Brand new Morch UP4 with 12" or 9" precision wand retails for 1149 I think; you can probably get one for a bit less. Very nice arm and nicely finished.
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As long as you are planning to stay in the medium compliance range of cartridges, such as the ZYX, then unipivots can be a valid choice for a tonearm. As the compliance of cartridges gets lower, it becomes more and more difficult for unipivots to retain proper control over the cartridge. There are some stabilized unipivots which can adequately control low compliance cartridges, but they are generally more expensive ones.
The main thing is to be sure that the tonearm you are considering will be matched to the range of cartridges that you will use. The type of bearing, arm tube, and effective mass, are all things that must be considered into the equation.
The Hadcock is an unstabilized unipivot arm that is known to be a good match with high compliance cartridges such as Grado. Many people consider Hadcock/Grado combinations to be a "magical" matchup. But it would be a far stretch to try to match a Hadcock to a Denon DL103, Shelter, or Koetsu.
It is all "relative" to the cartridge/tonearm matching. Many arms can be very good when matched with the right cartridges, and mediocre or poor when matched with the wrong cartridges. It is difficult to discuss the merits of a tonearm, unless a cartridge is considered in the discussion. Some arm designs are excellent at some things, and poor at others. In many cases of relatively good tonearms, it is the match with the cartridge that will decide what is best to use.
Regarding the "TWL HiFi mod" for the OL Silver, the effect of that mod is only moderate on medium compliance cartridges such as the ZYX, and is much more effective on the lower compliance cartridges that it was designed to work with, such as Denon DL103 or DL103R, Shelter 501 or 901, or Koetsu. Improvement is noticeable with cartridges like the ZYX, but not as astounding as the lower compliance cartridges.
Can't comment on the Morch, except that I would prefer the more expensive dual-pivot DP-6 over the UP-4 personally.
The Morch DP-6 looks like a very nice arm indeed. I've seen it for $1500...A bit higher than I would like - perhaps I'll have to eliminate something else from my wish book, such as an RCM.
Is it true that you also need to get tonearm cables for this arm because it doesn't come with any? Also, I see Morch offers various "arm tubes." Is this just for the UP-4 or is it for the DP-6, too. If so, what weight do I need to get for the Zyx cartridge?
Twl - couod you give me a quick tutorial - or link me to same - about cartridge "compliance ranges?" I have no idea what this means, but obviously I need to know in order to make a good cartridge/tonearm match.
Cartridge compliance is the stiffness of the suspension donut that holds the cantilever assembly in the body of the cartridge. It is the thing that allows the coils to be moved inside the magnetic field inside the cartridge. The compliance of cartridges is rated in units of CU(compliance units), with low compliance being generally considered under 10cu, medium-low compliance typically from 10cu-12cu, medium compliance from 13cu to about 20cu, medium high compliance from 21cu to about 25cu, and high compliance anything over 25cu. These are general ranges and some people may quibble about details, but they are pretty close to being what is generally accepted. Low compliance cartridges have stiffer suspensions, and high compliance cartridges have very soft suspensions, and the spring force of these suspensions has an effect on the interface of the cartridge and the tonearm.
With regard to cartridge/tonearm matching, the rule-of-thumb is that as the compliance gets lower, the effective mass of the arm must increase, in order to have the ability to keep the cartridge stabilized over the groove, and also to make a happy mass/resonance frequency in the desired range of 8Hz-12Hz. Going lower than 8Hz in mass/resonance can cause the system to be excited by rumble frequencies which is not desireable, and going higher than 12Hz can cause the resonance of the arm/cartridge matchup to have an audible effect in the audio range above 20Hz. So, when we look for matching arms and cartridges, we strive to have the mass/resonance match within this range mentioned above. Sometimes the match can yield somewhat higher than desired results, and still sound quite good. But we want to get as close as possible to the desired range.
