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Thread: Tonearm advice please...

  1. #1

    Default Tonearm advice please...

    Hi Jonny;

    Presently running an Acoustic Signature Challenger Mk1 turntable with Origin Live modded RB250, Music Maker 3 moving iron, Kinshaw Perception switchable MM/MC phono-stage.

    So, I'm looking to change the O.L. RB250 tonearm to something which will be a fit and forget tonearm and probably never change it....

    I like my music open with dynamics and quite punchy, a big ask I know.

    Been looking at MANY tonearms recently and these for some reason are my top three (I've never had the chance to hear them), SME IV - Origin Live Illustrious or the Conqueror.

    So any advice/knowledge/experience from yourself would be greatly appreciated. Cheers!

    Regards;
    challenger

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    That's like asking Coca-Cola if Pepsi is any good.

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    at this price range ----i would say consider a rega fitting AO pu7 or the new AO Uniarm
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    Last edited by j7; 4th December 2016 at 22:39.
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    It's not as big as that in real life .

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    Whilst I appreciate it's a very different turntable, if funds allowed I'd love to try the Uniarm. Was at Cymbiosis last week having my LP12 serviced and an Ittok fitted and caught sight of one of Peter's demo LP12's with the Uniarm fitted. Abso-bloody-lutely gorgeous...as is the PU7 of course (I really like the Ittok - it's fast, dry, punchy, but it definitely has that presence region 'sting' on some recordings which I'd like to lose).

    Agreed re TIU's comment too - "That's like asking Coca-Cola if Pepsi is any good". Made me smile that.
    Linn LP12/Ittok/DL-110/Puresound P10/Cyrus 8vs-PSX-R/Q3010

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    Coca-Cola is Better !!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by j7 View Post
    Coca-Cola is Better !!!
    Of course
    Linn LP12/Ittok/DL-110/Puresound P10/Cyrus 8vs-PSX-R/Q3010

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    Quote Originally Posted by challenger View Post
    Hi Jonny;

    Presently running an Acoustic Signature Challenger Mk1 turntable with Origin Live modded RB250, Music Maker 3 moving iron, Kinshaw Perception switchable MM/MC phono-stage.

    So, I'm looking to change the O.L. RB250 tonearm to something which will be a fit and forget tonearm and probably never change it....

    I like my music open with dynamics and quite punchy, a big ask I know.

    Been looking at MANY tonearms recently and these for some reason are my top three (I've never had the chance to hear them), SME IV - Origin Live Illustrious or the Conqueror.

    So any advice/knowledge/experience from yourself would be greatly appreciated. Cheers!

    Regards;
    challenger
    Of the 3 you mention Peter? I would avoid the OL ones, in my experience OL quality control is hit or miss, I have seen first hand the examples of their work, blemishes on chromed parts, I remember OL one deck where there where 3 chromed disks, two at the front and one at the rear, holding the feet think similar footprint to a Gyrodek with another 'pod/disk at the front, the chap who owned the deck complained about the blemishes on the rear pod near arm base, MB's reply was they come like that from the chromers, quite a high percentage, and it's too expensive to scrap them so he places the rougher finished parts at the rear where they are not as easily seen....

    SME arms on the other hand are flawless, it looks like they grew them from seed, sadly they can be a bit sterile sounding.

    If it's the same Peter I'm thinking of you'll ignore the advice on this thread to try a PU7, I'd describe it as. Exactly what you said you wanted, and it will be a fine match for your deck, so while it's a bit of a shame, and I understand you have your own itch to scratch, of the 3 you mentioned I'd buy the SME the IV sounds pretty much the same as the V unless you want the V for the damping trough that most don't use, then buy the IV at the right price you'll not lose if selling on again in the future.

    Good to have you back BTW, I've moved house and am probably only a few miles from you, hope you and your good lady are keeping well.

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    Hi Challenger
    If you buy the IV you can always buy the damping trough if you want to use it , SME have them as a option for the IV and 309 wich usually been in silver but if you buy a black IV you can buy one for V so they match And for the record you also have abillity to set the VTA with std screw.
    I had one on my 309 with wery good results and they cost around Ģ240 from SME.

