Shelter and Triplanar matching ?


I have problems to match a shelter 901 with a tri planar VII.

Lot of records ( above all piano LP ) are playing tremulous and I can see the tonearm CLEARLY SHAKING on the record while playing it as if it could be a problem of resonance between the cartridge and the tonearm .

I have seen here and there that the Shelter was a LOW COMPLIANCE cartridge (I don't know the exact value).Its weight is 9,5 g.

I have choosed the maxi VTF : 2 g.

I am afraid that the TP is too light for the shelter.Its effective mass is 11 g,
Is it enough for the Shelter 901 ?

I am surprised because the Shelter 901 / Tri Planar seemed to be a combination used buy some audiophiles...without modification .

Could someone give me some help...

Thank you


What does the music sound like?

With the information that you provided, an acceptable resonance frequency for this combo is between 9 - 19 with 12 cm/dyne x 10 (-6) being ideal. Find out what the compliance is for the 901 to get an accurate measurement. It could possibly be a mis-match, ie tone-arm too light for the 901 or cartridge compliance too low.

Do check to see if the cartridge is mounted properly (screwed tight) and also check that the VTA screw on the Tri-Planar is tightened.

The ZYX line of cartridges would be a great match for your arm if in fact the Shelter does have a low compliance.
Hi dogpile

If you know the Triplanar can you tell me wich counterweight(s) I must use for a 9,5 g cartridge .They furnish 4 counterweights ( 1 big beveled and 3 smallers flats) .


There is no serious mismatch between your cartridge and arm. The TriPlanar's nominal effective mass is 11g (varying slightly depending on which counterweights are used). A 901 with mounting hardware weighs approximately 10g and it has a compliance spec of 9 cu. To find their theoretical resonance frequency R we solve for the following formula:

R = 159/(SQRT((M+m)xC)) where:

M = effective mass of arm
m = mass of cartridge and hardware
C = compliance of cartridge

R = 159/SQRT((11+10)x9)
R = 11.57 Hz

This theoretical prediction was empirically confirmed on my TriPlanar VII/Shelter 901 combination. On the HFN&RR test record's resonance tracks I observed resonance frequencies of 11 Hz, + or -1. Not perfect but certainly acceptable.

You'll get slightly better bass and dynamics from your 901 by making the arm's effective mass as high as possible. To do this, use the bevelled weight (pushed all the way forward) plus the LIGHTEST donut-shaped weight that will balance the cartridge and give you the desired VTF. Using a LIGHTER c/w farther from the pivot INCREASES effective mass. IME the benefit will be slight but audible.

That said, I don't know why you're seeing visible shaking of the arm on non-warped records. I certainly never observed that in the year or more that I used my 901. Dogpile's suggestion to check the VTA tower set screw was a good one.

His suggestion to try a ZYX was also one I agree with, when you can. The TriPlanar is worthy of far better cartridges than a Shelter 901. A TriPlanar/UNIverse combination has proven synergistic and immensely pleasing for many people, including myself. Any ZYX from the Airy 2 upward will easily outplay a 901 on this arm.

Good luck,
Heed Doug's comments and advice, he knows what he's talking about, always worked for me! Doug's suggestion about adding a second weight will definitely help.

Doug - regarding the above (R) formula, which spec value (C) should one use for the cartridge compliance? The 'vertical' value OR 'lateral' (horizontal) value? I assume the horizontal compliance is "less critical?"
HI Dogpile and Doug

First of all thank you VERY MUCH for your suggestions and PRECIOUS help.


I cannot try right now what you advise to me because I had to send the TP back yesterday evening : the fine adjustment of azimut has been damaged by ANOTHER person (although it is a NEW ARM ????? )

I think It didn't have any influence on the problem that I descibed to you yesterday as the adjustment seemed to be visually perfect (the head shell was exactly in a horizontal positon )

VTA was perfectly tight (adjusted in a horizontal position) with the tower nearly in its highest position, as the armboard on my new Verdier is very low compared with the platter position.

