Replace OL Illustrious 3 with Graham 2.2?

Is this an upgrade or a lateral move??

I'm using a Teres 340 and really stretched to get the TT itself. Therefore I had to use a lesser arm due to budget constraints.
However, I have made some upgrades to the power system and am finding that mu cdp has benefited more from it than my TT

Dont get me wrong. The TT sounds very nice. But my cdp is now rivaling it in many respects. This makes me question my vinyl setup and its weak link. FWIW, I haven't checked setup parameters ie vta yet. Nor have I played with loading.
This is mostly due to all the recent upgrades and tweaks and trying to evaluate them. Nonetheless, my system sounds better than ever. But I am curious about the Graham 2,2 arm.
I don't know the Illustrious but the Graham 2.2 is a great arm. I've had one mounted on an Orbe SE for several years and think it's a great combo. All of the necessary adjustment parameters are at your finger tips with the 2.2. It's a fully realized, mature design with a wonderfully open, balanced sound: excellent high frequency resolution, a full, natural midrange, and a solid bottom end if you take the time to get the damping right. Combine it with a quality phono cable like an IC-70 and it's hard to beat. Despite all the hype about the Phantom (which I also own, mounted on another deck, and think is terrific), the 2.2 remains a classic. Plus, you can buy them at absurdly low prices right now.
The 2.2 is a better tonearm than the Origin Live. At its' present pre-owned price a bargain IMO. For the money, an inexpensive way to upgrade your front end. If by chance it doesn't work out, you'll lose nothing except some time.

I have no financial interest in either line.
Is the removable arm wand made for the use of different carts by switching out the arm with pre mounted cart? Also, what is the size of the mounting hole? Im not sure if arm mounts are available for my TT anymore. I could make one but I don't need the hassle now.
Yes on the wands. 1.5-in. hole, pivot-to-spindle 217.4 mm (roughly 8.5 in.). It's actually an extremely easy arm to mount because Graham includes a little nipple that fits over the spindle; then you fit a specified hole in the headshell onto the nipple and that's your p-to-s distance. Very easy. It's a well thought-out bit of engineering.
Addendum: the hole can be from 1.5 to 1.75 in. according to an email Bob Graham sent me a while back.
The 2.2 is a very good arm and easy to set up.
The Graham 2.2 is indeed a nice arm. I have one that I picked up a few years back at a nice low price. I used it to nice effect on my Teres (link with pics):

However when you say that your CDP rivals the TT in many respects this brings up another subject. Something isn't quite right and needs attention.

One thing about the DC powered Teres is that these can sound rather laid back. That is, they can sound somewhat lacking in energy output when the material is heavy on rhythm and other sounds which have explosive impact.

I suspect that this, uhm character trait of the Teres, is somewhat exacerbated by wear and tear on that Maxon DC motor. These motors are not like an AC synchronous that seems to live forever. The DC motors wear out. It could be that you could restore some vim and vigor to the player simply by replacing the motor...? Just a thought. I'd talk to Chris about this prospect. He may have some insight.

Thanks Steve. This is info I did not know. What you have described seems to describe what I am hearing and the difference between the TT and cdp.

That said, I may have sold the TT somewhat short when it is not the TT's fault, but mine. I have made so many upgrades, with the TT being the first. It very well could be that I never have gotten the TT setup spot on and moved on to PC, etc.
The Teres does sound very good. AAMOF, there are qualities about it that the cdp cannot touch. However, That said, I need to play with VTA and loading. I've never really taken the time to play with these factors as I should

I also wonder if I have the TT plugged into the Oyaide. HMM. Very possible.

After I check this out thoroughly, I will call Chris

Why this haste to upgrade if you've done so little to optimize what you have? In addition to the adjustments you admit you haven't made, if your system photo is current then you also haven't optimized the drive system of your Teres. A 340 set up as in your photo will not match my 320 or any Galibier for dynamics, "oomph" or tonal clarity. It will sound comparitively soft, wooly and undynamic.

Your photo shows the stock Teres black drive tape. That is several generations behind the state of the art in drive tapes. We bettered that material on our 320 several years and tape types ago. Read this thread . Chris doesn't provide the optimal tape and neither does anyone else. You have to DIY (or I will, for $100 each! LOL)

The motor may or may not be an issue. Ours once had problems like what Steve described but no longer does, thanks to an upgrade provided by Chris. Ask him about gold brushes.