There are charts available on the web which have matching curves for choosing cartridges which match to certain effective masses of tonearms, but these are general, and don't include all of the information needed for complete matching criteria, but they are a good general guide. You can also use the HFN&RR test record to check the exact resonance in your system.
What they don't tell you is that there is significant energy fed back into the tonearm and bearings, which can cause the tonearm to move in unwanted ways, or make the bearings chatter or break down. This energy is most severe in low compliance cartridges, and this is why I use and recommend quality higher mass gimbal-bearing tonearms for low compliance cartridges. Unipivots can be used on low compliance if there is a specific method of stabilization present on a unipivot tonearm, and if they have the correct mass needed for it.
So, for high compliance cartridges, generally you look for a lower mass(less than 9grams) tonearm to match it. For medium compliance cartridges, you look for a medium mass(9g-11.5g) tonearm to match. And for low compliance cartridges, you look for a high mass arm of over 12grams(and sometimes much higher, depending on how low the compliance is). The high mass arms and low compliance cartridges seem to be the most difficult matches to make because there is so much energy being sent back into the arm to excite everything, that much more than just the mass/resonance issue comes into play. Generally, it is less risky for beginners to start out with something in the medium mass/medium compliance range, because they are less likely to make a big mistake there. But, there are great sonic rewards in the low compliance cartridges, if you make a good match for them.
Typically, I make my matches by the "seat of my pants" because I've had a lot of experiences with many different matchups. But, a beginner should learn the basics first, and then try to fly later.
You can do some Google searches on the key words I've used and you'll come up with a variety of articles with charts and graphs to help you.
And, if you are in a quandary, just email me and I'll help you out.
BTW, the HiFi mod makes the effective horizontal mass of the Rega arms and OL Silver arms high enought to stabilize the low compliance cartridges, even though the effective mass of the standard tonearm is marginally too low for the use of such cartridges. The result is that the shortcomings of the matchup are overcome by the use of the HiFi mod.
I hate math!! :-) Anyway, the Zyx R100H compliance is listed as 15 x 1.6 cm/dyne (horizontal)/12 x 10.6 cm/dyne (vertical) How do I plug that into the formula (rf = 159 / sqrt ((eff. mass + cart weight + fastener weight) * (compliance)) ???
I may email you for assistance, Twl!
Also, anyone know where the Morch DP6 tonearms can be purchased? Music Direct sells them for the $1500 price I spoke about above, though you have to call them as they don't sell it on line. Just wondering if it could be found a little bit cheaper elsewhere! (Wish Chris of Teres sold them, but he only sells the Tier 1 tonearms he recommends on his site; the Morch is listed as a Tier 2. :-( )
With an 11.5gram effective mass tonearm, I get around 10Hz as your calculated resonant frequency in the horizontal plane, and 11.2Hz in the vertical plane, using your listed formula. 10Hz horizontal and 11Hz vertical is just fine. The actual measured frequency on your turntable may vary some from the predicted, but it should be fairly close.
The OL Silver MkII is about 11.5 grams
You may note that the cm/dyne rating is also known as compliance units(cu).
As you can see, this is a combination of a medium-high tonearm effective mass(11.5g-the higher end of medium), and a medium-low cartridge compliance(with 12vert. being in the lower end of medium compliance, and 15horiz. being in the medium). It fits nicely into the general categories that I presented in my earlier post.
However, with the light cartridge mass of 4.2 grams, the counterweight may have trouble achieving counterbalance, so the the supplied ZYX headshell weight may need to be used, and this will change the calculation, but even a 4g headshell weight increase will still yield results in the similar area of mass/resonance, and certainly still be in the target frequency range.
With a cartridge like the ZYX, you may choose from either a quality gimbal-bearing arm like the OL, or a quality unipivot tonearm with sufficient mass(around 11g).
