Anyone try the replica B-60 Fidelity Research VTA?

My sammle moved not only up an down but also sidewards.
The reason as far as I can judge is the pin on the screw
which connect the inner and the outer collar. The inner collar
slides along this pin up and down but if there is
any play between this pin and the notch of the inner collar
the tonearm will move also sidewards. This means that the
'replica' is not as 'exact' as claimed by the producer.
I assume that this screw is better made by the orginal B-60 .
Hi Nicola, I don't seem to have that problem with mine. But I would be interested to learn whether others have a had an experience similar to yours. Is there only one source, or are these replica B60s coming from more than one fabricator? I bought mine about 2 years ago from an eBay vendor who was either in Hong Kong or somewhere close by.
By the way, apart from the esthetics, do you have any problem using your sample of the B60? From your verbal description, it sounds as if the glitch would be an annoyance but not a real malfunction. But perhaps I misunderstand exactly what is going wrong.
I am not sure how many of them were made and from whom. Once I had contact to someone who made them, he is living in Hawaii... are there another ones out there made in HK?
Dear Lew, there was some Japanese guy from Tahiti who
called him self Walter. He started the first production of
the replica B-60. I think he made the drawings and ordered
the manufacturing in Hong Kong. But he was not able to sell
them for more as $ 500 a piece while this was not sufficient
to cover his own cost. So he give up. I assume
that this manufacturer from Hong Kong started the second
trial. My only problem with this,say, Hong Kong produced
B-60 is the mentioned screw which is made from some soft
kind of metal. My idea is to order one made from the 'gun
matal' because I assume that this one will be better suited
to 'slide' against the internal steel collar.
I also think that the dimension of the pin in front of this screw
and along which the internal collar moves (up and down)
need to be exactly made. Without any play that is.
Otherwise the tonearm will also move sideways.
Meanwhile Ikeda san (re)introduced his original B-60.
I nearly ordered one but thought to be wise to first ask
for the price. Very wise indeed. I nearly got a heart attack
when I have seen the German price . The only importer
in Europe is in Germany.
Any movement in the arm pillar is not a glitch and is certainly more than an annoyance. The sideways movement, whether he means rotational or horizontal, it means that the arm pillar is not secure will result in smearing and loss of information and dynamics in a good system.
If that is the case you would be better off without the B60 and using the standard collet.
By the way, have you compared your FR64 to your Dynavector on the same turntable yet ? I have both the DV501 ( superior to the older 505 according to both my ears and the reviews in TAS ) and 2 FR64's and comparing them on the same TT ( Final Audio VTT1 ) the FR64's are much better in terms of transparency and accurate soundstage reproduction.
I believe there are more than one fabricator! I got mine through Audiogon from a vendor in Taiwan, it was nice and tight. My friend got one through Yahoo Japan, and it was loose. There were some minor cosmetic difference between the 2 also.
The Ikeda Sound IT-VTA-06 is a modern version of the FR B-60 elevation base, and made by the same guys who made the original.

Although I have handled the IT-VTA-06, I haven't had the chance to try it out or compare it to the original. What I do know that the machinery that the IT-VTA-06 is made on is far more accurate than what FR had at their disposal back in the 1980s.

If what Nandric had problems with was the IT-VTA-06, I strongly recommend that he describes exactly what the problem is to the seller, so that feedback can be provided to the manufacturer and improvements can be made.

