it is an inetersting arm that reed newly developed. i might have to try one soon .
Dear Lew, You can find some info on the Reed site (www.reed.lt). It is provisional prototype with a peculiar way to dampen the record wraps with the help of a magnet
situated above the counterweight. According to Vidmantas based on Lenz's law. I would call this construction 'magnetic- dynamic'. There is of course also magnetic anti-skate provision. The rest is excatly like your 2A. Only about 10 are made and sent to some dealers and old customers for the feedback. My specimen is more 'universal' than my 2A which has Pernambuco wood wand with 27g. eff. mass. Because of all those MM carts that I own I prefer the Magnetic version. With my Benz Ruby 3s and Phase Tech P-3G I was not able to hear any difference between them.BTW the P3 seems to be so successful that I don't believe that the Magnetic will reach production state. Anyway not in the near future.
Jfrech, My 'current' Reed (2A) is specialy made for my
Kuzma Stabi Ref. as second arm next to the Triplanar VII.
Ie with an armpod and 12'' lenght. My intention was to use
this arm for the low compliance MC carts. So in A-B-A
comparison I was limited to Benz Ruby 3S and Phase Tech
P-3G. My Basis Exclusive has two phono-pres so A-B comparison is easy to do. But in my second system I use the FR-64 S, Sumiko 800, Zeta and Lustre GST I. This system is not 'optimal' but meant to test MM carts. I am very fond of all of them (tonearm maniac) but the Reed and the Triplanar are superior to the rest in my opinion. BTW
the Reed and the Triplanar are meant for different carts and are in no way rivalry.
Vidmantas was told that I started this thread about the Reed 3 P.
The strange thing is that while I know nothing about this
arm I may be in the position to answer any question about
the same arm. That is to say I need to put the question to Vidmantas first and than provide the answer which I get from him. His English is not adequate for the purpose according to his own opinion while his spare time is also very limited. I am also acquainted with his son and his daughter in law and can easilly get contact with them/him.
Dear Jfrech, Yes Vidmantas is the designer. He is a scientist involved in S.Union military complex and a real 'rocket scientist'. But since the fall apart of the Sovjet Union he started his own company in which he can combine his hobby and his work. We all dream about such an possibility, I assume.
I know Vidmantas longer than 5 years but I would never and deed never promote his products in the sense of 'trying to sell them'. I am as interested in tonearms in general as
anybody else and always curious about the new kinds. So my intention is to keep any information within strict technical bondaries. BTW I can only say something about
2A version which I own.
I see that he abandoned the provision of alignment by the headshell (the only right way) and adopted the Triplanar's method of align the azimuth by twisting the arm tube (very convenient but wrong). By doing this, he has also fixed firmly the headshell on the armtube. I'm asuming that he probably discovered some diminishing returns and so he put the sliding metals at the end. Sometimes I'm puzzled by the genius and somehow I feel the alchemist soul of the designer. I'm convinced he has a creative and inventive mind but if I could ever have a chance to advise, I would point him the nessesity for robustness wherever it is possible to achieved and incorporated in every parameter of the construction. Even if this means a major change in materials, fixing methods or design approaches. The forces dictate this, as they can discard the use of a faint point of contact no matter how precisely has been builded. His choise of wood armtubes related with the desparate need for damping the resonanses to provide an easy field to work his wonders on alignment. Problem is that this dark and slow recovering field characterises the result. The remaining question about (the impossible?) to align the azimuth by rotation of the wrong axis, must investigated. Please do not misread my post. Ι'm watching with great interest his creations and I really admire his efforts. He is very active in pushing the art of this fetish (tonearm) thing and his move to loan his preproduction beauties to customers for evaluation, is a honest habit that is highly regarded by me (I've done this for a 2 twisted conductor interconnect prototype of VDH 3T series). I'm only wishing for his mature period to come ASAP.
I agree with Geoch on the issue of azimuth adjustment. I really like the Reed tonearms that rotate the headshell but not the arm tube. Geoch (and Nikola), are you saying that the 3P now adjusts azimuth by rotation of the arm tube? Does Vidimantas reveal why he made this change, if this is so? I think Geoch made a good guess as to his reasoning, but it would be interesting to hear it from "the horse's mouth".