Both Morch arms, up4 and dp6, have replaceable arm wands. They also come in both 9" and 12" wand lengths. If you contact Morch or an authorized rep they should be able to provide you with a list of popular cartridges and the recommended wand. The DP6 would be my fist choice, too, as I just don't much like handling a unipivot; it makes me nervous when it twists around while I am lowering the thing onto the record.
They come with wiring is my understanding but there are several options for more money. Biggest problem I have with the Morch and any other unit with detachable wands is all of the wiring joints. There is a break from the cartridge to the wire and then another break where the wand joins the tonearm assembly and yet another break where the DIN plug attaches to the bottom of the tonearm mount.
An arm with a seamless wire is the best option for the cleanest sound. Incognito and Audio Note offer such wiring (others might, too) for the Rega RBxxx arms. Biggest problem with the one piece wire scheme is most of the phono cables are 1 metre. This means you have to have your table pretty close to your phono preamp or you must use RCA couplers and an extension cable (yet another set of connections).
The Audio Note arms based on the Rega RBxxx arms are the ARM1 and ARM2. The ARM1 is the rb250 with audio note pure copper wire and is seamless from cartridge clip to the RCA termination. The ARM2 is the rb300 with audio note pure silver wire and seamless, too. There is also an ARM3 which is also a RB300 with even better silver wire.
The ARM2 with a Michell Technoweight (or Kerry heavyweight; several good ones out there) is an excellent arm for under 800 inc the weight. I believe Audio Note retails the arm for 600.
Well, I'm still trying to make a decision - the Morch DP6 seems as if it would be a good match with the Zyx cartridge and Teres turntable (thanks for calculating the complaiance range for me, Twl!)
Your description of a unipivot tonearm makes me a bit nervous, too, C123666, but....Just found another unipivot that intrigues me, the Bluenote Borromeo tonearm. I can't find anything about its weight or compliance, though it is listed as having a "medium-high" mass. Anyone have experience with this tonearm?
If you are comfortable with a unipivot I urge you to check out the Scheu Classic II unipivot arm. It can be had for around 500 to 600 direct from Scheu in Germany. It is sold by Audio Advancements under the name "Belcanto". It is a good arm and reasonably priced. I am probably going to order a 12" versioin with a new Scheu Premier Mk II table pretty soon as that seems to be the best deal in town (table/arm inc shipping for 2495 US).
Dear Oakiris: The DP 6 is one of the best unipivots tonearms ever made.
You need the one with the blue dot arm wand. You will be very satisfied with this tonearm: hard to beat in your audio system. You don't have to worried about this tonearm ever and if in the future you change your cartridge then you can change too the arm wand for try to mate that new cartridge. This tonearm has a high flexibility for using with any cartridge it does not matters which weight/compliance have those cartridges.
Rgards and enjoy the music.
Raul - Another vote for the Morch DP-6! I'm still trying to find somewhere to purchase this tonearm on line, but... I guess I need to call Music Direct and see what the deal is (as in, why they can't sell it on line, etc.)
Also, does anyone know if you have to pay extra for the wand you get with the Morch, or is one wand of your choice included in the purchase price? This is probably another question for Music Direct.
Thanks for the link, Raul. I have looked at Audio Advancements before. They appear to be another site that doesn't sell on line - and they don't even list prices! Oh well, I have emailed them to get more information, and I will probably call Music Direct, too. Wish someone was selling a used one here on Audiogon, but.... :-)
The Belcanto is simply a renamed Scheu Classic Unipivot; it is available in either 9" or 12" length and can be wired up to your liking by Chris Feickert of Scheu. The price for the 12" version is around 700. I am ordering a new Scheu Premier II dual arm (9", 12") table with Classic 12" arm with the optional 80mm platter and a record clamp. The price for the whole rig inc shipping from Germany to Oakland, CA is 2495. Closest Teres with a comparable arm is many hundreds of dollars more.
