VTA Adjustment

Thanks for all the EXCELLENT answers to my last thread. Now another question....what is VTA? Vertical tracking adjustment? Second question, does a Nottingham space deck (with space arm) have a VTA adjustment? The documentation mentions only "playing weight", is this the same thing? The documentation that comes with the deck is absolutely horrible, two confusing paragraphs and a hand drawn diagram. The assembly instructions that came with my 2 years olds bicycle manufactured in china were much better.
4yanx has a Spacedeck. He will help you out with that one.
VTA=Vertical Tracking Angle. The correct vertical angle is established by the angle of the cutting head on the original master disc. You want to match the angle of your stylus exactly to this angle. Now all you have to do is figure out what the angle of the cutting head was, what the angle of your stylus is, calculate the thickness of the record you are going to play, and you will know how to set the VTA properly. Yeh I know, its a bitch but nobody said vinyl was easy. These problems are some of the reasons people and manufacturers don't pay much attention to VTA, but is IS important. Its best handled by ear on each record with a tonearm that allows you to adjust VTA on the fly.
I would certainly contact the distributor if you find anything about the included documentation to be less than fully informative or totally clear. If you got this from a local dealer, they should be helping you to set it up correctly, or more likely doing it for you. (BTW, "playing weight" presumably means VTF/vertical tracking force, which is not the same thing as VTA. These adjustments will all depend on the cartridge you are using, which should also have documentation.)
Anyone who owns a hifi TT should be versed in the setup geometries, including how each geomety affects sound and how changes in one affects other geometries.

When you find out what VTA is, it should be obvious how to change it on the Spacedeck.

NA instructions are for TT setup. It isn't their job to teach VTA. Not like Zaikes would know, but talking to ASL is talking to a dead phone line.
Bwaahahahah, Ohlala, I'm with you 110%. I have come to believe that ASL is an acronym for Arrogant, Stupid, and Laughable. But then, I don't have any strong feelings on the matter. ;-)

Mythtrip, the adjustment of VTA on the Spacearm is EASY. First, loosen the two allen set screws in the collet ring. The smaller of the two allen wrenches that should have come with your Spacearm(deck)is the appropriate size. The collect ring is the shiny round ring that is just below the base of the tonearm pillar and it keeps the tonearm form moving up and down. Now, you have either an early model or late-model Spacearm.

If you have the earlier arm, you can raise or lower the arm by hand to change VTA. Just tighten the allen set screws when finished. If you have this arm, I ‘d suggest doing something like Marty's approach which entails laying a deck of cards under the arm, using as many cards as it takes to fit between the bottom of the arm and an old LP. Then add or subtract cards depending on if you want to go up or down. By knowing the number of cards you can always get "back to square one", if needed.

If you have the later version of the Spacearm, you will see a vertical, threaded rod just to the right of the arm pillar. It has an allen set in the top of the rod that is the same size as your wrench. Again, loosen the collet screws just enough to provide movement. Then, you can adjust the VTA in very minute increments by turning the threaded rod one way or the other. When finished, tighten the collet screws and you are all set. Remember to check VTA after changing tracking force, anti-skate, changing the platter mat, etc. etc.......

I think it is correct to assume that Nottingham assumes (rightly or wrongly) that one has mor ethan a working knowledge of TT setup with respect to the conent of their documentations. Odd, too, as it is an easy table to setup but the lack of instructions may deter, or at least frustrate, some relatively inexperienced analog users.
There ought to be a law that all VTA adjustment comes with a remote control. Every record seems to vary in thickness. Don't forget tracking force, azmuth, anti skate and a few more tips for getting the best out of your setup. If possible try to find someone who knows what they are doing and learn as much as possible. Proper setup is critical for TTs to do there magic. Once there you will understand why some will not listen to digital. I would email 4yanx and learn as much as possible. It is very frustrating having to depend on someone else to help in setting up your TT. Won't take long to find out what I am talking about. Won't take long to learn. Proper setup is everything. I wish you the best. 4yanx, i hope you don't mind me volunteering you.
No Ohlala, it's not like I would know about this distributor, but I know an elitist attitude about the qualifications for admission to the analog fraternity when I see one (what's wrong with learning by doing?). You're right, of course - a TT's manual shouldn't necessarily be expected to give fundamental lessons on the why's and wherefore's of set-up geometry. But the documentation with this particular TT sounds substandard - and anyway, a good distributor should always be willing to help out customers who purchase his products, so don't lay it on Mythtrip (or me) if this distributor doesn't fit that description.
I apologize for the way I worded my statement. What I meant was that there is no reason why you would know that ASL is particularly unresponsive to consumers. One would naturally assume some sort of complaint to a dist. would be worthwhile, but in this case, its not worth the trouble to dial.