I had the same problem ( in lower proportions) with the same cartridge and my Rega RB 900 wich was my previous tonearm before using the TP wich I received only last saturday. So I was also thinking it could be also a problem with this cartridge itself ( breaking in or anything else ...)

So I'll follow your advices when the TP is back wich I hope the sooner as possible (???) and I 'll give you news at this moment . I am afraid it's not tomorrow morning !!!

Thanks again


The formula works in both planes of course. If your cartridge has different V and H compliance, like a ZYX, run the formula twice.

The usual reason to check system resonance frequencies, whether by math or by test record, is simply to expose gross mis-matches - though frankly those are rare these days. Resonance frequencies won't tell you how a cartridge and arm will synergize and make music. Only listening will reveal that.

You do raise an interesting question though. I wouldn't assume either direction is less (or more) critical, but they are different. It might be theoretically desirable to have a higher R on the vertical axis and a lower R on the horizontal one.

Warps and floor-borne vibrations are largely vertical and fall mostly below 6Hz, so a slightly higher vertical R would help us avoid those. Some musical frequencies go as low as 16Hz and they are somewhat more horizontal, so we want horizontal R high enough to avoid them. I suppose a vertical R of 12-14Hz and a horizontal R of 8-10 Hz might be "ideal".

This would require either that the cartridge have a very non-linear suspension or that the arm have much higher effective mass on the horizontal axis than on the vertical. There are a few arms like that: air-bearing tangential arms and a few pivoted arms like the Dynavector 505/507 or a Twl-modded OL or Rega. Thanks to its relatively high horizontal inertia, my Twl-modded OL Silver was the most dynamic arm I've heard. Leading edge transient speed and extension were better than a TriPlanar, a Schroeder Reference or a Graham 2.2. I'm still impressed by Twl's brilliantly simple invention.

I wonder how the azimuth adjustment (or anything else) was damaged on a new arm? I assume repairs will be covered by warranty.

Having to use the VTA tower near the top of its range "might" make it less stable and (let's face reality) the fit of the TriPlanar's VTA mechanism is not its best feature! Any chance of getting a taller armboard?

Since you had the same problem with this cartridge on another arm it does seem likely that the problem is in the cartridge. Shelter's QC is not as good as some, although I've never heard of this particular problem. Many 901's have misaligned cantilevers and/or non-square motors. Mine suffers from both problems (lucky me!) which makes it impossible to achieve decent channel seperation regardless of alignment or azimuth adjustment.
HI doug

I' am wondering too !!!! ( for the damage)

Thank you for the precisions concerning the Shelter .

I'll modifie the armboard to get it higher . However , now that I am using the REGA again with no special problems of height, I confirm that the problem I described you in my first message is still audible (piano with vibrato!!) and the headshell is lightly but clearly shaking lateraly ,especially at the beginning of each side whatever the anti -skate is.

I 'll give you some news as soon as I know what will happen with the TP ( because I want absolutly a new one THIS TIME).

Thanks again, André.

PS : excuse me but I don't understand what the abbreviation QC means (I am French).
Piano with vibrato - ouch!

That should not happen with a Shelter 901 on either of these arms.

1) Does this occur on only a few records? If so, are they drilled off-center? That will produce pitch-warbling every time. The only fix is to replace them or widen the spindle holes so you can center them before clamping.

2) If the records are drilled on-center it's probably the cartridge. Try another cartridge (any cartridge) and see if the problem repeats.

QC = Quality Control: methods used to ensure that every manufactured item or business process meets specifications, within defined tolerance limits. (I don't know the equivalent term in French, but it explains why one Exocet will hit the right house while ten Scuds can't even hit the right city!)
I had not this problem with my AUDIO NOTE IQ 3 before using the shelter .
Unfortunately I cannot try it again as I have lost the screws to set it up.

A friend will lend me a DL 103 so I can do the test...

OK for QC ( good explanation!!! )

It happens (very audible ) with piano records and not during the entire side ( but almost every time at the beginning of each side) . When the sound of the note is going on after the attack it seems there is like a vibrato ( tremulous) in the sound .

