Has anyone had experience with the Schroeder Arm

In a high res setup has anyone been able to compare this arm to the top pivoting competition.I think that the fact that the pivot is magnetic as opposedto a bearing like a unipivot(needing damping) should on paper be less resonant and maybe sound better.I currently own,and,am happy with a Graham 2.2,but the idea of a true frictionless bearing (all bearings have some degree of friction)really could make a real difference in a good setup.I'm not interested at the moment in straight line trackers with air bearings (although I love some of them)due to the hassle of external pumps and tubing runs.
I've heard the Schroeder Reference, Graham 2.2 and Basis Vector:
- all on the same TT (Teres 340-2)
- same cartridges (Koetsu RSP, Koetsu Urushi, Shelter 901)
- same system, same weekend, same beer or wine, etc.

The Schroeder was simply in another league. The Graham and Vector could not match it for neutrality or transparency. I believe this was the unanimous opinion of the 5 or 6 people listening. The session took place over two long days, but it didn't take two minutes to realize the Schroeder was something special. For most of us our critical listening just flew out the window. We were transported by music. It's a lot of pennies, but worth every one IMO.

My Shelter 901 on the Schroeder sang like I've not heard it sing before or since. It had the dynamics and power it always has, but the Schroeder also uncovered a musical soul I never knew the 901 possessed. The Koetsu's sounded, well, even more like Koetsu's! But the main thing we heard from the Schroeder was music. It provided a virtually open pipeline to the recording. I try not to rave very often. Please understand this was, by a sizable margin, the finest component of any type I've heard.

FWIW we now own a TriPlanar VII. With the right cartrdige it comes closer to the Schroeder's transparency than those other arms, IMO of course. It seems more revealing or perhaps just more fussy about cartridges than the Schroeder. The TriPlanar displays the 901 as a bit overblown or edgy, a bit hi-fi. But put a ZYX Airy on it and you get pretty close to the Schroeder Ref's musical disappearing act.

My $.02...
I had the opportunity to listen to the Galibier Supreme with both the Schroeder Reference and the Triplanar while visiting Thom Mackris in Boulder. He's an excellent host. I wrote a field report here :

Briefly, the Triplanar is a high resolution arm, capable of extracting lots of detail and sounding musical at the same time. Quite extraordinary. The Schroeder Ref has all the same detail, but presented it in a relaxed, natural manner - a characteristic of all Schroeder arms I might add.
I think, everyone has it's own kind of sight, I compared last year the Schroeder with a Graham 2.0 ( no 2.2 ), in my System, same cartridge etc. ( it was a Takeda Miyabi ).
The main difference was, the Schroeder creates a bigger soundstage ( holographic ), but is not as precise as the Graham and in my opinion the Graham is much better in the higher frequencies, here it simply delivered more info.
The Schroeder Arm is good, very good, no question, but I didn't buy it, the better Detail from the Graham combined with my doubts about it's pricing ( It's an arm with a magnetic bearing and an armwand made of wood, it is a nice idea, but only a bit different compared to a Well Tempered Ref. ) made my decision.
I think, there are only 2 real advantages with the Schroeder:
you can match an armwand to your cartridge (weight )
you can have a longer one ( 10.5 , 12.5 etc.+ matched for your cartridge ).

The higher frequencies have nothing to do with distortion, we used a Klyne 7 Phono with it's special calibratings.

Now, I compared a Graham 2.0 to the 2.2 and I was impressed, that bearing cup is a real improvement.

Anyway, I bought a Tri-Planar VII as a 2. arm for me.

another short story:
a friend of mine, who knows my system well, went to someone who has 2 (!) Schroeder Reference ( 2 different cartridges ) and some rare ( = exclusive ? ) electronics, but average speakers, my friend told me, he was glad, when he left the house, he was so dissapointed from the presentation ( detail, but dull ) ....
An arm alone is not the secret ....
Shroeder: superbly musical and relaxed
TriPlanar: musical and superbly detailed
Seems like a good summary of what I heard.

It's certainly possible the Schroeder may roll off HF's more than the Graham. Not quite like a Koetsu's smoothing though, it's difficult to describe. Did you try changing the Shroeder's dampening?

How do you compare the TriPlanar to the Graham? You're the only person I've heard who has both.
The real question is, what is your frame of reference?

There are some who believe that very precise imaging is "accurate" due to more extension in the highs which gives a specific image focus.

