Vector tonearm and static issue?

Hello vinyl lovers! I am trying to track down an issue that seems to be associated with my Vector Model 1. I'm hoping that you folks with more experience can help me solve this issue.

I have developed what seems to be a static discharge through my analog front end. This discharge sounds similar to a vinyl pop that we all are familiar with. I have ruled this simple answer out by re-playing the same track and no pop. Also, this discharge does occur frequently when the platter is spinning and the arm is still on the rest. I have been in contact with A.J. and he has been very helpful. At his suggestion I have verified continuity from the tip of the spindle to the end of the bearing ground wire. I have also checked for shorts between the cartridge clips and the tonearm ground wire. Still get the popping and last weekend it seemed to get even worse.

There is an upside as this forced me off my lazy butt and last Saturday I installed my Graham 2.2 with an IC-70 cable. Narry a pop since. I did make one other change and that was to mount a Glider M2 instead of the 103R that was on the Vector. I suppose I should mount the 103R on the 2.2 to rule out the possibility of something going wrong with that cartridge.

Oh, before changing arms and cartridges I also tried swapping out all of the tubes in my phono stage. Also, this does not happen with my CDP so I think I can rule out the preamp.

Is there anything else I should check? Anyone got any neat tricks to try?


Well, I mounted the 103R on the 2.2 and still no audible problems. I plan to use both arms, the Vector and 2.2. I think the Vector is better with the lower compliance cartridges and the 2.2 seems to have a real synergy with medium compliance cartridges. I have constructed a wide-base fixture using maple and pvc pipe so I can easily switch arms without having to mess with dampening fluids.

So I'm left wondering where to go from here? I have nothing else in mind to try other than mounting the Vector again and wiggling wires or something.
Hey Dan. Intermittent problems like these can be a real bear to fault isolate. I’d think the odds are remote that a tonearm could cause the sound you mention. I’d guess that it was not the other arm, but something you did when moving to the other arm that eliminated the noise. Or else the tube changes that you mentioned, etc.

I like your idea of wiggling the wires on the Vector. If there was a fault with one or both of the signal wires within the Vector, I suppose as the arm is tracking, dependent upon how you’ve dressed the signal wires, a noise could result. Reading your thread again, you mention that the sound can occur when the arm is still on the arm-rest. Which my gut tells me eliminates the Vector from being the source of the noise. For how can a tonearm locked in its arm-rest cause any noise to result?

Dan, I think for your peace of mind, it would make sense to let Basis examine your Vector. And thus eliminate the tonearm from the list of items that might be causing this noise. I am sure Basis would be happy to verify that the arm is working properly, and provide a quick turnaround. In my years of dealing with them, they’ve been one of the good guys--always been very responsive.
Hi Tubes,

I have spent alot of time on this the last few days. Through trial and error while spinning alot of LP's I have come to the conclusion that all is well with the Vector. Once I thought I had solved the issue when I grounded both the bearing and the arm to the same ground lug on the phono stage. I also noticed that I had threaded the bear wires through the hole in the ground stud so that when I tighted the cap it was crimping and cutting the wires. So now the wires are just wound around the post.

All was well until I used the AQ brush on an LP before playing. Immediately the pop was back and there were several during the first half of the first track. Then things quieted down. I then tried just a couple of quick swipes with the brush instead of holding it for several rotations like the instructions say. Only one or two pops of significantly less intensity. I'm going to try to figure out a way to ground the AQ brush and see what that does. It is a great tonearm and I love the sound produced by it and the 103R. My plan is to upgrade to a higher performing low-compliance MC, like a Shelter 90X, once I get this issue solved. I'll have to keep playing with this to really convince myself that this is what is happening. Several times through this I've thought that I had the answer only to be proven wrong.

I agree 100% with your assessment of A.J. Conti. He has helped me out several times and is always quick to respond to emails. Now that I feel that I have a handle on what is causing this problem it does make sense to see if he thinks it is worth having a look at the wires on the tonearm. What I have found with the application of the AQ brush may be exposing a problem in the tonearm wires. They are close enough that I can hand carry the parts to them. A great excuse to visit a used LP store I know of that's on the way over to Hollis.

Although frustrating, it has been a great experience. I've learned alot more about adjusting both arms and now I have this nifty little fixture to support either tonearm when it is off the turntable. I see a multi-arm 'table in my future!
Hey Dan. Happy you've made so much progress solving this problem. I agree with your "love for the sound produced" by the Vector. As I was a happy AirTangent owner (used 2 diff AT arms over many yrs), it took a lot to convince me to leave that platform. And the Vector's performance did that easily, and at a relatively low cost.

