Tonearm Options for Basis 2800

Hi All,

I'm wondering if anyone has experience putting something other than a Graham or Vector tonearm on this table. I'm somewhat new to turntables and my perhaps incorrect impression was that with a bit of tweaking most arms could go on most tables, and by tweaking I don't mean radically changing the plinth etc. I was considering putting a Vector 4 on a table that has a Vector 3 and was told (by the big kahoona) that it's not possible because of a "high cup/low cup issue", so I'm just a bit confused.

You just got this thing two months ago and you're changing
the arm? IMO, you will have to spend a lot of money to best
what you have. If you have to spend money, you would
probably be better off upgrading something else. I know
that Basis tables can be fitted with a Rega, but you need
some type of adaptor and you wouldn't want to change from a
Vector to a Rega anyway. Once an arm hole is drilled, you
just can't stick any arm on any table because different arms
may (or may not)require different arm hole locations. In
any case, try to relax and listen to some music. You have a
great table and arm there, so give yourself some time to
grow into it.
You can put a Vector 4 on your turntable, but it has to be a high cup arm, due to the platter height, which is what Mr. Conti tried to explain, I am guessing.

It will be difficult to better the Basis Vector on that turntable, but maybe the Superarm 9 is a consideration.
Vector 3 is a terrific arm. Upgrade your cartridge or phono preamp.
Thanks for your feedback. I haven't even received the tt yet but am surprised at your response. Aren't we always trying to create the best system we can? That being said, I appreciate your wait and listen advice.
Any Graham arm. I have the Debut and I used a 2.2 now the Phantom. I just wish I could add another arm but am looking into arm pods.
Graham Phantom
- done right design
- excellent adjustment even for owners with 10 left thumbs
- tonality is right
- replaceable Arm tubes for different carts
- all adjustments repeatable
You haven't received the tt yet? You posted back in January that you were having issues with the bass and then that the bass "rocks". Now you're saying you didn't get it yet. OK - no problem. My mistake.
Did you buy another Basis? I saw that you purchased the 2200. Did you now buy a 2800 as well?

Let me know if you want to sell the 2200. I will buy it for the same price you paid.
I had a graham arm and to me the basis is much better.
Thanks for all the feedback.

Chayro, I bought a 2200 a few months ago and got a great offer on a trade-up to a 2800 but it has a Vector 3 and the 2200 has the Vector 4.

Jperry, sorry but trade in was too good a deal to pass up. Also, if I had an extra 14k laying around I would consider the Superarm 9. Anyone hear it yet?

Jwm, Curious which Graham you had and which Basis arm you're comparing it too.
Vector 3 to the Graham 1. Every graham arm I heard sounds lean in the mids. I have the Superarm 9 and it is the best single component I ever bought.
Superarm 9, I'm trying to keep the drool off my keyboard :)
I kid you not this arm is something else. The Vector sounds broken compared to the 9. My mouth hits the floor every time I play records.
It looks like such an amazing design. I hope I get a chance to hear it at some point.
ps. Any experience with the Synchrowave? Would appreciate any impressions/insights. Thanks.
Are you talking about AJ's electronic speed control. If so it makes a huge difference. It allows the motor to run much smoother. You feel no vibration from the motor when used with the controller and without it the motor vibrates quite a bit. It seems to give you cleaner sound and also allows for correct speed which makes a difference.
I own a synchrowave and it makes a difference, but whether or not that difference is substantial is hard to say. The sound, particularly with piano, becomes clearer without being lean or edgy.

There are some minor quirks with operating the synchrowave. When it is plugged in, it is on some level "on." On several occasions, I have come home to find the table has turned itself on fully (meaning the table is rotating). I believe this can happen after a momentary power outage. To prevent this, one has to either disconnect the synchrowave, or do what I do, which is to always turn the motor itself off after use.

If you are looking at a older table, an even bigger change in sound is wrought by buying a new belt. The new belts are machined to a higher degree of precision. This is a relatively cheap upgrade that should be done regardless of the condition of an older belt.
+1 on the thinner belt.
Just got the 2800 up and running. It turns out that my Vector 4 does work with this set up. The sound is truly awesome and I'm still dialing in all the micro adjustments. Clarity, soundstage, bass, pure musicality are all outstanding. It's hard to imagine that it just keeps getting better as you go up the line. Very horribly tempted by the Superarm 9 and the Synchrowave, but I'm trying to have some patience and for the meantime will keep checking the classifieds for them and will just enjoy this level of sonic bliss for a while. Thanks for all your responses.
Thanks Larryi and Jwm. I had a new belt for my Basis that I had not installed and it made a significant positive difference. The individual instruments were more focused.

Moryoga, glad to hear the Vector 4 fit on your new turntable.
Thanks Jperry. Anyone have any experience with Basis Cables? It's hard not to wonder if the tables can be this good based on AJ's technical prowess that the cables he designed would be pretty special as well.
I own Basis power cords and I have heard Basis loudspeaker cables and interconnects. For my system, the interconnects were good, but not as good a match as other interconnects--they are extremely detailed and dynamic sounding, but, again, in my system, just a bit too hard sounding. The same can be said of their speaker cables.

