FR66s vs Ikeda IT-407 CR tonearms


Has anyone compared the FR66s to the newer Ikeda IT-407 CR1 tonearm? Any thoughts? In previous years, the Ikeda was available with either copper or silver internal wiring but the recent models don't mention anything about the tonearm wiring. Can anyone comment what type of wiring is used in the latest editions? It would seem intuitive that the later Ikeda IT407 should be a better performer than the FR66s having improved material and bearings over the FR66s but the proof is in the hearing.
ddriveman
I did that comparison. I thought, the newer Design has to be better but that was a mistake. The FR-66s is so much better in soundstage, detail and holographic "picture", it was (or, still is) amazing. The 66s is dynamically balanced, maybe that is the difference, or it has something to do with different design solutions...anyway, after that experience I went for 66s (and 64s btw.).
Syntax. Thanks for your input. Did you compare previous generation Ikeda IT-407 or a recent model? I have heard that current generation arms are not as well built as earlier ones although they look the same
I made the comparison 2012 with the recent IT-407 model. I can't say anything about quality differences....but who knows. Gordon Holt (founder of Stereophile) said a remarkable sentence in an Interview some few years ago:
J. Gordon Holt 2007

No audio product has ever succeeded because it was better, only because it was cheaper, smaller, or easier to use.

The 66s was outstanding expensive, sold in low numbers compared to other Arms and even after 20 years it is hard to get one and when someone looks for a full Box, he has to pay thousands of $ in auctions. That Arm (and the FR-64s) passed the test of time.
Most people who have heard both would tend to agree with Syntax. As to the wiring, whether it is copper or silver in the Ikeda, I think it is explicitly sold according to the internal wiring chosen; the silver wire version is more expensive than the copper one.
Sometimes an instrument is designed which is well-nigh perfect and is hard to improve upon.....see Stradivarius violins...😎
The FR-64s/66s tone arms are possible examples of this phenomenon...❓😘
The price for a 35 year-old FR-66s has doubled in the last five years to $9,000 and above....yet every one which appears on the market (and fewer and fewer are doing so) is snapped up...👀
As Syntax says....the test of time has been passed...👍
Thanks Lewm and Syntax. Guess I will just stick with my FR66s then. BTW, has anyone rewired their FR66s? I did mine and it sounds better.
Halcro,

Thanks for chipping in and agree with your comments. Everytime I see your TT-101, I get sorely tempted to hunt one down in Japan. I did see a TT-801 on sale but could not pull the trigger because I already have too many audio projects on hand. I had a SEAC WE-8000/ST too. I traded it in for a Micro Seiki MAX237. One of those things you wished you did not sell. Even rarer to find the SEAC WE-8000/ST than a FR66s. Where did you find yours?
Hi Ddriveman,

I bought my WE-8000/ST from Otoman Vintage in Japan..and believe it or not....he has another one 😜
There is an already nuded TT-101 with armpod available from a friendly Dealer in Melbourne is you're really interested....❓👀
Ddriveman, What wire was in your FR66S to begin with, copper or silver? What wire did you use to re-wire? I don't mean to disrespect your observational powers, but listener bias is such that I doubt anyone is capable of "hearing" that the sound is "worse" after he or she changed the tonearm wire, or performed any of many many other audiophile tweaks, for that matter. On the other hand, it's possible....
Lewm,

