VPI Classic Setup By Brian Walsh


Hello Everyone, 

Just wanted to give a quick review of my experience with Brian's professional setup. In a nutshell highly recommended.  Thought I had my Classic setup pretty well as I spent at least 3 hours and I have to say it was fun.  My 1st setup by myself.  However, after thinking about how much is invested why not take it a step further and let a professional dial it in.  I have to admit I was amazed at the difference.  Once the tonearm hit the record an immediate improvement was heard.  The obvious difference was the overall balance and decay. Each instrument was noticeably more evident and overall clarity much improved.   I won't go into a lot of audio mumbo jumbo but bottom line Brian's tools and software are a no brainer. He provides each measurement such as azimuth, system resonance and crosstalk just to name a few via charts and graphs with his software. Afterwards the results are emailed.  In closure highly recommended and Brian will not leave until he is satisfied with the results.  

Sam
Ag insider logo xs@2xsamzx12
Is this a costly endeavor?
Thanks for your kind words, Sam. Glad I was able to get that DV-20XL2 to sing! Sweet cartridge and a good match.

Brian
Stereo5 why don't you message Brian.  For the performance gain worth every penny. 
Stereo5, the service description and cost are on my website, ttsetup.com

Brian
Good to hear someone else still enjoys the now ancient VPI Classic 1. After hearing plenty of over the top setups, I came to the conclusion that my rig(Classic 1) IS good enough, once the necessary  adjustments are found.

I  can't figure why some are so anti uni pivot, anti VPI this that, etc. . Find the right cart/phonostage and the other obvious things and you're good to  go.
I'm totally enjoying the "ancient" Classic 1.  Can't satisfy everyone but everything I read on the Classic before I purchased was fantastic.  Could care less what others think.  Its a substantial turntable and looks great IMO. 
@bpwalsh Hi Brian. I’m just curious if there are any recurring setting "themes" that you notice where customers come up short. For instance is azimuth rarely set up close to optimal? My guess is that you’ll say it tends to be the cumulative effect of all settings being slightly less than optimal that contributes to the differential gain realized when your assistance is added. However, if there are commonly recurring settings that are way off, I’d really be curious in hearing that input as well. In a world where people argue about the huge sonic benefits from a fuse, I’d have to believe your services are quite packed in bang-for-the-buck value for most "garden-variety" audiophiles.
I wish it was that simple. Every setup is different, although I set the overhang and offset angle consistently and follow the cartridge manufacturer's recommended tracking force. Optimum azimuth varies, even between identical cartridges. And then once in a great while there’s a cartridge that doesn’t measure well and may in fact be defective. Such was the case with a setup I did a few weeks ago, where there was 2.4 dB channel imbalance, and one channel’s crosstalk performance was poor. The cartridge was replaced under warranty, and on my recent return visit the new cartridge measured fine, as expected, and the client is very happy. So I take each setup as it comes, without preconceived notions of how things might go. By the same token my experience helps me evaluate and make adjustments efficiently and accurately.
I hope this helps.
@bpwalsh   Very helpful....thanks.
I have had a Classic 1 with Kleos cart for seven years. It was very complicated to master the adjustments at first, but now it is just a breeze. That's why many people give up on it and VPI has moved on to non unipivot arms. I have zero desire to change TT, the full range of adjustments available on this table are absolutely amazing once figured out. Mine sings.
The Original VPI Classic is a monster of a turntable. HW modeled it after the early Empire turntables with the big “4-hole flange” Hurst motors in front left motor position as the Pabst were done. Later models/versions with smaller motors in the rear are unfortunately not in the same league.
Ancient VPI Classic?....   I have a Superscoutmaster..even older.  However I changed the drive to the rim drive, I tossed the arm for the printed 10, have the 2nd pivot, got the Classic platter, wired it for balanced operation.  Good to go
stringreen, it's nice to have some of the upgrades, though I’m not convinced on the dual pivot.
Brian is a very nice guy, I was not able to follow up with him  regarding my SMe 10 tt set up, because my housemates are very strict on not allowing anyone inside our house , due to pandemic.But my feeling Brian set up can improve my SME.
I just had VPI set up my new Prime with a VDH cartridge. I didn't want to do it, it sounds good to me. Is this something I should consider?
Chasda   Brian has the tools to do it precisely, Iam gonna let him do my SMe set up, when things calm down on this virus.If I were you I will,
If you want to get the most out of your setup yes I recommend.  
Brian lives in Chicago - little hard to have him stop by in NJ :-(
IMO,  whomever owns this table needs to be able to handle all the adjustments by themselves. Case in point, if you happen to touch the tonearm wiring, you will likely throw the azimuth out of whack. If you have to rely on others to do the job for you, I would not recommend getting the Classic 1. It's not a set it once and forget it kind of table. You have to love playing with it to keep it playing just right to your ears.
samzx12-

Do you notice the cart orientation appear much different than when you did your own setup?

