Question on FR 66s

For some reason, search on FR 66s in agon did not turn up anything much. I recalled that recommended S2P distance is 296mm rather than 295mm and Stevenson geometry seems to work best. Is this correct? I already have FR 64s which works very nicely with Koetsu. In general, does FR 66s works well with the more modern cartridges, Lyra, Air Tight, Dynavector etc.
I am kind of curious to try it but not sure what to try it with. Beside those mentioned on my system page, I have Kiseki Blue, XV-1s and Miyajima Zero on hand currently.

Thanks for any suggestion.
Try looking for information at vinyl engine. I have a friend that uses one with a Koetsu Rosewood
Mounting Distance is 295mm

Well, it will work with whatever you choose or prefer. Most Arms have Problems with Stevenson based on Design flaws, the FR-64s /66s go easy through the most demanding inner tracks.

The energy transfer from that Arm is unique, Cartridges which are designed to move their energy via Headshell into the connected Arm, work very well with that Design. Koetsu also. From my experience, it is THE Arm for Koetsu. Never found a better match with those carts.
Never had a weak result with any - modern - cartridge I used, no reason to worry.
May I suggest to use good cartridge leads for the Headshell you prefer. Most stock leads are inferior, try Oyaide, Orsonic..the performance gain is interesting :-)
Syntax, dont you think the effective mass of the tonearm also plays an important role on the sonics given the compliance of the cartridges ? Is it good to use a cartridge with compliance of 15 on a tonearm with 30gram effective mass ?
in the case of the FR-66s you may neglect the compliance issue. We made many tests with nearly all available MC carts, MI carts and new as well older MM designs on the FR-66s. No problem at all. It is the most universal arm ever built.
Thanks, Syntax and all for information. FR manual and vinyl engine also gave 295 as P2S distance. I just recalled some discussions that some people recommended 296mm. Same go for FR 64 where FR spec and what was discussed in agon was also slightly different. However, for some reason when I tried searching old threads, I could not find that specific thread anymore regarding published spec vs what's some people experieces have been. Was it dertoarm who discussed that? By the way, Micro Seiki fixed armboard only allowed me the mount FR 64s with P2S distance that is the same as FR's published spec so I never did try the alternative P2S.

Now I have both FR64s and FR66s, FR64s on Micro Seiki SX-777 Air, FR66s on TW as SX-777 Air won't take FR 66s as far as I know.

Koetsu will go on FR66s for now. FR64s with a bit less effective mass probably would play better with my other relatively high mass medium compliance as far as resonance is concerned. For Air Tight PC-1 supreme, resonance would be high 7 almost 8Hz with FR-66s, I think that should also be ok.

Right now I use Oyaide carbon fiber headshell with its silver lead. I heard a lot of good things regarding Orsonic headshell as well and I have been thinking of trying that. Otherwise, I have FR headshell, Koetsu headshell(which has only 3 fixed distance I could not use it with FR to mount anything that would get me the right overhang with any protractors that I have) and a phasetech (most were all hand me down from a friend who collects way too many things).
I think there is no general rule for compliance, effective mass of tonearm and superior sonic result. The formula for that is only a formula but you have different Arm materials (steel, titan, wood, aluminum for example) all have totally different energy transfer abilities, you have Unipivot arms, dynamically balanced Designs and so on...and you have different Arm geometries which are also responsible for superior or inferior tracking ability ...
To make a very long story short, you can all strip down to the abilities of the Designer. You will find endless examples for top sounding combinations which are not a 10 in the 8-12 formula range and you will find mediocre sounding combinations which are a 9.9 in the calculation.

