Suspended table + undamped unipivot arm... comments please?

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Suspended table + undamped unipivot arm... comments please?

Postby Racio » Thu Mar 13, 2003 1:10 am

I'm seriously considering a unipivot arm, specifically ClearAudio's Unify, to mate w/ my Oracle Delphi Mk4 (w/ Beta Wood cart). Since I've no prior handling and setup experience w/ unipivots whatsoever (except for a short stint w/ Edrich's Ultracraft arm and Sota Cosmos TT), your inputs on its probable pros and cons shall be highly appreciated. :)

TIA,
-Racio 8)
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Re: Suspended table + undamped unipivot arm... comments plea

Postby Noam » Thu Mar 13, 2003 4:27 am

Racio wrote:I'm seriously considering a unipivot arm, specifically ClearAudio's Unify, to mate w/ my Oracle Delphi Mk4 (w/ Beta Wood cart). Since I've no prior handling and setup experience w/ unipivots whatsoever (except for a short stint w/ Edrich's Ultracraft arm and Sota Cosmos TT), your inputs on its probable pros and cons shall be highly appreciated. :)

TIA,
-Racio 8)


Your Aurum Beta is a moving maggot so in theory that's a good match for a unipivot. Some people say a unipivot isn't a stable platform for a low-compliance MC - then again these are the people who tell us the world is flat and the RB250 Silver is the best tonearm ever made. I'm not familiar with the Unify but it has a good rep. The other unipivot contenders in that price range are the Graham Robin and the JMW9. And, if you're crazy like me, the RS-A1 ;) it sounds awesome, but I warn you, it is not fun to use... you'd never let anyone else touch your deck again, that's for sure. What do you use right now? Maybe someone can speculate how much of an improvement the Unify would be.

When you consider the range of arms -including Naim and Graham unipivots- that are used successfully on the bouncy LP-12, I don't think your Oracle will pose a real problem. I even used a high mass arm (FR) on my Oracle II successfully. The one arm I always hear is giving Oracle users fits, is the ET-2 linear tracker..

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Postby ambel » Thu Mar 13, 2003 10:33 am

My bud Brian's LP-12 uses Graham 1.5T and it's a good match.
I have been using the Graham for almost 10 years now from
1.5 upgraded to 2.0 after trying several tone arms. But TT
is not suspended. I've got an Oracle III with SME IV which is
also a good match.
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Re: Suspended table + undamped unipivot arm... comments plea

Postby Racio » Thu Mar 13, 2003 12:06 pm

Noam wrote:Your Aurum Beta is a moving maggot so in theory that's a good match for a unipivot. Some people say a unipivot isn't a stable platform for a low-compliance MC - then again these are the people who tell us the world is flat and the RB250 Silver is the best tonearm ever made. I'm not familiar with the Unify but it has a good rep. The other unipivot contenders in that price range are the Graham Robin and the JMW9. And, if you're crazy like me, the RS-A1 ;) it sounds awesome, but I warn you, it is not fun to use... you'd never let anyone else touch your deck again, that's for sure. What do you use right now? Maybe someone can speculate how much of an improvement the Unify would be.

When you consider the range of arms -including Naim and Graham unipivots- that are used successfully on the bouncy LP-12, I don't think your Oracle will pose a real problem. I even used a high mass arm (FR) on my Oracle II successfully. The one arm I always hear is giving Oracle users fits, is the ET-2 linear tracker..

Noam


Well currently, I'm using an RB300 that originally came w/ the table when I bought it. Aside from its skimpy cabling, I must say that it's nonetheless a pretty decent arm IMO. But a friend of mine is offering to let go of his almost bnew Unify at a hard to ignore bargain price. I just don't know if a jump to a unipivot would also translate to better tracking.

It's quite a relief to know that some unipivots have mated well w/ other suspended tables. I would need to bore three more small holes on my armboard in order to accomodate the Unify, and I don't want to end up bonking my head on the wall after the install and finding out that they don't match (I'm only 1 bonk short of going to the looney bin!). Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this Noam! :)

P.S. Does it mean that if I go the unipivot route, I'll be limiting my cart options to MMs only?
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Postby Racio » Thu Mar 13, 2003 12:17 pm

ambel wrote:My bud Brian's LP-12 uses Graham 1.5T and it's a good match.
I have been using the Graham for almost 10 years now from
1.5 upgraded to 2.0 after trying several tone arms. But TT
is not suspended. I've got an Oracle III with SME IV which is
also a good match.


