Goldmund Studio - still relevant today?

In today high-end world (very small, and shrinking every day), is Goldmund Studio still relevant? Is it's performance still on par with similarly priced tables, or is it a dinosaur? Is it's value still in performance, or is it mainly a collector's item? What do you guys think? I refer to late models with all-acrylic body, and JVC motor, and T3F arm, which actually work, not the early ones, which seemed to have a mind on their own :-)) They normally command at least $2500 on used market, up to $4000 for perfect examples.
I have owned several Goldmund tables and arms. IMHO, they are still an excellent sounding rig!

I finally got rid of mine mainly because they were somewhat of a bitch to set up and maintain and just wanted to try something "different".

If I could find one today in excellent condition and at a reasonable price, I would sure try it again.
20+ years ago I found a dealer with two Goldmund tables for sale-a Studio and a Studietto. The dealer offered me either one for $1,000. The Studio had a modded power supply, and the Studietto was stock. I chose the Studietto, my mistake. I sold it years later for more than I paid for it. Eventually, the store went out of business, but I remember the Studio. If it was still there, I'd be happy to pay $1,000 for it. Yes, it's still relevant today!
The Studio is "relevant", but I personally was never impressed with it. The Studietto was a real dog, IMO. These are just my private (now not so private) opinions. The T3F is a derivative of the Rabco tonearm, better quality construction, perhaps. It is thus to be judged. But lots of other people like this stuff.
Dear Mark,
Don´t waste your money and time. Life is short. Here´s my story.
Back in 1990 I owned brand new Studio but not with the linear arm. The DD motor by JVC is excellent BUT the problem is the flimsy floating suspension.
It just floats causing technical problems and just smears sound, unfortunately. It´s not near as sophisticated as ORACLE´s hanging suspension. That´s why I witched my Studio to used DELPHI MKII and got much better sounding turntable.
And T3F is a clumsy dinosaur from the stone age, certain modern linear arms are certainly worth trying if you prefer linear trackers (I personally do).

BUT if you do like it for some other reasons, maybe for aesthetics I would suggest to get rid of the suspension altogether because it´is the root of all evil. If you are a DIY man give it a try. Think of its 25 kg mass of lead-acrylics body with a superb vintage Japanese DD motor. That´s really something else, isn´t it.
I should had tried to remove the suspension but I had not skills and patience to do. Young and foolish I was and lost a minor fortune eventually. Those were the days.

If you don´t care for tweaking an ancient TT it doesn´t make sense going back to the 90´s... Anyway, good luck for your search.

Is the Studio/T3F still relevant for the used price they command? It depends on your point of view. Is a 301 or a 124 still relevant? Certainly wouldn't buy an original example of one of those expecting it to be plug-n-play.

The Studio has the beefiest springs I've seen. They came set-up for use with the T3F and some alternate springs were supplied. Still, a weak point of the design and problematic with most replacement arms. Sorbothane pucks were often used for spring replacements on both the Studio and Studietto which used the same springs.

The stock studio/T3F dramatically outperformed the Delphi (w/any arm) at that time. It was no contest really. The T3F might be outperformed by a more modern design, but I think if you heard a properly set-up Goldmund Reference from that same time, the arm would sound pretty good. The Studio is no Reference, but with a little TLC, can more than hold its own.
The T3F is really bad. The moving Arm smears every detail and it ruins every cantilever pretty fast.
Even when I would get one for free I would avoid to use it.
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I don't doubt your tale of two tables, but I don't share your experience. Maybe it was learn as you go, but if you put the effort into the Studio as the Delphi, you might be singing a different song. At least that's my experience and I'm not alone with that opinion. Virtually EVERYBODY back then recognized the jump in performance going to a Studio.

You could say it's an unfair comparison with the price difference, but the Oracle was at its best with a SME V and that is/was a pricey arm. I set-up or tuned Delphi with mostly the SME V, and arms like the Syrinx PU3. Yes, I got them to bounce straight and stop on a dime after three bounces. The Delphi MK II is a beautiful table and it sounds quite good if set-up properly.

Even though it's not your experience, IMO the Studio has greater potential. Admittedly, the suspension should be defeated and you need a later version of the arm or a replacement. I never cared for the Groove Isolator, but I guess that to, is a matter of opinion.

