Thanks for posting this Mitchell.
Yamaha GT2000 with Straight Arm - Audio Note Tonearm Wire Rewire.
I just finished rewiring my GT2000 straight arm with Audio Note 99.999% silver wire and silver clips. Spoiler alert, it sounds excellent.
I got to that job in the worst way possible. It started in December and I decided to treat myself to some new tonearm wires and clips. I had rewired the arm several years before and I figured I wanted an upgrade.
The wire in the arm at that time was Cardas Clear. This had replaced KAB Superflex Litz. At the time I found the difference between the two to be not so much. They both sounded really warm.
I've had good luck with quality silver interconnects and connectors and found, in my system, that I retain the warmth but get more detail in a silky sort of way.
So I ordered LITZ-76 CRYO-TREATED PURE SILVER TONEARM REWIRE and some RHODIUM PLATED HEADSHELL/CARTRIDGE CLIPS.
After I received the products I was looking at the clips and decided to see how the fit the cartridge pins on my Ortofon 2M Black. I pushed one on to a pin and found it was really tight. I started to pull it off and was just stuck.
I pulled a little harder and pulled the pin right out of the body. Merry Christmas. Of course after that point of no return I found you could open the clips up with a utility knife in the side gaps (or whatever they are called). A little warning note with the clips would have been helpful.
I looked around for a 2M body only and found nothing. I decided to buy a Hana SL. I had a Musical Surroundings Phonomena II which would theoretically work.
So I completed the rewire then the cartridge showed up and after setup I started spinning records. Christmas was approaching and I didn't want my vinyl rig OOC.
At 50 hrs on the cartridge it sounded thin. No warmth, very little mid bass. I sounded very detailed but tipped up and dead.
I assumed that I should probably get an SUT which I did, a Cinemag 3440AH. This brought the body but murdered the details. I sold that.
My next move was to sell the Phonomena II and upgrade to an ELAC PPA-2 and to get a Hana ML.
All that came in and there were some teething issues with noise and a freakish anomaly of woofer pumping. I worked through that and surprise!! The sound was still dead, lifeless. My bonus from all that was more detail.
After replacing the cartridge- twice and the phono preamp, I still had dead sound. The only thing left was the tone arm wires.
I ordered the Audio Note silver wires and silver clips from the UK (HiFi Collective) on Monday and they were here on Thursday.
These are really fine wires, easily half the size the size of the Zavfino, 3 strands on .05mm, which I think is 44 gauge.
There are some notes forums where stripping the polyurethane insulator is discussed and I tried all possible methods with various levels of success, the least effective being the furniture stripper method.
In the end, the most reliable method was to drag the wire end through a lump of Chipquick Smooth Flow gel flux and run the coated wire quickly across the flat surface of a large chisel tip soldering iron set at 350C (662F) degrees. Just keep covering the wire end with flux and burning it off. Clean your tip between cycles. Do this until the silver is shiny. To tin, use a daub of solder on the tip of your iron and slide the wire through it. Continuity test everything and don't rush it. This wire wants to melt, keep all soldering tip contact as short as possible.
At any rate, the completed tonearm, with it's new British wire, sounds wonderful.
The issue with the Zavfino could have been either the wire or the clips. I can say with absolute confidence that the combination of LITZ-76 CRYO-TREATED PURE SILVER TONEARM REWIRE and RHODIUM PLATED HEADSHELL/CARTRIDGE CLIPS sounded like nothing pleasant in my system to my ears. No music benefited. As an example the Dire Straits Brothers in Arms 45prm MoFi sounded.... depressing. No body to the guitars, that deep bass in Ride Across the River was just not as present or dramatic.
If silver as a material were the issue, I'd still have some unpleasant artifacts in the music but I don't.
The rhodium clips could be the source. Rhodium is typically a long burn in, how long as a low output cartridge clip? Maybe years?
Anyway that's it.
The write up on your experience is interesting.
Have I read it correctly, by assuming the reference made to Zavfino is for the Rhodium Plated Tag Wires used.
Are the AN Wires supplied to a length that will connect to the Cart' and extend to connecting directly to the Phonostage? This would be the best for the intended use I have for it at present.
For the £20 asking price for the AN Wire, it is one to be added to a selection of Wires to be used for a upcoming Wand Wire Comparison Trials, on a New Design Tonearm I have been involved with though the R&D and now as the working Prototypes.
The Audio Note wires are sold in .5 meter increments. They also have color coded coatings; red, green, blue, clear, as opposed to all silver. A uniform finish isn’t a dealbreaker but color coding certainly speeds things along during termination.
I did not previously mention that I twisted the pairs and ran them through two 14g Teflon tubes which are joined in parallel with shrink tubing at intervals. The tube set is dampened with cotton at the front, center and rear of the tonearm tube. The idea here is to keep the L and R as separate as possible and reduce crosstalk.
Since my narrative is a bit sprawling, below are the links to the two sets of termination products.
The Zavfino order was $135.00 USD and took 6 days to arrive. Shipping was free.
The Audio Note through HiFi Collective was $165.00 USD and took 3 days to arrive. Shipping from the UK was $23.00 USD.
There is a small difference in assembly difficulty between the two combinations, the primary problem being the litz coating removal from those minuscule wires . Once that’s solved it’s pretty straightforward. Considering the difference in performance it’s an easy decision. Tonearm wiring is a fiddly, tedious job and fortunately I won’t be questioning that aspect of my system again. I’m confident it’s pretty close to as good as it gets.
BAD- Combination: https://zavfinousa.com/collections/vinyl-accessories/products/litz-76™-pure-silver-tonearm-rewire
Excellent- Combination: https://www.hificollective.co.uk/wire/audio-note-silver-internal-tone-arm-wire.html
@theophile sorry to hear about your health issues but glad you’re doing better. That Audio Technica ART20 is a beautiful cartridge- congratulations!! What phono preamp/SUT are you using?
Mitchell, I use a Simaudio Moon LP 5.3. No SUT. That is fed into a Hornshoppe The Truth buffer attenuator stage which in turn feeds a pair of KRK Expose E8B active monitors.
The resulting sound is exceedingly transparent and reflects faithfully the qualities of the turntable/arm/cartridge/phono preamp.
With regard to the looks of the ART20, I have been told by a few folks that it is ugly. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It sure doesn’t sound ugly.