Understand where you are coming from and I can agree with your comments in general.
I had Dertonarm (Daniel B) change the wiring in my FR66s (Thuchan's recommendation). Wanted someone who knew how to work the FR66s and builds arms himself. I had him send the stock cabling and connectors back to me so I could see what they look like (I still have them). The condition of the stock wires and connectors (more than 30 years old) due to oxidation/age and the quality of the wires help convince me that it is a good thing to do. We changed to current generation Ikeda Silver wire so as to try and stick as close to Ikeda house sound. Daniel suggested that perhaps using Kondo Silver wire might even be better but I decided to stick with Ikeda.
I believe the stock wiring was also Silver since that is part of the original FR66s package (S standing for Silver). The FR66 is using OFC. (Unlike the FR64 which is aluminum and FR64s which is steel. Many confuse the FR64s as meaning silver. But silver in the FR64s was an optional extra. You get a label stating Silver on the armtube which mostly falls off unfortunately. I know because I once had 3 FR64s and only 1 had the original Silver label).
So, my opinion about the sound being better is not merely because of the material improvement (which is possible) but also because it removes the gung/oxidation build up over the years. I just get a little better detail coming through. Of course, we now have to also burn-in the new cabling.
Halcro,

Thanks for the link to the WE-800/ST. $8K though is a little too steep for me now but ... LOL! Won't it be funny if I buy another and it's the same one I sold years ago.
A nuded TT-101? Woo, you tempt me. But I already have too many TT's. I have 2 SP10MK3 already. But ...
If you search these forums, you will find a very different opinion from those above regarding the Ikeda tone arms from the designer of Lyra cartridges.
If Dertonearm performed the work, I am sure it was done to the highest standard. I knew he liked the Ikeda silver wire, was not aware of the Kondo option, but I have some Kondo silver tonearm wire I purchased for another project (the Kenwood L07J tonearm on my L07D). Actually, for what little this is worth, oxidized silver wire is about as good a conductor as is non-oxidized. Copper does go bad with oxidation, on the other hand. Are you in Europe? I thought about sending my FR64S (with "silver wire inside") to Dertonearm for the same work but have not yet done so, mostly because I do not want to part with the tonearm. My own search suggests that the S in FR64S does not stand for "silver"; it may stand for stainless steel. Are you saying that the S in FR66S does indicate silver wire? Rather confusing nomenclature, in that case.
Hi Lewm,

Yes, I understand about Silver Oxide being conductive also but I would think that having a mix of pure silver and silver oxide would have some detrimental effects, after all the audio community go to great lengths to get 4N/5N Silver with large crystals (OCC type) etc. Anyway, once you see the condition of the original wire, you will cringe.

Yes, FR64s means stainless steel arm tube. FR64 means aluminum tube. Hard to tell the 2 from pics except that the dynamic balance weight on the FR64s is long cylindrical while the FR64 is circular. Most people get this confused and many Silver wired version do not have the sticker on the armtube. I believe all FR66s comes with Silver wire especially if it comes with original B-60 adjustable VTA base.

I am in USA and send it to Dertonarm in Germany. But he was quite quick to turn it around. You should check with him though. He may be busier now with his headshells, arms, cartridge and protractor products.
Jeff1225,

Thanks for your inputs. You have a nice system. I like the SIT amps too. The only SS amps that I can live with so far.

Yes, I am aware of the alternative view of the FR64s/66s from a few well known audiogon members and audio manufacturers like J Carr, Raul Ruegas and Thomas Schick.

Schick has a page on his website showing him dismantling an FR64s and pointing out his view on their deficiencies. But so far, those views have been for the FR arms and not for the Ikeda arms, as far as I can find. Hence, the original question on this thread was how FR compares with Ikeda arms. If you read the Ikeda website, it comments on improvements to the resonances of the Ikeda arm versus FR (different material structure) and also improvements in the spiral spring based tracking force. But I have yet to find any comments that say the Ikeda arms sound better than the FR arms.

My post started really because my audio friends did a mini-shootout between vintage carts (see review section) and also compared an Ikeda 407/Garrard 301 with a Thomas Schick/Garrard 401. Although the arms were on different TT's but being Garrards and using same plinths, I think we are close on the TT differences. However, at the end of the day, all of the group likes the Ikeda better than the Schick even with the SPU cartridges which are the Schick's best cart combo. So, again, sometimes what we hear is different from what the literature suggests.