Or is it that in sonic images reproduced should be approximate, but the detail is there, unforced. When listening to live acoustic concerts in a hall with good acoustics, if you close your eyes, you can place most of the instruments in their proper place, but can you say that X is planted here and Y there? I seriously doubt.

There was a time when I would have placed greater emphasis on image focus and detail retrieval, but now I value the music's flow and tonal accuracy much more.

As in all things, system balance is important. More information about sirspeedy's system is required.
Dear sirspeedy 7068: First than all a tonearm does not have a sound for itself. The Lp sound reproduction it has to do in a first level with the: tonearm/cartridge combo ( a Rega tonearm can beat the Shroeder if this one does not match with the cartridge and the rega match with the cartridge ). The Shroeder it is not in other league, it is at the same level that the Basis, Audiocraft,SME, or other top tonearms, the differences on top tonearms are: price and different presentation of the sound reproduction, the fact it is not which is better but which sound reproduction goes with you and the live music.
Dear sirspeedy: what are you looking for? what do you don't like in your anolog system ( tonearm/cartridge/turntable/phono cable/phono pre-amp )?
I agree with Thomasheisig: " an arm alone is not the secret ". I agree too with Cmk: we need more information about your audio system including your room and " what are your frame of reference ? ".
The correct sound reproduction at home is a very complicated issue, there are many parameters that we have to handle in sinergy for to obtain good results.
The experience that had Dougdeacon it told you very little things, I explain: there was a meeting of six peoples for to hear an audio system ( that was not their each own system ) and test three differents tonearms with three differents phono cartridges, taking two days on those tests: here are nine tonearm/cartridge combinations, if they hear for 36 hours in those two days ( almost imposible ), this means that they hear for four hours each combination: this time is not enough not only for to do a precise judgment on the Shroeder tonearm but to know how the whole audio system sound. There is another issue in that meeting: six peoples that interchange information and one each other do an influence for the final judgments: this has a very small value.
Instead the Thomasheisig is a very valued experience: the music experience is an individual experience, with no external people influence. Yes, I know that all of us has to learn for other people experiences but our judgments should be an individuals ones.
BTW Doug: where do you learn that the music experience is a relaxed one? You put this adjective to the Shroeder sound reproduction. Dear Doug try to go this weekend to a club/bar to hear a live jazz group and think about it.
Dear sirspeedy, we hope to hear from you soon.
Regards and enjoy the music.
Oh shit, here we go again!
Put a freakin sock in it. I have been watching you invade thread after thread with a holier than thow attitude.
I was there (with Doug) and the difference in the Schroeder was obvious and easy to hear. One would not need much more than listening to a few minutes of different types of music to be able to discern that the Schroeder was head and shoulders above and in another universe than the other tonearms.
You are in a word clueless, running from thread to thread spouting off as if you have all of the answers.
I suggest you read more and talk less and spare us your wisdom for a while.

Ahhhh... now I feel better.
Have a nice day !
Yeah, I know the word is spelled thou

I only need the first 3 seconds to know the different when upgrading my Valhalla with Emperor. For about 3 songs,i know at least 90% the character of Emperor.

Arm is the most "sensitive" thing in analog !!
If you can't hear their character within 1 hours,you really need to see a doctor !

What took you so long? Better check you ears and your mind dude !!
Programs, get yer programs here!
Gosh! I guess He's calling Himself Raul these days.

Kyrie eleison,
Raul eleison!

Thanks, I feel better now, too!