DearLew&Geoch, I wrote to Vidmantas about the azimuth adjustment and Geoch question which I formulated as a possible 'mechanical problem'. I have no idea about mechanics but I think that Vidmantas is also mechanical engeneer. As soon as I get his answer I will report.
So Lew if there is such an animal as an 'intermediary horse' you will probable hear the answer from me.
Dear Geoch &Lew, According to Vidmantas the azimuth adjustment is not working like Triplanar by which the armwand is rotating around it's own axis . The 3P is not rotating around any axis but by changing the tonearm vertical axis while keeping the bottom magnetic bearing in place and changing the position of the top bearing. This way the armwand swings (?) around the stylus tip .Also the
bottom bearing is at the same hight as the stylus tip. This
means that the mounting distance by 3P is measured from the
vertical bottom bearing. Ie the top bearing has not a stable (constant?)position. BTW in the new 3P headshell the azimuth adjustment is not removed but implemented in a slightly different way in comparison with the other Reeds.
NB Vidmantas also provided reference to some video but I have no idea how to post that.
First off, I am the Reed importer and every thing I say here is my opinion and it may be worth what you are paying for it...
The sound? For me the 3P has a more refined sound than the 2A. More air is the first thing I hear. The sound, top to bottom, has a feeling of a little more ease about it or as some have said, more fluidity. Vocal textures are slightly chestier. High piano notes, female vocals and cymbals are where the refinement shows most. For me, there are three parts to a note. Attack, bloom and decay. I don't hear any lack of attack on either arm which, IMHO, are as good as any arm I have heard and better than most. The bloom of a cymbal or piano note after the initial attack with the 3P grows a little more before it starts to withdraw. The decays are longer and seemingly cleaner and clearer. Maybe I should say more pure. Less artifacts hanging around in the background. The area where I do not hear any significant change is bass. I have long thought the bass on the 2A has been one of its strong points so I don't think the 3P is missing anything on bass in any way. It is as three dimensional bass as I have heard.
The azimuth adjustment change has been made so that the 3P now has azimuth adjustment on the fly. It works brilliantly I might add. It is easy, fast and solid. The concerns over changing the rotational axis is a non issue for most cartridges, again, IMHO. If the azimuth adjustment is less than a couple of degrees, which should include most carts, I hear no loss of clarity in either channel over the 2A. More than three degrees may or may not be another story but none of my favorite carts need more than a degree or so of azimuth adjustment so I did not test this. For my testing, I used three different MM carts and two MC carts. All of various compliance ratings. All tracked well. As a side note, one of my carts has a slight tracking problem on two different tracks out of hundreds I play. The 3P reduces the tracking error on these two tracks.
For those that aren't familiar with the 3P, it uses a single bearing for the horizontal pivot and two bearings for a stable vertical axis. It also has a magnetic anti-skate. The AS is a big improvement. Arms like the 2A, Tri-Planar and others use a pivoted arm with a weight that rides against a pin attached to the armwand for AS. While this works, it adds noise and it is easily heard. I always preferred no AS with the 10.5" and 12" Reeds. Not that they did not need AS, they would benefit from a small amount but the added noise was worse. Now I can add a small amount of AS and no noise.
Another area that is new and I can't say for sure what it is doing for the sound, is magnetic dampening. I wish it was adjustable so I could experiment with its contributions. Alas, it is not, at least for now.
Bottom line for me is, the 3P has raised the bar and in no small way. Not just sonically but for ease of set up. Sounding great with the least amount of coloration is paramount for all of us but as a seller of arms, there is another consideration. If the arm is difficult to set up, chances are the owner will never hear how good the arm really is. It matters not how good it can sound. It only matters how good the arm sounds with the owner's set up skills. The 3P Reed lets the owner get to its full potential faster and easier than any other arm I have experienced. I think the novice as well as the most adept set up guys will appreciate that.
I did not intend for this to turn into a mini review but I do get carried away at times.
Dear Vetterone, You deserve the counterweight which I promised to you under proviso that you should write more about the 3P then 'I have' in your first post. By looking
to your system I noticed that one of your Reeds missed the counterweight. I now don't believe that you need one.
What I need is some help to visualize the bearing 'system' of the Reed 3P. As with Kuzma's '4 point' tonearm the description 'uni-pivot' is ,anyway to me, confusing. I know
that pictures can be more suitable for the purpose then descriptions but I have never seen pictures of either with clear exposure of the bearing(s).
