I need you Harry-12" arms and MF

I need you Harry-12" arms and MF

Postby fsonicsmith » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:41 am

Harry;
Mike Fremer has been on a recent rampage against 12" arms. At seemingly every opportunity he takes digs at them as being inherently inferior. It appears that based upon his firm conviction that the 9" SAT 30K arm is the best arm ever to see the light of day and that Marc Gomez is the most intelligent tonearm designer ever to grace this Earth, that this must be so. Mr. Fremer further claims that every major manufacturer of 12" arms has privately conceded to him that they only make 12" arms to satisfy the market. http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showthread.php?25662-9%94-vs-12%94-pick-up-arms-The-mechanics-explained-minus-the-anecdotal-B-S I had hoped that by now some manufacturers would chime in and refute this. But it has not happened. Are they afraid that MF will retaliate with a public rebuke by writing a negative review? That is what I suspect. So, it seems to me that if there is one manufacturer who will say what he thinks without fear of retaliation, it would be you Harry. Please tell us-do you make 12" arms solely to appease your customers? Do you use one in your own system knowing that the 9" version is inherently superior? Is moment of inertia the single most important aspect of tonearm behavior to be designed for? In one article on the subject, Mikey states that anyone who has felt the finger lift of a 12" arm knows how "unsettling" they are to use as if that proves his point! I agree that when using the finger lift of a 9" arm for a given VTF, one feels more gravitational force with the finger under the finger lift but that seems to argue for and not against longer arms when it comes to moment of inertia, or am I missing something?
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Re: I need you Harry-12" arms and MF

Postby Peer Gynt » Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:33 pm

Fremer wields a lot of “influence”.

I don’t understand why he would take this issue on. Is it just because controversy breeds hits, and hits breed cash?

As for the 12” arm, the longer the arm, the better able it is to keep the cartridge properly aligned with the groove. In the limit, the linear trackers, which are equivalent to an infinitely long arm, can keep virtually perfect alignment. I think we’d all have 12” arms if it weren’t for the cost and the attendant footprint.

Who cares what bloggers OR reviewers think anyway? Just listen and decide for yourself.
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Re: I need you Harry-12" arms and MF

Postby teenage diplomat » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:47 pm

Fsonicsmith, I doubt that Fremer follows our forum, so I’ll take a crack at explaining (as opposed to defending) his position. He argues that the reduction in tracking error/attendant distortion provided by the 12” arm, while real, is less important than the (what he thinks are inherent) weaknesses of the longer length. But he doesn’t oppose long arms per se. In fact, he gave an exceptionally glowing review of HW’s first generation 12” 3D tonearm when it first appeared. Nor has he criticized SAT for coming out with its own 12” arm. But I think you are quite right: we should listen to both and let our ears decide. My 12” Fatboy is the best arm I’ve ever heard, and that includes the 9” VPI arms I owned on the original Scout and Scoutmaster, as well as Rega’s 9” arms.
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Re: I need you Harry-12" arms and MF

Postby fsonicsmith » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:27 am

What I wish to emphasize is MF's statement; "virtually every tonearm manufacturer of note has privately conceded to me that they only produce 12" arms to satisfy consumer demand". C'mon Harry! Be true to thyself and speak your mind! Are you simply catering to consumer demand? [footnote] I am no outside troller; I was the original purchaser of a VPI Classic from Galen Carol and a Prime from MusicDirect. So I wear the badge of a VPI owner.
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Re: I need you Harry-12" arms and MF

Postby Harry » Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:29 pm

You all know me by now, I have had many arguments with MF over the years over anti-skating and arm length. MF has our Avenger Reference with two 12" arms, one gimbal Fat Boy and one Uni Fat Boy so obviously I am not afraid of the 9" -12" debate.

Other manufacturers where squawking like wounded animals when I made the original 12" arm 20 years ago, coming up with all kinds of technical reasons that the unwashed and low tech would follow even if it was BS. Then they came out with 12" arms also, as I told quite a few in the reviewing industry, they are either liars or stupid. There is no other answer!!!
Personally, I think they were happy to believe it because the tables they were invested in were incapable of mounting a 12' arm.

Truth be told I am the only one who has heard 9", 10.5", and 12" Fat Boys mounted on the same Direct Drive Avenger using 3 Ortofon A-95's and can state without a doubt they sound different and I prefer the master tape smoothness of the 12". Besides, I have the same Ampex ATR-102 that Chad uses to make the records, totally rebuilt by ATR Services. I have master tape copies of the music and the 12" sounds more like the master than the 9" or the 10.5".

If you enjoy listening to rock music the 9” arm has very good punch, the 10.5” is a good mixture of both arms, but the 12” sounds like the tape and it has to sound like the tape!!!!!!!!!
My fi is irrelevant, the record is cut from the tape, not from live music, it must sound like the tape.

The 9” $32K arm (grossly overpriced) sounds good because it is made well not because it is 9” or 10” or 12”. The new arms cost slightly less than a 2018 Corvette, are you kidding me!!!!

HW
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Re: I need you Harry-12" arms and MF

Postby Peer Gynt » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:50 pm

Harry wrote:
If you enjoy listening to rock music the 9” arm has very good punch, the 10.5” is a good mixture of both arms, but the 12” sounds like the tape and it has to sound like the tape!!!!!!!!!
My fi is irrelevant, the record is cut from the tape, not from live music, it must sound like the tape.

HW


AMEN! Testify Brother!!!

There are a LOT of people who do not get this. Some records are just plain lousy because the tape was lousy.

Where’s Bob Ludwig when you need him.
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Re: I need you Harry-12" arms and MF

Postby JimTimP » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:05 pm

One thing I've noted about reviewers. Of any ilk. They change their opinions as often as their socks. Well, at least as often as the next release of the newest innovation.
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Re: I need you Harry-12" arms and MF

Postby Harry » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:18 pm

Most reviewers do not have access to all the things I have access to, or they have no interest in actually doing the work involved in accurate level matched comparative listening. You must set the level exactly the same, you must be mounted on the same turntable, preferably on a concrete floor, and you have to use a direct drive for the test otherwise there is a motor near one or two of the arms or cartridges.

Plus, how many reviewers have three of the same cartridges matched to be the same. We bought all the A-95's in the USA and picked the three with the most closely matched frequency run and output and used them for the test. You can't put a Fat-Boy on an Avenger, an SAT on an Acoustic Signature, and a Reed on a Caliburn and expect anything but chaos in your results.

HW
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Re: I need you Harry-12" arms and MF

Postby 930turbo » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:21 pm

Hi ,

I agree w/you Harry that the 12 inches is way smoother for me more musical than the 9 inches .I once had a Kuzma Stogi REF 9" and am now using a Kuzma Stogi REF 313 VTA (12 " version of the Kuzma Stogi REF ) on my TNT 6 and there is no way Im going back to the 9" version . Being used to listening to 12" arm , when I listen to a 9 inches tonearm I can easily hear/perceive the less relax , less smoother presentation specially in classical music and on inner tracks closest to the record label . The last 9" arm I had at home was an SME 309 mounted on a GyroDec . It gathered dust for a whole year. For me once you go 12" its so hard to go back to a 9" arm .

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Re: I need you Harry-12" arms and MF

Postby tony22 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:59 am

Bravo Harry.
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