the alternative P2S is 231,5mm

I think that thread was deleted based on aggressive posting from a mexican member which had a lot of personal attacks when I remember right.
Keep your FR-64 S. To my mind the FR-66s is overpriced but not better. Anyway for the carts you own te FR-64s is as good. I use the Kiseki blue Goldspot as well as the Benz LP s and the Magic Diamond with my FR-64 s. I also prefer the Bearwald geometry: 231,5 mm distance pivot to spindle.
Thanks all for the information.
Nandric, I don't plan to get rid off FR 64s either. Just go on the a different table. I got the FR66s from a good friend. I am not sure what the realistic price or fair price of FR 66s is (is there such thing) but I did pay quite a bit less than ebay usual asking price. I did see that there is an armboard for 66s for SX-777 so I will have to see if I could find one. In the meantime, FR 64s stays on my Micro Seiki.
I bought the FR mainly because all the other arms I have did not play well with Koetsu. Now that I have 2 FRs, I can try other cartridges as well.
Thanks for the information. It is interesting to know that the FR64/66 can handle such a wide range of cartridges. However, can someone also say a few words about their sonic attributes ? How they sound like in general ? Since it is a vintage tonearm it does not have any reviews published on the internet. Only experienced users can give some idea on its sonics. In fact it will be interesting to know how it sounds compared to a Graham Phantom or SME V. Anyone please ?
As Thuchan has mentioned......the FR-66s is possibly the most 'universal' tonearm ever designed?
The only modern arms which I have found to equal it (and the FR-64s) in this respect......are the Continuum Cobra and Copperhead.
I have directly compared the FR-64s and 66s to the DaVinci 12" Grandezza and the Graham Phantom II on the same turntables with a range of cartridges (both LOMCs and MMs)........and the Fidelity Research arms have a control and authority which is immediately obvious.
The images are stable and pinpoint whilst the soundstage is the widest and deepest you will hear if the vinyl contains this information.
The bass depth and control is quite astonishing.......but the real highlight I the complete relaxation that one feels when listening.
These arms allow one to forget entirely about the electro-mechanical gymnastics involved in the execution of musical extraction and completely immerse oneself in the music.
You will find it difficult to stop dragging out long forgotten records and re-discovering.
And the DaVinci and Phantom II arms?...........they're gone :-)
Hi Suteetat,

I also have an SX777 Air, and have once put in the FR64S with great result! I am interested at your mentioning of an armboard for the FR66s.

If I understand correctly, you can only fit 9"-10" arms on the 777! Actually, not long ago, I missed out on the rare model called 777L (long) which can fit 12" arms!
Thekong, you are right. I goofed and was mistaken an armboard for 777L for 777. Which might as well as another friend has been suggesting that now that I have 66s, I should sell my 64s to him. This way, I need to keep 64s for my 777!
Dear Suteetat, With some reluctance because of my 'technical know how' I need to mention my experience with difficult to get armboards. I discovered those chops which make all kinds of things from acrylic. Some of them use laser for the purpose. They can produce whatever armboard with whatever thickness very accurate. You need however to provide them with a good diagram or example with exact dimensions for the arm geometry. My Kuzma S.R. consist of much acrylic but in conjunction (aka 'sandwich')with aluminum plates. I also owned some P.Lurne TT's ( Audiomeca J1) with similar 'sandwich' construction with acrylic . Not to mention my German ASR 'artillery' (Basis
Exclusive and Emitter II ) 'loaded' with acrylic. So I deduced:' this stuff can't be bad '(?).Except that is when one try to clean the damn stuff. My own added problem is the fact that I fear the cleaning ladies as the ony kind of the human kind. So I decided to do without and do this job myself. It shows alas. I just spend 6000 euro for the new carpets , new curtains and paintwork.

Hi Nandric, I had similar thought about machine shop to make my own arm board also. Many of my friends use these shops to make arm board for various arms so I do have access to some local shop here, both metal and acrylic. Unfortunately in the case of SX-777, to install 66s, I would need to cut a new hole on the table itself as well since phono wire came out from the bottom of the mount. With the standard arm board, in the usual position on 777, no matter where I cut the hole on the armboard, there is not enough distance to accommodate 66s P2S.
Right now I am perfectly happy using 66s on my "other" turntable :)
Thanks Halcro for the description. I should start hunting for an FR then :-).

I currently use a Naim ARO on a Verdier which is nice, a second tonearm like the FR64s should complete the story.
Talking about high quality vintage arms, has anyone heard a Ortofon RMG 309 tonearm ? Are they comparable to the modern tonearms ?
04-22-13: Halcro
......and the Fidelity Research arms have a control and authority which is immediately obvious.
The images are stable and pinpoint whilst the soundstage is the widest and deepest you will hear if the vinyl contains this information.
The bass depth and control is quite astonishing.......but the real highlight I the complete relaxation that one feels when listening.
These arms allow one to forget entirely about the electro-mechanical gymnastics involved in the execution of musical extraction and completely immerse oneself in the music.
You will find it difficult to stop dragging out long forgotten records and re-discovering

