Click here to the Aries 3D Manual

Click here to the Aries 3D Manual
VPI Aries 3D
Turntable Manual
Setup and Instruction Manual
VPI Industries, Inc., 77 Cliffwood Ave. #5D, Cliffwood, NJ 07721
http://www.vpiindustries.com
Aries 3D Turntable Packing List
Serial #:________________
Aries 3D Chassis
Stainless Steel/Delrin Clamp
Azimuth Rod
Gauge
Motor
Instruction Manual
Flash Drive
Drive Belt
Power Cord (115V Only)
Alignment Jig
Platter
Tonearm
Date:
___
Final Check by: __________________________

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR NEW ARIES
TURNTABLE IS TO PLACE IT ON A FLAT LEVEL SURFACE. IT
CANNOT BE STRESSED ENOUGH THAT A FLAT SURFACE WILL
MAKE SETTING UP YOUR NEW ARIES A SNAP.

THE STANDARD ARIESREQUIRES A SPACE OF 22” X 16” FOR ITS
MAIN FRAME.
THE ACTUAL FOOTPRINT OF THE ARIESLEGS
MEASURES 19” X 13”
SPECIFICATIONS
YOUR NEW ARIESTURNTABLE IS A PRECISION INSTRUMENT. IT HAS BEEN
THOROUGHLY TESTED AND HAS BEEN RUN FOR AT LEAST TWO HOURS.
THE SPEED ACCURACY, WOW, FLUTTER, AND RUMBLE HAVE BEEN CHECKED
AND THIS UNIT HAS MET ALL OUR SPECIFICATIONS.
MINIMUM SPECIFICATIONS: WOW AND FLUTTER – LESS THAN .02
RUMBLE – GREATER THAN 80 db DOWN
SPEED ACCURACY – WITHIN .1%
TOTAL WEIGHT – 60 POUNDS
PLATTER RUNOUT - +/- .001 INCH
INSTRUCTIONS FOR UNPACKING AND SETUP

If you are reading this manual, you must have opened up the main
turntable box. In this box you will find the main ARIES chassis, tonearm,
and all tools needed. Remove all packaging, noting how it fits together.
If you ever need to send the Aries back for service you must pack it
properly. Save the packaging if you can, it will be very expensive to
order it later.

If you ordered the JMW Memorial tonearm with your ARIES, the tonearm
is packed in this box and should be removed carefully. The base of the
tonearm is mounted directly to the ARIES Solid Delrin tonearm board,
follow the directions for the JMW Memorial tonearm and carefully set up
the cartridge.

If you ordered the ARIES cut for another tonearm, follow the tonearm
manufacturer’s recommendations for proper setup.
Remember that
cartridge setup is a complicated but satisfying endeavor. If you take your
time and protect the stylus you will ultimately be rewarded with a good
sounding unit that you will not be afraid of working on.
3

Before lifting out the main chassis, remember that the feet are attached
to the bottom of the unit. Do not put the unit down on any furniture that
could be damaged by these feet. Remove the protective bag and set the
ARIES chassis down and center it on the shelf it will be resting on.

Lift out the platter and pull off the tape covering the spindle hole.
Carefully place the platter over the spindle and let it slide down. The
platter bearing has grease in it so none is needed at this time. The ARIES
needs no lubrication for at least one year. A Chrome hardened ball
running on a large Teflon surface takes the weight of the platter. This
requires no lubrication to perform its task.

Spin the platter and see if it feels like it is running freely. If all is okay
and the platter feels free but not loose proceed to the motor.

Open the 12X12X12 box and place the motor in the circular cutout to the
left of the ARIES chassis with the switch facing left. Center the motor in
this cutout with roughly a ½” space between it and the chassis all the
way around. The motor needs no lubrication at this time and should be
relatively noise free. It was just shipped and will be much quieter after a
few hours running.

Remove the drive belt from the bag and place the belt on the small pulley
groove and around the turntable platter. The drive pulley is designed for
33 and 45 operation with the smaller section being 33 and the larger
section being 45. The motor pulley of your ARIES is designed to let you
slightly adjust the speed at 33 and 45. The center groove on the pulley
in each diameter is the correct speed. If you need to increase or
decrease the speed slightly you can move the belt up or down for fine
adjustment. Most people will just leave it on the center groove and never
worry about it. If you hear any noise when starting the turntable put
baby powder on the drive belts.

Level the turntable using a 9” or 12” long bubble line level placed next to
the spindle on the platter. The feet rotate in their sockets and will move
4
up and down allowing fine leveling of the ARIES. A level turntable will
always sound better than an unleveled one and will put less strain on the
main bearing.

If you need to remove the armboard you should use the 9/64” Allen
wrench supplied.
If your phono section inverts phase, the hot color becomes the ground color.

