TT Tweak with astonishing results!!!

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TT Tweak with astonishing results!!!

Postby MoJAZZ » Tue Jul 25, 2006 11:05 am

It was a rainy weekend and I had time to tinker with a lot of things in the house and my car so off I went to True Value at Rockwell to buy some stuff. While there i saw some rolled anti-slip mats. An idea suddenly came into my mind. I thought it would be a good TT mat. I bought a roll and used it with astonishing results!!!

My tunog latang Morning Thunder LP of Eddie Daniles suddenly came to life and so with the Earl Klugh Late Night Guitar album. My Friends of Carlotta album revealed a deeper and wider soundstage. Overall after trying a lot of albums, the instruments sounded more realistic and the vocals had more body and became more natural.

I would highly recommend this to all TT enthusiasts.

Just a note you would need to buy a thin double sided tape to stick it on to the mat. If not, everytime you pull out an LP it will stick on it and it may accidentally damage your cart kung matamaan.

Here's a pic of my GR1.2 with the DIY mat:

Image

Image
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Postby arnoldc » Tue Jul 25, 2006 11:11 am

Did you adjust your VTA? That "mat" is thick and definitely affects your VTA. Your VTF may have changed too.
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Postby Jon Agner » Tue Jul 25, 2006 11:34 am

MoJAZZ,

Agree with Arnold, both VTA and VTF will change with the anti-slip mat. I have tried that out myself a year ago and posted it in the Member's setup thread.

Anyway, Stereophile also did the same tweak before I did, and wrote down his observation:

Jon Agner wrote:
My new DIY turntable mat:






An "ACE" anti-slip table mat, from ACE Hardware. The texture of this anti-slip mat is almost the same as the "Skin" turntable. For PRO-JECT owners, this is a good alternative if you are still using the stock mat that came with the Turntable.

How and Why I came upon this? Well, the stock felt mat is very slippery when in contact with the platter. So I had to find an alternative. Luckily, Audio Den has the "Skin" mounted on their demo unit and I was able to get a close look at the material and texture.

There are lots of anti-slip mats available, but finding the right one seems almost impossible, as most of them, though called anti slip mats, so not have the texture similar to the "skin", until I chanced upon this anti-slip mat from ACE hardware. This anti-slip mat, for me, worked well for its price. Smile

Cheers. Thanks for looking Wink


Jon Agner- I'm sorry if I have to burst your bubble about your DIY ACE slipmat, but LEAVING VINYL or any PLASTIC on top of the aforementioned rubber slip mat will PERMANENTLY DAMAGE the surface in time. It will leave bubble markings on your precious vinyl w/c cannot be removed.

Such a mat is also sold in Acoustic Sounds as the Extreme Phono Non-felt Mat. It will also do damage. Try it out on an LP you don't mind losing/testing. Better safe than sorry.


The same thing happened with one of my vinyls when I left it for about 3 hours.

So, to play safe, you can still use that, but put on top of th anti-slip mat the stock felt mat (if any) of your GR TT.

Hope this helps.

Cheers
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comments

Postby MoJAZZ » Tue Jul 25, 2006 11:45 am

Thanks for the comments guys. No i did not adjust VTA and VTF, kasi I dont know how to do this. :oops: :(

I would appreciate it if you could post links for adjusting VTA and VTF for the GR 1.2, or teach me how. :)

Actually the one I bought wasnt really that thick but obviously thicker than the felt mat that came with the TT.
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Postby amandarae » Tue Jul 25, 2006 11:55 am

Has to be the VTA! The VTF should be off a touch but should not be as touchy with non-unipivot arm. My opinion only of course....
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Postby stereophile » Tue Jul 25, 2006 12:06 pm

Michael Fremer reviewed the Extreme Non-Felt Phono Mat w/c is made of the same material and also observed the same thing I did: the chemicals embedded in the rubber leach out and attack the vinyl/plastic leaving permanent marks. Leave it longer, then gouges appear. I did not leave vinyl but rather a plastic case on top of the material. After a few days...yikes...the clear plastic became blurred with gouges from the 'bubbles'.

I'm sorry if I have to tell you about it all over again. Like you, I like tweaking on the cheap if it can be done. However, with the above mentioned observations, I'd feel bad if I did not inform you before permanent damage is done to your vinyl and/or platter.

Besides that, by using a thicker mat, then VTA will change. In your Goldring ttable which is Rega based, the stock tonearm requires a shim to adjust VTA. That necessitates unbolting the tonearm from the plinth. So if you use a thicker mat, you would need a couple of shims to compensate for the new height. I am not aware if the local Goldring importer has brought in some shims. I saw some for sale in Acoustic Sounds.
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Postby arnoldc » Tue Jul 25, 2006 12:18 pm

Just as I expected. So what you heard is NOT THE EFFECT OF THE MAT, but rather the change in VTA/VTF.

Dump the mat and adjust your VTA/VTF properly. That's the BEST TWEAK.
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Mat

Postby MoJAZZ » Tue Jul 25, 2006 1:04 pm

Thanks again TT gurus and enthusiasts. I'll try to see if I can get shims to adjust the VTA.

