TW Acustic 10.5 and Graham Phantom Supreme II

I am contemplating (figuring out my funds!) on purchasing a TW Acustic Raven AC. First of all, if anyone is around the Tulsa, OK area and owns a TW Acustic Raven AC, please invite me over to listen!

My question to Raven AC owners who have tried both a Graham Phantom and TW 10.5 tonearm - what are the sonic attributes of each tonearm on the Raven AC? Which did you prefer and why? This isn't a 'which is best' question, but rather which one suited you more with the Raven AC compared to the other.

For background, I listen to about 60% rock/pop and 40% traditonal jazz. Very little classical. I use a Rowland Cadence phono pre.

Thanks in advance for any info and comments.
What kind of optimist are you?
There may be no-one on this planet who has heard this specific combination (the Phantom Supreme II has shipped just a few examples)....and IF there actually IS someone......the chances of him also reading Audiogon makes your question ridiculous in the extreme.
But who knows........he may just live in Tulsa?
Hi,Had Phantom 2 not Supreme TW ACUSTIC 10.5 had better dynamics ,faster bass,better, wider stage,better depth.TW ACUSTIC arm is made in house.I hace RAVEN AC1 with battery power supply from BLACK NIGHT.
Well, gotta be optimistic! But not Tulsa optimistic that's for sure. Maybe I should rephrase the question: 'Those with a Raven AC that has tried both Graham Phantom in any version compared to a TW 10.5."

Didnt realize the Phantom Supreme II was that new to have only had a handful shipped. I have had one private email response of someone who has owned or demoed both, but certainly open to other's experiences if they are out there.
Thanks for your response Ebm. That's the type of info and experiences I'm wanting to hear. Since all these products are hard to audition, especially in one's own system, Audiogon is a great place to get other's opinion and experiences.
Well, gotta be optimistic! But not Tulsa optimistic that's for sure. Maybe I should rephrase the question: 'Those with a Raven AC that has tried both Graham Phantom in any version compared to a TW 10.5."

Didnt realize the Phantom Supreme II was that new to have only had a handful shipped. I have had one private email response of someone who has owned or demoed both, but certainly open to other's experiences if they are out there.
I've also been looking for info on comparative listening impressions among a few highly regarded arms such as the Phantom 2 and Reed, teamed up with any Raven, preferably the One. I prefer a bit more of an up front but not aggressive presentation as opposed to one that places the soundstage well behind the speakers and contributes to making instruments sound relatively more distant, smaller and uninvoving. The cartridges I would be using are either the Dynavector XV-1S or Benz Ebony LP (now superseded by the LP-S).
Opus, I have Raven 1 with the new power supply, and phantom II arm with an LP-S. The sound is sublime and wonderful, very detailed, timbrally accurate, quiet, providing a beautifully wide and deep stage, and superb timing. I haven't heard anything better than what i am hearing now out of my system.
Opus 88
You can't go wrong with either arm. Both great with the XV1s.


You need to know what cartridge.

The Phantom is a unipivot compared to The TW which is a 10.5 inch gimballed arm. Very different designs.
Dgad, I also have a Dyna XV-1s. I've heard the that XV-1s anatomically is a poor choice for the TW10.5 as it and the headshell don't give the pins much room for proper alignment which in turn makes setting up the cart for proper alignment a problem.

I'm used to unipivots with my JMW 10.5i and the Dyna is a good match for it. I'm sure the Phantom and TW10.5 are in a different league though.
Phib7777, if it true that the XV-1s had a phyisical issue mounting on the 10.5 that is unfortunate. But as has already ben said I don't think you could go wrong either way.

I have not heard the Phantom.

But, I have the Raven AC and the 10.5 along with a Triplanar VII. The 10.5 is my arm of choice but as you know the cartdrge used can have a huge impact on what arm one likes.

The current setup is much better than the Aries 2 with 10.5 arm that I started out with. It also cost a lot more. But then at one point I added the SDS and the super platter that was available a couple years ago so it was not inexpensive.

The difference from my VPI rig and what I have now is significant. The speed controller and motor and table are just better. But both arms alow for a very fine degree of setup with the ZYX Universe cartdrige with is the big key for the best performance. Some carts are less fussy from what I have read but I would have hard time considering an arm with out easily repeatable fine settings.

I have a lot of fun with vinyl but it takes some effort. You have a very nice system and I think you will easily enjoy what ever upgrade you end up with. Good luck.

TD, your system is excellent. I bet it is extremely musical. I love my XV-1s cart and really want an arm that will work well with it. I've just heard some experiences with the XV-1s and TW 10.5 arm that simply didn't allow room with the pins to allow proper stylus position (unable to slide cart back on head shell) due to lack of room with pins hitting arm tubing.

