VPI JMW-9 Signature Questions

I just upgraded the stock JMW9 to the JMW9 Signature on my Scoutmaster. Just installed it this evening.

Without even burning it in, I can hear an improvement....more substance and texture to the music, without adding warmth/veiling.

But I have a couple of questions for others using the Signature.

1. How long do the new Valhalla wires require to burn in properly?

2. Do you use the damping fluid or not? If so, how much do you use? What audio difference does it make?

3. Are you using the add-on antiskating device, or just using the VPI recommended wire twist method? Right now I'm using the wire twist because I never thought antiskating was an issue in my previous setup.

4. I thought I read somewhere that one of the upgrades of the Signature is that it allows finer adjustment of VTF. But as far as I can tell, VTF (and azimuth) is still adjusted the same (rather clumsy) way of simply pushing (and turning) the counterweight. Am I missing something?

Thanks for any and all input.
1. They say about 100 hours or so. That seems like an awful lot and I'm not sure if I'm there yet but I've stopped noticing any more improvements. It sounds better than the stock JMW/9 arm and I'm happy for that. I reckon about 10-20 hours will do it (just a guess).

2. Yeah I do but only because I'm now using a low-compliance cartridge (Shelter 501). I have the well filled to about 3 mm from the top.

3. Yep, using the new one. I broke my fishing line so had to buy new nylon wire ($1.50 for 4lb fishing line from WalMart). I can't say I notice much difference (if any) from the standard twisted wire approach, however it looks cool ;-)

4. As far as I can tell, it's the exact same VTF mechanism as before. I was confused about that too.

Hope that helps.

I use the same setup that Nick does (except I didn't break the line) I pretty much echo his comments with 2 additional observations:
1. Err on the side of too little when adding the damping fluid. Too much will slow the pace and drive of the music.
2. I opted for the mechanical anti-skate rather than the twist for a couple of reasons. Harry would not have included it if it didn't work (despite market pressure to include it) and at an emotional level, I didn't just pay a lot of extra money for Nordost Valhalla wire in my tone arm only to start twisting it to and fro at the end of the chain. As always YMMV.
For finer VTF adjustments, there is a screw in the back of the counterweight shaft. Using a 3/16" allen wrench you can back the screw in or out to adjust VTF.

Thanks for all your feedback.

I'll let the tonearm burn in for >50 hours or so, then start experimenting with the damping oil. I'm still not convinced that I need more/better anti-skating, but at least I know I can install that mousetrap if I need it.

I was wondering what that 3/16" hex wrench was for, and I noticed it fit in the back of the tonearm, but I didn't want to go in there and just turning stuff without knowing what it was. So, that's the fine adjustment of the VTF....why didn't Harry put that in the manual?

Anyway. Thanks a bunch for the info.
Talking of screws, anyone know what the one in the top of the tonearm above the pivot point is for?
It raises and lowers the bearing cup.
Hi Coffee, Regarding burn in time for the Valhalla wire. I sent off an e-mail to Nordost asking them about this. Jeff Wells of Nordost reply...Burn in time for just about all of our mono-filament cables are between 150 and 200 hours.You may not notice that much of a difference in the internal wire as it burns in because of the very low signal traveling the wire...There you go. And I just found out my sig.arm will be delivered Monday or Tuesday...
I'm getting my Scoutmaster with JMW-9 Signature next week, any tips or information how to set up the table will be appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
Anybody else have trouble finding the sweep spot on the anti skate? I am familiar with this setup because I had a similar one on a previous Yamaha table. However, I had a level table and can't get the antiskate to drive the tonearm toward the center of the record. Have to drop on first groove to track. Using Urushi Black and don't like doing this. Also, I can't get the height high enough to give me more than 1 MM clearance (doens't clear warped records) when tone arm is on rest. Urushi's have thick body but does anybody have a recommended solution. It is scary positioning tonearm. Once engaged sounds beautiful. No damping fluid. Gingko Cloud 11 base made huge difference for Super Scoutmaster signature plus.
I've been toying with the anti-skate, between removing it altogether and setting it on minimum (weight all the way to the right). I've convinced myself that this affects the imaging but I'm not so sure. If it's true that they put that new mechanical anti-skate on for "marketing reasons" then we should all just leave it off and forget it's there.