Still, I am curious to get inputs between New Ikeda, old Ikeda and FR arms.
If you search these forums, you will find a very different opinion from those above regarding the Ikeda tone arms from the designer of Lyra cartridges.
It's certainly not J.Carr driving up the prices of FR-64s/66s tonearms...👀
It must be all the others who simply disagree with him.....😎
Is that allowed....❓😜
Ddriveman,
As you already own the FR-66s plus some wonderful turntables....I'm wondering if you are disappointed with the performance of the arm that you are hearing?

Having experienced many arms myself.....the very first sounds from one of my FR-64s/66s.....leaves no doubt possible about the State of the Art...😘
Whether the FR66S is transcendent or not, at least some of the impetus behind the rising prices is collector driven. This does not mean that the FR66S is not great. But you are right, Ddrive, to keep an open mind vs the Ikeda. I am satisfied myself just to have the FR64S with B60. I think the B60 not only immeasurably improves the convenience factor but also improves performance by providing a more massive base and a good energy sink for any vibrations that sneak back down the tonearm.
Lewm and Halcro

I am very satisfied with the FR66s. In fact, through the years, while many others arms have come and gone, the FR was my first arm and still remains. I sold 3 FR64s to get the funds to move to the FR66s. It remains my favorite for the SPUs, Koetsu, FR7f/FR7fz and Ikeda 9.
In the mini review of vintage cartridges with my friends, we confirmed the advantages of Ikeda 407 vs Schick but was unable to compare Ikeda 407 vs FR64s. We had an FR64 available but that was below the Schick. But we understand that the FR64 is not the same as FR64s.
I am thinking of getting another FR66s but as you know they are hard to find and costly. OTOH, the Ikeda 407 is available, cheaper and performed quite nicely in our listening sessions. BUT, I have heard comments that there is also a difference between old and new (after Ikeda retired in 2012/2013) generation 407. Hence, my original post.
I guess I can find another FR64s but then is the Ikeda 407 better or equivalent to FR64s. Some have commented that the difference between FR64s and FR66s is very marginal. Any thoughts.
Ddrive, You have a severe case of audiophilia nervosa, but so too do all of us. The differences among the tonearms you mention are in all probability minuscule compared to the differences among cartridges and the differences in the amount of audio information that can be retrieved from one LP vs another LP. When I see one of those $150,000 turntables, I have to laugh to think it will at some point be used to play a $5 LP that was likely "pre-owned" 20 or more years earlier by someone with an el cheapo "record player" and cartridge. Serenity now!
Have you done the Krebs mod on your Mk3? If so, what do you think?
Ddriveman,
Here is a photo of my Melbourne Dealer friend with Ikeda San a few years ago when he personally picked up his new Ikeda tonearm.
Even the personal thrill of accepting his arm from the great man himself did not cloud David's judgement...👀❗️
The FR-66s is easily the best tonearm he has ever heard.....😍👍
Yes, I have done the Krebs mods on my SP10mk#. BTW, I have 2 units of SP10mk3, both with Krebs. It seems to make it sound quieter and more fluid.
Yes...the performances of the FR-64s and FR-66s are very close to each other in tone, spatial abilities, cartridge matching etc....
Where the FR-66s differs is in a magical ability to sound relaxed and authoritative at the same time...👀🎶
No....it allows the CARTRIDGE to sound relaxed and authoritative...😃❗️
The major difference between the two arms IMHO...is that the FR-66s appears to disappear entirely from the audio chain, leaving a cartridge which is suddenly performing at levels beyond its design parameters...🎵🎼
And that I think, is the domain of very few arms on this planet...👀😎❓
Thanks, Ddrive. I guess there is a Krebs mod in my future; I own one "unit" of SP10 Mk3 that has been thoroughly updated and mounted in a massive slate and cherry wood plinth. I can hear a qualitative difference between it and my Kenwood L07D that may have to do with "fluidity", but I am still only thinking about the mod. R Krebs is a fine guy, however.