kind regards, jonathan
Dear Jonathan, In the first place I really hope that your
new IT-VTA-06 is much better as the old-fashioned made
B-60 so I can buy from you the old one(grin).In the second
place I even posted a picture of the 'incriminated part'
which is a small screw with a pin on its 'nose' to the seller
from whom I bought the replica. Despite my 3 added
emails I heard nothing from this seller while I also made
some suggestion how to improve this part. I am not sure
about my assertion but think that 'steel on steel' is not
the optimal combination for 'glide' purposes. I.e. the
internal collar need to move up and down along this pin.
I think that this screw with the pin in front should be
made from bronze or rather 'gun metal'.
As a brave Serbian warrior I am not afread to contradict
even J. Carr. But there are some old-fashioned machinist
who still swear by the old lathes and categorically claim
that the talent of the machinist is more imortant then the
used kind of lathe (grin).
The basic principle of identity relation looks so obvious
and easy to understand: 'whatever is true about some object
will stay true by substitution of one name for the other
with the same reference'. For some reasons logicians an
mathematicians can't do without 'substitutio salva veritate'.
When I stated at school that 3+4 don't look
to me as identical with 7 my theacher responded with:'that
is because you are an imbecile Andric'. I learned (much)
later from Frege that different sense(s) (meanings?) may
have the same reference. While the ontological status of
numbers is not (yet) clear it seems reasonable to state
that 3+4 and 7 refer to the same, uh, object.
Even more tricky are the so called 'descriptive names'.
There are to many objects in the universe so we don't
actually have names for them all.
So 'the teacher of Alexander' or 'the designer by Lyra'
will produce true or false identity statment if we name
Aristoteles instead of Plato or J. Carr instead of,say,
Van den Hul.
Now what about: the replica B-60 from Hawaii, the replica
from Taiwan and the replica from Hong Kong? It looks as
if we moved from scarcity to a state of abundance. That
is when we add the new Ikeda B-60. Alas. The guy from
Hawaii (Syntax) is the same guy whom I moved to Tahiti.
'Our' Japanese Walter. I exchnged about 10 emails with him
and know that he made the drawings but the instrument is
made in Taiwan or Hong Kong. I also wrote to the seller of
the replica but got the wrong person answer. I at last got
the right person called Tien who was very kind and helpful.
He promissed to make for me this damn screw from
bronze. He also stated that the same B-60 is sold from
Taiwan as from Hong Kong. So we are talking about one and
the same replica.
Assuming that this one is made on the most modern CNC lathe
I am curious if the 'old-fashioned' made Ikeda B-60 is
Dear Nandric, You have my email address. Would you be kind enough to send your photos to me? Then we can "know" whether you and I, at least, are talking about the same item. I put the word "know" in quotations so as not to provoke a philosophical dilemma for you. I think you are probably correct; there is probably only one replica, sold from several different sources depending upon the whim of its maker.

Dear Dover, Obviously, if the mount allows the tonearm to wiggle side to side or especially up and down during actual use, that is totally unacceptable. Obviously. However, I understood Nandric to be saying that his "B60" was not malfunctioning to that degree, but that's why I asked my follow-up question to his original post. I won't make a categorical statement comparing the DV505 to the DV501 (which I also own), or the DV505 to the FR64S cum B60 replica, because I think such comparisons are highly dependent upon the cartridge being used. The FR64S affords a much higher effective mass than does the DV501 or 505. What cartridge(s) did you use when comparing them?
Assuming that this one is made on the most modern CNC lathe
I am curious if the 'old-fashioned' made Ikeda B-60 is

Well, in our modern time every product is made with the best machines, with endless care, ultimate brain and of course NASA Science. Sometimes you can add some guys from Stanford University, too.
Well, I think, Ikeda missed the holy water marketing but even without that, these items are done perfect. I own two B-60 (originals of course) and I can't count how many times I moved the arms up and down (really a lot) and they work the way they should. Some time ago I knew from someone who was really interested to copy the B-60 based on German Tooling Standard, - identical material of course - and he quit. Too expensive in the making and nearly impossible to sell, way above 1.5k...
When I saw the B-60 copy, I thought it is dirt cheap...and a chance to get something really rare...but who knows.
I hope you can get the result you hope for, the original B-60 are ultra rare, in the last 3 years I saw only 2 or 3, both in the area of 1300 Euros and sold after 2 days...
Dear Syntax, It was the very rarity and cost of an original B60 that prompted me to "take a flyer" (as we say in the US) on the reproduction B60. In quality of construction and materials, I am not disappointed; it's beautifully made. So far, mine does not do the bad things that Nandric reports. He sent me a photo of the damnable screw; I am going to find out whether mine is the same, or not.

I would never use an FR tonearm without the B60. It should have been standard equipment.
Lewm - I had a spring cleanout of surplus gear about 18 months ago. At the time I had sitting in the cupboard unused - Garrard 301/401, couple of Rowland amps, Quicksilvers, Dynaco Mk3's, various preamps and a pile of other stuff. I was also sitting on a Klyne system 7 phono, Exposure phono in addition to the other stuff.
I also had the following arms - Eminent Technology ET2, Naim Aro, FR64S ( with original B60 ), FR64S, Helius Cyalene, Helius Omega & Hadcock ( and a couple of vintage SME's 3009/3012 ).
Cartridges owned at that time Ikeda Kiwame, Dynavector Nova 13D, Koetsu Black Goldline, Denon 103D, Fidelity Research FR1mk3, Shure V15vxmr, Shure V15vmr.