I was considering the SME 309 w/ the detachable headshell before (I can't afford the IV unfortunately). And needless to say, the Grahams are out of reach for me. :( 2Juki at Audiogon is selling the SME at a very competitive price, and if ever my Unify purchase don't work out, I'll probably save up for the 309. Thanks for the tip Ambel! :D
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Re: Suspended table + undamped unipivot arm... comments plea

Postby corrsty » Thu Mar 13, 2003 1:32 pm

Racio wrote:P.S. Does it mean that if I go the unipivot route, I'll be limiting my cart options to MMs only?


Don't think so... :)
But don't succumb to the pressure dude!!! 8)
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Postby arnoldc » Thu Mar 13, 2003 2:14 pm

racio, if you're one bonk short from going looney, why not go for a linear tracking arm? :D
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Re: Suspended table + undamped unipivot arm... comments plea

Postby Noam » Thu Mar 13, 2003 7:58 pm

Racio wrote:Well currently, I'm using an RB300 that originally came w/ the table when I bought it. Aside from its skimpy cabling, I must say that it's nonetheless a pretty decent arm IMO. But a friend of mine is offering to let go of his almost bnew Unify at a hard to ignore bargain price. I just don't know if a jump to a unipivot would also translate to better tracking.

It's quite a relief to know that some unipivots have mated well w/ other suspended tables. I would need to bore three more small holes on my armboard in order to accomodate the Unify, and I don't want to end up bonking my head on the wall after the install and finding out that they don't match (I'm only 1 bonk short of going to the looney bin!). Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this Noam! :)

P.S. Does it mean that if I go the unipivot route, I'll be limiting my cart options to MMs only?


I agree that the RB300 is a pretty decent arm. Good unipivots are very quick on their feet, so you would notice an improvement in dynamics and 'PRAT'.. not necessarily better tracking.

If your friend will let you try it out, it could work out really well. A few holes in the armboard isn't a big deal.. Oracle does overcharge for replacing the acrylic board, but you can probably get one made locally - maybe an exotic material like carbon fiber, or rosewood. If you need a new one, that is.

You won't be limited to MM's.. but the uni may not be the best match a really low-compliance cantilever, like Koetsu for example.

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Postby arnoldc » Thu Mar 13, 2003 9:38 pm

noam, in your experience with your oracle, what was the best arm you had? i currently use SME Series III with removable arm wand.
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Postby Racio » Fri Mar 14, 2003 12:13 am

arnoldc wrote:racio, if you're one bonk short from going looney, why not go for a linear tracking arm? :D


Pare, I deem the cost of a bnew tangential arm to be NOT just another run of the mill bonk but an all-out-come-from-hell WALLOP to the remaining vestige of me wits! Thanks but no thanks bud! :wink:
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Postby Noam » Fri Mar 14, 2003 2:53 am

arnoldc wrote:noam, in your experience with your oracle, what was the best arm you had? i currently use SME Series III with removable arm wand.


I only used one arm during the time I had the Oracle, it was the Fidelity Research FR64S. This is a big 10" high-mass stainless steel arm from Japan that was made from the late 70's through the mid-80's. I was using a Koetsu Black and later a Denon DL103D.

This was a pretty nice combo -huge upgrade from what I had before- although the arm was probably not really the ideal match for the Oracle. The FR could really dig out the bass information (subjectively), which helped out the bass-shy Oracle (and my Lowthers).

SME are fine arms, very well-made though I find the sonic character a bit "dry" for my taste - especially on an Oracle. I don't like "too much accuracy" :D (i.e. when LP's start to sound hard like CD's). But maybe that can be compensated by a sweet cartridge, or other parts of your system.

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Postby Racio » Fri Mar 14, 2003 3:39 am

Noam wrote:I agree that the RB300 is a pretty decent arm. Good unipivots are very quick on their feet, so you would notice an improvement in dynamics and 'PRAT'.. not necessarily better tracking.

If your friend will let you try it out, it could work out really well. A few holes in the armboard isn't a big deal.. Oracle does overcharge for replacing the acrylic board, but you can probably get one made locally - maybe an exotic material like carbon fiber, or rosewood. If you need a new one, that is.

You won't be limited to MM's.. but the uni may not be the best match a really low-compliance cantilever, like Koetsu for example.

Noam


Hey, good thing he's letting me try 'em out before splurging for it. Hmmm... carbon fiber.... sounds fascinating! I know someone who does CFs for autos, I might just spring the guy a visit.

