VPI 10.5i - Which armwands do I own?


I do have 2 different VPI JMW 10.5i armwands.

apart from the different weight- 430 grams and 486 grams (without counter weights)- there are some additional differences which can be seen in the picture shown here:

Pse help me to identify which armwands I have!!

Thanks vm in advance

Call or e mail Mike at VPI. He'd be more than happy to help.
It looks like you have an aluminum, and a stainless steel arm wand. The sound is the same (it looks like they are both wired with Valhalla). The stainless steel one is newer. They changed it to accommodate more cartridges which require more heft. They are both set up the same way, and if you are using either Benz or Dyna cartridges, they both are equally good.
You say the one with the "slanted" azimuth ring can't be adjusted. I have one with the same azimuth ring, and it's adjustable. Did you loosen the two set screws holding it in place? It's still stiff to turn with the screws backed off, but it will move.
thank you vm for your responses


yes, they are both wired with Valhalla.
I think you are right concerning the stainless steel arm wand; however, the materials used for both arms do not look different at all.
I still do have a vdH Frog, a Benz Micro Wood S L and a Ortofon Cadenza Bronze; started to check which I like most on the arm. At the mom I like the Cadenza on the heavy armwand most.


the azimuth ring and the upper bearing housing are one piece;
no set screws.


thanks, I will contact VPI

Mike told me that they make SEVEN different counterweights for these arms. Check yours. The bottom one must have a heavier counterweight than the top one. I have three 10.5i arm tubes, all different, two with 115g counterweights and one with 140g. I really can't imagine why the bottom arm tube has an immovable azimuth ring. What would be the point, if it can't be used to adjust azimuth?
You should use the off center rear counterweight to adjust azimuth. When adjusting, the bottom of the weight should be moved to the higher side.
Well sure, Stringreen, but that means every time you adjust VTF you have to RE-adjust azimuth .. and then readjust VTF ... etc. Much simpler to use the azimuth ring in the first place.
Get the Soundsmith Counter Intuitive. It's the best $50 you can spend on the VPI and makes setting up VTF and VTA a snap instead of pulling one's hair out.
I have one, Myles. Trouble is, I have three arm tubes. Yeah, I know.
I just changed my cartridge and in doing so, had to adjust that rear counterweight for azimuth alignment. The last time I had to do that was about 7 years ago when I last put in a cartridge. That azimuth ring as I read between the lines is something new...that it can indeed adjust azimuth. In the older aluminum arms,one of which I have,\... the proper way is for rotating the rear counterweight....not a big deal.
Well sure, Stringreen, but that means every time you adjust VTF you have to RE-adjust azimuth .. and then readjust VTF ... etc. Much simpler to use the azimuth ring in the first place.
I find that even rotating the azimuth ring messes with the VTF on mine. And then resetting the VTF messes with the azimuth. It'd really be nice if VPI would key the counterweight to the arm on assemblies that have the azimuth ring. Even being as careful as possible, it's almost impossible to slide the counterweight without rotating it slightly.

I have a new cartridge due this week, I'm not looking forward to doing it all again.
JR_W....congrats on your new cartridge. You might have noticed that the rear counterweight set screw does not set into metal, but simply tightens the black plastic ring that's inserted in the weight..therefore....you shouldn't loosen the set screw to move the weight..simply force it slightly...if done with caution, you can adjust either the VTA or weight rotation. In addition....if you just want to lighten the VTA a bit, there is an internal adjustment weight accessible with a large Allen wrench through the hole in the back of the arm tube. By unscrewing that weight (it could be tight, but don't fret...use some force...) it could be used to easily fine tune the VTA.
I didn't know about the large allen screw in the rear of the arm, and I swear I RTFM! I saw the wrench, but thought I had adjusted everything that I could adjust without straying into the "void warranty if any other screws are messed with" territory.

That'll make it a lot easier to fine tune the VTF.

P.S. Thanks for the cart congrats, got a shipping notice today.
Seriously, GET a counterintuitive!

I did ask VPI about it and here is their answer:

You have two 10.5i tonearms from different vintages and thoughts on manufacturing. The fixed azimuth was done because in theory the less moving parts the better but then customers demanded the old rotating azimuth so we went back.

Other than that both armtubes are made from the same materials and assembly methods. The weight differences are partially caused by the fixed vs. movable ring and the normal differences in material thickness.