SAEC WE 506/30 incoming. Anybody here with any experience with this arm?

I simply couldn`t let this arm pass me by, it is simply gorgeous. Has anybody here tried it out? 
I have read a bit about its weird geometry, but I have tried out a SAEC WE 308 L 10.5" and it sounded quite good as long as the overhang was right. 
So...Can anybody here direct me to any reviews og contribute with any personal experiences?
They are heavy arms best used with low-compliance cartridges. Their offset angles are incorrect - more twisting of the cartridge in the headshell is required!
I seem to remember that most older Japanese arms are happier with Stevenson. 
As I wrote, I have already tried out a SAEC 308 L, and I was unable to hear any distortion as long as the overhang was correct. 
I have several low compliance cartridges, and was planning to use the arm for those.

tkr, I cannot elaborate, because it seems to me that one or more of the SAEC tonearms is built for their own unique geometry.  Some alignment mavens don't like them at all for that reason.  Otherwise, your tonearm may be built for Stevenson alignment, which has its own group of detractors.  Me, I go for whatever works. I personally prefer to use the alignment for which the tonearm was designed, so as to avoid having to twist the cartridge in the headshell.  Otherwise, with twisting, you can achieve most any of the common alignment algorithms, I think. You might find an informative thread here or on Vinyl Asylum or Vinyl Engine.
Thank you. I have tried both VinylEngine and Vinyl Asylum without much luck.
I will try it out with SAEC`s own geometry first and take it from there.
Raul knows a lot about SAEC tonearms.  Maybe he will chime in. Or search posts by Raul on SAEC.
tkr, You got me interested in this topic.  I don't know why; I am pretty much sated when it comes to tonearms, and the SAEC tonearms would not be on my menu, even if I were in the market.  Anyway, if you search on "SAEC 506/30" here on the Analog Forum, you will find quite a bit of discussion going back more than 10 years, mostly of other SAEC tonearms, but there is a little info and comment on the 506/30. Here is one lead that may tell you something about alignment.  Many comments noted that the OEM ceramic headshell is a negative and should be replaced. One person mentioned using a CF headshell instead, but any headshell not make of ceramic should be an upgrade.  Good luck.

Thank you very much, very interesting!

I have no intention of trying to calculate an other alignment for the 506 as Dertonarm has, but it`s good to know. 
Vinyl Engine, however, does have a calculator showing offset angle and overhang for the different geometries, including SAEC`s own, on the 506. A good starting point, I believe.. 
I have several headshells lying around, so the ceramic headshell is/was not an option.
I guess that the best way is simply to try the arm out. Thanks again for your help.

Short update:
Everything takes time, but the SAEC 506/30 has now arrived and is mounted. A very good arm IMO, although I have no experience with other 12" arms. 
Re. Geometry: Stevenson alignment comes almost naturally to this arm, with an infinitesimal angling of the pickup in the headshell.  
I have tried out three different carts: FR Mc-1 Mk.iii, SoundSmith gold DL 103 R and Accuphase AC-1. The Accuphase has a bit higher compliance than the other two, and shouldn`t work that well in theory, but it sounded the best of the three.
I have just seen this thread, and have used WE506/30 for several years now. As you now know it does require around 4 degrees extra twist in the headshell. We sell a laser engraved template for this if you need one..

 Once set up, it is a fantastic tonearm, the ceramic headshell is ok but can do better, Oyaide CF is good, as is Nasotec swing, this is what I use. Fonolab do a good arm lift mech too.. Not necessary to stay with low compliance carts, we have used from DL103 to My Sonic Labs eminent to Signature, AT Art 9, Aidas Panzerholz, through to Aidas Mammoth gold mkii, which is simply amazing. It is a bit strange with the offset, but the arm is too good to dismiss it purely based on this aspect.. 
Nice template! I use a Dr. Feickert alignment tool, and it works fine.

I have been in contact with Fonolab in Prague regarding an armlift- cum- armrest. They would be in contact with me as soon as they had it back in stock.

As for carts, I have several others which I am itching to try out, but I am very reluctant to do so before the armlift is in place. It is very interesting to hear about your experiences with higher compliance carts! 
I would imagine the small offset in the headshell is irrelevant in that the arm does not have offset bearings like modern arms anyway. The arm is already compromised in that you have an offset cartridge with non offset vertical bearings, which leads to rotational forces on the bearings.

Being a 12" arm the rotational forces exerted by the cartridge that tend to load unequally the knife edge bearings due to the non offset bearings are also probably less of an issue.
A short update on the SAEC 506:

A really good arm, IMO, and built like a tank. It gives every cartridge I have tried on it a very "matter of fact" sound, but with a really formidable bass foundation. Right now I have mounted a Lyra Parnassus dct, and it really sings. Next cartridge up will be an old Kondo Audio Note Io ii.

