Triplanar VII tonearm & Koetsu Jade Platinum cart.

Hi all

I have the above combo on my Kuzma Stabi Reference. To me, the combo sounds great; and so would like to hear from others who has the same combo, and what their opinion is on this combo.

Secondly, would also like some tips on how to fine-tune the installation of the Koetsu using Triplanar's many features

Looking forward to your opinions and help

Cheers ... Peter
There is a List from DougDeacon (or a Thread?) about improving the Triplanar VII here. With the "Search" you will find it.
I have the same table and arm as you but I have an Air Tight PC-1 cartridge. Great table and arm. I second the response from Thomasheisig. Check out the Doug Deacon thread. I used it extensively in setting up my Tri-planar. Remove the damping trough.

Love to hear that Jade sometime. For now the Air Tight is pretty special.
I must interject that I own a Wheaton Triplanar with a Koetsu Urushi. I tried implementing some of Doug's suggestions. I did not remove the anti-skate weight entirely, but I mounted it as close as possible to the shaft, so that it exerted minimal AS force. I also unscrewed the paddle in the damping trough to the point where it was not making contact with the fluid. These two adjustments had a net negative effect. Overall, the sound was hardened and "peaky", and there was perceptible break-up in the right channel. Adding AS force and re-adjusting the damping paddle eliminated these problems and brought back the sublime sound of this combo in my system. I assumed that Doug's findings simply do not apply to the Wheaton cum Koetsu combination. YMMV and all that.
Interesting that JerryS just posted a review saying this wasn't all that great a combo.

10audio review
I wouldn't intentionally pair a TriPlanar and a Koetsu myself. I've heard both components sound better with other partners. The TriPlanar is better suited to more compliant cartridges, Koetsus do better with higher mass arms.

Therefore, some of the tips on that thread will apply and some won't. As Lewm discovered, a Koetsu does not track well enough on this arm to implement the low antiskating force that works so well with ZYX, Lyra and other medium compliance cartridges. The fact that he needs the damping fluid to control HF's is another indicator of a less than optimal match. No one using more compatible cartridges like the ones just mentioned needs or even likes the damping fluid, AFAIK. Most of us have removed our damping fluid troughs altogether, to good effect.

For those who already have a TriPlanar and Koetsu, I would suggest trying to increase the arm's effective mass. Headshell weights and/or lighter counterweights located farther from the pivot might help the combination work better.

I wouldn't pay too much attention to 10audio.
Hi Doug, girl and boys,

I am breaking in my new Jade mounted on my Vector 3.
I am pleased, but feeling that there is more to extract
from the Jade. I am considering the Phantom. Could you
tell me which tonearm or tonearms you would consider
for the Jade. It is 13.1 grams according to AS website.
So far in my research, the only ones that have come up
as good matches are the Davinci swiss arms and the
Graham Phantom. The Davinci's are a little beyond my budget anyway. I feel like a hijacker, but I would think any comments may closely apply to Peter's initial thread.

I had the Jade in 3 different arms. Suffice it to say it is a very low compliance cartridge. You have not heard a Jade until you hear it in a high mass (over 28 gm) arm. This brings the bass and treble into focus and gets the Resonant frequency outside of the audio band and actually to an ideal 11 Hz (using the HF test lp). In my system it performed wonderfully in an Ikeda 407. A high mass 12 inch arm. I would suggest any of the variants is ideal. You can also add mass to the arm as suggested.
Guess I'll just limp along with what I've got, which sounds wonderful to me. Possibly the Jade has a higher weight than does the Urushi, which might compound any problems related to matching with the Triplanar. I will try out Doug's suggestions on raising the effective mass of the Triplanar, to see if that has a noticeable positive effect. I should emphasize that it required only a little bit of AS force and only a slight dip into the damping trough to tame the problems I initially heard when I tried out Doug's suggestions. Herb Papier (creator of the Triplanar) was a perfectionist, and it was not for nothing that he added the damping trough to later iterations of his tonearm.
I suspect the Dynavector 507 Mk.2 would work well with the Jade.
Thanks Feil , Dgad,

Yeah , I actually had forgotten about the Dyna. That
is another that I had heard was a good match. Dgad, a
little confused here though. Dynavector lists the weight
of their arm at 1380 grams on their website. I am not
much the tech type,nor have I adapted to the metric system.
You said an arm over 28 grams ideally. Where would that
leave the 507-2 if in fact it's net weight is 1,380 grams.
I may look stupid here, but am just reading off their website.
HI all

Wow !!! I thot that nobody would reply to my thread, but after 2 days - thks for ALL yr help.

Sorry, if I did not participate interactively as I am based in Beijing, China - so the time zone is a little challenging to be actively discussing this with you guys

On to the subject - I got the Triplanar - brand new - from the dealer in Singapore - and he recommended NOT to use the damping trough - and all his customers had attested to.