The Belcanto/Scheu is a bit rough looking as TWL has mentioned to me. But, at the price I am taking a chance as it has received several excellent reviews. The other tonearms by Scheu (Cantus, Taco) are a bit pricey for what they are and I would look elsewhere at that price level.
The Morch is a good arm but has a lot of wiring breaks to accomodate the removeable wands and the detachable wire (DIN connection). I think it can be set up with a seamless wiring run if you order it that way. I would suggest you look at the UP4 if you have a non sprung table as it is significantly less money than the DP6 and many think the unipivot design performs better in any event. The DP6 is not a unipivot design.
An Origin Live silver with Audio Note silver wire in a seamless run might be the best bet for you. It is a good fit with a lot of cartridges and is not terribly difficult to install and calibrate. It also does not twist in your fingers as many unipivots do, which is quite disconcerting, when lowering the stylus to the record. First time I came across an unipivot was an Audiocraft AC arm; very weird. Performed quite well, though, on the Micro Seiki BL111
I would urge you to contact Chris Feickert at Scheu in Germany on the topic of arms and suitability. Chris sells Morch as well as the Scheu/Belcanto arms. He can also procure other arms such as the wonderful Schroder line
A standard wand is included with the Morch; if you get the precision (I would ) wand it is a bit more but not sure how much. Call Chris and he'll fill you in. Chris is very helpful (as is Hart at Audio Advancements) and will discuss your needs and make a recommendation appropriate. I never felt he was trying to "sell me" the Scheu arm. In fact, when I discussed a Morch UP4 he stuck with that until I expressly asked him about the Scheu arm; you know they are making more money on their own arm than a Morch.
Chris' email is:
His other contact info is:
Dr. Feickert Analogue Products
79294 Sölden - Germany
new workshop address
Rimsinger Weg 9
79111 Freiburg -Germany
Not much luck finding a Morch tonearm - Music Direct said it takes at least 2-3 weeks to get one in, and the salesperson I spoke with didn't seem to know much, either, so...Couldn't tell me how much the Precision wand would cost, etc. Also, I must admit I am a bit worried about the possible problems with all of the wire connections.
Now I'm thinking about a (probably used) Graham 2.2 tonearm. This is one of the tonearms recommended for the Teres turntable. Do you think this would be a good match with the Zyx cartridge? Sorry - I couldn't find any specifications for this tonearm so can't calculate if it is the right compliance range with the cartridge.
OakIris: Audio Advancements is the oficial Moerch dealer for USA and has a very personal service.
" Also, I must admit I am a bit worried about the possible problems with all of the wire connections. ".
OakIris: there is no single problem with the wire connections: it is like other tonearm and beats the Graham 2.2 performance for a lot less money.
The Graham was a design based on the high performance japanese Audiocraft tonearms, but the Graham people instead to manufacturer a identical copy they do some changes ( bad changes ) on it, that till to now can't correct, that's why to many Graham tonearm versions: 1, 1.5, 2, now 2.2.
The Moerch tonearm is based in the high performance japanese Highphonic tonearm. The difference here is that the Moerch tonearm is an identical copy of the Highphonic and that's why is so very good tonearm.
Is up to you.
Regards and enjoy the music.
Rauliruegas - I am surprised that you feel the Morch DP6 is a better arm than the Graham 2.2, but am glad to have your input. I realize that a higher price is not necessarily the equivalent of better quality, but I haven't read any other negative reviews about the Graham tonearms and how they are poorly designed
I emailed Audio Advancements yesterday asking for more info. on the Morch; I've received no response as yet.
On the similar subject, has anyone experience with the JMW Memorial 10? It is a little more expensive than the Morch, but is has a built in VTF control, an add-on with Morch, and $200 from Chris.
A good friend has recommended it to me, but I was leaning to the Morch, over Hadcock. Now I have not spent the time to consider compatibility, I assumed that the JMW would match with my Grados and future lower compliance choices, but I will have to find out.