Ha! You are going to Basis and that enables a visit to a record store. Way to go. Get some big scores.
Tubes 108,I hope,for my dear friend's sake,that you are correct,in that it is OK to move onto another arm,after the Air Tangent.He has a fabulous sounding system,but,due to ergonomic issues,has decided to move to the VPI 12.6 arm(he hates damping).I have always been able to recognize the unique signature,a good thing,on the A.T.,and hope he will not lose the "MAGIC".I'm NOT holding my breath,though.I think he's made a mistake,but it's his set-up not mine.Best of luck!!BTW,his table is a TNT.
Hi SirSpeedy. That's interesting about your friend. Wonder what ergonomic issues would force such a move. In my case, I've heard a variety of arms in various sytems and never had a desire to move on from the AT. I loved the AT; hey some of the AT models without question are extraordinary. Then I heard the Vector and I was hooked. It really is a special piece of gear. I hope your friend does like his new arm. And if the VPI arm overcomes whatever those ergo issues were, maybe even though he'll likely give up some sonic benys of the AirTangent, he will be pleased. And that seems to be the bottom line. Best of luck to him.
Hi Tubes108,

I'm curious to know if you are using the Vector on a Basis table, also is it a Model 3? I have heard that there is a special synergy between the vector arms and the basis tables, but I do hear from time to time from folks who use it on other tables. If you wouldn't mind another question, what cartridges have you used with it?

Wow, I've got more questions than a 4 yr old!

Hi SirSpeedy,

I just want to say to you that your prior posts regarding adjustments on the Graham 2.2 have been extremely helpful to me. I haven't quite gotten to playing with the dampening fluid level yet, but thanks to you and 4yanx I have started with the fluid perhaps a little higher than 1/3rd of the way up the square post. I used to be somewhat unimpressed with a Benz Glider I have. But since I've mated it with the 2.2 my opinion has totally changed for the better. Haven't quite got it to the level of performance of the Vector/103R but I've been tweaking that combo for a year now.
Dan ed,thanks!The Vector seems to be a great arm.I will say,with confidence,that the 2.2 can yield shockingly good results,far more so than most owners,or competitors would admit too.You have to go "Hands ON",and really learn the slight voicing options that it offers.Right now I'm set,though if I were to make a change it would likely be the Schroeder REF!!A fascinating design that I would love to hear at some point!!
Hey Dan_ed
Yo; questions are a good thing ask away.

The AirTangent required a very stable turntable. The Basis Debut filled that requirement perfectly with its very effective oil-damped spring suspension. Another benefit of this suspension is that the Debut does not require the use of a fancy or expensive stand to place the 'table on. I have since upgraded to the Debut Vacuum.

My Vector is either a Model 1 or 2. I used a ZYX cartridge, the AQ 7000, and the Benz LP.

Per the synergy you ask about, I have no experience with the Vector on a non-Basis 'table. Though I think the Vector would be an excellent choice on any quality turntable. It is not as though the Vector has certain colorations which require it to be matched with a 'table that is compatible with those colorations. Of course, if one is in the mood to upgrade, it certainly is a bummer that it is difficult to plug and play arms and cartridges into one's system. Hey, how many cartridges will your dealer loan you to eval?
I completely agree with your assessment of the stability of the Basis tables. And the extra mass in the platters and plinths really makes a huge difference in performance. Even the 2001 I used to own seemed to be very tolerant of what it was sitting on.

I'm finding that I really enjoy fiddling with different tonearms and cartridges almost as much as I enjoy the music, but that could be that this is just the eagerness of the uneducated. May wear off someday. The Vector is great in that in provides, IMO, outstanding performance and it is not really a finicky arm to set up and use. For those who like to "set and forget" it may be the perfect tonearm. At the same time if you are willing to mess with the setup you can be rewarded. I have found that I prefer the Vector with less dampening oil than the Basis instructions indicate. I've filled the bath just enough to contact the entire underside of the pivot. Could be compensating for a short-coming in the 103R.

Like I mentioned before, I'm ready to move up the line cartridge wise. Expecially if I can't get this popping issue remedied. Zyx, Shelter and Benz are on my short list. Alas, the local dealer does not carry these, but I might work out demo of a Clearaudio cartridge. I'm leary of going back because the last time I tried to do business with them it took 6 months to get an IC-70 cable from Graham. Fortunately, Bob Graham took care of this for me very soon after contacting him. Bob is another one of the really great guys in the audio world.

I asked about synergy only because if I decide in the future to go to a 3 arm table then I don't think I could get that in a Basis. I know they have a two arm table. I might be able to get A.J. to modify one, but that would probably not be cost effective. On the other hand, I'd like to try a non-suspended table as well. I realize that this design requires a bit more effort regarding a stand but there are lots of good ideas out there for DIY solutions.
Dan_ed, sounds like you are having a damn good time--way to go. Enjoy!