A spot on description.
All that is responsible that my records never stop to amaze me when I listen to them via those Arms. Even the most demanding swings go with an "ease" which is unique. And all that is summed up in a "liveness" you can hear in the 1. Minute, like opening a window and breathing fresh air.
The FR-66s is the King of Arms.
Hi Pani, I am, like Henry, a kind of toneram junkie and own many (12 at present). I can recommend many but will keep the numbers 'modest': Lustre GST 801, Sumiko 800 ('the arm'), Sony PUA 237, JVC UA 7047/7082 (see, Micro 505 and Zeta.
Since we are at it. Can anyone advise whether the FR64s and FR64fx are both equally good or is one superior to the other ?
Another question, is it worth buying the original FR headshell along with the tonearm, I ask this because the headshell costs about $200 and for that money there are other headshells to consider as well.
Hi Pany, You look like a philosopher: questions for the sake of questions. To many I would think. BTW nobody uses those old and heavy headshells. The price you mentioned is because they are 'original'. Whatever the merits of the 'original' may be they sell well. The most of us use the Orsonic , preferably the AV-101 b or s.
Dear Nandric, while philosophy is one of my favourite topics, the above post was not in that direction though. There is at the moment an FR64s and FR64fx on ebay and the seller is asking additional $200 for the original headshell. I am considering buying one of these hence my questions followed.
Hi Pani, I have both the FR64S and the FR64fx, and in my experience the s is much better. No matter what I did, the fx just sounded boring compared to the s !
BTW nobody uses those old and heavy headshells.
The most of us use the Orsonic , preferably the AV-101 b or s.
Dear Nikola,
Where do you get these 'facts'?
I love the FR3 headshell for my FR-64s and 66s arms. Even the FR5 headshell is a fine one.
The Orsonic AV-101b I found to be the worst headshell I've heard and I quickly sold it.
For every genuine Orsonic headshell on the market......there appear to be 75 bad Chinese copies?
An FR3 headshell can be had for $180 and an FR5 ....slightly less.
Also a good match for the FR tonearms.....if one wishes to lower the effective mass......are the Yamamoto wood shells and the Ortofon 8000 wood headshell.....both of which are cheaper than the FR shells.
Dear Henry, 'All the facts' I got from Germany or the(former) German 'group'. The first review about both; the FR-64S and FX was in 'Das Ohr' from 1984. My dear friend
and the highest authority reg. all FR components Dertonarm was then reviewer by this Magazine. He as well as the Magazine recommended the Orsonic I mentioned and advised against the clumsy original headshell. In the same
Magazine there was a review about (10) headshells with the first price for the Orsonic. What is more if you look at Syntax's system you will see the same Orsonic holding
the 'fellow' Olympos. Thuchan owns so many headshells so he MUST have at least one Orsonic. Besides we don't need advice from someone from a developing country about such technical matters. I know that you pretend to know something about headshells but your preference for the wooden kind says enough. I hope Raul will explain to us what kind of distortions are involved by your preference. BTW my specimen is from the time when Chinese had no idea what a headshell means.

Dear Nikola,
You're right to place your faith in the Bavarian Brigade rather a Slavic brother who is a poor immigrant living in a developing country like Australia.
Is that why you also prefer LOMCs to MMs?
I thought you believed a certain Mexican oracle was "always right" in his ranking of cartridges?
In any distortions are better than yours :-)
I have been sitting on the fence about getting Orsonic headshell for awhile. I heard a lot of good thing about it but also heard about fake one. On Ebay, certainly juki seems to have unlimited supply which made me wonder. Although I had good experience getting other stuffs from him and another friend bought a lot from him in the last several years and never complained about getting any fake item.
Orsonic clamp I got from him looked the same as far as I could tell from my friend's much older unit.
Now of course there are other sellers with similar name to Juki from the same country undercutting juki's price as well which make me even more worry!
May be I should just stick with either FR headshell that came with my FR or Oyaide carbon fiber headshell?
Dear Suteetat, My Slavic brother convinced me to use my FR-64S because of the removable headshell. He however forget to mention how many headshells I would need and more in particular what they cost. My pragmatic ego discovered those magnesium headshells which are probable produced by Jelco but sold under different names for different prices. I bought 4 of those, named 'Sumiko', for only 40 GBP each on They are excelent and complete: with azimuth provision, good 'tags', screws and even a finger lift. I mention the finger lift because the Britons ask 20 GBP for those old-fashioned SME kinds. But in case you prefer the wooden kind you can make them with your knife yourself for much less.

