| Search | Login/Register
   Home » Audio For Dummies ™ » Say “no” to the light tonearms. (11 posts, 1 page)
  Print Thread | 1st Post |  
Page 1 of 1 (11 items) Select Pages: 
   Target    Threads for related reading   Most recent post in related threads   Forum  Replies   Views   Started 
  »  New  Denon 103: myths and the reality..  A young but mature horowitz...  Analog Playback Forum     29  218937  06-08-2004
  »  New  Here is my new tonearm...  Korvet TT in German...  Analog Playback Forum     9  99372  12-11-2004
  »  New  Taking the mystery out of cartridge loading..  The phase in Step-Up Loading by Dave Slagle...  Analog Playback Forum     6  45751  02-26-2005
12-11-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,285
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 1868
Reply to: 1868
Say “no” to the light tonearms.

I know, the contemporary manufactures and your favorite audio publication’s fiction writers would suggest you opposite. But  the words have no weight if they are not justified by the actual results. Visit the actual listening rooms of any person who use light arms and listen his/her analog setup. Regardless of the needle, TTs and the phonocorrectors all of them, again: ALL OF THEM, have a farty upper bass that is not connecter to the rest of the music.  Their "light tonearms sound" is good enough to listen the "complexity" of the Klezmer bands but if you play with those tonearms something more serious, for instance the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1940s, then you instantaneously recognize that the light tonearms are not acceptable for music.

So, what to do?   Load the headshells with mass. The typical contemporary tonearms with effective mass or 10g-14g should se the headshells of approximately of 30g-35g. If the contemporary MC cartridges are 8-12g then you have an idea how much you should load mass into your headshells. Try to distribute the added mass equally across the shell (right/left) and do not make the added mass ringy. I personally use silicone filling and if necessary implant into the silicon the lead shots.

Rgs,
Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
12-12-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Wojtek
Pinckney (MI), United States
Posts 155
Joined on 09-01-2005

Post #: 2
Post ID: 1870
Reply to: 1868
Re: Say “no” to the light tonearms.
Hey,
Thats interesting. I'm using light Dennon arm (DA-401 one of their best models if it means anything) with Grado Sonata cart. Everything accept classical sounds very good.With classical so far I have the best results in my car radio or in my girlfirend mid -fi pioneeer setup when radio plays. I always thought that it may be some psychoaccustic phenomena (state of relaxation in the car or at girlfrien place ) but your FM thread (most interesting for me in this site) got me thinking . I read somwhere within your writing you mentioned your (or your friends experience) with loading grados but can't find it.(I know you don't care for grados much but that what was available to me )Also do you think that added mass to the arm tube may help.
Rgrds, Wojtek
12-12-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,285
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 3
Post ID: 1871
Reply to: 1870
Read recommendations and do opposite.

Sure, add 20-30g to whatever you use now and you and then your Grado will become useable. I have seen in past that some Morons who put their ignorant opinions in a position to shaping the public knowledge (they called reviewers) have written that Grado cartridges require anb ultra light arm.  Ironically John Grado never objected it or corrected them. My initial reaction was that John is as clueless as a regular audio publication BS-writer but when I spoke with John he ask me: “What do you want form me – the contemporary industry unfortunately manufacture juts light arms. Do you want me to suggest to my customers the arms that they would not be able to find?” Anyhow, John Grado defiantly know what is going on but like anything else in audio – has his voce completely lost in the ocean of the BS expressed by the marketing fools. A few months ago I was visiting a guy who juts bought his new Graham tonearm for many thousands dollars. To listen this thing was imposable as this light arm floating in Vaseline sounded like a topping the belly of my Cat after she juts drank water. I suggested him to load this thing with at least 25g of extra mass. Instead, he grabbed from  his desk a review of some kind of reviewer-idiot and read to me that in the room of that reviewer his Graham 2.2 (that Graham gave to this reviewer as a free gift) sounded so wonderful that it’s sound was able to permanently cure the reviewer grandmother’s Parkinson Disease. What I am trying to say that in context of contemporary industry a manufacture himself no mater what he thing and feel about his product has no way to pass his message to the consumer as the message got completely overwritten but the marketing idiots. So, do you have to mass load your Grado? Probably, but not because I said so. Better would be to read the publications’ recommendations and  …. to do opposite. Until you get your own sense of what it right and wrong it would be good guideless…