Dear Steve and Nikola, Thank you both for describing the 3P. I can't quite visualize the new way of adjusting azimuth, but I take your word(s) that there is no step backward, only forward with the 3P.
Steve, can you elaborate what you mean when you say that the azimuth adjustment on the TP causes "noise"? Since the TP cannot be had without that adjuster, I don't know how you can arrive at a conclusion that it is a culprit in causing noise. (I would think that to do that experiment, you need a TP with no azimuth adjuster, so you can compare the two to be able to blame the azimuth adjuster per se for noise.) I kind of agree that the TP azimuth adjuster has more of a theoretical issue with the way it works vs a real world one, provided the cartridge was reasonably well built and aligned in the first place.
Ldvalve, What I'm talking about is that with the Reed 2A cum azimuth adjuster, you twist only the cartridge mount about its vertical axis. This changes only azimuth. With the TP or any other tonearm that twists the arm tube (I think also the Talea), you are slightly changing VTA as well. Think about it.
Lew, the paragraph in which I used the Tri-Planar reference was talking about noise from anti-skate (AS), not azimuth adjustment. Sorry for the confusion. The noise comes from the pivoted AS lever rubbing against the stationary pin attached to the armwand. On a microscopic level, you may as well be rubbing two files together even if one surface has a plastic tube on it to diminish friction. Having all those cantilevered units hanging out vibrating like a tuning fork does not help either.
Nikola, I wondered how many would catch the missing counter weight. You are one of the few. I did have a counterweight "walk away" at CES one year so I do need one...
Trying to explain the bearing system with words only for the 3P is not easy. It certainly is not a true uni-pivot although the horizontal movement is in fact controlled that way. The top horizontal control bearing carries a secondary frame that also houses the two side bearing cups. The two side bearings are mounted directly to the armwand. The side bearings control only the vertical movement. The top bearing cup is mounted such that a cam action can be activated by the small lever located in front of the top bearing. This azimuth adjusting lever will rotate the position of the top bearing side to side and in turn, will rotate the secondary frame. That action will adjust azimuth. Remember, the top bearing carries the entire armwand/secondary frame weight and that assembly is ultimately controlled by the single top bearing. Does this make any sense? I could never be an instructor. It might help when looking at the 3P pictures if you knew the side bearings were pointing down, not sideways as the 2A.
Hope this helps.
04-07-12: GeochI don't know if you saw the youtube video I included in my previous post. It shows there's no touching the arm tube, even with background being out of focus. And the adjustment is done at the pivot area.
Thanks to Vetterone's explanation, I get a better understand of the azimuth on the fly adjustment and the bearing arrangement. I think the 3P's bearing design is brilliant.
Dear Vetterone, The Reed importer without weight? I am not
sure about America but in Europe there also, uh, a figurative meaning of 'weight': not much of an importer. Besides a 'strange one' testing visual capabilities of his
forum (co) members with his system. I thought that the meaning
of the 'system' is to show off with our toys? If you are not joking and if you are capable to reach me via the new Agon site I will first post the pictures to you of both of my spare counter weights with description of their own weight so you can choose one of them. I wrote about 63 e-mails to Vidmantas begging for extra weights so he had actually only two choices: the asylum in his neighbourhood or posting the extra weight to me. As a very smart person he posted to me two of them with the hope to prevent more e-mails from me. Ie the persistance is an important characteristic of an real audio enthusiastic. This of course imply the 'symetrical' character of the producer.
BTw otherwise than Lew I got the anti-skate 'theory' of yours straightaway right and was amused with Lew's confusion reg. azimuth versus anti-skate. I always thought that he
is a kind of expert in (a.o.) analog matters.
However I am very fond about my Triplanar so not willing to
accept your theory about the anti-skate in general and certainly not in particular reg. my Triplanar anti-skate provision. Besides we already have had an extensive discussion about the Triplanar by which (nota bene) I followed Lew's advice and ordered by my machinist 3 extra anti-skate weights in diminishing ordering qua weight.
BTW I am not sure about your quality as importer but there is
nothing wrong with your writing capability. So I will pretend to have grasped the bearing system of the 3 P as described by you.
