VPI hw19jr Audioquest PT-8 arm G-ring 1042 cart

My previous table was a Kab Technics w/ damper, Cardas, etc and I am waiting delivery of the VPI. With a budget of around $200-250 what would be a good phono cable for this to my CJ pre amp? Also what type of alignment tool would you reccommend for this? And finally, Am I going to be happy with this in comparison to my previous table?
I'd really like to hear your thoughts on the differencies between the two tables, once you have a chance to compare. I have read and read and read, on this forum, about the Technics until I'm ready to puke. I just can't believe that this table can compete with the other tables out there.

As for cartridges, I really like the Audio Technica AT150MLX.
I've owned both. The Technics is beautifully built and a good value. I prefer the sound of the VPI. To my years, it is more enjoyable and musical. Of course, others will disagree.
A comparison wold be very interesting to read. What cartrige were you using on the Technics and how did you like it? I would try the Denon DL160 at just under $200.00
I primarily used the Goldring 1042 cart with the Technics, it came highly recommended by Kevin at KAB and did not disappoint. At almost $400- it was a little more than I wanted to spend initially, but it was so nice with that table/arm that when it was damaged with under 100 hours on it I called Kevin and bought another one. The new table comes with a brand new 1042 so comparisons will be pretty easy. It took about 20 hours for the original cart to find its groove and took me the same to get it dialed in geometrically. I am going to have to pick up an alignment tool (Mint?) and spend some time getting this into it's ideal position. I really loved the Technics so the VPI is going to have to show me something. I will report what I find.
this vpi is a great table, and a more than fine value today.
I was using the DL160 and I liked it quite a bit. There seems to be a better music flow with the VPI using the same cartridge and an Audioquest tonearm. For the new retail the Technics is quite a bargain.
Zen, I don't think anybody answered your question though, about seeking a good Tonearm Cable.

There are of course many Cables out there, but the really good Cables will far exceed your bracket price.

One Cable, that I have never tried, but caught my eye on a few occasions, is a Cable sold by agon member Audiodragon. Do a simple member search to pull the user up, click "items for sale", and you will see this 1.2m solid silver conductor shielded DIN-RCA cable, and it's price of $159 plus shipping.

I know, it sounds almost too good to be true, but an email inquiry might be worth your time, and one of the questions I would ask the seller, is if they have a money back if not satisfied? Hope this helps, Mark
Sorry, if I could read I would have answered your question about a phono CABLE, (I read it as phono CARTRIDGE).

Signal Cable makes a damn good cable for around $180 new. I saw a used Kimber TAC on Audiogon for around $180. Audioquest makes the Wildcat for $75.00 new, I'm actually using this cable on a PT9 and it does an excellent job.

Everyone has said marvelous things about the MintLP for alignment, I haven't yet tried one. I still really like my Dennison SoundTractor that I've had forever. I am going to order a MintLP.

Hope that helps some.
Try Ultimate Cables out of Canada, he makes some nice looking din/RCA phone cables for about $85.00 He advertises on Audiogon and also has a website. I have one here and it looks quality, but I have not tried it yet. It has nice RCA's Neutrik I believe, and Cardas DIN, double shielded,50/50 copper silver cryo treated. He only makes about 5 different cables to keep the costs down.
The VPI table was delivered yesterday. Upon first setting up when setting the deck into the chassis the top of the pulley/motor was hitting the bottom of the triangular nameplate that screws over it. I temporarily put cardboard shims on top of the rubber dampers in the corners of the chassis, this raised the deck up enough so the plate wasn't hitting the motor. What am I missing here? Also, while setting the arm into the slot and dropping it as low as it would go I tightened the set screw approx. where it had been previously (saw the marks from screw on shaft) balanced the arm, then added about 1.75 grams. When lowering the cueing arm onto a record the cart/arm bottoms out prior to landing on the record. Only after removing the cushioned arm rest was I able to play a record, by lowering it manually. Also the rubber drive belt was slipping a bit- does anyone know where I can get a spare? Other than that everything looks great.. A lot more set up than my previous KAB 1210 m5g. I'll get into comparisons after I get this dialed in a bit.
This is common with the HW-19, and when I got my own HW-19Jr back in 1997, what I noted VPI had done to achieve proper Plinth Height, was they added one Rubber Spindle Washer underneath each Sorbothane Puck to slightly raise the Plinth height. Even in this scenario, it was a close tolerance between the Pulley, and Pulley cover. When I then went to the MK-IV Platter, which was heavier, I then found I needed to add three small Rubber Washers between the three Standoffs, and Pulley cover to keep the two from rubbing.