Dear Nandric, adding the cost of headshells and Oyaide silver leads, soon FR 64s seems like a bargain :)
Dear Suteetat, The FR-64 s was a bargain in the 80 is and still is. Your choice of the headshell however should be dependant from the cart you use or intend to use. By changing the headshell you also change the eff. mass of the arm. So there is no headshell to be known a priori.
Halcro, one of the reasons why the Graham has been highly touted is it is a well built unipivot and has a tremendous speed and transient response. Did you miss any of that in the FR64s ?
I've had four unipivots.......Hadcock GH-228, Grace 940G, Continuum Copperhead and Phantom II.
I never found the Graham to be better in its speed or transient response than any of the other unipivots.
I can say that the FR-64s and 66s better the Graham in all meaningful parameters in my system.
As for build quality..........the FR arms as well as arms by the Japanese masters like Micro Seiki, and SAEC are simply in a different league to the Grahams........or any other modern arms I know of?
Thanks Halcro.
At present I use two unipivots, Naim ARO and 47 Labs RS-A1. Both are very fast and open sounding tonearms. I will now try out a FR64s and possibly report back on this same thread.
I have to agree with Halcro. FR 66s, at least in my system and my preference, works much better than Graham Phantom 2 supreme 12 inch. I had Graham for about a year and never could dialed it in to my liking with various cartridges that I have and I finally sold it. 3 days with FR and I am already very impressed. I never had a chance to compare FR 64s with Graham as I could not mount both on the same table.
My impression though is that may be Graham is still a touch faster, bass is very tight but also a bit more on the lean side. FR bass is bigger, richer, more solid which may make it sound a tad slower but still fast and very tuneful. Mid range and high is significantly better than Graham though. Graham has lots of detail, very clean but always sounded a bit sterile, a bit lean for my taste especially with Graham IC-70 phono cable which I tossed out very quickly. FR also throw the widest soundstage I ever heard in my system. I wish VTA is a bit easier to adjust. I really like the VTA on the fly like those on VPI, Reed or Graham arm. This way, it would a lot of fun to mount lots of cartridges on various headshells and swap them quickly. I think somebody made a VTA ring or something that works with FR 66s.

I much prefer Reed over Graham also (which does not mean that Graham is neccesarily bad, another friend with similar setup prefer Graham or Reed). May be I like the coloration brought on by wood arm wand and willing to give up a bit of bottom end authority and speed for rich,smooth, big midrange rather than the more neutral Graham but FR 66s seems to bring the best of both worlds.
All FR-66s arms originally came with the B-60 VTA Base which allows adjustment 'on the fly'.
If your arm is without it.......the previous owner has kept it or sold it separately?
An original B-60 Base is almost unobtainable......but there are a few copies on the market for approx $300?
... works much better than Graham Phantom 2 supreme 12 inch. I had Graham for about a year and never could dialed it in to my liking with various cartridges that I have and I finally sold it.

The alignment tool (flip) is correct only with the Standard 9" Ar,. Used with the 10" or 12" Arm Wands the cartridge alignment is wrong. And you can hear that normally. But on the other side, on some official demos they run that way and got great reviews from the magazine people.... :-)
Unfortunately Graham forgot to put a notice about that in the Arm boxes ...

but even when done right, the 66s is still a different world (and the Phantom supreme is really good)
To my knowledge there is just one copy and you can get it
for $ 450 on our own Audiogon market. This copy is nearly
as good as Henry's original but in short supply. You should
ask for the 'ordinary grease' instead of this sticky silicon oil
or clean the silicon oil and use some grease instead. I bought
two of those but for $500 each. Still a bargain in my opinion.

