In this corner, weighing in at....

I was wondering if any of you have ever done a "head to head" ( or is it "toe to toe" ??? ) with a Souther and an ET II ? I'd also be curious to hear comments ( any and all, good or bad ) from folks that have used either or both of these arms. Thanks in advance, Sean
sean: i assume you're talkin' about the souther prior to its clearaudio incarnations. (BTW, the latest version of the souther/clearaudio, the master reference TQ1, is the best tangential-tracking arm i've had the pleasure to play with and listen to. it betters even my airtangent.) the older southers were, IMO, better built than the ET II, but had some real tracking problems. moreover, they were a bear to setup. the ET II can also be frustrating to rig and keep tweaked; i remember the most difficult installation i ever did with an ETII was on an "early" oracle. once you get everything lined up, i think the ET II is a better arm than the souther. it does work best, however, with an after-market air pump. -kelly
Actually Kelly, i have both the ET II and the TQ-1. The TQ just came in the other day, so i haven't played with it at all. The ET II is mounted on a Sota Star Sapphire (vacuum platter) and both are fed via one larger Wisa pump and a good sized vacuum reservoir. I may have another Sota Sapphire in a few weeks, but it is not a vacuum platter ( hence the lack of the "Star" in the name ). I was wondering what arm would work best on what table ?

Seems to make more sense to me to keep the air powered ET II arm and vacuum platter on one table for convenience, but then again, i think that the TQ-1 with the vacuum platter would be a step up in terms of "total performance". As such, i'm somewhat torn between "total performance" and "common sense / convenience". Maybe i should just have the other table upgraded to a vacuum platter. Then i could have my cake and eat it too : ) Sean
Sean, you think you'll have money left for a cake after the upgrade ;)
BTW, when I listened to a Master ref. TT/TQ1 (+ rebuilt c/audio Insider) combo recently, the sound created a clear "I am there" feeling. But the TQ1 miss-tracked toward the last third of a record -- admittedly, a very dirty LP. So, this shouldn't be a worry I expect. Enjoy the cake! (you will enjoy the tunes)
Money left over after the upgrade ??? Money ? Who's got money ??? I've been getting all of this stuff based on my "good looks" : )

Actually Greg, i'm one of those people that like to live in the real world ( or at least think that i do ). A product SHOULD be designed to cope with normal, every day situations. While i do have a VPI record cleaner, an arm / cartridge should be able to deal with "dirty" or "used" records to a reasonable extent. If it can't, it is an under-designed piece of junk. This is true regardless of price or brand. As such, i hope that i didn't buy something that falls into that category. Sean
Sean, do you still think clearaudio/souther TQ-I is overally better than ET-2? I also have an ET-2 on Sapphire & a unmounted TQ-I.