Rgs,
Romy the caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
12-13-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
drdna
San Francisco, California
Posts 487
Joined on 10-29-2005

Post #: 4
Post ID: 1874
Reply to: 1871
Load the arm with weight!
Yes, this is also my experience.  I never really pay a lot of attention to what the reviewers say for about the last fifteen years, after I realized that what they said didn't match what I was hearing.  I just kind of think about things and experiment a lot to find what sounds best to me.  It just makes sense to load the arm with mass to me since the if the inertial mass is greater there should be greater relative motion transferred to the transducing device from the needle, and the lower the frequency the more important this becomes.
12-13-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
hifitodd
Posts 12
Joined on 11-07-2005

Post #: 5
Post ID: 1875
Reply to: 1874
Do all cartridges like the extra weight?
Hi Romy and others,

I'm trying to get my head around the tonearm/cartridge matching mechanics.

First of all, are ALL cartridges much happier with a heavier tonearm?  Even cartridges with a high compliance?

My understanding of a "correct" arm effective weight is one where the resonant frequency measures in between 8-11hz.  Won't adding 25g of mass to the headshell skew this relationship?

Also - are there any currently commercial arms with a heavy and appropriate mass? 

Thanks!
Todd
12-17-2005 Post mapped to one branch of Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,285
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 6
Post ID: 1876
Reply to: 1875
Re: Only the cartridges that sound good…

 hifitodd wrote:
I'm trying to get my head around the tonearm/cartridge matching mechanics.

First of all, are ALL cartridges much happier with a heavier tonearm?  Even cartridges with a high compliance?

My understanding of a "correct" arm effective weight is one where the resonant frequency measures in between 8-11hz.  Won't adding 25g of mass to the headshell skew this relationship?

Also - are there any currently commercial arms with a heavy and appropriate mass? 

Todd, I defiantly could not say about the “ALL cartridges” as probably some very light and very cheap MM cartridges (aka Shure from 80s and so on) do need a very light arm. However, have you even seen those light MM to sound with more or less interesting intention?

As I can see it there is a very simple tonearm/cartridge matching mechanics. The common knowledge suggest that Fs= 159/((M + CW) * C), where Fs is resonant frequency M is the mass of the arm, CW is the mass of the cartridge, including the mass of the screws, nuts, added mass, washers and etc, and C is the compliance of the cartridge.  The resonant frequency should be around 9H, so it is not difficult to figure out the relation between the compliance and the effective mass. The fun part that in a realty of practice this formula could be bended quite aggressively. With many, practically all cartridges that I tried I found out the increasing the mass of the cartridges even up to 3-4 times do not increase the resonant frequency at all. However, the increasing masses of the cartridges do increase quality of sound.

Here is how I add mass to my stereo MM cartridges. In the 3012 arm for instance the Shelter has more or less fixed resonant frequency: with or without the added mass. “Naked” it does around 9.5Hz and with loaded silicone making the headshell =30g the Fs dive to 9Hz. What the big deal!

Also, there are a lot of stories how analog sound if the resonant frequency is too low or too high. Thos stories re only partially correct and mostly should not be paid attention. I learned that when people make the Fs of 5Hz or 15Hz and receive a specific sound then they attribute this specificity of sound juts to Fs. It is mistake and the Fs itself has no sound but rather the methods that make the Fs too low and to high do affect sound. The stories about the “5Hz of resonant frequency that overwhelm the LF capacity of your power amplifiers” or would cause some modulations in power amps are juts the stories to threaten the brainless Morons at Audiogone. With a proper arm, good cartridge and reasonable playback even 5Hz of resonant frequency is no problem. At leas when I had it I heard nothing that would alike me to wory about Fs being too low.

Rgs,
Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
12-03-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Geoff


Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA
Posts 6
Joined on 12-02-2007

Post #: 7
Post ID: 6025
Reply to: 1876
Weight...

