Tonearm recommendation

Hello all,
Recently procured a Feickert Blackbird w/ the Jelco 12 inch tonearm.
The table is really good, and its a keeper. The Jelco is also very good, but not as good as my Fidelity Research FR66s. So the Jelco will eventually hit Ebay, and the question remains do I keep the FR66s or sell that and buy something modern in the 5-6 K range. My only point of reference is my old JMW-10 on my Aries MK1, so I don't know how the FR66s would compare to a modern arm. So I'd like to rely on the collective knowledge and experience of this group for a recommendation.

Keep the FR66s, or go modern in the 5-6K range, say a Moerch DP8 or maybe an SME.

Any and all thoughts and opinions are of course much appreciated.

Cheers,      Crazy Bill
Sorry, should have stated that my two cartridges are both low compliance
( Koetsu Rosewood and modded Denon DL103r, so a heavier mass tonearm is needed. Must be that second martini !!
I don't recall who, but a poster here was recently very happy with the Kuzma 4 point 14 inch he put on his new Feickert.
+1 on the Kuzma 4Point
The FR-66s is close to the very best arm I have heard.....and I have heard many and owned many, both modern and vintage.
The FR-66s is as good as the Continuum Cobra and Copperhead arms with LOMCs and is JUST shaded by them with high compliance MMs......but these two modern arms, whilst being the best I've heard, are a nightmare to set-up and thus changing cartridges on a regular basis is to be avoided.
The FR-66s handily saw off the DaVinci 12" Ref and Graham Phantom II and has the added bonus of interchangeable headshells which should NEVER be underestimated.
Not only for the ease of swapping in other cartridges....but mainly for the ability to 'tune' a particular cartridge to a particular headshell.
This is something all arms with fixed headshells don't allow but IME can make or break the perceived 'sound' of a cartridge.

Just see what you can buy a second hand 4 Point for when it is only 2 years old and then see what your 35 year old FR-66s is worth.
The Market Place is never wrong...👅

I have a Kuzma 14 inch 4 point mounted on a Dr. Feickert Firebird. I have had it since October and I absolutely love it. Both the 14 inch and 11 inch come with an additional headshell. The cartridge I am using is the Transfiguration Proteus; for my taste it's a great combination.
If those who are recommending other arms, have not even heard an FR-66s......why are they even bothering?

Dear wrm0325:  I don't know what phono stage/linepreamp you own, I know that your TT is a good Denon/Cotter.

Now, I owned almost all FR tonearm models including the 66 and years ago ( along other japanese tonearms as SAEC and Micro Seiki/Audiocraft. ) I left goes for very good reasons.

In the old times the audio industry and the inside market in japan was focused on those all heavy metal and long tonearms. Was the fashion and over the time gone out japan to the world market with more or less success. Stereophile/TAS reviewers of those times reaslly did not " care " about and their preferences gone for other tonearms but we more or less " rockies " in audio bought those japanese tonearms mentioned and stay with till some of us learned about.

The 66 is a non-damped tonearm and builded from metal that as a metal is extremely resonant and instead to damps the cartridge/LP/TT self vibrations/resonances/distortions only magnify it.

Yes, almost all those japanese tonearm designs are very good " looking " but that's all especially in the FR's.

Read what an expert posted about, a music expert not only an audiophile:

what am I trying to say here?: that every one that is listening through the 66, IMHO,  is listening a lot higher distortions and less music information from the LP grooves.
I'm not questioning to any FR tonearm owner that I respect all of them and their privilege is that they like those higher distortions. My reference is live music and that's my home audio system listening quest day by day.

For me, the name of the game in our hobby is to lower ( put at minimum. ) all kind of distortions at each link in the audio chain and any one can do it if has the knowledge and skills to discriminate between real music information and those distortions.

IMHO, the standards of home audio/music listening quality level is way different to the standards of those very old times. At least my today audio standards quality level.

Now and with out knowing your whole audio system and music/sound priorities if I was you I put on sale at once the 66 and stay ( for now. ) with the Jelco and put on sale too that Koetsu and that Denon cartridges. 
For what you get for that sale I put part of that money ( before to decide for a new tonearm/phono stage. )  for a way better phono cartridge and is where I would like to start.

Only an opinion but the " ball " is in your " field " and you are the best judge.

Regards and enjoy the music,

Analog Instruments Siggwan is a 12" unipivot well-suited to your cartridges.
Dear halcro: """  The Market Place is never wrong. """

not really because what exist over the audio market is a high ignorance level and this is normal because customers ( like me. ), as in any kind of market , go for " the today fashion " with out ask before why that audio item is " a fashion " and a must to have.

All of us bought and buy " mistakes/errors " audio items and IMHO we have to learn from each one " mistakes ", as a fact that is an important part in our audio/music learning ladder. Of course exist audio people that does not cares about and are sticky till they " die ". Nothing wrong with that.

Now that you mentioned, I remember that DaVnci tonearm that was launched with huge shouts and trumpets and every one gone for it and everyone was satisfied with.
But things were that in that high price audio item you was/are not abble to make changes on azymuth that's is always a necesity in any cartridge for it can shows at its best.