When the Dyavector Nova 13D came back from Dynavector ( they rebuilt it for me ) I decided to test all my phono gear and arm/cartridge combinations.

In terms of phono stages both my tube Marantz 7's ( 1 std and 1 heavily modified ) and Theta B Revised blew away the Klyne & Exposure so the Klyne and Exposure were sold off along with the Rowlands, Quicksilvers, Garrard 301/401 and other surplus gear..

I then tried the Dynavector Nova 13D, Koetsu Black & FR1mk3 on the Naim Aro, FR64 & Dynavector 501 arms - all mounted on the Final Audio VTT1.

Koetsu Black - on the Aro the sound is quick and lucid but fragile on piano. I do not think the Koetsu is a good match for the Aro, despite being Martin Collins reference for a number of years. On the Dynavector - less information, forshortened soundstage, very good lateral precision within the forshortened soundstage. Not as transparent as the unipivot Naim Aro. On the FR64, this is much closer to the Aro in speed and transparency, and the fragility on solo piano/guitar etc disappears. A more stable sound.

Dynavector Nova 13D - on the Aro - easily the best, fast lucid, transparent and excellent timing, this combo will track severe warps without missing a beat - it is very stable. With the FR64 & Dynavector the same differences as with the Koetsu - the FR64 resolves more than the Dynavector, presents a much more accurate soundstage, the Dynavector forshortens stage depth.

Fidelity Research FR1mk3 - very good on Naim Aro, ok on FR64, less than average on Dynavector 501.

Lewm, I do agree arm/cartridge combos are critical. For example I still think the best arm for the Koetsu Black was my old Zeta ( after I had the bearings replaced ). In terms of the stone bodied Koetsu's ( Onyx Gold vdh ) the Sumiko The Arm is the best combo I've heard. The Koetsu Reds are more variable, but I had excellent results with an Alphason/Koetsu Rosewood.
However, the general outcome of more speed and transparency on the Aro than the FR64 is consistent across all cartridges. Similarly the lack of transparency as regards the correct presentation of soundstage of the 501 compared to the FR64 is consistent with all cartridges.

From using the ET2 for 30 years with much experimentation on mass, electromagentic damping & decoupling of the counterweights, my gut feel is the Dynavectors electromagnetic damping is too severe and is killing the arms potential.

In general terms the Dynavector Nova 13 has considerably more resolution than any of the other cartridges except for the Ikeda. At present I am running it straight into my Marantz 7 tube preamp @ 47k - no step up required, the Marantz has plenty of gain for LOMC's, even the low output Dynavector. Step up devices I have to hand, but not used, are various vintage transformers including Altec 4629, Music Ref tube head amp modified, Blue Audio Systems solid state head amp ( built by Reto Andreoli of Magic Diamond cartridges ). Rest of system is power amp by Richard Brown and Tannoy Monitor Golds with my own crossover, all wired with MIT - Oracle power & interconnect cabling, original double shotgun 750 for speaker cable.

Dear Syntax, That is why I love my German group. They
always agree with me. There is, alas, no such thing
as the category 'wanted stuff' on our A'gon market.
So I was forced to use the 'selling category' as if my
intention was to sell the original B-60. There were
more as 250 viewers in the first day of my 'listing'.
There are more as 13 days since and I got not one single
offer. If you had not mentioned your anticipated price
I would write an very charming and polite email to you
but for this kind of money I can get the new Ikeda B-60.
I hope that my naming J. Carr next to Aristiteles may
have some influence on his reaction to my request to sell
to me the 'old-fashioned made' B-60 which he still owns.
Dover, you wrote that the Marantz 7 tube preamp @47k has plenty of gain for LOMC's.
Are you referring to the heavily modified one or stock
That's a very interesting summary, and you certainly do have a lot of listening experience that enables you to speak with authority on the products you've listed, or at least it qualifies you to have an opinion. Did you sell the Klyne 7 phono? (I'd be interested, maybe.)

