Da Vinci Audio Labs : Grandezza Grand and Nobile Tonearm Setup Guide

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Da Vinci Audio Labs


Grandezza Grand and Nobile Tonearm Setup Guide

Tonearm Specifications Guide :

Tonearm specifications:

9" Unit

10" Unit

12" Unit

Distance - tonearm pivot to stylus tip:




Distance - tonearm pivot to turntable centre:




Cartridge offset angle:




Inner null radius:



66.04 mm

Outer null radius:





Tonearm Mounting Plan (in mm) :

da Vinci Tonearm Setup Guide

Step 1

Image 1

da Vinci Tonearm Setup Guide

What's Inside :


The main tonearm assembly with non-detachable cable.  There are no joints between the cable from the headshell to the RCA.  The cable has been chosen by Da Vinci for its sonics, but can be easily replaced by a competent technician if you wish.


... and the following :


A - Distance Gauge, also called Liner

B - Arm Collar screws, arm shaft clamp

     Liner Pin Guide, Liner Pin Guide screw lock

C - Counterweights

D - Arm Collar

E - Ball Point Hex Key tools

Step 2

The Arm Collar shown below (Image 2) is required for use with other brand turntables, where the tonearm is to be mounted on this arm collar.


This arm collar  is not needed for Da Vinci Audio turntables, ore more precisely a Da Vinci Audio armboard. 


Turntable from other brands must be able to accommodate this arm collar, please refer to :

Tonearm Specifications Guide Tonearm Mounting Plan (in mm)


We recommend the hole on the turntable armboard to be slightly bigger than 22mm hole (this arm collar's hole size), if possible, to ensure smooth mounting.


Image 2

da Vinci Tonearm Setup Guide

Step 3

A - Arm Collar screws (3 x M4) - used for securing the Arm Collar onto a turntable armboard

     (not required for Da Vinci turntables)


B - Arm Shaft Clamp - this will be inserted into the Arm Collar shown above, and will clamp the tonearm

     shaft to the Arm Collar. 


      In the case of Da Vinci Audio turntables, the clamp will be inserted into the Da Vinci armboard

      itself, to clamp the tonearm shaft to the armboard.  Please refer to Image 4 below for an illustration.

      Please refer to Image 5 and 6 as well.


Image 3

da Vinci Tonearm Setup Guide


Image 4.  Arm Shaft Clamp goes into the clamp hole of a Da Vinci armboard

da Vinci Tonearm Setup Guide


Image 5.  Arm Collar required on the Schroder-Artemis Labs SA-1 turntable

Da Vinci Nobile


Image 6. Arm Collar  not required on a Da Vinci turntable / armboard

Da Vinci In Unison

Step 4. Mount Arm Collar or Da Vinci Armboard

Mount the Arm Collar or Da Vinci Armboard on the turntable. 


With regards to the Arm Collar, make sure that it is mounted in such a way that there is proper access to the Arm Collar clamps (see Image 12) with both the Ball Point hex key tools.  See Step 5 for more info.


Image 7. One Da Vinci armboard mounted

Da Vinci In Unison Luxury

Step 5. Installing Arm Shaft Clamp

The next steps on installing the Arm Shaft Clamp are applicable for both the Arm Collar mentioned above, as well as the Da Vinci armboard itself.


The Arm Collar or Da Vinci Armboard would normally already be mounted on the turntable before proceeding with the instructions here, as mentioned in Step 4.  The images below do not show the Arm Collar or Da Vinci Armboard mounted yet, and are for illustrative purposes only.


Please refer to Image 3.  Note that the Arm Shaft Clamp has 3 parts - a screw and 2 metal pieces.  Remove one of the metal pieces from the screw, and leave one on the screw.  This will go into one of the holes of the Arm Collar as shown below on Image 8, or on the Da Vinci Armboard as show on Image 4


Image 8.

da Vinci Tonearm Setup Guide


The other metal piece goes into the opposite hole of the Arm Collar (or the Da Vinci Armboard).  Illustration shown below.


Image 9.

da Vinci Tonearm Setup Guide


What are we trying to do ?  We are installing the clamp as shown in the illustration below.  It is to lock onto the tonearm shaft and secure it.


Image 10.

da Vinci Tonearm Setup Guide


You will need both of the ballpoint hex key tools to do this. The bigger one is only used to hold the other side while screwing in the clamp with the smaller one.  Please refer to Image 12.


Image 11.

da Vinci Tonearm Setup Guide


Image 12.

da Vinci Tonearm Setup Guide


Basically, we are trying to get the clamp into the center, as shown below.  One need not be so precise, as long as it is approximately in the center.