The manufacturer explained why was/is not convenient  in its design  and if I remember was because a compromise with the rigidity or something like this.

Time latter when customers ans reviewers ask for that azymuth tonearm facility they changed and not only that but even ( against their rigidity argument. ) designed with removable headshell.

If I remember you was one of those satisfied customers.

DaVinci learned  ( as I said. ) from their own " mistakes " for not do it again.

Regards and enjoy the music,

Dear jmwick: I'm not against but I don't be in favor of long tonearms that on playing status has more disadvantages that " theoretical " advantages. However I heard 5-6 times the " normal " Kuzma 4point and as its TTs is not only a very good design but very good performer that helps the cartridge to performs at high quality levels.

IMHO this is a today very good example of tonearm engineering that as I said works as a cartridge " slave " and not the other way around as the 66 and smilar items.

Btw, that Proteus is a " cartridge ".

Regards and enjoy the music,
I love my VPI 3D arm....easy to install..has every adjustment for your cartridge, is non resonant...what more could you ask

The arm and cart work as a team and for the Rosewood and 103r you probably can't better the FR66s. If you want a mono cart, I suspect the same goes for the Miyajima Zero.  With a removable headshell it would be relatively easy to switch carts.

I was under the impression the Blackbird could accommodate 2 arms. I don't know what's involved, but that might be an option to add a lighter arm?

Have you tried Thomas Schick "12 inch tonearm with your Denon 103r?
It's a beautiful modern high mass tonearm made especially for low compliance Denon and Ortofon SPU ... and the price is great. Definitely one of the most ellegant tonearm available today under $2000. I have one for sale after upgraded to more expensive Reed 3P. Schick is German build quality and top class bearing.  I would recommend you to look and read for customers feedbacks, denon 103r users are happy. 

Dear fleib: why is the best team those cartridges with that 66?, maybe I'm missing something and always is time to learn so some " light " from you can help all of us.

Regards and enjoy the music,
Hello all,
First, sorry it took so long to get back. Still, don't have any time to stay awhile now, so I'll be back later. Thanks to all who responded so far. I will fill in some missing info on my system later, and add further thoughts and questions.
First though,
Obviously, you are no longer a fan of the FR66s ( though it appears you were in the past ), but you claim higher distortion levels for the FR arms over other arms. I'm wondering if you have, other than your IMHO, any empirical data to back up your thoughts. Have you, or anyone else that you know of or whose studies you have read and analyzed, actually done any tests that show increased distortion levels or compromised frequency balances on the FR66s compared to any tonearms you like, or any other for that matter.
I would dearly like to see some real data, as my ears and experience tell me something different ( My ears are with you on this one Halcro ). And, as we all know, while the final proof for each of us is in the listening, do you have any real data you could forward to us  other than your IMHO ( I, and I'm sure others, would dearly love to see it ).
So, if you have any real data ( and I hope you do ), please cite it.

Cheers, and enjoy the music,

Crazy Bill
Hi Crazy Bill,

"Real Data" for tonearms......🙏🏽❓
We do have data for cartridges....and for amps....and for speakers.....and even some vague voodoo mumblings for interconnects and power cords....yet that doesn't negate the need for 'subjective listening' (preferably in one's own system).
Now you want 'data' for tonearms....⁉️
I think this is last bastion of audio componentry which has NEVER had acceptable (agreed upon) objective testing criteria.
I think with tonearms.....'time' is the real Referee and that's why arms like the FR-66s and 64s, Micro Seiki Max 282, SAEC WE-8000/ST, Dynavector DV507/II, 505, 501, are still in demand world-wide...even against the very best and latest modern iterations.
There is a large group of audio aficionados who admire the FR-66s and there is a small band of audio aficionados who perceive some flaws.
Only you yourself can decide.
As Detonarm has written many times....the FR-66s is the ne plus ultra of tonearms in his vast experience, and in the opinion of Dietrich Brakemeier of Acoustical Systems who has designed the Axiom tonearm
the FR-66s is still the finest tonearm ever made.
Now HE is one True Audio Expert I have faith in....👍

Dear wrm0325: Please don’t ask for something that no one have on hand ever and I mean not only amateurs like you and me but professionals in audio.

""" the final proof for each of us is in the listening """

this depends mainly in which step of the audio/music ladder you are because if youare a rookie then what you listening has very small value or even if you are at average level.

Now, can you distinguish/discriminate between diferent kind of distotions? say: wrong cartridge overhang vs wrong SRA? , if you can please give me an example of them: wich are the differences during listening? what is the kind of sound you percieves?

If you can’t do it then keep with you the 66. It’s not important wich tonearm you own as is not important which cartridges you own.

I know your answer because you agree with halcro who was one of those " satisfied " DaVinci tonearm owners. DaVinci fixed its mistakes but halcro did not and as many other of us make other mistake with the 66, this time worst than with the DaVinci and he is not alone.

We can´t  talk about if you can’t discriminate between musical information and subtle distortions and its harmonics.