Your choice of the Marantz 7C "uber alles" is a big surprise to me. Has yours been modified/upgraded/etc? It almost certainly cannot be all original, since any electrolytic capacitor made in the 1950s or 1960s is dead by now. Also, the germanium diodes used at that time are probably kaput. It's been decades since I owned a 7C, probably pre-dating the hegemony of MC cartridges, so I cannot recall whether it would have had sufficient gain for a true LOMC, but has yours been modified for more gain than original? The 7C was a wonderful piece of gear that I often regret selling, not because its sound quality was transcendent but because of its historical significance and the perfection of its design, the same reason I have kept my Leica M3 and its lenses. (Same reason I should never have sold my Porsche 550RS Spyder.)

Nikola, As I think I said by private email, I don't have issues with my faux B60, yet. There is no horizontal "play" in the mechanism. I agree the lubricant used is annoyingly "sticky", but I will leave it alone. It's really a simple device, and even the reproduction is overbuilt compared to some other devices that accomplish the same end for other tonearms.
The load resistor might affect frequency response but not gain. However, I too am wondering about Dover's claim that his 7C has adequate gain for "any" LOMC cartridge. I tend to think his unit must be modified, but he will tell us.
Back to the B60 : Alternative VTA adjuster

An alternative solution to easy and fine VTA adjustment is to tap a machine screw into a block of aluminium or bronze that slides under the arm lift cradle. I had one made years ago with a fine thread : 1/4 turn equated to 1 thou of an inch. You then unwind the screw until it just touches the underside of the arm lift cradle. From there you can easily remove it, adjust the screw up or down ( 1 turn is +-4 thou ) and then all you do is loosen the arm pillar screws, place the VTA measurer under the arm lift, and then drop the arm down to the new position. This little gizmo gives you complete control of fine VTA without the need for the B60.

My concern with most arms is that the arm pillars are secured by one or two grub screws - this is not particularly rigid. With the Helius tonearms the arm pillar is secured with a compression grip - this is far more rigid.
Now that Syntax mentioned the price for the original B-60
I feel 'entitled' to name the price(s) for the new one.
Because of the possible liabilty by the mentioned heart attack
I was reluctant to do so. With the German sensibility I
was informed that the retail price is 1880 euro but because
Nicole liked my name I could get the precious for only 1550 euro.
BTW I got my 'perfect' siver wired FR-64S for 1200 euro.
Like Lew I reconsidered this sticky silicon oil in the
replica with the assertion that this stuff has also some damping function.
My standard Marantz 7 (1996 reissue) has enough gain for the Dynavector Karat Nova 13D, albeit with a little tube noise at louder levels. This Karat Nova 13D however is not standard. The original output was 0.12mv. When Dynavector rebuilt Karat Nova's they always started with a new generator. I got the last 13D generator in the early 2000's. When I had an accident and broke the diamond cantilever they rebuilt it again as a special favour ( they no longer rebuild them ) using a Karat Nova 17 generator, and the output is now 0.3mv. This is what I believe I have
Fortunately I have another Nova 13D still original.
The standard 7 also has enough gain for the Koetsu's and Carnegie (0.28mv) that I've used over the years. It does not have enough gain for the Ikeda (0.15mv).

My modified Marantz 7 dates from around 1960 and has the followng mods :
1st stage - did the Smith mods, bypassed all the switching & tone controls, bypassed the balance & trim pots on phono and line output, resulting in a phono only preamp with only a volume pot in the signal path.
2nd stage - did the Pooge circuit changes - tighter RIAA, increased output coupling caps
3rd stage - added a custom designed outboard regulated power supply ( much better design than the suggested Pooge power supply ) with additional superfast C on the tubes. The outboard supply also has additional star earthed binding posts so all components in the system can be star earthed to one single point.
4th - replaced all resistors with Roderstein metal film and caps with MIT Multicaps.
This was all back in the early 90's. The modded Marantz has a little more gain, substantially lower noise floor and more resolution than the original 7, but retains the unique characteristics of the original - if you read the TAS reviews of the Marantz & and Smith modded version they are absolutely spot on - a unique in my experience ability to accurately orient instruments in Carnegie Hall, a very coherent music presentation in terms of timing and expansive mid range. My take on the 1996 replica is that it is very good, but a little slow. I suspect the polypropylene caps in this version are not great. In Japan they buy replicas and then install vintage bumblebees. In Europe they buy replicas and throw in the Duellunds.
From the mid/late nineties I used a Jadis for about 10 years until someone desperately wanted it. They did me a huge favour because when I hooked the old modded Marantz 7 back up out of curiosity it blew the Jadis away completely. Every time I try another preamp I lose speed and coherency. Even my friend with a full Goldmund system shakes his head - he cannot understand why my ancient system with about 50 years of components sounds so quick. As well as the Goldmund PH3 another friend has the Lamm phono. It is sad that these cant live with a 1960's design. As is always with audio it is a sum of the parts.