Using tweezers or fine-tipped pliers, grip the center of the red wire’s connector  not
the wire itself  and push it onto the cartridge’s right hot terminal pin. Connect the
remaining connectors in the same way. To avoid damage to the cartridge, do not push
the connectors all the way on.

Place the Alignment Jig on the spindle with the V-groove against the base of the male
bearing shaft. Tighten the screws of the jig so it fits snugly against the male bearing
shaft and over the record spindle.

Place the arm tube assembly on the male pivot point, using caution with the 4-color wire
and Lemo connector. Set the arm in its rest. If the cartridge has a guard, remove it.
MAKE SURE THE MALE POINT IS IN THE CENTER OF THE FEMALE CUP, IT SHOULD FEEL
SOLID BUT YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO SLIDE IT SIDEWAYS AND THE ARM RAISES AS
YOU GO FROM THE CENTER TO THE SIDES OF THE FEMALE BEARING. IT IS AN
INVERTED CONE.
FEMALE BEARING
Use the arm rest all the time when not playing a record!!
5

Line up the red dot on the Lemo connector with the red dot on the receptacle on the
junction box. The Lemo connector can plug in only one way and should not be forced.
6

Swing the tonearm over the jig so the stylus is as close as possible to the dot in the
center of the grid. Set the counterweight for enough downward force to keep the stylus
from moving when resting on the jig.

Look down at the cartridge and align it between the lines of the grid. You should have
the diamond stylus on the white dot and the cantilever lined up with the lines on the
grid. Use a flashlight to look from the front and line up the cantilever with the grid lines.
That is the only alignment that matters, the cantilever lined up with the white lines and
the diamond on the white dot. The angle of the cartridge is irrelevant.

Adjust the cartridge mounting screws and the counterweight as needed until the
cartridge is centered between the grid lines and the stylus is resting on the dot of the
grid. The picture below shows the setup, the jig is in white for clarity, yours is black.

When the cartridge is properly positioned, tighten the cartridge mounting screws and
remove the alignment jig. Do not make them overly tight, the 3D arm is self-damping
and you can damage the surface by over tightening.
VIEW OF CONICAL AND LINE CONTACT STYLI AND WHY ALIGNMENT MATTERS MORE WITH
THE LINE CONTACT.
CONICAL
LINE CONTACT
7
Setting the Tracking Force and Tonearm Height
Tracking force is adjusted by moving the tonearm counterweight forward and back on its
shaft. If your cartridge is overly heavy and the counterweight is all the way back, you can
order a heavier weight from your dealer. Half way back is fine as is the middle third of the
stub.
The JMW Tonearm does not have a built-in tracking force gauge but we have supplied you
with a quality digital tracking force gauge if we did not mount a cartridge for you.

Place the gauge on the platter (no record).

Loosen the two black thumb screws in the base of the tonearm and raise the arm so
it looks parallel to the platter when it is on the stylus force gauge. When the arm is
at the desired height, lightly tighten the thumbscrews.

If you do not make the arm parallel when doing this you will be between .2 to .4
grams light or heavy when you are on the record. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!

Set the tracking force according to the cartridge manufacturer’s recommendation.
We recommend always going to the high side of tracking force. High frequency
vibrations on a light-tracking cartridge can cause more damage to the grooves of a
record than running a cartridge at a heavy setting. We usually recommend .1 gram
higher than the max tracking force if you are not using anti-skate (recommended
way of setting). This does not apply to Lyra cartridges that sound best at 1.73 to
1.76 grams tracking force with or without anti-skate.

Put a record on the platter and using the VTA tower lower the arm so it is parallel to
the record. Now you will be tracking at the force you set and not a lighter force.
8
Setting the Azimuth

Using the supplied aluminum rod or a fireplace match or coffee stirrer (something
light and about 6” long) place one of them into the groove behind the mounting
screws on the tonearm headshell.

If it is not level loosen the thumbscrew on the drop counterweight and rotate the
counterweight around the shaft until the headshell is parallel to the record. Be
careful not to change the tracking force setting.

With the new 3D arm on the Aries you can also rotate the side weights for even finer
azimuth adjustment, this lets you leave the tracking force as set. You want the rod
to be parallel to the record.
9
Setting the Anti-Skating – Two Solutions

VPI does not support the need to have anti-skate but does respect the customer’s
interest in having it enabled. Therefore we provide a mechanism for anti-skate and the
option of engaging it.

For normal music listening all the anti-skate you need will be supplied by the lead out
wire of the tonearm to junction box unless you are using test records and measuring
sine waves. For music listening the push back of the wire is ideal for anti-skate.

We supply mechanical anti-skate for those who require it.
If you try adjusting the anti-skate with a groove less
record, you will ruin the twist in the tonearm wire
and void your warranty. Do this with the mechanical
anti-skate if you want that much anti-skate.
Playing Records

Before playing a record, make sure that both of the tonearm VTA thumbscrews are
slightly tight.