Interesting thread.

I always thought that a good combination of weight and a tonearm that has a great deal of rigidity would be a better combination.

With the remassed headshell, how does the entire setup handle warped records?


Endeavoring to convince my family that I'm not nuts!
05-03-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
AlexBerger
Israel, Beer Sheva
Posts 13
Joined on 04-19-2010

Post #: 8
Post ID: 13405
Reply to: 1876
High mass tonearm
fiogf49gjkf0d
Romy,


I use Ortofon Rondo Bronze with Nottingham Spacearm and Spacedeck.
I hate Spacearm because bad tracking. Also, I can't add mass to Spacearm.
I going to try a heavy tonearm.
Fidelity Research FR-64FX with Ortofon Rondo Bronze (compliance is 15mm/uN) will be together around 31 gram. It's OK?
Have you try high mass tonearm, instead off adding mass to head-shell?
Why do you prefer SME 3012, 3009 to Fidelity Research?

In equation: Fs= 159/((M + CW) * C), is compliance measured in mm/uN?

Regards,
Alex.

05-03-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,285
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 9
Post ID: 13407
Reply to: 13405
I do not believe in compliance: anti-cartridges rant.
fiogf49gjkf0d

 AlexBerger wrote:
Romy,

I use Ortofon Rondo Bronze with Nottingham Spacearm and Spacedeck.
I hate Spacearm because bad tracking. Also, I can't add mass to Spacearm.
I going to try a heavy tonearm.
Fidelity Research FR-64FX with Ortofon Rondo Bronze (compliance is 15mm/uN) will be together around 31 gram. It's OK?
Have you try high mass tonearm, instead off adding mass to head-shell?
Why do you prefer SME 3012, 3009 to Fidelity Research?

In equation: Fs= 159/((M + CW) * C), is compliance measured in mm/uN?

Alex,

I do not believe in compliance measurement numbers. Compliance measurement is not unified and different companies measure compliance differently and therefore their numbers are bogus. Not to mention that there is an army of basement-made cartridges (owner operated companies) who do not even know how to measure compliance and they write any number they wish. There is another: “not to mention” reason. Those small “basement” companies not able to make two identical cartages with the same specification, they are purely technologically not equipped to do it. All their cartridges are in way are accidents.  You might read and hears that they are very pompoms about their ability to make cartridges with custom predictable sound. All those Sounds African masters and  Japanese masters and Switzerland Masters … in really it all pure BS, those people generally know a little about Sound and present to theirs accidental successes to the gullible audio Morons as intentional accomplishments. Go to those people and order from them 10 identical cartridges sand you will get 10 very differently sounding cartridges. It is not that they do not want but they just physically not able to handle it.

Well, if you feel that large companies can handle it then it might not be necessary true. The large companies like Ortofon for instance, where cartridges are made by machines shall be able to maintain some standards. But do not forget that maintaining of standards is important ONLY if there is mechanism of control, punishment and gratification for holding of the standards. In cartridges manufacturing, distribution and sale there is absolutely nothing that assure any quality. So, if tomorrow Ortofon will do cartridges with aluminum wires, cactus cantilever, toothpick needle and characteristics all over board then it will be absolutely no consequences for Ortofon. So, the large manufacturers do the same crap as anyone else, using the cheapest supplies and cheapest technologies available.

Another factor is interpretation of results. If you, me, or somebody else got that expensive and valuable cartridge then we can see the result ONLY from the perspective of this given accidental cartridge. This is not enough to make a conclusion about the entire model. Try to ask your dealer to get 10 cartridges and to pick the best – he will send you to hell as he never seen 10 cartridges together. The people who are in position to make generalization about the “model sound” are the distributors for instance but unfortunately they are idiots. Did you ever try to milk distributors to open their mouth about Sound? Whoever I have seen were fucking idiots but they are the defense line to protect customers against manufacturer’s quality randomness. 

