I have listened to the Graham 2.2, Schroder Reference, Schroder DPS, Triplanar and Basis Vector all in the same weekend on my system.
My ranking from best to least best would be as follows:
I hope that helps.
I think, the answers will vary, the Vector arm has not the "Hype" other Arm are having. From what I heard ( not personally, but from people, who know their stuff ), it is a real interesting Arm. I am not mad about the Schroeders, some others are, I prefer ( and bought ) the Triplanar VII much more and the Graham 2.2 is a class on it's own with cartridge adjustment. The Graham should also be connected to a first class phono cable, otherwise the result is like rolling a dice. But before, you should have a real good phonostage, which will allow to hear EVERYTHING, that's even more important.
well you should consider Kuzma Reference Airline
this one outperformance the Schroeder Reference
Can you explain why the Vector arm is on the bottom of your list? Why are the other arms better?
I was there for the weekend that Cello mentioned and mostly agree with his ranking. According to my tastes I put the Vector just slightly ahead of the 2.2. But as I recall most of those listening preferred the Graham so I was in the minority. I also have compared the Graham and Vector outside that event and found both arms very close sonicly. The Graham takes the honors for ergonomics and setup and the Vector has the price advantage. However, all of the Schroders (including the model 2) and the Triplanar were in a different class than either the Vector or Graham.
To confuse things further I have spent some time evaluating the Morch UP-4 and DP-6 and have been quite impressed. Unfortunately I have not heard the Morch arms in a side by side comparison with the 2.2 or Vector. But I have heard all these compared to a Schroder Reference. Based on my sonic memory (ie. subject to error) the Morch DP-6 stacks up very well and probably betters the Vector and Graham. At about $1500 the DP-6 is a real steal. Add the 12" armwand and it even gets better.
What cartridge was used with the Vector? What did you use to support the signal cables from the arm?
which System did you mount for your comparison ?
And what kind of phonopre did you use ?
Chris, Can you expand a little more on your comparison of the Moerch arms to the Schroeder Ref. I am using a 12" DP-6 (with a Benz L2) and have been curious how the Schroeder would improve things. Thanks.
I compared the Vector 3 (on a Basis Debut Vacuum and Benz Ruby 2 cart) and much preferred the Vector, particularly in the tracking department. Not as tweakable as the Grmaham (I didn't get the optional VTA adjuster for the Vector) but one I found the right settings, they;ve stayed unchanged for months.
The entries in this thread by Teres and Cello caught my curiosity. Knocking the Basis Vector as they did contradicts both the results of many users and the stellar praise stated in a significant number of threads on various bulletin boards. By examining Audiogon threads it turns out that Teres is not a consumer; he is a manufacturer of turntables and also a reseller of Schroder tonearms. He is a direct competitor of Basis Audio; what a surprise!
Teres statements made on an open forum of a competitors products are biased, a conflict of interest, unprofessional, and disingenuous. And per various threads Cello is a major-league Teres lover who knows Teres & lives in such close proximity that as Teres stated he was there for the weekend" comparison of tonearms. It would be near impossible for anyone that close to Teres to be objective about quality products that compete with Teres.
Just to set the timetable right, the Model 2.2, after being such a good product for years, is now entering retirement with gratitude and thanks. The Phantom replaces the 2.2, being superior in all areas of function and performance. I hope it, too, will enjoy as much acceptance and even more musical satisfaction for it's owners than the earlier arms have. And there's more to come! (Did someone mention turntables?) - Bob Graham
So, by your reasoning, can any Basis owner be objective? I have owned both the Graham 2.2 and the Vector (model 1) and used them both on a Basis 2500. I don't know how these two arms stack up against the others mentioned but I do agree that they are pretty close to each other. My experience with the Graham and Vector led me to believe that it came down to which cartridge was mounted. I liked one cartridge on one arm better than I liked the cartridge on the other. I have not mastered the techniques used to get the most from the Graham so I tend to think mine could perform better. At the same time I am not familiar with how much of a difference there is between the model 1 and model 3 Vector.
Also, Chris does not manufacture arms and he does list the Vector on his website. He is talking about arms here, not tables, so I don't see the conflict.
Dear Lapaix: I agree totally with Tubes108.
