High end turntables Why? 2 tonearms

Hello denziens of the analog lounge,

After looking at many high end statment turntables such as the antique Thorens reference to the latest word from Teres in direct drive the Certus 460. I am intrigued by this option. It reminds me of a cutting lathe more then a TT.

Would not the extra arm affect the reproduced nuances of the musical sound as much or more even then say a brass tone arm holder vs aluminum vs stainless steel vs wood to infinity and beyond?

Is this a way to have two approaches available when listening say to acoustic recordings and then a different point of view for classical or jazz with the other arm on the same platform ?

Would one have say two identical arms with different pickups or even two different arms with two different pickups.

Is there an advantage to two arms over two turntables other then the size of the foot print?

Your opinions would be appreciated. I am about to upgrade from my old but once state of the art JVC QL Y66F which while protecting my vinylhas always been "not as good" as the AR it replaced in 85. I love the Michell TT's as well as the Teres. I am not thinking about two tone arms, one Schroder will have to do.

This is just a way of introducing myself to the ladies and gentlemen of the forum.

yours truly

I wish I had the capability to add a second arm to my table. I'd like to have one arm with a stereo cartridge mounted and a second arm with a mono cartridge mounted. This to me would be the best of all worlds.

Sometimes different cartridges works well with different LP's - depends on how the stylus rides the groove...
Two arms or even three makes the playback of different records much easier and better.

I designed my turntable to accomodate up to three arms with relative ease.

Dewald Visser
Thanks Dewald,

What kind of table do you have and then which arms and why.

Does it not effect the playback having all the other arms on board. Are the arms hot or cold, plugged in or loose?

I am a single arm/single 'table guy, mostly due to finances.
I'd love to play with a 'table that had multiple arm options.
I visited an audiophile once who had a 4 armed Micro Seiki table. He had 4 different arms, with 4 different cartridges and 4 different phono preamps hooked up to the one 'table. He had all 4 arm pods machined so that the weight of each pod/arm/cartridge combination was within one gram, to balance the table. Talk about fanatical!

He claimed that he preferred using different arm/cart/phono stages when listening to different types of music. One was for rock, one for jazz, one for classical, etc.

A lot of people use the second tonearm for a mono cartridge, that way they can enjoy both stereo and mono recordings at their best

At the moment I only have one arm mounted - it is a 12" balsa-arm that I developed myself. The arm weighs around 5.5 grams and provides "open" & "airy" sound retrival from those magical black discs.
I have another arm-mounting for a REGA RB arm...

You see - I developed the turntable myself - every last little part. It is hard work but my theories has paid off!

See my system at this link: http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?vopin&1158092716&view

Best regards,
Dewald Visser

That sounds like a true case of Quadrophenia.

It is whether this has any sonic down side ie like having so many wires and four pre amps so close to one another-- even when they are off they are in a ready state I Think ?

Can this type of configeration (let's stick with a double set up)involve the risk of creating a leak of magnetic field resonance


Listening to :

"Who Came First" Track Records Original American Decca Pressing
If you think 2 tonearms is too much...you should see... This guys system

Rauliruegas is an analog guru.
I think he has also tried just about every cartridge manufactured !
A good Turntable needs only 1 Arm
The Lenco rebuild is very suitable for additional arms. It is an open design allowing the user to experimement with numerous possiblilities. I will be building 2 Lencos this wiinter. Email if you'd like to see them.
I am hoping that Rauliruegas joins this as he might have more experience than most. I have considered adding a second arm and cartridge, perhaps a Sumiko Celebration or Koetsu for classical music. But I am torn a little as to which would be better, figure 1500 for new arm, 1000-1500 for cartridge, add the cost of my Shelter 501, 850. Could I get everything I wanted in one arm if I just went and purchased a 3000-4000 cartridge as opposed to a second arm and cart. Or perhaps ugrade everything. It would be nice to get the input from Rauliruegas on this one, or others with multiple analog options.
I wonder if Rauliruegas really has the time to listen all his analogue set up. Just from the pictures, I counted 3 TT X 14 arms X 18 cartridges X 5 hours per combination = 3780 listening hours!!! Just one set up per day for 5 hours will take 756 days that's over 2 years!!! Assuming it takes him an hour to put a set up together, that will be another 756 hours!!! Is Rauliruegas a collector or audiophile or music lover?
Try comparing a Koetsu w. a Van den Hull. Then finding the right tonearm for each. They both have an extremely enjoyable and very different sound. Although in todays market there are some cartridges that tend to have incredible balance, sometimes the recordings do not.
Welcome, Groovey.

Thomas pretty well sums it up. Except for mounting a second arm with a mono cart, there is not much to justify a second arm.

