Headshell leads and Arche headshell

I just received my Arche headshell. Definitely the best looking headshell that I have ever seen. I have been trying a couple of headshells, Phasetech and Ikeda with my Air Tight and FR64s and I did not like the result all that much in comparison to Reed. However, today, Air Tight with Arche headshell and FR66s sounds very very promising.
However, one problem that I have is headshell leads.
I have Oyaide, Ortofon and Ikeda silver leads that are all quite thick and stiff. I think the lead pins on Arche headshell may be a bit thicker than usual and it was really difficult to insert the headshell leads properly and I broke a few leads in the process :( Took me about an hour to finally fit all 4 leads then I found a new problem. The thick silver leads put enough force on the cartridge and kept pushing down the mounting plate essentially affecting SRA angle. As I understand it, the screw on Arche headshell can push down mounting plate for more SRA but there is no mechanism to fasten the mounting plate tightly against the headshell.
Finally I gave up on using those thick silver leads and just using Sumiko coppper leads for now which is so light and flexible that it virtually exerts no pressure to the mounting plate. Now the Air Tight/Arche/FR66s sounds great but I am wondering if there is any good silver leads that are flexible that would not cause any problem with Arche headshell?
better use the Ortofon Silver leads you may also get from their online shop.
They work pretty fine with the Arche.
Ikeda leads I had the same problem, they brake easily at the end.
I have Ortofon silver leads as well and still have problem with its stiffness. I think the problem is worse for Koetsu because of the long body and relatively small room between
end of cartridge and headshell lead terminals. Silver leads just does not like to stay bent and exert quite a bit of force back at the cartridge. Since Arche mounting plate is basically attached to headshell through a hinge, headshell leads kept pushing mounting down at an angle always.I can't keep it perfectly parallel to the headshell.
For Koetsu, I really need something softer than silver leads, I think. All 3 that I have, Oyaide, Ortofon and Ikeda are all very stiff. I just found Acrolink 8N copper headshell leads that looks promising. If it sounds as good as its 8N phono cable, I think it should be ok. Too bad, I really like Oyaide silver lead wires but it just does not work with this particular setup.
Whatever happened to the thread on the Axiom tonearm? Deleted , why?
Downunder, that is a very good question.
It looks like the op is not comfortable with all that was coming up the developer of the Axiom tonearm.
Don't know what happened to that thread either.
But so far, I am very impressed with Arche. A little hard to say as I changed headshell as well as headshell leads.
Acrolink is much easy to deal with than the stiff silver wire and does sound quite a bit better than Sumiko wire but also cost quite a bit more.
I got SmarTractor at the same time with Arche and it is very interesting. Easier to see things than Feickert or Clearaudio protractor. Strange though that P2S distance when adjusted to 295mm for FR66s or 295.6mm for Reed, it is a bit different from previous setting I had using Feickert and Clearaudio!
I only tried UNI-din geometry so far and it is very interesting. The sound is more relaxing, smoother, cleaner overall. The bass is a little softer, not quite as punchy though but still very tuneful. My impression is similar for both Reed/Lyra and FR66s/Air Tight. Some of my favourite recordings, music wise, sounded a bit edgy, a bit raw around the edge became smoother, more listenable.
I don't know how much is the UNI-Din geometry or how much it is from the fact that it is much easier to see and use and just letting me get proper placement easier.
I am at the age where being near sighted for a long time, I finally started to get a little far sighted as well but at a point where the weakest reading glass is still a tad too strong for me, no glasses is still not very clear and I don't have a chance of seeing those tiny point with my glasses on so I need all the help I can get.

Made me curious how Axiom would sound but I am in no immediate danger of trying that though :)
There are Van den Hul and Clearaudio headshell-leads which
are pretty 'thin'. For those who are good in soldering there should be no problem at all. The tags or clips in different quality can be bought on ebay. The added advantage of Arche to me are those inserts on which one can preadjust other carts and also the fact that one need just one set of headshell wire. Anyone else with more inserts than one?
I only have one insert so far but will get 2nd Arche for my FR64s for sure though.
Daniel informed me to be aware of the problem. Suteetat should contact him if he needs a direct solution. From July on the appropriate headshell wire will be available. With the same silver litz wire as used in the Axiom and some, strange to me tags ('titanium pincers'?). I asked for more info about those. I myself use the Clearadio tags for the headshell side and Cardas clips with springs for the cart (connectors) side. I ever shortened one of my silver litz phono-cable, bought an professional soldering iron before that and make my own. However my 'gold mine' of silver litz wire is pretty deplited.

