Garrard 301 on a custom Makassar Ebony plinth
I am using many different types of tone arms, turntables and cartridges. The reason is not to collect these items but to have my own sound due to my emotional preference.
Sometimes I like the romantic sound of a combination like FR 64 and SPU, sometimes will be better to hear the clear, transparent sound of a Tri - Planar with Koetsu Onyx. The target is always the same: lets have an earthy, emotional system which is able to transport an authentic concert into our room. A system which is not only looking for audiophile records but also for only music, music that you can hear for hours and hours.
Graham 2.2 + Grado Statement:
Excellent tone arm in solid quality. No voodoo but..... from my point of view the best one-pivot arm you can buy for the money. The Grado Statement gives you an earthy sound. No exciting gimmicks, just music, nobody needs more…….
Wheaton Tri Planar + Koetsu Onyx:
Very special. You will hear for hours in a relaxed way without missing something. Room, sound and dynamic. Combined with a pre amp like Nelson pass X-Ono, loaded to 970 ohm - you will have heaven on earth.
Fidelity research FR fx66 + Fidelity Research FR7:
This alu/magnesium tone arm is one of the best I know. Precisely handcrafted with an excellent bearing. Because of the construction, this arm is best partnered with heavy cartridges like Jubilee, or Koetsu. The FR7- cartridge is not too bad, but believe me an Ortofon Jubilee sounds better. FR7 is a Legend and has had its time…
Fidelity Research FR 64 S with Ortofon SPU:
Sounds romantic and precise. Best Partner on winter evening with a valve amp. Believe me, if correctly adjusted – no different between FR 64S and FR 66S but less money. The SPU of today has been modified. In the early days the SPU was a heavy system with a metal bridge inside. Today they are using aluminium bridges which changes the sound extremely! People who are driving an SPU themselves, after listening to the modified version couldn’t believe.
Fidelity Research FR 66S + Silver Spirit by Reto Andreoli (www.bluelectric.com, see picture in attach):
Whatever they will tell you about Reto Andreoli, this Guy is the best cartridge producer on this planet! I know him; he is an honest character and also sounds his system. In combination with FR66S nothing can compare. It’s incredible and you won’t trust your ears.
My personal experience:
Helpful pre amps are: Nelson Pass X-Ono or Omtec antares. Only the Fidelity Research FR7 Cartridge is driven by a step up transformer Fr XL-1 low. Best result by driving a SPU: Omtec Antares without step up, 47 K-Ohm.
Adjust everything very exactly – like a Swiss Clock. To adjust a tone arm with cartridge I often need more than two weeks of mounting and listening.
At least, listen to the music and don’t believe the magazines…..