I have tried a lot of different records like EMI or RCA or else.They seem well drilled but I will check it .I effectively never had the problem with extra flat DECCAS 200 g reeditions.....but I have a lot of records and they are not all Deccas 200 g

Perhaps the problem comes from records but the fact is that I did'nt hear it with the AUDIO NOTE.

I hope that increasing the quality of he cartridge is not synonimus with leaving the half of my records on the shelves !!!!


Thanks the detailed explaination and for the (R) formula, it was very helpful.

TENMUS - Tri-Planar supplies an optional "spacer" for their tone-arms. Get in contact with your dealer, maybe he'll throw one in for free!
Thank you DOGPILE for the suggestion.


Excellent suggestion re: the spacer. The TP website even shows them, in black or silver to match the arm. Anyone whose armboard puts the VTA tower in the top half of its range should try one.


Good description of the sound. That helps, and you just gave us three more good clues:
1) the tremolo occurs only at the beginning of sides,
2) the tremolo did not occur or was not audible with an A-N IQ-3,
3) the tremolo does not occur on 200g Decca reissues,

I have a hypothesis which explains #1 and #2. If it's correct then you should hear the tremolo with your friend's DL-103. (Make sure you set VTF to 2.2g or above, as the Denon prefers.) Let us know your results.

If my hypothesis is correct there are ways to solve the problem.

Unfortunately #3 seems to contradict my hypothesis. Do you have a 200g Decca with strong piano attacks at the very beginning of a side? If so, play that with the Shelter 901 and try to cue the stylus as close to the first music groove as possible. (I'm trying to disprove #3!) :-(


1) The Tremolo appears not only but ESPECIALLY on the beginningof the side but it may also happens at the end or even sometime in the middle of it.It seems to me that the problems comes with certain modulations and that it is amplified where the record is not PERFECTLY FLAT ( the beginning for example)

2) I 'll do the test with the Shelter/DECCA tomorrow morning.


Hi Doug

I have not found any decca 200g with stong attacks of piano or else.

I have listen during one hour to different records with the Shelter / Rega and what I can confirm is that the problem is much lighter (x 10 )with this combination( a few seconds here and there but always exactly at the same moment than with the Triplanar/ Shelter)

How is it possible? Is there a flaw in the cartridge amplified with the Triplanar ? Is it a question of bad adjustment( my fault) ?

I' ll do the trail with the DL 103 as soon as possible but if your supposition should be that the TP is DAMAGED please tell me because it will influence my attitude regarding warranty because they could propose me only to repair it and not to change it for a new one ( for the moment I am still waiting their proposition).

Thanks Doug
Hi again doug

I have listen more carefully :

For example with the NOCTURNES DE CHOPIN BY WEISSENBERG ( EMI ) , this impression of a piano with tremolo is almost always there , much much lighter than with the TP but always present above all when the note is during after the attack ( stong or not stong attack) .

I think it was important to give this precision before you answer.


I have made the test with the Dl 103 on a lot of records and what I can say is that where the problem of vibration existed with the Shelter it is still worse with the DL 103 whatever is the VTF ( from 2,2 to 2,6g ) on it.

I have really observed the records where the problems appear and what I can say is that when the record is not PERFECTLY FLAT +++ and PERFECTLY DRILLED +++the tonearm has a visible vibration (verticaly or horizontaly) wich is particularly audible with pianos records.

The Audio note seemed to have more tolerance to these kinds of flaws and that the reason why I did'nt hear them before using the Shelter.

What is your opinion?

Thanks for your help .


PS / I 'll Receive a brand new TP next week (at last a good new)
Dear Andre: I know that you are asking to Doug but after reading the thread answers it seems to me that if the arm board is exactly leveled ( flat ) and there is no internal tonearm antiskating problem then the problem is in the TP at different height ( Decca 200gr ) or the problem is that at this height is less sensible to that problem. Remember that the LPs are concave and at the begining is more thick than in the middle.

Now, you have to wait your new TP and " see " what happen . This is the first time that I heard that some one had a problem like this with a top cartridge/tonearm. It does not seems to me like a more noral tracking problem but more like a tonearm problem or unleveled one.