My problem is solved for now with Acrolink headshell leads.
If Daniel's silver litz wire is also very compliant, it would interesting to try.
The 'titanium pincers' are the 'medical tweezers' which Daniel recommends for use by handling the wire clips. Those are anti-magnetic , have a firm grip and will not damage the gold plating on the clips. Because of the context I thought that he dicovered some new kind of clips. I asked him to explain those 'pincers' in German to me. His headshell wire which are the same as in the Axiom tonearm are very flexible according to him. I am as curious about them as Suteetat is. One other explanation is about those small screws with which the inserts are fastened in the Arche headshell frame. Those screws have small steel balls on their 'nose' and can hold the inserts very firm in its place while allowing for the SRA 'rotation' at the same time. I need to add that behind those balls in the 'nose' of the screws there are springs which provide the needed tension.
Arche Headshell

here you see the silver version + Ikeda silver leads
Dear Nikola,
I wanted to express my astonishment but I do understand your sharp logical deduction. Popper would have loved it hearing you. So what are we doing with the guys who have preferences for US manufacturers or a non existing air producing Mexican manufacturer rather than Europeans (?) or is it a complete different story - as always?
Syntax, did you shorten your Ikeda lead?
Mind looks longer, judging from your picture but it is hard to tell. I have been thinking that if I want to use silver lead, may be shorten it a bit more may help.
Syntax, did you shorten your Ikeda lead?

No, all stock. The Ikeda leads are flexible but it needs some time to put the leads onto the Headshell pins. There is no standard in diameter and some HS have thicker pins (Orsonic 101s ....) and others are smaller (Ikeda RS...). Best way is to put the leads first onto the cartridge (they also have mainly thicker pins), remove them and put those ends onto the HS pins. Or you can put them onto a tooth pick first ...
That way is simple and can be done in very short time,
Ah, silver litz and Daniel...I paid Daniel for silver litz, never received the product or a refund...still waiting all these months, maybe years. As Syntax is fond to say, "hope, it dies last."

Ok, but how the Arche sounds?
Milimetr, The Arche is not supposed to 'sound' but to help
the cart and the tonearm to do their job right.
I know. I made it too short. How your analog setup sounds using Arche, considering their rigidity and their adjustments, especially SRA adjustment?
Milimetr, my initial impression of Arche HS in comparison to Ikeda HS is quite positiv,much much better than current in production phasetech headshell. Not night and day or anything like from Ikeda but I feel the transition from bass to midrange to treble is more coherent. Everything sounds a bit more natural, a bit more detail but relaxing. Mind you, this is only after a few days of listening and headshell leads was changed from Ortofon silver wire to Acrolink 8N copper leads as well.SRA adjustment can be done as mounting plate is attached via a hinge screw up front so you can tilt the mounting plate down in the rear with another screw. I am not sure how useful that is. On Koetsu cartridge with long body, if you tilt the mounting plate just a little bit, bottom end of the cartridge body would hit the LP quite easily.
Thank you a lot for your description.
Does it mean that Arche cannot be used with Koetsu cart?
I was thinking about pairing Arche with Koetsu...
Suteetat&Milimetr, For the 'low riders' among carts there are thicker inserts. I bought two standard and one 'fat' insert for just one of my carts with unusual 'height dimension'. The reason is the sturdy construction of the HS back side with arm coupling and azimuth provision.
06-18-13: Suteetat
On Koetsu cartridge with long body, if you tilt the mounting plate just a little bit, bottom end of the cartridge body would hit the LP quite easily.
If you feel the cartridge needs to be so far down at the back to get the VTA right that it touches the record, there must be something horrendously wrong with your system, or the diamond has been mounted incorrectly. To get the bottom of the Koetsu to touch a record with a normal fixed headshell you would have to drop the back of the arm below level by an inch or so.