Yes, Steve's tome started out talking about azimuth, so when he got to talking about anti-skate (abbreviated "AS") I did not originally pick up on the change of subject. Mea culpa. Doug Deacon has also been a critic of the AS device on the TP, but Doug was talking about "resonance" (his word). Perhaps he really was alluding to the same phenomenon that concerned Steve. Since Steve's explanation makes more sense to me (anyway), I will take another look at the AS device to see what can be done about it, if anything. I am not sure that the tiny O-ring solution to excessive application of AS with the TP standard AS weight really does anything about the "noise" issue.
Nikola, I don't claim to be an expert on anything, except I always aspire to be an expert on the elements of my own audio system. It's an endless process, and one is never really "arrived", even in that microcosm. But I do know the difference between anti-skate and azimuth.
Dear Lbelchev, I admire the FR-64S as a work of art. The first tonearm which awaked esthetical feelings in me. I always thought about our 'gear' in functional terms. My
problem is the fact that my Kuzma Stabi Reference needs a
separate armboard for each separate tonearm. This imply ordering them by Kuzma in Slovenia for about 600 Euro a piece. My solution was a second system in my bedroom with a comfort of a chear in front of my (simple) Thorens 160 Super such that I can easilly change carts and tonearms.
However the most carts I recently bought are MM kind so
I prefer my Sumiko 800 and/or Zeta for the purpose. I just
completed my SP10 mkII with provisional Lustre GST 1 as
substitute for the Thorens. The armboard in the plinth is
only usable with this tonearm. But those can be made for
cheap , I hope, so I will be able to use all of my tonearms . My first trial with the FR-64S will be the Phase Tech P-3 G (LOMC and Low compliance)which is in my Reed 2A at present (27g eff. mass).
Please forgive me if I can't see clearly the video and correctly understand what is going on, but ....
1* The rotational axis is determined by the 2 bearings of the armtube's vertical movement.
2* These 2 bearings are attached at 90 degrees (to the armtube).
3* The armtube has a strictly straight shape from headshell to counterweight without any interval on it's length by which could possibly been parallel with the cantilever axis.
4* These 2 bearings are not attached (to the armtube) at an angle equal with the headshell's offset angle.
1* Touching or not touching the armtube is irrelevant.
AND ALSO :
2* Adjustment at the pivot area is irrelevant.
3* This does not count as azimuth on the fly adjustment.
AND FINALLY :
4* The bearing design must brilliantly modified by changing it's horizontal axis (parallel with the heashell's) in order to fulfill the claimed azimuth adjustment.
I have no reservations about how one can likes the sound of the Reed 3P. After all the bearing and antiskating designs are an upgrade from 3Q. I just don't understand how this lower than average azimuth proximity can offer so much. Perhaps "The concerns over changing the rotational axis is a non issue for most cartridges" as Steve believes. Maybe it is so, (if they carry conical stylus), but by changing the VTA with this (on the fly) method, seems like changing also the overhung and the zenith during play! I can't see how this can offer any good.
Again please let me know if I can't see clearly the video and if this is the case, I'm deeply sorry and I apologise in advance.
Geoch, you are absolutely correct about the vertical bearings at 90° with the armtube, therefore not matching the angle at the headshell and therefore changing azimuth will change the VTA. I have harped on this issue with many tonearms before but nobody seems to care or at least sonically not noticeable to many so I stop commenting on that. Glad you bought it up. And, yes, changing pivot point will change overhang and zenith.
I was more impressed by the bearing arrangement than anything else, that having only three contact points is quite an achievement in design cleverness. Your concern is a legitimate one. And, yes, the video is too blurry in the background to make good judgment so I am one who should apologize.
Keep up the probing. :)
Dear Geoch &Hiho, Hereby the responce by Vidmantas:
'Changing azimuth does have an effect on VTA and we are
aware of that. To be precise in numbers after changing the
azimuth by one degree with the Reed 3P ,12'', the VTA is
changing by approximate 12 minutes. However since
both parameters can be adjusted on the fly , after changing one
parameter the other can be easilly readjusted. The azimuth
adjustment feature which would not have impact on the rest
of the tonearm geometry parameters is rather complicated.
In case of the headshell based azimuth adjustment one need
to accept the higher effective mass of the arm as a trade off.'
I am using 3P at the moment and actually just installed FR64s in my system. My3P has 12 inch Cocobolo wand. When I bought Reed, I mentioned that I may be using it with Koetsu cartridge. My local dealer contacted Reed and was recommended that I go with Cocobolo. It works extremely well with Air Tight Pc-1 Supreme on my TW Acustic AC-1. However, I was rather disappointed when using it with Koetsu Coralstone.