As I wrote earlier, Stevenson geometry comes naturally to this arm, and all it takes is an infinitesimal twisting of the cartridge to achieve the right geometry.

My biggest problem is an almost total lack of any meaningful information about the arm. I have done extensive searches without finding any information about the effective mass of the 506. Does anybody out there know?

Dear @tkr : The 506-30 was one of the oldest SAEC designs and was designed expressily for radio stations and not for home audio systems and that's why comes with out arm lift. Over the years and due that the market ask for SAEC designed a truly " lovely " stand alone arm lift. When I bougth my tonearm sample I bougth too that arm lift. Time to time appears in ebay and Yahoo Japan.

All the spec numbers in SAEC tonearms but the 8000 ( that I owned too. ) say that the cartridge/tonearm alignment is near Stevenson alignment as many other Japanese tonearms.

The worst of any of the standard alignments but you don't have to follow using it you can align it for Löfgren A or B with the protractor you own. I used with Löfgreen A. It performs good with no problems.

I can't remember the effective mass that I have somewhere.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
Dear @rauliruegas :
Thank you very much for your input. The 506/30 sounds quite good right now with a Kondo Audio Note Io ii and Stevenson alignment. It`s eleven PM here in Norway right now. I will try the Löfgren alignment tomorrow.

Regards tkr

Good to hear you have and are enjoying the WE506, it certainly is quite a statement on any TT, both visually and of course sonically. It is worth some experimentation of the set up, you may actually prefer the Stevenson alignment after all, my view on tonearm geometry has been 'radicalised' by using a straight arm recently, so no offset, no sideways forces on the stylus tip, and of course no counteracting force (anti skate). Actually, in the arm I am using now there is also no bearing, so by all accounts, it should sound a mess! BUT, no, it is phenomenal, all across the LP side, absolutely no discernible difference in any passage from start to finish, no tracing distortion can be heard.. The arm is the ViV Labs FR9, with Aidas Mammoth Gold Mkii cartridge. So my thoughts would be to not get too hung up on reducing tracing error to the minimum, but to reduce the sideways forces on the cantilever as much as possible, this may bring the best result, and one which I will aim to do with my 506 over the coming month..

Dear @ps68  : You are talking of different issues with your Vivid, different trade-offs and it's up to each one of us to choose the best trade offs for each one of us.

In the " paper " I can't see that Vivid is or could be a better trade-off . Different yes but.....


Perhaps you misunderstood my post, I encourage tkr to experiment for best results, using whatever geometry sounds best to his ears.

To my ears with 40yrs analogue experience, the straight, zero offset ViV Labs RF9 tonearm sounds better than any other arm I have owned including the wonderful SAEC, not different, but BETTER..

Thank you for your input. I will try out other alignments than Stevenson, simply to see if I am missing something. The reason why it is so alluring to stay with Stevenson alignment, is that every cartridge I have used on my FR 64 S with Stevenson plops right in on the SAEC 506 in the right place. Only a matter of rotating the cartridge ever so slightly.

I may be a bit lazy.  

            Regards TKR
Dear @ps68  : Maybe you are the  Viv tonearm UK distributor as some of  the system items you show in your Agon virtual system .

If you really are a Vivid distributor then what you posted/opinion could be severely biased to.

As you I'm an experienced music lover and audiophile ( maybe not at your levels and certainly with golden ears. ) ) and owned over 25 different tonearms and listened to other too in my system and other gentleman systems and I sold out the SAEC 506 and 8000 because there are better performers. No the 506 is not " wonderful " only a decent one.

I can see that you modified the ML speakers crossover with boutique caps/inductors and resistors and puts on sale.
Well, those Duelund resistors are the worst one of the boutique type resistors but a loudspeaker what's need is not boutique parts but well engennering parts like the powertron resistors by Vishay or humble uncolored caps as Wima, Vishay or Kemet. All these well engeneering passive devices really are way better than the boputique ones.

I had and have first hand experiences in electronics and speakers with the $$$ boutique parts against the humble well engeneering designed passive parts.
No, I'm not an audio distributor of anything.



Sorry, I'm not sure what your agenda is but ViV Labs are sold in the UK by Definitive Audio / Living Voice, it seems that you may be getting confused..!

Dear @ps68  : I have no specific agenda about your post and please read that I posted: " maybe ", thank's to fix it but even that my opinion about the Vivid is the same.

Btw and due that you like cap item changes/modification. This link is a interesting one about: