Sign in to follow this  
herrflick

Alternative tonearms

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

Accidentally posted this in the wrong section, reposting my query here now.

Did a Google and couldn't find the information I wanted, thought i'd ask around here, but can anyone confirm if the AMG 9W2 tonearm for Linn is a good alternative to the Ekos SE? or is the Ekos still a class above?

Currently using an Akurate level LP12 with radikal, so an Akito is what i have now. Looking to put in a Keel next, the AMG is about half the price of the Ekos, so if it's indeed a worthy alternative, I was thinking of stretching a little and upgrading the tonearm as well. 

What about options from Morch?

Thanks very much in advance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm afraid I cannot tell if the AMG arm is a good alternative. Does it even fit a standard Keel? A number of LP12 owners have been very excited about the new Tiger Paw Javelin arm, and it's priced at a very acceptable GBP 1.800,-  At the moment it's only compatible with the Kore, but they are working on a Keel compatible version. Here's more info: Tiger Paw Javelin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Tendaberry said:

I'm afraid I cannot tell if the AMG arm is a good alternative. Does it even fit a standard Keel? A number of LP12 owners have been very excited about the new Tiger Paw Javelin arm, and it's priced at a very acceptable GBP 1.800,-  At the moment it's only compatible with the Kore, but they are working on a Keel compatible version. Here's more info: Tiger Paw Javelin

Thanks Tendaberry for your thoughts, I was indeed looking at the Javelin, but my concern is that there's no dealer Tigerpaw dealer where I am while the AMG dealer is a few km down the road from me. The AMG arm itself has been described as impressive, and is about 60% the price of an Ekos SE where I am. Just wasn't sure how it measured against Linn's top of the line.

Regarding fit, their website says that, "The 9W2, with a pivot to spindle distance of 211mm, is designed for the Linn LP-12", so i had assumed there wouldn't be a fit issue with the Keel,  just realising i may have oversimplified. In any case, I've dropped AMG a note and, will post replies here in case anyone's interested.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having the right pivot to spindle distance is only part of the problem.  The question is whether the arm shaft will fit in a Linn arm collar.  Many arms can be put on an LP12 with the right armboard but very few will fit a Keel (or a Kore cut for a Linn arm).  So you will need the answers to that.

I have never played with that exact arm nor have I tried an AMG arm separately, but I did have an AMG Viella V12 with arm sent in for evaluation by us and a potential customer.  It was outfitted with the same cartridge as a Klimax LP12 and the two compared.  The LP12 was clearly better and is what the customer purchased.  Even the rep for the importer admitted that the LP12 was awfully good in comparison and also verified that the AMG was setup properly and sounding the way he expected it should.

I wasn't actually that thrilled with the arm just based on how it was built.  I really think the bearing design is flawed.  But, again, I have not been able to evaluate it individually.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funk Firm FXR tonearms work particularly well on LP12s IMHE, being stiff and light. 

Musical and engaging with an especially dexterous bass

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking around the OP's question. If price and 'good value' isn't an important option (it seems to be on many audio forums, or is it just a UK thing?), then I suppose an Ekos SE/Kandid and possibly the Javelin would make some kind of sense. Linn of all people knew how dire their mid 80's LP12/Ittok/Troika was compared to the original master 'sound' (nearly put me off vinyl for life when they demonstrated this to me) and I have to say the Cirkus bearing/sub chassis upgrades plus later plinth tweaks did a hell of a lot to smarten the old soggy fruity sound out (what I'm describing goes way beyond 'just' set up too I should add). A current top spec LP12/Ekos SE/Kandid is almost unrecognisable from memories of a mid 80's example and very very good on a truly wide range system I think, although the price for me is all but ridiculous. Many of you lot wouldn't have this cost vibe though, so apologies.

