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Turntables & Tonearms Where Analog still Rules

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  #71  
Old 05-12-2020, 07:00 PM
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First photos of the table. The arm, cartridge, and spindle "washer" from the VPI are on it. The dust cover needs to go on, and I may need a mat, as it's not clear that the stylus actually touches the record. The 309 is set as low as I can set it.

If anyone has a low-cost, relatively thick solution I'd like to hear it just in case. Will plan to try playing something tomorrow.
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File Type: jpg IMG_0539 copy.jpg (75.9 KB, 31 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0536 copy.jpg (100.7 KB, 36 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0537.jpg (96.4 KB, 30 views)
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  #72  
Old 05-12-2020, 07:58 PM
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The VPI washer is specifically made to match their platter and to only be used with their clamp, which applies pressure to the outside of the label forcing the LP down around the washer to maintain firm contact with the platter. Unless you have the same type of clamp for use with the SOTA you shouldn't use the VPI washer. I think the tonearm should have a height adjustment for its cueing mechanism which may need to be lowered. That should be a setting independent of the arm height which would be used to set proper VTA. I'm not familiar with the 309 specifically but am speaking in general about most tonearms. Hope this helps.
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  #73  
Old 05-13-2020, 03:36 PM
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Yes on not using the VPI washer.
Been so long since I've owned a 309 that I don't recall, but is the cuing lift height adjustable (I believe it is). You may have it set so high that it is keeping the arm from going down far enough to allow the stylus to make contact. Should be about 0.1-0.2" between the arm and lift when the album is playing to allow room for vertical arm movement due to warpage and other thickness imperfections of an LP.
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  #74  
Old 05-13-2020, 05:23 PM
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Problem solved; the armboard wasn't situated properly. It is now.

But I have another problem (!!). Before i figured things out, Christian at SOTA asked for a photo of the underside, thinking the suspension might have an issue. I had to remove the platter and armboard to take the photo. I then put the table back on its shelf and replaced the armboard and platter. Only now, I can't get the platter to line up right. It's skewed to the left, leaving little/no clearance, and whenever I turn the table on, the belt slides right into that area, gets jammed, and the platter won't turn. It was fine yesterday. I have no idea what happened.

I attached a photo, in case anyone has ideas. This is so frustrating! I've wasted a good chunk of the day on this.
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File Type: jpg IMG_0547 copy.jpg (90.1 KB, 26 views)
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  #75  
Old 05-23-2020, 02:22 PM
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More problems solved!

The Sapphire is a bit finicky about leveling, more so than my VPI was. I tweaked the leveling multiple times, and the chassis is now as level as it's going to get. I put the platter on and it fits, though there's less than .0625" between the belt and the cutout on the chassis. Because of the magnets the platter is difficult to get off, so I'm glad that's settled. Donna said the platter doesn't necessarily fit in the center of the cutout; they're working on that, actually.

After all the trouble with the platter and leveling, and some back and forth with Donna and Christian at SOTA over the last 2 weeks, today I got set to play a record. Only, no right channel (!?). Only a low-volume rumble from the right speaker. I eliminated the speakers, the preamp input/output, and the connections; switching to mono, everything was fine. After about 35 minutes of troubleshooting, it occurred to me to clean the stylus. Problem solved again! Attached is a photo of a record playing! Chris Squire's Fish out of Water is playing as I type. Will take one more once the dust cover's attached.
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File Type: jpg IMG_0558.jpg (87.5 KB, 28 views)
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  #76  
Old 05-24-2020, 01:32 PM
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Nice TT/TA/cart.

However, your info makes me wonder about your cartridge alignment.
One reason is how far out the cartridge is sticking from the headshell (though I've owned a 309 and a Grado, never together) in your pic.
The other reason is how dirty your stylus was. A badly misaligned stylus will 'shave' the vinyl and build up a little brown ball of 'vinyl fuzz'.
Hope all is well.
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  #77  
Old 05-25-2020, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Formerly YB-2 View Post
Nice TT/TA/cart.

However, your info makes me wonder about your cartridge alignment.
One reason is how far out the cartridge is sticking from the headshell (though I've owned a 309 and a Grado, never together) in your pic.
The other reason is how dirty your stylus was. A badly misaligned stylus will 'shave' the vinyl and build up a little brown ball of 'vinyl fuzz'.
Hope all is well.
A quick inspection shows the new cartridge's body is bigger than the previous one (it's a different cartridge) and the screw holes are situated further back. I attached a photo of the headshell with the previous cart for perspective. The previous cart was a Sonata Reference; the new one's a Sonata 3 Timbre

As for the alignment theory, I will be in touch with SOTA tomorrow and plan to bring that up. Thanks for the suggestion. The "rumbling" I described was actually the musical signal but muffled as well as being very low-volume. They did play the Sapphire before shipping it, reporting that it sounded great, but I've no idea how it could get so dirty or gunked up between then and now. And since the muffled sound came out of the gate on my end, something had to happen between then and their listening session. Interesting.
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File Type: jpg IMG_0513 copy.jpg (76.1 KB, 18 views)
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  #78  
Old 05-26-2020, 06:51 PM
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And the completed product. I put the dust cover on this afternoon.
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File Type: jpg IMG_0561 copy.jpg (89.1 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0562.jpg (88.7 KB, 20 views)
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SOTA, Grado, SME, Gingko turntable setup; Pioneer Elite LD, BDP, TV; Magnum Dynalab tuner; Day-Sequerra antenna; MIT S-video cable; Pangea HDMI cables; DVDO video processor; McIntosh CD, preamp, power amps; Telefunken Black Diamond preamp tubes; Kimber, Transparent IC/SC, IC; Mirage speakers; PS Audio, Transparent, Shunyata PCs; Audio Additives RCA caps; Furman power conditioning; Sanus: racks
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  #79  
Old 05-27-2020, 08:44 AM
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Sweeet!
SOTA and SME are a great combination.
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