Dear Dover,
"As is always with audio it is a sum of the parts." Set that in stone. I totally agree and have operated on that principle for the last 10-15 years. A knowledgeable DIYer can dramatically improve upon almost anything commercially available. I am also not surprised that your modified Marantz blew away the Jadis.

I also agree that securing the vertical shaft of the typical VTA-adjustable tonearm with one or at best two grub screws does not make me feel good, yet its most commonly done. Even the B60 only really uses two set screws. One of the brilliant aspects of the Kenwood L07D integrated turntable/tonearm is the massive and very mass-y clamp that secures the tonearm once one has set the VTA. As regards your friend's consternation that "old stuff" sounds good, I also intentionally out-fitted my Beveridge 2SW system such that nothing upstream is less than about 30 years old, just for the fun of it. But of course I modified and upgraded almost all of the components I chose. The wheel was invented a long time ago. At first I used a Quicksilver preamp vintage about 1980-85. The circuit has many odd features, by present day beliefs, but on the other hand, the power supply is well done. One big improvement was to sub all the caps in the RIAA network with Russian silver mica caps available on eBay. And to replace the 12AU7 cathode-follower with a 12FQ7. Etc. After the Quicksilver, I moved on to a hot-rodded Klyne and a very hot-rodded Silvaweld phono stage. But this is hijacking Nikola's thread, except for the bit about set screws. Sorry, Nikola.
Dear Lew, No need to worry about 'my' thread. It will be
valued according to the number of the contributions made
and not according to the subject matter in which individul
contributors are interested. Like Henry Dover want to
show that his country does not belong to the developing
kind. One can get the best caps and resitors (even )in
New Zealand is the massage.
Dover, thanks for the explanation. Will be in touch with you very soon.
Not to forget we have holy water down here as well. Australia is not far behind but has yet to discover the veracity of the LOMC !

Lewm - Correction - in last post Duellunds = Vcaps(copper). Duellunds wont fit in the M7.
Well I am glad with any contribution but so far only Lew and I wrote about the replica. To summarize: he is satisfy with its functionality and has only some small esthetical problem with the (sticky) siicon oil while my only problem is this damn screw. But what about Thekong's sample, irrespective if its 'fabricator' is from Taiwan or Hong Kong?
Dear Dover, It was wise from me to first check the price of the new B-60 before ordedring one. What is the price per liter of your Holly Water?
Addendum. I think Lew will have less problems now to
understand the wonders to which the old Maranz 7 is
capable. He may also be interested in the price of 'the
water' because his old Beweridge may need some.
Regarding Australia. I wanted to speed up its developing
potential and lend out one of my better LOMC to 'some'
Aussie. He wrote to me to have never before experienced
such a cart. The best he has ever heard. But , to my big
surprise, the cart was returned after 10 days or so without
any explanation. 'My Gosh' I thought he is probaly insulted
by some of my Serbian jokes. Those however are not
intended as jokes but more like a kind of teasing. So, for
example, by his knee operation I wanted to comfort him
and posted to him the 'Serbian romatic version' of his mis
fortune. According to this interpretation he was catch by
her husband who happely had no firing guns of any kind but
only some baseboll stick...
Duelands won't fit into my budget, let alone into my chassis'. Although I am a stickler for parts quality myself, where "affordable" (everyone has a different definition), my experience tells me that tweaks to the circuit itself (such as what you did to your 7C) are far more efficacious than parts swapping.
Dear Nandric: You are the first person who has ever requested that I give them a heart attack (grin).

>some old-fashioned machinist still swear by the old lathes and categorically claim that the talent of the machinist is more imortant then the used kind of lathe (grin).

I fully agree about the talent of the machinist, but I think that we can agree that superior equipment will enable even experienced machinists to do more precise and consistent work.

