VPI tone arm set up

Wanting to get back into analog, I just completed all my purchases (here on Audiogon) and am ready to start putting everything together. I have a VPI Aries 1 turntable, a VPI JMW 9 Sig. tonearm and a Shelter 501 mk11 cartridge I have mounted to a Cartridge Man Isolator. My question is- I understand the distance between the spindle and tone arm pivot is to be 223mm. Are they talking about center of turntable spindle to center of tonearm pivot? Also, I purchsed a VPI tonearm jig and noticed it only has 1 null point (inner, closest to turntable spindle) where as other jigs I've seen have 2 null points. Will this align correctly?
Hi Mark,

I believe that your assumption is correct on the 223 mm spacing. I have the same tonearm on a Scoutmaster, which uses a similar jig. VPI cartridge alignment is done at one null point, which is slightly different than most traditional tone arm set ups. Fremer's DVD on turntable set up has a section specific to VPI tables if you want a decent reference. Your set up will sound really nice when you get it dialed in.
I have a Scout and the Shelter 501 cartridge. Apparently, the combination is controversial to some on these boards, although I think it sounds good. The dealer added some weights to the cartridge to make the combo work better. By the way, I'm an amateur, but since you have the same cartridge, I thought I would just call this issue to your attention.
If you look on Vinyl Engine there is an exhaustive study of VPI arm geometry. It exhausted me and I'm a VPI dealer. But it is worth a look. The design of many of the moving coils is not greatly changed from the days when tone arms were typically of much higher mass and with lower mass arms the resonance frequency of the cartridge-arm combination will be too high. Thus the weights to raise the arm mass.
I have the same turn table and arm that you have and went through the learning curve with set up information ETC. At the end I found that the Mint Tractor was by far the best set up tool available for this combination. The difference in sound between the VPI set up and the Mint Tractor blew me away. Google "Mint Tractor", you will not be sorry and I'm in no way associated with any kind of sales for this tool. I just know it really does work.
I second Markus 2399 regarding the Mint Tractor.
You can get good results with either the VPI jig or the Mint Tractor. In the end though, the results with the Mint tool are significantly better and much more reproducable. With the VPI jig, I could always talk myself out of thinking I had it right(like trying to hang a picture straight by eye). The Mint is more accurate by removing siting error from the equation through the use of reflection.
Thanks everyone who has responded. I will probably purchase the Mint Tractor just because I like to tweek, to me thats where half the fun is. My concern here though is that a couple of responces are pointing to maybe the Shelter 501 is not a good match for the VPI JMW9 tonearm. I was wondering what cartridge you guys are using that would be a better match? When I contacted VPI they did suggest adding weight, thats when I decided to go with the Cartridge Man Isolater, I think it adds about 2 grams.
I have a Benz Ebony LP, and had a Benz Ebony high output...both wonderful. Dyna xv-1 is also great. Listen to both and decide.
I have the Clearaudio Virtuoso Wood and until I really spent some time and dialed it in, I was disappointed. The Mint Tractor was what brought it around and now it surpasses my Cary 306 SACD. Problem seems to be finding really good Vinyl.
I use a Sumiko Blue Point Special Evo III with excellent results for my Scoutmaster. The Gingko Cloud 11 is a must as well, definitely improved the sound.
I use a Dyna 20X S.V. with my Scoutmaster and love it.
Markus, Is your Clearaudio Virtuoso Wood a MM or MC type?
MM style
Markus, I've had a Virtuoso Wood on my VPI and felt it hadnt reached its full potential until using the Mint Tractor for dial-in as well. I pretty much up to now have had to use MM carts (or high-power MC) due to the low gain in my preamp's phono section (modified CJ PV-5), and did not want to insert a step-up tranformer into the chain.Have been very happy with the Clearaudio(after having had a Alchemist, Blue Point Special 1 and 2, Denon DL-103 carts). So Markpao, invest in a Mint!--Mrmitch
I wanted to follow up and let everyone know that I purchased the Mint Tractor as suggested and this was the best advice anyone could have given me. I had a few emails back and forth with Yip, from Mint LP Solutions, and gotta tell you he is a real gentleman and his customer service is second to none. Prior to the Mint, I did my setup with the VPI jig and thought I had it on. With the Mint, I found early on that I was slightly off with overhang and more so with the null point alignments. I then went back to the VPI jig after my adjustments only to see it now appeared aligned perfectly. Not that there is anything wrong with the VPI jig, but I think much easier to get it right with the Mint. The sound, WOW! I am now hooked on vinyl.