The ranking of the tonearms that give us Cello means nothing with out specific answers to those several questions posted here on the subject.
The four tonearms named for you ( and many others ) in this thread are top performers and very well build around their own design.
I can asure you that any of these tonearm designers: Conti, Graham, Schoreder, etc... put the best of them in their design an excution design, the best on materials/parts, the best on quality control, the best, the best, etc, etc., because they care about music and want to share with us those music findings through their tonearms.
I think that you can choose any of those tonearms and you will be happy with either but more important ( or important too ) that this is with what cartridge do you want to match. The performance of a tonearm has to " see " at the " Light " of its couple: the phono cartridge, this couple is what we have to evaluate. Not all tonearms perform its best with any cartridge and don't any cartridge perform its best with any tonearm. Our search will be for a tonearm where our cartridge perform at its best or a cartridge where the tonearm perform at its best. Here is where we need some advise, other than our experiences an Audiogoner's advices, from the tonearm/cartridge manufacturers.
Regards and enjoy the music.
I was there for those arm comparisons too. I own a Teres but I don't sell tonearms, though I have owned a few. I hope that makes me objective enough. FWIW, my "ranking" from those sessions would be as follows:
SESSION I (using two Shelter 901's, Koetsu RSP & Urushi)
(unbridgeably large gap)
Basis Vector I + Teres VTA adaptor
The Basis and Graham were close, but I gave the nod to the Basis for slightly superior dynamics. The design of the Vector certainly seemed more promising than the Graham's. It had a more stable bearing, a more stable headshell/cartridge interface and a continous run of wire. For the price, the Vector I + Teres adaptor was an easy winner vs. the Graham. Even if it only matched the Graham it was $800-900 cheaper, which would have bought a nice cartridge upgrade.
Neither one, however, belonged in the same room with the Reference. Its superiority was jaw-dropping, as befitted its price.
SESSION II (using two ZYX UNIverses & Lyra Olympos)
Schroeder Ref/TriPlanar VII (near tie, a matter of taste, system and budget)
(very large gap)
IMO the big surprises from this session were:
1. How close the TriPlanar VII came to the Ref
2. How thoroughly the $2400 Model Two quashed the $3900 Graham (priced with cable).
Unfortunately, we did not listen to the Basis on this occasion, so placing it against the lower Schroeders requires speculation. The Schroeder Model Two costs even less than the Vector and "probably" outperforms it by a good margin. If I were in the market for a tonearm and had to choose from those above, I'd go for a Schroeder Model Two for $2400, a TriPlanar for $3900 or perhaps a Schroeder Ref for $5500, the latter two being very close.
Notice: This article contains backward-looking statements. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This article is not a solicitation to sell. Always demo in your own system. Listen carefully before investing or sending money. Consult a marriage advisor for possible domestic consequences. We are not licensed to offer marital advice. IMO, IME, YMMV, FWIW, IIRC.
Hi Dan. Thx for your msg. Sure I am a Basis owner. But that is besides the point; please examine my thread closer. Whats not objective? Please note that I did not list any quasi-rankings but pointed out that Mr. Teres is a direct competitor to Basis and with his presence and relationship with Cello and the proceedings where the rankings were derived from had significant influence on any rankings derived from those proceedings. Thats just human nature. Teres as Ive recently discovered makes/sells turntables. He also sells Schroder tonearms; surprise the very ones at the top of their quasi-rankings. Basis makes turntables and tonearms. There is an inbuilt bias and lack of ethics in Teres critiquing anything made by a direct competitor. That Teres website mentions the Vector is irrelevant. Ill ask another question. How many threads have you seen on this forum where a manufacturer critiqued products made by a direct competitor? Think about it, doing so is almost if not never done. Most other vendors would not broach ethical boundaries in that manner.
Per your comments about the Vector I vs. the Vector III. I own the Vector I so cannot provide all of the details. I do know that one of the differences between the two models is the signal wires in the Model III are Basis Audios remarkable new PSTT interconnect wire. Ive inserted the Basis cables (interconnect & speaker) and their power cords in various places in my system. The sonic benefits gained from use of these cables is significant on multiple levels. Shocking to me as I am not much of a cable person. Based on this, if the difference between the Vector I and Vector III is but a change in cables, that alone will result in a huge sonic improvement. Please email me Dan if you desire more details on my experience with the cable products.