Dear friends: First than all, excuse me Sirspeedy but I have to answer to these people, because they think that this forum belong to them and this is very far from true.
I agree with Cello an Audio999 that for any one we need a few minutes to know the character of an item, but this only tell us that that item sound different: we need a lot more time to understand that differences and to know if that differences are near or far from the real music, this is the point for to do any judgment. I know that maybe you can't understand these beacuse you are not really experienced ( it does not matters if you think you are. Your answers in this forum told us that you aren't )), that's why you always have trouble with my answers. I think that you are mere audiophiles not a music lovers and that is a big difference. When you can convert to music lovers then you can understand everything about, till to now you are far from that: your first step to that target is to listen at least 30 hours each month of live music, when you do this I can tell you the others steps for you can get the target. Here some examples of your lacking experience: Doug ask for advise for to buy a tonearm and he don't know what to choose between a Moerch DP6 or an Origin live, at that time one of the people, that I really respet, TWL and other ones told him that Moerch was the choose and Doug do a big mistake and goes for the Origin Live ( Doug if you were choose the Moerch you nerver have to buy the Triplanar ). Audio999 ask for advise because he don't know if his Colibri can match with his JMW10 tonearm. Doug told us that he and a friend of him can hear in him system 20hz and down frecuencies in him BW loudspeakers that can't goes down to 20hz ( please read this Doug answer. Incredible. ) These are only three examples, but all of you in this forum can read every single answers of all these " experienced " guys and you can find many more examples on each one.
Cello told me that I'm in every thread, let me see: Doug has more that 300 answers ( he is the water of all glasses ), Audio999 more than 70, Raul 50, Cello like 30, ...etc.
I almost always try to give an answer that can help to the man that put the thread. All these guys do many things but to help or do little to help, let me explain: in the thread " VPI motor upgrade kit " Doug put an answer that do nothing for the man that put the thread: " I don't have the kit, but VPI promise to send me...", here is incredible he put an answer in something that he don't have and don't know it ( that's why I told that Doug try to be the water of all glasses. ). In the " transformer stepup size " thread, Doug instead to give an answer he goes against my answers and do nothing for Divo. In " graham and shelter matching " any one can read the answer from Jphii: nothing to see with the thread. In " EMC II CD ", Cello give an answer that does not have to see with the Goone thread.
All these are only a few examples of these people: as a rule they take any thread for them and they start severals threads with their answers.
I know that my answers does not like to these people and I can understand why, they are in other " league ": look to Doug, for example, more than 300 answers, with a limited experience and a very limited audio system: how can he help us? how can we trust on him? ( many answers of Doug are a repetitions of other experienced people ).
I understand that this is a open forum, so you have to read about my answers like it or not.
I recommended to you that open your mind and that try to learn that outside your closed world is to much to learn about. I respect your point of veiw, maybe I don't agree ( always ) with you but I ask to all of you guys that respect my point of view and if you don't agree with my answer then probe that I'm wrong and that you are the " Bible ": don't talk put the arguments to probe it, in this way everybody can learn ( including me, of course. ).
Be happy, be a better human been every day: LEARN, always learn. The life is full of trade-offs, take the best of it.
Best wishes for all of you and remember: always enjoy the music.

Since you have never asked,you are the king.
I respect your input,but not your attitude which is attacking/questioning Doug's answers.

Again this is the original question:

~In a high res setup has anyone been able to "COMPARE" this arm to the top pivoting competition.~

Doug had been directly comparing them side by side and this is the main point,it doesn't matter he is right or wrong according to you,me,or others.

Have you compared them directly side by side?

I'm definately lacked experienced with analog matching,set-up,etc,but it doesn't make me blind to hear each of their differences and characters.