I think you'll benefit more from rolling up your sleeves than rolling out your wallet. ;-)


P.S. From experience I disagree that a 2.2 would be a significant upgrade from an Illustrious. IMO it wouldn't even be a lateral move.
Thanks Doug. Your last statement concerning the 2.2 vs OL was my main question. That said, I would buy the 2.2 if it were an upgrade. They are quite inexpensive right now and that was my reasoning.
The picys and listing of my system is out of date and I need to update the listing. I 've been really busy and so haven't had the time to update the listing. But I have updated quite a few other things. Its easy to see your dismay in light of the system listed. But here are the upgrades

Phono preamp is now Vacuum State JLTi. Got a defective one at first and had to work through that issue. Jay and Allan took care of it though. Both are good people and a pleasure to deal with.

Amp is a tube unit Dynaco ST-70 made by Bob Latino. Its kind of misleading since the only thing used of the ST-70 is the circuit. it has all the upgrades that are possible and sounds better than my former CJ by a good margin IMO

I am now running all "Pure Note" cables. I had Pure Note previously but I had a lesser IC cable on the TT. Duh!!! .

I've installed an Oyaide R1 AC outlet on my dedicate AC line. Stunning!

I have installed new AC cables. Still auditioning them but am towards the end of the 30 days. They are broke in and have made some improvement

So, One of my problems is that I have made too many changes for the time period and am trying to stay on top without fooling myself.
My big project has ended now so i will have time to really get the Teres zeroed in. My wife has given me the OK to build my room.

That said, is the new tape drive system a big upgrade? BTW, I'm using a clear one now. (The black one broke) I was planning on researching the new tape but just hadn't gotten around to it.

One other thing I should note is that in my experiment to separate digital fro analog, I found that my phono preamp was plugged into a regular 50 cent outlet running through a cheap surge protector (another area that needs attention).
Plugging it into the Monster which is plugged into the R1 has made a big improvement also.

Thanks for your input Doug. It is much appreciated. I guess I'll try to get around to updating my system in the next few days so my posts are not so confusing
They are quite inexpensive right now and that was my reasoning.
In an active secondary market comprised of knowledgeable buyers and sellers, a piece of equipmnent that retains a relatively low percentage of its original price is likely to perform:
a) better than average
b) worse than average
c) on American Idol


That said, is the new tape drive system a big upgrade?
Read the thread I linked. No one who's tried it has failed to hear improvements.

BTW, I'm using a clear one now. (The black one broke)
Good. The (2 mil) clear tape was a nice upgrade over the (1 mil) black. You're now just two steps from state of the art. Whatever you heard from the switch to the clear tape, you'll hear more of.


As you're running the TT on AC power, I'd recommend the battery option from Teres. Batteries eliminate dirty power problems better than any power cord.

If you do, skip the Teres-supplied battery and buy a heftier Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) type. (We actually use two, our TT probably has more cold-cranking amps than my Land Rover! LOL.) AGM batteries are safe and hold their charge practically forever when disconnected, which we do when not listening. Ours only need recharging once or twice a year. We leave our charger disconnected, which further lowers the noise floor.

A big AGM battery's large plate surfaces and mat-stabilized gel electrolyte supply electricity fast enough to push the motor through transients with minimal power lags; AC oomph without the noise and distortion.

Our 320 matches our CDP for transient speed and betters its dynamics, bass depth and clarity. Of course there's no comparison when it comes to a low sound floor.
Doug. I never intended to give the idea that the CDP sounded better than the Teres. However, my exuberance over the improvements which the Oyaide R1 AC outlet brought to the cdp did come through. I'm surprised the cdp sounds as good as it does. However, the TT was not getting the benefit of the outlet. I hadn't realized that at my OP.

That said, I have worked some with the TT. But mostly with the preamp. I plugged the JLTi into the Oyaide as well which helped. But then I got the idea that since the designer of the preamp, Allen Wright, advocates 47K loading, i thought I'd try it. Whoa. More energy and sound stage.

I am running battery power now. Are you saying the battery you suggested would be a sonic upgrade or a maintenance upgrade? IOW's buy that one when this one goes bad?

I am going to try to find the mylar tape later this afternoon. I've read enough of the thread to know what is necessary to make the tapes. Is there a place online to buy all the stuff necessary if my hunt fails this afternoon?