I have both a JMW-10 and a Moerch DP-6. The Moerch has the 12" arm wand (Red). I have used both arms on my Galibier and, prior to that, my Thorens 124. Both are very nice tonearms. The Moerch has a cleaner, more detailed, more nimble sound. The VPI tends to be somewhat richer and a bit opaque in comparison. At least with the cables I tried.
I don't have Raul's knowledge about the history of tonearms, but from what I've seen and heard I agree with him.
I've not used a Moerch but I have used a Graham 2.2. IMO a new one is one of the most overpriced components around, particularly since you have to buy a separate phono cable. A new 2.2 + IC-70 actually lists for the same as my Tri-Planar. Some may disagree but IMO that amounts to a bad joke. The Graham may look cleaner and tidier, the paint job is better, but its superiority ends there.
Used Graham 2.x arms are now plentiful, thanks to the introduction of the Phantom, so you might bag one for cheap. However, if I had to choose between a 2.2 and a DP-6 with no chance to learn any more, I'd choose a DP-6. It's probably better, like Raul says, but even if it's just equal it's also less expensive, more flexible as to cartridges and much prettier!
Salectric's JMW-10/DP-6 comparison was interesting. "Richness" and "opacity" are not desirable traits in a component. "Rich" sounds nice at first, but it's really a polite word for "colored". That can get tiring before too long, and it's a pretty fair description of the Graham's sound too.
The whole question of detail vs. coloration has me wondering a bit. So I am interested in Daves switch from a 124 to a Galibier. In the past I have heard tables like the Nottingham Hyperspace that are, for lack of a better word too detailed. They can sound arid, like some ones experience might be if they grew up hearing CDs not vinyl. In that case I might accept a little coloration, if that was what the old timers (like me) called "warmth".
For me the issue is PRAT and nuance, in both cases I think that these are system dependent and not controlled by any single component.
Still I have not made up my mind on an arm, I mean should it be so hard to spend $1,000.00?
Doug - I'm taking your word for it! I'll go for the Morch DP6. The cheapest I've been able to find the Graham is for $1900 (used, here on Audigon) which is way more than I originally intended to spend. (Still, do you have any opinions on the BlueNote Borromeo - Chris is selling one for less than the Morch. :-) )
Still I have not made up my mind on an arm, I mean should it be so hard to spend $1,000.00?Glad to know that I'm not the only one struggling, Gregg!
It's harder to spend $1,000 (effectively) than it is to spend $2,000!
Remember, all I said is I'd take a chance on a DP-6 before I'd buy a 2.2. I haven't actually heard a DP-6 so that hardly constitutes a recommendation.
Of course Raul loves the DP-6 and Salectric gave you a useful comparison. If clarity and finesse are more important to you than richness and opacity, then apparently a DP-6 would suit you more than a JMW-10. I agree with C123666 that an unbroken arm cable is best, but none of these arms has that.
If you're serious about a Moerch, you need to consider getting the 12" wand. Not only does it provide better sound quality, according to several others who have compared the 9" and 12" wands, but it's more flexible on cartridge matching. The 12" Red which I have handles nearly all cartridges. There is a Blue version that is suited to very low complicance cartridges.
Another thing to consider in choosing a tonearm is its ergonomics. In many vinyl systems, you have the most frequent physical contact with the tonearm, so it should be one that has a good "feel." Both the VPI and the DP-6, in my opinion, feel right. (The baby Moerch---the UP-4---does not have a good feel due to the floppy unipivot.)
My only complaints about the Moerch DP-6 are that its VTA adjustment is not as convenient or repeatable as the JMW-10, and the damped cueing does not operate consistently. Neither one bothers me, but others might feel otherwise.
I can't think of any sub-$2K arm I'd clearly prefer to a DP-6, but my actual experience is fairly limited. The few arms I *know* I'd prefer all list for $3K and up. Maybe that makes the DP-6 a serious contender for best-in-class?
