Review: Pete Riggle Audio VTAF

Well, I've had this thing for over a month, and finally got around to getting it in today. After looking eveything over, I decided to just make another arm board for it. I used red coconut palm for the riser, and cocobolo for the board itself. The VTAF takes a 1.25" hole, compred to the standard Rega hole. Installation is extremely easy. If you can change a tone arm, you can install the VTAF. As it was going in, I had a couple of reservations about using it. The arm just sits there. No nut to tighten it at all. Now, I kept the nut on mine relatively loose, because it sounded better. But no nut? I was skeptical. Also the guide is the only thing that holds the arm in place. That had me a little worried too.

Well, I said what the hell, let's try it. So, I put on an album I know inside & out, Supertramps MOFI Crime Of The Century. Now I had just listened to it before I made any changes, just because it seemed like the smart thing to do. So, when it started, and about a minute into it, I was saying "what the hell?" For some reason, the VTAF seemed to bring out a new level of detail I had been missing. This album has some very fast transients, with serious attack & decay. It just seemed more "right". The REALLY funny thing about this is that I forgot to put TWL's HiFi mod and Doug's (I mean Paul's) VTF adjustment back before I started listening. I can't explain why, but the difference was amazing.

So I'm sitting there at a loss to explain what happenned. This thing is supposed to make changing VTA easier. That it does, and in spades. But why did it have such an effect on the sound? Maybe the floating tone arm setup? Maybe it's the different arm board setup. All I know is that I was amazed. So I put on another album I know well, SRV Soul To Soul. Same thing. New levels of detail, previously unheard. And the fun thing is, now I can change VTA on the fly! Seriously, I changed it on the fly, and not one skip, period. And my TT sits on a rack that is, let's see, "structually challenged".

For those of you who like to change VTA for every album, this is for you. If you have a Rega based arm, this will be the best hundred bucks you ever spent. When I get tired of listening today (yea, like that's gonna happen!) I'll put the HiFi Mod & the VTF mod back on and update this review.

For now, I'm gonna listen to music. And maybe play with the VTAF. Then again, maybe not! If you want to see what it looks like, go here:

The VTAF on my Teres
Change the number up to 73 for a few more pics.

Associted gear:
Teres TT
Origin Live OL
Denon 103r
Supratek Syrah
Audio Note Soro SE Phono
Audio Note AZ Three Speakers
Audio Note Cables
I think the brassy VTAF and the floating Rega arm improved the mids and highs. If you installed the nut back to the arm attaching it to the armboard, the mids and highs will be reduced but they are still present. The tonearm nut grounds the tonearm to the armboard. Tonearm reasonance control is black magic with many variables.