tonearm match ZYX Universe Moerch and Triplanar

I decided to take a much bigger analog plunge

I'm working with Mehran on a tonearm for a Zyx Universe
between the Moerch DP6 and Triplanar VII. Mehran is really great - a true audiophile gentleman.

the precise dial in setup of the triplanar interested me (particularly because I am a relative neophyte at this) but it's a bit more expense.

I currently have a Nottingham Spacedeck which I'll eventually upgrade from but the Moerch drops directly into the Spacedeck mount and others here tell me the Notts match well with the Moerch.

Can anyone commment on the synergy of these two with the Universe? later flexibility with other tables? any other helpful jewels of knowledge would be greatly appreciated (I don't want to limit myself like with the Spacedeck).

My listening preferences lean more toward correct tonal balance and engaging dynamics over ultra hi resolution. I listen to a lot of jazz, acoustic and rock music.


Here a few, who use the UNIverse with the Triplanar, I did, too. This is a very good match. I guess the Moerch is a bit unknown, but in Europe it is used for a long time and it is a good choice (normally), because you can use it with different Arms wands based on the weight of the cartridges when this is interesting. I think from what I heard, these Moerch Arms are good ones. Sorry, never listened to them with a UNIverse.
I have never used a ZYX, so I can't respond directly to your question. I did recently replace my DP-6 with 12" Red wand with a Triplanar VII.2 so I do have some idea of the differences between the two arms. The Triplanar has greater resolution and better dynamic contrasts. It is also much easier to adjust to get the best sound out of any cartridge. However, the Moerch also sounds very, very good. If you don't feel the need to adjust VTA too often, the Moerch can be very satisfying. Of course, the Moerch also has the flexibility of changing arm mass by changing arm wands.

thanks guys

nice to hear a direct comparison

the synergy of the drop in with the Nottingham and lower price and arm mass matching led me to the Moerch.

I am drooling over that triplanar vta adjustment
would be nice when I upgrade the table.

I see teres has a Moerch/teres vta on the fly adapter, but it probably only works on their own tables


I am using the Teres VTA on the fly adjuster on my Progressive Engineering TT/Morch UP 4 and it works absolutely great.

The adjuster will work on any table. The only caveat with this VTA adjuster is that you nee access to the underside of your armboard to adjust.


thanks for the tip but it looks like I don't have access

the Nott base part is is 2/5/8 thick with only 5/8ths room below this. Unless I can find a way to hang it over the edge of the plinith it doesn't look like it will work

looks like a better VTA solution
Peter Riggle's VTAF - note ad "VTAF" on the gon and website
they are well liked on audio asylum as well

I like the Spacedeck custom small armboard
(no drilling required)

you can dial in vtf on the fly and get better tonal issues because the arm isn't clamped down tight

I'm going with the Moerch DP6 arm
now the added bonus of VTA

thanks to Motnic (tom) for the tip
Hi Tom

I think you are making a wise move by getting the Peter Riggle VTA on the fly with the Morch. The difference a VTA on the fly makes to the ability to fine tune goes beyond what I can express. I’ll never consider a setup w/o that ever again.

If I may ask; why do you not use one of the Nottingham arms? Did you find them not to your taste?


the nott arms are not in the same league
I have the graphite arm and it has a ringy tone
looking to upgrade and get synergy with a zyx cartridge
The ZYX can have a ringy tone in many arms. It is not that the arm is bad. It is that the match is bad.
the arm issue - has a ringy strident tone with a sumiko blue point special (my zyx doesn't arrive for at least another week)

Glad to help.

