Need Ur Help Pls. Best Arm+Cart for Sota Nova V ?

May I have your opinion on best cart + arm for new Sota Nova V , vacuum version. I am now using all solid state equipment.
Hi Sit,

You're going to have to give us more information to get a useful response.Like all things audio, there is no "best" tonearm and there is no "best" cartridge - for a Sota or any other table.

First, what phono stage are you using? What are its gain and impedance options? This will determine basic cartridge compatibility. There's no point buying a LOMC if you don't have enough gain or your input impedance is wrong.

Second, what kind of sound are you after and what kind of music do you play? Different cartridges have different sonic "flavors". Some are warm, some are neutral, some are cool for example.

Knowing these things should help narrow down the wide array of cartridges to those of a certain type. That will make it easier to suggest a tonearm. As a rule, tonearm-cartridge synergy has a bigger influence on the sound of a rig than tonearm-table synergy.

Finally, what is your budget? The most costly tonearms and cartridges sell for much higher prices than your table. It wouldn't make sense to spend that much on those components, but some idea of your limits would be useful.


P.S. Based on the experiences of two members, it seems that a TriPlanar tonearm (any version) is a poor choice for a Sota Nova. They both had major fit/compatibility issues, despite statements from Sota that this was a good combination. Those real-world experiences suggest leaving that particular arm off your list, unfortunately.
Dougdeacon, Thx for the input. I will post more detail later and would appreciate any input you could give based upon that .
Here is additional information that I'm hopeful will help in providing you all (who are more knowledgeable about these technical matters)in offering me educated suggestions on the "best" cart and arm to use with a new SOTA Nova vacuum tt based upon the following criteria.

Thank you in advance for your help. I certainly appreciate it. If there is more detailed info I should provide kindly let me know.

PHONO Stage:
- gain (unbalanced) 42/48/54/60 dB
- gain (balanced) 48/54/60/66 dB
- loading 100/500/1k/47k
- output impedance 100 ohms

CURRENT SYSTEM: I want to upgrade to a new SOTA Nova vacuum table.

I currently own a 10+ y.o. SOTA Star Sapphire vacuum. I have been happy using a REGA RB300 fully modified OriginLive arm with true, new Cardas wiring terminated via Cardas male 5-pin DIN. Cart. is Grado Reference Sonata with 4.8mv output; 47000ohms input. I have a higher quality phono interconnect cable with female Cardas 5 pin DIN termination at arm.

My musical preferences vary widely and include both classics and current releases. LOTS of blues, jazz, artistic progressive rock, the creative original "punk" work, better quality rock by genuine artists (NO POP. NOT much rap), much of the Motown (non-poppy) classics, and classical focusing on more uplifting works by the likes of Teleman, Vivaldi, & Mozart.

I am seeking a natural sound with rich soundstage (prefer hearing the music as though I am hearing it live), focused midrange that is more upfront an delicate in clarity (not warm though), tight base with definition I can feel punching at my breastbone, and controlled yet true-to-recording performance in the high frequency range from 2kHz through 16 kHz (I want to hear the cymbals without experiencing fatigue).

I want to avoid boomy bass while still emhasizing low tones. I also prefer a richness of sound (such as true clarity of strings) vs. a warm sound. I prefer a more forward midrange and a balanced brilliance/crispness/intensity that keeps from making the music tiresome. And I appreciate a delicate freshness in high harmonics. No overemphasized consonants in vocals (no glazing).

To date my 2000+ LP collection includes many originally owned, well-taken care of classics plus a good number of newer discs including those of 150-180-200 grams.

I employ a SOTA LP record cleaning unit before playing any disc.

I am hopeful that reusing the arm and cart I now own (at least for now) will work very good for me. The kind folks at SOTA suggested this would be the case.

I do not want to overspend on any new arm and/or cart. that would offer a meaningful improvement to my current arm + cart relative to the new Nova price, which is approx $3600. $1500 is a range I'm thinking of if you believe I can meaningfully improve on the arm and cart I now own for that investment. I will very likely keep the Nova for at least 5 years or more.

My system is tubeless with high output amp wattage (450watt @ 8ohms). Everything runs through 2, PS Audio P500 line conditioners w/ "Plus" connector via dedicated 20amp circuits. I do record from disc to CD via a new Tascam CD recorder unit, mixing my personal instrumentation with the prerecorded medium from the turntable. Speakers are 2 pairs of classic McIntosh XR-7s and one pair of XR-5s, fully restored that include the MQ107 Environmental Equalizer with capacitors properly installed to best accommodate room acoustics (vintage 1978-79 in perfect condition). The Macs produce a warmer yet very natural sound by design.

Thanks again for any help you can provide. I am truly quite open to any and ALL suggestions you have.
Great info! Your phono stage has the gain and impedance (loading) flexibility to handle just about any cartridge. No significant restrictions there.

It's great to see a fan of new music who prefers honest, uncolored components. Most classical and jazz listeners understand this, but some who listen to a lot of amplified music do not.

- choose a LOMC (you've got the phono stage, might as well make use of it)
- forget Grado (very warm, as you presumably know)
- forget Koetsu (warm)
- maybe forget Benz (warmish, mids are very present but bass is a bit round/soft)
- choose a cartridge with a fine-line or micro-ridge stylus (these trace HF's better than elliptical and especially conical styli, cleaner sibilants, tighter consonants, cymbals sound like cymbals instead of white noise)
- choose a mid-compliance cartridge (12-18cu, this will open the door to a wider array of tonearms
- buy new (unless you're a risk-taker)
- brands to consider:

Dynavector (haven't heard, reputation for fullish mids)

Lyra (clear and clean, but a bit cool/lean at this price level)

ZYX (very clear, clean, neutral, natural, wonderful upper mid-HF's, bass is clean and tight though maybe a touch lightweight at this price level)

I'm sure there are others...

- choose an arm of medium effective mass (11-15g, this will mate well with a broad array of mid-compliance carts
- buy used (unless you want to raise your budget)
- brands to consider:

Rega (higher models)
SME (double check mount for compatibility with SOTA)
Origin Live
Morch (if you see a used DP-6, buy it)
Lots of others...

Sample solution:
RB900 listed now in classifieds $575
ZYX R100 Yatra from SoraSound $1140

Many others are possible.

Good luck!
About 1 1/2 years ago I upgraded the Sumiko Premeir FT-4 tonearm on my SOTA Star to an Origin Live Encounter tonearm ($1495). Another thing I did at the same time was to purchase the Cosmos armboard to replace the composite armboard on my Star. The combination of the Encounter and the new armboard was far more significant than any cartridge upgrade I had done previously and re-energized my love of vinyl!

The Nova is a good choice. Sometimes I wonder if I should have gone that route than the one I took when I bought a new TT a few months ago.
Doug & Txp1,
Thanks for your terrific input. Very helpful.

Does anyone else have an opinion on thi?. Input appreciated.