The person machining the Ikeda Sound IT-VTA-06 is the same person who machines all of the components for the Ikeda tonearms, and FWIW, the Lyra cartridges. He has over 35 years of experience in machining medical / surgical components where any lack of precision is unacceptable. He is not cheap (as you can see by the prices that his work commands), but his quality is truly excellent.

kind regards, jonathan
Dear Lew:

We are talking about low impedance MC cartridges, right?

>The load resistor might affect frequency response but not gain.

If so, wouldn't the MC cartridge frequency curves published in various magazines be non-comparable and essentially meaningless unless there was an industry-standard load resistor value that all magazines adhered to?

kind regards, jonathan
Dear JCarr, Touche'. The problem with my statement is that it was general and followed Audpulse's specific comment about a 47K load on an MC. Are you suggesting that the load resistor never has any impact on frequency response of an MC? If so, teach me. I thought that very low values of load resistor (i.e., high loads) can dampen the HF response, of some MCs in some cases with some loads. So if I am correct, then perhaps there should be an industry-standard ratio of load resistance to cartridge internal resistance, for published tests. Anyway, who ever publishes curves these days, for cartridges? Even S'phile takes the subjective judgment of its reviewers as gospel.

My main point was that unless the load resistor is much closer in value to the internal resistance of the MC cartridge (where 47K would of course be maybe more than 1000X the internal resistance and could have no effect at all on gain), or certainly if it's less than the internal resistance, it will not have an appreciable effect on gain.
Ugghh! Syntax (the linguistic, not the person) is my bete noir today. In my second paragraph above, I mean to say that the load resistor can affect gain if it's value approaches, equals, or is less than that of the cartridge.
Hi Lew: Since I have already written about this topic on the What's best forum, and a kind soul there was willing to convert my charts into gifs, I recommend that you read the following thread on the SME 30/2 turntable, from pages 3 to the end. The charts are on page 6, and they will show you what kinds of frequencies are affected when the load resistor value is changed.

kind regards, jonathan
Dear J.Carr, From your reaction I see that you also consider our forum and more in particular this thread as a life thretening affair. I fear that my following request
will be even more dangerous. However the question is connected with our previous 'dispute' about the modern versus the old lathes. What is your opinion about the difference between the 'old-fashioned' FR-64 S and the(new) Ikeda IT-345? I own both but am very reluctant to try the later because of Syntax . He is 2 m big and lives in my neighbourhood but not in yours. BTW the context is similar to Dover's 'Holy water' in the sense that for some among us the FR-64S is the 'Holy Grail'.
Dear JCarr,
This is what I found, quoting your quoter:
"Regarding loading of low-impedance MC cartridges, in general I recommend trying to reduce any capacitances present between cartridge and phono stage input to as little as possible. Use the lowest-capacitance phono cable that seems decent, turn off any additional capacitance in the input stage of the phono amplifier etc.

The reduced capacitance should make it possible for you use a wider range of loading impedances without having the sound go bright, peaky or thin-bodied. Conversely, any excess capacitance between cartridge and phono stage input will almost certainly force you into choosing lower loading impedances to save your ears.

Being able to use higher-value loading impedances should allow you to hear more of the dynamics and resolution that the cartridge is capable of, while using lower-value loading impedances will limit how much of the cartridge's dynamics and resolution that you can usefully extract."

So now I am puzzled; were you inferring that my statement (essentially, low load resistances that get into the range of less than a multiple of the internal resistance can affect FR of some cartridges) was correct or incorrect? I said nothing about capacitance. You seem to be saying here that if the capacitance is minimized, then one's choice of load resistance is widened. I don't see a conflict.
Hi Nandric:

>What is your opinion about the difference between the 'old-fashioned' FR-64 S and the (new) Ikeda IT-345?

The FR-64S has a bit of extra resonant energy, a bit of extra spiciness that has been engineered out of the IT-345 (which was developed with full knowledge and understanding of the FR-64S). In some systems and for some ears, the extra spiciness works well, in other systems and for other ears, this upsets the balance of the sound.

But do keep in mind that while there is such a thing as intelligent engineering and unquestioning (not-thinking) engineering, when it comes to subjective listening preferences, there is no correct or incorrect. Like food, or the opposite sex, or sports, not everyone shares the same subjective preferences as you or I.