I think this sums up relative quality:

I am still amazed after 20+ years to see how misunderstood the T3F was. It is an arm of stunning performance, utterly easy to set-up, fully reliable and certainly does nothing bad to the cantilevers only to extract all the music out of the LP's. It works silky smooth with the PL8.
I had the s/n 2020 from 1988 to 2013 on the Reference s/n 2069, never ever a problem, never a broken cantilever.
Of course, as any high performance audio item it had to be optimazed. Problem was Goldmund's greed for cosmetics over technical matter. The problem is so easy to see and yet no user or seller has ever talked about the issue.
Some idio... inside Goldmund decided to place the CW too close to the bearings to keep it hided inside the bridge.
Thus the arm/CW, as such, had no leverage at all. Consequently CW mass must be increased to a crazy 200gr for a 10gr cartridge. This is already a compromise for a pivoted arm but is catastrophic for a tangential. The aluminum/ceramic strip headshell did not help either. What I did, I first replaced the aluminum headshell for a CNC strip made of treated ebony, this reduced the mass at the very tip of the arm by 5gr. Then the most important, I CNC a hard-resin prolongation-insert that was attached to the back of the arm that allowed to set a lighter CW farther away of the bearings. The result is the use of a CW of only 45gr., the option to use the level of damping fluid you wish and a terrific, amazing improve in performance.
I do not know how to upload pictures but I can provide tech. drawings if someone is interested.
You can go to Hammertone Audio (turntable section) to see some pics/explanation. That is (was) my system. Additionally Mr. A. Salvatore understood the problem and posted my explanation in his web-site.
IMO none of the fellows that have always criticized this arm have a tonearm better than a poperly set-up T3F.
To be noted this arm as today has little tech. support and if something happens to the E-Prom or the Zilog CPU it will be difficult to fix.

Dear Cabbiendi, Can you say why you think the elongated mount for the CW effects an improvement in sound, apart from the fact that it permits use of a lighter counter-wt. There are two parameters (at least) that would change with this mod: (1) lateral effective mass, and (2) vertical effective mass. IMO, the reduction in lateral effective mass is probably good, and may explain why you've had no problems with cartridge damage. But the vertical effective mass may well have increased with this mod, since the effective mass is a function of the square of the distance from the center of gravity of the CW to the pivot but only a first order function of the mass of the CW. Thus if you've moved the CW 4X its normal distance from the pivot, which is probably close to correct, since you were able to reduce the mass of the CW from 200 to 45 (roughly 4 to 1), that would increase effective mass by 4-fold (16X for the fold difference in CW to pivot distance times 1/4 for the reduction in weight). That might be bad for all but low compliance cartridges. Perhaps that's what you use.
Dear Lewm,
I understand what you mean however, correct that your estimation seems to be it did not reproduce in practice. Indeed if you go and make a google search you will see that "all" air bearing tomearms (Air-Tangent, Rockport's, AirLine, etc) invariably use a very low-mass CW very far away from the bearing, further back to what I set in the T3F. Since I'm not an Eng. before to make that chages I put in contact with Lyra, I was using a Titan-i on the T3F and res-freq was in the order of 4.5Hz, since I use EQ-H-Frame subs the woofers were botoming even having 52mm X-max.
BTW, I did not move the new CW X4 to the normal distance, I gues it was less than double. Please note the massive reduction of mass at the tip of the arm, changing HS material (from AL or ceramic = std Goldmund) to Ebony.
I first had the intention to reduce size of the CW and put it even closer to the bearings using a CW made of Tungsten (I found in China a bar that has 20gr/cm3 density).
Reason was the T3F cinematic is not really tangential but moves in arcs of 2-3o at a time, I was convinced that it would behave like a pivoted arm rather than tangential (high mass CW closer to the pivot VS low-mass CW far away from pivot for tagentials). The head of Lyra asked me to wait a little he was going to contact Mr. Carr. Finally he came to me and confirmed that "due to the many forces" the T3F must be considered as a tangential tonearm. I then went and prepared the stuff to modify the arm according to this. Mr. Carr could not be more correct. With the new CW system the res-freq went up to 10Hz.
Do you have an idea Lewm what this mean ? can you imagine a 200gr mass so close crushing the bearings ?
It was not how the arm moves that made Syntax reach his conclusions about T3F it was this idiotic massive CW so close to the bearins.
Then we have the damping fluid, normally a std. T3F needs more DF than normal to perform decently, after the mods in the CW you can use the quantity you wish, the improvements in HF are nothing short of a miracle. I read about negative effects of too much DF in a tonearm paper from VdH.

Regarding Studio suspension it is well known (from at least two decades) that it performs much better with its suspension defeated.


Anyway Lewm, T3F and the Goldmund Reference are now gone unfortunately. I'm a personal follower of your (and Halcro's system BTW) I'm now in the hunt of a P3 or a L-07D my prefer DD TT.


