I need you Harry-12" arms and MF

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

Postby Harry » Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:34 am

Not only does a 9" arm never enter my mind anymore (I'm being a little first world here as I could happily live with a 9" the rest of my life) but I am working on 14 and 16 inch arms with no offset angle and may introduce it at the Capitol Audio Fest.

Removing the offset angle and removing all skating force is a big deal. You can all try this, just rotate your cartridge straight, disable the anti-skate if using it and listen. It will not even be aligned right and will sound amazing.

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

Postby Peer Gynt » Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:26 pm

Some probably remember the Souther TriQuartz. As I understand it, Clearaudio owns Lou’s design now, and they offer a current version for about $10k. The TriQuartz was a great match for the HW19 mk3.

Linear arms solve the skating problem by being kinematically equivalent to an infinitely long radial arm, but even with Clearaudio’s Veritas (the custom match for the TriQuartz), there were some stability issues.

The 12, 14, and now 16” arms seem to me to be less likely to suffer from these tracking issues.

I would love to listen, especially to the 14 or 16.

The only real drawback I can see is the footprint required.
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Re: I need you Harry-12" arms and MF

Postby fsonicsmith » Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:24 pm

Harry, thank you much for your clear and unequivocal response.
It is said that one should not attack the declarant, but instead only the declaration.
That said, for someone of MF's stature to make such an outlandish statement that "all manufacturers have privately conceded to me that they only produce 12" arms to satisfy consumer demand knowing that they are inferior" says something about how far MF will go to defend his positions. He has accused me of attempting to "psychoanalyze" him on another Board. I don't pretend to know how his brain works. But I do feel that he can not stand being challenged and possibly proven incorrect.
Being able to compare identical arms in 9, 10 and 12" versions is illuminating, but IMHO not conclusive.
I suspect that a given design could be optimized for one length.
As I understand it, moment of inertia is a legitimate complication, with longer arms for a given cartridge mass creating more lateral loading upon the cantilever stylus assembly.
I confess that I am simply regurgitating something that somebody in the know has told me.
And I think all who are reasonably knowledgeable are in agreement that any deviations from perfect alignment become more apparent with longer arms. I would think that with 14" and 16" arms that alignment of a replicant or fine line stylus would become quite a headache.
I also think and can never prove that just as there are aspects of sound reproduction that can not be explained by measurements, there are aspects of tonearm behavior that can not be explained despite how simple-on paper-the physics of tonearm behavior appears.
Just to give an easy example-on paper the SME Series V-12 arm ought to be "as good as it gets" or will ever get. And yet many describe the sound as a bit lifeless.
As the owner of a 12" Reed 3P in Cocobolo, I am biased. I think there may be something about certain wood used in the make-up of the arm that can not be measured or explained by physics but that is beneficial nonetheless. Are the benefits of Lignum Vitae or whatever African Ebony the Shun Mook record clamp is made of imaginary?
But I have digressed. The topic was tonearm length and MF's claim that we who buy 12" arms are schmucks.
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Re: I need you Harry-12" arms and MF

Postby fischerd » Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:33 pm

Harry,

Can you comment on the sonic differences heard between the Gimbal Fatboy vs. the Unipivot Fatboy?
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Re: I need you Harry-12" arms and MF

Postby Harry » Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:16 pm

Whew! A lot to digest for an old retired guy.

1- The inertia issue only becomes an issue when the arm is being forced to move due to warps, we flatten the record using our periphery ring which removes one major hurdle.
2- The effective mass issue is a red herring when you 3D print the arm as you can control the mass precisely and the 12" has minor effective mass gain over the 9".
3- The material used to construct the arm has more effect on the sound than the length because the way vibration is transmitted, the amount that is dissipated, and the true mass of the arm is so effected by the material used there is no way to isolate the variables. 3D printing all three arm lengths removes these variables as the mass is almost the same for all three, the material is exactly the same, the rigidity is the same other than the length issue. A very logical way to test arms.
4- The arm tube from the bearing assembly forward is the only part 3D printed the back end of the arm is aluminum and stainless steel and all three lengths use the same back, there are no other variables introduced.
5- The 12" version creates less skating force so immediately it has the advantage as skating force and the removal of it is very detrimental to the sound quality. For me using minimal or no skating force is a way bigger positive than shorter length.

Leaving out having all these mounted on the same ultra low speed error table is missing a major point. No one has done this but VPI. We have an ultra stable, ultra accurate, non feedback possible system, using all three arms that are exactly the same other than length and using three matched cartridges. End of discussion, no one else has or can do this.

Plus, do not dismiss the fact that we have the same tape machine as the machine the tape was made on. Running one of those master tapes on a Studer, while a great machine, is not the same machine and that matters.

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

Postby Harry » Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:24 pm

Gimbal VS. Uni-pivot FatBoy.

What can I say, they sound slightly different with the gimbal having very tight clean bass and the uni-pivot having a wonderful open top. That being said if you did not know which was playing you probably could not tell. They sound more alike than different but the gimbal has a very solid bass and the uni-pivot has a beautiful top end.

I would use them to match cartridges more than choosing which to use. The ART-1000 loves the gimbal as does all iterations of the Denon 103 by all the after market people. The Lyra's like the uni-pivot slightly better as it opens up the top end as does the Sumiko MC's. The VAS NOVA slightly like the uni-pivot better.

The Ortofon A-95 does not care, sounds the same in either!! Figure that one out.

Sonically get the one that feels better in your hand as there is not a lot of sonic difference but if you love deep tight bass the gimbal might be for you.

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

Postby Mr_Putty » Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:52 pm

Is the second pivot in use in the comparison?
Thanks,
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Re: I need you Harry-12" arms and MF

Postby Harry » Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:50 pm

Yes it is and that is why it is so close.

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

Postby Waxxy » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:45 am

Harry wrote:
1- The inertia issue only becomes an issue when the arm is being forced to move due to warps, we flatten the record using our periphery ring which removes one major hurdle.

HW


Don't forget off-centre pressings...when tonearm inertia has an even greater effect on sound quality. Otherwise I agree and believe the benefits of longer arms outweigh the disadvantages. I'm interested to see the upcoming longer versions of the JMW...with newer technologies, the options are growing!
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Re: I need you Harry-12" arms and MF

Postby Peer Gynt » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:30 am

It would be interesting to know the tolerance on spindle hole location.

My sense is that much more than a few hundredths of an inch would be very audible, even with a linear tracker.

Under a few hundredths of an inch, and we approach a static approximation again. The angular accelerations of the tone arm due to this issue are just so small as to not have much audible impact. As usual, YMMV. One person’s nearly inaudible minor bother is another person’s horrible, experience ruining artifact that must be mitigated.

In my record collection, I can only remember noting one case where there was a significant tonearm deviation from the expected path caused by off center spindle hole location. It is a vinyl recording from my father when he was a young Navy Seaman at the Naval base in Chicago during WWII. The USO made these so the boys could send them home to their families.

On the other hand, warps are common, especially with second hand records that have been stored in less than ideal conditions. And warp angular accelerations can get to be significant, power draining, woofer straining, and audible. So tonearm inertia issues aren’t unimportant. I don’t dismiss them out of hand.

I am leaning toward the idea that a 12 to 14 inch tonearm probably brings most of the benefits of a linear tracker, but has fewer of their other inherent set up difficulties.

HWs chance to investigate all these things is really exciting. I look forward to the advancements that will undoubtedly come.
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