VTF issues

Hello everyone,
I am having trouble with my tonearm vtf staying stable. It will fluctuate as much as a 1/2 gram just picking it up and setting it back on the meter. It never measures the same twice. I have 3 different vtf gauges. 2 digital and one Shure and they measure the same thing.

I believe it has to do with the adjustment knob on the tonearm. it is very sensitive. It can take up to 30 minutes to get the right reading. The tonearm is the Ortofon RS 212 D.

I just recently purchased the Lyra Kleos. It has a light vtf and the manufacture warns against over loading it. While listening last night the cart started bottoming out. When I measured the tracking force it had gained a full gram.

Is this sensitivity normal or could there be something wrong with the tonearm.

I do not believe that this is normal and would appear to indicate that there is too much vertical friction in the tonearm bearing. I would consider two different experiments. 1. If you leave the cart on the scale, does the VTF reading gradually increase over time and then stabilize? If so, I would THINK that means that the friction in the vertical plane is too high.
2. OTOH, it if is initially stable over time and then you give it a slight (very slight) nudge downward, does it re-stabilize at a different VTF? In that case, I would think that the bearing was sticking.

I don't know anything about that arm. Does it have bearings that are adjustable and/or require lubrication?
I agree with Swampwalker...however...I would have a pro do the adjusting/lub
Thanks, I will give these a try. At this moment I am on a business trip and won't be home for a few days.

Will get back with the results.

I have the 309D and have'nt noticed the problem. It is difficult to set because the minutest change in the fine tuning wheel, seems to make big changes in weight, so you tend to overshoot the desired weight. I use a good but not uber expensive digital scale. Once set, it seems stable and certainly should be. If the arm is under gaurantee still, I would try and replace it. in general I find the Ortofon an excellent, well built arm.
I had to return 2 samples of RS212D due to sloppy bearings. They sounded terrible.
I measured out a stack of cds plus my scale as tall as the platter and mat
with a record on. I then took off the platter sand used the cd scale stack to
set the VTF. The diff was .07g and I have my ortofon mc-3 turbo tracking at
2.05g and my RP6 is sounding better and better as it breaks in and I dial it
in. :)
I would sell that arm ASAP
If the problem isn't easily diagnosed and eliminated (e.g., tonearm wire improperly dressed and snagging on something to cause intermittent changes in downforce) then I agree with Syntax... sell the arm to him!
Well I've had some time to try your suggestions and it seems to be the bearing sticking. I can lightly blow on the headshell and the weight would increase and would not go back to its original setting. not even close.

I may attempt to work on it myself, but will probably take it to someone to have it looked at.

I was in the market for a new TT, but looks as if I should be looking for a new tonearm.
Spoke with ortofon today. basically they said that the tonearm was just out of warranty and that I was s*#t out of luck. Another good reason to buy American.

May try to clean them myself and see if it will fix it. Can't break something that is already a piece of junk. although I have a couple of there carts. They will no longer receive anymore of my purchases. As if they care.
Well, Marketing and Reality can show differences....

The Ortofon RS-212D tonearm takes analog sound reproduction to a higher level with highly configurable VTF options and a dynamic balance system for increased stability when tracking warps and other anomalies

Probably you can try MM carts, they have some advantages :-)
I have had too many experience with Ortofon ....bent sylii on a brand new cartridge in the package, etc.
Mwilliams, There are guys who can repair tonearms with problems such as the one you describe. My guess is that there is something amiss with the dynamic balance system. On Vinyl Asylum, you could try Jim Howard, who posts as "Tubesforever" (or something like that). Also, the late Bill Berdan used to repair tonearms, and I think his son has taken over the business, or in any case the business still exists. They have a website, under Berdan. I have never done business with either, but they are held in some regard by others. Also, it is possible that Sound Smith would look at your tonearm.
That's good to know.


A word of caution regarding Jim Howard. He was recommended to me, I sent my Dynavector 501 tonearm for his silver rewire. It was a total disaster. He couldn't figure out how to correctly reassemble the tonearm, I sent it back to him twice, it came back the same.

I wound up doing it myself, with much better results.

Jim is a nice guy, he means well, and talks the talk, but I'm afraid he is actually clueless.

Find someone else.