Regards and enjoy the music,

Dear halcro: """ that’s why arms like the FR-66s and 64s, Micro Seiki Max 282, SAEC WE-8000/ST, Dynavector DV507/II, 505, 501, are still in demand world-wide...even against the very best and latest modern iterations """

that’s only say the level of audio/music ignorance that even today exist in our beloved hobby and nothing more than ignorance.

Ignorance to don’t understand what is happening down there: cartridge/LP/tonearm/TT combo, to not understand the cartridge/LP needs and the delicated role that tonearm plays in this " picture ". So delicated that the best that a " perfect " arm can do is to mantain at minimum all the generated distortions and we can’t even dream with a " perfect " tonearm: just can’t exist, so figure what we have in each of our tonearms!!!! and the damage that all does to the cartridge signal and you are in favor of the " champ " of those distortions!

Nothing wrong with that, as I said somwhere that’s each one privilege: have fun with.

I learn each single day and I don’t turn back my face for what I left but go a head to the audio heaven and the only way to find out is growing  up thinking several times " out of the box ".

For many years I was deffending those heavy metal good looking tonearms till I understand what is happening " down there ".

Regards and enjoy the music,
Dear chackster:  """  high mass tonearm made especially for low compliance """"

could you explain this and its importance?, I think is critical during playback.

Thank's in advance.

regards and enjoy the music,
Raul’s mantra:-
If I keep repeating often enough that everyone else is wrong and I am the font of all audio wisdom.....maybe someone will believe me...🙏

Yes, the acoustical systems Axiom tonearm is amazing. Why is it so expensive ????
Yes, the acoustical systems Axiom tonearm is amazing. Why is it so
Because it's made by someone who actually knows something about audio instead of someone who is a pretender....
Dear halcro: Exist no mantra. Your tonearms mistakes ( every one learned through each one mistakes. I learned through them too. ) are facts  but you still live with those mistakes and other ones that are facts and no mantra.

Please don't try to hide the sun with your finger because you can't.

You  bought that DaVinci " GREAT " TONEARM AND YOU WERE PROUD OF IT. It does not matters that you accept it that was a mistake an ignorance mistake.

Normally our mistakes are ignorance mistakes and some other comes by " accident ".

Enough, the thread does not about you ( be happy. ), me or even wrm0375 but looking for advise. and I already gave mine.

Regards and enjoy the music,


"Dear fleib: why is the best team those cartridges with that 66?, maybe I'm missing something and always is time to learn so some " light " from you can help all of us."

Sorry, I didn't see your post. Those carts are very low compliance. A low compliance cart needs high effective mass arm to control the cart and be a stable platform. Put a stiff, heavy tracking cart on a low mass arm and the resonant frequency approaches or goes into the audio band. The amplitude of the resonance can be quite high, producing colorations.

On another forum someone mentioned that a "guru" advocated a resonant frequency of 18Hz for a particular cart. I can only assume this was to augment the deep bass on his records or system.  

We often deal with the opposite situation - a cart with compliance too high for a particular arm. In that case the resonant frequency goes low - easier to live with if SQ doesn't suffer from poor low frequency tracking and/or sluggish sound. Peter Pritchard (designer of 50cu carts), advocated a resonant frequency of 6.5Hz.  This is above the warp region yet the arm will have enough mass to be stable. Arm damping (fluid) acts to limit the amplitude of the resonance peak and spread it across a wider frequency band, mitigating the affects.


Dear wrm0375: Btw, looking for advise but seems to me that that was not your real target because you are happy with the mediocrity/average level of your tonearm and cartridges.

The advise I gave you was an unbiased one and looking for a real improvement of what you have today, looking for an improvement and that you can grow up enjoying a better audio/music experiences in your system but you have to have an open mind .

As I said that's only my opinion and the best one comes from you and if you are satisfied in your today status then stay there.

If all that is true then your thread has no sense asking for advise when you are not open to receive it and put wirth a defensive attitude.

Anyway, live with your choices. That's what deserve each one of us.

Regards and enjoy the music,
Dear fleib/chakster and friends: That advise that we need a high mass for a low compliance cartridges has many " roads " surrounded it.

Mantain frequency resonance value, between tonearm/cartridge, in the range of 8- hz to 10 hz is something that many of us always are looking and is something all of us want it.

In theory that’s the frequerncy range we have to look for and I say in theory. In theory that can gives the cartridge7tonearm better tracking and mantain at minimum bass resonances that has a huge influence in all the frequency spectrum during LP playback. I’m not questioning that theory.

Now, what happen during playing because the theory is on static way where the cartridge is not ridding the LP grooves.

Everything change during playing because the cartridge has to fight not only with the movements in the LP grooves but with the excentricities of the LP and its micro and macroscopic surface LP waves.
The theory of that cartridge/resonance frequency is that to low frequency like 4-6 hz cabn be exited and coincide with vibrations/resonances generated by the TT/cartridge and then can make that in some areas of the LP surface the cartridge/tonearm " jump "/mistracking.

Well, how the real tonearm designers fixed that real problem?, using engineering concepts and the main one that even today is a must in any tonearm design was to damp the tonearm to mantain in effective way those " terrible " resonances that always affect directly to what we are listening in the full frequency spectrum.