With the Arche, because the adjustment is close to the stylus, very small changes are the equivalent of very big changes back at the arm pillar.
You need to adjust the Arche by very very very very very very very very very very very very very small increments in your language.
This is the flaw in the concept of the Arche - very small changes result in large changes in VTA compared to adjusting the VTA back at the pillar.

For example if we assume the pivot to stylus is 250mm(10"), then to get a 1 degree change in VTA would require roughly a 4.36mm drop of the arm pillar.

If we assume the Arche adjustment screw is only 12.5mm(1/2") back from the stylus, then to get a 1 degree drop in VTA would require an adjustment of roughly 0.2mm at this point compared to the 4.36mm if adjusted at the pillar.
There should not be any problem with Koetsu cartridge unless you use one of those very stiff headshell leads, I would think.I find Oyaide/Ortofon leads too stiff for Koetsu and Arche for sure. Acrolink or simillarly soft leads that would not cause much tension when bent should work.
Right now I have Arche with my Air Tight cartridge.
I should be getting the 2nd Arche sometimes next month with
silver litz wire and hopefully that will be soft enough.
Not sure why many silver leads are quite stiff. They are flexible and not very pliant. Silver valhalla wire in VPI arm or silver Finewire in Reed arm would also be ideal.
Also, because of the long body, SRA adjustment with Arche will not be all that useful but you can always keep the mounting plate parallel to the headshell and use the arm's SRA/VTA adjustment instead.
Thanks a lot. I am considering to use Arche with Virtu tonearm and Koetsu Coralstone, so your opinion is very useful for me.
Dover, I think you may misunderstand my post a bit and I think that I did not make a good description of my problem.
If you look at Arche website, the mounting plate is mounted flat up against the headshell which is fine. Mounting plate is attached by a hinge joint on the side (tension ball point tappets according to Arche). You adjust SRA by a screw located toward the rear of mounting plate. In effect, you adjust SRA by tilting the rear of the cartridge down.
When Koetsu is perfectly parallel to the headshell, ie no tilt at all, there is no problem (assuming arm is perfectly parallel to the platter). If you start applying SRA adjustment on Arche by tilting the end of cartridge body downward, low rider like Koetsu/Kiseki with relatively longer body than usual, the rear end of the body will hit LP very quickly so there is not much room to adjust SRA with Arche for these cartridges. Unless I somehow misundestand the whole purpose of this tiltable mounting plate but this is my impression anyhow.
The screw is a few milimeter long and supposedly you can adjust from 90-94 degree so definitely a little adjustment will affect the angle much more than SRA adjustment via tonearm.

My problem with thick silver headshell leads was that the leads put a lot of tension on the cartride and push the rear end of cartridge down by itself without applying any SRA from the screw on Arche.

Nandric, I am not sure how the thicker plate will help low rider cartridge more. At the momdent, I just keep the tonearm completely parallel to the platter and keep the mounting plate perfectly flat against the headshell.
Raul, this a good question about the arche and the initial flaws inherent in the design. The earlier trumpets, say now that they were a little slow and out of tune, whoops! It is like, "oh yes, it is super...wink, wink."

So, from the origin forward the arche will continue to be further compromised by a patching process. A little bend here, add a plate there...to parapharse one of the group, "the brain was compromised from the beginning, right?" Slippery, huh?

If stiff headshell leads exert enough force to effect and alter the SRA, ie. the movement of the cartridge in the headshell because the mounting plate is on a spring hinge and not fixed, then that seems not to be a very rigid headshell design.

I had been under the impression that a tonearm headshell should be extremely rigid. What is the point of having a rigid arm tube if the headshell is not rigid. Or is this headshell and mounting plate design meant to absorb vibrations by being flexible?