However I can't tell how much was Reed's fault and how much was TW's fault. TW Acustic told me once via email that I would never hear TW at its full capability with Koetsu.
Anyhow, now I mount on my Koetsu on FR64s/Micro Seiki Bl-111
that could easily rival Reed/TW/Air Tight but has very different presentation whereas Reed/TW/Koetsu is nowhere near the same league. However, I would not rule out Reed with low compliance cartridge as I heard 2P (Cocobolo) with Miyajima Kansui with excellent result as well.
Suteetat, Now that you provided the context I understand your eearlier question better. The luxury of choice between 7 kinds of wood may look rather confusing but is at this level of performance not accidental. This of course imply consultation in advance with the dealer and/or Vidmantas. I bought the Phase Tech P-3G because of all those awards this cart got in Japan but was not impressed and nearly (re)sold the cart. Then I got my 2A , 12'' with Pernambucco armwand (27 g. eff.mass) and had difficulty to believe what I was hearing. As one say: the match in heaven. However not I but Vidmantas made the wood choice for me.
As you know there is no consensus in our forum about the exact correlation between the arm mass and cart compliance. Halcro, for example, uses his FR-66S with MM
carts while others are searching for some 'widow(s)' to mate. I have this suggestion for you. Try one extra counter weight and use the lighter kind from 9'' for the purpose. That is what I have done. Vidmantas designed new kinds recently but I have no idea if there are also 7 weight kinds. Anyway if Vetterone is your dealer he can also use this occasion to order by Vidmantas one for himself as substitution for the stolen one.
Nandric, there is a local Reed dealer here in Bangkok so Vetterone is not the local dealer I referred to. Actually, I was the first customer that ordered Reed from the local dealer here. As far as choice of wood is concered, I assume it was Vidmantas who made the recommendation through my local dealer. Or at least somebody from Reed did anyhow. My local dealer also has Miyajima and he suggested for both Koetsu and Miyajima, to use Cocobolo so both of us got Cocobolo.
anyhow, I am perfectly happy with Reed. Just because it does not work out as well with Koetsu as FR, it still works wonderfully with my Air Tight cartridge and I am not sure how many arms out there would mate Koetsu as well as FR does?
PS which earlier question did I ask? Are you talking about another Reed thread from awhile back?
Suttetat, I am sorry. 'Your earlier question' was actually
asked by Lbelchev (04-09-12) but because he also refered
to the FR-64 I mixed you with each other.
I need to add the folloving to my suggestion about the extra counter weight. As you know you can change the effective mass of your FR-64 by changing the headshells. The Reed has no exchangeble headshell so one can change only the counter weights. I own the Sumiko 800 with 5 different counterweight meant for carts from 6g till 22 g. as well the Triplanar with 4 weights. With the added weight from 9" Reed you can experiment with different added weights. By removing the adjustment weight inside this weight you get the min. weight but you can get other weights by sliding the adjustment weight forward or backward.
Nandric, thanks for the suggestion. I will talk to my local Reed dealer regarding different counter weight. Actually both Air Tight and Koetsu weight quite a bit (12, 12.5g If I remember correctly) and the current counter weight supplied was barely enough so if anything, I probably could use a heavier weight.
Sutteetat, the theory is to get the counterweight as near
to the pivot as possible. The heavier weight will get nearer but, contra-intuitive, reduce the eff. mass of the arm. The practice is: it depends... (see the thread about
the Triplanar). But there is no substitution for trial while you need some tools to try out.
There are now data on the Reed website that are interpreted to mean that the Red Cedar, Pernambucco, and one other wood are the three best in terms of lowered resonance. I need to go back and look at the data again, but I do not recall that the woods were compared to alu or stainless steel. Would like to have seen such data. Nevertheless, since Vidimantas himself seems to have narrowed down his preferences, I kind of wonder why he continues to offer six different varieties. Perhaps for those who are pig-headed. Not hard to find them, either.
I would like to learn some information about this Reed tonearm.
