Raven One Owners - some questions

I've had my Raven One, Graham Phantom II, Dynavector XX2 combination for a month and now that everything is getting broken in I am beginning to consider some set up tweaks.

The Raven One now ships without the mat. Jeff C. said that "most listeners" prefer it without the mat; that is how he and Thomas W. prefer it. What are your experiences with and without the mat?

I am also thinking about isolation and what the table should be sitting on. Currently it is on the top shelf of my Mapleshade sampson rack and the shelf is 2" thick maple. The table has the new Stillpoint feet. I have another 2" Mapleshade platform that I could put on top of the rack, with Mapleshade brass triplepoints between the top shelf and the platform. But before I mess with that, has anyone tried anything like that and what results did you get?

Any other tweaks you have discovered with the Raven set-up?


I don't have the Raven 1(VPI SSM)but I do have experience with Maple versus other isolation. I've used a 2" Maple platform alone and in combination with a Gingko Cloud 11. Currently I'm using the Master platform from Critical Mass Systems. All work well but I've found that the most nuetral is the Critical Mass unit. The Maple alone was more lively but could be fatiguing in comparison to the Critical Mass. The Gingko smoothed things out and was also quite enjoyable but did add mild bass bloat in comparison to the Critical Mass. What your table sits on makes a difference but largely is also a matter of taste. Many people love the sound of Maple alone and I can't say that I blame them.
I also use a Raven one with the supplied Stillpoint feet, no mat, Phantom arm first series and Dyavector XV-1.

The table is on it's own dedicated maple stand utilizing the large adjustable Finite Elemente cera base feet.
The table itself sits on a Symposium shelf with Finite Elemente cera puc feet.

My experience this past summer taking away the Finite Elemente feet , Symposium shelf and setting the table back on the stands original 2 inch thick butcher block shelf.

A fair degree of low level resolution and focus was gone.
Also immediately noticed was the fabulous bloom and note decay of this combination was effected.

However experimenting with feet, equiptment stands and shelves will certainly have positive results most of the time, I have not tried many under my Raven.
The Symposium shelf ,maple stand and Finite Elemente feet work very well.

There is something else you may want to consider first.

Dave if you have not already I would give serious thought to a MintLp arc protractor including WalkerAudio's Prelude record cleaner and Step 4 rinse.

The Mint protractor and both Walker products could be had for the price of ONE Finite Elemente equiptment stand base.

The returns for the amount of money spent cannot be equaled.
BTW...Nice system
Thanks Stiltskin and Sonofjim. You have both convinced me to try some different isolation set-ups. I'll start with what I have -- the extra mapleshade platform -- and see what happens.

Stiltskin - I have read good things about the Walker record cleaning products and may give them a try next time I make an order. What's the benefit of the Mint protractor on the Raven/Graham?


I have my Raven one on a reasonable wall shelf. Mine came with the millenium feet. I have tried Symposium Rollerblock juniors and stillpoints and stillpoints came out best, by a good margin, better detail, transparency. These are the stock Stillpoint feet, no reason to think the supplied OEM feet are not equally good. My Raven has an Ortofon 309D + Zyx Airy 3 and it is a long term keeper.

Regarding the MintLp arc protractor, it's a high precision set up tool made specifically for your table and tonearm.

You can read all about it here in the analogue discussion section specifically { Stringreens thread... mintlp}including info at their web site MintLp.com....Best 100 bucks I have ever spent in this hobby.
Lloyd Walkers active enzyme base record cleaner and Step 4 final rinse does exactly as advertised with a full money back guarantee.
Much can be read about using active enzyme soak cleaners as a first step method for cleaning new and vintage Lps.

For sure sound pressure levels are not an issue with your fabulous Quads.
The Stillpoint feet on the Raven turned out to be head and shoulders improvement above the Milleium brand.

Perhaps Stillpoints other product line would be a good place to start for experimenting.
Borrow and try what you can, your ears will let you know.
Make sure you have a accurate spirit level to use on your table for each stand or shelf you try.

David12s wall mount shelf is about as good as locating your table in another room.
Eventally I'll go this route mounting a shelf on the wall.
Built in book cases are an issue.
Let us know how you make out.
Just a quick update. I have installed the 2" mapleshade platform on the top shelf of my rack, with 4 isoblocks (mapleshade's cork & rubber footers) cut in half, so they only have one layer of cork and rubber. Also, based on a suggestion from Jeff C., I have slightly unscrewed the Stillpoint feet so they are no longer flush up against the bottom of the table.

With two concurrent changes, it is hard to tell what the impact of each was but I hear improvement in the 3-dimensionality of the soundstage, notes seems to linger a little longer, better and sharper initial attack, slightly better detail and more clarity to things previously hidden in the background, and surprisingly tighter bass. The improved bass was not expected, but acoustic bass and drums have more impact and snap to them.

Thanks for the nudge to give it a try. And if you have the Stillpoint feet on your Raven, try slightly unscrewing them to see what you hear.

Next steps...Walker cleaning products.

My Raven One sits on a Sistrum Stand SP-1. I added an additional upward brass point in the center which contacts the bottom of the bearing, allowing vibration to drain from it.

I originally had a smaller sistrum stand temporarily, and heard a remarkable improvement in bass definition and overall resolution (vs. the original Millenium feet). When I got the proper size SP-1 I heard even more of the same, over the smaller stand. It was almost like hearing the entire tonal range drop an octave, if that description makes any sense. This all sits on a 1" thick slate. I have never heard the Stillpoints, however.

Now please don't all hate me, but if things go as planned, sometime early next year the Table and Sistrum will be sitting on a Halcyonics active vibration platform!!!

I can't even imagine what an active vibration cancellation system will do for my sound quality.

I have done some other significant add ons as well that have taken an already amazing table to a new level.

The phono cart is the Strain Gauge.

My original plan was to take this nice, compact, reasonably priced table and add on all the best components I could.

I'm thinking that after the Halcyonics is added, (if it performs as expected) that I'll be experiencing a level of analog playback on par with the very best of tables that are in production.

I guess the only place to go from there would be the external motor option.

Needless to say, my DAC isn't even hooked up at this point.