We can " think " many things about but the proof will be with your new TP.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Dear Raul

The different test I am doing for three days are done with the RB 900 / shelter or DL 103 as the TP has been sended back and the problem with this tone arm ( RB 900) is still present.
.However I can confirm it was still worse with the TP but it is possible its my fault ( bad adjustment). So as soon as I receive the TP I ' ll set it up higher than last time and I 'll use exactly the CW as DOUG told me.Then I'll try to find the good adujstments for VTA and antiskating .
But today my feeling is that the lower the compliance is( as the AUDIOnote was) the most tolerant it will be faced to flaws of the records and vice versa.

In one sense I hope I am wrong...



Thank you! - for coming in and trying to help. Like you, I've rarely heard of this problem with good equipment. This is a tough one. No need to apologize. This isn't "my" thread. Everyone should try to help if they can.

The main tonearm problem I can imagine causing this is damaged, dirty or misadjusted bearings. For two tonearms to have that problem (or any one problem) seems unlikely.

The fact that it's audible with the RB900 but more audible with the TP may simply be due to the TP's greater transparency. (Just guessing, I don't know the RB900.)

I am leaning toward this idea: inadequate resistance to stylus drag. Large dynamics and warps both temporarily increase and then decrease drag resistance on the platter. If the platter slows and then quickly comes back up to speed, pitch changes on piano decays would be audible. A stretch and rebound cycle in the elastic drive belt that most PV's use might be involved.


If the problem continues with the new/repaired TP, try adjusting or replacing your drive belt. If that helps "some" but not enough, here's the $500 solution...

The PV's I've seen all used elastic belts. The stretch in the belt is meant to absorb motor vibrations and cogging (assuming the motor is AC), but of course the belt may also stretch for a moment due to increased stylus drag from big dynamics or warps. I have tried several elastic belts on my Teres tables. None of them could maintain good speed stability.

I know that a few PV owners were dis-satisfied with this aspect of their rigs. When they tried a Teres motor and belt the problem was solved. The Teres motor is a very quiet, non-cogging (DC) type. There is no need for an elastic belt to isolate it from the platter, so it uses 1/2" (~1cm) wide mylar tape. This results in much better platter/motor coupling, so better dynamics and speed stability. I believe Galibier and Redpoint motors are similar in this respect.

Good luck and keep us posted,

I completly agree about the idea that the TP increases the problem because of its performance rather than because of any damage on it (we will see this next week).

Doug : thanks for the Teres motors idea ( I have soon sended an E- mail to have details).

What do you both think about the idea that the stiffer the cartridge is the most perfect the records must be ?


Dear Andre: In essence my answer is: yes, but in practice if that low compliance cartridge is matched with the right tonearm almost never will have any problem with trackin a record.

One of my lowest compliance cartridge is the Ikeda with 5 cu and other than the Telarc 1812 I never had any tracking problem with any of the 3-4 tonearms where I try it.

It is curios that both tonearms: Rega 900 and the TP had the same problem and not with the Audio Note. It could be that both tonearms are out of specs, who knows. We have to wait for the new one.

Regards and enjoy the music.

I think your idea has merit, and it's consistent with my theory.

If stylus drag is slowing the platter and causing your tremolo, anything which alters the amount of drag could alter the amount of tremolo.

We've established that the tremolo is worse after a large dynamic note or a warp. What is similar about these two events? Answer: both of them are trying to deflect the stylus. This requires some force. If the motor/belt aren't stable enough to overcome the resistance of the stylus/cantilever/suspension, the platter may slow.

(Bad tonearm bearings could increase the arm's resistance to rising freely over a warp. This would increase VTF and drag, which is why I thought of it. But since both your arms have the problem to some degree this seems unlikely.)

The amount of stylus drag will vary with cartridge and with setup. Here are some of the factors I can think of:

VTF - higher VTF = more friction (pretty obvious)

Compliance - the stiffer the cartridge suspension the more it resists deflection, greater resistance to deflection = more friction

Stylus profile
- fine line and micro-ridge styli cause the least friction
- elliptical styli cause more
- conical styli cause the most
This is simply a function of the contact area of each stylus type.

