FR 64s with the VTA base........probably the best for the SPU, if you dislike the Ortofon RMG 121 or RS 212..........
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In terms of sonics in the "FR-64-family" (FR-64, FR-64fx, FR-64s) , go for the FR-64s ONLY - and try to find a B-60 (which was never sold with the FR-64s, but only in a package with the FR-66s).
It was available as a separate item however.
Be prepared to pay around $1k for a good condition unit however.
THe FR-64s goes for anything between $1k and $2k depending on condition, complete OB and serial #.
Even for $2k it is THE best buy in terms of price/performance ratio in high-end tonearms.
Dertonarm, that's good info. Thank you.
Is the original wiring good enough in these arms or is it something I should expect to have upgraded? Also, do the internal leads go all the way from the cartridge clips to phono stage inputs, perhaps via RCA? Or is the arm designed to accommodate a separate, external phono cable, perhaps connected at the arm base via DIN or something, like many contemporary arms? Not sure how these were made.
Look for a NOS or good used Victor UA-7045. they show up here and on auction sites occasionally, usually from sellers in Australia, Hong Kong or Japan. Watch for a fatigued rubber coupler where the counterweight stem meets the main arm. This and the longer 7082 have a tightly-machined helical VTA adjuster, and antiskate is on a dial atop the pivot assembly. Ultra convenient. If complete it also includes a supplemental counterweight for heavier lower compliance cartridges needing higher effective mass, plus the SPU head assembly puts the combined eff mass when it needs to be.
Yup, no problem with the Meister Silver in my Victor 7082. I run it a bit under 4g but can go to 4g or beyond, no problem. Stock internal wiring is fine if the arm has been protected from the elements. I'm not obsessive about internal tonearm wiring anyway. Much bigger sound factors to wrangle elsewhere. I also have a 7045 and occasionally listen to an SPU in it. But with Stax, Victor & Schick 12" arms set up, I just don't have reason to do that very often. These Victor arms are now 35 years old, +/-, and bearings are still precise & free. I do use aftermarket DIN>RCA cables.
I couldn't get any manual for RS212D which I was considering for some time and still are, I thought it has a thumbwheelfor VTA by just looking at the picture but I guess I was wrong. Do you have any link for the manual by any chance? I check ortofon.com but nothing there.
Dear Lew, I bought the 'repro' B-60 from some Japanese guy
who called himself Kurt and lives in Hawaii. This guy
wanted to make B-60 by himself but this was to difficult for him. He started with both anti-skate weights for the FR 64/66 and become , it seems, too optimistic. So he made all the needed drawings and ordered 10 specimens by some Japanese firm . But his real name may be Wang so that he also speaks (and write)Chinese and probable ordered those 10 specimens in Taiwan. A good seller needs some psychological intuition so he probable thought that Japanese reference would be more convincing than the Taiwanese. He had the price Dertonarm suggested in mind but by his first listing on ebay.com he
got just 1 bid. Yours truly Nikola. I got the B-60 for $500 . Mr. Wang (aka Kurt) was very disapointed with this result but some Swiss helped him out by buying his whole
'stock'. Kurt (aka Wang) wrote to me that he nearly got bankrupt because of this undertaking. This seems to be usually the case by too optimistic kinds.
I am very reluctant to disagree with Lew about anything( a dangerous critic) but in casu I honestly agree with your valuatinon. I would even add 'better than the original' because brand new. BTW the price on 'our market' is $450.