In the meantime its back to the felt mat!!!
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Shims for Rega 250 Arm

Postby Amplifine » Sat Aug 05, 2006 6:01 pm

OT: but sort of thread related :oops:
Does anyone know where I could get ready made shims for the GR 1.2 / Rega 250 arm? I'm installing a rather tall AKG Cartridge on this deck and form the looks of it I'll end up with a rake if I dont adjust the VTA.

Any help out there? :cry: (917) 544-5600
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Re: Mat

Postby mandym » Sat Aug 05, 2006 7:17 pm

MoJAZZ wrote:Thanks again TT gurus and enthusiasts. I'll try to see if I can get shims to adjust the VTA.

In the meantime its back to the felt mat!!!


Sorry, I am a bit confused! You changed two parameters and without further data, one cannot conclude with any certainty which of the two caused the improvement. Although I personally prefer a low-riding tonearm, I cannot say that the mat material did nothing to improve the sound.

Anyway, if you believe that the change in VTA is the cause, then using a shim to raise the tonearm will not work. You need to LOWER the arm to duplicate its position when you were using the thick mat. You might do better with a shim on the headshell, this will have the same effect of lowering the tonearm.

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Re: Mat

Postby stereophile » Sat Aug 05, 2006 9:22 pm

mandym wrote:
MoJAZZ wrote:Thanks again TT gurus and enthusiasts. I'll try to see if I can get shims to adjust the VTA.

In the meantime its back to the felt mat!!!


Sorry, I am a bit confused! You changed two parameters and without further data, one cannot conclude with any certainty which of the two caused the improvement. Although I personally prefer a low-riding tonearm, I cannot say that the mat material did nothing to improve the sound.

Anyway, if you believe that the change in VTA is the cause, then using a shim to raise the tonearm will not work. You need to LOWER the arm to duplicate its position when you were using the thick mat. You might do better with a shim on the headshell, this will have the same effect of lowering the tonearm.

Mandym



You are correct, mandym. The shims can only increase the VTA, not lower it. As stock, without any shims, that's the lowest the tonearm will go. By adding a 'thicker' mat you decrease VTA. This is the cheapest way to alter VTA in a stock Rega arm.
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Tweak

Postby MoJAZZ » Sat Aug 05, 2006 11:25 pm

Im not really too good with the VTA/VTF stuff, but I think why I heard the audible improvement was because of the damping that was added to the platter because of the mat and also the sticking effect it had on the vinyl, which then reduced sliding and added friction to the stylus/vinyl contact.

Im interested to know what the long term effects of not properly adjusting VTA and VTF is to the stylus and to the vinyl itself.
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Re: Tweak

Postby tag » Sun Aug 06, 2006 2:38 am

MoJAZZ wrote:Im interested to know what the long term effects of not properly adjusting VTA and VTF is to the stylus and to the vinyl itself.


am a bit of a newbie myself but here's what i've read and verified, VTA within limits is a matter of taste...some like it bassy(tail low?) and some like it emphasizing the highs(tail high?). wrong adjustment would probably cause improper wear on the stylus tip and poor sonic performance. in general, i was advised to keep the arm parallel to the record and from there, adjust to my preference in small increments.

wrong VTF(too heavy) will cause long term damage to the cart suspension and is supposed to cause premature record wear while a too light setting will cause mistracking resulting to possible stylus and record damage. there should be an allowable range of VTF specific to your cart that you can play with.(eg. grado prestige series 1.5-2.0gms)

HTH
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Re: Tweak

Postby mandym » Sun Aug 06, 2006 5:21 am

MoJAZZ wrote:Im not really too good with the VTA/VTF stuff, but I think why I heard the audible improvement was because of the damping that was added to the platter because of the mat and also the sticking effect it had on the vinyl, which then reduced sliding and added friction to the stylus/vinyl contact.

Im interested to know what the long term effects of not properly adjusting VTA and VTF is to the stylus and to the vinyl itself.


If you are so inclined, I can help you pursue this matter. I can make you an aluminum shim to place betwen your cartridge and the headshell. This way you will be effectively decreasing the VTA just as when you used a thick mat. If you don't hear the improvement you heard before, then chances are that the mat material did the trick.

Just give me the mat thickness and your address, I'll send you the headshell shim, no charge.

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Re: Tweak

Postby stereophile » Sun Aug 06, 2006 5:59 am

mandym wrote:If you are so inclined, I can help you pursue this matter. I can make you an aluminum shim to place betwen your cartridge and the headshell. This way you will be effectively decreasing the VTA just as when you used a thick mat. If you don't hear the improvement you heard before, then chances are that the mat material did the trick.

Just give me the mat thickness and your address, I'll send you the headshell shim, no charge.

Mandym


Mandym-Hats off to you for your generosity and pure analog heart. It is good to see/hear audiophiles sharing their experiences and resources with others for the love of the hobby. May this serve as an example for others to emulate.

mojazz-I'd take up mandym with his offer. His tweak is an added option for your set-up. It is a perfect way to determine if the audible diff you heard is due to VTA or to the mat. My guess is VTA. :D
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Postby Jazzmanoy » Sun Aug 06, 2006 10:26 am

I tried several materials for my turntable mat including the anti-slip mat. However, there are a few things I observed that was confirmed when I came to log on this site.

http://www.soundfountain.com/amb/ttmat.html

Hope this helps.
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