I'll always learn,how about you?
I was with Cello and Doug when we compared the Schroder and completely agree with what Doug said. Yup, all of us that were there could be full of it. But how could you possibly know? You were not there. You have no idea of what we did or did not hear.
Hi everyone, especially Thomas Heisig and Raul,
Interesting thread, - and a controversy that I would normally stay weel clear from since there is nothing to gain when these exchanges take on too much of a personal character.
Nevertheless let me add a few remarks on some points raised earlier.
Thomas, I think you should explain which Schröder model you had been listening to, the first generation of the entry level version, not the Reference model. Even the Graham 2.0 cost three times the price in Germany then. The Myabi used in this comparison was not exactly a good match for this particular arm. And, high frequency resolution, micro and macro dynamics and "ease" of reproduction(aka lack of resonances) are highly dependent on proper setup. Any comparison between arms will first and foremost depend upon the person who set up the arms. Another point is the mating of arms to turntables, or rather the mounting bases(and their damping characteristics. Put a Graham arm(a good product for shure) on a metal armboard it will sound subjectively "faster" compared to the same arm and table equipped with an acrylic armboard.
What people perceive as better "attack" is mostly the difference in the resonance spectrum(accentuating higher frequency peaks)excited by the cart tracking the grooves.
My arms do not depend upon the dissipation of energy in the armboard as most others(practically all unipivot arms) do. Listen to a Reference arm with any cart with your ear close to the groove and the volume down. Ever heard less "needle talk"? Needle talk is nothing but parts of the cart and arm getting excited and emmiting audible proof of structural resonances. When some people call the sound of my arms "relaxed" I take it as a compliment. Just like real music the actual sound(if unampified) isn´t tiring, but can be VERY dynamic, and yes, I do attend concerts often(Berlin is hard to beat inthat respect). Slow sound when using one of my arms? Maybe it´s time to look for a better table then..
A Rega arm is no equal to my arm. As terrific a bargain it may be, the multiple solder connections in the wiring alone are prohibitiv of true first rate resolution.
All other pivoted arms have friction(or, more importantly "stiction" prone bearings, only the Well Tempered Arm is a zero friction design, that is if it didn´t have to rely on silicon fluid for damping and resistance against deflection. It´s antiskating compensation is flawed though(topic for another thread...).
The system of the customer with the two Ref.arms is one best characterized by the term "construction site". Frequently changed components, mediocre speakers, the setup is, well, less than optimal. Certainly no base to judge the quality of a single component.
Raul, have you had the chance to do any comparison between a Graham, Triplanar or Vector arm with a Reference? Until that has happened, it will be understandable that you get hammered for your well thought out but somewhat "the principal speaks to his pupils"-sounding remarks.
Tonearms do have a sonic signature, one that can be influenced by the choice of mounting board but is never disappearing entirely.
Music reproduction, the perception of quality is such a personal thing that rarely if ever will two people only(let alone half a dozen) agree on the virtues of a system entirely. But if more people than not agree on certain qualities that makes listening to music more enjoyable for them, then so be it.
Oh, and Thomas,-one last word about pricing. If you think anyone could replicate these arms for cheap, -HAHAHA.. you´d be surprised how many difficulties they´d encouter. Not to mention the cost of patenting, fees, hours spent on couseling potential customers and the share of dealers /distributors. Try it and you´ll look for another job soon.
Anyway, no hard feelings guys..

Frank Schröder
Hi one more time,
One thing I forgot. The Reference arm is often equipped with a high purity, very thin solidcore wiring that has a higher series resistance that most wires. This will result in a slightly lower output which needs to be compensated for when doing a comparison. Otherwise the competitior might sound more "exciting" when used with the same cart.

Greetings from Berlin,

Raul,counting people thread without looking the activation date is meaningless.

Mine is 112 (Aug 2001) and yours is 52 (April 2004)??

Looking people thread to show how stupid they are and how smart your are is showed your real attitude.
Frank's arm is the best I have ever heard. On a Loricraft Garrard 501, it replaced my excellent Walker Presidium, which of course has a big pump and long hoses.

I continue to use it with the Decca Jubilee. This is a very difficult cartridge to set up, but it is sounding outstanding in the Schroeder Reference.

Who is Raul?
Dear Frank

If you could quickly answer a question for me I would greatly appreciate it.
I am having a local machinist make me an armboard for a new tonearm. The armboard I have is brass. What do you think would happen to the sound it I changed in to a metal like Stainless Steel or Aluminum or Titanium.
Which would be good or bad in you experience.
Also do you have a Canadian Distributor.

Hi Paul,
It depends upon the arm you intend to mount(among other things the material it is made of). Some will sound better on the aluminum board, others you´ll prefer when mounted on the brass board(all dimensions being equal..)
I´ve yet to hear a stainless(plain,undamped) armboard, but high internal damping isn´t exactly it´s main property. Bearing bronze or "Grauguss" (a type of cast iron, unfortunately ferromagnetic) would be far preferable.
Anything against CLD armboards? Hardwood/Aluminum and many other options to choose from. Sorry, this might not be the answer you´ve been looking for.


Teres and Audio999: First, I don't attack to anyone, I only put the facts ( you Audio999 and the others guys attack me, read their answers ). I think that you, still, don't understand my points of view, so you have a problem.
Other thing: I can't understand why you give answers for Doug. I think that he can do it, but maybe he has not any answer any more, about.
Don't be angry ( it is not to be personal: open your mind ) and don't think for a moment that you can attack to me with out any reaction.
BTW, what do that a forum goes growing up are the differents and experienced points of view of the people and that that point of view really help to the people. We all have many things to learn here, if we all can do it: great, if not, well.........
Regards and enjoy the music.
Dear Sirspeedy: I'm sorry for my answers that produce all this " theatre ". I hope you are not dissapointg on your issue.
If you give us more information on your audio system, the kind of music that you usually listen and maybe what do you don't like it in the music reproduction on your analog rig, then I'm sure that we can help you.
I think that all of us will be very glad to hear from you very soon.
Best wishes and enjoy the music.
Hi Frank

