Go with one of the smokin good deals on one of the VPI arms available that your dealer is giving you. Then set it with a good cartridge and let it be. You have an excellent table that needs a good mate.
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Oh the arm is gone already, I'm just looking for its replacement. With so many geometries and design principles it can become overwhelming.
Something about the simplicity of a Rega always appeals to me though.
Schipo, as good a deal as I can get on the VPI arms, they are still much more expensive than the venerable RB300 or RB250. I understand the table will be excellent but I don't buy as much vinyl now because of the spiraling costs! As much as I love those big beautiful gatefolds, its tough to stick them in the cd player in my car ;-). If only they'd drop the CD in with each copy!
I would go with a VPI arm, perhaps a used JMW-10 if the new ones are too expensive. For several years, I used the ET-2 (with the high pressure manifold, Wisa pump and storage tank) on a VPI 19-Mk.3. I could never get it to sound like music. Replacing the ET with a JMW-10 was one of the most satisfying moves I've ever made. It has a naturally warm and dynamic sound. I used that combination with a Benz Glider M2 for several years and loved it. Since then I've gone on to several other pivoted arms including the Moerch DP-6 (12" version) and Triplanar VII, which to my ears are even better than the VPI, but I would choose any of the pivoted arms over the ET. To its credit, the ET had the cleanest tracking in inner grooves, but that one area is not worth the sacrifice in overall sound quality. I cannot say how the RB-300 would fare sonically since I haven't heard it in my system.
Thanks Dave, that was pretty insightfull! Unfortunately I hope my wife doesn't read this because if there is one thing she couldn't stand and that was inner groove distortion! I told her that arms were better now and it wouldn't pose a problem. I do agree with her that distortion in audio is really quite unacceptable. If you think about it, we spend thousands trying to extract music from grooves and if that comes with audible distortion then whats the point. Mistracking and groove distortion are worse than bad CDs in our book. IMO of course, to each is own.
Ive got a line on an AudioCraft AC3000 which looks pretty nice and obviously upscale from the REGA, but I'm still looking at the Jelco line with great interest. They kind of fill the gap between REGA RB300's and Used/new VPI's.
Miss our records though, so I better pull the trigger soon!