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  Graham Phantom Supreme?
Has anyone done a comparison between the Supreme and the mkII? Is it worth changing and expending the extra outlay?

The main revisions appear to be the bearing housing and an improved magneglide stabiliser (I think the internal wiring was up to a good standard already on the mkII)

There is a company called AudioMax Ltd (approved contractor?) which can perform upgrades from both Phantom I and Phantom II to the Supreme build.
Any experience of this conversion out there ?
Many thanks... :)
Moonglum  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

07-30-11
  Responses (51-109 of 109)
Click title to read one, or click date to read all below it.

10-31-11: Syntax
Here is a picture from

Graham 12'' Phantom IIs

The red signs are coming from the timeline Strobe (speed controller)

Syntax  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


10-31-11   Dear hiho, you're right. i forgot - the phantom is a semi-u ...   Dertonarm

10-31-11: Jtimothya
Too bad Graham didn't put a detent on the center of the pivot cap so that I could use my feikert. Anyone have an idea how to measure for the exact center point so that I could make my own detent ? I am going to inquire with Graham directly about this.

With experience limited to seeing pictures of the Phantom2S, I'll ask, is it possible to acquire its center point with the cap off? Or other suggestions on how to accomplish use of the Feickert for this measurement? tia
 

Jtimothya  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


10-31-11: Rockitman
From Bob Graham, via Musical surroundsings:

I checked with Bob Graham and while you are correct that the alignment jig is for the 9" arm, there is actually only a 1/2" difference in the effective length of the 9" vs the 10". Mr. Graham recommends moving the cartridge back in the headshell about .05" from what the gauge shows to achieve the proper overhang.

Effective Length: 10" = 248mm
Spindle to pivot distance: 10" = 229.4mm


Looks like an arc protractor is in order. There is still a wee bit of play with the headshell in the jig. Enough, imo that even with a 9" arm, you could be off slightly zenith angle wise.YMMV

Rockitman  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


10-31-11: Dover
I have a question _

I thought the way the magneglide system worked was that it was magnetically coupled to the arm, such that as the arm moved it followed. In Fremers review he stated there was no mechanical contact between the magneglide system and the bearing. Is this correct ?

Jtimothya - with regard to the feikert query, the true centre should be measured at the pivot point, not the centre of the cap. They will only be the same when the arm is dead level. Bearing in mind that the pivot is a radius tip in a sapphire cup the actual pivot point will be slightly forward of centre in the cup going towards the cartridge. Graham should be able to give you some guidance on this.

Dover  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


11-01-11: Jtimothya
with regard to the feikert query, the true centre should be measured at the pivot point, not the centre of the cap. They will only be the same when the arm is dead level. Bearing in mind that the pivot is a radius tip in a sapphire cup the actual pivot point will be slightly forward of centre in the cup going towards the cartridge

Thanks, Dover. I was wondering if the P2S measurement using the Feickert becomes relatively straightforward with the cap removed. Could you point the pointer on the Feickert at the interior cup with accuracy? Thanks to all for indulging my question - I don't have a Graham so I don't know the layout under the cap.

Jtimothya  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


11-01-11: Halcro
P2S distance with the Phantom II can be measured accurately with the cap removed and the Feikert pin lowered into the damping well.
This is recommended by both Bob Graham and Feikert.

Halcro  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


11-01-11: Rockitman
11-01-11: Halcro
P2S distance with the Phantom II can be measured accurately with the cap removed and the Feikert pin lowered into the damping well.
This is recommended by both Bob Graham and Feikert.

This is good to know. Does the well have a detent at the bottom of it for the pin to rest itself centered in the well ? I have damping fluid in there at the momement and connot remember what the bottom of the well looks like. Thanks in advance.

Rockitman  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


11-01-11   I shared this procedure i used with chris feickert, michael ...   Dre_j

11-01-11: Tobes
11-01-11: Halcro
P2S distance with the Phantom II can be measured accurately with the cap removed and the Feikert pin lowered into the damping well.
This is recommended by both Bob Graham and Feikert.

That sounds messy. Unless starting with a dry well, the Feickert's pin will be dipping in the damping fluid - which is so sticky a fair bit of fluid will be removed.
You could fashion yourself a perspex location device for the feickert similar to the one used by the Uni-tractor. It uses concentric circles on the perspex plate to locate the tool over the centre point of the bearing. Maybe you could get one of those locating plates from 'dertonarm' - it looks like it might fit the feickert(?).
I personally use the MintLp arc protractor and think its a far easier and possibly more accurate solution.