The arm is the latest Tri-planar to be mounted on a SME 30. I gave the machinist a Graham armboard to copy but without the large bore for the din to pass through. The SME armboard has a fibre type damping material but the Graham has lead for damping. I supplied the Brass and it should be done next week, but I need to damp it like one of the other armboards I have. The dude at the machine shop suggested a phenolic (spelling?) board to damp in between board and table. WHat do you think fibre or lead. I spoke with Wally Malewicz and he suggested the lead.
I am also wondering if you have any customers with the Ref on a SME 30, and you impressions. Is it an ideal setup?

I was not going to reply anymore to this thread because of all the DRAMA my original question stirred.Thank you, to all of you, for your well intentioned responses.Especially Frank.It is unuasual to see a designer and manufacturer respond.It shows the commitment and passion you must have for your product.Of course a tonearm will have a specific sonic signature,to me this is not debateable.Every component in the sonic chain has an identifiable sonic signature to one degree or another.I truly don't want to get into a debate with obviously well intentioned fellow music lovers,but I thought my original question could stand on it's own without having to outline what equipment I own,or discuss my musical tastes.To my way of thinking,the lack of any kind of bearing frictionand the attention to detail employed in you design giving me the choice of internal arm cable to match my system cabling,and the choice of different armtube materials,to match my cartridge (in this case a TRANSFIGURATION TEMPER-V)is just good science and attention to detail.One thing I have learned from my too many years in this hobby is(asside from the unfortunate fact that it is expensive)that the tiniest details stand out in BOLD relief when you finally have a good set up right.I would like to pose one more question to you Frank or any other listener with such experience.I notice there are a few arm cables on the market(arm to preamp)that offer such exotic combinations of materials that could potentially push the envelope in terms of better being able to transfer super fine detail.I'm talking specifically about such cables like those from PURIST audio and SILTECH which purport to use materials like silver and gold in conjunction with small amounts of copper or also,as in the case of the PURIST cables cryogenic treatment as well.I'm only interested here about the arm to preamp or phonostage cabling NOT the rest of the system,and please no infantile heated debates.Just for the record I heard a significant improvement in both my system and a friend's setup when we upgraded from the Graham IC-30 to IC-70,so I am curious to examine if more could be obtained from this particular area with an even more advanced material combination.Trust me I'm not looking to throw money away but I'm convinced that the very fine microsignal coming from the stylus tip is of paramount importance,which takes me back to my original question regarding the SCHROEDER arm and it's potential for a non resonant signature.If anyone thinks that is not a critical parameter go and listen to a really good straight line air bearing design.
Doug and I have already answered your original question about the sound of the Schroeder(or lack thereof) in our posts. It is really significantly better than "the top pivoting competition" IMO. Take it for what its worth.

As to other tonearm cabling, this is never the issue with the Schroeder as there are no joints up to the phono stage, which has the least deleterious effect compared to having different cabling and carrying such low level signals.

Setup of the Schroeder is not difficult, but more importantly, it is repeatable and allows for very fine tuning. And as you correctly put it, when you finally have a good set up right, the tiniest details stand out, for the Schroeder probably not in BOLD relief, but in their natural palette.

Good luck in your search for musical truth.
Dear Sirspeedy: It is true that the material combination in a cable makes a difference, but is only one of the reasons for that differences: design, construction, geometry, are very important too.
There are many choices here, I suggest that you test the Silver Oval from Analysis Plus: exellent performer in differentes stages and " inexpensive ".
Regards and enjoy the music.

It might be viable to shortlist a few cables based on others' feedback and demo them on your 2.2 to find the one you prefer. The Graham's armtube wire will certainly have some effect, but you should still be able to hear the differences in an A/B. At least you'd be hearing each cable between your own cartridge and phono stage. How each wire behaves between cartridges and phono stages that differ from yours is likely to be quite variable.

Obviously Cmk and I agree with your supposition about the Schroeder Reference's non-resonant design, construction and materials. The aspect of the Ref that most sets it apart from other arms is that bearing. Presumably this is largely responsible for it's (lack of) sonic character.