Anti-skate - the higher the AS setting, the more friction

Arm height
- arm tube level = normal VTF = normal friction
- arm down at stylus end = higher VTF = higher friction
- arm up at stylus end = lower VTF = lower friction
This ignores changes in VTA/SRA and any effects they may have on friction, but it might explain why you have less tremolo on 200g records than on thin ones. If you haven't raised the arm by the thickness of the record, VTF will be *slightly* reduced and therefore friction will be reduced. (I admit, this is really a stretch.) If those 200g records are less warped than the lighter ones, that would have a larger effect.

HI doug and Raul

I have a new element:

I have found two screws to set up the AUDIO NOTE IQ 3 again with the rega turtable and the rega tonearm

I finally can also hear that the sound is no as straight than I thought before. It is MUCH MUCH lighter than with the Shelter or the DL 103 but it also has a tendency to produce little vibrations on the tonearm and to spoil the sound a little .
It sounds now ( with the IQ3) sometimes like" old records " what I thought normal before using the shelter .

To summerize my observations after one week

With the rega turntable / rega tonearm

The best ( the less bad ) combination to minimize the problem of vibrations is with the AUDIONOTE cartridge

Then comes the Shelter

Then the DL 103 wich is the worse

The combination Verdier/ TP / Shelter is worse than each combination above to avoid vibrations ( certainly due to the qualities of such an equipment) when records are not perfects .

Of course the Shelter is far better than both the AN and DENON in all other considerations when it is matched to the REGA .

Hi Doug and Raul

At last I have received my new TP for two days.

Every thing looks OK .


Your advice about CW works perfectly ...still just some problems with bad records but 90 % of my collection are listenable.

Could you please tell me what kind of wire is mounted with the TP ?
Many thanks to you.


Thanks to you also for your participation ...

The combination Verdier /Tri planar/ Shelter is technically OK and really great musically ... even if there is still a lot of possible progression .

Bon jour!

Very glad to hear the replacement arm has solved (most of) the problem.

The standard wire on a TP is Discovery (copper). I've never heard a TP with any other wire, so have no comparisons to offer.

Next step: Drive system upgrade? Cartridge?

Dear André : +++++ " still just some problems with bad records but ..."+++++

Something is still out of " target ". Which the problems with that 10% of bad records?

I insist on it because in any of my tonearm/cartridge combinations I have no problem at all.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Bonjour Doug and Raul


TO BE MORE PRECISE I should say 99% of my records are correct. Some of my Lp ( most of them are second handed) have a succession of tiny waves certainly due to warmth or bad stockage or both.On these records of course the TP / Shelter still shakes but I think now that it is normal ... I only didn't hear it with the Rega /audio note because it was less transparent and perhaps (???) the TP/Shelter has less tolerance than the Rega / audio note when reading a bad record .
Of course it doesn't matter.


I think I still have to improve the Verdier ( try the Teres motor with the mylar tape as you told me before)
The Shelter is quite new... but I effectively already think to go farther perhaps with a Zyx ( wich model to really feel a difference?) or the Shelter 90 X or a Koetsu ( Rosewood ) ...I don't know wich one would match the best the TP

I am also in relation with the Audio Note dealer here in France , he is a very kind and serious guy ... Did you already hear the Audio Note cartridges ( the Io I for example) ?

You tell me that the Tp 's wire is copper , is it a problem if the two next modulation wires( From step up to preamp and from preamp to amplifiers)
are pure silver ( audio note AN V).
Would it be better to have exactly the same wire ( discovery) everywhere?

A bientôt

Some of my Lp ( most of them are second handed) have a succession of tiny waves
On these records of course the TP / Shelter still shakes but I think now that it is normal ... I only didn't hear it with the Rega /audio note because it was less transparent and perhaps (???) the TP/Shelter has less tolerance than the Rega / audio note when reading a bad record .
Well, the TP is one of the great tracking arms, certainly much better than my OL Silver, which is similar to your Rega. But I don't have any records quite as bad as what you described.