Decades of listening to audio systems at shows, reviewers, dealers and audiophiles all around the world have shown me that likes and dislikes come in all flavors; what one listener loves, another may abhor. If someone prefers the sound from a telephone made from two tin cans and a length of hemp, I do not have the right to say "you are wrong" (although I may make a mental note to avoid taking that person's opinion seriously).

My advice to you is listen to both tonearms, then try to appreciate each for what it is, rather than disrespecting either for what it isn't.

kind regards, jonathan
Dear Lew:

I specifically replied to your statement:

>The load resistor might affect frequency response but not gain.

This is exactly backwards. The load resistance attenuates the cartridge output - the lower the load resistance value, the greater the attenuation. The load resistance _equally_ affects all frequencies that are not part of the electrically reactive area, and as my graphs from the What's Best link show, that electrically reactive area will be in the hundreds of kHz to some MHz.

Ergo, the load resistance value will not affect the amplitude of any frequency that you can hear directly. The exception would if the source inductance is so big that the electrically reactive frequency region is dragged down (by the cable capacitance) into the tens of kHz, but this calls for a MM or MI, while the post directly above your post (the post that you responded to) spelled out LOMCs. One other exception would be if your phono stage designer likes to add huge amounts of capacitance (nF rather than pF) at the phono stage input.

>were you inferring that my statement (essentially, low load resistances that get into the range of less than a multiple of the internal resistance can affect FR of some cartridges) was correct or incorrect

I was pointing out that your statement is incorrect. Due to its operation as an attenuator, using a very low load resistance affects the output level more significantly than the frequency response, unless electrical resonances form a fundamental part of the cartridge's audible frequency response (which again describes MMs or MIs rather than LOMCs).

>I said nothing about capacitance.

Neither did I (at least not on this thread so far).

Although the What's Best link shows that the interaction between cable capacitance and coil inductance is the mechanism causing varying degrees of frequency peaking (reactive resonances), and that resistive damping of this peaking is why you would on occasion want to use a lower-value rather than higher-value load resistance, it also graphically showed what kinds of frequency ranges will be affected by the load resistance value. Hundreds of kHz to some MHz.

Please keep in mind that the quote of yours that I responded to did say:

>The load resistor might affect frequency response but not gain.

Incidentally, it should be stated that although the ultrasonic frequency peaking is caused by the cartridge (and tonearm cable capacitance), it is never part of the cartridge's own frequency response. No phono cartridge that I am aware of has any output in the MHz region. The highest frequencies emanating from the cartridge itself will be when it encounters a cut in the groove, or a raised particle. Such physical damage is not subject to the limitations of groove cutting lathes, and can give rise to large impulses with frequency content extending as high as 150kHz (according to John Curl, some extreme cases may reach 300kHz). Still, some way off from the MHz region affected by the load resistance value.

What the frequency peaking will do is boost any environmental or local noise that is present in the affected frequency region by the amplitude of the peak. Many radio broadcasts occur in the same region (from 500kHz to some MHz) as that affected by the interaction between cartridge inductance and cable capacitance.

If your phono stage is simultaneously asked to amplify the output of your LOMC along with a local AM broadcast which has been boosted by 30dB due to the frequency peaking action between cartridge inductance and cable capacitance and an improperly chosen load resistance value, it is no surprise that you may hear a skewed energy balance, or audible distortion. But that is a phono stage issue. It is not caused by an alteration of the phono cartridge frequency response.

hope that this clarifies sufficiently.

kind regards, jonathan

PS. BTW, the frequency response of a phono cartridge will vary according to the room temperature, and the LP groove radius (upper frequencies fall as the cartridge gets closer to the label). There are various reasons why I consider the frequency response of a transducer (microphone, cartridge, speaker) to be of merely token interest.
Dear Carr, The Romans stated long ago : de gustibus non
disputandum est. That is why we do this all the time
since. I understand your 'problem'. As a kind person very
reluctant to insult whomever but as a scientist obliged
to tell the truth. This is probably only possible with
a careful and diplomatic choice of the used words. But
your separation between objective and subjective aspects
involved give me 'some' idea about the difference between
the younger and older, uh , 'brothers'. I intend to compare
them and eventual keep my conclusion for myself.
I fear this 'huge German' but also want to keep our friendship
intact. The device being ''don't thouch someone else Holy grail''.
Even the Serbian warriors can't do without corps diplomatique
at present (grin).
Dear Jonathan,
I take your point on frequency response, and I am sorry I ever wrote it; it was really beside the point of my post.