Anyhow, considering all above I absolutely discard ANY cartridges measurement provided by manufacturers, including compliance. If you have a cartridge that you like then see how the cantilever bends and make your own judgment about compliance. The mass of the arm shall be determine base upon Sound and record reading, not base upon some abstract acrobatics with irrelevant numbers. Aleksey Tolstoy use to say: "If you see a "buffalo" sign on an elephant's cage, do not believe your eyes." So, I do not do it…

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
05-03-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,052
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 10
Post ID: 13413
Reply to: 13407
One of the Best Posts, Ever!
fiogf49gjkf0d
That just about sums it up, all right.  You'd think it would be obvious that cartridges are not a viable subject for DIY/boutique building and/or modding; but, apparently, they are yet approached in this way by a small "underground" army of hopefuls, just like the field coil drivers, etc, etc., like jewelry, or Zen koans...

The dirty secret aired here is that even "big", serious specialty companies that might do good cartridges one after another yet find that the economics of scale work against truly serious efforts.  I do not know it for a fact, but I am guessing that Ortofon do the A90 - for instance - not for money from sales of this item, directly, but rather as a "statement", like "Ford's" race cars, etc., to bolster "credibility" and hopefully boost sales of more pedestrian fare,  which they continue to produce in quantity.  Certainly, Ortofon have "consolidated" their "line-up", and they are not at this time making the same level of effort at the forefront of sonic excellence that they once did.  For instance, where is the "companion step-up" for the Windfeld, or the newer A90?  This used to be de rigueur for Ortofon, for all their top cartridges.  As an aside, I think I remember that the old 2000, 3000, etc. were originally designed and built in Japan...  I have noticed a Japanese "underground" market selling weird Ortofon stuff that is not listed on Ortofon, Denmark's website...

I know little to nothing about cartridge manufacturing as an "industry"; but I do know a little about manufacturing, per se, and about spreadsheet analysis, which steers today's businesses.  Basically, it has to pencil, or it's out.

Not to veer too far off the subject, but cartridges are a very good example of Zako's rant about the incremental exposition of real advancement in engineering (and execution).  Yet, regardless, it seems to require a perfect combination of availablity (of technology and materials), capability, willingness, and ??? to "produce" a significant audio product. And from what I can see and hear, marketing still trumps technology and execution every time, for a whole host of reasons, the exploration of which would take us deep into the realm of pseudo-sciences, like sociology and social psychology.  And because of the purely technical challenges of building cartridges, if nothing else, the odds of getting a good cartridge are probably a lot lower than anyone generally supposes.

Best regards,
Paul S
05-03-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
AlexBerger
Israel, Beer Sheva
Posts 13
Joined on 04-19-2010

Post #: 11
Post ID: 13414
Reply to: 13407
Grado Sonata & Ortofon Rondo Bronze
fiogf49gjkf0d
Romy,

Yes, I measured my cartridge-tonearm combination with test disk. The resonant frequency was completely different compared to calculation with http://www.mh-audio.nl/MySystem/RF.asp.

7 years ago, I tried Fidelity Research FR-64FX with Grado Sonata that I had. The sound was big and dynamic, with dad tracking, but unballansed, with
bloated bus and lower mid.
Compare to Fidelity Research, Spacearm tracking was so-so, but I liked tonal balance.
I decided to sell Fidelity Research.
Now I use Ortofon with Spacearm and it sounds better that Grado in every aspect of sound. But the tracking isn't perfect yet.
I look for tonearm that will sound balanced with like Fidelity Research tracking.

Regards,
Alexander..
Page 1 of 1 (11 items) Select Pages: 
   Target    Threads for related reading   Most recent post in related threads   Forum  Replies   Views   Started 
  »  New  Denon 103: myths and the reality..  A young but mature horowitz...  Analog Playback Forum     29  218937  06-08-2004
  »  New  Here is my new tonearm...  Korvet TT in German...  Analog Playback Forum     9  99372  12-11-2004
  »  New  Taking the mystery out of cartridge loading..  The phase in Step-Up Loading by Dave Slagle...  Analog Playback Forum     6  45751  02-26-2005
Home Page  |  Last 24Hours  | Search  |  SiteMap  | Questions or Problems | Copyright Note
The content of all messages within the Forums Copyright © by authors of the posts