In the golden Audio magazine times ( 80’s. ) B.Pisha made a full review of the LOMC Ortofon MC 2000 ( I think 1984. ) that for every one is a learning review ( including for today professional reviewers. ):

things are that this cartridge is a heavy weight high compliance one. Pisha mounted in all Technics TT ( SP 10 ) and S-shaped tonearm and he measured during playback a resonance frequency of 5hz in between cartridge/tonearm and he started to listen diferent LPs with no problems at all and he said that because he can’t believe that the cartridge/tonearm with that so low resonance frequency could works so good he measured for second time and confirm that that resonance frequency was that low. He measured during plasyback a dynamic cartridge compliance of 31 cu!

That combination tracked totally clean all the cannon shots in the Telarc 1812 ( and other torture recordings. ) where you can find frequencies so low as 8 hz!!!

So what was happening? all that gone against the theory and believes of all audio experts, why?:

thing are that that Technics tonearm ( 250/100. ) has a self damping mechanism that just works marvelous, a mechanism that even today can be an envy for any single tonearm designer.

That is real science in tonearm design but Technics was and is part of the electronic gigant japanese corporation: Matushita, where the research and work is not made it for one person but for dozens of them where there is no resources limitations.

There are other old examples of great engineering tonearm designs as the Lustre GST-801 and others.

As I said the all metal FRs are because of that metal a natural/self resonace/vibrations generator device but along that is a NON DAMPED DESIGN!!!! go figure.

There is other critical problems with high mass and long tonearm designs:

The main target in a cartridge is to follow/ride perfect the LP grooves and for that the cartridge tracking is a constant in horizontal/vertical fast movements where the tonearm has to react in the same faster way to those cartridge movements.
Now, during playback exist an inertia to the cartridge/tonearm to the center/inside the LP that inertia goes per se against the cartridge ride and the tonearm needs to control ( but has not that control in any way. ) that inertia movement/force and here as higher is the dynamic mass in a tonearm as higher is the dificult to change that inside inertia when the cartridge rides to the opposite path.
Always is easy to " stop " a lighter dynamic mass than a high mass device.

So and IMHO we need very good damped tonearms with no high effective mass.

You can think what you want and stay happy with what you want but those are facts. I learned and time to time all of us can do it if we want to do it.

regards and enjoy t5he music,
Because it's made by someone who actually knows something about audio instead of someone who is a pretender....
Still there seems to be no limit on pricing of these products. It has really no relevance to the actual cost or research. I mean it isnt a lifestyle product which has to be priced into a "untouchable" territory
Dear friends: The advise to the audio community is to stay away from heavy mass, all metal and not WELL damped tonearm designs: vintage or today ones.

Regards and enjoy rthe music,


> "Mantain frequency resonance value, between tonearm/cartridge, in the range of 8- hz to 10 hz is something that many of us always are looking and is something all of us want it."

The recommended range is 8 to 12 or 13Hz.

> "Now, what happen during playing because the theory is on static way where the cartridge is not ridding the LP grooves."

No, it's not about static. There is no resonance with static as the name implies. We're talking about dynamic compliance, arm mass, and resultant resonance or affect on performance.

> "The theory of that cartridge/resonance frequency is that to low frequency like 4-6 hz cabn be exited and coincide with vibrations/resonances generated by the TT/cartridge and then can make that in some areas of the LP surface the cartridge/tonearm " jump "/mistracking."

No one is talking about that. This situation is the opposite - a low compliance cart. No theory was proposed, especially about high compliance carts on a heavy arm. Arm/cart resonance is a measurable phenomena. It occurs. If it occurs close to, or in the audio band it will cause intermodulation.

> "As I said the all metal FRs are because of that metal a natural/self resonace/vibrations generator device but along that is a NON DAMPED DESIGN!!!! go figure."

Miss science class when you were a kid?  Self resonance vibration generator? Would that be static or dynamic self resonance?

That's a cute anecdote about the MC2000, Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with the situation at hand.


Dear fleib: It has to do with all the situation on hand.

For me is 8 hz to 10 hz the ideal resonance frequency. As a fact there is no rule about the precise frequency range.

""" No, it’s not about static. There is no resonance with static as the name implies. We’re talking about dynamic compliance, arm mass, and resultant resonance or affect on performance. """

sorry that I can’t explainit well. What I want it is to say that for that happen exactly as the resonance formula gives us we need a perfect LP recording with perfect LP surface. Yes the resonance frequency in a spring works with that formula, my mistake in the way to explain it.
Now, you really don’t know wich is the real tonearm effective mass in the tonearm because depend on the tonearm counterweight position.

""" No one is talking about that. """

maybe you did nt but the target to achieve that resonance frequency is to stay " save " from those frequency additional exicitemet.

Maybe I did it when I was a kid but that’s what happen with a metal non damped tonearm, it function as an additional resonance/vibration/distortions generator. Like it or not.

Maybe you are running that kind of distortion generator.

No it was not an anecdote but a proved fact by some one that knows a lot more than you and me together or at least than me.

