VPI Classic setup tools


I would like to learn properly setup my TT. It`s a VPI Classic 1 with JMW-10.5i tonarm with an Ikeda 9TT cartridge.
I am a beginner, so I`d like to buy some reasonable expensive tools what could make the work easier. What would you recommend? I own a good stylus force scale gauge already.
I was thinking about to buy the following :

Soundsmith Counter "Intuitive" azimuth
GrooveTech GT-2 MKII Alignment Gauge
Hesitating between Mint Best Tractor made for VPI tonearm or Dr. Feickert Universal Protractor

Ultimate Analogue Test LP

What else would you buy or am I covered with the tools above? I`d like to set the SRA to 92 degrees but I don`t want to buy a digital microscope if it can be done any other way.


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It really does not matter at all what you have. The setup for all is exactly the same:

Overhang, VTA, VTF, and VTA.

Adjusting one always affects the others. Not a lot, but enough so its not just one and done. The preferred approach is to set them one by one the first time kinda ballpark close, then the second time more carefully, and then finally maybe (if you’re into it) double-check at the end.

Most of that stuff you mentioned is entirely unnecessary. Absolutely do not need that SRA thing you mentioned. Total waste. VTA is set by ear. Period. So forget about it. You already have the one essential tool, the stylus force gauge.

Since you already have the gauge you can download templates to set overhang and alignment for free. Do a search, they’re all over the place. You will see Baerwald. You will see Lofgren. If audiophiles had any sense of humor at all there would be a third: Rabbit Hole.

If you do want to buy something that will make the whole process a lot easier the best one I know is the MoFi Geodisk. This sits right on the platter and makes the whole thing go super smooth. All it is really is the freebie template stuck on a piece of plastic the thickness of a record. Which guess what? You put the free printout on a record....

Other than that, tablejockey is right on- set it up and don’t stress, enjoy.

This is coming from a guy with a fair amount of turntable experience, having run them since the 70’s, including building and modifying.
https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/8367

Now here’s what’s really nice and useful to know. Do this on your well-lit kitchen table. Wearing short sleeve shirt. With plenty of time and no distractions.

Have a Q-tip, scotch tape, tweezers, and a rubber band or two.

If your cart is threaded, no problem. If it uses nuts then use the rubber band like a third hand to hold it while you futz with the nutz. Just barely finger tight is perfect.

Use the Scotch tape to keep the platter still. Lay the Q-tip across the platter. Take a minute to adjust the Q-tip correctly between the cart and the platter (or record) and it will save you in case you spaz out and drop it. Yeah. Crazy clever trick, eh? Ha! And people flip me... never mind.

That’s it. Even though I know how to do this I still like to watch Fremer a couple days before hand. Because when you have a $2500 Koetsu or whatever nothing relieves the stress like watching the nonchalant way he handles his. Its like, if that spaz can do it, anyone can. Heck even I can do it. For you? Piece of cake.
Save your money and either use the alignment tool that came with your TT or try an inexpensive one at turntablebasics.com.  There are also free alignment tools that you can print out on-line.

You may eventually find as many of us have and as Peter Ledermann has often pointed out, that azimuth is the most critical adjustment required to open up the soundstage.  His counter-intuitive is a help.  But I found that installing the second pivot makes that adjustment crazy easy.  And always by ear.
tablejockey, you took the words right out of my mouth.

I owned a Classic 30th Anniversary for more than a dozen years (and fully pimped up during its later years), and now a Classic 3.
Dr. Feickert is the best, buy it and forget about everything esle.

It will give you 3 alignment methods (Baerwald, Lofgren, Stevenson) and it will last forever on any turntable and any tonearm so you don’t have to worry about alignment in the future even if you will change turntable or tonearm.
PS ruler is very important, Feickert has it.

Search for used sample if new one is too expensive for you.
This is German quality.

P.S. if you want something very simple and very cheap you will get protractor for free inside Hi-Fi Test LP which is a must have test record. 


I found that proper azimuth makes a very big difference I use Fozgometer....easy and accurate.....Also, the second pivot for the VPI arm makes a very positive improvement. The counter intuitive provides a very mild setup help, which can be done just about as easily without.