Thanks for the information. Will have to look for the VTA base. The arm I got came in original box with manual and 2 counter weights, 2 antiskating weight etc, seems very complete except for the VTA :(

Syntax, yes, I also was told the same thing regarding the alignment tool. I was using mintlp that I got originally for my Reed 12 inch. Apparently, it has exactly the same dimension, lengthwise. The result was better but still did not quite make it for me.
Dear FR64S and 66S aficionados, What do you use for phono cable? Have you bypassed the DIN plug? For such superlative results as some of you describe, especially with very low output MC cartridges, I would think it is a necessity to get rid of the DIN plug in the signal path. (I have a 64S but have not had the pleasure of listening to it yet.) Thanks.
Dear Lew, The same reason(ing) caused me to buy the Triplanar VII and Reed 2A with the fast headshells and wire all the way to the pre. My FR-64s where in the box till Henry convinced me to rethink my assumption(s). I am glad I deed and have no reason at all to question the wire, the Din plug or whtever by the FR-64s. BTW I own both; the silver and copper 'versions' but have no preference for one or the other.


I am using Acrolink 8N Reference Din/RCA cable into Aesthetix Io Eclipse currently. Also been playing with Lamm Phono with either its MC input or external SUT as well.
Still have not decided which combination I prefer yet.
I do like idea that Reed has also with no connector or cable break anywhere between cartridge all the way to RCA plug and still enjoy listening to Reed/Lyra Atlas just as well.
The only comparison between Reed and FR in my system so far is that Reed definitely does not play well with Koetsu and I am willing to settle for incompatibility/synergy problem rather than inferior product. Now that both Reed/Lyra and FR/Koetsu sounds great on the same table, I am a bit too lazy to switch Lyra over to FR for now. However, I was told that Lyra was designed and tuned with copper wire in mind (don't know how true this is though) so I definitely want to try that. My Reed came with silver wire so I do want to try it with a different arm/cable one of these days.
However, I was told that Lyra was designed and tuned with copper wire in mind (don't know how true this is though) so I definitely want to try that.

from the signal transfer ability Copper is 100% in its highest, purest availability (Audio Engineering Society) so that is the Standard based on AES
Silver has 106, that means, no other material on our planet can carry more than silver, 6% more than copper, 16% more than gold and I think, more than 45% more than brass...
Some cartridge manufacturers know that and use silver plated pins, some audiophiles know that and use silver headshell leads + plugs, some Arm manufacturers know that also and use silver internal Arm wire, some cable manufacturers know that also and use high quality DIN Plugs ...makes some sense for the ultra low MC advice for that is, think about that, check your Cable of choice and also the used RCA connectors (most are inferior, even in combination with very expensive cables) and of course, the quality of the RCA jacks from your Phonostage.... :-)
Normally any Signal is degraded here seriously....MY Pods are $200,-- for example, not the usual $8.95 ...
Good sound is based on knowledge about what is responsible for what ...
Dear Suteetat, The Reed tonearms have different kinds of wood-wands and consequently different eff.mass. Not to mention different lenghts. My 2 A ( 12" ) with Pernambucco
wood -wand has the eff. mass of 27 g. and was a perfect match with the low complience Phase Tech P-3 G. So not the tonearm (name)was wrong but your own wood choice was wrong in connection with the Koetsu. Or so I thought.

Dear Nandric, you could be right regarding wood choice. When I ordered Reed, there was really no way to tell which arm wand would be ideal. Actually, I wanted to order Pernambucco as well based on Reed's graph. However, I did talk to Reed before hand about which arm wand to order and I specifically mentioned that I was planning on using Koetsu with Reed. Reed suggested that I go with Cocobolo which has similar effective mass as Pernambucco. Reed also suggested my local dealer to use Cocobolo with Miyajima line of cartridge that they also carry. Cocobolo wand sounds great with Miyajima so I don't think it is the low compliance cartridge issue. It also sounds wonderful with my Lyra, XV-1s and Air Tight in my system but just not Koetsu. It was not bad but I felt the sound was not on the same level as other cartridges that I have. Koetsu on FR was also in its own different league than Reed/Koetsu. Just my own observation in my own system, of course.
As I am very happy with Reed with other cartridges, that was why I said that it was most likely compatibility/synergy issue more than anything else. May be another wood type would work better but I don't have a resource to try all. It would be fun if Reed has interchangeable armwand as I certainly would not mind experimenting that way.
After I sold my Graham, I was considering either Reed 3P or Thales Simplicity and was planning to audition both a bit later on this year but FR 66s kind of fall in my lap unexpectedly so I will leave my analogue front end as is for now.
Syntax, I also agree that in case of phono, silver does seems to make the best sense due to very low signal level. Most cables that I have are silver, using silver headshell lead etc. I was just wondering about copper when I heard someone mentioned that Lyra recommended copper wire. I suppose it is possible as copper wire will have different sound characteristic than silver. ZYX also offers cartridges with different wiring inside and I thought that some people actually prefer copper wire version over silver and gold. Never heard them myself though.
For some reason, copper DOES have a slightly different tonal balance vs silver, comparing solid core strands of equal gauge, used as home-made interconnects. However, I am not convinced that the sonic difference has much to do with the slightly superior conduction properties of silver vs copper. But then again, I have no hard data either way.