Image 13.

da Vinci Tonearm Setup Guide

Step 6. VTA / Mount The Tonearm

Level the turntable.


Mount the tonearm on the Arm Collar or Da Vinci Armboard.  The tonearm shaft should slide all the way through the hole.  If not, just loosen the clamp a bit with the tool counterclockwise until the tonearm shaft slides in all the  way. 


Test to make sure the tonearm moves up and down easily. 


Once done, insert the smaller tool into the VTA adjustment support hole.  Before proceeding further, please refer to Image 15.  Inside the VTA adjustment support hole is the VTA Adjustment Support screw itself.  Turning the tool clockwise will bring the screw out, and counterclockwise will bring the screw in.


Grasping the pillar of the tonearm (as shown below with red arrows), lift the tonearm up slightly so that the bottom does not touch the Arm Collar (or Da Vinci Armboard). 


Image 14.

da Vinci Tonearm Setup Guide


Turn the tool clockwise until a bit of the VTA Adjustment Support screw sticks out.  Make sure the VTA Adjustment Support screw is not touching the Arm Collar (or Da Vinci Armboard) while turning the tool clockwise.  This means lifting the arm manually higher as you progress to bring out the VTA Adjustment Support Screw.


This is to prevent the VTA Adjustment Support screw from scratching the Arm Collar (or Da Vinci Armboard).  The VTA Adjustment Support screw does have a protective rubber at its tip, but may come off if the screw is turned while it is resting on the Arm Collar (or Da Vinci Armboard).  Alternatively, you could put a smooth hard material under it, like a playing card, and it should be fine to adjust without lifting the arm manually.


Once done, you can let go now and let the arm rest on the VTA Adjustment Support screw.  This screw servers both as a guide and facilitates VTA Adjustment later too.


Do you think you need to raise or lower the tonearm more ?  Then just lift the arm manually again where the VTA Adjustment Support Screw does not touch the Arm Collar (or Da Vinci Armboard), and use the tool to adjust to the height you need.


Lock the tonearm, lightly, using the clamp with the ballpoint hex tools.


Image 15.

da Vinci Tonearm Setup Guide

Step 7. Measure Pivot To Spindle Distance

Image 16

da Vinci Tonearm Setup Guide

A - The Distance Gauge (Liner) - specially made only for Da Vinci tonearms.  This tool is used to to get the

      correct distance between the turntable spindle and the pivot point of the tonearm


B - Liner Hole - this goes over the spindle


C, D, and E are holes that mark the distance between the pivot point and the spindle

   C - for Da Vinci 9" tonearms

   D - for Da Vinci 10" tonearms

   E - for Da Vinci 12" tonearms


G - Liner Pin - it is not easy to guess or estimate whether the arm's pivot point aligns to these holes.  The Liner Pin (G) below eliminates the guessing part.



Depending on the tonearm length, this Pin is inserted in the appropriate hole, just enough until you can see the sharp point stick out at the other end.  Temporarily lock it into place with the Liner Pin screw (F).


Remove any record from the turntable platter.  If you have a mat, leave it on.  Put the Da Vinci Protractor (see Image 17) on top of the the platter, with the hole indicated as "A" going over the spindle hole.  This Protractor is about the same height as a 180g record.


Image 17

da Vinci Tonearm Setup Guide


Next, position the Liner over the the spindle, and position the liner towards the pivot point of your tonearm.


Image 18


Then measure the distance between spindle and pivot point.  Move the armboard until the Liner Pin can be lowered gently into the pivot point guide shown below by the arrow in Image 19, just touching slightly. 


This is achieved on some turntables by moving the armboard itself until the correct position is obtained - e.g. Da Vinci turntables, Schroder/Artemis Labs SA-1, TW Acustic, etc.  Once the distance is measured, lock the armboard securely.  Remove the Liner, leave the Protractor on the platter.


On an SME armboard, one can be creative, just screw the Arm Collar into one SME hole (with a smaller screw size and washer) and one can move the arm forward or backward along the SME-cut hole.


Of course the best way for these turntables where one cannot move the armboards is to get the armboard hole drilled and positioned properly, from the manufacturer, or DIY.  In this case, you can use the Liner only to make sure everything is correct.


Image 19

da Vinci Tonearm Setup Guide

Step 8.  Check Armwand Movement

Make sure the tonearm wand will move from the beginning of a record and past its end without any hindrances. 


If not, loosen the clamp, and rotate the arm assembly (not the armboard which is already locked) until the armwand can cover an entire record without hindrance.  Once done, clamp the arm again, lightly (we will need to unclamp again later).  Put back the tonearm wand in the armrest.