Let us know how the VTAF works out. The lack of a VTA adjuster is the main Moerch downside.
What is that? A ringy Tone in M_A_N_Y Arms?
The ZYX can have a ringy tone in many arms. It is not that the arm is bad. It is that the match is bad.
I what Arms? Please write? I would like to know that. I used Zyx in Graham 2.2/Phantom/Triplanar/DaVinci/AirLine/Well Tempered Ref. and I didn't find such a Result. I am glad, I have it, it is the most universal cartridge for nearly all Arms I ever owned (or own). I have never found an Arm where I heard your "Result". Even in a very heavy Ikeda Arm it works great.
I think I have to agree with Thomas.Any "ringy" response is usually a mismatch,in the "tracking chain".Unless one has a tube pre/phonostage,with a bad tube.
In the set-up I heard,which had the ZYX Universe,there was a slight sibilence,and subtle loos of bass response,but this could have easily been the improper anti-skate setting.
All in all,though,the Universe still gave an exemplary performance,and clearly stood out as a "Very Special" product.
The ZYX Universe has very extended treble response. More than most cartridges. This is a good thing but on some LPs can be excesive & bright. In addition, it can be excited on some arms depending on VTA and VTF. If you feel I should readjust VTA & VTF for each record I am against such procedures. If the arm is not damped enough it can excite the Universe. Thomas, if you tell me the Universe is good in all the arms you tried yours is different than mine and a few others that I have been given feedback of. Also, then you have the truly perfect cartridge for any arm. In my opinion the damping and control of the arm is important in determining the ringing of of the cartridge. I would suggest you read responses on this forum of the Universe match well or not w. the Graham 2.2.. In addition, I think the Ikeda does not allow the ZYX to image at its best. The Schroder is the best of most world but not all but on most LPs. There is no absolute.
Hi All,

I'd take my existing budget, pick up the Triplanar from Mehran and spend whatever is left on the cartridge. If this means backing off on the Universe for 6 months or a year, it is still the right decision.

A cartridge is a consumable item, whereas if you purchase a Triplanar, Schröder, SME, Breuer, etc. you could easily be happy for the rest of your life. With these arms, there are subtle differences, and I'm sure you'd prefer one over the other if you heard them all.

I can't predict which of these arms you'd fall in love with, as your tastes as well as turntable would have a large effect on your opinion. The Moerch is a very fine tonearm but it is not quite in the league of the aforementioned arms, and I can't imagine your picking ahead of any of them. This is not merely about the Triplanar's adjustability - it's about the Triplanar's superior sonics.

I have no vested interest in this, other than to have one of Mehran's customers make the right decision.

I've posted fairly recently in this forum on the turntable setup hierarchy ('table, then arm, then cartridge). You can click this link for one of my rants on this forum if you're interested.

The second half of the post addresses the hierarchy. The first half is a bit ... off the wall. Guilty as charged.

Thom @ Galibier

funny you should mention moving up to the triplanar and table first arm second cartridge third
because I was looking at just that in the last few days

I was initially set on getting a triplanar but was informed it was like putting racing tires on a cadillac with my spacedeck - hence the Moerch option

the triplanar's adjustible vta was very alluring to me, and a key factor is synergy. Ithought it would match well will the ZYX

since I was already making major upgrades to phono pre, cartridge and arm I decided not to let the table or arm be the limiting factor

I am considering the Amazon Model One
those who use it with the tripanar have very good synergy
If you can afford the Triplanar it will work well even on a cheap turntable and better than a cheaper arm.

I run the ZYX Universe on the Triplanar and it is unstoppable. Records that I thought were noisy are quiet and records that I thought were damaged are not. Very detailed, very relaxed and I have found to get the most out of it the Triplanar's VTA adjustment system is really helpful.
Audiotomb, I smiled when I read your post because the Amazon design was optimized using the Moerch!

The Spacedeck is a good entry level table and the Amazon is better, if not the best at its price point. I would suggest you decide what is important to you sonically, and you take some challenging LPs to a number of different vendors and hear what they have to offer within your budget.

Amazon/Moerch/Zyx will give you detail and delicacy in spades (like a veil was removed compared to your Spacedeck) but you may find something lacking over time.
flying red - thanks for the comments, funny over the last several days I came across your comments on another table. I'm actually looking now at a Galibier Gavia table. Your input as well as Dan's really peacked my interest

A trip to Denver may be in the cards

Dear Audiotomb: The Moerch tonearms are very good ones and compete ( from my humble opinion ) with any of the other named here, it has the additional advantage that you can choose between differents effective mass arm wands to match with different cartridges, from this point of view the Moerch could be a very good match to the Universe and if you are looking for the Amazon TT that ( like Flyingred posted ) was voiced along the Moerch: this is the way to go.