Dan, I am puzzled by your I have not mastered the techniques used to get the most from the Graham comment. From reading about that arm, I thought its benefit was an ease of set up.
Well for what it is worth I have to break my promised silence,here,in defense of CELLO,and his supposed "preferences"for any particular product (something which to even hint at,is absurd,if you've met him)!I base these comments on what is in his set-up,and how it performs in that specific configuration.Everyone has their own set of "audio turn ons",but when you hear something really well thought out,and set up(even when it is not to your exact preference,but REALLY works),you cannot help but notice.BTW-I am not a close friend,or was ever at any other listening session,there.I DO have alot of experience/years in the hobby,and also have a bit of a "big mouth"!For the latter,I feel bad,but that's the way it is!(WAS!!!)
I was at Cello's for a listening session last fall.Though I did have my own "silly" issues (which basically, I felt, embarassed me off the web,and rightfully so)I have to state that there is NO way I believe Cello is jaded towards any product,or manufacturer.It would also seem fairly normal,in a good business sense,to have a mfgr be on friendly terms with a hobbyist who has some exposure to other hobbyists.I have my own relationships,like this,and some of my friends have very healthy ones,as well.In reality,this is a very symbiotic relationship,and doesn't have to mean collusion!Also,if "said mfgrs products"are not up to "long term snuff",they are ALWAYS short lived,to a true music lover.
I guess one would have to actually meet,and converse with Cello to get a sense of how he operates,and vying for mfgr.favoritism doesn't seem to be in his persona.Trust me,he could probably get whatever he wants.What impressed me most was that he seems to make buying decisions based on confidence in his own hearing perceptions,and tastes ONLY!I have a couple of audio pals who rationalize product purchases,based upon "deals/product reviews/and newness",which is long term foolish.Guess how long they hold on to something?Guess whether,or not their systems impress as much as Cello's?BTW-Cello's speakers are far from the latest "rave",and are older than my back issues of "Sounds Like"!AND,as configured, are great(as in accurately reproduce "music").Yet,it is a rare hobbyist who goes after what ONLY he/or she hears as "good".So my hat is off to those(really few)who have that particular propensity!
That being said,and admitting that this could seem to come off as some kind of suck-up(which it is NOT,but this is the real "me",this time around)I must confess that after hearing the "now famous" Nola Grand Ref/ASR Emitter/all Nordost" set-up two weeks ago,I preferred the overall presentation,and intimacy of Cello's more modest,yet carefully thought out(more carefully thought out than any of MY past posts,BTW)system.So,to my way of seeing things,and in lieu of my own foolish misgivings,his observations ARE sincere,and accurate enough to be taken at face value!!
Hi Tubes. I'm sorry that I don't know your name. I'm really tired of this internet anonymity thang! :)
I do understand your point about manufacturers and their internet posts. But your response is certainly not objective. And neither is mine. All opinions, especially concerning analog playback, are totally subjective. These opinions are subjective to what equipment one has heard. They are subjective to how well one "knows" the equipment one has heard. And, as you point out, opinions are subjective to biases based on which equipment one has voted for with their dollars. This is the point I was attempting to make.
Yes, Teres is a competitor (technically speaking) of Basis. I say technically speaking because Teres (and others like Galibier) don't have near the marketing power since these guys don't use dealers. Are they injecting a biased opinion? I'd bet on it. But at the same time I don't see too many Schroeders and TriPlanars mounted on Basis tables. I'm sure A.J. could provide such a mount and perhaps he does. But I don't see dealers that market Basis also market these other products. Maybe there is a reason why this is so but I've not heard it. I'm only offering this in my feable way of stating that ALL opinions are subject. You could easily argue that the list of performers was compiled based soley on retail prices.
Again, I cannot offer an opinion concerning TriPlanar/Phantom/Schroeder vs Vecter because I have not personally done this comparison. I only state that what I have experienced is that the Vector 1 and the 2.2 are very close in performance.