What headshell(s) do you and others use on your FR64S/FR66S??? The headshell is a major part of the equation, very major.
I have used a variety of headshells. I agree that these are important but need to be match with the cartridge. Unfortunately not enough is mentioned about headshells and leads IMHO. I like the Ikeda headshells for heavy carts and these have azimuth adjustment. The Yamamoto Ebony headshell is also good for medium/light carts but does not have azimuth adjustment. I like the Arche headshells the best though. Lots of flexibility in adjustments. For me, the headshell leads also play an important role. The Ortofon silver headshell leads is good. Which headshell and leads do you like?
Lets have a close look at the - still current design - Ikeda IT-345 and IT-407 tonearms.
These are 10" and 12"-tonearms which both do feature the classic detachable SME-bayonet headshell.
Their ancestors - the long out of production Fidelity Research FR-64s and FR-66s - do feature just the very same basic design ideas.
They too are 10" and 12" designs with the very same detachable headshell SME-bayonet.
Furthermore all 4 tonearms are dynamic balanced designs which allow the tracking force being applied by a special spring only.
But - the similarities stop here and there are fundamental differences between these two generations of tonearms from one designer - Isamu Ikeda.
The "modern" IT-345 and IT-407 tonearms are somewhat lighter in their effective mass AND - most important!! - are calculated with a different geometry compared to the earlier FR-tonearms !!
To put it in very simple words: you can NOT use the same adjustment jig on both - the IT- and the FR-tonearms.
The FR-tonearms can only be perfectly aligned with the Dennesen Soundtracktor.
Try with any other alignment tool of today - no matter if Bearwald or not....... no matter if IEC standard - and it will result in a misaligned cartridge and too little overhang thus in a pretty bad tangential curve with the zero-error points being too close together.
Do align them with a Denessen Soundtraktor and precise - absolute precise spindle center to bearing center of 231.5 mm for the FR-64s and 295 mm for the FR-66s and you will get sonic results which will open up your ears and minds.
Why??
These early FR-tonearms were designed in the late 1960ies and 1970ies.
Back then many of the records of the day and the past were cut pretty close to the label resulting in a fairly wide angle to track.
In the early 1980ies (remember....??) DMM-records hit the street and ever since then vinyl records grooves do stop at least an inch away from the label.
The consequence??
The geometry of the early FR-tonearms is different - it projects 2 zero-error points fairly wide separated and the 2nd fairly close to the label. Thus the curve is again very smooth resulting in VERY low maximum tangential error.
The later Ikeda designs do feature a different geometry with the 2 zero-error points MUCH closer together and the 2nd point at least 1.6 inch away from the label.
So - you cannot compare these 2 tonearm-generations if both are set up with the same alignment tool.
Or - you can only compare them if both are set up with the Denessen tool.
Yes, the IT-345 and IT-407 CAN be aligned with the Denessen - resulting in more effective length and a different overhang AND subsequently in a geometry with their 2 zero-error points wide separated and very similar to the FR-designs.
Then - and only then and under these conditions you can compare the two design generations.
But now you will run into the problem that you are still comparing apples with pears as the FR-tonearms do feature much higher moving mass and are optimized for VERY low compliance cartridges ONLY (SPU, FR-7 series - hardly any other....), while the IT-designs are lighter mass and will work well with todays 9-13 dyne x 10(-6) top moving coils. But...real life showed more than one time, a FR-64s handles any modern cartridge much better than any modern Arm (deeper Soundstage, superior detail and a much more real tone...simply much more close to the Real Thing than anything else. In a way...in a way, that circle is closed.
Lot of very dogmatic but rather dubious assertion in the post above. Lots of VERY and ONLY in caps ... excessive use of 'much more' etc etc.

Never owned an FR66 - heard a couple and really doubt their prices are justified, except as 'rare object' which I guess is increasingly common - but a couple of FR64S examples, the first of which turned out to be in need of attention, as many of them do these days.