I'm encouraged though by your experience and upgrade path which would be similar to mine if I take that course. Thanks do much for sharing your info and experience.
The Cardas pins used are very long on the TW 10.5. I think it can be ordered with shorter pins. I have a big cartridge but no issue with the pins. But I know who does and understand why. I just bent the pins a touch but I would order with different pins. Mind you the long pins make it easy to swap cartridges in some ways
I have not heard Graham with TW Raven AC-1 but heard Raven 10.5 and went with Reed 3Q 12 inch instead. Both are excellent, Raven may be a bit more neutral, a bit less personality, does not seem to add and subtract anything much. However it does not match well with my Koetsu at all and in fact TW Acoustic seems to rather dislike Koetsu and discourage me from using Koetsu from email I received.
With Koetsu's spec, I guess medium mass arm is not going work very well anyhow. So I went with Reed arm with Cocobolo arm which works well with both of my cartridge, Air Tight and Koetsu. In comparison, the sound is a bit warmer, rounder, a touch smoother than Raven 10.5
Normally it is no difficult decision. I am in Tonearms for about 12 years (the better ones you can see in my System, those which didn't survive a week are not listed) and in all those years every Manufacturer/Distributor told me, that his new Design beats a Graham easily. They "compared" and know from what they talk. The world is black or white. I did those comparisons, too and i got some very interesting results. Indeed, mostly the differences were not subtle, they are huge (are, because nothing changed). A correct geometry, the ability to adjust a cartridge correctly in 3 minutes, a correct tonal reproduction, expensive material for superior vibration transfer, a real high quality bearing, expensive material which ruin the tools pretty fast...all this can create confusion. Especially when the Arm is one of those, which can show exactly what kind of quality the Turntable or the Phonostage is.
All this can create a kind of "taste" which can confuse. Too much detail, no softness, some nice distortions compensated with a matching cartridge is an alternative to find the right product. The market does offer those..
For those the Phantom is not the right choice.
I have both Raven 10.5 and Graham Phantom II (upgraded from I, might further upgrade to Supreme) mounted on Raven Two TT. Still not get to the point to offer any valid comparison on the sound between the 2 arms. But I will offer some of my observations and I think it's helpful.

Installed Raven 10.5 about 4 months ago. Upon fine adjustment of the arm, noticed an issue with Anti-skating, and the arm also skip quite often when lowering onto the LP. I thought my table might lose level, but it's not.

Just mounted Graham Phantom II in the past few days.

When put two arms side by side, I found Phantom is easy to setup especially on the pivot to spindle distance. Phantom also has measurable/repeatable settings for VTA, Azimuth and Anti-Skate. In comparison, VTA on Raven 10.5 is fine, but Azimuth is tough, anti-skate is kind of joke at least as of now.

Phantom offers a plastic spindle cap. There is a hole on the head shell that will fit in the tip of the cap, which will help greatly to setup the distance between pivot and spindle.

The paper scale provided by Raven 10.5 is very hard to use to setup the required 251.2mm distance. I set it up before inserted the Raven arm in the armboard. While mounting the phantom, I happened to notice there is also a hole on the Raven 10.5 head shell, in very similar position as the phantom's. After removing cartridge from Raven 10.5, I tried to measure the distance again from the tip of the Phantom cap to the Raven Bird, I found my original distance is short by 2mm or so. After adjust the distance of Raven 10.5 to let the Raven 10.5 head shell hole sit on the Phantom spindle cap (not quite fit in), I found the distance is quite close to required 251.2mm. Very interesting, I am quite happy that upon installing Phantom, I also solved a problem to setup Raven 10.5 without investing more tools offered by Uni-something or Feickert.
Over a year ago I was running a Triplanar mounted on a AC 1 with a Transfiguration Orpheus cart. I was contemplating a second arm and the toss up was between a Phantom and a Durand Talea. To cut a long story short I ended up with the Talea and found that it was such a perfect fit in my system and with my musical priorities that I got rid of the Triplanar. Am extremely happy and satisfied with the Talea and would recommend an audition though it's a bit more expensive than the arms you are contemplating.
Pradeep, Talea should be a fine arm given it's price point. Do you have I or II? Have you ever done a direct comparison between yuor Talea and Raven 10.5?
I have the Talea 2. Sorry I have no experience of the TW arm so I can't comment on it.
Pradeep, when you mounted Talea on your Raven AC, did you order a new armboard insert for Talea or simply use the armboard for Tri-Planar? Thanks.
Kdl, the TW arm board for the Triplanar works with the the Talea as 2 of the mounting holes coincide. However, I am using a wooden arm board . Incidentally, the Talea is one of the easier tone arms to mount with the supplied PS distance tool. Mine also came with a Mint Best protractor. The single head shell screw on the Talea, similar to a Clearaudio, makes cart alignment a breeze.