Granny sucking eggs for many posters here, but my take is to get the DECK in full updated order first before talking about the arm fitted. No point in fitting an expensive advanced tonearm of any price to an otherwise ok LP12 from 1981 for example. Just my take on it - and from the sublime to ridiculous, some of you may be surprised how 'far' a Basik Plus can go if the platform it's on is good enough and its exit cabling upgraded :D

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, DSJR said:

... from the sublime to ridiculous, some of you may be surprised how 'far' a Basik Plus can go if the platform it's on is good enough and its exit cabling upgraded :D

As the owner of an LP12 for which I decided to keep my 20 year old Basik Plus as the best means of staying within budget, I'd have to say that there is nothing "ridiculous" about using this arm if you can get your hands on one in decent condition. I am using mine with a Cirkus/Lingo 4/Kore/Trampolin setup, still with the old K5 cartridge, but with the Paratrace stylus. A new cable was also fitted as part of the build. Of course it isn't a Klimax level setup (I've heard a few of those, too), but for the money I couldn't be happier.

David

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, DavidHB said:

As the owner of an LP12 for which I decided to keep my 20 year old Basik Plus as the best means of staying within budget, I'd have to say that there is nothing "ridiculous" about using this arm if you can get your hands on one in decent condition. I am using mine with a Cirkus/Lingo 4/Kore/Trampolin setup, still with the old K5 cartridge, but with the Paratrace stylus. A new cable was also fitted as part of the build. Of course it isn't a Klimax level setup (I've heard a few of those, too), but for the money I couldn't be happier.

David

I may have reported this elsewhere on here, so forgive me for being repetitive if that's the case.  I have a customer who used to be in the business and was himself an LP12 technician.  He sold his Ittok LVII and Klyde so that he could put the money towards a Radikal.  I setup his turntable with stock cherry plinth, original Cirkus subchassis and bearing, Akurate Radikal, Baski LV-X (not even the Plus) and an AT95e.  When I was done he was thrilled but wondered if we had something to compare it to.  I had my second LP12 in the store for a comparison for another customer so we used it.  Refinished Linn rosewood plinth (the best sounding Linn stock plinth I have heard), Kore, Lingo 2,  Ekos 2 and Adikt.  His LP12 was easily more musical than mine.  I'm still trying to justify a Radikal on an LP12 I only use for Hi-Fi shows and occasional demonstrations, but I have since sold the Lingo 2 so it will at least end up with a Lingo 4.

So, yeah, the Basik LV-X/Plus can acquit itself quite nicely given the proper circumstances.  I still think it is the best cheap arm out there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Thomas. The slightly ironic back story about my Basik Plus is that, when I bought my Basik TT all those years ago, the dealer had the arm as second hand stock. The original owner had traded it in to fit an Ittok to his Axis ...

David

Edited by DavidHB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did an Ittok on an Axis once for someone... The extra welly of the Ittok kind-of helped to tame the bleached and slightly 'one note thumpy' quality the Axis has when compared to its peers. Don't worry though, the 'Linn Chip' has been kind of re-activated in recent times and I'd never suggest this as a normal thing. having said that, an original 'Silver' tonearm cable did improve and refine a Basik Plus/K9 on an Axis and as well as surprising us, the customer was delighted with it!

Sorry if I/we are going off topic, but I maintain that before looking at ANY expensive tonearm for an LP12, these days I'd recommend a full structural update FIRST and before the fancy-foo expensive motor updates too. In the meantime, I do hope the new Majik tonearm will do the business (I'm not a fan of the Pro-ject arms, sorry) and now AT have their refreshed MM types (500 models) costing rather less than an Adikt, I'm sure a seriously good vinyl sound can be achieved while the deck itself is updated.

Just my own thoughts obviously!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@DSJR With a thread title of "Alternative Tonearms", I should have thought that your post was well within scope. I too am using a Silver tonearm cable.

I also agree with your general advice to get the deck fully checked out prior to (or, worst case, as part of) any upgrading. Owners of older decks who are having the Cirkus fitted in effect get a rebuild as part of the process. My deck was built from scratch, starting with a 1987 fluted Afromosia plinth the dealer had salvaged from his own original LP12, so the Basik Plus has something even older to keep it company. But the important point for me (and I'm sure that ThomasOK is right to bang on about this) is that, often, the best 'alternative arm' is the arm you already have, with the money you saved by not replacing it going on some other improvement, probably below the top plate.

David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.