Btw, B.Pisha was not a " simp’le " professional audio reviewer, he was a way talent engeneer that between other things created an alternative to Löfgren, Baerwald or Stevenson geometry set up tonearm/cartridge parameters that was reconized for the audio engeeering societies.

Anyway, what I think is that you have nothing on hand against my statement on: " heavy ,all metal non-damped tonearm designs " and only look where on my posts I made it a mistake and put " light " on that mistake.

IMHO, could be better that you can prove how is that a heavy and long all metal and non damped tonearm helps to improve the quality cartridge performance satisfiying all the cartridge needs and mantaining all the generated distortions at minimum.
This is what al of use like to hear from yu: a real contribution and not only to say: no, that’s the easy way. The right way is to say no and prove it showing why not.
At the same time we all are waiting why that tonearm is a good team for the Koetsu Rosewood and Denon 103R becvause you forgot to explain it: could you? because was your advise to wrm0375.

You are welcomed to do it. As I always say: we all need to learn and if I’m wrong then I can rectify about. Waiting for your in deep explanation with first hand experiences about.

Regards and enjoy the music,


You're looking for subjective proof?  How bizarre.  Crazy Bill has 2 low compliance carts and you start talking about one that resonates at a very low frequency, a high compliance cart on a heavy arm.  This is supposed to refute some unstated theory.  Apparently you don't know what you're talking about. You're the one who brought up recommended  frequency range, so you can refute it as a theory?

FACT - When a low compliance cart is mated with a light arm the resonant frequency goes up.  If that resonance approaches or goes into the audio band it will produce intermodulation distortion.

OPINION - The Rosewood and FR66s sound excellent together.  Crazy Bill said it sounds better than his 12" Jelco, a fluid damped arm.  IMO this is a great combination. I haven't heard the Rosewood sound better, maybe you have, but your lack of knowledge and vested interest makes you suspect.

Are you selling arms now Raul? If so, I hope your partner knows more about this stuff than you.


Hello all,
WOW !!!
First, thank you to all who have offered advice, opinions, or fact to this mix. I truly appreciate it.
First, since Raul questioned what my phonostage is, let me state my entire system so that everyone will realize that it is not limiting my observations.
Feickert Blackbird turntable
Fidelity Research FR66s or Jelco SA750lb 12 inch tonearm w/ TTWEIGHTS VTA adjustor and ISOKINETICS counterweight.
various headshells, all high end stuff including The Arche w/silver leads
Grover Huffman phono cable
Sonic Frontiers Phono 1 w/ SE+ upgrades
Geortz silver micropurl interconnects feeding a Stax SRM007tll
either Stax SR007Omega or SR007 earspeakers as my mood strikes me.
All power cords Silver Sonic Red Wave.

I think all of us can agree that this is a high resolution system capable of laying bare any differences in source material. In addition, I have a record collection that MF would probably cut his right arm off for. All the usual high quality re-issue stuff, plus approx 800 or so albums that are called " under 20 cuts ", all of which are one of the first 20 pressings off of the first stamper. Doesn't get any better. So, basically, the only limiting factors here are my ears or my brain ( and they are just that ).

Let's start with Raul's assertion that I had an ulterior motive and was not really seeking advice. Nothing could be further from the truth.

While my ears told me the FR66s was very superior to the Jelco, and to the JMW-10 I used to own, I still hadn't heard any modern tonearms to compare. My question was genuine, and I wanted to know the experiences of those who may have been fortunate to compare and could relate their experiences. So thank you to those ( Halcro and fleib ) who offered their unbiased opinions. Truly appreciated.

Raul, I'm sorry, but your IMHO stuff just doesn't cut it with the way you present it. Some of your opinions may have some merit ( can't say for sure, as I'm no EXPERT LIKE YOU, though I do have a pretty good set of ears ), but your attitude of " I know everything and everyone else is wrong " simply puts people off. I see absolutely nothing at all HUMBLE about your attitudes or your opinions. In fact, quite the opposite. So please stifle it and don't post anything else on this thread. Your attitude is destructive, not constructive. I won't speak for anyone else, but I, for one, don't want to hear any more very biased unsubstantiated nonsense from you.

I asked for some empirical data because I was hoping that it actually existed. Frankly, I'm a little surprised it doesn't. It would have been nice to see if certain tonearms did actually exhibit higher distortion mechanisms or frequency response aberrations due to material resonances.

If anyone else has anything positive to throw in the mix, please, let's have it. While I'm strongly leaning towards keeping the FR66s  and selling the Jelco, hell, you never know.

Last, quite a while back I remember a thread that I think was titled " Old Skool Tonearms ". It's gone now, but if I remember correctly it was a treasure trove of truly useful info that I would dearly love to lay my hands on. I printed it out once back then, but I can't find it. Anyone got it house who would be willing to forward it my way. I'd be glad to make you some CD's for your trouble. I've got a lot of really good music on my hard drive.

As Raul is wont to say ( and this is not being sarcastic, as I agree with him completely )

Cheers, and Enjoy The Music !!