Place the black washer on the platter, then the record, then the record clamp. Always
turn off the turntable before installing the record clamp.
10

Press the power button on the motor. Sit down and enjoy listening to your records!
General Use

Allow at least 20 hours of break-in time.

The motor will make some low-level noise. This will not get into the system. The motor
and bearings will become quieter as you use your Aries. Place the motor on a mouse
pad for better isolation if this bothers you.

If you notice hum in the system, remove the turntable to phono section interconnects
and replace them with very cheap, standard VCR interconnects. These are well shielded
and should eliminate the hum. If the hum goes away, get quality, well shielded
interconnects.

After at least one year of use the platter bearing should be re-lubed with PTFE super
grease. The motor will need to be lubricated with 1 drop of 40-weight motor oil below
the black drive pulley and right on the brass piece.

You can experiment with mats but you need to adjust the VTA setting when doing this.
Additional Items Available from Your Dealer

The VPI Synchronous Drive System power supply provides a major increase in musicality
by feeding the 300 RPM AC Synchronous motor with a pure sine wave of the frequency
selected. It is hundreds of times more accurate than the power company and will let
your motor run cooler and at the exact right speed from microsecond to microsecond. A
plus is it will allow electronic speed change and will count the hours of use so you know
when your cartridge is getting old.
Possible Problems:

Noise in the system, a hum or buzz:
o
The answer is to ground the motor and system properly. A line filter that floats
the grounds will not allow proper grounding of the phono system, the phono
system must be grounded!!!!!! Phono is not like CD and if this is your first table
or your return to vinyl after a decade or so you must remember that phono
amplification can be 1000 times higher than CD or streaming so any noise that
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gets into the system will be amplified much, much more.
proper grounding and your system will sound much better.

A pop on motor turn on or turn off:
o


In some systems the phono section is not well shielded and will pick up the EMF
created by the switch opening to turn off the turntable. If you system is like that
you can get into the habit of muting (the preferred method as you should really
do that) or you can experiment with capacitors across the on-off switch. We
supply the table with a .001 microfarad cap, you can change it to a .01
microfarad cap and it may eliminate to lower the problem to a tolerable level.
BTW, judicious grounding will many times solve this problem also.
Trembling of tonearm when playing records:
o

Kill the noise with
You have a uni-pivot tonearm, it sits on one point and is constantly moving with
the record grooves; spiraling in and out as the record center changes and moving
up and down with minute warps. It is perfectly normal and inaudible.
Sibilance and distortion in both channels:
o
Azimuth not set correctly or diamond stylus misaligned on cartridge. This is
usually a setup or cartridge issue, not a tonearm issue. It can also be caused by
a tracking force that is too light even if it reads correctly. Tracking force needed
is determined by the temperature in the room, below 70 degrees requires greater
tracking force. We have found almost all cartridges work and sound best at 72
degrees.
o
A 60 watt light put above a turntable in a cold room will heat up the cartridge
just enough to make it much more compliant and track better.
o
Before going crazy try a slightly higher tracking force, it usually solves all the
problems and zero in on the azimuth adjustment.
o
Another possibility is probably not as bad as the next photo but will definitely
cause distortion and sibilance even in small amounts.
Distortion in left channel:
o Too much anti-skate.

Distortion in right channel:
o Too little anti-skate.

Noise at startup:
o We used to ship all tables pre 9-11 with talc powder in the bag with the belt.
After 9-11 and the Anthrax scares we discontinued this. If you get a screeching
sound on startup just powder the drive belt and you will be fine.
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VPI Industries, Inc. Limited Warranty
VPI Industries, Inc. (VPI) warrants this unit against defects in materials and/or
workmanship for three (3) years from the date of purchase by the original retail purchaser.
VPI’s sole obligation under this warranty is limited to the repair or replacement, at VPI’s
option, of any part(s) found to be defective. VPI’s obligation to repair or replace defective
parts is the purchaser’s sole and exclusive remedy, and VPI shall not be liable for any direct
or indirect injury and/or property damage arising out of the use of the product or defect in
or failure of the product.
This warranty does not extend to any unit whose serial number has been defaced or altered.
Any product that VPI determines causes a defect or malfunction due to incorrect installation,
modification, misuse, or servicing by the purchaser, or service technician not authorized by
VPI to perform such service will not be warranted. This warranty does not cover trivial or
cosmetic defects that do not impair the unit’s normal function.
VPI reserves the right to make changes in this product without assuming any obligation to
install such change in any product previously manufactured. This warranty to repair or
replace defective parts is in lieu of all other express or implied warranties of merchantability
or fitness for a particular purpose. There are not warranties that extend beyond the
description herein.
Some states do not allow exclusion of implied warranties or limitation of incidental or
consequential damages, so the above exclusion or limitations may not apply to you. This
warranty gives you specific legal rights, and you may also have other rights that vary from
state to state.
Register your Product Online:
http://vpiindustries.com/warranty/
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