I have mounted both on my Sl1200mk3 with custom armboards. Yes, the Jelco just looks and feels like a better made product. It tracks well and works great with MC carts. I love mine. The RB250 is not very adjustable, mounting and aligning is more of a PITA but with right cart, it sounds fantastic, even with the stock cable. Something like a 2m blue or older Shure carts that I have. So, it all depends on the carts you want to use really.
Btw, replacing the Jelco mounting collar is a must. If you tighten the set screw on the stock collar, the arm pillar will tilt and the stylus will not follow your desired alignment arc no matter what! Easy to spot by placing a spirit level on top of the fluid reservoir cap.
@invictus005 What is your cartridge and turntable? Not sure how anyone can recommend a tonearm like that. If you’re looking for inexpensive tonearm with superb build quality (vta on the fly etc) check for vintage Victor 7045 in perfect condition (under $600) and ingnore modern Rega and Jelco. This Victor 7045 tonearm is amazing and easy to use (one of my favorite). Jelco is for MC cartridges and higher mass btw. Rega is the ugliest tonearm ever made (imo) !
The "key words" you have mentioned are all about the cartridge first. I would ingone the MC cartridges (just a waste of money). The Victor 7045 tonearm with decent MM cartridge (like Victor X1, X1II or AT-ML170) simply killing most of the MCs.
It doesn't work that way. I mean if you stick an AT440MLA on either tonearm, you are not going to get midbass bloom.
As for the collar, yes the stock one does not cause severe problems and is fine for most people. However, if you try to print out and use an arc protractor, you cannot trace the arc well because the arm pillar is not vertical. May or may not be audible to you but what I say can be easily verified.
Another vote for the Jelco. It is so much more versatile. Interesting comments about the collar. I have no problem with my Sumiko Premier MMT made by Jelco; but I did see it with an Audioquest PT-9 version of the 250 and my Linn Bask LVX. I bought This:
for the PT-9; which I no longer have, and it won't fit the Linn. If anyone is interested, PM me.
Beats me, Vinny. But the Audiomods is sure an interesting design, which appeals to me. Often times there is no clear "winner" amongst a group of arms (or anythings), but rather trade-offs. If I had or was thinking of going in the Rega direction, I would put the Audiomods high on my "check it out" list. Jeff addresses some design issues Roy Gandy doesn't---read all the design info on the website, a couple of times. Unusual, unique designs appeal to me, and I find the Audiomods design-to-price ratio very high. It's owners rave about it, but I finally decided not to get one because of the unique demands my cartridge of choice (Decca/London) places on an arm. It may have worked okay, but probably not optimally.
A lot of people are very happy with their Jelco arm, but I disapprove of S-shaped arms (unipivots, too). Linn has kind of lost their leadership edge, haven't they? But their older ones are still high quality products, as are Origin Live. These are all really good arms, you just have to see something in one of them that speaks to you more than the others. People like one or the other for their own personal reasons, which may have nothing to do with your needs. Find an analog dealer you want to develop a long-term relationship with (like Brian Berdan at Audio Elements in Pasadena, CA), and tell him what you're looking for, if you know. If you don't, start with your cartridge, and get an arm appropriate for it. The cartridge and the arm are a system, a team, just like the amp and the speaker, and the speaker and the room. Brian's an expert in analog, with customers all over the country. He carries great lines, and knows how to maximize their potential.
@chakster so the Victor tonearm is one of the most underrated and a giant modern arm killer?
Victor UA-7045 tonearm (and longer brother UA-7082 with higher mass) were the top of the line from Victor Laboratory, those arms comes with Victor TT-101 turntable (also with TT-801, 81). They are absolutely amazing and underrated for some reason, before trying anything expensive i’d buy UA-7045 in perfect working condition, it will be hard to find anything like that for under $750 (which is the actual cost of UA-7045 today, sometimes even cheaper). I’m pretty sure UA-7045 kills tonearms with typical price tag of $1500 and higher. For the best Victor cartridges like X-1, X-1II (MM) or for the MC-1, MC-10L ... this is the arm to try first! Just make sure the rubber that supports the counterweights is fine.
Also keep in mind that it was developed and produced by JVC / Victor Laboratory (the giant of the industry), not by someone from scratch at garage like many today’s arm of the higher price.
bdp24, I must ask about your comment "I disapprove of S-shaped arms". What is your objection?
I would think once mass, rigidity, and construction quality are considered, whether the arm is straight, J, or S would not matter. Issues such as bearing quality are I believe beyond the arm shape. From those three criteria it seems one could have good or bad with any of the basic arm forms?
I don't have the Victor 7045 Chakster recommends, so can't comment on its other characteristics — but I want one, because it has a unique feature, rarely mentioned. It accepts the ubiquitous SME-type headshells (also called "universal"), but the coupling is quite different. Instead of just pulling on that little pin to tighten and secure the h'shell, Victor uses a collet — like a drill chuck. The grip is as secure as a rigid fixed headshell, without the inconvenience. I've never had a standard SME headshell/coupling that didn't exhibit some play, even on SME arms. With many I can even adjust azimuth merely by twisting the h'shell with my fingers, even when it's fully tightened — no need to use the azimuth-adjustment screws, there's that much free-play.
It's an intrinsic flaw in the original design. SME knew it and corrected it in newer models — the 309 headshell clamps rigidly onto the armtube, as does their "budget" M2.
+1 for the Victor 7045. I've been using one for years. It is VERY good with MM or MI carts. That arm absolutely blew the Rega RB300 away that I was using prior to that. I have an old Grado signature on mine now (with XTZ stylus) and it is the best I've heard yet in my system. For the money it has no right being that good. Just my opinion...