Enjoy the music while you enjoy the hunt!
Mr. Schröder did you try to use the suspension tring from the Reference model on models 1 and 2 tonearms? And what were the results. I totally understand if you decline to response. Thanks
Dear Frank: For anyone always is a privilege to be in touch with an audio designer like you and Chris.
" the principal speaks to his pupils ": the music sound reproduction in home audio systems is a very complex and seriously issue: first you have to know about live music, let me explain: you have to know which is the sound of a
volin and their differences with a viola ( for example ), which kind of signature has a Stradivarius and which one is for a Guarneri or an Amati ( for example ), you have to identifed the sound of a Steinway piano from a Yamaha one ( for example ), to know the sound of the metals and wooden winds instruments in an orchestra. How it sound in differents stages, how you percieve those sounds at different distances and in different stages. You have to know and identified the Tenor sound from: Coltrane, Rollins or Hawkins ( example ). Flannagan from Evans. Blaton from Brown. The Cure from U2. Bach from Mozart. Marhia Carey from Shanhia . etc..........
Second: understand why the live music transmit to you so many emotions: sadness, joy, tears, laughs, stress,etc....

Third: you have to have a full range audio system at home ( 16hz to 50khz ).
Fourth: Understand all the advantages and disadvantages of your own audio system: their strong points and their tweak points.
Fifth: have the maturity for listen to the music not our system.
Sixth: to have a frame of reference and understand it.
Seventh: Understand that the music and the joyness of hear the music is an individual experience.
Eight: Tests on our audio system of many different devices: amps, pre-amps, tonearms, cartridges, speakers, cables,.....
Ninth: Understand that there is no: best amp or best tonearm or best cartridge,... Each item is only a part of the audio chain and what do that an audio system really shine it is the sinergy of all these parts. Like Thomas told us: it is not only the tonearm.

All these subjects and many more takes a very long ( many years ) process of learning: every day process.
I'm in this long process, no I'm not " the principal...", I'm only a man that loves music and that at any time likes to share my experiences, I don't atack to anyone I only disaggree with the others peoples in this thread but I agree, too, with Thomas and Cmk, why I agree with Thomas and Cmk: only because they are an experience people. How can Doug with 13 months of experience ( Cmk write that the sound of the Shroeder tonearm was a relaxed one and Doug latter on write that the Shroeder tonearm was a relaxed one: what did told this to any one ), with a truly limited audio system ( he thinks it is in the high end club. He is not, today is very far from there. Some day he will be there. Doug don't think for a moment that beacuse you are in touch with Chris an other experience people you already done: no you have a very long road in front of you ) and with a closed mind understand what the experience people are talking about? ( he thinks he understand, but it can't, yet ).
Of course Frank, your tonearm is one of the best ever made tonearms in the audio world, but it is not in another league ( that's for sure ), no I never had in my audio system. Yes I would like to have it: my experience told me that there will be no surprises: right now I own 15 of the best tonearms ever made ( like yours ) and I test around other 12 top tonearms in the past: I own 7 differents turntables and test six more in the past: I own 25 differents cartridges and test many of them in the past.This is a long process and a very hard one. Today I enjoy the music and knows what happen with it.
BTW, Sirspeedy the frictionless bearing of Frank tonearm is not the reason why has its signature sound: every tonearm including the Shroeder has its own signature, Frank explain this in one of his anwers.
In a top tonearm usually the pivot bearing friction is less that 50 microgrs, there are tonearms like the Technics EPA 100MK2 in where this value is less that 7 microgrs or like the Mission The Mechanic that is less than 10 microgrs, this small values are invisible in the complex process of the traking a record, and Frank knows that.
Frank and Chris: congratulations for your great contribution to the music reproduction. ¡ Go a head !, all of us music lovers need more people like you.
Regards and enjoy the music.
Hello Paul,
Writing from beautiful Colorado right now. I'm afraid I can't give you a definitive answer regarding the fibre versus lead question. If your machinist refers to "Hartgewebe", phenolic resin impregnated cotton(or other fibres)heat/pressure traeted, then go for it. The material has a chaotic structure and exhibits practically no ringing whatsoever. Astronomic telescopes of smaller proportions are often made utilising Pertinax(phenolic resin impregnated paper)tubes because of the high internal damping(less vibrations=sharper image), it also has a very low temparature expansion coefficient(no change in focus due to temperature changes). I went to using Pertinax for the outer layer of the No.2 armwands because of these traits. Whether a lead sheet yields superior results is also dependent upon the thickness of the sheet used, I'd go for a thin sheet, but ultimately there is no getting around trying it(or several versions...).
As for the SME30, sorry no experience, but several customers of mine use Ref.arms on SME20s and have been very happy with that combination(carts range from Ortofon Rohmann to Koetsu Red Sig. Platinum).
Gotta send this before the computer crashes again(just rewrote this...)