I have an early IT-407 and a post 2011 IT-345 CR1 and both seem to me to be far better arms than the FR64. I put this down to the additional vertical bearing - the FR64 has only one, on one side, whereas the 407/345 have two, one each side. This has many advantages not least longevity. Other than that the designs are pretty similar and indeed many bits are interchangeable (I had an 64 and 345 at the same time for a short while and was able to compare directly on a well sorted TD124 with Miyajima Madake, Zero mono, assorted SPU cartridges and an Ikeda 9C.
Never found either of them that hard to set up either - using SPU standard distance (which I use for all my cartridges) the 345 is spot on at recommended 230mm, the early 407 need set back about 1.6mm, job done, no need to fuss any further.
The FR64 is a very good arm but there's a strong case (which happens to be my opinion too) that the Ikeda-branded arms are better - improved vibration control, significantly improved bearings, similar (slightly but not massively) less mass for a more expanded list of compatible cartridges, and in my view more successful aesthetics. If your preference is for the FR arm then fine make the case all you like, but for all the shouting in the above post, it's a matter of opinion, not in any way 'case closed'.
@montesquieu are you talking about FR-64 or FR-64S ? The "S" is different and it’s not about silver wire, it’s slightly different design. I use FR-64FX which is also different from 64 and 64S.
Don't let Raul see this thread, he despises the FR. 
@syntax 

The FR-tonearms can only be perfectly aligned with the Dennesen Soundtracktor.
Try with any other alignment tool of today - no matter if Bearwald or not....... no matter if IEC standard - and it will result in a misaligned cartridge and too little overhang thus in a pretty bad tangential curve with the zero-error points being too close together.
Do align them with a Denessen Soundtraktor and precise - absolute precise spindle center to bearing center of 231.5 mm for the FR-64s and 295 mm for the FR-66s and you will get sonic results which will open up your ears and minds.

Dennesen is just a  predecessor of Dr. Feickert protractor ?
Or there is any fundamental differense between them? 

Here is an old review for Dennesen by B. V. Pisha (Source: Audio magazine, Mar. 1980)

Seems like Dr. Feickert is much better tool today. 



I wondered whether Syntax's post, from late 2014, was written before the advent of the UNItractor, designed and built by his colleague, Dertonearm.  The UNI and the even later SMARTractor are in a way a homage to the Dennesen, so I was surprised that he did not mention even the UNI in his post about alignment.  That said, I own a UNI (and an original all-metal Dennesen).  It seems to me that I purchased the UNI prior to 2014, which means that it must have been on sale when Syntax posted in October, 2014.

After mounting the FR64S using the Dertonearm-recommended 231.5mm for P2S, I aligned it using the UNI.  I am very happy with the FR64S, and Raul has criticized me for liking it.  I guess that is a sort of badge of honor.  I have mounted an Acutex LPM320STRIII induced magnet cartridge on the FR64S, albeit using a Dynavector headshell which is much lighter than any of the heavy FR headshells, but still not really "light" as headshells go.  But still, this combo should not work well, because the compliance of the Acutex is given as 42!!!  Nevertheless, it does work very well; it's just a pleasure to listen to this combo, mounted on my TT101.  We just got home from Tokyo, where I purchased several headshells, including a Yamamoto carbon fiber job, based on Halcro's recommendation. I plan to try the Acutex on the Yam headshell, at some point. 

Does anyone have any idea why the FR64S seems in this case to be exempt from the "rule" that governs matching cartridge compliance to effective mass?  My hypothesis is that over the years, the compliance of my Acutex (which I purchased NOS) has gone down due to stiffening of the suspension, while the effective mass of the FR64S is less than typical due to using the lighter DV headshell.

The general statement made by Gordon Holt which is

quoted by Syntax can be made even ''more general'':

''devaluation as function of time''. This mean more than only

monetary devaluation.

I mentioned earlier the German Magazin ''Das Ohr'' in which

both the FR-64 S and FR-64 FX are reviewed (1984).