Or, Rubber Fender Washers (Ala Home Depot), or Metal Fender Washers, with an outside diameter of 1-1/2" can be used under the Sorbo Pucks to help you attain correct, or a higher Plinth Height. You want to insure that the belt rides in the center of platter, and I feel it is better to shim plinth, rather than to monkey with the Thrust Plate plug at the bottom of the bearing. (Lube bearing while you're at it, Mobil 1 5-30/10-30 works fine, just a couple drops on bottom of shaft, and very light coat to the shaft itself)

As for the Arm, and your cueing mechanism on the AQ PT-8 Arm, this is common, that the Cueing Cylinder will need to be adjusted in height. The entire Cueing Cylinder is held in place with one small metric Allen Set Screw at the side of the Cueing Cylinder.

To first set neutral VTA, set a record on platter. Use a folded ruled Index Card, like a little tent, set Tonearm on the lead in groove of record, set the ruled card behind the arm-Armwand, and sight the ArmWand to insure you are at neutral VTA to begin with. Adjust Arm up, and down till you achieve this neutral VTA. One can also see the Unipivot top of Arm, that it looks level all the way around to the bottom of Arm Pivot, easier seen, than explained here/ Lock Arm Mouning Post, then you can adjust the height of the Cueing Cylinder.

You must insure that the cueing cylinder picks up the Arm a sufficient amount, so thay it will clear the record, and insure when the cueing mechanism is in the down position, that the cueing ramp has sufficient clearance, so that it doesn't contact the underside of Arm Wand while in play.

belts can be gotten from any VPI dealer, or LP Gear as well. Get a new one. If I can be of further help, drop me a private mail, I'll help you.
One problem solved, the cueing lever is held in place by an allen set screw that is very tiny. I managed to find a proper wrench and loosen/drop it a few ticks and it seems ok. This table was shipped with the arm in place and the platter mounted, not the way I was taught to ship a table, so perhaps things got disjointed. I also am going to need a protractor to dial it in. So far it sounds dynamic with the Mani-2's, better than the KAB 1210 and the Alon's. I will go back to the Alon;s for a comparison with the Technics after I get this table all Set and report my findings.
Cheapest, most cost efficient route for a good Protractor, would be the Turntable Basics Mirror Protractor. Better choices, but more costly, would be the Ken Willis Arc Protractor, or the MintLP Protractor from Hong Kong. This Arm uses Baerwald Null Geometry

With either Arc Protractor, one should accurately measure, and insure what the Spindle-Pivot Distance is, and not assume it is at 211mm. With the TB Protractor, one will not need to know S-P Distance, but will need to accurately aim the sight line, and this can be enhanced with a piece of thread stretched from the sight line to the center of Arm Pivot. Mark
Markd51- Thanks for all your insight into this table. You gave me plenty to work on today. Fortunately my hands and eyes still work relatively well and your instruction was very clear. It is a simple table at heart and I should be able to master it in time. A few spins so far have produced a very nice sound, good dynamics and a pretty dark, noise free background. I am thinking about the Mintlp protractor, it gets such rave reviews and there is no better feeling than knowing your cartridge is properly dialed in.
Thanks again, Zen
Hi, I hate that triangle cover, and actually even VPI, I was told thinks the table is better without it ? Plus it is easier to move the belt for a speed change. I also think it looks cleaner without it. It was there to protect the pulley, but I believe you are more likely to screw up the arm, much more then you ever screw up the pulley. If you go to a good hardware store, you should find by all there screws, nut, bolts, etc... some little black plastic plugs that will fit right in the holes where the screws are. Plug the holes and it looks real nice !!