On the matter of load resistance, I SAID at least twice, albeit perhaps badly, that load resistance CAN affect gain, but not perceptibly unless the load resistance gets down low enough in ohmic value such that it is less than a multiple of the cartridge's internal resistance. The case in point was 47K. Surely a 47K load is not going to have a perceptible effect on reducing the gain of any MC cartridge. The reason I left it vague as regards the critical minimal relationship between phono input resistance and cartridge internal resistance that seems to preserve gain, is because there does not seem to be much agreement among those "in the know" as to what relationship is acceptable vs what relationship WILL result in a perceptible loss of gain. Classically, if you read elementary texts aimed at audiophiles, the relationship between output and input resistance is often said to be at least 1:10, in order to avoid perceptible loss of gain. But with MC cartridges, I have read all sorts of claims; it seems to be a "muddy" area. Many claim to be able to go below a 1:10 ratio with no perceptible loss of gain. (For example, the legions of Denon DL103 users who select 100R and less to load that cartridge.) I personally have never tried going below 1:10, so I cannot comment up or down, let alone have I taken measurements. One manufacturer who is also a friend of mine suggests that one might progressively reduce load R until one does perceive loss of gain, then go back up to the next lowest value of load R as the optimal choice for that particular cartridge. I've never tried that either. I am guessing you would not approve.

So, back to the original bone of contention, all I meant to claim was that 47K ohms is not going to perceptibly reduce the gain of any MC cartridge. Thank you for correcting the part of my statement that was apparently erroneous, with regard to the effect of load on frequency response. If you say so, I accept that I was wrong. You certainly know more about this subject than I will ever know or need to know.
I fear this 'huge German' but also want to keep our friendship

Come audiophile discussion is worth such a is no religion
Life goes on ...
Come on ... Syntax. Or is your sense for humour limited to
your own?
2 meters + ~ 6 feet, 6 inches. Now I translated it to the British/American language, I am impressed too, if this is Syntax's actual height. Let's see: the only major areas of disagreement between me and Syntax is he dislikes Koetsu and all MM cartridges, and I like my Koetsu Urushi (no opinion on stone-bodied, Rosewood, etc) and several MM cartridges. BUT we both like ZYX and FR tonearms. I will have to post more about the latter products, I guess. On the other hand, Syntax is not going to knock on my door without first expending a great deal of travel time.

As Thuchan likes to say, "all in fun". (However, it seems Thuchan was offended last time I questioned something he wrote, even though it was all in fun.)
Dear Lew, There is this common belief that 'big guys' are
friendly and soft because they don't need to fear anyone.
I see that you are more convinced by economical reasons.
My belief however is based on mutual friends. Aka 'the
German group' with Dertonarm as our leader.
Regarding Thuchan I don't believe that he could be offended
by the most eloquent person in our forum. His problem
is/was those moderators. They are the reason why he left the forum.
Dear Lou:

IMHO, analog audio today is saddled by more than a few unjustified myths and misbeliefs. These unfounded beliefs are fettering the progess that audio engineers are able to make, and are also preventing audiophiles from extracting the full performance potential of the components that they pay good money for.

AFAICS, MC cartridge loading is one of the problematic areas. Allowing the old myths to continue unchallenged causes audiophiles to wrongly evaluate the cartridges that they listen to, in addition to holding back progress in phono stage design.

Dispelling the unfounded beliefs by provoking understanding of the fundamental mechanisms and issues will hopefully allow both audiophiles and audio design engineers to take some good steps forward.

BTW, that's a roundabout way of saying that I apologize - it was never my intent to beat up on you.

kind regards, jonathan
Not to worry. When I am corrected or my views are "modified" by an unimpeachable source, such as yourself, I take it as a learning experience. Furthermore, I am all for dispelling BS that prevails in this hobby.
Hi all, I got the new (bronze) screw from Tien the seller of
the B-60 replica. My assumption that this screw caused
my problem was right. No 'sideway' movement of the collar
of my FR-64 anymore. So I am glad to be able to recommend
the replica. For the price of $450 there is no contest and
I think that each owner of the FR 64/66 tonearms should
own one. Like Lew I think that this VTA adjuster is indispensable.