Image 20

da Vinci Tonearm Setup Guide

Step 9. Anti-Skate / Prepare for Alignment

Adjust the antiskating to "zero".  For the Grandezza Grand tonearm, this is done by turning the anti-skate dial counter-clockwise, with the magnetic anti-skate screw moving away from the center of the arm.   Please refer to Image 21 and Image 22.


In this case just turn the magnetic anti-skate screw all the way out until the tip reaches the arm pillar.


For the Nobile tonearm, the traditional use of an anti-skate weight is adopted.  See Image 23.  To set to zero, just put the weight to rest on top of the arm, effectively not using it.


Image 21.  Grandezza Grand Anti-Skate

da Vinci Tonearm Setup Guide


Image 22. Grandezza Grand Anti-Skate

da Vinci Tonearm Setup Guide


Image 23. Nobile Anti-Skate

da Vinci Tonearm Setup Guide

Step 10. Mount Counterweight

Mount the cartridge, do not remove the guard (if any). 


Mount the counterweights.  We like using both counterweights if it is possible, as shown in Image 25; otherwise, just use the bigger counterweight.  Use the ballpoint hex tools to lock/unlock the counterweights.  You do not need too much force.


Remove the cartridge guard (if any), bring out the VTF gauge, and adjust counterweight (s) to get a VTF very near the recommended VTF, or even less.  This is not the final VTF setting, it is merely to prevent strain on the cartridge cantilever while setting it up. Experienced users may not need the VTF gauge, they just estimate it, float the tonearm.


Image 24

da Vinci Tonearm Setup Guide


Image 25

da Vinci Tonearm Setup Guide

Step 11.  Adjust Arm Lift Holder Height

Make sure the cartridge stylus clears a 180g height record (with some slight allowance for higher ones), while moving the armwand from the beginning of a record to the end, with the armlift raised. 


If not, or if too high, adjust the arm lift height by loosening the Armlift Holder Screw, and manually raising or lowering the armlift.  Very little movements can result in big height adjustments.  Lock securely again when done, finger tight.


Image 26

da Vinci Tonearm Setup Guide

Step 12. Check Overhang

Using the protractor as a pretend 180g record, adjust VTA as you see fit, visually.  See Step 6.


For us who have more normal height records than 180g records, substitute the protractor with the appropriate normal height record.


Check overhang.  The stylus must touch the line on the template (protractor) at the point that you measured with the liner.   This indicated as B points in Image 24 below (a - 9", b - 10", c - 12").


If you cannot move the cartridge to touch the matching point on the template in any way,  then the mounting of the tonearm may be incorrect.


Image 27

da Vinci Tonearm Setup Guide

Step 13. Check Offset

Please refer to Image 27 above.  "C" points to the Null Points.


Adjust the offset (alignment). First of all check at the inner Null point and twist the cartridge to make the cantilever align with the lines (see Image 28). In some cases this can also be done by using the housing of the cartridge.


Please note that antiskating compensation must be set to zero as instructed in Step 9; otherwise, the result will be incorrect.  When the cantilever aligns in both inner and outer Null points, the setup work is done.


If this is not the case, please check the overhang again. The position may have changed.  Then repeat checking of Null points again.


Once done, finalize VTF, VTA, and anti-skate adjustments. 


For VTA, don't forget to slightly loosen the clamp again before adjustment.  Finger-tighten once done.


There is no provision for Azimuth adjustments, so make sure the turntable is level, and with a good cartridge.  If one really really needs to adjust azimuth, shims can be used.


Image 28

da Vinci Tonearm Setup Guide

Step 14. Raise VTA Adjustment Support Screw

Once all done, slightly raise the VTA Adjustment Support screw so it won't touch the Arm Collar (or Da Vinci Armboard).  Of course, this is after you have already clamped the arm securely; otherwise, the VTA adjustments done previously will be lost.


Raising this Adjustment Support Screw is just another way to optimize the tonearm's sonics, by further isolating it.


Image 29

da Vinci Tonearm Setup Guide

Step 15. Check Height of Arm Shaft

Ideally, the arm will sonically perform better when the arm shaft (AS) is not raised too high from the arm collar / armboard, ideally within the first 1/3 of its total length (also noted by Jonathan Valin of TAS).  This is not a problem on a Da Vinci, Artemis Labs - Schroder SA-1, DPS turntable for example.


If, after setting up the cartridge, you find that the arm shaft is raised too high above the recommendation, you may want to consider a taller armboard, or other ways.  This results in better stability, and definitely better sound.  This is applicable to most tonearms.


Image 30

da Vinci Tonearm Setup Guide



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