Syntax, does your response indicate that you use DIN to RCA phono cables, with your FR tonearms? I thought you guys had hard-wired your FR tonearms, so to have an uninterrupted run of wire from the headshell plug to the phono stage. That's what I would like to do, but I am fearful of the risk to the bearing, if I were to do the job myself.
I thought you guys had hard-wired your FR tonearms, so to have an uninterrupted run of wire from the headshell plug to the phono stage

I use them stock and I also know nobody who modified them to run them direct.
Well, in a way it is the same idea we find in Graham Arm discussions, more pins, more contacts, more resistance to direct wired Arms. But the Graham Arm is still much better than all other current designs (some won't agree but there is a difference between "I like something" or "better"), so the secret of superior sound is somewhere else. But where?
A straight piece of Arm wood with Valhalla cable and 2 RCA plugs does not help much in comparison with other Arms.
So I think, other Design ideas have MUCH more influence to superior sound. The 64s for example has some very interesting internal solutions and when someone would build it again with identical specs and materials, it would be easily above $14k.
The 64s was a very expensive Arm when it became available. I think, it was among the top 5% from pricing.
The 66s was a different Galaxy, super expensive, very, very rare. 64s was from production numbers probably factor 10 or more.
Dear Lew, Before you try to do this job yourself you shoulf first look at: -fr 64. There you can see the complexity involved. Schlick deed this job himself but he is, you know, a tonearm designer. The only thing I needed to do according to Dertonarm was to put the arm in the son like the watchmaker use to do with
whatches. As you know some Greek philospher wanted also some 'son-light' and asked Alexander: 'get a little bit out of the son'.

Dear Suteetat: +++++ " I am kind of curious to try it but not sure what to try it with " ++++++

why any one of us could want to try an audio item other than " curiosity " ( that could means many things at the same time. )?

Seems to me that to achieve a better quality performance level in the audio system.

Now, how each one of us could knew or know about that quality performance level?

well some of us because " I like it more " and some of us because we know and are aware that the " new " item improved the system quality performance level because helps to lower system distortions.

The ones in the " I like it more " side are unaware of no other thing that that " I like it more " the other persons knows what they are talking about and why really the system improved its quality performance level. These people knows for sure each one audio link distortion levels in their system audio chain.

Where are you?, this question is important if and only if you really cares to listen and enjoy what in reality is in the recording what is in your LP tracks/grooves. Where IMHO the system main target must be: to be nearer to the recording and if you achieved it then you must be nearer to the live event, no question about/with out doubt.

How could you be nearer to the recording, nearer to what is recorded in your LPs?, plain and simple:

adding and loosing the less from the cartridge signal.

What we losed we can't recovery any more and what we add only can degrade the original cartridge signal.

What can you add?: all kind of distortions you can imagine, just name it and you can be sure you are adding it to the cartridge signal. There is no single audio link in the system audio chain that does not add several kind of distortions. There are not a single perfect audio link, no one and its quality differences is determined mainly by each one distortions levels ( everythinhg the same. ).

We can't do nothing about the recording signal degradations but we have some kind of " control " on the playback of the listening process where we can make a lot of things to lower those distotions to add the less distortions you can.

Money is always an important issue to achieve that target but the main issue is not money but KNOWLEDGE level and your SKILLs. Money is very important but is more important how you use your money to achieve that level of excellence in your system quality.

IMHO the first knowledge level step is to be aware of several of those kind of distortions and second level step to choose the audio items with the lower distortions you are aware. Of course that if you are aware only on the " obvious " distortions this helps you almost nothing, what is important is to be aware of distortions where other " normal " persons are unaware. Here your advantage.

