VTA adjusts the forces on the suspension, not the diamond in the groove. Yeah, you have to do it by ear like a tone control. Or just leave it level, since it will change by a significant amount, anyway.
Interesting that they changed the coils to get less output and higher fidelity. That must be a new thing on all the 45mH Prestige line. That is pretty low, though, getting into the Denon and 500Emk2 and 700 series Stantons.
Definitely explore external phono preamps. The Biamps' phonos were also hissy. The Urei's line path isn't hissy, is it? Biamps' phonos were also very bright, which clearly the Urei is not. Note that discrete phono stages are, on average, lower noise than IC-based ones, though the newer IC ones are very quiet too, now. You might need 50-60dB of gain, considering the output of the new Grado line. Most are 40dB.
You might want to borrow some phonos from a local shop, as they can each change the tone of a cart quite dramatically even if loading is the same or doesn’t matter. The Denons, for instance, sound really polite on a Xone phono, while on the TCCs they sound crunchy. On Numark phonos, they sound about in the middle.
Back to that output, I'm not so sure this lowered output is such a great idea on Grado's part from a marketing standpoint. The coils couldn't be improving tracking, so taking something that already sounds great and lowering the output away from DJ cart ranges is potentially an issue even if it does increase fidelity more. You couldn't run them on a Xone, Biamp, or many other brands for that reason direct in, without some special techniques employed like running the aux out on the Xone 62 for extra gain, for instance... or live with running it only in the green.
Have you tested the DJ100i for FIM distortion? I'm wondering at what downforce they are optimal at from a distortion standpoint. I understand the low compliance might require 2.5 grams or more for djing purposes, but I've heard the Grado Prestige hifis (like the Black and Red) need more than the recommended 1.5 grams to clean them up. The DJ200i was definitely pristine and undistorted (even in the weird, untestable but audible harmonics) at 3 grams. But how will a hifi one with the same tip mass perform at 1.5? I'm almost wondering if maybe the lower compliance DJ line are a better choice since the hifi ones are known to be downforce-limited by high compliance and tendency to bottom-out just as you're cleaning them up by increasing VTF.
Usually, you want the optimum downforce for distortion to be within the safe range for a cartridge’s compliance. Unless Grado can verify their hifi line from the Black up is lower tip mass than the DJs, which is doubtful.
Lastly, considering Vinyl Junkie’s not having any trouble with tracking (forward or back), anyone ever compared the tracking of the 3-piece DJ100 cantilever to the 4-piece DJ200’s?
Last edited by Reticuli : 06-15-2010 at 01:57 AM.