The German importer was also allowed to comment on

the reviews. His advice was to buy FR-66 because those

will be in short supply and explained that the cost of their

production are such that the arm can't be sold for a

'reasonable price''. That is why the FX  is produced from

aluminum. The curious fact is that the same happened with

SME 3012 , 3009. Their first version were made from steel

the following from aluminum. While without anti-skate

provision those steel versions are much more expensive

and rare.

Impressed by J. Carr's authority and knowledge I purchased

Ikeda 345 ''the best ever made according to Ikeda'' according

to Carr. I just sold the 345 but still keep my two FR-64 S

and use the silver variation in one of my systems.

To me the FR-64 S is better made and much more easy to

use. The anti-skate provision by 345 is an enigma. But

consistent with my ''general theory'' I just purchased the

''older'' IT 245 about which very little is known.  This is the

first arm made by Ikeda's own company after the FR- kinds.

I hope to inform the members as soon as I get and test

this arm.



Wow, this old thread that I started has come alive again after almost 4 years. Here's my update:
I now have 2 FR66s tonearms and they're still the best ones in my inventory. One thing I would like to pass on to others who may be interested is that Ikeda can service (clean and oil the bearings, replace broken connectors at the tonearm and base) and also rewire FR64 and FR66. I've had one FR66s serviced and rewired and I'm very happy with the results from Ikeda. Another point I want to share is that I had the chance to compare one FR66s with original silver wiring with another FR66s with rewiring done by Dertonarm on same turntable and same cartridge. The rewired FR66s was clearly better which lead me to rewire the original FR66s at Ikeda. FWIW.
@ddriveman nice, what is the price for Ikeda service and how did you contacted them, have you shipped to Japan?

BTW which cartridges do you have on those arms ? :)  

@ddriveman , I like you very much but don't like contradictory

statements. Your last two statements are such. If you preferred

Dertonarm's rewire how from this follow next rewire by Ikeda?

BTW I assume that posting the arm to Germany is more

convenient as well that Dertonarm's rewire is cheaper than

Ikeda's.


I own the FR-64S Silver and the Ikeda 407 (Newer Style).  I use the Micro Seiki AST-10 Weight on both.  I much prefer the 64S with a Koetsu Blue Lace.  Not even close.  I could go on but Ill echo Syntax's experiences.
If you compare a 64S with the FR VTA Lifter that is on with the 66S they sound pretty close.  Probably not worth the extra $4k that that 66S costs.  But in a hobby where many are willing to pay a lot of a little it isn't a surprise. 

The early version of the 407 arms did have the Stainless Arm tube making them closer to the FR-66S in terms of sound signature.
Nandric,

Woah! Not contradictory. You're taking comments made almost 4 years ago about how I like Dertonarm's rewire versus original FR silver wire and the latest comment about Ikeda's rewire. 
Let me clarify. I like Dertonarm's rewire over original FR silver wire based on a comparison side by side on same TT and same cart because I have 2 FR66s. I then decided to get the Ikeda rewire done on the second FR66s and now both the rewired FR66s are very close. Can't really tell them apart.
One thing to note, when Dertonarm rewired my FR66s, he used Cardas male din connector at the base and reused the original FR66s connecyor at haedshell end because he couldn't find a replacement for those spring loaded pins.
Ikeda informs me that they replace the connectors at both ends with rhodium plated connectors. I can't hear any difference so maybe a moot point. 
I live in US and had to sent the arm to Germany and to Japan respectively, so no difference to me.
As for price, you'll have to ask them yourself. I'm not suggesting that either Dertonarm or Ikeda is better. I recommend both of them highly.

Dear driverman, If I am well informed Dertonarm used Ikeda

silver wire for his rewire. Ikeda himself also used ,uh, Ikeda

silver wire while the original FR-66 was also wired with Ikeda

silver wire. So no wonder you was not able to hear any difference.