If you choose for the Galibier TT then you could choose for a different tonearm like the Triplanar that everyone " say " is a great match for the Universe ( I heard this combination and is a very good one ).

Anyway, you are starting to " play " in the audio " big league " ( very good for you: congratulations ! ) and looking to your audio system your phonolinepreamp is not up to the task with those great performers: TT/TA/Universe, I think that you have to care on this critical analog audio link.

Regards and enjoy the music.
I think that Raul makes a very good point. But of course, this may be part of a long range project that is "starting at the source" and working downstream.
good points guys

Obviously I agre as I am getting a ZYX Artisan phono stage from Wayne WNG here on audiogon. Funny, because the phono stage was the first thing purchased and led me to expand the whole analog setup

The Moerch is a very fine tonearm, but here is the relevant question. When you answer this, you are done:

Have you ever heard of anyone experiencing buyer's remorse after having switched from Moerch to Triplanar?

Thom @ Galibier
Following up on Thom's comment, I recently changed from the DP-6 to the Triplanar and I certainly don't have buyer's remorse. As I noted earlier in this thread, the Triplanar is a better sounding arm, but that doesn't change the fact that the Moerch sounds very good too.

Don't forget the role that a phono cable plays in determining the "sound" of a tonearm. The Moerch (like the Graham, SME and lots of other arms) lets you alter the sound by installing different cables. I tried 6 different cables with my Moerch, and they all had significant differences. If I described the sound of the Moerch with a Hovland cable, it would be quite different from its sound with a VanDeHul cable. So which is the sound of the arm alone? What is the sound of one hand clapping?

The Triplanar (and Schroeder and Rega) use a single length of wire from cartridge to RCA plugs, so the user can't change the sound of the arm by swapping cables. There are obviously pros and cons, but on balance I prefer the Triplanar's dedicated cable approach.

The front end is coming togehtr. The ZYX Artisian, triplanar and loricraft arrived yesterday
The Universe is in the mail (thanks Mehran).

I can't wait to get the triplanar setup - but it's not a drop in with the Nott, so I'll wait. These come very nicely packaged and are quite stunning arms.

I'm leaning towards the Galidier Gavia table which will be a few months - so I'll set up the cartridge on my spacearm in the mean time. I may even mount a Shure 15 on my arm before I venture to the more costly ZYX - just for good practice. I have a Feikert protractor to dial things in with.

Hey Tom, you prepare yourself really perfectly. Btw., Feickert, the Protractor man has his own Turntable ready for the Market. Stay tuned.

You are certainly moving ahead quickly. Congrats on what I know will be an extremely satisfying analog front end!

after three weeks of having the Universe setup on the spacedeck with the ZYX Artisian phono pre I've been really pleased with the performance - I do hear some limitations and the setup is not yet ideal

I can hear some noise elements in low level passages and can't wait to get the Galibier Gavia and install my triplanar tonearm and really dial things in. I've really am enjoying vinyl - no casual listening sessions - it's too engaging for that.

The Loricraft has been a must have and really extracts the most out of the records with mostly dead quiet backgrounds. I can't wait till I catch up - I have too many new finds coming in and my older collection as well, so the number of records I've cleaned is only in the 50-70 lp range.

I'm considering a Neuance platform for my target wall mount shelf. Has anyone went down this route?


I think you'll be out of the optimum weight range of the Neuance shelf if you're considering placing the Gavia on it (or the Target wall mount shelf for that matter). IIRC, the weight limit for the Neuance shelf is around 35-40 lbs - the Gavia is almost 3x that. Think massive reinforcement or serious bracing if you plan on using the Gavia as a wall mount - sheet rock toggle bolts or plastic anchors aren't going to cut it. Nice setup - analog bliss is nearly at hand!

Richard - thanks for the warning

I have a target shelf that has a piece of plywood reinforced to the wall and studs
may not be enough for the Gavia

what would you suggest
Sound Anchors?