Crazy Bill

Raul and Detonarm had almost constant disagreements about tonearms and cartridge geometry years ago.
Raul had proudly announced he had designed a new tonearm which was to debut at CES 2013.....we are still waiting.
Detonarm (Deitrich Brakemeier) has since gone on to start Acoustical Systems which produces cartridge alignment jigs and products used by Reviewers and professionals the world over, as well as ingenious headshells, tonearms and cartridges.
They have just released images of a new state of the art turntable costing 1/2 million dollars....😱
So while one True Expert Audiophile has gone on to acclaimed success on the back of his undisputed knowledge....the other pretender wallows in ignorant self-adulation....🙈💩


Thanks for the update.  I have enjoyed this thread.

You're welcome Bob,
By the way wrm.....I've listened to that very Denon cartridge
with the FR-66s
and as Fleib is a sweet combination..😎
Dear fleib: That Audio magazine review ( and exist many similars. ) tell us the importance to have a well damped tonearm because with the Technics " disconected " damping mechanism Pisha listen tracking problems/distortions and was till he " switch on " that mechanism when he was surprised the effectiveness about and where the cartridge shows it at its best.

I think that you have a misunderstood on what I'm  explain it here or I did not explain it in the right way.

Forgeret about that resonance frequency theory and analize only the facts on  playback.

" It does not matters " the cartridge compliance and tonearm effective mass if you have a well damped tonearm design.

Btw, I have to rectify on the Micro Seiki 237/282 because is not all metal design, is not 12" but shorter ( its flag  ship model in japan was the 237 not the 282. ) and is well damped. Good design against the " terrible " SAECs and FRs.

In those all times when some one in japan ask to a japanese audiophile which was his preference and why between SAEC and MS tonearms the audiophiles gone through the SAEC because they said " is more alive ".
That " alive " touch are in reality not music information but the distortion touch of the SAEC bad damped and ringing bearings against the the MS with lower distortions.

problem with persons like you and many many other is that are not trained ( self trained ) to discriminate  those additional subtle distortions exited and out of control because those undamped heavy metal tonearms and that " alive/power " are not but distortions and not  real music information.

In the last 36 hours I received  several emails asking why to bother about low frequencies that we can't hear and that almost all audio systems can't reproduce:

well, any resonance has fundamental frequency where happen that resonance ( it does not matters where it comes. ) and that means that at the same time that is happenuing are created its harmonics exactly as the harmonics in the music and that's why those " distortions " always affect all the listening frequency spectrum and we have to take in count that those " distortions " happen all over the frequency range not only at 8 hz or 20 hz but at 3 khz too ( for whatever reasons. .

Non damped tonearms only increase that minute to minute " phenomenon ".

Got it ?

Fleib, any thread is not a contest so please don't try to beat me because a thread is a whole opportunity for all of us to learn. A thread is not who is right but what we can learn.

Appreciated your attitude about. We need your contribution and if your contribution was what is in those posts, that's ok. for me.

Btw, I know exactly what I'm talking about. Is very dificult for any one of us to have a dialogue when exist diferent levels of ignorance in between persons. My level is high and I know it.

regards and enjoy the music,
rauliruegas7,360 posts
" I know exactly what I'm talking about. Is very dificult for any one of us to have a dialogue when exist diferent levels of ignorance in between persons. My level is high and I know it."

If your knowledge is so superior and your "facts" so certain, what's the point of you contributing here? Evidently, you believe the existing "levels of ignorance" frustrate your abilty to prove your points, such as that we should " Forgeret about that resonance frequency theory."

Personally, I've not been waiting for your arrival here so that you can instruct us on how you've reinvented the wheel.
We've run the Feickert table at the last two Munich shows with excellent results, using a Triplanar arm.

The Triplanar has the most durable bearings used in the industry, being the hardest metal bearings made anywhere at any price. It is also one of the most adjustable arms made and features a damped arm tube so it won't talk back to the cartridge. Three version are available- the original 9" version, a 9" version using carbon fiber composite arm tube, and a 12" version (also carbon fiber).

I have several LPs that I recorded and so have the master tapes. So far the Triplanar has made the best presentation of those LPs, besting arms that cost twice or three times as much. Image stability and the ability to get the bass right are things that really seem to set it apart.

One thing the Triplanar as taught me since it is so adjustable is that the ability to track the cartridge correctly is far more important than what cartridge you have!! It is a true gem in modern arms.
Dear wrm0325: """  While my ears told me.... """"

are your ears trained in specific way to discriminate subtle distortions?  because I know people in this thread that can't discriminate the IMD but I said that we don't have speak of persons but explain why yes or why not and not only say: yes or not.

"""  any more very biased unsubstantiated nonsense from you.  """

You don't like my explanations and I can't do nothing about because that is my ignorance level, btw my opinion always is unbiased and reflect my and other audio experiences. Sorry for all that.

Regards and enjoy the music,

Dear cleeds: That professional review is a fact that have certainty that maybe you don't agree with has nothing to do with my posts where nowhere I said my knowledge is superior to yours.

Regards and enkioy the music,
Dear atmasphere: I agree with that Triplanar tonearm and when you have the opportunity the Kuzma 4point is a must to " hear " in your own system, very good too.