The Shelter is quite new... but I effectively already think to go farther perhaps with a Zyx ( wich model to really feel a difference?) or the Shelter 90 X or a Koetsu ( Rosewood ) ...I don't know wich one would match the best the TP
A ZYX is a better theoretical match for a TP than a Shelter or Koetsu. But it's also important to ask this: What kind of music do you play? Can you describe your sonic goals? What do you like best (and least) about your 901?

You apparently haven't heard a ZYX or Koetsu, but they are very different from a Shelter and also from each other. You will hear major differences between all of these.

You tell me that the Tp 's wire is copper , is it a problem if the two next modulation wires( From step up to preamp and from preamp to amplifiers)
are pure silver ( audio note AN V).
Would it be better to have exactly the same wire ( discovery) everywhere?
It's certainly not a "problem". It's just a matter of sound. I haven't tried all silver wire so I can't say what differences you would hear. Even those who have tried it might not know how it would sound in *your* system. With wire, tubes, resonance control, cartridge setup and other "tweaks", hearing in your own system is really the only way.
Dear André: +++++ " are pure silver ( audio note AN V).
Would it be better to have exactly the same wire ( discovery) everywhere? " +++++

The important issue here is not if it is cooper or silver or both, the important subject is which one is more: neutral/natural than the others. My experience with tonearm wires tell me that the silver ones ( at least what I try ) are better specially the Audio Note one, is a little expensive but it is really great, you can't go wrong with it.

Now, about what you are thinking on cartridges I think that with your TP you could choose with freedom any top cartridge.
I agree with Doug about the importance on your music bias because different manufacturer cartridges have different music presentation.
Btw, the Io is truly great and I don't know why the people in this forum never talk about. You can add to your cartridge list: Dynavector, Allaerts and Transfiguration.

Regards and enjoy the music.

You are completly right , the best solution is to try every equipment in your own system before buying.

Unfortunately that's quite impossible in France with all what concerns the Vinyl equipment: turntables ,cartridges, tonearms , step up or Head amps ...
because it's only interesting a few people and therefore it is not developped
by the sellers (excepted for budget equipment).

So it is difficult to describe my sonic goals as I have no precise references.
What I can say is that I want a sound wich is the more natural as possible(NO COLORATION at all) with the more details as possible ( no agressivity, no HARSHNESS) .

I am listening to 60% classical and 40% jazz .
I defer to Raul re: silver vs. copper wire, since copper is all I've heard. (One exception: copper coil ZYX's are more neutral than silver, and silver is more neutral than gold. This is not what I expected before I demoed them, but it is what I heard. Others have heard the same.)

What I can say is that I want a sound wich is the more natural as possible(NO COLORATION at all) with the more details as possible ( no agressivity, no HARSHNESS) .

I am listening to 60% classical and 40% jazz .
Well then, the good news is your present setup (901/TP) can be improved on a great deal. The 901 was slightly peaky on every arm I heard it on (except a Schroeder Ref). On a TP VII, Graham 2.2, Basis Vector and modded OL Silver it always overshot on leading edge transients. This gave it a lively but artificial character that would sometimes sound aggressive or harsh. Once you've heard a truly neutral cartridge a 901 becomes almost intolerable.

Forget Koetsu. Every one I've heard (up to the RSP) was colored. Many people love the Koetsu sound, but I was always concious of hearing the Koetsu, rather than the vocalists or instruments (especially instruments). The main characteristic is about the opposite of the 901. Transient leading edges are rolled off and smoothed. This makes the sound artificially pleasant, warm or sweet. (The silver and gold coils ZYX's do something similar.)

The regulars here all know what I'm going to recommend. Buy yourself a ZYX UNIverse-X-SB. It is a perfect match for your arm, a perfect match for your sonic goals, a perfect match for your musical tastes - all of which I share. Comparing it to a Shelter 901 would be ridiculous. The UNIverse is unimaginably superior. A ZYX Fuji, Airy 2 or Airy 3 would meet your needs better than a 901. A UNIverse will probably meet your needs for as long as you listen to music, or until you wear it out.

