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
+ However many for AudioMods arms.  I have (3) of them.  Jeff's fantastic and his arms ROCK!!!

IMHO, THE best buy in arms today...
I had not heard of the Audiomods arm. Just got back from his web site. Looks like a lot of arm for the money and it looks nicely made. Assuming the bearings are good and appropriately preloaded I can't think of an arm that would do better at the price. It is not an ultimate arm. It is not a neutral balance arm, VTA will change with elevation. It's vertical bearing is high above the record surface so warp wow will be an issue if records are not perfectly flat. It has no form of damping to keep the bearings from rattling and finally it's anti skating relies on an additional bearing adding friction. Magnetic or spring loaded systems are better. I would like to add that the $50K Sat arm has exactly the same defects meaning it should sound exactly like that arm. Boggles the mind doesn't it? Examples of ultimate offset pivoted arm include the Schroder CB and the Reed 2G
Arms that come close and in reality probably perform at the same level are the Origin Live Enterprise and the Tri-Planar. All of these are way above the OP's price limit. 
Seeing you already changed the arm once, maybe it's something
else. You didn't say anything about the rest of your system.
@vinylvin The treble glare started with the Rega arm.  I didn't have the issue with the AS arm, but I got curious to try something new.  At first I assumed that some break in time and getting the cart set up better would take care of things, but it just never went away.    
Rega arm popularity seems to be based on a cult following. I have never really heard one, or their modified off-spring, perform anywhere near the hype.

If you are truly serious about a great-performing arm without all the hype, try to find a Jelco TK-850 (if you can find one; BIG "IF"). Get an Easy VTA base. Makes changing cartridges much less painless.