Perhaps I don't understand the design of this headshell.
Peterayer, from what I can see usually, the hinge screw generally has enough tension to keep the mounting plate stationary in one place. When playing, there will also be more force to push the mounting plate up toward the headshell.
I don't think that there is a problem with this design per se
in this regard.
Oyaide leads are very stiff and when there is less clearance between cartridge and headshell pins such as in Koetsu case, the tension, created by headshell lead is very strong.
When I took Koetsu off Oyaide headshell that I have initially, I found a couple of pins on Koetsu was bent significantly. When adjusting overhang of my Koetsu, it also was not easy as I have to push against the leads quite a bit to get Koetsu back enough in the headshell.

I look a bit more closely at the headshell leads that I have and actually, it is not the wire itself that is very stiff but really more at the end of the leads where you have the heatshrink and tubing. You can bend the wire anyway you want but the joint and the heatshrink tube part
is not very bendable and you can feel a lot of tension there when you need to bend it. Oyaide is quite a bit more stiffer there than both Ikeda and Ortofon.Two heatshrink tube ends barely a space between both heatshrink tube/joint end for Koetsu.
Again, Syntax had not problem mounting his Olympos with Ikeda wire as there is certainly more space to work with and using leads that are more pliants in my case Acrolink, there is no problem. Whether I should blame dimension of Koetsu, stiffness of the leads or Arche design, you can all decided for yourself.

I usually stay very neutral regarding the two camps as I listen to both, appreciate the advise from both camps that I found to be useful. I bought Arche from local dealer with no special discount or favor from any particular camp and like it enough that I am ordering a 2nd one for my other tonearm despite problem that I have which is already easily fixed.
Sorry for bring up this topic as I did not realize that it would become a springboard for more spats among some board members.
I just got confirmation off line that once SRA is set, one tightens the locking mechanism on the mounting plate and it becomes becomes extremely rigid and a fixed part of the headshell. I guess if the leads exert enough pressure to move the SRA, then one must hold it steady as the locking mechanism is tightened.

Details are on the webpage.
hmmm.. I posted about 10 hours ago and nothing showed up.
Peterayer, anyhow, I don't know whose blame this is. It could be combination of Arche, Koetsu's dimension and stiffness of leadwires. Actually I should say the stiffness of the joint and leadwire end with heatshrink. The wire itself in the middle is quite soft. With Oyaide wire and headshell, there was not much room between cartridge and terminal on headshells and eventhough I could force Koetsu into the right position. When I took it off Oyaide headshell, there was enough pressure to bend a couple of pins on Koetsu cartridge quite a bit. Syntax had no problem with Ikeda silver leads and Olympos. Now, I have no problem with Air Tight and Acrolink leads. I don't expect further problem with Koetsu either with right leadwire. Enough to say that I am getting a 2nd Arche and probably a third as well...
Dear Dover, I need to mention that I was able so far to adjust my Arche to 1/306 s of a mm easily. If one handles the suppllied Allen key on the long lever, it works like
a minut (even seconds) of an analog watch. Very interesting to see how fine adjustable the M4 special fine thread is, if the indicator lever is long enough. Thus it indicates every fraction of a minut on an imaginated 'clock face' around the SRA screw. It is even fairly easy to return to previous settings to cross-check the sonic finding.I forwarded my findings to Daniel and he announced to add a printed dial indicator face to the SRA screw to allow precise repeatable settings.
Silver Cartridge leads....to keep the signal as good as possible

aggelos leads
I ordered a couple of sets and another Arche headshell as well. They should be here soon. Since there is just a bit over 1/2 cm space between the end of the pins of the cartridge and headshell (for Koetsu and Kiseki) something very bendy and thin would be good.
In the lat years I tried some different Headshell cables and from sonic quality, the best were Ikeda and Oyaide. The Ikeda was not too stiff, installation wasn't such a pain with bigger HS pins but some broke and I had to buy new set. Then I bought the Oyaide, good as they are but they are very stiff and to get 2 carts running I had to buy 4 sets.
The newest is Aggelos from Acoustical Systems, expensive, but they have some interesting differences.

Aggelos + Arche HS + Ikeda cartridge

They are very flexible
You can see that in this picture. In the identical set up I broke 2 Sets of Oyaide and needed a LOT of time to adjust it properly...
Here I made the whole set up in 2 minutes and it was perfectly done.