Please read the reviews linked next to my signature. They will give you many details.
Hi Doug

Read your rewiews ...It makes me dreaming

However could you answer those basics questions:

In your opinion how many hours before retipping a cartridge ?
How much does it cost for an AIRY 3 and for a UNIverse?
Do you still use your SUT Bent AUDIO with the UNIverse?


In your opinion how many hours before retipping a cartridge ?
I have not put enough hours on any high end cartridge to know from my own experience. If you search Vinyl Asylum you'll find hundreds of posts from people who have. People report anything from 1,000 to 3,000 hours.

In theory, conical styli wear fastest, elliptical styli last longer, fine line and micro-ridge syli last longest.

Not all manufacturers retip/rebuild their cartridges. Koetsu, ZYX and some others do. Shelter does not. Aftermarket companies *might* retip a Shelter, but I don't know that for sure. If they won't, then when the stylus wears out the cartridge is a throwaway.

How much does it cost for an AIRY 3 and for a UNIverse?

In the US the best prices for a ZYX are from Mehran of SoraSound, who sells here on Audiogon.
- Airy 3 $2,350
- UNIverse $4,950

In other countries an Airy 3 can be bought from the distributor or their dealers. You'd have to ask them their prices.

The UNIverse can *only* be bought from Mehran (see link above). He underwrote its development and has worldwide distribution rights. This is a good thing, not a bad one. Mehran is one of the nicest, most honest and most generous people you will ever meet.

[quote]Do you still use your SUT Bent AUDIO with the UNIverse?
We did until two months ago, with quite satisfactory results. Then we got a new preamp with an MC phono stage that's better than the Bent SUT's. See my system for details. The Bent's are very good for the money, but they can be bettered if you spend enough.
Dear André: Due to your music priorities I think that you should put on your cartridge list: Dynavector XV-1, Allaerts MC2 Finish and Transfiguration W/V. Well the Colibrí too but this cartridge is for a " patience " people. Btw, Allaerts give a 10,000 hours on their cartridges.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Hi Doug

Thank you for all the infos.

Could you just tell me if I' m not wrong:

The ideal impedance for the SUT with both AIRY 3 and UNIverse is 6,6 ohm with 0,24 output version ?

(Would it be 13,2 ohm with the 0,48 mV version?)

How is it possible to adjust so precisely the impedance on the SUT ?

Many thanks

Hi Raul and Doug

One Friend of mine who owns a T3 F Goldmund and a Goldmund Reference TT tells me that with LINEAR tonearm the cartridge can last five times more than with a pivoted tone arm ; is it true ?

Sonically did you hear the differences between a good linear and a good pivoted tonearm?

I think, it is difficult to say, this or that Arm Design is definite. The Linear Arms improved the last years, specially with the Kuzma Air Line, but there still is some side force into the needle bearing, in my opinion more than with a good Arm like Graham ( just for example ). I think, the cartridges do not last longer in a linear Arm, only when it is very low in weight it is possible. The strenghts and weaks for every design are still valid. A friend uses a - light - Zyx in such an Arm and I think, that's the best compromise.
The ideal impedance for the SUT with both AIRY 3 and UNIverse is 6,6 ohm with 0,24 output version ?
I meant to write 66 ohms, but that is in MY system. LOMC's are so sensitive to impedance when using an SUT that no one can predict the ideal value for a cartridge in YOUR system. Experimentation is the only way.

(Would it be 13,2 ohm with the 0,48 mV version?)
132 ohms, as above x 2, subject to the warning about different systems.

How is it possible to adjust so precisely the impedance on the SUT ?
By putting a pair of resistors on each terminal. Using resistors in parallel allows for much finer adjustments.


P.S. I haven't heard a top linear arm, so no comment. It does make theoretical sense that a cartrdige should last longer, provided alignment is perfect. 5x longer? Who knows?