Tobes  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


11-01-11   P2s is simple in the box is a pin for the spindle and a hole ...   Syntax

11-01-11: In_shore
Grahams set up jigs ,simplistic child's play using pivoting arm boards. Though mapping out a blank fixed arm board for p2s needs total accuracy while tapping mounting screws.
In_shore  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


11-01-11   Thank you halcro and dre_j!   Jtimothya

11-01-11   Anyone know if the phantom i or phantom ii can be upgraded t ...   Radioheadokplayer

11-01-11   correction, it was during rmaf 2008 instead of 5 years ago. ...   Dre_j

11-02-11   Halcro, is the phantom a true unipivot or a dual pivot. wh ...   Dover

11-02-11: Halcro
Dover,
That is correct. There is no physical contact between the magnets of the Magnaglide and thus I believe the Phantom II.....in fact all the Graham arms.......are true unipivots.
Cheers

Halcro  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


11-02-11   Dear dover, the magneglide mechanism does induce a force whi ...   Dertonarm

11-02-11   Halcro/dertonam, thanks guys, i've been interested in buying ...   Dover

11-02-11: Dertonarm
I had the pleasure of the past 4 years to audition every single version of the Phantom in Syntax' system.
Every version includes every effective length too, as Syntax collected all arm wand length available for the Phantom including the 12".
It is apparent that Bob Graham very carefully works on improvement in his design.
Every version did improve in the sonic picture while maintaining the virtues of the former.
To my ears - as well as to my brain and technical understanding - this is at the moment the UNI-Pivot with the most engineering input and the most money spent by the manufacturer to bring the design forward.
While I am certainly no fan of any additional connection before amplifying the tiny cartridge signal, - the Phantom sounds incredibly open keeping in mind that it has at least 2 more connecting joints than most tonearms today.
Might well be worthwhile having Syntax' Phantom Supreme direct wired from cartridge pins to phono input somewhen late winter.
Just curious to see/hear how much transparency will improve even further.
All the other current contenders do long sport direct-pin-tp-phono-input wiring.
We'll see ...
Cheers,
D.

Dertonarm  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


11-30-11: Moonglum
Dear Dertonarm,
I recall the issue of "extra" connectors in the Phantom's cable loom was first brought to my attention in a review of an Origin Live tonearm which contrasted with it's continuous loom.

My old Ittok LVII consisted of the standard 3cm short links from cart to armtube (2 connectors), 1x DIN connector at the pillar base, and finally, RCAs - a total of 4 connection breaks?
The Phantom II that replaced it consists of 1x set of cartridge tags, armtube DIN, arm pillar DIN and RCAs - a total of 4 connection breaks i.e. the same.
Your assertion that the Phantom has "2 additional connectors" surely only refers to tonearms which use a continuous cable loom ( = a total of 2 connection breaks - hardly representing the majority of tonearms on the market.

The fact is that the short cartridge links are a good way for novice cartridge installers to "cut their teeth" on the process. I'm sure that you, like myself, will have "graunched" a stubborn cartridge wire on at least one occasion with long-nosed pliers, causing that link to be rendered useless and requiring either repair or replacement?
Having a spare set of these wire links handy means that the install is back on course within seconds. Continuous cable looms are possibly rightly viewed by some as being sent by the Devil. Once broken the repair is somewhat more involved....
(Naturally I am much more careful with the Graham because it does not use such links and would mean having a spare armwand in reserve :o)

Getting back to practical matters again : my Phantom loom consists of approx 0.35m internal wiring followed by 0.5m of regular coaxial. (Fortunately the phantom's DIN connector affords me the choice! :o)
I would be most surprised if someone else's "0.35m + 1m" or "+1.1m" of external loom would offer less resistance than this?

Kind regards...........M.