Regards and enjoy the music,

Raul, I think your patronizing attitude about others' knowledge on this and other subjects, is not appreciated, at least not by me. Mine is not a general recommendation. It is specific to Crazy Bill's two low compliance carts, and possibly a third, the Miyajima Zero.  I admit the Zero recommendation is guesswork on my part.  I think I stated as much on my initial post.

I don't think the FR64s and 66s are a good choice for general use and cartridge swapping as some other people might, but in this case, mated w/Rosewood or a modified 103, it can sound quite good.  In certain circumstances the arm is prone to ringing, but this is not one of those circumstances IMO.  Ringing can be alleviated by damping the arm tube. Having a replaceable headshell allows finding a synergistic combination and adjusting mass somewhat.

It was you who challenged my recommendation and started talking about ideal resonance range theory, yet you made no recommendation. Waiting for your arm to be introduced, or is that not imminent?

This forum happens to be in English. If you can't understand what's being said or can't express yourself so you can be understood, whose fault is it? You're obviously remedial in some of these tech subjects, but I don't think challenging others is a good strategy to learn. 


Wow Raul,
You are quite the PIECE OF WORK. And that's not a compliment.

First:  "Are your ears trained in a specific way to discriminate subtle distortions ".

No. Of course not. Are YOURS ? And if so, who trained you and what are their qualifications and what is their methodology ? I doubt you'll have an answer other than your usual crap of  " IMHO ".

 For the record, it's Medicare time in March ( meaning I turn 65 ), and I've been on this earth listening to MUSIC for quite some time. I have been exposed during that time on a regular ongoing basis to live unamplified acoustical music, and I KNOW what instruments, especially those used in orchestras ( i.e. strings, brass, woodwinds, percussion, and VOCALS ) sound like. And THAT is the basis for my judgements on what sounds like real instruments and music when reproduced, not some IMHO KRAP ( misspelling intended ) like you throw out.

"   because I know people in this thread that can't discriminate the IMD "
Really, name them. Tell us who they are so they can either confirm your accusations that they're stupid or defend themselves against them. I'm going to guess that no names will come forth, because, as usual, we;re talking about your " IMHO ", which, as is apparent you are trying to convince the less educated here ( which, according to you is everyone but you ) that you are right and everyone else is mistaken. Quite sad.

Raul, I don't think you would know what an unbiased opinion is if it hit you upside your head. Don't you notice that you appear to be an island here on your own, and that NO ONE supports you or your opinions. I would suggest to you that you should take note of that and look inward as to how you conduct your business here. That's quite telling.

That said, if there is anyone here following this thread that thinks Raul is an analog guru whose musings should be given consideration, and that some of us are clearly wrong, over the top, and are being too harsh, come out from hiding and be heard. I'm always willing to listen to the other camp.

Thanks. I'll take a look at the Tri-Planar. You wouldn't by any chance be the OTL amp people. I roll my own low powered SE tube circuits ( usually Triode strapped EL84 stuff ), but the OTL circuits have always intrigued me. Maybe some day.  Thanks for the info.

Cheers,                         Crazy Bill

P.S. Actually, the full name is Crazy Bill The Eel Killer. Interesting story, if anyone cares.

Dear Crazy Bill-Keep the 66s!!!
Don't listen to any of these ramblings.
if you must have a modern arm, buy one for high compliance cartridges and decide for yourself,
but keep the 66s.
well, any resonance has fundamental frequency where happen that resonance ( it does not matters where it comes. ) and that means that at the same time that is happenuing are created its harmonics exactly as the harmonics in the music and that’s why those " distortions " always affect all the listening frequency spectrum and we have to take in count that those " distortions " happen all over the frequency range not only at 8 hz or 20 hz but at 3 khz too ( for whatever reasons. .
And of course we all know that the harmonics of 8Hz (16Hz,24Hz,32Hz,40Hz,48Hz, 56Hz etc) do absolutely no harm to the tonearm in vibration mode whilst the harmonics of 7Hz (14Hz, 21Hz, 28Hz, 35Hz, 42Hz, 49Hz) render the tonearm a weeping sloppy mess..😱
If we needed more proof of Raul’s ignorance of a tonearm’s Resonance Frequency...he has amply provided it.
Oh...and just one other thing.....a Tonearm’s Resonant Frequency has no effect on the SOUND of a particular tonearm/cartridge combination and there are no peer-reviewed scientific papers which have ever claimed this.
It is ’audiophiles’ who take the fact of a physical phenomenon (Resonant Frequency) extrapolate unproven and unsubstantiated properties to accompany this phenomenon.

Dear Pani, ''Axiom is ...amazing. Why is it so expensive''?

Have you seen the price of The Apolyt (grin)?  Well my guess is

the cost of specialist labour involved. But in contradistinction to

those there some cheap(er) offerings also. The Aqular which got

Grand Prix 2015 award from the Japanese ''Stereo Sound '' Magazine

is a cheaper version of the Axiom. Than there is the

Archon MC cart with ''decent price'' . Anyway cheaper than my

Magic Diamond, Benz LP S, Shiraz ( $ 5 K) but ''as impressive''

if not better. Then there are some ingenious ''adjustment tools''

which can be even called ''cheap''.