I picked up a Studio/T3F, with Transfiguration Temper, used a few years ago, for about $2000, in good cosmetic condition, with boxes and accessories, and found that I liked it much more than the Luxman 444/SME V/Cardas combination. (The Luxman was much more beautifully finished.) Recently, I began to focus on my record collection, and I updated the Temper to a new Ortofon Cadenza Black. I carefully setup the T3F, including the use of a USB microscope for checking/setting the VTA.

The VTA is a pain to set, first requiring that the platter (at stylus contact point) be level in both axes, and then that the arm "box" be level in both axes. Adjusting the arm VTA requires the unlocking and dialing of 4 corner "pillar" screws, maintaining the level of the arm in both axes. Tedious but doable. Forget about changing VTA on the fly.

Adjusting the VTF is also tedious since this is done by unlocking the counterweight setscrew and then moving the weight and relocking the setscrew which is somewhat obscured by the arm structure. The setscrew should only be unlocked enough to allow the movement of the weight while still under friction.

I’ve seen comments about the horizontal mass of the arm posing a problem for the cantilever. For typical tangential arms, this might be a problem since the whole arm structure must be pulled horizontally across. I don’t believe this applies to the T3F since for a small angle, the arm pivots horizontally like a normal pivoted arm. The sensor detects any error and a motor, not the stylus, moves the mass of the arm horizontally. It seems that a position change occurs once every 1.5 to 2 seconds or one groove spacing. Hardly enough to produce any significant tracking error. The one weakness here is that the correction is applied in one direction only. Eccentric records will not allow the arm to move alternately in and out. Luckily the amount of horizontal pivot in the arm will typically absorb the eccentricity without any unusual stress on the cantilever.

Another conceptual concern, if not practical, is that the arm drive motor is activated for a tiny fraction of a second every 1.5 to 2 seconds. This might generate some mechanical noise but I haven’t been able to detect it while listening, except at the label end grooves while spiraling in and just before arm pickup.

I have noted some logic bugs, when operating the cueing and inward/outward buttons, in rapid succession, and then issueing a stop command, the arm may fail to raise up before returning to the rest position. You should be aware of this and ready to intervene by lifting the arm manually.

I think this setup sounds spectacular and am very pleased with it. I really don’t know what I would want instead of it.

Regarding the modifications which use a lighter counterweight at a further distance: Isn't the effective mass of the arm increased by moving a counterweight further from the pivot? The effective mass has to do with the product of the mass of the weight and its' distance from the rotational pivot. Depending on the cartridge used, this may not be a good change.
The LUXMAN PD444/Terminator T3Pro smokes Studio in my room. So does it with SME III. Now I vividly remember how wrong everything was with that stock Studio. Just sounded awful. So I did the right thing to get rid of it 26 years ago :)
The LUXMAN PD444 may very well be the very finest DD ever built. Its rotating speed is rock solid.

I just sold my Luxman PD444. Thanks for reminding me what a mistake it was to sell it (LOL).
My Studietto still makes utter magic.

In order to understand the design philosophy of those Goldmunds

one need to read about Pierre Lurne . Lurne is physicist who got

involved in our hobby as we deed: ''pure passion''.

After his work for Goldmund he started his own company called

''Audiomeca''. I owned the Audiomeca J1 which was for me a

kind of revelation after Linn LP 12. I hope I will not get a reprimand

from Lew, who, for some reasons, dislike Lurne. Strange in some

sense because both admire Newton. Anyway all involved parameters

in his designs are based on Newton. Even those ''beefies springs''

Fleib has ever seen. In search for even a better TT I moved to

Kuzma Stabi Reference which, to my big surprice, looked like

a copy of the Audiomeca J1.


So you like it. Have no worries, there are plenty of them for sale right now. I think I saw one with a full warranty on the German site (Audioscope ?) just recently... yes it´s absolutely true (smile).

Harold, You obviously misinterprete tonykay's comment. As you

deed with my complaint about my cart which you borrowed and

destroyd with your ''perfect linear tracker''. You refused any

responsibility for the damage you made in my case as you refuse

any responsibility for your comments on TT's about which you

know nothing. You are a kind of second hand Raul as far as I

am concerned. The other members will discovere this sooner or

later but anyway for sure.