Moonglum  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


11-30-11   ... having said this....any experiments you care to conduct ...   Moonglum

12-01-11   Dear moonglum, the connector where the phantom's armtube is ...   Dertonarm

12-02-11: Rockitman
minimal connection points are highly over-rated. The Graham Supreme demonstrates this quite handily.
Rockitman  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


12-02-11: Dertonarm
Well Rockitman, I guess we all can agree, that even the very best connection do sport at least 2 solder joints and a composite of different material (solder, brass, nickel, phosphor bronze, coating) won't better a bare silver wire which runs undisrupted.
This is a simple picture I guess.
I had the Graham Phantom II Supreme here at my place for 3 days this past weekend.
It is a great tonearm with very good connectors.
The fact that it is that good, doesn't say it won't be better with less connectors interrupting/degrading the electrical flow of a very tiny signal.
If it were mine and if I would keep it for a very long time on my table, I would definitely provide an all-through-direct wiring from cartridge tags to phono input.
The point here is, that this is the start of the chain with a VERY small signal hub (0.2 mV with most LOMCs). Here the signal is the most vulnerable.
After the preamp the signal is 500x to 1000x "larger".
Would wish Bob Graham would consider offering a "hot rod" version of his Supreme with non-detachable arm wand and all-through wiring.
I bet our eyes and ears would pop in amazement of the sonic improvement.
Just as I have had the experience with a handful of other tonearms before.

Dertonarm  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


12-03-11   *back to mono* it is an arm with a right geometry and eas ...   Syntax

12-03-11: Dougdeacon
minimal connection points are highly over-rated. The Graham Supreme demonstrates this quite handily.
How so? The only way to know would be to compare a single-wired Phantom Supreme to a standard-wired one, which no one has done AFAIK.

The problems caused by additional connections go beyond increased capacitance or resistance. At the atomic level, each material boundary presents a barrier to the unimpeded flow of electrons. Diffraction at a boundary is inevitable and varies in proportion with frequency, it's basic physics. Sonically speaking, the more boundaries, the more mud.

A single crystal conductor presents the fewest boundaries. Insert multiple crystals and you get multiple diffractions. Insert different materials and you get even more diffractions.

I agree with Dertonarm that a single-wired Phantom Supreme would be an experiment worth hearing.

Dougdeacon  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


12-07-11: Moonglum
Dear Dertonarm,
You are referring to the number of connectors....I was referring to the number of contact points or possible "signal breaks". 2 connectors does not necessarily = 2 signal breaks, more likely one solitary break?

To help clarify this I will refer you to the words of the maestro himself :

"...While it's true that poor connectors are to be avoided, it's also true that a high quality connector will have a minimal effect on things, and will be much better, in fact, than a straight-through design that has inferior wire. Or, worse, an inferior tonearm design. These fellows seem to be basing their entire idea on connector counts, whereas they SHOULD be looking at the total design picture.

In having the removable armwand, we have one more connector break than on the average arm with removable cable facilities. And that connector has phosphor bronze contacts, gold plated, and it's VERY transparent. More than that, it also provides for ease and accuracy of cartridge setups and multiple arm options.

The proof is in the listening and I believe the Phantom II Supreme can be confidently compared to ANY tonearm at any price...
Best wishes,
- Bob Graham"

Moonglum  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


12-08-11: Hiho

That Bob Graham quote does not prove anything in this context because he did not say he compared the standard connection to a single set of wires to the preamp. The jury is still out there, I have to say.

P.S. He's a manufacturer. Of course he wants his product to be flexible. I don't blame him.

_______

Hiho  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


12-08-11: Lewm
In theory, I side with Doug and Dertonearm. In practice, I think I can "hear" connectors with MC cartridges and not so much with higher output MM and MI cartridges. I empirically assign blame to the low output of the MCs in question. However, the contacts I/we are usually dealing with are either DIN plugs at the base of the tonearm or the horror of a headshell, which can actually add three sets of contacts in the signal path, one at the cartridge pins, one at the rear of the headshell itself, and one on the other side of the headshell, where it mates to the tonearm. This is indeed a "worst case" scenario. However, I would not categorically say that it is impossible for Mr. Graham to have implemented contacts that are relatively benign in their effect. I'd far rather have one set of contacts at the pivot end of a replaceable arm wand than 3 sets at the headshell end.
Lewm  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


12-10-11   Call me old fashioned but whenever tightening headshell scre ...   Moonglum

01-24-12: Syntax
Some news.
Interesting product imo.

S-shaped armwand

.

