Eminent Technology ET-2 Tonearm Owners

Where are you? What mods have you done ?

I have been using these ET2's for over 9 years now.
I am still figuring them out and learning from them. They can be modified in so many ways. Bruce Thigpen laid down the GENIUS behind this tonearm over 20 years ago. Some of you have owned them for over 20 years !

Tell us your secrets.

New owners – what questions do you have ?

We may even be able to coax Bruce to post here. :^)

There are so many modifications that can be done.

Dressing of the wire with this arm is critical to get optimum sonics along with proper counterweight setup.

Let me start it off.

Please tell us what you have found to be the best wire for the ET-2 tonearm ? One that is pliable/doesn’t crink or curl. Whats the best way of dressing it so it doesn’t impact the arm. Through the spindle - Over the manifold - Below manifold ? What have you come up with ?
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Please see the picture below.
At the top left is the original Linn tonearm mounting point. This is where I first mounted the ET tonearm.
The new ET arm mounting point is called out. I prefer this mount point because it is between the suspension points and is directly above the point at which the sub-chassis connects tot he armboard.

An ET 2 on a Linn LP 12 is a rare sight. Bruce Thigpen said a few have done it. I’m sure there are many LP 12 owners (Linnies), and ET 2 owners out there, that would be interested in seeing pics of this project.

Brooks Berdan may have mounted more ET arms on tables than any other human. His first preferred table for the arm was the Oracle Delphi, for which he created a mod to keep the table's mass stable as the ET moved across the LP (Brooks had training in race car suspensions). He then mounted a lot of the arm on VPI's, first the HW-19 and then the TNT. Those table's higher mass provided a very stable platform for the arm. Brooks wasn't that impressed with the Linn, though he was an expert at setting it up. Brooks' preferred pivoted arm was the Graham.
Quantity versus Quality setups.
Dealers / Reviewers got to about a 6 or 7/10 tonearm capability on setup. I base this on the setup that was done on my previous HW19 MKIV and TNT turntables which both came with ET2’s.

The ET2 ’s needed to be shipped on turntables for customers, in a user friendly setup. This affected the wiring arrangement and I Beam length (dust covers), amongst other things. Dealers gave a cursory glance to the I Beam setup - meaning - the motto was to throw all the weight on, even if was not all needed, and let the lead blocks end up..... wherever they end up. Hmmm.... single leaf spring with all that lead.

Have you, Eric, ever witnessed this type of I Beam phenomena ?


Anyway, that was the setup level that dealers and reviewers got to, and heard, and was distributed to customers; Still the arm was rated as one of the best based on this. And like all good business goals based on volume. "Hey Bruce, send me some more arms please" "Ah and don’t fret over this CD thing everybody is raving about ."


Now imagine if these dealers/ reviewers, got to hear the tonearm, with the setups discussed in this thread ? How many dealers , reviewers, in later years have even actually heard the latest ET 2.5 with Mag Wand - Optimized Long I beam , Single Shot wiring with an MC cart?
Single Shot ? Yes, even Bruce sets up with single shot in his personal set up..


Eric, you represent on this thread a type of enigma to me. You see, from your postings, you are obviously one of Bruce’ biggest fans. Yet for some reason you have never chosen to own the product that this thread is about. So you can’t contribute direct end user tonearm experience. A real shame because you are passionate. 8^(


Audiophile Trivia Answer

The TNT was designed for the ET2 when Harry and Bruce had a business relationship.

attached Pic from the Robert Redford Movie.


Then Harry brought out his own tonearm for the TNT - and guess what - it didn’t fit on the plinth ! I know , I owned it.

I also made a full plinth years ago. And I put the ET2 and the JMW 12 tonearms on it



True Chris, and for one reason: Choosing to go with Decca (and later London) pickups, the best LP playing system to install them in was, and is, the Townshend Rock (for reasons I won’t go into here) That table prohibits the use of a linear tracker, of course. I have been listening to LP’s on that combination for 30 years now: a London Super Gold on a Rock Elite Mk.2, with a number of different arms, currently a Zeta.

It’s just like one’s favorite loudspeaker requiring a certain type of power amplifier, one which may not be as good with any other loudspeaker. I think the transducers should be the first components chosen when assembling a system, the two opposite ends of the chain (ignoring for the sake of this discussion the room). Then the most appropriate components moving towards the center of the system (the pre-amp) chosen to optimize the transducers. That’s my system philosophy.

You obviously know that’s a good approach by having a Music Reference RM-10 for your QUAD ESL’s. I’ve never agreed with the idea of choosing a power amp first, then looking for a loudspeaker it can drive. Transducers are the "voice" of a system. For myself, the character and abilities of the Decca and London pickups are more important than the arm they are mounted on.

But I recently got myself a couple of old VPI’s just for fun (and for a song), and happened to see a pic of a London Reference mounted on a linear tracker that looked like it was made from a children’s Erector Set (remember those?): the Trans-Fi Terminator. If Brooks were still around, and I had more disposable income, I would print out this whole thread and have him set me up an ET. But the Terminator is SO cheap, and so simple, it was just irresistible. It’s no ET, but the one Vic made me has the last of the silver wire he had: a straight shot from the cartridge clips to the KLEI RCA plugs on the far end. I’m waiting to get back from Harry the TNT bearings I sent him for refurbishing with Si3N4 ball bearings I sent along, the Terminator going onto an Aries 1 (with a TNT-5 platter).