In my friend's system, the Basis speaker cables were VERY surprising. The very lively and dynamic sound was a big plus. The subjective impression when using their speaker cable was that the system was substantially louder--at the same volume setting the speakers sounded louder. I have never heard this kind of pronounced difference in subjective loudness with cables before hearing the Basis cables (compared with XLO Limited cables). I cannot recall what electronics were being used in this system--the preamp was probably a Hovland HP200 and the amps were solid state, but, I cannot recall what they were; the speakers were Spendor S8 and Sonus Faber Anniversario.
Congratulations Jwm on the SA 9 tonearm! I thought about one for about a minute when I was considering the Vector 4 which I just bought and love. The Vector 4 is an engineering and sonic marvel.

I also just replace my belt - can't believe how worn out my other one was on my 2200 after 5 years! I think next for me might be a synchrowave as the consensus seems to be it makes a big difference.

Welcome to the Basis line Moryoga - you have a great table! I have 2 and might start a collection!
Thanks Larryi and Pops, glad to be on the team. Cables are a total mind and wallet bender. I was doing a little research and saw that The Work of Art was the TT for Best in Show at Newport last Year. It said all cables were AudioQuest WEL. Curious that they wouldn't have been Basis but I guess it really is totally dependent on room acoustics, gear, taste etc.
I don't know if the vacuum clamp is retrofittable to any table, but, it is the other great option on Basis tables. The vacuum holds the record very firmly to the platter which dampens/drains vibrational energy from the stylus tracking the groove and prevents that energy from feeding back into the cartridge. This improves the clarity of the sound. The most obvious difference that the clamp makes is with how much it supresses the effect of clicks and pops. Clicks and pops are very momentary events, but, with some tables/arms, the sonic effect is more obvious because of ringing (resonance) that is not quickly dissipated. Basis tables, particularly with the vacuum clamp, substantially minimize such ringing from clicks and pops.

Perhaps, the downside of such good resonance control is that Basis systems tend to sound "darker" and not as lively as tables that ring more. I can see why some listeners would prefer tables that sing a little more --this really is a matter of taste and system tuning. I heard a Linn table with the Naim ARO arm in a system that normally featured a Basis 2500/Vector 3 setup. The Linn/Naim system did sound livelier and more exciting in a system that needed a bit of perking up. But, I am not sure that, even in this system, I would like the extra liveliness in the long run. In some respect that liveliness was artificial and clangorous.

The point I am making is that choices still come down to matters of taste and system matching and that there is no absolute "best."

... vacuum clamp is retrofittable to any table...
Best is to ask the Manufacturer. I know he did that for the Ovation turntable and that one was never available with vacuum option..

... that Basis systems tend to sound "darker" and not as lively as tables that ring more.

The table itself is neutral from sonics. It can't be compared with the majority of other tables which have their sonic colorations (based on mediocre bearing, ringing platter, motor vibrations, platter resonances ....) Most Audiophiles compensate their units to "tune" a sound to their "preferences"....and we all know, the owner is always right. Discussions with such "groups" is wot, they never get it, even when you explain it 10 times....

The Linn/Naim system did sound livelier and more exciting...

The Linn is a midrange pusher and the Aro is weak in lower a way far away from a full range turntable...but when the difference is so obvious (I listened to such a combo a few times too and I will only do it again when someone wants to tape my crying before I fall in a coma) then I would seriously think about replacing the Vector Arm.

...and that there is no absolute "best."
That is wrong. There is better and best out there. "Taste" is the owner's excuse for not knowing anything to keep his investment alive. There are 30k tables out there which do not perform better than a 3k table and the owners love it. Each his own.
But in a good System you can hear the quality of Turntables at once. When you know the right records and what is in their grooves.
No, Basis is the BEST!!! :)
Totally agree, of course. I haven't heard a ton of tables but I find the 2800 V4 combo to sound very lively and have 0 issues on that front.
The came with the vacuum and it is a remarkable feature. I live in a pretty small apartment and haven't had a chance to move the pump and that isn't even a big deal. I tend to like music on the slightly louder side and the pump noise disappears pretty quickly.
Pops the Vector 4 is great and I know you will enjoy it. The 9 is over kill as far as price is concerned, but it does play at another level.
Jmw, I'm waiting for the Superarm 9 version 2 to come out, so when you upgrade to that I can buy your 9 used :)
When my Avantgarde Duos were new it took a while to dial them in to achieve their potential. More than any other speakers I've owned the Duos required extreme levels of synergy with other system components. Their 103 db sensitivity magnifies issues caused by non-synergistic components resulting in sound that's good but nothing special. When care is taken a Duo based system is unique in my experience, capable of realism that causes people who could care less about stereos to sit in rapt attention and clap at the end of an LP side.

At first I used the lovely monoblock tube amps that drove my previous speakers, Verity Parsifal Encores. Fidelity was above average but they had too much gain. Next I tried a SET tube amp known to be an excellent match with Avantgardes. The amp was OK, but obvious that the Duos were capable of significantly more sonic magic. As the SET amp cost about 65% less than my monoblocks my conclusion was I fishing in the wrong price category.