The tonearm is a critical audio link and other than the LP it self and TT platter the nearest companion of any cartridge where is not only important both items be matched because resonance frequency in between but more important that the tonearm could add the lowest distortions you can and that generate not additional ones. IMHO the best tonearm ( everything the same ) is the best damped tonearm that " isolate " the cartridge from tonearm distortions, tonearm feedback and the like.

You ask for the FR66 and you are enjoying it as all the ones posted here. Not only that, here there are expressions as : " is in other Galaxy ", well as grosse those kind of expresion been as grosse is our ignorance level.

All in audio is about information against ignorance of that information. We can't be aware on what we don't know exist. That's why some of us still think that " earth is plane and not a circle " and this is not because we are stupid but because we have not the right information that's we are ignorant of facts.

I owned the FR66 ( that I sold it for very good reasons. ) and still own the FR64. I own and tested these and other several tonearms ( maybe 40+ different ones. ) for years and tested with hunderd of cartridges ( any kind. )/headshells and against other vintage and today tonearms. So IMHO I have information perhaps not 100% one but I can say enough.

Now, is there something wrong with the FR tonearm design?, what do you think?, you are right the design IM HO is a wrong one because does not take in count the cartridge needs it does not take in count added distortions and generated distortions that only degraded the cartridge signal. The FR is a simple one non-damped dynamic balanced design where it generate " all " kind of distortions you can imagine and where it does not damp any single distortion/resonances7vibrations coming from the cartridge/TT, arm board, tonearm it self and from the air.

Obviously you are unaware of the FR kind of distortions but through your experiences you writed about with out knowing it:

++++++ " My impression though is that may be Graham is still a touch faster, bass is very tight but....... FR bass is bigger, richer, more solid which may make it sound a tad slower ....... Mid range and high is significantly better than Graham though. Graham has lots of detail, very clean but always sounded a bit sterile, a Graham has lots of detail, very clean but always sounded a bit sterile, a bit lean for my tastebit lean for my taste .... FR also throw the widest soundstage.... " +++++

" bigger and richer " : read it as higher distortions that are not in the recording where the Graham ( faster and tight: this the way how the bass must be. ) tell you and give you more information more non-degraded information that is in the recording ( that you like it more the FR degraded information means only that: " I like it more " and you like it more because is more unaccurate and less neutral. Remember that the main target is to be nearer to the recording and when you are nearer to the recording you will enjoy for sure better than ever because music is accurate, neutral, dynamic and powerfull with a natural agresiveness that gives the music its unique characteristic: ryhtmum. ))

Graham has lots of detail, very clean but always sounded a bit sterile, a bit lean for my taste " +++, this means more accurate and neutral with lower distortions than the FR ones.

" Graham has lots of detail, very clean but always sounded a bit sterile, a bit lean for my taste " +++, this is another characteristic of higher distortions: as more colored are both frequency extremes as higher differences we achieve on soundstage perception.

I can go on on the FR distortions against other tonearms but you are experienced it. Again, that you like it more those colorations does not means is right but means faraway from the recording thank's to the FR wrong/faulty design. The 66 is worst that the 64 due that's longer and produce higher distortions.

Other main focus of distortions in the FR design is that the designer likes not only goes against gravity but again does not took in count the cartridge needs and LP reality and that's why the FR design is a dynamic balanced one where the VTF forced to set by a spring at the tonearm pillar a RESONANT spring that is no damped and those spring resonances are distoritons added to the cartridge signal and not only that: due to the LP imperfetions, non-flat surface, each tiny and single up-wave in the LP surface the VTF is incremented when in a static balanced tonearm design this happen in gentle way.

All those FR faults are only part of several other faults on its design like no-azymuth control and because its vintage age that internal wiring is another degradation cartridge signal focus. I have to say that even the FR bearing frinction is higher that adequate.

Other than today good tonearm designs you can compare the " ridiculous " FR tonearm design against designs that were designed by persons that really knew what they were designed, took for example the Technics EPA100-MK2 or AT/Signet designs or Audiocraft one ( where Graham came. ) or Lustre and many more. These people had a very high KNOWLEGE level and SKILLs that unfortunatelly FR did not and even today they have not.

Suteetat, please remember that we are talking here not what " I like it " but what is right or wrong and IMHO FR is plain wrong. I still own it because I want to know/remember how a tonearm design has not to be.

Of course that ignorants with the wrong information are all supporting FR but if their life time could be enough I'm sure all of them could improve on the subject.

regards and enjoy the music,