I do not know what means "best", but many use Phantom II and Tri-Planar, first group seems to be bigger and happier :)
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The Phantom is a match made in Heaven for this table and just lovely to work with as fine adjustments go.
Also once the Phantom is set up it stays that way until you make changes.
The Raven and Phantom are pretty good, both solid and consistant performers.
Also as Toffeng points out above the Tri-planer including the Ortofons are no slouches on these record players either.
I have a used Tri-planer and ZYX Atmos waiting to go on a Garrard 301 and a Phantom Dynavector XV1s on a Raven one.
Slowhand, I am using an Ortofon AS-309S 12-inch arm on my Raven One, with a Dynavector cart. I've been extremely happy with this combo, and it was recommended to me by Jeff at Highwater Sound, as I could not afford the Phantom. The phono cable I use is the Synergistic Tricon Analog. If I had the money I probably would have sprung for the Phantom, but I feel I am not missing out on a whole lot with this set-up. Good luck with whatever you choose!--Mrmitch
I am using Tri-planar VII UE II, have not heard other arms on Raven One, but came to this choice reading different posts... Overall, seems that Tri-Planar on par with Phantom 2, there are subtle differences in sonic reproduction, however majority (as I said in my first post) prefers Phantom over Tri-Planar.
High Slowhand, nice to meet you and your wife and Garcia's last Saturday. Has the Raven One arrived yet? As I said to you then, I am sure a Phantom or Triplanar may be the best option, but Thomas recommends the Ortofon 309D or S. I use the D and am very happy with it. Excellent build quality and adjustability, a steal at the price.
Slowhand, I own two DV505s. I have not seen a DV507 MkII in the flesh, but as far as I can determine the major refinement between 505 and 507 is the use of a magnetic- or spring-based method for applying anti-skate force, which permits the use of a dial rather than a weight on a string to adjust AS. In addition, I think I read somewhere that the DV507 is very slightly shorter/smaller than the 505, to enable it to be used on a wider variety of tables. And also, the DV507 has a vertical shaft that penetrates the tonearm mounting board, so that the wiring comes out the bottom of that shaft, below the top surface of the tt. In the 505, the wiring comes out laterally from the base across the top side of the armboard. It is not therefore necessary to drill a large hole to mount it. For neatness, Dynavector supplied a 90-degree angled DIN plug, so that the wire itself can go down thru the armboard. (I personally prefer the 505 in this respect; you can just plunk it down on any armboard without drilling a hole for that shaft, then use a straight DIN plug instead of the factory one. Then all you need are two screws to hold it in place. This has been very handy with my slate plinths.) FWIW, the DV505 has a "lateral balance weight", and it appears that the 507s do not. The LBW is to stabilize the movement of the arm in the horizontal plane when there is no applied AS force. I cannot see any reason why the DV505 would not work as well/sound as good as the 507s, but the weight of the 505 might be greater, precluding it's use on certain sprung tts. And yes, the DV505 does have the mechanical VTA aduster. I would not dare to use it "on the fly", but it works very well in a static situation. (Just lift the needle before you make an adjustment.)
FWIW I have the 507Mk2 and compared it against various arms on my Micro-Seiki RX5000 or SX 8000 ,including Triplanar,SME V,Grandezza,FR, Ikeda, Moerch to name but a few and the Dynavector has stayed the course along with the Grandezza. It seems to work well with most carts and it is extremely versatile and easy to set up. With my ZYX UNIverse the 507 brings out all the airy characteristics of the cartridge and with my Allnic Verity Z it brings out the weight and depth. In a head to head it had more "substance" and open sounding than the Triplanar,which sounded a bit dry by comparison.
As always, the caveat is system synergy, but for me this arm never fails to deliver. Low capacitance cables work better than the stock very nice looking dynavector cable using either the Pathos inthegroove phono or Aesthetix IO Sig and various head amps
As I'll be getting a Raven One in the very near future, the consensus for the arms used in this TT as follows:
Graham Phantom I, II
Ortofon 12" Arm
Any other contenders like the ones from SME, Naim, Haddock, Rega, Origin Live, Moerch, etc ?
Also, how many guys here have converted their Raven One to Raven two (two arms with separate motor) ?
Thanks for the inputs.
Haven't used an Ortofon arm in ages but I agree with Audiofeil. The current versions of Dynavector, Phantom and TriPlanar are in quite a different league, especially with a revealing cartridge like the Atmos.
The other arms you mentioned are not in that league either. Some of them aren't even close.
SME IV or V probably come closest, but IME with several cartridges they lack transparency to low level detail and harmonics (at which ZYX's excel), they lack effective VTA/SRA adjustment, some lack azimuth adustment and their inability to adjust offset angle at the headshell inhibits true optimization of cartridge/arm/table alignment. SME's are beautifully made, solid and easy to use, but the first three arms you listed will allow an Atmos to show you more of what it's capable of.
Just as an aside, Thomas Woschick, the designer of the TW Akustic line, used the Ortofon arm as his demo arm until he recently designed his own arm. Do I believe the Ortofon arm is as good as the Phantom? No. But the Raven's own designer may have felt that there was some synergy betweeen it and his own turntable(s).