Stepping Up From A Graham 2.2 On A Basis Audio Debut Deck


I’ve a Basis Audio Debut Gold Standard with the acrylic armboard, and a Graham 2.2 installed.

I’d like to try a new arm in the $5K price range but I need something that’s drop-in compatible with the Graham, as I can’t/won’t drill any holes in the armboard.

I thought there’d be a database of compatible arms, perhaps on Vinyl Engine, but I couldn’t find anything. I’d like to use an Origin Live, but I haven’t heard back from Mark and David yet as I think they’re busy at the UK show. Looking at one of their manuals it doesn’t look like it’s going to be feasible without some kind of bracket.

I’m not married to the OL idea, I just want a step up from the 2.2 without a lot of hassle, and I’ve used their Illustrious arm on a previous deck and liked it a lot.

Has anyone gone down this path? What arm did you use? Was it a worthwhile improvement? Was it easy to install and set up?

(I do have the Dr. Feickert jig).

Thanks in advance for any tips.




Dear @rooze : I understand your concern but for me the more important issue is that the choice of tonearm you decide be the " bets " match for your cartridge or cartridges you own but you have your own priorities and me my own ones.


Btw, you are looking too for a better phono stage and I hope that LP cartridge in your virtual system already disappeared !"


Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,


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What about Graham Phantom or any of its later versions? They’re thought to be much better than the 2.2.

+1 For the Graham Phantom.  It's a great arm and shouldn't have any compatibility issues replacing the 2.2  Setting up is along the same lines as the 2.2.

@rooze do you have the mounting hole diameter ( template drawing with screw hole spacing even better ) and pivot to spindle distance handy?

I went from the 2.2 to the Phantom II, upgraded it to Supreme, and then bought a second one, replacing a current-model Triplanar. So you know what my my recommendation would be. All the Phantoms are a step up from the 2.2, with each successive incarnation more so. Other than Phantoms, I’d look toward a used Kuzma 4 Point. Been wanting to try one for a while myself. Not sure it’s any better but it’s definitely a well designed and executed arm with easy adjustments and the capability to swap out cartridges easily, things I appreciate about Grahams.

@rooze : What I posted about your cartridge was thinking in that it's not the LPS.



@rauliruegas I agree on arm/cart compatibility. I don't plan to use the cartridges I have on hand for the long-term. My thought is to decide on the arm and then buy a good matching cartridge. 

@solypsa the P2S on the 2.2 is 218mm, 9" effective length (pivot to stylus).

A constraint is that the arm assembly can protrude from the underside of the armboard a max of 1 1/4" before it hits the suspended plinth or sub-chasis. The dia of the hole in the armboard is 1 7/8".

I believe I'm going to need to have a disc/plate made that sits over the large diameter hole in the armboard. If I can find an arm that's secured only by a locking nut and doesn't require smaller drilled holes offset from the main hole, then I'm good as long is it doesn't exceed 3.25" from the top side of the disc/plate. And the outside diameter of the locking nut mustn't exceed 1 7/8".

As @lewm ​​​​​@jwei @wrm57 have suggested, a Phantom might be a good choice. But I'm not sure that I can take for granted the idea that it will be a drop-in replacement for the 2.2 

My next step is to find a detailed drawing for the Phantom!


May be too large but check the AudioCreative rotary lift, they have some drawings online. It might allow you to use larger variety of arms.





Well I took people’s advice and picked up a Phantom B44 along with a Walker motor controller. This possibly won’t be as big a step up as I was hoping for but it sure makes things simple on the installation side of things.

Thanks for the input.

If you have never had the benefit of a motor controller before, you will be very pleased with the Walker, whether or not the Phantom is a revelation, though I suspect that it too will make you happy.  I would have thought that Basis provides a motor controller with their better models, in which case maybe the Walker will be a step sideways rather than forward. Be sure the Walker is compatible with the Debut Gold Standard.

To follow up on @lewm ‘s comment on the compatibility between the Walker controller and the Debut Gold Standard. If I remember correctly, the Debut Gold Standard utilized a DC motor (Basis switched to AC motor, and offered their own Synchro dual phase AC controller, for their more recent models), and the Walker is an AC motor controller. If this is true, then the two is probably not compatible, at least you won’t be able to use the speed control function of the Walker! 


I was a little concerned about this and wrote to Basis for clarification but never heard back.

The deck basically plugs into the wall, there’s no outboard power supply, so I figured the walker would at least give me clean and regulated ac power in place of that coming from the wall. I suppose I should dismantle the thing to access the motor and see if there’s a dc supply built into the deck. I wasn’t really fussed about switching speeds as it takes only a few seconds to flip the belt and I don’t do it very often.


The Walker is definitely designed to supply AC TT motors.  However, if you already own it, and if the Basis motor is DC, I think you still can benefit from it if you just set it to put out the full 120VAC.  It normally controls speed by reducing AC voltage going to an AC motor, but it offers the additional advantages of regenerating AC using the wall socket.  This makes the AC driving the motor cleaner, and it also isolates the TT motor from the rest of your audio gear, so EMI does not go back to your phono stage, for example. By all means, do check with Basis.

@rooze , congrats on your Phantom. I skipped the original version, holding onto my 2.2 mainly because its lighter weight was better-suited to the suspension of my turntable at the time, a Michell Orbe SE. When I changed to a non-suspended deck, the Phantom II was out. I went to that and it was a clear improvement over the 2.2. I have little doubt that the first version was, too, given reports at the time. Enjoy!

@lewm , I have a friend with an early Debut in black. Beautiful table. Not only does it have a straight AC synchronous motor but you have to swap the motor pulley to change speeds. Basis wants to charge him some ridiculous amount of money for a controller. He also has an early Graham and a very old cartridge.

Just closing the loop here with some feedback on the Phantom B44. It was a very worthwhile investment and a good improvement over the 2.2. I hear more air and detail and more low end extension and solidity. The soundstage is deeper and wider, though most notably the depth has improved significantly with improved layering. So I’m very pleased with it.

 The Walker motor controller arrived a day after the tonearm and I don’t have much time with it, but it does function perfectly with my older Basis Debut Gold Standard vacuum. My first impression is that it adds more flesh and body to instruments and vocalists and perhaps provides a little more detail from lower notes. But the difference is more subtle than with the tonearm and I still have to spend more time with it before fully understanding what it does.


Thanks for people’s input.