Now I want to give a bit more as to my experiences with the Vector. I'm a big fan of this arm. It has many, many good features. What I do offer from my experience is that the Vector's performance with a particular cartridge is dependant on how much dampening silicon oil is used. I found that it is possible to influence the performance of the Vector/cartridge combo by experimenting with the amount of the oil in the bath. Dry is not an option with the Vector, but I reject the directions that just state something like fill the bath but don't cover the bearing. As has been reported, Graham is just as guilty of this in their instructions. It really is up to the owner to experiment and adjust as necessary to get the most from either of these arms. At the same time, I can remember when A.J. did not believe (or at least he did not recommend) changing VTA. I remember talking with him. "Don't do that." Now he is offering a VTA adjuster for the Vector. A very precise, highy machined (and VERY expensive) mechanism for doing just what he seemed to indicate that he really does, or did, not like to do with his tonearm. Again, a subjective opinion and I suspect this was based on market demands.
Don't simply accept that the Vector is a set and forget arm. It can be used that way, as can the 2.2, but it is possible to tune the Vector to some degree with a given cartridge.
Dear friends: Lapaix is asking about the VECTOR 3 and several of your post are of different Vector model,including the Cello/Doug/Teres audio party.
It could be more on a help to Lapaix speak about the VECTOR 3, don't you think?.
I agree again with Tubes108.
Ranking a tonearm? ( come on Cello and Doug!!!! ). this is a very complex issue, there are many variables to rank: design ( who can tell which one is better and why ), materials used, execution design, quality, presentation: how it looks, performance: with which cartridges in what music areas: bass ( low bass ), midrange, midbass, focus, speed, transients, highs, with which material arm board ( metal, acrylic, wood, ), etc, etc, etc, etc.
Please don't tell me that in those audio parties every one of you can give us a serious and knowledge ranking of any those tonearms.
Regards and enjoy the music.
Lapaix asked for comparisons of the Vector to, "the various Schröders, the Triplanar VII, Graham Phantom, and so forth."
He got informed responses based on real-world experiences from Cello, Teres, Thomasheisig, Lgraef, Dan_ed and myself.
Mr. Graham was kind enough to provide a factual update on his product line.
The other posts on this thread are mostly noise provoked by Tubes108's trolling. IMO Dan_Ed is being very kind.
Tubes108's criticism of Teres was fatuous, and pretending to be "surprised" that someone who calls himself "Teres" is actually THE Teres was too childish to be believed.
Teres does not compete with Basis when it comes to tonearms. The first paragraph on the Tonearms page of his website states, "Schroder, Morch, Graham, Origin Live, Basis and Triplanar tonearms are available from Teres Audio. Please contact us for package pricing." What could be plainer? If he prefers other arms so what? His preferences are his preferences, and clearly stated as such.
Tubes108's attempted smear of Cello's integrity was as insulting as it was baseless. Cello owns both arms. He is in the best possible position to compare them. Kudos to SirSpeedy for a welcome post. What better cause to return after a long absence than to defend the honor of an honest man?
Has Tubes108 even compared his Vector to another arm? That would be useful information. His attitude smacks of mere owner-loyalty. He should examine his motives.
Raul does not own a Vector or a Graham. Nor has he ever compared them side by side in a meaningful venue AFAIK. I value his vast real world audio experience, but his posts on this thread are meaningless. Joining Tubes108's pointless ad hominem attack does him no credit.
Dear Doug: +++++ " , but his posts on this thread are meaningless. " +++++
I remember you that I don't posted here any tonearm comparations/ranking and that is because I never had the opportunity to evaluate the Vector 3 and the Phantom and I think neither you or Cello. So regarding this your posts are " meaningless " too. But this is not the issue.
+++++ " Joining Tubes108's pointless ad hominem attack does him no credit. " +++++
Please, I don't attack him or to any one, this is only my opinion. I wonder why when some body don't agree with me and posted about you never try to defend me like you do for Cello/Teres in a strong way.
+++++ " than to defend the honor of an honest man? " +++++
Doug, I really think that no body want or try, in any moment, to destroy the " honor " of any person. Please don't be so " dramatic " here, this forum is a serious one but certainly it is not " heaven ".
