VL12 tonearm geometry design concept unclear

I wonder what theory stood behind Denon VL12 tonearm geometry design in order to obtain optimal two null points cartridge (stylus and cantilever) alignment? If we are to follow the published specifications the result is more than disappointing, leading to tracking errors of about 11 degrees, which may be a serious design flaw.

The only way of achieving optimal two null points alignment seems to be as follows:

  • increasing the offset angle by twisting the cartridge about 4.5 degrees, which is quite a lot, in order to obtain an offset angle of 25 degrees.
  • adjust the overhang to about 20 mm in order to shorten the tonearm effective length

The assumptions made in here are as follows:

  • effective length: 238.76 mm (according to the official published specifications)
  • overhang: 25.4 mm (according to the official published specifications)
  • mounting point (spindle to pivot point length): 213.36 mm (deduced value by subtracting the overhang from the effective length)
  • tonearm offset angle: 20.5 degrees

If the official published specifications are wrong and someone has the correct specifications, please, feel free to post them.


Just chuck a Stanton 6800 on there and be done with it

After studying some pictures of VL12 from the official Denon DJ website, I tried to make some aproximate measurements from pictures and the results are as follows:

  • tonearm mounting point (pivot to spindle distance): 228 mm
  • offset angle: 20.5 °
  • effective length: 238 mm (cartridge mounting screws in the middle of headshell slots)
  • overhang: 10 mm (cartridge mounting screws in the middle of headshell slots)
  • headshell slots length: 10 mm

The tonearm geometry seems to allow only a Stevenson cartridge alignment with the following settings:

  • overhang: 15 mm (maximum mounting point in headshell slots)
  • effective length: 243 mm
  • offset angle: 21.5 °
  • tracking angle error: max. 2.08 °
  • tracking distortion: max. 0.7 %
  • average distortion: 0.5 %