A suggestion was made to try different cables which seemed a waste of time as I had good cables including the special power cords that came with the Duos. With the SET amp still in the system I inserted Basis power cords and interconnects. My expectation was at best there would be a sonic trade off, some area of fidelity would improve and another area would suffer and the SET amp would still lack the required mojo. Not the case as about every sonic characteristic improved. Dynamics, low level resolution, transients, frequency extension, midrange realism, soundstage, etc etc. The Basis cables with the lower priced SET amp allowed the Duos to strut their stuff.

Later I inserted Basis speaker cables which, as I recall, did not provide new insights other than an across the board increase of the positive characteristics that were already there. Overall I found the Basis cables a revelation and "pretty special" to borrow a quote from Moryoga. In my case the hardness in the interconnects/speaker cables mentioned by Larryi was non-existent. This just goes to show that like most things relative to a stereo system synergy is dependent upon many factors within a system and the room it's in. And that in some systems the Basis cables might be excellent cables to use.
Nice try but I don't change my equipment that often. I had the original Vector arm and never upgraded to the 4 and enjoyed it for all these years.
Thanks JWM - I am fully enjoying the Vector 4...Syntax thanks for the great cartridge pix...incredible. I will be coming to you for advice for my next cartridge...

There can be a number of reasons why Basis used someone else's cables at a show and not all of the reasons involve sonics. For example, exhibitors often team up to defray cost. I've been at shows where the horse trading and last minute arrangements/deals are made because certain equipment fails to arrive on time or is not working when it arrives. You can find really strange bedfellows resulting from such happenstance. Some manufacturers show up with a lot of extra gear for big shows, like CES, hoping to get as many rooms as possible to have their stuff. Cables are the sort of gear that is easy to pack a lot of extras for this purpose.
Syntax is correct, I had my Ovation upgraded with the Debut's vacuum platter, bearing and motor. Not sure if it's available for the other tables, but it was a very worthwhile upgrade. People thinking of the upgrade should contact AJ at Basis.

And echoing Tubes 108, I will add that I now use Basis cabling through my system, and am very pleased with how natural and real they make the music sound. AJ claims that they virtually eliminate distortions you hear with many other cables, and I have to agree with him. Pricy and very heavy, but one of the best choices I have made for my system. Now if I can only figure a way to get a Vector 4 or Superarm into my system.
I visited that room. It was really the dealer's room, not the equipment makers. He has carried AQ cables for decades. The manufacturers likely contributed a share of room costs. And I'm sure they all played nice and respected the dealer's long term relationships.
Politics screwing us again, but I guess it's a reality :) I'm sure you're spot on Omsed when you said:

"And I'm sure they all played nice and respected the dealer's long term relationships."

All I know is the more I listen to the 2800/ Vector 4 with vacuum, the more impressed I am. That AJ is a damn TT genius.
Ps, If anyone has a Synchro Wave they'd like to part with, please let me know, I'm actively in the market for a used one and I'm sure they're quite rare. I'll hold out for a bit longer but I eventually take the plunge if I have too. Yes, have to :)
Just replace my Vector 4 with a Super Arm 9. It will be the last arm you will Ever buy!!
As good as the Vector 4 arm is, the Basis Superarm 9 blows it away. I just got mine one week ago and trust me, it is jaw dropping. I also put a Lyra Etna cartridge in which is still breaking in. Seems to be a great combination as the Etna is very close to the Atlas which is 3K more. Everything that Jwm and Jebsmith have said about this arm is totally true. I have the Basis Debut fully loaded table. My Vandy 7s love this front end.
Chargerfan welcome to the Superarm 9 family, may you enjoy many years of sonic bliss.
Thanks Jwm. This is a family that knows how great a tonearm can be and how much it affects sound quality, in my opinion more than the TT. Friends of mine in LA/Orange County Audiophile Society are lined up to come check it out.
I am not of the fan that thinks you need wood to mimic live instrument sound like some companies use in their tone arms. I want to hear as little resonance from the item as necessary so I can hear the music in its full glory. I don't want to add other colorations on top of others. This applies to other components as well. I know companies that don't believe in using lots of dampening in their loudspeaker cabinets. They think this sounds more like music. This is not what I'm looking for.
Thanks Jwm. This is a family that knows how great a tonearm can be and how much it affects sound quality, in my opinion more than the TT. Friends of mine in LA/Orange County Audiophile Society are lined up to come check it out.
Whatever he does it is done to the extreme. Fanatical research, laser focus, run through the walls effort. You have to spend some time there to see the projects in different areas all done as completely. The speakers, jaws dislocate.

Is AJ Conti working on the design of speakers that Basis may put on the market in the future? Can you disclose anything more about the nature of these speakers?
I made a mistake to post things I saw. You can email him and ask what he uses. I know there are no plans to sell speakers.

I have a 2500 with a Vector 3 and an Air Tight PC-1, a huge improvement was the addition of a Walker Precision Speed Controller. It would be a very noticeable improvement that you could "struggle" along with untill a used Synchro Wave came along.