Nandric, The Audiomeca tables evolved through the J4 to the Romance, then  Belladonna, which I believe was the last. It had the most sophisticated suspension design I've seen.  Can't remember where I saw it, but this will give an inkling:

I too had an LP12 in the mid '80s, but eventually replaced it with a Goldmund. I was a set-up person for Linn and liked the table, but it ran about 1% fast and I was addicted to the presentation.  Getting used to "correct" speed was a revelation, but I did not use the Goldmund linear arm because it seemed too high maintenance. 

In an ultimate sense, any belt drive suspended table where the platter/arm move independently of the motor, is compromised. Looking at the diverse opinions here, it seems no different than other vintage equipment requiring set-up skill and some ingenuity.


Dear Fleib, I am not a technical guy able to judge about Lurne's

theories. But as a real scientist he published his design philosohpy

available for anyone for possible comments. BTW there were more

''donnas'' which I could not afford and this certainly apply for his

''Belladonna'' . But he is a very nice person with whom I exchanged

some emails. I asked for a separate armbase for his AudiomecaJ1

but he was not able to find one despite his convinction that he

must have those ''somehwere''. Back then he was working on his


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You can´t be more wrong on everything you just posted on me and you know that. I don´t believe in your stories anymore. You don´t fool me. 

You send me the cart in a thin letter. You told you send carts all over the world in a regular letter to avoid high postage. 
The envelope had a tear probably caused by stroke by a heavy object somewhere along the way, already as I received it. I told you that immediately and send you pic of that tear on the envelope. I had received you letter with a tear (almost a hole on it) in and you know this. I wonder if you have an idea what kind of risks you take when sending a phono cartridge in a regular /thin letter to other countries. Something happened along the way but it´s beyond my control, nor yours. You understand/know this. When I opened your thin letter THE CANTILEVER WAS A BIT OFF-CENTER ALREADY, before I played it. I also told this. I adjusted your cart and told you immediately that off-center does not affect on sound quality at all. Your cart sound just fine on my linear tracker. You also know this because you were pleased to hear this. 

I listened to your cartridge and sent it back IN EXACTLY THE SAME CONDITION I RECEIVED IT. The cantilever was exactly as off-center as when I had received it from you. I sent the cart again in a regular letter BUT THIS TIME I MADE A BETTER LETTER PACKAGE: I PUT YOUR JEWEL BOX IN A CICARETTE BOX (that makes it a double packet) AND PUT AN EXTRA PIECE OF THICK PAPER BESIDE THE CART IN THAT JEWEL BOX SO THAT IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE THAT THE CART COULD MOVE INSIDE THE JEWEL BOX during transit. NOTHING COULD TOUCH THE STYLUS/CANTILEVER NOW DURING TRANSIT. I know exactly what I was doing.

Unless it would be touched/damaged by someone after I shipped the letter.
And you also know this: Sending items via post without insurance is certainly not safe. But you received my letter. Great.

All this means : Someone "damaged" (as you say) your cart. 

That means:
1) Someone unknown damaged you cart, maybe a post worker. Or

2) You did. Deliberately or not.

Well, accidents happen, as they say.

I also said sorry for your "damaged" cart. You also know this.

And another thing that I have been wondering since this sad episode... it is possible that the cantilever was already bent when you put the cart into box. Whatever the case, not my fault. 

But how dare you blame me for YOUR CARELESS in this business ?
How dare you accuse me FOR YOUR OWN MISTAKES ?

Now I have this funny feeling that it is quite possible that you "damaged" your own cart so that you can put the blame on me and maybe even demand money from me to fix your cart. 

If I had done anything harmful to your cart I would have told you immediately and asked you to sell it to me. Do you know why ? Because I trusted you 100 % . And because it was the best MC cart I had heard back then, over two years ago. It really sounded excellent on Trans-Fi arm. Actually that Ortofon was the best MC I had tried so far on my Trans-Fi arm. But I never did a slightest harm to it.

Because you have never even tried one, you told me. We had a long discussion on TTs, different type of carts, some high quality tonearms... I remember vividly that too.
"linear tracker" destroys cantilevers. I have never heard anything absurd in hi-fi. Honestly never in last forty years in this hobby. Properly adjusted/installed linear tonearm DOES NOT destroy cantilevers or anything else during normal play.  
Ridiculous statement.

I never asked you anything in this thread. And don´t try to put words in other people´s mouth.

And you still owe me an apology.

