Have you experimented yourself?
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Frank I have tried fluid from SME in the 2.2 & the Phantom, I have also tried Townsend's fluid in the 2.2, but not extensively. I found that when using the SME damping fluid to damp the 2.2, you couldn't actually quite achieve enough damping to optimise the Arms performance. I found however that with the Phantom (old bearing cap version), that similar results could be achieved using SME's, by using enough to almost completely fill the bearing chamber(just enough to cover the square on the bearing cap, when I was using a Temper W) . Although I haven't experimented with the Phantom to the same degree as with the 2.2. I would stick with Bob Graham's own fluid, as He has obviously obtained a version of the correct viscosity. From my finding's the Graham Arm,s are the best. You can almost taylor their sound to your own specific requirements, by that I mean HiFi or Music.
Having owned,and loved the 2.2(which is probably the best deal on the used market,btw)it truly was adjustable to almost anyone's particular tastes,through careful voicings.More-so than my current Phantom,which I do like alot(big time).
I was told,by a very good authority,that adding a particular motor oil(forgot which one...."something 300",I think)could potentially outperform the "blue fluid" which I use.Also,Graham was supposed to come out with a new,lower viscosity fluid,but that got held up.
So,my main feelings(soley an opinion)is to simply be happy with the Blue Fluid.It just happens to sound great,in both the still fabulous 2.2,and wonderful Phantom.
I just don't care,it is SO superb anyway!!
I am very sceptical about going SO high on the squared off portion of the bearing,as mentioned.My Orpheus likes a tad over the very most bottom.
Personally I am curious if there is a better mouse trap,in the way of out performing the IC-70 arm cable,which I use.
I've A/B'd the Purist Venustas to the IC-70 and thought the Graham cable beat it out in dynamics,and lack of darkening effect.BUT the jury is still out here,as there are so many variables affecting ultimate sound.
Gotta go....my wife & daughter are literally yelling at me to take them out to brunch......"OK,OK I'm coming"!
Sirspeedy, I have used IC70 but prefer to use Audionote ANVX terminated with Eichmann Copper Bullit Plugs & an SME 5 pin din, this cable seems to outperform the IC 70 in almost every area. I also make a home brew cable that is also excellent. BTW, I live only 30 miles from SME's factory here in the UK & prefer to use the Graham Arms as they are just simply better(in my opinion. I can't stand that hanging bass which seems to dominate the rest of the frequency spectrum in an un-tuneful way.
Going back to cables, I have a friend also who has the same arm cartridge combo as yourself(originally traded up from an SME V), which incidentally I set up. He uses the Hovland cable, but I feel that He could get more from His system by changing.
Thanks for the info on the fluid/oil.
Just in case you thought I was of the fairer sex, Yve is my wife's name. Mine's Barry.
Barry,no I didn't think there were too many of the fairer sex into arm parameters :-)
This business of arm cabling is more complex than simple perceived performances,in a given set-up,I suspect.
The reason I say this(opinion only)is because I've read many different owners' opinions of various arm cabling,and I must assume they have vastly different expectations(from me) of "how" they might want their system to sound("voiced to differing tastes,maybe").
So,even though hobbyist "A" prefers cable "A" to cable "B","C",or "D" the actual perception that I might have could be different.
I'm certainly NOT disputing your claims.Just thinking it's a tough call,to go from a cable of the IC-70's performance(I had the IC-30 previously,and the IC-70 blew it away) to something else,unless it can be A/B'd in my set-up.
My friend had the IC-70 and moved to the Venustas.Three of us A/B'd the two cables,and I and another friend preferred the IC-70.
Of course,the fellow who actually spent HIS money on the Venustas(which is quite good,btw)preferred the Venustas.
I have a sneaky suspicion he is going to get the Tara "Zero One" arm cabling pretty soon,as he is itching to buy something new.Even though he needs "nothing"....Of course,being the self centered hobbyist I am,I am "definitely" pushing him to go for the Tara stuff,since he has the same arm and cartridge as me.Then I'll know a bit more :-)
The only caveat would be,if the Tara "killed" the IC-70!Then, I'd be unhappy....In a happy way-:)
Sirspeedy, I agree, also I think people's perception's change when their system changes. When I & my Friend owned the Phantom Arms, our opinion was the same, it was I who suggested trying the ANVX, as I had used one of their cheaper cables some years before, I must admit that it was a risk, but from some good fortune a worthwhile one. I have also listened to Martin Brewster's system of Audio Reference(UK importer of Graham Arm's), I can't see or should I say hear how He can improve His front end, He uses the IC70, so in that system, their is a great magnitude of synergy & information. I wish you luck in your quest for musical satisfaction. BTW I will probably go back to a Phantom at some stage, as I know it gives a great deal more depth, texture, clarity & pinpoint imaging than the 2.2. I could mention why I sold my Phantom, but not on any forum.
Yve,believe my intent when I state that you can live with the "vastly underrated 2.2",for a LONG time!!The arm IS that good!!I love my new Phantom,but there is just "something" about the 2.2 that I miss...Be happy!!!
BTW,I do wish you could mention why you got rid of the Phantom!!Perhaps E-mail me in private?