Ringy tone on MANY arms??!!!.....thou kiddest surely?!
I have a 30 year old Hadcock GH228 Unipivot...UNDAMPED...with the ZYX Universe sounding amazing as it does on EVERY arm I've heard!
I have to agree with Thomas on this one Dgad.....the ringing indicates something wrong in your system methinks?
I just noticed Dgad's comment. Maybe he was referring to some other model than a UNIverse (Airy 3 perhaps?). Otherwise I cannot understand his remark. I've heard a UNIverse on seven or eight different arms. It never came close to sounding "ringy" on any of them. I'm with Thomas and Halcro.

Meanwhile, back on topic, I'm excited for you Audiotomb. Do be careful where you put that Galibier though. Email me if you need a copy of my "how to fine tune VTF" with a TriPlanar/UNIverse. I don't remember if I sent it your way or not.

I have and currently own too many cartridges for it to be a system related anomaly. Mind you now it has become an excellent performer but in the Schroder. Not in anything else that I have tried yet. Give it time though I am sure I will try more. My compliance is definitely lower than most peoples.

It is a Universe Copper.
Hi Tom,

I think I mentioned this to you before but I'll say it again here. The Gavia will sound its best if siting on something like granite or aluminum. I don't think the Nuance would be a good match in this case and I'm having nightmares for you over the wall mount and the Gavia's weight.

You could try a light weight, rigid table. An end table for example. Just put a granite or aluminum slab between the table and the base of the Gavia. And don't use the cones.
Dan - you mentioned not to use the cones etc

thanks for the wake up call
I guess I never factored in 120+ lbs for the Galibier

won't the granite ring a little?

I have a nice granite slab on my target rack but will need a larger one (I buy left over slabs from local countertop sources - they have some great italian red granite that makes this geologist envious)

just a plain table? no audiophile stand?

I'd guess most Galibier users site the table on a floor stand, especially if you have the added benefit of sitting on a concrete floor. From there, I'd say the field is open - Thom favors building a sandbox with an aluminum top plate that beds into the sand by virtue of some interface between the top plate and sand; several other users have successfully utilized granite or other such stone materials. General consensus from most users is that wood (be it MDF, solid maple or other) is not an ideal top plate material. This is a case where experimentation is in order - the path to an inert surface is frought with variables, including the type of floor and stand construction. You should carefully read over the Galibier FAQ page to get a better idea of the types of surface materials available, as well as strategies for finding the best stand for your situation. -Richard
Yes, the granite will ring. I'm betting that the aluminum does also but at a different frequency. As Richard mentioned Thom's preference, I'm also using the granite with a sandbox. My suggestion for the end table was meant as a temporary solution until you get else. Maybe one of those high dollar stands will be a great solution. But if not you're out some money. As Richard suggests, experimentation will help you find a good solution for your situation. Thom has told me of one of his customers who has been using such a table for some time now with very good results. I don't know what that person is using as a plate under the base. I had first tried a butcher block shelf cut so that the bottom had sections that would sink into the sand. Really bad. I didn't realize how bad it was until I tried the granite. BTW, I did the same. I bought a remnant, Dakota Mahogany, from a local stone supplier and had them cut it to the same dimensions as the wood shelf so it was a drop in replacement. Someday when a get some extra tweaking money I'll look into an aluminum plate to try in comparison with the granite.
Thanks Dan and Richard

I'll try a short and long term solution on the table stand

I'm curious - how jaw dropping was the Galibier over your last table?
My last really good table was a Basis 2500. Not the latest Signature series, but that is really the beginning of the meat of the Basis line. Now as I have related above, I started with the Galibier in the least flattering setup for that table so I had no immediate jaw dropping experience. Thinking back I'm almost embarrassed at the presentation of my first setup. The first jaw-dropping moment came a few months later when I removed the cones at the suggestion of another G owner. Then I had another such experience when I first swapped in the granite. You could easily replicate this adventure when your G shows up. As long as you're comfortable with setting up the arm and cartridge, the rest is a cake walk.

To me, the most appealing characteristic of the Galibier remains that of its ability to make those LPs of mine that are not in pristine condition sound remarkable quiet but still just as dynamic as any of my more prised records. The table completely gets out of the way of what is on the LP.
thanks Dan for the details

I was considering a Steve Blinn design with maple butcher block piece on top. Maybe I could order it without the butcher block and place granite on the frame which is heavy duty alluminum.

looking at a 24" by 18 " drop in piece