Suggestions for arm to replace VPI 12.7


I am thinking about replacing the 12.7 tonearm om my VPI Classic 3 turntable. My budget will be about $4000, and I'm willing to buy used. Does anyone who has replaced a VPI 10" or 12" tonearm have any advice regarding a compatible replacement?
sdcampbell
I have no knowledge, other than preferring that new 3D arm, compared to their regular arm, done on Michael Fremer's site.
Tri-Planar MkVII
The new 3D tonearm is terrific. I upgraded to the 3D arm on my Super Scoutmaster Reference rim-drive and it is a substantial improvement over the 10.5i arm IMO.
I'd love to know how the 3d is compared to a Graham (I know-read the review but tough to get an honest vpi review with the dollars they spend advertising-even MF didn't knock the MDF $30k DD TT)). Does anyone know if you can easilly replace a 10.0 with a new 3d w/o redoing armboards? I would do that in a heart beat. I have a hopped up VPI tnt jr with 10.0 jmw.
Have you looked at the Transfi Terminator tone arm? Dave Garretson has one on his highly modified VPI TNT. Read some of his threads on the subject both here and on Audio Asylum.
Thanks.
i too upgraded to the 3D arm....a very major improvement
Stringreen, did you need to redrill mounting holes for the arm or is the geometry the same as the VPI non-3D arms?
Following some further research, I decided that there aren't any good choices to replace the 12.7 arm unless I also make some modifications to the plinth. In short, too much work and expense. So, I decided to stay with VPI, and have purchased the 12" 3D printed armwand. It should arrive in a few days, and I'll add some comments about it after some listening.
Make sure to get and use the SoundSmith Counter Intuitive, which makes setting VTF and azimuth MUCH easier, faster, and even enjoyable. If it does not move smoothly on the counterweight, then they sent the wrong counterweight and should be replaced with the correct one so that this device works properly. I had that problem the first time around with my 3D arm.
I would be interested, Sdcampbell, in your thoughts about the new arm, compared to the old one(just checking my hearing, here.).
Follow-up post: in a few words, the 3D printed arm is SUPERB! I can hardly believe how much the 3D arm improved the sound of my system.
Sid...there is no drilling for a VPI tonearm....they just screw into the armboard...however, I would still touch base with VPI for any special instructions.
Sdcampbell ... how much is the 3D wand? I assume the base is the same and the wand just fits on the Classic 3 tone arm uni-pivot base.

I own a tricked-out Classic turntable plinth with a Classic 3 tone arm base and wand. If the price is right, I may add the 3D wand to my bucket list.
P.S. -- Sdcampbell ... not sure if I would get more bang for the buck by upgrading my phone pre from the ARC PH-8 to the ARC Ref Phono 2 SE or upgrading my Lyra cartridge from the Kleos to the Atlas or Eatna.
Bifwynne.....I don't think you could just put a 3D armwand on your Classic tone arm base.... I would check with VPI in any case.

Also....the Atlas and Etna cartridges are fabulous, but in order to hear the nuances these cartridges are capable of providing, you rally need the most sophisticated of components. If you don't have access to these, a less expensive but wonderful cartridge will be more suitable.
Stringreen, my VPI TT has a Classic 3 tone arm base and Classic 3 wand. I thought the 3D wand is a simple drop-in on the Classic 3 base. Do you think that is NOT the case?

As to your comments about the Atlas and the Etna, as stated, my VPI Classic is fitted with the Classic 3 tone arm base and Classic 3 SS arm. Do you think those components would be unsuitable for extracting the best attributes out of the Atlas or Etna? Or are you thinking that my ARC PH-8 phono pre might not be up to the challenge.

BIF
The 3D arm is better (to my ears) than is the Classic wand. You will immediately hear an ease that is so beguiling. I personally like that arm to all others...when I switched from a 10.5i to the 3D, I had to buy the whole arm..I was told you can't just plop a 3D on the older base. Who knows..things could have changed. ..on another point...To hear the excellences of those cartridges...the sound colors, the micro mini dynamics, their spacial qualities....you really should have top flight equipment. There are other cartridges that give wonderful presentations...actually others might even choose the less expensive cartridges as their first choice. Fremer did a review of cartridges, and the Ortofon Anna on a Continuum turntable did not come out on top....but this is the fun of it all.
Guys, FWIW, I'd recommend getting the 3D-printed arm before buying a new (upgraded) cartridge. The printed arm is such a significant improvement over the metal arm that it will do a much better job of showing your new cart at its best. In my system, the 3D arm has been one of the best upgrades in the past 20+ years.

I traded my 12.7 arm in to VPI (dealt directly with Harry by E-mail) and got a replacement 3D arm for $1500. I don't know if VPI does this routinely, but it's certainly worth asking.
Bifwynne

Definitely upgrade your phono stage over going up the Lyra ladder.?