed surmised, the armboard on your PV pivots. Any slight inaccuracy from the jig can be made up here.

Do NOT attempt to shorten/lengthen the arm by moving the arm tube in or out. You'll void your warranty and possibly do damage to the arm. The length of the arm is what it is.

I agree the arm's effective length can easily be changed by adjusting the plate beneath the VTA tower, but doing that will also void the warranty. I inquired of Tri Mai on exactly that point and that was his response.
HI everybody

Thank you for your answers.

Now it' s clear for me , I 'll check the position before drilling...

I receive the tonearm at the end of this week , I'll certainly give you some news at this moment .

Many thanks again

Hi DougDeacon,

I was looking for a way to talk Tenmus out of moving the armwand, but your argument is right to the point.

Happy New Year all!
you can obtain very accurate rulers and protracters from your local drafting supply shop.