BTW our ''dispute'', if it is an dispute is pure academic. Ikeda

sold his company and is probably enjoying his pension while

Dertonarm is enjoying his success as producer and would be

crazy to spend his time with tonearm rewire (grin).


Nandric,

Dertonarm told me that he used Ikeda silver for my rewire. I ordered Silver wire for the rewire by new Ikeda company. I could not hear a difference between these 2. But I heard a clear difference between original FR silver wire versus Dertonarm's rewire. I told Dertonarm about this and he told me that the Ikeda Silver wire he used is better than original FR  silver wire.
As I mentioned before, I used the new Ikeda company to rewire my second FR66s because Dertonarm was now busy making tonearms and TTs etc. 
I use the term "new" Ikeda because Mr Ikeda is clearly no longer with the current Ikeda which is making the new Ikeda tonearms and offering service for FR arms.
As a final summary, I just want to share with FR64 and FR66 owners that
1) Rewiring the original FR internal wires brings significant improvements. In my opinion, it's a worthwhile exercise.
2) Dertonarm's rewring service is highly recommended. Alternative is the rewiring by the new Ikeda company which is also highly recommended.
A bit off topic, but i've managed to get NOS Lustre GST-801 yesterday and this particular sample is much better than my previous used sample (which i sold to a friend). I’m happy because my brand new Lustre GST-801 has properly working magnetic tracking force and anti-skating. Also this NOS Lustre has an original RCA-DIN Silver Wire, Headshell Silver Wire and Internal Silver Wire.

So now i can try your silver bullets too.

My old sample was rewired with discovery copper wire, i will not touch my brand new NOS sample, but i can experiment with external wire by using both (original cheap looking silver or modern high-end copper).

What are the 345 & 407 made from? The construction overall looks closer to FR64fx & FR66fx than to FR64s & FR66s.

This review says 345 & 407 are made from stainless steel:
https://www.stereophile.com/content/listening-128

This review says they're made from "a combination of aluminum, zinc-bronze, stainless steel and brass":
https://www.dagogo.com/ikeda-sound-labs-it-407cr1-long-tonearm-review/

The anti-skate provision by 345 is an enigma.

It looks identical to the one in FR64fx & FR66fx.

I use the term "new" Ikeda because Mr Ikeda is clearly no longer with the current Ikeda which is making the new Ikeda tonearms and offering service for FR arms.

It’s the same company that Osamu Ikeda founded after Fidelity Research went bust in the 1980s, but I think he himself retired recently and there is a new owner.

He is here said to have been 35 when he started Fidelity Research in 1964. That would make him ~89 this year.
http://www.hi-fiworld.co.uk/vinyl-lp/30-turntables/165-eat-forte-turntable.html?start=2

He is here interviewed in 2009 saying he is 83 and was still building tonearms and cartridges, like he had been doing for 60 years. That would make him ~92 this year.
http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/high-end-audio-in-japan-part-five-analog-from-ikeda-sound-lab/ 

He is here in 2012 said to have retired and IT Industries is now managing the company:
https://www.dagogo.com/ikeda-sound-labs-it-407cr1-long-tonearm-review/

@sampsa55 , What an revelation in time of fake news and

propaganda. The facts and only the facts. Facts are true

statements. But I have some addition. As I mentioned in

my post in the context of the German Magazine production

from (hardened) steel become to expensive so the next

series FX is made from aluminum . According to my ''devaluation

theory'' it would make no sense to use steel after FX.

J. Carr explanation was that meanwhile Ikeda understood

resonance problems better and used an, say, mix of different

metals for  345 & 407 as solution. From my ''theory'' it follows

that each next model should be cheaper (made) in order to keep

the business profitable. A kind of ''opposite proof'' is the price

of the new B-60 (grin).

Now the ''curious'' anti-skate provision by 345&407. This is

not even similar with FX kind. The forgotten ''child'' the 245

however has similar to FX anti-skate provision.

