Tonearm recommendations under $1500


Hi everyone,

Hope that you are all doing well.  I was hoping to get some input from vinyl veterans on a tonearm upgrade.  I have an Acoustic Signature Wow XL table, and I bought it with the TA-700 tonearm.  I used that for a couple of years, and then I switched to the Rega RB330 with the upgraded Incognito wiring about a year ago.  I have to say that I've been disappointed overall with the Rega arm.  Admittedly, it's more user-friendly than the Acoustic Signature arm, and my mounting hardware on the table has enough adjustability that I raise/lower the VTA as needed.  However, the Rega arm has a sort of glassy, hard treble that I've never been able to warm up to.  Everything else in the system has been swapped out at least once, and I've tried multiple cartridges all with the same result.  

So, I am in the market for a new tonearm.  I don't want to do any modifications to the arm board, so I am looking for something that is a drop-in replacement for the Rega (9") three-point mount.  Ideally, the arm would have a DIN connection so that I can use the phono cable of my choice.   Acoustic Signature has just come out with their new ("Neo") line of arms.  Unfortunately, they don't make  TA-700 Neo model, and the new TA-1000 NEO is $2300, which is a bit more than I'd like to spend.  

So, I'm reaching out to all of you for some advice.  I could always go up the Rega line, but since I haven't been happy with the RB330, I'm hesitant to make that jump.  The Audiomods arm has gotten great reviews, but the single-run silver cabling worries me as I've never liked silver cabling.  I may just wait a bit longer and go with the AS-1000 Neo, but if anyone has suggestions for an arm in the $1500 range that would meet my needs I would welcome your input.

Thanks for any suggestions you have!

Cheers, Scott
smrex13
@smrex13 -I have the Audiomods Classic (series 3) toneam with the beadblast finish and I can confirm it is very easy to install in Raga Turntables

Jeff (Mr..Audiomods) is a great guy and will ensure the arm fits YOUR specific turntable.

I bought it with the Micrometer VTA and the one piece silver harness.- which you can now get with the KLE Innovations Absolute Harmony RCA’s installed

The micrometer VTA is so easy to use and ensures correct alignment

The latest Audiomods models are are even better than the Series 3

Here’s my review
Audiomods "Classic" Tonearm Review | My Audio Alchemy (image99.net)

And here’s my review of the Absolute harmony RCA’s
KLEI Absolute®Harmony RCA Plug - Turntable Review | My Audio Alchemy (image99.net)

Once the arm was installed I gave my Denon DL103 cartridge the Soundsmith treatment
- a ruby cantilever with the O.C. Contact Line diamond
- which was the icing on the cake

From what I am hearing I have no reason to look any further at arms or cartridges - the setup produces extremely fine details and precise imaging

My arm took about 6 weeks to build and a few days to get to Canada, but it was well worth the wait.

BTW - I’ve also applied some other turntable mods to the point where the only things Rega are the motor,  ON/OFF switch and the plastic cover.
Turntable Mod’s | My Audio Alchemy (image99.net)

Hope that Helps - Steve
That glassy hard treble you mention is the exact reason I got rid of my Rega Planar 3 with the RB300 arm many years ago.   
I have the regular WOW w/a TA-700 & Hana SH, sounds great.
No problem with treble or anything really.
@vinylvin Yeah, in retrospect I probably should have kept the TA-700, but I was just curious to try something else.  Oh well, live and learn.  
@williewonka Thanks for all the info on the Audiomods.  It does look like the top candidate for me right now.  Although several of the Origin Live arms look interesting, too.  I especially like the micrometer VTA.  I'll keep everyone posted on what I end up going with...