    /L
    Tangerine Audio Stiletto, Plateau, Skorpion, SME V ( D ), Dynavector DRT XV 1S, Linn Cirkus, Linn Radikal Klimax.
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    or this little baby
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    Last edited by TIU; 6th December 2016 at 18:12.
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    ohh yes yummy
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    Last edited by TIU; 6th December 2016 at 18:14.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SME V View Post
    Hi Challenger
    If you buy the IV you can always buy the damping trough if you want to use it , SME have them as a option for the IV and 309 wich usually been in silver but if you buy a black IV you can buy one for V so they match And for the record you also have abillity to set the VTA with std screw.
    I had one on my 309 with wery good results and they cost around Ģ240 from SME.

    /L
    I knew you could add a damper, but most find it superfluous so why bother.

    SME have a cheek with their spare parts prices, that Ģ240 screw is just that, an M3 or M4, can't remember, with a piece of plastic on the end, daylight robbery, it's one area of the SME V I found crude, I like the way it lifts the arm, but I don't like the way it doesn't drop without a push.

    Much to Johnnie's annoyance, I don't think the PU7 is the best arm out there, it's the 2nd best and the best available new, there is another I have heard, but it's no longer made and was Ģ12k, and the difference was subtle, compared to my 2012 model. The current spec I'm not sure has the other arm licked at ž of the price.

    If you (anyone reading this) haven't tried one on your deck ask for a demo, what you got to lose. I'm on my 3rd PU7 but I've heard all the iterations from prototype to current spec. John is a fiddler, can't sit still, and over the last say 15 years he's been working on the PU7, Id often tell him to leave it alone, but no each year he'd refine it further, now I gather though even John can't make it any better, if someone was to buy my 12" 3-4 year old fully chromed and heavy, I'd buy a current model, the difference is staggering!!
    Last edited by The Professor; 6th December 2016 at 17:33.

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    Quote Originally Posted by j7 View Post
    or this little baby
    But Unioivots aren't supposed to have bass, back to the drawing board with you

  14. #14

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    I'm gonna sit back and take a breather from tonearm talk, seems (as always) there's far too much choice and many different opinions expressed which actually leaves me totally blind trying to make a decision.

    Buying a tonearm from what you hear or read on the web is probably not the way forward, I'd guess the best way is to try bring your TT and cartridge and vinyl albums you know well to a hi-fi dealer and listen to 2 of 3 different arms, but that's not so easy to organise I'd say.


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    Can I just add that i also have a PU7. I am not just advocating Johhnies arm because he's a member of this forum but because it is genuinely a superb product.

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    Quote Originally Posted by challenger View Post
    I'm gonna sit back and take a breather from tonearm talk, seems (as always) there's far too much choice and many different opinions expressed which actually leaves me totally blind trying to make a decision.

    Buying a tonearm from what you hear or read on the web is probably not the way forward, I'd guess the best way is to try bring your TT and cartridge and vinyl albums you know well to a hi-fi dealer and listen to 2 of 3 different arms, but that's not so easy to organise I'd say.

    You can learn a lot from reading reviews and product specifics on the net. When I choose a new component I spend a lot of time researching the choices available within my budget. It's half the fun and something I enjoy doing.

    There's a review of the SME 3009 in the current HFC mag (Jan edition). I don't want to put you off SME but here's a snippet:

    'By modern standards, the 3009 is poor in imaging terms, tending to mass everything around the centre of the stereo mix, failing to accurately recreate the full depth of a recording. Dynamically, it's compressed but this isn't an altogether unpleasant experience, making for a big wall of sound that easily fills the room. The SME hides its tracks and doesn't offend; it's well behaved and musically enjoyable. Best suited to lowish mass, highish compliance cartridges.'

    The III, IV and V perform better but reading that review already gives me a taste of SME arms. Basically they are good but won't give you sonic fireworks.
    Last edited by TIU; 6th December 2016 at 21:42.

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    Just say you could add an damper if you want one. And the tread is arm advise this was my advise with options to an coming customer maybe....

    The 240 is for the damping trough and screw, itīs not just for the screw and as you know so is there any thread to use the screw if you donīt attach the trouge.

    So the advise on this is save for an SME IV in the future without the trogue of course


    /L
    Last edited by SME V; 7th December 2016 at 06:07. Reason: wrong spelling
    Tangerine Audio Stiletto, Plateau, Skorpion, SME V ( D ), Dynavector DRT XV 1S, Linn Cirkus, Linn Radikal Klimax.
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    Like the new headshell !
    Steve1ooo
    LINN LP12/CIRCUS/Sole MK VI /LINGO/ A/O PU7/Audio Ortofon Cadaenza Bronze
    Trichord Diablo+NCPS, Icon Audio stereo 40 MK 111 , Acoustic Energy radiance two.

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