Samsa deed not mention any kind of silver. According to

our beloved ddriverman  ''new Ikeda silver'' was better then ''old''

(aka original). But the most of us have at least heard of Kondo

san. According to him the ''matured silver'' (20 years?) was

the best and preferably from Italy. I thought about analogy

with French wine but the Italian is also very good.

Regarding the material, the Ikeda Labs website is particularly uninformative, only saying "Hybridization of the material of the main part" (Google translation), which seems to indicate that it's not pure stainless steel or aluminum.

http://www.islabs.co.jp/it345cr1.html


Now the ''curious'' anti-skate provision by 345&407. This is

not even similar with FX kind. The forgotten ''child'' the 245

however has similar to FX anti-skate provision.


I have an FR64fx and an FR64s, but have not compared directly with 345 & 407. However, from every picture I can find, the anti-skate in 345 & 407 looks very similar to the FR64fx. Here are pictures of 245 and the anti-skate looks quite different:
http://www.hifido.co.jp/sold/?KW=&G=0302&LNG=E&O=1500&L=50&C=07-30498-90074-00

I can't think of what aging or maturing would do to silver and why it would sound better. There has been improvement in casting, at least for copper, since the introduction of FR64s, so it might well be that current silver is better made. 


Dear nandric,

I have the original FR silver wire that dertonarm removed from my FR66s. The construction looks much poorer (thinnner, pvc type insulation) compared to the Ikeda Silver. Plus it looks heavily oxidized. I did a side by side listening comparison, on same TT with same cart. Dertonarm himself said that the new Ikeda wire should sound better. Thuchan also agrees after he rewired his FR66s. You just seem to have great trouble believing that rewiring with Ikeda Silver wire has any benefits. That's totally fine. Please stick with your matured and aged wires. But allow me to post my findings freely to others who have FR64 and FR66 arms so that they may choose to also try themselves.

Your "beloved" ddriveman

Dear both , my beloved ddriverman and Sampsa 55.

First the ''curious'' anti-skate by 345. The picture included

by Sampsa is the version 245 for which I stated to have

similar anti-skate with FX kinds.  To prove my statement

wrong the picture of 345 or 407 would be needed.

Dear ddriverman, I have no idea about ''new Ikeda silver wire''

because I still use the ''old one''. The PR used by Kondo san

to promote his ''matured silver'' can not be ascribed to me.

I only mentioned two , say, opposite opinions about ''silver

kinds''. BTW there are persons who swear by Audio Note

cables , phono-cables included and If I remember well

Dertonarm offered both for his rewire. I like disputes; this

seems to be ''natural'' by my profession (grin).

Dear sampsa, As I mentioned before ''the facts and only the

facts'' count for sampsa. The function of the lever with finger screw

in addition to the lever with scale and (anti-skate) weight is an

enigma to me. By FR 64/66 the ''scale with weight'' is sufficient

for anti-skate adjustment. Is it possible that the old version of

FX kinds missed this extra lever? I can't remember the thing

from my old FR-64 FX but there is/was an mk 2 version. If

so this may explain my confusion.

The function of the knob with the finger screw is to adjust the lever so that it is level when the cartridge is at the beginning of the record. This allows the anti-skate force to be calibrated regardless of how the tonearm is rotated horizontally and to decline at the same rate as the cartridge moves across the record.

 The whole business about whose silver wire might sound better seems to me to be silly. Unless we think that either Ikeda or Kondo or Dertonearm own silver mines. All of these entities must buy their silver wire from some company that makes wire. It’s all very unglamorous. For all we know they all get their wire from the same original source. And Kondo’s claim about maturing the wire seems equally specious to me. All silver on earth is probably as old as the earth or very nearly so.

The purity of the silver and how it’s wound  or not wound, and how it’s insulated, all of those could possibly make a difference to sound quality.
My silver wire in My 66s was drilled from four 80 years old virgins and after that they dipped it into holy water....
The result is a increased sound space with a dynamic slam which makes me cry every time I listen to a record 
Better, way better than any remote control 😊