My SUT is actually an Audio Note ANS2 with two positions :

20 ohms and 80 ohms

Considering only the technical facts could you tell me wich output voltage would match the best with my actual SUT if I CHOOSE AN AIRY 3 X SB.

Considering musical facts is the difference between the 2 versions very important.


If you can only choose between 20 ohms or 80, try them both and choose the one that sounds best. I'd bet on 80, but there's no harm in trying both.

What is the stepup ratio (or gain in dB) of your ANS2? That will also effect whether you should go for a low or high output ZYX.

Hi doug

I don't know exactly the gain value so I have send a mail to Audio note and I expect an answer.

What I can tell you is that the level was perfectly correct with the Shelter wich is 0,5 mV and much lower with A DL 103 wich is only 0,30 mV .

I could also be interested to buy A Bent SUT ( if possible from France)if I am sure to be able to adjust the GAIN and the Load myself .


The loading on the Bent's is easily adjustable. The gain is not adjustable without installing a switch or re-soldering, either of which would add a connection in the signal path.

You can only buy BentAudio products directly from the company, which is in Canada. They don't have dealers.

You may be able to buy the transformers Bent uses in France (Stephens & Billington TX-103's, made in the UK). You'd have to connect them yourself and provide your own shielded cases, resistor sockets, input jacks and shielded output cables with plugs.
Dear Doug

I have contacted John Chapmann from Bent .

I provided him the specifications of my preamp to know if the standard ratio 1:10 for gain is correct with both airy versions ( 0,24 and 0,48mV). In his opinion it is enough.

I would be pleased to have your opinion on this precise point regarding only the best way to make the 0,24 mV version working fine .



I would be pleased to have your opinion on this precise point regarding only the best way to make the 0,24 mV version working fine .
There's a useful preamp gain calculator on this site:

It will help you estimate the necessary gain for any cartridge. (+ or - 5% from their recommendation is fine in my experience.)

In this case, a 0.24mv cartridge needs approximately 63db of gain before the line stage. A 1:10 SUT provides 20db, so your MM phono section must provide the rest. If your MM phono has about 40-46db you'll be fine.

Thanks for this usefull info.
My Jadis JP 80 provides 48 dB , so it should work even with the 0,24 mV version wich seems the best choice according your review.
My old c-j PV11 provided 47 db, nearly identical to your Jadis, and my Bent SUT's are 1:10. That setup was fine.

Your gain control will probably be fairly sensitive, but having ample gain from the SUT keeps tube noise low. It was a good tradeoff in my system.

Do you know what could be the consequences if matching an Airy 3 SILVER version with a COPPER SUT ? or the opposite?

Dear Doug: With al my respect to you and trying to help André and to you:

- The André audio system is in the 50K range price: Verdier, JP80, JA 200, Triplanar, Shelter, etc, etc.

-The André Jadis preamp was not designed for low output cartridges , it was designed for high output ones: this is a fact.

- You are one of the regular to this forum and I think that you want to help André given him your best advise and in my opinion you are not doing that.

- You are supporting a 600.00 dls solution ( the worst/wrong one. ) for a 50K audio system and this is not fair for André and the music.

- With that " worst/wrong " solution the André audio system quality sound reproduction will belongs to that un-named " worst/wrong " solution ??????? This is a big mistake. Of course, André can take it, is up to him.

- The JP80 was designed for MM or high output MC cartridges and out there there are several great high output ones that beats easily your supporting " worst/wrong " solution.

- MM from Ortofon, Music Maker, Rega, Goldring, Grado, Audio Technica, Sumiko, Clearaudio, Roksan, Reson, etc, etc. and high output MC from: Sumiko ( the Blackbird is a champ ), Clearaudio, Allaerts, etc, etc.

André, if you really like/love music ( and want to hear in all " glory " your Jadis electronics instead of one additional transformer: step-up transformer ) and take care about music my advise is that you could think for a moment in the MM/HO MC option that is not only the best quality sound reproduction solution but less expensive that Doug alternative. As I told you: is up to you and your music priorities.

Regards and enjoy the music.