Syntax  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


01-24-12   Very interesting, indeed! thanks.   Wrm57

08-28-12   I recently acquired this arm, i had a 2.2, and have a questi ...   Egrady

08-28-12   Egrady, you are spot on with your conclusions. vta depends o ...   Syntax

08-28-12   Egrady, being honest, i seriously doubt that any cartridge g ...   Moonglum

08-28-12   Egrady, it may not be sra that's causing the sound to be har ...   Essentialaudio

08-29-12   I must have been lucky.... in contrast to your experience (e ...   Moonglum

04-23-13   Hi all, i had my phantom ii upgraded to the supreme status ...   Aoliviero

04-23-13   Thanks for the post, aoliviero. my supreme-upgraded phantom ...   Wrm57

04-24-13   Wrm57, i agree i felt the phantom ii was better than the ...   Aoliviero

04-24-13   Hi andrew, your description of the tri-planar is right on, ...   Wrm57

04-24-13: Syntax
I felt the Phantom II was better than the triplanar..

It is fact.
The Phantom has another huge advantage: It works on a top sonic level with nearly all cartridges, the Triplanar doesn't. You see it pretty often in pics with Koetsu (mismatch, not good), Lyra Titan (disaster), super with Zyx or any other cartridges which move no energy into the Arm...Bob Graham simply has a better knowledge about energy transfer, and what is important generally for a good Arm Design.
The Triplanar had its good time against Graham 2.0 series but when the Phantom became available it wasn't in the same class and the gap got wider...

comparison Phantom / Triplanar VII

Syntax  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


04-24-13: Wrm57
You're preaching to the choir, although I do think the newest Tri-planar bests the Graham 2.2 I owned for years before the Phantom II.
Wrm57  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


04-24-13   Has anyone gotten their hands on an elite yet? the inverted ...   Sbrown

04-25-13   My experience with damping fluid is the following: use very ...   Aoliviero

04-25-13   I would be more tempted to upgrade now if i had ever been se ...   Jameswei

04-25-13: Wrm57
Andrew, I appreciate the tip on damping fluid. With my PII, I filled it to just under the edge of the square shank. Seems the Supreme benefits from a little less. I'll let you know.

Jameswei, I can understand why that would bug you. Graham can be surprisingly lackadaisical sometimes, IME. Did you try badgering him? I would.

Wrm57  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


04-25-13: Jameswei
Thanks for the encouragement.

It's been a bunch of years now since I bought my original Phantom, so this has become pretty much a moot point for me, at least from a usefulness point of view.

I have three Graham arms, the 1.5, 2.2, and the original Phantom. Probably that's enough.

Jameswei  (Answers | This Thread)


04-25-13: Wrm57
The wait is insanely long for the upgrade, at least in my experience. I was on the Musical Surroundings wait-list for something like 18 months. The only reason my arm was finally upgraded was because I had an issue with the DIN connector and had to send it to Graham, anyway. Otherwise, I'd still be waiting. Seems Bob has many other priorities.
Wrm57  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


04-25-13   It is quicker to buy a new one instead of sending in an old ...   Audiolui

05-30-13   Bill did you get your arm back? any thoughts? andrew   Aoliviero

05-30-13: Wrm57
Hi Andrew,

Yes, I received the upgraded Supreme and mounted it on my Brinkmann Oasis with a Benz Ebony L. I think it's clearly a step up from the Phantom II. Transients are cleaner, dynamics more explosive, and bass seems deeper and more coherent. In fact,the whole sonic fabric seems more coherent. So far, I hear no weaknesses in this arm. It's remarkably balanced and resolving with more organic wholeness than before.

Earlier Grahams (I've owned the 2.2 and Phantom II) could be criticized (justly or not) for an analytical tendency to "murder to dissect," especially in comparison to richer, more holistic arms like the Triplanar VII (which I also own and really like). Not the Supreme. I think this Graham combines musicality and highest-level resolution in exemplary fashion. Of course, this is just one man's opinion.

Bill

Wrm57  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


05-30-13   Bill thanks for your thorough feedback.! that basically sum ...   Aoliviero

05-30-13   Aoliviero and egrady, i noticed that my koetsu carts are no ...   Mulveling

05-31-13   Mulveling i'm in the same boat. with the 10 inch. my cart i ...   Aoliviero

01-10-14   Does anyone have information on phantom supreme ii with 12 i ...   Voraratc

01-11-14   Spindle to pivot distance is 295.6 mm according to michael f ...   Kmccarty

01-11-14   Voraratc: 295,6 mm   Syntax


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