Definetely not right. My 3D is exactly straight with the top edge of the arm. The tube is tapered, so the bottom edge runs downhill. I set the arm so that the top edge is horizontal, adjust for vtf, and listen...I then adjust for vta...When I get the vta where I want it, I have it track the cartridge at the manufacturer’s suggest optimal vtf...I disregard the option of between this and that. Use a fozgometer to get the proper adjustment. I understand the early runs of 3D arm were very prone to heat damage. Get in touch with VPI, they will send you a new arm if it is damaged...(I know its a pia to set up again) I live in Arizona with over 100 degree weather, but have the a/c on all the time.
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The short answer is (1) the head shell should be level when the arm is level and (2) corresponding with the VPI factory about your problem will get you a quicker solution than anything you can do here.
There was another, longer, thread about the 3D arm problem and in it VPI made it very clear that they will take care of it. Do a search.
Just for the record I have a 12" 3D arm, relatively new and without a problem. Great arm.
Hi Last Lemming:
There is an adjustment to the inverted cup where the needle sits. It is made from the hole at the top of the arm. An allen wrench fits in the hole and lowers or raises the inverted cup which sits on the pin. (Sorry, I don't remember the size). I had the same problem in set up as you and adjusted the height of the rear of the arm (raised slightly) by lowering the cup which will permit the jig to fit. You may have to play with that cup as well as the tower adjustment to get the right arm level while allowing room for the jig to fit. Finally, I have a tapered 3d arm. If I measure a straight line along the top of the arm, it appears like the arm is highest at the pivot point. If I measure along the bottom of the arm, it appears that the pivot point is at the low end. The shell appears to be about level. In addition, I set my cartridge to be as close as possible to the 92 degree stylus rake angle recommended by Michael Fremer.
Lemming, my original 3D arm wand became very warped and was replaced recently with the newer thicker headshell 3D arm. The original arm was twisting and throwing the azimuth off but the major damage to that arm that prompted the replacement came when that arm was stored in a plastic VPI holding box that is made to house an extra arm cartridge combo, the peice of Styrofoam that is cut to be placed over the cart headshell put to much pressure on the headshell forcing it to bend down now with that said the arm had issues before this. I have had the new arm a few months and I have to set the azimuth before each listening session this arm twist back and forth ever so slightly but yes it does twist. Now, what do we do about it I really don't know but I have a Classic Stainless Steel arm that I have my other cart on and I like it very much just not as much as the 3D, when it is set up properly with no issues it is really special. I am going to hold on to this arm knowing that when VPI gets this issue solved that they will back their arms up no matter when purchased as they have stated and in the mean time I will be using the Classic arm when I don't want to keep adjusting the 3D arm and wait on this issue to be conquered. With all this said I very much love my Prime and believe it to be one of the best bargains in audio eve with this issue.
The 3D arm is NOT an improvement over the older metal VPI arms, when properly setup! IMO!
VPI has made no sonic turntable improvements since the TNT series.
VPI arms are hard for the "average" owner to setup, and maximize performance.
They take too much listening, fine adjustment, and care, to setup properly for most!
That is the reason for the variable results.
Unipivots suck.But that's why we love them! Constantly worrying if they are "in tune", always something to fiddle with. But when they're working boy are they good!
And more seriously I concur with don_c55 that they do take some user engagement to get the most out of them but that's part of the charm of analog is it not
Aw, I was kiddin’ ;-). But I had a couple of them years ago, and I’m not convinced that with a very low-compliance stylus, the arm can’t actually be moved a little by the stylus itself, spun on it’s axis out of correct azimuth. But nobody was more critical of LP playback gear than good ol’ Brooks Berdan, and he highly approved of the Grahams and VPI's, selling a lot of them. What do I know?!
Don c55 You're absolutely wrong on every count. If you don't know what you're talking about, why post an influential diatribe which just might affect the mindset of those unsure of the issue.
Probably for the same reason you rant every time someone mentions Cardas. don_c55 did post "IMO", which as you pointed out in your reply on the other Cardas thread, everyone is entitled to their own opinion:
stringreen3,747 posts05-01-2016 5:20pmJMC....I'm hear to share my experiences in this hobby..both happy and unhappy ones.
Turn around is fair play. If you are allowed to bash others "loved" choices, you can't complain when others bash the ones you love.
Others are allowed to share their experiences in this hobby, both happy and unhappy ones, just as you are.