The DP-6's clumsy VTA adjustment can be addressed by ordering Chris's $200 VTA adaptor. It works pretty well provided your table is sited with convenient access beneath the armboard. (Ours isn't, so we need an arm with the VTA dial on top. AFAIK there are no sub-$2K arms with that feature.)
His point about the tactile nature of tonearms was nicely put. If you can fall in love with your tonearm and look forward to working with it, you'll play more music and enjoy it more. From that perspective a DP-6 may be the most attractive arm on the planet, except for maybe a Schroeder at 2-4x the cost.
In addition, a Moerch is so graceful, beautiful and obviously costly that few casual visitors would dare to touch it. That's a good thing for the health of your cartridges. My Tri-Planar has the same effect for different reasons. It has a certain robotic, Terminator-like "aesthetic". Most visitors seem to fear it'll chop off their finger if they get too close!
I do indeed plan to get Chris's VTA adjustor. As the turntable will be sitting on top of my equipment rack, there should be no problem with access to it.
I have definitely decided on the Moerch DP6. Another decision reached! As soon as Chris gets back from vacation I'll be talking to him and pouring all of my hard earned cash into his coffers!
My Tri-Planar has the same effect for different reasons. It has a certain robotic, Terminator-like "aesthetic". Most visitors seem to fear it'll chop off their finger if they get too close!LOL, Doug!
By the way, does the Moerch DP6 come with a phono cable or do you have to buy one for it? And, if you do need to buy one, what is recommended? (I don't even know if the Moerch has a DIN connector or RCAs or... at the tonearm end. :-o)
I can't afford more than about $150 for the cable, so please be gentle!
I'm jealous. I nearly snagged a used DP-6 for our new Teres back in 2003, but somebody else grabbed it first. We got an OL Silver instead, since we couldn't stomach the price for a new DP-6. $2,000 for a tonearm?! (Oh, to be so naive again.)
Check out this site, a Danish Moerch dealer. Lots of good info and internal links. If you scroll down you can read the owners manual and even see a (euro) price list.
For a ZYX with no integral headshell weight you'll want either a 9" blue, 9" Precision blue or 12" red armtube. I think I'd opt for the Precision myself. Cartridge/headshell coupling is critical, and that vestigial standard headshell just seems a bit dodgy. I think the designer won a battle with the engineer. Of course I'm known to favor geeky looking tonearms...
AFAIK the point of a longer armtube is to reduce tracing angle errors. That's fine in theory, but the ZYX's trace so well I'm not sure you'd benefit much. I've heard plenty of inner groove distortion on 9-10" arms with other cartridges, but never with any of my three ZYX's. Maybe Salectric can describe other advantages of the long arm.
C123666 suggested asking your seller about a continuous run of wire from the armtube connection to the phono plugs. Good idea. That would be better than a junction box + phono cable. It could even save you money.
This is going to be one nice sounding (and looking) rig. Friends and relatives will be amazed.
Holly: Before you mount the cartridge on the DP6 tonearm you have to burn in the internal wires and phono cable. You can do it by conecting the phono cables directly to the output of your CD player and play for a week a CD that has a burnin track like the XLO/Sheffield one. If you don't have this kind of CD, my advise is that buy the Soundtrack of Gladiator CD and play continously for a week before you mount and play your cartridge.
Regards and enjoy the music.
If I am reading you correctly, you are applying signal to the RCA jacks of the tonearm but there is no load at the other end, so there won't be any current flow in the wires. You need to apply some kind of resistor loading at the other end to burn in the cables. I believe there are some commercial cable burnin products that have a DIN jack so you can plug both ends of the phono cable in and get a load as well as a signal.
I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm not soldering anything to my headshell clips!
Some people could probably do that safely and also be confident they could remove them later with no residue, but I'm not that good with a soldering iron.
I'd either DIY some jumpers or buy an adapter like Dave suggested. Or just wait 100 years. ;-)