Though the Triplanar is brand new, I feel that the manual is not that user friendly and detailed. I must qualify that I am not really a DIY guy, so I will probably "limp" along with this combo with tweaks' help from you.

Currently - to me - the combo sounds fine, but it seems that I will have to tweak some more to get the best out of this combo. Let me absorb what you are suggesting and get back to you.

Pls do not stop to suggest. I would love to continue to get your help

Cheers ... Peter
Herb Papier (creator of the Triplanar) was a perfectionist, and it was not for nothing that he added the damping trough to later iterations of his tonearm.
True enough, but Herb didn't have access to truly well damped cartridges like a ZYX UNIverse, Lyra Olympos or Transfiguration Orpheus, to name a few of today's best. They simply didn't exist in his day. Herb did his best to overcome problems created by the cartridges of his time.

Dgad's comment re: the Ikeda arm reminded me that Raul reported that his Ikeda was the best match for his Koetsu RSP from all the 20-something tonearms in his collection. Higher mass is perhaps the key.
Hi Dgad

How do you add mass to the Triplanar arm ? Any "special" DIY material ? Is it directly to the headshell or the arm tube (nearer the headshell) ?

Also, I assume that once you add mass - need to add a heavy counter-weight or the reverse (use the smaller counter-weight that Triplanar also provides ?

Look forward to your answer and help

Cheers ... Peter
In the US the online retailers sell headshell shims for this purpose. They can mount on top of a TriPlanar headshell to avoid affecting VTA.

You could DIY some yourself pretty easily. You might try different materials, since their effect on resonance behavior will vary. Shims like this muddy the sound of my ZYX UNIverse, but with a Koetsu it might be different.
I spoke with someone today who has alot of experience with
the Koetsu stone bodied cartridges. He basically said that
there is more to matching the Jade than mating it w/ a high mass arm. He stressed that energy dissipation was important, because the stones give off more energy than their lighter counterparts. This energy than travels through the arm. He felt an arm that would do a great job of releasing or dissipating this energy would be the SME 5. He did concur that the SME had a warmer balance than most arms. However, still felt it would bring out better highs and deeper bass.
In the case of effective mass, it is a different calculation than the mass of the arm. I am not 100% sure but I feel it relates to inertia. In the case of a Dynavector arm the effective mass can be altered by using a high mass headshell. On the inexpensive side use some blue tack. Place it under the headshell or on top and some on the counterweight. It is cheap enough an experiment (About $10) to learn the effects of mass. This renders most tonearm upgrades / swaps superfluous since now you are able to test mass changes rather than arm changes. Using a penny stuck on top of the headshell w. blue tack can do the trick as well. Just use a test record before & after & determine your resonant frequency. Listen before & after the change. You should easily learn the difference. Unless the arms bearings are not up to it you should be able to easily hear how mass relates to compliance and effects freq. response. Good luck.
FWIW,when I went through my ten year Koetsu period(owning a Black,Onyx,Onyx Platinum,and Urushi)I had two different SME-V arms.I must admit the arms seemed very good with these cartridges(to me).
Good luck
Hi all

Thks alot for your help, and keep them coming.

If I did not respond to yr help with the results of whatever remedies that you recommended, it is be'cos I am constantly travelling and maybe I will have some time in the near future to try something out

I will perhaps try a penny with some blue tack and see how's it going and report back

Cheers ... Peter
As far as headshell weight is concerned (a good way of increasing eff. Mass), be prepared to try several different materials.

You are dealing with subtle energy transmission/reflection issues and the solution for different material combinations (cartridge body / headshell material) varies. Take your time with this, do a good setup and revisit ALL parameters. Don't forget to revisit cartridge loading as you never know what you've been compensating for when you arrived at the "right" solution. Listen for a while (a week?) before trying the next combo. Don't be hasty in your judgment. It takes time to go through the subtleties.

Note that if you implement a shim it on top of the headshell, even in this position you can affect the sound in ways you wouldn't imagine. Those of you who are inclined to do so, can experiment with the difference between the nylon screw washers and the stainless ones. Both washer materials sound different and have a lot less mass than a shim. Nevertheless, you can hear their effect. Surely this is much an issue of compliance (washers) as it is other attributes of the material swap, but the point is that they do sound different - in a position where you wouldn't predict they would (the cartridge is still making contact with the headshell).

You can well imagine that you can influence the sound by changing shim materials. I'd most definitely play with both aluminum as well as brass. I would not hesitate trying the shims between cartridge and headshell. It's a question of how much you are willing to experiment.

As already noted, you might want to Blu-tack a nickel on top of the headshell (re-calibrate your tracking force) - this as a quick try. A nickel weighs a bit over 5 grams which will take you into the 16-17 gm. territory as far as effective mass is concerned.

Thom @ Galibier