Easy call uberwaltz. Kuzma 4 point 9. There is no better 9" tonearm. It is an arm you will never sell. It can accommodate any cartridge perhaps with the addition of a little head shell weight. It has all the critical adjustments and a removable head shell which makes life oh so much easier.
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Why don't you look at the Pear Audio tonearms? These are the final tonearm designs by Tom Fletcher of Nottingham fame are drop-in compatible with your deck. IMO and experience they are greatly improved over the older Nottingham offerings and will provide the best synergy with your Nott turntable.
That's what I would do, unless you are looking to fundamentally change the sonic signature of your turntable.
I have followed your posts for quite awhile. You keep doing these sideway, midfi upgrades and tweaks. Will you ever start saving your "nickles" and buy the real deal ?
You spent $5 K on "the Gate", is it just because you can play with it for 90 days and then return it risk free and get your money back? Seems like you will be one of the first, to return yours.
Some good suggestions on tonearms. Do your research, find one, maybe stretch your budget a bit and get a tonearm that will serve you Well for Years, TT base covered, now a Tonearm. Seems that you have enough cartridges to play with.
When your done playing with the Gate. Get a great tonearm.
$5 K on a tweak and you can’t find a great tonearm for your TT or they cost too much ? Get real already.
Interesting post Nkonor.
Mixture of condescension ,mild insults and half decent suggestions, sweet.
Your suggestion that I bought into The Gate just because I could and in your opinion will, return is particularly silly.
You may label it as a "tweak"but anybody who has tried one knows it is so much more than that.
Now let’s get sensible.
Why on earth would I contemplate spending 5k on a tonearm for a $1200 table? The Nottingham is good but not THAT good!
Considering the table,value and potential I honestly do not believe there is any need or reason to spend more than about $1500 tops on an arm for this table.
Above that and say 5k, I would likely look at a completely new and different table.
Vinyl is NOT my only media or even my number 1 media so spending will be less.
The Gate effects EVERYTHING in my system and imho well worth its price.
I guess I should be flattered you have followed my posts but a little saddened by your conclusions if truth be told.
Had a long conversation today with Larry at Hollywood Sound, pretty much the goto guy for Nottingham tables in the USA.
His suggestion and thoughts were NOT to change out the arm at all as it can handle vastly better carts still. He has been down the arm swapping road and gone backwards every time.
Recommended cart would be Kiseki Purpleheart.
OR step up to something like the Nottingham 294 Space with 12" Anna Spacearm.
Likely last table I would ever need.
All his opinions of course but he has worked with Notts tables for eons and Tom Fletcher himself so I respect his opinions.
And at no time was there any attemp to upsell me anything at all, that right there tells me a lot!
It truly was not, I had to mention the 294 space, Larry never brought it up.
And let's remember I asked him if he could spare a few minutes to talk to me which he did by CALLING ME.
Anyways as far as budget, well not really outside because I would obviously sell the Spacedeck to offset purchase of the 294 Space so not a huge difference from my budget for a tone arm.
Still got the Spacedeck and 9 inch Spacearm.
Although after giving it a full service with fresh bearing oil and SmartTractor alignment we find the joys of hand made arms.
It is not quite 9 inch.... Lol
Specs say set pivot to spindle at 210 but impossible to align to any alignment with that.
Had to set to 208mm to get it to align correctly.
But now it really does sound better all the way through an album. I had been noticing very slight inner run distortion occasionally.
All I may do at this stage is look for a 12" Anna Spacearm.
Running Nagaoka MP 150 right now and very happy .
I’ve never been enamoured with Nottingham’s tonearms, but I can recommend Jelco’s 750 and 850 series arms, Micro Seiki MA-505 (I know you stated no vintage, but a well-kept MA-505 is hard to beat in terms of price/performance) and most of all, my current Thomas Schick 9 (actually a 9.6" arm).
I don’t know how 1500 Euro sounds, but to me it feels almost like a bargain. The bearings feel better than any I’ve operated before, the arm works equally well with a wide range of cartridge weights and compliances (depending on choice of headshell of course) and for the first time I feel that no compromises have to made in regards to any of my cartridges whilst using just a single arm.
The Schick is mounted on an Ace Spacedeck, which I frankly can’t see myself ever swapping out. I’ve listened to the Hyperspace, Space294 and Dais extensively without hearing any improvements worth shelling out for, not to mention at least a metric ton of other turntables through the years.
All fairly subjective of course and YMMV.
+1 on a Schick; especially if you plan to stay with medium compliance carts going forward.
Similar price range and also superb is the Audiocreative GMII titanium. This one is a great choice if you plan to try heavy/low compliance cart directions...
I've got a spare 10" GMII if you want to try it.
Disclosure: I'm a dealer for both brands so have some bias...
The GrooveMaster II Ti looks like a good choice and I briefly considered it before buying the Schick. However, after VAT it would have ended up more expensive, as well as appearing to be significantly less flexible in terms of suitable cartridge weight and compliance.
Still, solypsa's offered loaner tonearm seems like a no-brainer...
I have a 12" Thomas Schick tonearm and it's great, especially considering the cost. Despite the claims made in Schick's new website that these arms support cartridges up to 22 µm/mN in my experience this tonearm definitely works best with very low compliance cartridges like the Denon DL-103 and Ortofon SPU families, which is what it was designed for. I have tried several other cartridges with this arm and the results ranged from OK to just not a good match. If you want to use medium and higher compliance cartridges you may want to look at another tonearm.
I don't have any experience with the Schick 9" arm but I imagine it's the same.
I have no experience with the 12", but my 9.6" Schick certainly works exceedingly well with my medium compliance cartridges. My AT150Sa weighing in at 5.3g and having a compliance of 18 or so ( (@ 10Hz) tracks and performs a treat. The ART9, with a compliance which should work out at 32 (18 @ 100Hz x 1.8 = 32.4 @ 10Hz, as stated by A-T when I wrote and asked), also sounds and tracks wonderfully. To be honest 32 seems rather high for the ART9, but A-T made it, not I, and ought to know best.
Again, whether the same would be true of the 12" I have no idea about.