P.S.: An ideal set up? Even if I knew(and proclaim) what that would be comprised of, I'd be stepping on so many peoples toes that are convinced they have the answer, I'd stay quiet...
Kissy, kissy
Dear sirspeedy,
Yes, the arm wiring has a tremendeous influence on the overall resulting fidelity. But it isn't enough to look at different conducting materials, the insulation, the solder joints, the cartridge clips and, very importantly, the armwand material(eddy current losses) play an important role. There is no perfect wiring for all carts. Your carts features silver coils? Use appropriate silver wiring and cartridge clips. Copper coils? My choice would be solid core copper, teflon or thin laquer insulation, and so on...
A friend of mine experimented extensively with cyrogenic treatment. You could shurely hear a difference, but proper break in yielded almost no discernable difference.
If you kink solid core wires it is as if you're starting all over again. But that is subject to another debate...
Sonic signature of arms in particular, hmmm - I won't comment on other arms, suffice it to say that it was my goal to build arms that introduce virtually no disturbance of the cart's tracking the grooves. Of equal importance is the way the arm copes with the energy fed into it, here is where my arms differ quite a bit from others. Before I turn this answer into an ad, I'd recommend you listen to one for yourself. No theoretical advantage is worth a dime if your impressions tell you otherwise. Hope to hear about your impressions one day!


Hi Doug,
Thanks for your kind words. I'd like to point out though that the bearing is just one(albeit an important one) element of the arm. Since vou can't depend on dissipating energy via the arm's base you need to deal with it further up the line. Let's say I was to use ceramic, titanium, steel or similar material for the armwand(tried all that and then some...) you'd be getting a VERY pronounced sonic "character". The counterweight, how it is coupled to the armstub, the mounting plate and it's variable coupling to the armwand allow you to accomodate different cartridge's vibration output without sacrificing dynamic shading or PRAT.
Ahh, my host just got me a nice drink(thanks Steve!) so excuse me for a while.


Just a quick one...
The thread/string material is the same on the Ref.and No.2 arms. The No.1 arm has been discontinued(well, still available on special request...)

best regards,

Since you mention CLD, would you share your impressions regarding complementary materials when considering building a DIY armboard. Or a plinth, for that matter. Thanks
Dear Raul,
First of all, you're bragging about your knowledge of music. And your examples might impress a school kid, but please, spare me the obvious.
Secondly, you might try to understand why your posts create such emotions: laughter, boredom...
Thirdly, the number of homes alowing for quality reproduction of the sub octave is minute. Musically satisfying components for real world homes and wallets don't have to be able to reproduce the stated bandwith. But maybe you were just bragging again?
Fourth: Understand all the weak points in your arguments...
Fifth: Have the maturity to admit at being wrong at times.
Sixth: I'm surrounded by Reference frames, heck, I build them(pardon the cheap joke ;-).
Seventh: I prefer to go to concerts with an attendance greater than 1
Eighth: Doesn't that conflict with your previous statement , number five?
Ninth: You're stating the obvious again.

Your statements on bearing friction made clear that you don't know what you're talking about, no need to go any further. If you haven't heard one of my arms in your own system, then any statement like "it isn't in another league" has no foundation whatsoever. Go and listen for yourself, then come back and report.
Thomas Heisig has never heard the Reference arm under meaningful conditions, his experience is a very limited one too, but it shure must feel nice not to be alone ...
That's all folks , no need to waste anymore bandwidth.