I'm awfully interested in the DL103 since you mentioned that you switch to it coming from a Koetsu. Man, that should say a lot about the Denon cart. Are the 103's cantilever low compliance as well? Would you recommend it with the Unify then? Thanks for your note worthy opinions Noam! Please keep it coming! :D
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Postby Noam » Fri Mar 14, 2003 5:27 am

Racio wrote:I'm awfully interested in the DL103 since you mentioned that you switch to it coming from a Koetsu. Man, that should say a lot about the Denon cart.


Absolutely! The Black is a $1K cartridge and although I loved it, I don't really miss it. The DL103D has most of the sweetness without any of the syrup. By comparison it has flatter frequency response/better balance, tighter bass control and is much FASTER sounding than the Koetsu. The Koetsu did have an amazing ability to pull midrange detail, and it had the "romance" that I miss occasionally, but not often.

Thing is, the DL103D is not readily available. I heard that Denon USA has them, but they're now asking $300. The DL103 is more commonly available, and is an excellent cartridge - just remember that it has a very stiff cantilever (rated compliance 5), and also it tracks heavy (2.2-2.5g). So it is not perhaps the ideal mate for a lighter arm or a unipivot. And I agree with ambel's assessment; the 'D' has noticeably better high freq's.

Racio wrote:Are the 103's cantilever low compliance as well? Would you recommend it with the Unify then? Thanks for your note worthy opinions Noam! Please keep it coming! :D


See above re: 103. I think the 103R specs are like the 103D (?), so that may be the best one to go for as an all-rounder. 103R has silver wiring. THEN AGAIN, if you check the Listener review of the plain DL103 (Summer 1999), Art Dudley was using it on the Naim Aro unipivot, and he was blown away by this cartridge. Same when he used it on the Rega arm.

Go for a group thing, you won't regret it!

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Postby vintage_dog » Fri Mar 14, 2003 7:40 am

Noam wrote:..I think the 103R specs are like the 103D (?), so that may be the best one to go for as an all-rounder. 103R has silver wiring. THEN AGAIN, if you check the Listener review of the plain DL103 (Summer 1999), Art Dudley was using it on the Naim Aro unipivot, and he was blown away by this cartridge. Same when he used it on the Rega arm.

Go for a group thing, you won't regret it!

Noam


edrich,

does your source have the 103R as well? how much are they?
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Postby arnoldc » Fri Mar 14, 2003 9:02 am

v_d, there's a problem with edrich's source which is phonophono as they don't accept credit cards anymore and demand wire transfer instead (read: mas mahal due to TT charges) and mahirap habulin. i myself had a problem with citibank when i did a TT, all in all i lost about $70 dollars which i never got back from citibank. :?
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Postby ambel » Fri Mar 14, 2003 12:57 pm

Actually the 103D and SME 309 is good combo. My bud Ernie is using
this combo together with Michele GyroDec another gorgeous TT.
You can't go wrong with the SME 309 most of the Oracle table is equipped
SME. Besides the built quality and engineering is very good.
I got both the 103D and 103. The 103D is lighter so you might have a
problem with some tonearm. You can compensate by adding weigth.
The difference is the 103 sounds darker than 103D. which is a bit refine,
more open and transparent which justify the jump in price. On the bottom
end it's close they got the same extended, taut, tuneful bass. Which I
find better than the Shelter 501 II.
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Postby corrsty » Fri Mar 14, 2003 2:28 pm

Arnold is right. I emailed PhonoPhono again just to make sure they don't have other payment methods they haven't told me about.

I believe they only have the DL103 variant. Also, they told me that their DL103 source is Denon Germany which sources the cart from Denon Japan.
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Postby Racio » Sat Apr 05, 2003 7:57 pm

Just like to thank everyone here who contributed to this thread. The Oracle-Unify is a real sweet combo, I think I've a keeper here. :) There's definitely more detail and air than the RB300. Though the ultra nimble Unify is a bit unnerving in the beginning, I'm already getting the hang of it. Later on, I might fiddle w/ its VTA and ascertain my cart's sensitivity and response to it. :wink:
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Postby corrsty » Thu Apr 10, 2003 11:44 am

Pare,

So you've decided on the Unify. :D Congratulations dude!!!
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Postby Racio » Thu Apr 10, 2003 1:32 pm

corrsty wrote:Pare,

So you've decided on the Unify. :D Congratulations dude!!!


Thanks man. Hey, welcome back! :D Naubos mo na siguro lahat ng mga Nat King Cole LPs sa states no? hehe.
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