VPI JMW 12.5 counterweight upgrade

Adjusting the azimuth on the VPI with the off-set counter weight is challenging: altering the azimuth often shifts the weight along the shaft and alters the VTA. I found a reasonably priced counter weight replacement that allows for relatively easy setting of VTA and azimuth, independently. I also discovered a sonic improvement over the VPI counter weight.

The product is manufactured and designed by an engineer in the UK. It seems that he designed his initial counter weight for the Hadcock tonearm and expanded to other unipivot arms. His product is on Ebay and is called the XTCW.
Soundsmith's makes a very good alternative.
Dear BRF, I was aware of the Sound Smith's product before I purchased the XTCW. The difference is that the XTCW lowers the counter weight below the horizontal line of the cartridge, thereby, providing greater, potential, counter-force of those produced by the grooves acting on the stylus. The physics made sense and the improved sonics (musical reproduction) validated the science.

I suspect, also, that the resonant characteristics of the brass would help cancel out the resonant frequencies of the stainless steel. It sure sounds great, and maybe it does help cancel out some of the induced resonance.

So, the XTCW facilitated setup of VTA and azimuth, and it improved the music reproduction. Not bad for $80.
The VPI arms now have a lowered counterweight as you describe.
Dear Stringreen,

I had VPI's drop-style counter weight, as mentioned in my original thread. The XTCW has a much lower center of gravity. It provides greater stability and sonic performance than the VPI counter weight.
In response to Stringreen: As I mentioned in my original thread, I used the drop-style VPI counter weight. However, the XTCW has a lower center of gravity, provides greater stability, and better sonic performance to the VPI counter weight.
Redglobe...have you really tried using this XTC arm and compared it you the VPI?? I am using the 10.5i with a Benz Ebony LPS, and find the performance stunning. Never a tracking problem...big, wide and deep soundstage, etc.
I looked it up on ebay. It certainly looks like it would be more stable. Although they are not very apealling visually. I did not see the one for a VPI arm but got the idea of what they look like.

Yes, I have really tried the XTCW counter weight on the VPI 12.5 arm. I too was very pleased with the 12.5, as it was. However, I experienced the benefits of the XTCW on a Hadcock and figured it should do the same on the 12.5. It did just that.

The 12.5 is a great sounding tonearm. However, the XTCW brought up the performance. Like so much of high end equipment, it is exceptional. Periodically, you find something that augments a great product. This is what I discovered.

Sarcher30: On Ebay, search under XTCW. Click on one of the products, then click on the sellers other items. It should appear on the second page XTCW VPI JMW12.5 tonearm UPGRADE COUNTERWEIGHT - NON EU & EXPORT PRICE.

I agree, I didn't think it was aesthetically appealing. However, once in place and I experienced the sonic improvement I appreciated the engineering simplicity.
The XTCW looks homemade when compared to the stainless steel high precision drop down counter weight by VPI.
Thanks Redglobe for sharing your experience. Food for thought.
Who cares what it looks like,the bass improvement and top end clarity are amazing,it certainly fixes an inherent fault with the VPI dropped weight.
Neil, I read some of the feedback on Ebay. It appears that others have discovered the substantive sonic improvements that we have with the XTC. I am glad you gave it a try and published your results.
I would interested in results from any A-goners using an Alphason Hr100s arm and the XTC 133gm counterweight. From a design and engineering perspective the lower design of the counterweight does make sense. I have a hunch the results may be along the same lines, however have not had a chance to see any reviews or feedback regarding this combination.
Hmmm...couldn't find it when searched ebay today under xtcw.
Myles and Tuded1, the Ebay vendor is JCLOVESMUSIC. He has a listing for XTC VARIABLE MASS 85-146gm COUNTERWEIGHT REGA, NAD, FUNK FIRM F.XR etc. TONEARMS. This seems to replace the many customized models that he used to list.

Give JC an email through Ebay and specify your model tone arm and he will provide the appropriate model.

I had used the XTCW on a Hadcock and asked JC to fashion the model for my JMW12.5. He was very responsive and professional in his dealings.
The modification gets modified. Of course so did the price. This new revision looks even more supple! Certainly allowing for a wider application of cartridges. Kudos to the makers of XTC for the upgrade.