Frank, can we burn a wee more band width to include your impressions of CLD materials? :-)

As an aside, to those perhaps on the fence, I heard the Reference awhile back at a local dealer and recommeded it highly in a few posts, in fact, stating that it would be my arm of first-choice. Trouble is, I can't afford one.....:-(
Dear Frank: You have to be more serious about music reproduction: that's is all what I'm trying to explain.
No, I'm not braggin anything, if you can read in my post I write: " I'm in this long process ".
My statements on bearing friction can be probed , it is very easy to take an " open door ": " you don't know what you are talking about " ( this is an attitude " the principal speak to their pupils "). Can you explain why these statements are wrong?.
BTW, you have to be surrounded of reference frames: if not how can you know you are on or near the target with what you design?, how can you know what to improve in your design? or where do you do the comparision with what you design?. I have experience in the design and I know that we need a reference frame.
Like you I'm a concert goer and I think in that this is an individual musical experience, perhaps I can't explain this issue because my limitations with the english language, sorry for that.
When anyone one tell me why I'm wrong ( any issue ) I often admit it: I try to learn everyday, this is part of that " long process ".
Regards and enjoy the music.
Thanks for elaborating on some of the measures you've employed to control mechanical feedback from the cartridge, including chaotically structured armwand materials and other construction elements. I know you've done a great deal of work in those areas and that much of it is proprietary.

Thinking about 4yanx's question about CLD: it seems to me that CLD is an attempt to emulate on a mechanical scale certain things that chaotically structured materials do on a microscopic or molecular scale. Multiple interfaces slow and refract the transmission of energy, while a mix of differently dense materials absorbs energy at different frequencies.

Compare this with electrical transmission in a single crystal wire vs. a kinked or multi-crystal one. Although one energy is electrical while the other is mechanical, the energy transmission behaviors of structured vs. chaotic materials share certain similarities. A single crystal tonearm wire is fast, efficient, phase coherent and quiet, but a single crystal tonearm (or armboard) would be unduly resonant. I too would be interested in your thoughts on CLD, if you're willing.

Judging by the relaxed and musically transparent character of the Reference, as actually heard by Cmk, Cello, Teres, 4yanx and myself, it's clear that your materials and bearing are successful in controlling many undesirable mechanical vibrations. If only your methods worked so well everywhere. Perhaps some vibrations are just too low to be readily damped.

Keep up the good work. Like 4yanx, I can dream.
Hi Frank

Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to inform and entertain all of us on these anolog subjects.

Paul Costa
FranK: ¡ Eureka !. Someone ( a very kind man ), somewhere: it already send me his Schroeder tonearm, it is on the road.
Now I can test in my system.
Only for your records: I already has benchmarks in differents areas for a tonearm and for a tonearm/cartridge combos: we test ( do measurements ) scientific and subjective on: vibrations, resonance, energy disipation, traking, other parameters and general operation. We try with different test records like: TRS 1005, QR-2010, DIN 45 549,etc... and with different music records. We do tests at 33,45 an 78rpm records, in stereo and mono. We tests in normal condition ( example: with the ideal cartridge ), with in the limits and beyond the limits. We test with MM and MC cartridges some ones very dificult to handle for a tonearm, examples: weight cartridge 18grs and 6cu on compliance, weight of 12grs and 20cu on compliance, cartridges ranging from an ideal VTF of 0.7grs to 3.0grs.
We listen to some records where we were in the recording session. We use some tools like: Spectra Lab, Dynamic Mass analizer and some other Sound devices. We have an international lab certification and a very experienced subjective test team that don't have any influence eachother when we are testing any item.
Yes, it will be very interesting and a very educational experience.
BTW, yes I agree with you that it is not and easy task to have a full range system at home, but that is the Target.
Regards and always enjoy the music.

If someone sends me a Schroder (sorry, no umlaut) Reference to try, I'll say more than eureka! :-)
4yanx: Sory for be inexpresive, but you really know what means that: eureka.
I was just making a lame attempt at humor, Raul. I think I need to improve my circle of friends in order to find one who would send me a Reference arm, though! Ha!

Was rather hoping that Frank would share his thoughts on CLD materials, but that hope has dimmed.
4yanx: This Shroeder owner is a music lover one. He already read many threads in this forum and he was take it but the Shroeder thread and he want to help.
I never had any contact with him in the past, this is my first time and I really appreciate that: " In God we trust ".
Regards and enjoy the music.
I've got one more question for this thread: Where can you get a Schroeder? I mean actually go see one. Or is this not possible becuse Frank hand builds each one? How much is each one? Frank, talk to me!

I must be having a bad internet day, can't find a damn thing.
Maybe he won't come back cause most everyone misspells his name. :-)

Joe, try looking under Schroder (umlaut over the o), if you haven't. I had better luck that way.
Wow! Raul, your acquaintance could be my friend anytime!

But he must hold you in pretty high esteem to just send you a Schroder!

I'd like to read what you think about it!