Also, The main reason for asking about the 2.2 was because I have always felt as if I had to compromise on the arm when I bought the TT. I spent all my $$$ on it and could not swing a better arm at the time. It seems that the majority are using Triplanars or Schroeders or other higher end arms. I do not have experience with other arms except those which I have had on previous tables. I live in flyover country and do not get to hear other systems. I like the simplicity of The OL and it seems to do a good job. But I hadn't got around to asking Chris about it.

BTW, I like your quiz
Info on tape source. Enough to last a lifetime.

mylar streamers

you want part #6033665. 1/2" x 100' holographic mylar.

My opinion on the 2.2 is close to Doug's. Your table is far better than the 2.2 can manage.

How about a nice, used Triplanar VII?
Thanks for the link Dan Ed.

The guy I bought the TT from had a triplanar on it but finances did not permit. I had to sneak the OL illustrious in the house. I got a very good deal on it and what few reviews I read gave it much praise. at the time Chris had a list of compatible(sounding good) arms on his website and OL was one of them.

I'd like to have a Triplanar but I really need to back off of upgrades, especially now that my wife says "Please build the room". She wants her LR without stereo gear. Also her mother is getting old and we may have to take her in. I'll need a hiding place then. PLUS, with a dedicated room, I can play my music loud after 9PM. I usually get my 2nd breath at 8:30
Dan Ed? A question about your equipment racks. The racks are fashioned after the ones on Chris Brady's site I believe. Are you using a sand box under each component as shown on Chris' site?
Good eyes! Yes, correct on all counts. However, the sandboxes under the source components have proven to be overkill to some extent for my equipment. A good isolation product, like rollerblocks or Stillpoints, seem to work better here. The boxes under the turntable and amp are effective.
Sorry, I must have mis-read something about an AC power cord on your TT.

Large, AGM batteries do provide a sonic performance boost over the one Teres recommends, the heftier the better. It should be easy to sneak a battery into the house, it certainly isn't eye candy! ;-)

We also bought a "smart" charger that extends the life and optimizes the performance of the battery. This means we never use the Teres charger and it's disconnected. In our system any charger compromises sonics if left attached during play.
Thanks Doug. Ill check that out also

BTW I snuck in the first Scoutmaster I owned. The MMF-7 which it replaced was black and so they looked similar from a distance. I was waiting to see how long it took her to catch it. Unfortunately, I forgot about it. Then, a month later I brought in the mail which had the credit card bill. She writes the checks for the bills so.............................Busted!!

My wife is very understanding of my music need and has been very supportive, even if she doesn't sometimes understand the need for upgrade. We celebrate 35 yrs this yr. She knows to expect most anything from me...............Of course within reason. She's no fool. She wouldn't have put up with me if I spent our $$$ without regard to our welfare. We laugh a lot at each other and ourselves. She sometimes tells that story to friends.
I wonder how I'll have to pay for that? Hmmm
Ha! You guys sound just like my wife and I. Also 35 yrs this December.
Thanks guys, I practically feel like a teenager again. This year's only our 27th. ;-)

In 1991 I snuck in a new c-j PV-11 to replace a Phase Linear 4000. The sound gave me away though, it took Paul about 3 seconds to notice. Oops!

Hi, I was wondering if your OL arm was the current MkIIIC with the carbon fiber arm tube. I ask because last summer I sent my older model Illustrious for repair and upgrade to MkII status. The repair didn't take and it had to be sent back. The upshot is I now have a new MkIIIC with balanced wiring. The MkII arm made an incremental improvement over the original; but the new carbon arm is a whole different animal. If your arm is the newer version, I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss it.
Thanks John
The arm is the version 3 just previous to the carbon fiber arm wand. After re-reading some info on the OL, I am in agreement with you that it should not be dismissed easily. I guess i was feeling somewhat insecure about it and needed reassurance.
Thanks again
An upgrade to the carbon arm and balanced wiring might be a cost effective upgrade. Check with Mark to see what he'd charge. With the current exchange rates between the dollar and the pound it might be worth contemplating. The carbon arm made a very significant difference in my system over the previous alloy one.
Some years ago I had a Graham 2.2 and changed to OL Encounter Mk.1. Even this old generation entry-level OL tonearm provides better articulation and bass secureness than the Graham 2.2, while being on par with resolution and detail. If you swap your Illoustrious Mk.3 for a Graham 2.2, this could be a wrong move rather than a side move.
Thanks hifidaddy