But many of us are afflicted with a need for more performance. So, in our twisted minds, that is enought to justify adding more arms. For some, it's just a need to experiment, for some it is a need to optimize for one type of music vs. another. For some it's just a need for more toys! :) I'll probably be adding a second arm in the next year.

If you are concidering a Teres or any other table with multi-arm capability, you owe it to yourself to audition Galibier as well. I do own one and highly recommend them.


Dear Joseph: First I will try ,what is my opinion, to answer your very first questions: no the extra arm don't affect the quality sound reproduction ( at least I never detect any effect about ), what certainly affect the quality sound reproduction is the arm holder material.

Now, maybe if I explain some of the why's I have so many TT/tonearms/cartridges could answer almost all your questions ( btw, Tinman: first than all I'm a music lover and second an audiophile and my reference always is the live music not audio devices. ):

the realtionship between the tonearm and cartridge is critical and unique. There are several tonearms out there: unipivot, dual pivot, ball/magnetic/gyroscopic/air/gimball/etc, bearings, tangential or pivoted, different construction materials: titanium/ceramic/aluminium/steeel/wood/hybrid/magnesium/boron/etc., etc., fixing or removable headshells, different internal wire: coper/silver/hybrid/etc, etc, etc.

with all these differences how can I choose or how can I know which is the right one for my cartridge?, we can't for sure: the best that we can do is to buy that tonearm and see what happen. Fortunatelly almost all the tonearms ( the top ones ) perform extremely well with different cartridges, but my need is not only a tonearm that works well with my cartridge: I WANT THE TONEARM THAT HELP TO MY CARTRIDGE TO PERFORM AT ITS BEST, nothing less.

You can't do it with one tonearm/cartidge combination ( only if you are very lucky ). For example: someone with the Triplanar VII and the Universe or Allaerts or any other top cartridge, can say that his tonearm/cartridge combination is a great one ( at least, it is what he heard or think about ) but he don't know if the RB1000 or the DP6 tonearm could perform better with that cartridge and this is what I'm looking for: THE BEST TONEARM FOR THAT CARTRIDGE, not only a very good one.

If we can have several tonearms then we can test the cartridge/cartridges with each of those tonearms to find which one is THE ONE. How can any find it with only one tonearm?, not possible. Now, these are some subjects about tonearms, there are other ones that are important too but that I left for another time.

I own and owned so many cartridges because each one has a different signature sound. Almost all top cartridges ( MC and MM ) in the right tonearm perform flawless with any kind of music recorded, all put me very near to the live event and give me a very high emotional level of feelings. I don't choose " that " cartridge for Pop music and " that " cartridge for Jazz and " that one " for classical. I change the cartridge because I want to hear a little different sound ( like a whole, not more bass or better high frequency or more deep in the soundstage ). I can live extremly happy with any of the tonearm/cartridge combination that I already find: I'm not finished about and time to time I learn so much things testing my big analog choices.

The audio rules like the resonance frequency between tonearm/cartridge ( 8Hz to 12Hz ) can't tell us the whole " history ", that audio rule is only a subject to start. When someone speaks that the linear tracking tonearms are better than the pivoted one because the tangential ones has no " error " and track exactly in the same way that the cutting-head recorded the LP or that the linear tracking tonearms does not need AS, these statements means nothing real about which tonearm is best: THE BEST TONEARM IS THAT ONE THAT TAKE MY CARTRIDGE TO PERFORM AT ITS BEST, IT DOES NOT MATTER THE TONEARM GEOMETRY/BEARINGS/MATERIAL/INTERNAL WIRE/ETC/ETC.

Of course that you have to have a good platform ( TT ) to try your combinations and the more important analog audio device in the analog chain: a Phonolinepreamp up to the task.

Btw, I have to design my own Phonolinepreamp because what I try out there can't meet my audio/music targets. Right now we are in tonearm design and amplifier one.

My Phonolinepreamp has two totally independent phono stages, so I can switch only two tonearms at the same time.

There are many subjects to speak about tonearm and cartridge findings. I think that every one of us can write a book about with different experiences, all valid, and different opinions. Here are mines.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Dear Raul,

Thank you for your considered and thoughtful opinions. You have explained well your approach and ideas towards reaching new levels of oneness with the "sound" of your music. Your attention to the details that have been left unconsidered by others before open new possibilities to make it "real" or as you say "live".

So it is a seperate phono stage for each arm going into a preamp ? Do I understand correctly.? Is this something different then the approach of a pre-amp like the Manley Steelhead which I belive has two MC inputs and and one MM input all adjustable to match the cartridge. Or are you using two completely different phono staged preamplifiers.

Again Raul Thank you for taking the time away from your passion to share your wealth of experiences.

Listening to Wes Mongomery: Road Song A&M CTI SP-3012

Best Regards


Groovey Records
Dear Joseph: The fact that a phonostage has a two-three position switch does not mean that it has two-three independent phonostages, usually is only one phono stage with a switch.

