Tonearm/Cartridge Upgrade

I'm getting ready to upgrade my arm and cartridge. I will be mounting to a VPI HW-19 Mk IV. I realize there are many combinations that work well together, but it is not easy to get dealers to loan these pieces out the way they loan amps, preamps etc. I'm hoping that some of you can give me some input including what your arm/cart. combo sounds like. Thanks, Doug
I have a VPImk4 with the VPI JMW Memorial tonearm and a Benz Glider cartridge and it sounds fantastic. The JMW tonearm was the best upgrade I ever made to my entire system, and I have made a lot of upgrades over the years. Good luck and have fun!
Slowhand, did you compare any other arm/cartridge combinations before buying? I see many posts and periodical reviews with the JMW listed. This leads me to know that the arm is a quality product in addition to my enjoyment of my VPI TT. I appreciate your post I am continuimg to hope for additional posts. Thanks Doug
graham has 2 "new" arms you should try, depending on your budget. the first is the 2.2, an upgraded 2.0. the second is the robin, whch should retail for around $800. not sure when either will be shipping. aj conti of basis also has a new arm with a silicon "bath," sorta like the kuzma. again, not sure when it will ship. if you're interested in any of these, contact no, i am not afilliated with musical surroudings, tho i do know its principal, garth leerer. i did listen to all of these products, save the robin, at ces and was mighty impressed.
i haven't a-b'd this w/the higher-priced stuff, but i believe that the origin-live modified rega rb-250 is a great arm, especially for the money. o-l modifies *all* the rega arms, but they say the lowly 250 turns out at the top of the heap - even better than their modded rb900 - due to its differing bearing-mount scheme. as the stock rb900 is highly rated, how can ya go wrong? i got mine, fully tricked-out, w/an o-l vta mounting base from stoneaudio-uk, for ~$400, delivered to maryland. no bragging rights about yer super-spendy tonearm, tho... ;~)
Had an Eminent Technology model 2 air bearing arm back in the day with silicon damping. Magic with the VPI! Try Larry at Hollywood Sound (hwdsound)he's THE analog guy.
Thanks for the responses. I am in the Chicago area and a local dealer recommended a Dynavector arm have any of you had any experience/knowledge of this arm? I've never heard of it. Sedond, how can I get info on the O-L arms? Cornfed, do you know if Graham plans to upgrade the 2.0 to 2.2? Agaain, Thanks, Doug
I would second Sedond's endorsement of the O.L. modded RB-250. The site is for info on all O.L. products. I believe the site that he did business with is I'd recommend pairing the arm with a Denon DL-103 with an elliptical stylus (if you can find one) or a DL-304 (if your phono stage can handle a very low-output coil (0.18mV). Best of Luck! -John
Hello, I have the OL RB 250 paired with the Dyna Karat 17 MKII. The results have been very satisfying. Mark at Origin Live was very helpful and delivery was warp speed. I ordered a tt from the east coast (I'm on the west coast) and the arm at the same time and the arm arrived a week ahead of the tt. With that said I'm wondering if anyone has mounted a really hi-end cartridge to the arm and what the results were. I'm thinking in terms of a Koetsu, Benz Ruby etc. Mark at OL states that he mounted a Koetsu and the results were very good. thanks
I have exactly a VPI 19 Mk-IV fitted with a OL-RB250 and a VPI/VTA with all the mods purchased directly from Origin Live in the UK. Cartridge used is a Dynavector DV10X4-II also purchased from OL. The exchange was favourable to the US$ and save about 30% if I would purchased here!! I am very happy with this setup and get terrific sound! You will need to spend a "lot" more money to improve on this combo...Alex.
If I was you I would get the JMW-10. I have a Graham but I heard the JMW and I really liked it. If you can get a good price I would go for it.
Another arm that is frequently overlooked is the Immedia RPM-2. It is a very synergisitc match with the VPI products. For information, go to the Immedia website at