My first TT was an NA. Before I set it up, I learned about how to set it up, so I did not have any problems with the instructions. The "manuals" are cheap, but good enough. Knowing what VTA is makes how to adjust it clear, seriously w/ no snobbiness.

My post was geared so Mythtrip would have to bridge the gap from theoretical to setup with the intent of encouraging a deeper knowledge of what is going on with TT setup. And when one finds that VTA is related to the angle of the arm tube, it is obvious how to adjust this on the Spacedeck. If one has to routinely ask setup questions, I doubt the TT will be optimally setup. Its easier and better for good setup to just click over the AA FAQ and learn what's what.

"(what's wrong with learning by doing?)."

With out some knowledge base in setup, learning by doing takes forever and could lead to costly errors.

I can be elitist, but I am not an anolog elitist. I am not even in the frat. If this post has perturbed or insulted anyone, please chalk it up to my eliteness. No offense meant.

The Great One:),
Well Ohlala, I didn't figure you really were - or maybe meant to be - an 'analog elitist' (or one of any kind), based on my knowledge of you from numerous other threads. And I knew you weren't trying to put me down for not being familiar with the NA distributor. It was just that it seemed you were chastising Mythtrip for presuming to buy a TT without first being experienced or already having a good theoretical grounding in matters analog. Since he's given us an inkling that 'knows what he doesn't know', so to speak, I didn't see any call to discourage him (or anyone else, neophyte or not) when he comes to the forum asking the right questions. Peace, Z.
vta, don't let all this banter scare you off Mythtrip, like anything else when you don't know how to do something it is mysterious and seemingly hard to do. Let me assure you it is not hard, it only requires patience and the right tools.

You will need a level, a alignment gauge protractor, and a stylus pressure gauge. I have a protractor that has a line running down the length of the gauge about 5 inches long this is handy to check vta reference.

After you have leveled your table set the overhang with the alignment protractor, this is important to good sound. Then set your stylus pressure to the recommended force. After that you put a lp on your turntable lower the arm on to the non-spinning lp, this is where that protractor with the line on it comes in. just place the gauge on the lp right behind the armtube and look at it from the side. You will be able to see if your arm is lower in the front or back, what you want to do is get it so the arm is parallel with the record, this is your starting point. Here is a link to help you fine tune. Happy listening,

Mythtrip, you haven't contacted me as Brulee volunteered :-) but I will add one more thing with respect to VTA. There should also have came with your Spacedeck a short spirit level. Carefully place this in line with your arm on top of the headshell and lower the arm via the queuing device onto an old record of an "average" thickness. You can tell by the level whether your arm is "ass up" or "ass down". For my cartridge, Shelter 501, the best VTA setting is just a cat whisker low in the rear. A perfecetly level VTA is a good point from which to srat. Make minor adjustments up and down to dial in your pickup.

Also, ASL will tell you that Nottingham recommendeds a spindle to pivot distance of 210mm for the SPACEARM. Experience shows that MANY pickups will not meet the null points during alignment if the distance is set thus. After extensive trial and error, I have determined, and Wally of Wally Tractor fame agrees, that the proper spindle to pivot distance for the SPACEARM is 206mm.