You might want to post this on the Pink Fish Media site. Since it's a UK site, several folks over there use the Zeta, and might be able to steer you toward the necessary resources to accurately date your arm. Good listening,
I am a fellow Zeta owner, I think the arm is great; too bad I'm one of few that had that opinion. I chose it over the Alphason S shaped arm that was all the rage in the mid 80's.
I purchased it from Reference Monitor International, Carlsbad, Ca. March, 18th, 1986. I have the original box, invoice,and specifications. There is no serial number on the arm. I used a mirror to check on the bottom of the arm block but saw nothing. I plan on installing it on a SOTA Millenium table I bought at the CES. If I find one someplace, I'll let you know.
In the meantime i have more than 25 se.no. of Zetas. All of them begins with "8". Some have 6 numbers, and start with 820xxx or 890xxx, and the most have 7 numbers start with 82.., 83.., 84.. or 85.., but the most of them with 830.. or 831...
;aybe these are the years and the running series of the year, as the 3. number is in every time 0 or 1.
But what are the 89... numbers?? I don´t believe, that there was any production in 1989.
The third and second last number could be a running number, as this rises through the whole line...
It was a nice play with the numbers. At the time i had 2 of these nice tonearms i wanted to know if there is any system behind them and how many items were produced. But i have to admit, that i know not more about these things than 10 years ago... :-)
But enjoy these arms, maybe with Kiseki, some Ortofon (Rohmann, Jubilee) or even with Dynavector or Decca/London cartridges.
What do you use, Mdpsk?
Hi, I no longer have a Zeta but I know they were still being produced in the late '80s. I worked for a US dealer and mine went back to England in '88 I believe. The bearings were changed (to 5 bearing configuration?) and it was rewired with silver VDH. I don't know exactly when GB Tools stopped, but I think it was '90 or a little later.
i have no Zeta tonearms today. I think, the production run was 82-85, the VdH wired ones maybe just in 84-85, but i am not shure. Maybe they were produced (and serviced) longer.
But you can rewire any Zeta, it is not difficult. Some of them have up to 3 different cables: headshell wires, tonearm tube wires, outer wires. A new continuous cable is worth these nice tonearms.
The Zeta was in high regard in Holland in the 80s and recommended for the Linn LP-12 instead of FR-64s which was considered to be too heavy for the Linn (springs). If I remember well the Zeta was twice as expensive. Even then
the rewiring issue was dominant while nobody mentioned the
bearings problem. Still a very good tonearm but one should consider Audio Origamy (?) in the UK for the bearings check as well for a rewiring option.