Harold, Anyone interested in the ''real truth'' can get the pictures

I made after you returned my cart. The cantilever was so damaged

that using such cart was impossible. In addition the stylus was missing . As prove I have two bills from Axel's retips. The first just

before I posted the cart to you, the second after you returned the

cart to me. You need to explain how you succeeded to listen to

this cart which was, according to you ''deliberate damaged'' by

me beforhand in order to get your money. Your leanear tracker

must be an wonder able to track a cart without stylus and crooked

cantilever. BTW I own many carts and have lend many to other

forum members even an whole series carts . I had no reason to

complain about any of them. You are privileged in this sense.

There is however some comfort for me in the fact that this cart

was my cheapest MC cart. My advice to you is to never write

to many sentences. The more you write the more contradictions

between them may occure. As is the case with your ''defense''.


You received 2 days for your apology. Now your time has run out.

You chose the harder way. 

Man defends himself when it´s necessary. It´s time to tell one interesting detail how you actually did back then.

When I opened your thin letter with a tear on its surface, I faced the biggest surprise I have ever met when dealing with Hi-Fi gear, still so far.

You sent your just-retipped MC 25FL WITHOUT STYLUS GUARD.
To be honest, the cantilever was actually in touch one of the walls of that tiny plastic jewel box when I looked at it after having taken it from that box.
The cartridge must have moved inside the plastic box during transit. The cantilever was a bit off-center.

I immediately told you that the cantilever was in touch with one inner wall of that tiny plastic jewel box. You know all this already and I sent you pics.
This time you were lucky, the bent cantilever produced excellent sound quality from start to finish.

I took pics of the damaged letter, the cart w/ bent cantilever to you. I took many photos and sent a few to you, of course. I also took pics before dispatching back to you, of course. 

I packed your cart much more carefully than you and you fully understand why. For the second time you were lucky because you did receive my letter with no tears/any harm caused to it. Otherwise you would had emailed me immediately.


Unless something strange happened after dispatch. Someone ruined your cart.

I´ve  been wondering what kind of a person sends his just-retipped very expensive phono cartridge without stylus guard ??

Nevertheless, that bent cantilever gave excellent sound quality with 60 LP records I played without any kind of issues. 

Initially I received a bent cantilever from your. I sent it back IN EXACTLY THE SAME CONDITION. Not my fault.

Actually I´ve been thinking of this very strange incident very very carefully since August 2014. 

Your thin letter with a tiny plastic box inside is very tempting for a casual thief. Someone, or maybe several, post workers perhaps, opened the letter and found a phono cartridge inside but wasn´t interested, ruined cantilever and stylus tip and put it back. The most likely scenario IMO.

You should be lucky you received your cart back eventually !!

Bloody hell.

Your arrogance and prejudice and hate for fellow audiophiles is something else, in any forum for the last fifteen years I have experienced/seen in hifi/music discussions.

I don´t mind people who have a very different opinion about all things in Hi-Fi but I don´t care for offensive people. 

I have never ever got insulted so hard as you do for no true reason.

Now I finally know exactly what kind of a person you really are.

You urgently should ask Axel weather a stiff MC cart is compatible with paraller tracking arm. He knows the exact answer because he is not only a professional but an artist. So is Vic. SMILE

The Trans-Fi arm fits my AT ART-9 perfectly and produces superb sound quality.  My Trans-Fi linear arm can be taken from me only over my dead body.

My conscience is 100 % pure.



Harold, The plastic box in which my cart was posted is the box

with Axel's marks. Aka the same box which Axel uses for years

to post his repaired carts. The box has foam layers such that

the cart can't move. Your complaint that the cart was damaged

in transport because of my wrong packaging is not consistent with

your listening result. As you stated: ''excelent sound quality with

60 LP records''. Extraordinary result with an cart damaged because

of my bad packing? BTW not all (MC) carts have stylus protector.

But as I mentioned the stylus was also missing . Probaly stolen

by some postman involved by transport of your packet to my

 home in Holland (sic!) Strange because in 40 years that I live

in Holland I never missed any packet nor the robbed one.

Anyway this was the reason to post the cart again to Axel who retiped the cart with the same stylus (fine line) pressure fitted in aluminum alloy cantilever. For the same price of 250 euro as

 the first retip.

I am A'gon member since 2007 and wrote 2507 contributions

in this forum. I never accused any member about any wrong

doing all this time. You are the only one . So in this sense you

are surely special. I don't even believe that we have had any

 dispute about any cart or other component.  But our present

dispute will be valued by the members according to your and

my arguments. Besides I lend you one of my carts without any

obligation from your side. The only reason being to hear your

opinion. My comrad Don was very impressed by this cart so

I wanted to hear some other's opinion. I got this cart destroyed

back from you and you want my opology???  My Gosh! You

should consult some specialist for such cases.