Schroeder Model 2
My latest addition in the never ending pursuit of audio nirvana is the Schroeder Model 2. A string suspended arm, held in place and damped by 2 strong neodium magnets. The arm wand is made of carbon fibre with Cardas wiring from the cartridge clips all the way to the phono RCAs - no breaks which is a good thing.
In order to mount it onto my Kuzma, I had an acrylic armboard custom made with the drill holes for the Rega mount, 222mm from spindle to pivot. Once installed, VTA is adjusted via a screw on the arm pillar and can be further fine tuned by adjusting the gap between the 2 magnets. I alined the cartridge using my trusted DB Protractor. Azimuth is adjusted via the counter weight. Tracking force was not so easy as minor shifts of the counter weight changes both the TF and azimuth. The weight was heavy enough to be placed very near to the pivot point.
In terms of sound reproduction, this was definitely an upgrade from the Kuzma Stogi Reference, which is an excellent arm in its own right. But the Schroeder's lack of bearings and mechanical noise just floated the soundstage. The main difference was in the speed of the arm. Dynamics, pace and timing were excellent, resulting in less smearing of the music, and consequently reveiling more low level detail, even at the back of the soundstage. The soundstage also seems to be both wider and deeper, with fine laying. The highs, especially cymbals were pristine, while bass notes were both deeper and tighter in definition.
At the end of the day, I stopped analyzing the music and just enjoyed it. This raises the bar for all high end tonearms.