I respect you and Cello too but everybody here has the right to post his opinion and everybody here has the right to does not agree with it. This discord I can asure you that does not have nothing to do with the " honor " of any person or to try to insult to any person.
You posted: " +++++ Tubes108's criticism of Teres was fatuous, and pretending to be "surprised" that someone who calls himself "Teres" is actually THE Teres was too childish to be believed. " +++++
From your point of view I could think that you are insulting to Tubes108, however I know that you are not that kind of person.
Now, I really apreciate your answers on this thread but many of what we posted here were because Cello ( till today ) does not give any answer to what other people ask him about, why don't let Cello and Teres the opportunity to answer? are you their spokesman?
Btw, Lapaix ask for info specific about the Vector 3/ Phantom/etc, not about 2.2/Vector. This is a difference and you or Cello post many things but don't give the answers on the specific tonearm model he ask. So, your/Cello posts are " meaningless " ?, certainly not, like any other one here.
Please somebody ( other than Lgraef ) answer about Vector 3 / Phantom .
Regards and enjoy the music.
Hey guys, I really enjoy reading your informed comments on tonearms, cartridges, setup, other things analog and audio in general. A really knowledgeable group as yourselves, with so much experience to share, is helpful to me as I have not heard half the gears any one of you has heard. There's more value when the discussion is about equipment and much less value when talking about yourselves or other people. Chris' comments struck me as a straightforward attempt to give his viewpoint - which I value no less because he is a vendor - I remember his background and what he creates is from a love of music and being an audiophile first. Everyone should feel they have a place on the listening couch regardless of avocation. Please please kindly pull back on the bickering and righteous indignation - it does not advance our knowledge or our hobby. We are better when we share our experiences and respect each other. Thank you for your participation and your passion - I'll go back to lurking.
I agree that no one has been able to address directly the question that Lapaix asked. It does not seem that very many if any people have compared the mentioned arms with a Vector 3. Because I have not heard a Vector 3 I had intended to not post to this thread. Tubes108 did throw out some accusations that compelled me to respond concerning my somewhat limited experience with a few of these arms. Attacking a manufacturer could be seen as somehow acceptible and I'm sure most would agree that having that crap slung at you is part of the price of doing business. It should be done on the basis of some question of design or manufacturing parameter.
I have not had the pleasure of meeting Bob Graham but he did step in on my behalf and straighten out a problem I was having with one of his dealers. He was very responsive, most helpful and even went out of his way to ensure that I was completely satisfied with a cable purchase.
I have met A.J. a few times and had the pleasure to talk with him about his products. He was very helpful and it was obvious that he is most excited about analog equipment design and had several good tips on what I could do to get the most from his products.
I have not had the pleasure of meeting Chris Brady. I have read many posts from his customers which give testament to how far Chris is willing to go to make sure that they get the best possible service and enjoyment from his products.
My point is that all three of these people care very deeply about what they are giving to the audio community. All have shown great willingness to help and better the state of the analog playback art. I don't know about Graham, but I do have good reason to suspect that A.J and Chris have other business concerns and do not derive their primary income from audio equipment. So I find it very amusing that some would try to turn this into some kind of sandlot pissing contest about who has more integrity.
As DougDeacon has pointed out, Chris Brady does sell all of the arms mentioned. I'm not aware of any other dealer that offers all of them. Chris does offer his opinion based on his preferences. That's perfectly ok. It doesn't mean that anyone has to accept what he says. I still cannot see any evidence of why his opinion should be rejected off hand. I would bet that all of the folks making tonearms and tables have a backroom where they compare as many different tonearms and table combinations that they can get their hands on. I don't see many of these guys willing to post on what their observations are. Now, when we do get someone like Chris or Thom Mackris, who also has extensive experience with most of these arms, to post their opinions some of you don't want to debate on the merits of why they came to the conclusions they did. Some of you just want to throw rocks because they don't conform to your own opinions.
And it seems that this petty bullshit now extends towards others in this community. Aren't most of us hobbyists here anymore? What is so damned important about insisting that everyone reach the same conclusion concerning what each of us prefer to hear?
If the posts here degrade to nothing but personal and baseless attacks then I'm afraid this forum will no longer be any different than most every other internet chat room where the trolls rule.
Thank you, Jtimothya. Very well said.
My apologies if a heartfelt response dragged this thread even further in an unproductive direction. Thank you for that call for sanity. We are indeed better when we respect each other.
Rmaurin and Kha asked some interesting followup questions. I'll do my best from memory. Teres or Cello can correct any errors if they choose to return...
The wire from the Vector was fastened to the Teres armboard using the velcro provided by Basis. I remember watching Teres carefully loop the wire so that it would not impede the arm. The Graham's junction box was (IIRC) already stabilized. The cable was their top model (IC-700). The shielded cables stretched across open space to the preamp, not ideal perhaps but at least equally exposed.
The preamp/phono used for SESSION I was a Supratek Cortese. SESSION II began with a preamp shootout, wherein the Cortese was duly dismissed by both a Supratek Grange and a prototype of Nick Doshi's Alaap, the current version of which I now own. We used the Grange for the arm and cartridge comparisons.
Now that I'm beginning to get up enough nerve to begin posting again(thanks for the E-mail,Raul),I'd like to add two points,which may,or may not be found interesting.Firstly,I have found that the "IC-70" interconnect IS quite influenced by cable dressing,and should not be too close to PC's(good sense,anyway),and seems to be a bit sensitive to vibration,as well.I have stabalized mine by sandwitching it between some felt,and keeping it at least a few inches away from potential noise polluters.This could impact other mfgrs phono leads as well,so not a bad thing to at least be extra careful about.
Also,now that I'm in my "new leaf" mode,to be fair,I have a friend(a reviewer,which means not alot but adds credibility,to the following,at least)who owns the Vector arm.I've heard his set-up,which consists of Audio Research amp,some new phono/pre(I'm not sure of),NOLA speakers(very nice,btw),and VPI TNT/Koetsu Urushi/other assorted Koetsus.I was at a listening session at his home,with a varied assortment of really well healed hobbyists.Truthfully,his sound was wonderful.All the usual adjectives applied,over a wide variety of program material,and over about a 5 or 6 hr session.I know there was not any a/b comparisons made,and the time frame was small,yet the sound was just fine,to all of us on hand.So,to me the Vector was clearly doing it's job.NO?I have no doubt it's a really fine arm.
Let's be candid here.We are all talking about superb products.I know some will say,"but we want to know the comparative differences.The real TRUTH"!To a degree(and I know this really well)we spin our wheels,a bit trying to differentiate the minute details in our quest.There is obviously no one,two,or three "best",but a REALLY load of "great stuff" available to us all.At varied price levels.We are lucky to be exposed to it all,should we have that desire to hear as many differing alternatives as we can.The best thing we can derive from our common "musical quest" is new,and hopefully useful "knowledge"!
Thanks for the time spent reading my patter!
Hey Sirspeedy, you know, this kind of discussion has to be splitted, making money with pushing a product, looking for the Real Truth, independently, which can be a total different story, and at least, the Phono Stage has much more influence in reproduction than any Arm /Cartridge Combo. Happy Listening. Btw. I ordered the Graham Phantom Arm.
Hi Thomas.I don't disagree with the Mfgr advertising aspect of your comments,yet that can't be helped,and there are those who will be able to determine when advertisors are using these forums.Trust me,I don't want to get into anymore areas where I create any animosity.Yet as a business owner I cannot really blame them,and would do so myself.
As to your comments regarding phonostage.Yes,it is of paramount importance,but I don't think it is any more important than cartridge/arm/table integration.When someone like Raul mentions that an arm cannot be measured without taking into account the interface of cartridge,and even armboard material,he is right!These way heavily on our perceptions,and that is one reason why I will now take comments,on this subject,as "not set in stone".Too many variables in another person's system,that we may not be totally aware of the influences.
For example,I'm going over to a friend on Friday,to A/B his newly acquired Purist Venustas arm interconnect,against the IC-70.Obviously he has a specific sound,now,but from what I've been reading, the Purist is supposedly far superior.Well if it is(and I hope it is,as it will give me something else to perhaps push my vinyl envelope,a bit)then his previous perceptions of his arm/cartridge are modified.No?Well we'll see this Friday.I really cannot wait,as this really interests me.