I have no knowledge, other than preferring that new 3D arm, compared to their regular arm, done on Michael Fremer's site.
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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.
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.
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.
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.