Sonic differences
Honestly, I wasn't expecting much - silver is silver -, my priority was the safe handling and good connecting. When I started an old Decca SXL for the sonic check I was v-e-r-y amazed to hear such obvious differences (and it wasn't bad at all before)
- soundstage became deeper and wider
- the positions of the recording microphones were more obvious
- Instruments became a more nailed focus
- Instruments became a better body
- better real tones than before (I can hear that different violin brands - manufacturer - are used even when they play altogether
- better separation even of very sublime details
- Ambience of the Recording Hall became something hard to describe, in a way I "feeled" to be inside that Hall, very interesting

well, based on those remarkable impressions I thought about it and the answers are based on the technical know how what is responsible for what (my Omnigon Phono Preamp is based on that structure). The silver inside is made and bought in Germany from one of the very best companies. I think, it is a higher quality than usual stuff, no idea how they did it, but it is definitely real premium quality. The clips are from the material costs a multiple factor to the usual ones, they are made for maximum signal transfer (others write that too, but they are not on that standard, but to be fair, there is much, much worse out there, too) and the soldering is also done with a material no one else uses. The whole chain has no weaks.

The better your system is in reproduction tiny details the more fun you will have sitting in the listening chair.
A Design done Right.
Nice to hear the siren's promos from the friendly salesman Syntax; Syntax, are you also the one to be handling the refund department for your partners, dietrich and axinia? Mike is still waiting, and waiting for his refunds...me too.
Nice to hear the siren's promos from the friendly salesman Syntax; Syntax, are you also the one to be handling the refund department for your partners, dietrich and axinia? Mike is still waiting, and waiting for his refunds...me too.

Cheers; well, sort of...
Sounds good! Mine should be here very soon. In comparison to Ikeda cartridge, the rear of Koetsu is extended probably another 1/2 cm toward the rear so there is very little clearance space. The long shrink wrap or whatever it is called make me a bit worry. I might have to trim it.
I ordered the new Arche headshell with additional thicker mounting plate
so the pins end of cartridge and headshell will be at a slightly more different level and hopefully that will give me a bit more wiggle room for the headshell leads.
Suteetat, I bought 3 inserts (2x standard 1x 'thick one') instead of one other Arche which is equivalent to 4 Arche's. Then I soldered my own headshell wire from silver Litz and Clearaudio clips (the best there are). This way one can determine the right length of the wire and avoid the 'compliant problem'.
Hmmm.. I posted something about 12 hours ago and it went into limbo. So this is kind of a duplicate post from earlier.
The new headshell leads look promising but heat shrink of whatever you called it looks a bit too long, I might have to trim it a bit. With Koetsu and Kiseki cartridge, the rear of the cartridge extended probably about 1/2 cm further to the back than Ikeda cartridge so the space between the end of the pins on the cartridge and headshell is very small. I ordered the thicker mounting plate for another Arche headshell for my Koetsu so hopefully with the pins being at different level, hopefully there will be enough room to wiggle the leads around a bit more.

Glad to hear I am not the only destroying Oyaide leads left and right :) Over here for some reasons, Oyaide silver leads are very expensive, almost $150 a set, more than twice as expensive as thecableco advertized in the US.
Let just say that I am not a happy camper with all these silver pieces lying around. A local DIY store that also sell Oyaide leads told me they can resolder the leads for me at least.
What 'association' means ? Well John what do you think
when you see, say, this hanky?
John: 'I think about my mother cause she is a tearful kind of a person.'
And you Peter? Peter:'I think about womens behind.'
How come? Peter: 'I always think about womens behind'.
Some other can't obviously put Dertonarm out of their mind.
Dear Nandric, just installed my ToXiom with six different tubes and Arche. A phantastic match. I like seeing the magnets working in a very narrow corridor. . . Couldn't get it out of my mind these days.
I got another Arche headshell, Aggelos leads and mounted my Ikeda cartridge on it with no problem at all. No struggling, bending, twisting the wires and absolutely no problem with SRA at all as Aggelos exerts pretty much zero force back on the cartridge unlike Ikeda or Oyaide wire. I don't have even an hour on this setup with FR-66s yet but love what I hear so far very much.
Aggelos + Arche HS + Lyra Cartridge