Is it level looking at the front? How about from the side? Tail up,level?
I realize this has nothing to do with proper cart setup, just curious.


phill55 - Never say never ;-)
Cleveland road trip coming up soon. PA, NJ, and upstate NY perhaps around mid year.
@tablejockey 

I do not notice any obvious difference other than the cartridge position in the headshell. Brian mounted it a little further forward.  Other than that I had it dead on center when looking from the front and side. 
"I do not notice any obvious difference other than the cartridge position in the headshell. Brian mounted it a little further forward."

Hmm.. Do you know if your cart is in a Baerwald alignment? Using my Feikert, it does shove the cart forward compared to using the VPI alignment, which is close to the Stephenson.


The alignment geometry I use tends to have the lowest average tracking error across the record. That should be sufficient information.
  Hi Byan, I missed you earlier this year. You were passing through Cleveland on to Maryland but I didn't have a set up ready for you.  Hopefully I can get it ready this trip through.     
Brian my friend, if you're coming to Cleveland please stop by Columbus. My TD124 is going to need a new setup after a plinth change. I am happy to make it worth your while. 
For all of you who think you know how to "make your tt sing", give Brian a try or go hear someone's deck that Brian has set up. I would guess that for every ten people who think they have it all figured out, nine would be surprised. For the price of an Ortofon 2M Black it is a bargain. 
fsonicsmith, it will be my pleasure to come down. I'll give you a heads up.
To each his own, just stating my observations about this specific table.
Merry Christmas to all!
@baylinor,

I understand your post. What always gets me is owners of the VPI tables w/ uni-pivot arms mostly fail to dress the "loop" correctly, judging by their system pictures. Even in the dealer's pictures.
Slaw, how is the "loop" supposed to be dressed? I’ve no idea how it should be on my Classic 2's unipivot arm and would like to correct it if it’s improperlyly done. Thanks.

Mike
@skyscraper,

Like a half circle with no kinks or bends in it.
Some actually put a "kink" in the cable to suppress resonance
I've read about "the Gary kink". Tried it and didn't work for me
Mine is more like an "S" curve at present. I'll smooth it out to be a half circle. Hadn't heard of doing that before. I don't remember that in VPI's set-up directions, but I'll have to check to see if it is something I might have overlooked. Is resonance suppression the goal or something else?
Thanks for the tip.

Mike 
You want to have the least amount of pull throughout the arm's travel.

I've owned an ET linear tracker for decades. It is probably even more sensitive to the forces the tonearms' wire can have. One learns how to dress the wire to lessen these forces.
FWIW, there's nothing in the owner's manual addressing the wire "loop".
There are some things people have to figure out from pictures or whatever without instructions. If they covered every nuance in the manual it would be several times the size and nobody would read it. :-(

I just set up a Prime Signature at a dealer here in the Chicago area, with an Ortofon Cadenza Blue. Pictures on vpiforum.com in the Support area.
You should not have to guess by looking at a picture without complete instructions; this goes from toasters to cars.  It is up to the consumer to read the manual or not. You should also not have to surf the internet to find 50 different people telling you 50 different ways to do the same thing.  You should start out with the manufacturer's recommendation first.

Just my 2 cents.
+1 @weisen,

A manufacturer should want to provide as much info as possible for ( their customer) to get maximum pleasure for their many dollars.

Then if the customer doesn't read it, it's on them.
@weisen:
(Rev. Jim reference) What...does...a...yellow...light...mean?

In an ideal world, yes. But things are never ideal, and you can’t satisfy everybody. Complain to the manufacturer if the manual is lacking, or buy something else. Fundamentally it’s a pretty simple design, and dealers should be happy to help or refer you to someone, to save you the time and trouble. I set up just about anything out there and do a lot of VPIs.

Do you need me to stop by?

Brian
It's not a matter of satisfying everyone, and buying something else is not the point.  And I'm not talking about VPI per se.  All manufacturers  should give complete instructions on how to set up.  It should not be rocket science!
I don't write the manuals. All one can do is ask manufacturers to do better and maybe send them some content to add to their documentation. You can't force them, but nobody's being forced to buy their products if they are poorly documented and they do nothing about it, which is my point. Complaining in a forum like this isn't constructive.
Nobody said you have to write the manuals.  Not complaining... just giving my opinion.
Proof that if you write something that can be taken completely out of context, it will be.
Well slaw you're correct, no matter who wrote them, there's nothing in the manual for the VPI Classic 2 addressing the loop. But thanks to you I am pleased to report there is now a perfect, aesthetically pleasing loop adorning mine. Not only that, it's the first tweak of the new year, and a free one at that. Thanks, 

Mike