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 Post subject: About tone arms
PostPosted: 23 Dec 2012, 11:40 
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Joined: 03 May 2011, 15:16
Posts: 188
Location: Romania,Iasi City
Hello! I have a question for those who have a performant turntable: which tone arm is the best?
-Liniar
-ā€Sā€ shape
-Tangential

Also I want to know the advantages and disadvantages for them.

Another question is: direct drive or belt drive?


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 Post subject: Re: About tone arms
PostPosted: 23 Dec 2012, 21:29 
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Joined: 04 Jun 2008, 20:59
Posts: 4326
Location: Arizona, USA
Hi, A can of worms. There are as many opinions as there are users of each of the variations. I am not sure there are definitive answers. One place you might post the question is on the vinylengine.com forum. They specialize in turntables, arms, and all the stuff that goes with it. My personal thoughts (I have 4 turntables at present in the $200 to $1500 price range) are as follows. Two turntables have dc motors, one of them uses it to drive a belt (Phillips) and one to directly drive the the platter (Dual), the other two turntables have AC synchronous motors and are belt drive (Pro-ject and Sota). IMHO the best of the lot is the Dual with the heavy mass direct drive system. All the turntables have straight arms. The arms on all of them have the head shell angled toward the center. All work well. There is a partial relationship in that price tends to relate to how well an arm works. Not a one to one fit, but really inexpensive arms are often OK for casual listening, and performance increases dramatically as you go up to about $500 (for just the arm) new price. Above that there are certainly improvements but they are in smaller increments. No arm is perfect. Regarding the merits of each type, the question is likely one of design philosophy. There are many excellent examples in each type. After recently returning from a major audio fest (RMAF at Denver) and seeing many high end turntables. I noticed that there was no one type favored by the very high end brands. It actually seemed that the majority were straight arms with the angled head shells. I don't recall seeing any true linear tracking ones or tangential ones. There were a goodly number of "S" shaped ones though. My take on it is that if the guys with the $20,000 -$100,000 and higher turntables use something it is probably good. If they don't there is probably a good reason why not. Generally more emphasis was on the type of suspension and mass of an arm than its shape.

I hope this helps a bit.

Good listening
Bruce

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