There are now data on the Reed website that are interpreted to mean that the Red Cedar, Pernambucco, and one other wood are the three best in terms of lowered resonance. I need to go back and look at the data again, but I do not recall that the woods were compared to alu or stainless steel. Would like to have seen such data. Nevertheless, since Vidimantas himself seems to have narrowed down his preferences, I kind of wonder why he continues to offer six different varieties
If I was a maker of tonearms (Im not thank god) one of my biggest fears and risks I think is What type of platform is this crazy audiophile going to put my tonearm on ?
Nikola does Vidmantas recommend a certain material type for the plinth, platform or Armpod ? What is the material your Reed Armpod is made of that holds your Reed tonearm ?
A question for current / previous owners - What differences in sound did you find comparing your Reed wooden arms on a wooden plinth/platform - compared to an Aluminum, SS, other material tonearm on the same surface ? I can take a guess but your actual impressions are appreciated.
I was on the Reed site last year. Cant recall if the information was published on how this tonearm is treated to not be affected by changing temperature/humidity ? Or is this top secret, proprietary, rocket science stuff ?
Is this another bit of info you can get Nikola ?
Dear Chris, The new site is: www.reed.lt. You can find the arm pod by accessories (products). They call the armpod 'turret' btw. I am a kind of proud to have caused
the design and production of this accessory. As their first
customer I ordered both : the toneram and the armpod. For my Kuzma Stabi Reference I wanted an second tonearm which could be only put next to the TT. So Vidmantas was 'forced' to design his first armpod for my Kuzma. It is made as a
sendwich from layers of different materials: steel, granite, cork and acrylic. His idea was to make an acousticaly dead 'armbase'. You can find the data on his site.
Your other questions will be, I hope, answered by Vidmantas
via your truly Nikola. He is not the A'gon member so I am a kind of intermediary.
Chris, I don't know what you are getting at; it goes without saying that the armboard, the plinth, the coupling between bearing and tonearm or lack of same, etc, etc, will all have a further effect on sonics, beyond the choice of a material with which to make the arm wand. The base of the Reed is made of alu, so I would imagine that an alu armboard would work well, because there would be good energy transmission across the interface between arm base and armboard. I use slate; seems ok. Wonder what Vetterone thinks on that score.
Not that I care much, but it's "LewM" not LewN.
Dear Lew, I am sure that Vidmantas compared different kinds
of materials, 'metallic' and composites included, before he
decided to use the wood. I think to be the only one who owned the composite armwand made by Vidmantas. He however insisted on wood so I exchanged the composite for the Pernambucco. But what kind of research he made and how extensive I don't know. But if you persist I can ask Vidmatas to address this issue.
No need to do that, Nikola.
I was merely alluding to the fact that on the website, Vidimantas himself brings up the issue of how different woods sound and also how wood in turn compares to various other materials. He then shows some interesting data to support the superiority of two or three wood types vs other wood types, but he does not show the data for metals. Presumably he did the experiments and found metals to be inferior in his test. I can accept his word for that.
I'm pretty sure the base of the Reed is made out of stainless steel. Aluminum would be much lighter. A stainless steel arm board would be real nice but would cost a pretty penny to fabricate. Steve Dobbins uses stainless steel arm boards on his latest incarnation of The Beat I believe. I made an armboard out of african blackwood which is one of the most dense hardwoods and it sounds quite good under my Reed. I may have a SS arm board made one of these days though.
Hi Sean, 'the Reed (arm pod) is made out of stainless steel'. As you can see on the Reed site their armpod is made out different material layers. There are two layers
of steel (top and bottom) and two thick layers out of granite for the weight. The cork and acrylat layers for the 'damping' , I assume.
I once spoke with Joel Durand who makes the Talea and Telos tonearms and he was of the opinion that stainless steel is an ideal material for an armboard for his arms.
I imagine the Reed arm pod is quite good. Unfortunately I can not accommodate it because my TT plinth is large and my rack does not have room. I don't remember the price of the pod but I think it was pretty reasonable.
Dear Nikola, I think Sean and I were talking about the central structure that supports the pivot and is in turn bolted directly to the armboard. When you say "arm pod", do you refer to some other accessory that they manufacture for mounting the tonearm outboard from a turntable? Anyway, if the part that Sean and I are discussing is indeed made of stainless, then a stainless arm board would be ideal. Seems like Steve Dobbins agrees. Alu would be Ok too, since the energy transmission would be nearly as good as using SS, if not perfect. Ideally, I think a tonearm should be a single solid dense structural piece with the armboard or whatever is used to support it.