My phonolinepreamp has in a two box chasis one linepreamp and two independent phono stages: these three preamps are all internally in one of that boxes and the other is the power supply. The Steelhead is only a phono stage that use step up transformers and with out linepreamp: very different approach that my phonolinepreamp.

Btw, I really like West Montgomery.

Regards and enjoy the music.
I use two, wel two decks actualy, for a very simple reason. The first time I listen to new bought second hand Vinyl I use the cheap cartridge to prevent an unnoticed pit rip off the diamond of the quality cartridge.
Since no one has responded to Groovey's question re sonic interaction between 2 arms, I'll throw in my 2 cents. I have a Galibier Gavia which has mounting holes for 2 arms. I have a Moerch DP-6 mounted on a Galibier aluminum armboard that is securely bolted to the aluminum base. I have tried mounting other arms (VPI JMW-10 and AQ PT-6) using a wood armboard, and each time there has been an adverse effect on the sound from the Moerch arm. In other words, there must be some resonances in the wood armboard that are affecting the Moerch.

If I were serious about making the second arm option work, I would invest in aluminum armboards for the other arms, and see if that solved the interaction problem. I guess I'm not that serious though. Whenever I have had both arms set up, I have tended to use just one. Maybe if I had a mono cartridge, I would use the second arm more. For now, I have decided it makes more sense just to have a single arm with a stereo cartridge set up to bring out its best.


Thanks for trying that experiment, Dave. I was thinking of doing the same, i.e. second arm on a wooden armboard just to see if it would be worth it before shelling out for the second Galibier armboard. Sounds like doing it right the first time may be the best way to go. BTW, what wood did you try?
I have tried Red Oak and Hard Maple. The maple didn't affect the sound as much as the oak, but neither was acceptable.

Just to make sure I understand what you're saying. You mean that attaching another arm on a wooden armboard adversely affected the performance of the Moerch that is mounted on the aluminum armboard?
That's right. It's not an electrical interaction issue. My Artemis phono stage has a single input, so only one arm was connected to the outside world at a time. The other arm was just sitting there.

Now I don't know how much can be generalized from my experience. For instance, if you're using a table with a wood base like the Teres, would the presence of an additional wood mounting platform make any difference? I don't know. But I suspect adding a second arm on a wood platform attached to another all-metal table would have a noticeable effect on the sound.

The only way to find out is to try it.

Next question, Dave. Are you using the big oil can stelvio armboard with the Moerch?
I am not using the new Stelvio armboard. I am using the old style armboard which is 3/4" aluminum with lots of holes drilled in it. The Moerch arm extends through the bottom of the armboard similar to a Rega and lots of other arms, so it won't fit on the Stelvio armboard.

I do see your point. The better damping in the new armboard might make it less sensitive to the resonances of a second armboard.

Yes, you would think so. Still, it's funny that it would effect an armboard made of 3/4 aluminum! I may have to give it a try just for giggles. I've got a rb250 I could use. I'll see if I can get by my supplier a pick up some cocobola or jatoba, nice and dense!
Go for two arms! I do have several cartridges, mono and stereo. I have three three arm wands already set up with cartridges and always one is a mono. I live with one TT/one arm just because of limited space and what I've invested in it. I wish I had bought a TT, like a teres, that could support two arms in a limited space. But, an one arm TT is fine, but I do spend ten minutes or so in changing back and forth set ups for specific cartridges. Still it would be better if I had a two arm TT. One arm would always be mono the other stereo.
Dear Gerry: Two tonearms could be better but with a tonearm like the Graham, as you say, it is easy to " switch " to another cartridge.

Btw, which other cartridge do you own other than your Koetsu/Lyra ones?.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Hi Gerry,

I'm curious as to what other arms you own, as well as the answer to Raul's question.

I see you're running a Basis 2500 Sig. I owned an older model 2500 but sold it last year to pursue a new table. Multi-arm capability was a requirement for me. I know you mentioned an interest in Teres and they are great tables. I encourage you to also consider Galibier.
Yo, Gerry!
Dan, you could e-mail Gerry.
I think he only has the one arm, a Graham 2.0. He states that he has three arm wands for his 2.0, already set up with different cartridges. Graham, as I'm sure you know, has interchangeable arm wands. So he is just changing arm wands on his Graham 2.0.
At least that's the way I understand him.
Thanks, John. I've got a lot of things on my mind but reading comprehension doesn't seem to be one of them. :)
Thanks for the dialogue - it has been of great interest and value to me.

So many options it will take a great amount of consideration before deciding which TT with what two arms. I like the Teres and I also like the Michell-two completly different aesthetics and that shouldn't be a consideration.

Raul said it is the Music that matters, I agree most definatly Yes?

Best wishes to all


Listening to the rain falling outside with the windows open