After living with the Michell Technoarm for half a year, the upgrade bug bit and I'm in search for the next arm to go on my Michell Gyro SE. I must say the Technoarm was a great fit for the Gyro SE, the late John Michell had his hands in modifying this arm (based on the Rega arm). I was able to borrow a used SME IV for a couple of weeks, and paid for an armboard to be shipped to me from Artech. The build of the SME was certainly in a different class compared to the Technoarm. As for the sound, there were a little more texture in the midrange with the SME compared to the Technoarm but I simply didn't hear enough to shell out the extra cash to get the SME.
The Morch tonearm was an arm I was always intrigued with, maybe because of its shiny polished looks, or the fact that quite a few in forums has had success with the Morch/ZYX combo.
I was able to get a new DP-6 on Audiogon at a price that I just couldn't pass up.
The Morch DP-6 is dual pivot design that offers four color-coded armtubes with different masses to match with every cartridge weight and compliance, there's also the choice of Standard and Precision armtube, the Precision (more expensive) has wider headshell which would offers better contact between cartridge and arm and cut down on installation time. I got the chrome version (gold and black also available) with the extra heavy blue dot Standard armtube to match my ZYX R-100 cartridge. Installation to my Gyro SE was fairly straight forward, drop the arm through the single hole in the armboard and tighten the grub screw at the bottom much like the Techonoarm and Rega arms. However, the Morch offers more fine adjustments compared to the Techonoarm, at this point I had to bust out the manual to make sure setup was correct. Morch includes a silicone syringe for vertical and horizontal damping, I didn't bother with the silicone since it wasn't necessary.
In listening to the DP-6, the sound was extremely natural and detailed, the arm didn't over exagerated any part of the frequencies. Instruments sounds clean, tight, with very little overhang, easily keeping up with fast pace music. There were plenty of resolution, detail, and no roll off that I can detect with my Legacy Classic HD which goes down 30 hertz. Compared to the Technoarm and SME IV, there were better separation of instruments and the music was more organic overall. On Janis Ian excellent Breaking Silence LP, the DP-6 was equally as dynamic as the Technoarm and SME IV and were very similar in imaging soundstaging.
As with all well designed product, the differences between the arms were not night and day but enough to prefer one arm over another. With the excellent sound, elegant looks, price, and flexibilty of armtubes the Morch offers, the DP-6 should be in consideration for anyone looking for a tonearm for their high-end system. They are certainly a joy to handle and fun to look at, no regret whatsoever on this purchase.
*If you're matching Morch to a Michell table, I recommend getting the 3 shorter black spacers that comes with the Technoarm for use with Morch. Associated gear Click to view my Virtual SystemSimilar products
SME, Rega, Technoarm, Thorens