Every Black Widow tonearm I have ever seen is high compliance, not low compliance. I have never heard of one that is moving coil friendly.
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A little correction: The BW TA is low EFFECTIVE MASS; not low COMPLIANCE.
'Compliance' refers to a cartridge's suspension material: more squishy = high compliance; less squishy = low compliance.
The BW has a low effective mass and so it's high compliance cartridge friendly. Most cartridges with high compliance suspensions tend to be moving magnet cartridges - but there are exceptions.
If you go to http://www.cartridgedb.com, there is a list of almost every cartridge in the world! so you can find the compliance of your cartridge. Then, use the interactive graph to determine if your particular cartridge/arm combo will fall inside acceptable limits (of resonance generation.)
It is also not particularly rigid if I remember, I would stay with MM. MCs generate considerably more energy in tracking so they are best used with either a high mass or rigid lower mass arm. The Grace 707 worked well with some MCs despite having a 6 gram mass but off the top of my head I think the BW is more like 4. As Nsgarch said you can look it up but with this arm I think you will find MM works better
Dear Pechichi: +++++ " and want to get a good cartridge for it, preferably a MC. " +++++
it is clear that the tonearm prefer a high compliance cartridge that normaly you can find in the MM/MI " area ".
I can tell you that there is nothing wrong with MM/MI against MC even are better quality performers in many ways, you can try it and I'm sure you will be satisfied with the MM alternative.
here you can read something about where you can find ( too ) some MM cartridge names that can help you:
Regards and enjoy the music,
I use BWs on a number of my tables. I find the arm to work very well (even) with med to low compliance cartridges. There is a mistaken belief that you cannot use low compliance MC cartridges with low mass arms. This is just not so in my opinion. I have far better tracking with cartridges such as Koetsu in the BW than in other high mass arms I've owned. What you should not do is to use high compliance carts in high mass arms--remember the reviewers in the 90s breaking van Den Hulls in Forsell arms. I have used the following MCs; Koetsu ProV, Urushi, Rosewood, Mark Levinson, Cello, BPS, AC2, and Goldbug on my Black Widows (all) with no tracking problems.
I think the arm looks elegant as well :)
Looking at the best test of the arm I have it appears that at least 3 different arm tubes were offered: originally carbon fiber, then metal , than carbon fiber reinforced by graphite fibers. The last is the one I remember as the mass was 4.25 grams. They found that it was quite stiff in the bending mode but torsional stiffness was quite poor. They also found that the anti skate was 30% high so a reduction might give better results. The tracking weight adjustment was right on and the arm geometry was excellent. The add that " Additional mass might be worth adding with some low compliance cartridge types, e.g. moving coils". I would add the mass if I were using low compliance ones. The views on proper mass are quite divergent, I was on another thread where one poster insisted that low compliance MCs needed something like 30 grams to work well. The general consensus is that arms like the BW are better with MM but you can use MCs, the cartridge police will not come for you. I use to ride in a bicycle club where one member rode a mountain bike with road bike tires, it suited him and worked although it looked a little strange.
Dear Breuninger: I posted that " prefer " high compliances cartridges and by my experieces through other tonearms I concur with you about low/medium compliance cartridges with low effective mass tonearms and I can add too that the other way can be true too, I use my Oretofon MC 2000/Denon 1000A and even MM/MI high compliance cartridges in high mass tonearms with out mistraking because of that even if you can find the Audio magazyne review on the MC2000 you can read that was mounted in a non low mass tonearm.
These experiences tell us that we have to try/test before we say " no it can't work ".
Regards and enjoy the music,
The original question was not if a mid-low compliance cartridge would "work" on a low mass arm. Of course it will work, but that wasn't the question. The question was and is, will it work OPTIMALLY.
IME, the answer is that is will work somewhat differently than designed, and basic physics tells us why.
Fact: Compared to higher mass arms, a low mass arm offers less inertial resistance to stylus deflections.
Fact: a low compliance cartridge offers higher inertial resistance to stylus deflections.
Pairing the two means that energy from a stylus deflection will produce relatively more movement of the arm and less deflection of the cantilever inside the cartridge, when compared with the same cartridge on a higher mass arm.
This does not necessarily result in mistracking. Like Raul and Breuninger I've played such combinations successfully. However it does necessarily result in reduced peak amplitudes. Reduced cantilever deflection = reduced voltage produced by the generater. Lower compliance cartridges on low mass arms yield reduced macro-dynamics (especially in the bass frequencies) vs. the same cartridge on a higher mass arm.
Whether or how much this matters is a user preference issue. Many people prefer a somewhat mellowed sound and this is one way to achieve it. Many Koetsu users are in this camp, since that's the nature of most Koetsu's anyway, so it's no surprise that some Koetsu owners enjoy their cartridges on lower mass arms. Whether the OP would is up to him.
Original photos show the BW saddled with a Denon 103 of some designation. The Boston Audio Society, June 1980 issue, referenced it (among others) for the Dynavector Karat/Ruby: "(4) the Infinity Black Widow II -- so it is reported to us by reliable sources, although we're amazed considering its very loose bearings". The BW 2 has the damped Carbon Fiber armwand. Mine (alum. arm) did well with a Shure V15-111 and AKG P8E, a Dyna. 10xHO was less satisfying. Good luck with this elegant tonearm.
Back in the day BWs were often paired with ADC XLMs or the top of the line plastic body Grado cartridges (Signatures). The BW could track these with minimum stylus wobble.
The 'Denon 103 of some designation' was probably a 103D with an elliptical stylus - a very popular MC back then. This cartridge was reported to sound much better than the 103 with conical stylus.
Its good to see that others (Raul who I trust) feel it best to experiment as well. I was afraid of the compliance Police, and that I'd get a ticket for non-matching!
I will add that I do have to disagree with the above poster who believes that mid/low complinace cartridges will lose micro dynamics on a low mass arm. Just not so on the BW in my opinion when comparing to the Walker Audio arm or DV-505 (my two highest mass arms).
I remember we use to ponder this (argue) on the old rec.audio.highend list. Boy, those were the days.