Dear Fleib, There are many ''personal philosophies''  involved

by this toenarm ,uh, philosophize. You are the only one who

is willing or capable to include even technical matters in this

''discussion''. That is why I want to ask you this question:

''What do we mean by saying that the tonearm follows the

grooves''? As far as I know there are different dimensions involved.

We have the micro dimensions in the groove while our tonearms

and TT's are certainly of other kinds. I don't think that even an

4 g. tonearm can follow the grooves. The cantilever/stylus combo

is, I thought, the ''instrument'' meant for this task?

Hi Nandric,

In a literal sense the arm does not follow the groove, or only as much as the cartridge body. I agree, it's the stylus that tracks/traces, the groove.

Considering different aspects of record player functions, it's usually simpler to reduce to two dimensions like horizontal and vertical, but tracking is in four dimensions in-groove (don't forget time). 

Rather than add dimensions with other functions, in reality the other functions also operate within those four dimensions. If you consider the movements of the stylus as being within an imaginary sphere of tracking, the movement of the arm across the record can be seen as a separate function operating in the same dimensions of time/space. The same would go for vertical movement - tracking a warp. Neither of those functions is completely horizontal or vertical. 

A record player is a bizarre device. Maybe that's part of why we love them. "They" used to say it's like a bumble bee, by the laws of aerodynamics it should not fly. It turns out they greatly underestimated the speed of the bee's wings flapping.


Hello Crazy Bill, Yes, I'm involved with Atma-Sphere.
wrm0325, I should know better than to add my 2 cents here; however, before spending big bucks on a new tonearm I would suggest ditching the Sonic Frontiers phono pre. A good buddy of mine brought his SF over and played it in my system. It is not a very high resolution or particularly "musical" phono pre. Even my friend had to admit its shortcomings.

Dear fleib: """ Raul, I think your patronizing attitude about others’ knowledge on this and other subjects, is not appreciated, .......... It was you who challenged my recommendation .... . """

Even that you saw it that way in reality I’m not challenging you or any one else ( it does not matters that people see that way. ), that is the way I’m and the way many persons in my country speaks but with out trying to offend.
Ignorance is a day by day word in Mexico and means that we don’t know about that or this or whatever subject.
I never go inside a dialoge where I’m ig norant of the subject under discusion.

Btw, I only wanted from you an explanation why that combo is a good team when for me it’s far away to be it. As I said, I like to learn. Sorry to disturb you.

I think that every one of us have diferent audio/music knowledge levels as I think that each one of us have diferent kind of " natural talent " in some audio/music subjects and in others just we have not.
In the other side our audio/music experiences and self training is diferent.

That’s what overall I think and my posts reflect that kind of thinking. Now, if I’m wrong to think that way I can rectify if yo tell me where and why I’m wrong.

In this post to me I can see you are more relaxed, I hope you can understand my explanation.

""" Waiting for your arm to be introduced, or is that not imminent? """

my tonearm design looks as no endless " picture/movie " even for me and Guillermo.

There are several subjects why is not yet out there ( as a fact it’s but it’s not. You know what I mean? ).

First my friend ( an audiophile. ) and I are not dedicated to it full time maybe we take 1% to 3% of our time to that tonearm design in some days and that’s why so many years with.

Second and more important is that I’m a " perfectionist " and we want a " perfect " tonearm. The design is unique in several subjects and not " more of the same ".
What means ( for me. ) a " perfect tonearm ? one that can fulfill the needs of any cartridge, it does not matters if it is l/m/h compliance opr l/m/h weight or MC/MM.

That’s the main target and exist other " auxiliar " targets in our design. So to fullfil the cartridge needs you have to make a serious research which ones are those cartridge needs, all of them and each one relationship with the LP it self, tonearm, TT, etc. We don’t think in the tonearm for its a priori design but in the cartridge and how this cartridge is surrounded. What are the needs and main cartridge challenge it must win.

Looks easy but I can tell you was and is not so easy.

Right now I have three samples mounted in my system that looks exactly the same and where all of them have very high quality level performance but when you listen the same cartridge on each one you have subtle very tiny sound differences that only if you are trained can discriminate.

To stay there I made and still make hundred of tests not only with our different prototypes but against no less than ( vintage and today ) 25 tonearms and more than 60 cartridges( today and vintage. ).
Those tests were made not only in my system but in other home audio system.  Additional I made it several tests with different build materials and in between combination and even I tested with different type/design of tonearms bearings ( no, it's not an unipivot design for good reasons. ).
I forgot other main targets is not only to be " bullet proof " but extremely user friendly.

I have to change and refine my overall evaluation/comparation test methodology that I already had it for years.

Even if our tonearm never goes out I can tell you that was and still is a deep learning lessons.

Things are that first to be marketed have to satisfy to me and right now is extremely close to do it, so this year is the year for it.

Anyway, thank’s to answer me that way and please take in mind that I never be trying to offend any one, except who offend me first and you can be sure that I have patience about.

Regards and enjoy the music,