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Arm change coming for my Ariston

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  • Arm change coming for my Ariston

    Awhile back John ran a thread seeking suggestions for an arm to run on his TD-124. I did a little hunting on the 'net and came up with a Nottingham Interspace that I thought might possibly do the trick. It wasn't John's cup o' tea, but it got me thinking....

    I already have one Nottingham arm, an Ace Space, running it on the Rek-O-Kut and I really love it. The Interspace is basically the same arm only with a longer, slightly lighter tube. So I got talking with the seller - he has been running it on a VPI HW-19 IV with a variety of Koetsu carts. The RD-11s came with a SME 3009 S2 Improved. It looks great and sounds very good with the Grado Reference 1 Sonata I have on it, but not a chance of it being in the league of the Nottingham. Interesting that the Interspace came in a SME - type mount and the mount is exactly the same size as the round arm board on the Ariston. The mount gives the option of a wide range of mounting locations so the installation would be relatively easy apart from the different locations of the mounting interface with the arm board. Hmmmm....

    A new arm wasn't in the budget so I rather put the notion out of my head, but did continue to have emails back and forth with the seller who seems to be a really nice, friendly and knowledgeable guy. Then one day he came up with the suggestion that we just swap, SME for Nottingham. Deal! So I now have to get the SME removed, packed up and on its way and should have an interesting change done to play with shortly. Sound like a good idea?

    Here is a pic of the SME in situ.
    DSC_74
    53
    by fiddlefye, on Flickr
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    Last edited by fiddlefye; 09-11-2017, 11:19 PM.

  • #2
    Don't you love it when a plan comes together.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Try1256 View Post
      Don't you love it when a plan comes together.
      I do indeed and as it turns out I've made a great acquaintance in the process who not only has a similar viewpoint on audio, but remarkably the same tastes in music. Bonus!

      I have to say that I really do like the Nottingham arms. Fletcher's thoughtful, elegant and minimalist approach to engineering makes sense to me and the results reflect that. Every adjustment one could wish is there including VTA on-the-fly, yet none of it is obtrusive. If the arm works as well with the deck as I think it will I expect it will perhaps be the final solution for this table.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by fiddlefye View Post

        I do indeed and as it turns out I've made a great acquaintance in the process who not only has a similar viewpoint on audio, but remarkably the same tastes in music. Bonus!

        I have to say that I really do like the Nottingham arms. Fletcher's thoughtful, elegant and minimalist approach to engineering makes sense to me and the results reflect that. Every adjustment one could wish is there including VTA on-the-fly, yet none of it is obtrusive. If the arm works as well with the deck as I think it will I expect it will perhaps be the final solution for this table.
        A very elegant table and arm.
        Turntables, Tonearms, MC & MM Phono Cartridges, SUTs, Tubes All the Way (SET, SEP and PP), Some Digital Stuff, Big Horns, Electrostats and Stand Mount Monitors, Assorted Cable and Wire. System listed here: http://www.hifihaven.org/forum/-8-mi...dated-9-3-2017

        "To thine own ears be true....."

        "Audiophiles Just Want to Have Fun....."

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by TubeHiFiNut View Post

          A very elegant table and arm.
          The arm is just the first part of the plan. After that comes some reinforcement and mass loading/balance for the sub-chassis and maybe a frequency control unit for the motor. I figure I might as well see how far I can push the performance. Why not?

          Comment


          • #6
            Interesting. I have an RD11s which ended up with an Ariston Enigma arm. I wonder how a unipivot would fare on a suspended turntable...

            -D
            Nottingham Analogue Interspace | AudioMods UK Classic | Denon DL-103R | Origin Live OL-1 | Lyra Helikon Mono
            Sony DVP-S7700 | Raspberry Pi 2 / Digi+Pro | Gigawork LM-DAC3 v9 (transformer coupled) | Nakamichi LX-3 | H/K TU-920
            Shure M67-based MC SUT | Yamaha C4 | Dynaco ST-35 / DGSE-1 / Fisher 660A / 6B4G PP | Klipsch Heresy X | NHT 1259

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Thermionics View Post
              Interesting. I have an RD11s which ended up with an Ariston Enigma arm. I wonder how a unipivot would fare on a suspended turntable...

              -D
              A friend ran a Magnepan Unitrac arm on his RD11S with splendid results.
              Turntables, Tonearms, MC & MM Phono Cartridges, SUTs, Tubes All the Way (SET, SEP and PP), Some Digital Stuff, Big Horns, Electrostats and Stand Mount Monitors, Assorted Cable and Wire. System listed here: http://www.hifihaven.org/forum/-8-mi...dated-9-3-2017

              "To thine own ears be true....."

              "Audiophiles Just Want to Have Fun....."

              Comment


              • Ernie
                Ernie commented
                Editing a comment
                As did I. Two other people I know also used that table/arm combination. I liked mine very much.

            • #8
              Cool, story. I am no fan of the 3009, so as far as I can tell you got the better end of that deal. Very fortunate that it will mount up the same way that your old arm does, so the modifications needed are basically nil. Couldn't happen to a nicer fellow.


              Regards
              Mister Pig

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by Mister Pig View Post
                Cool, story. I am no fan of the 3009, so as far as I can tell you got the better end of that deal. Very fortunate that it will mount up the same way that your old arm does, so the modifications needed are basically nil. Couldn't happen to a nicer fellow.


                Regards
                Mister Pig
                Yes, the fact that the arm came in a SME mount somewhat pushed the decision over the edge, not that there was really any doubt to be honest. I am hoping the chap likes the 3009 in his vintage set up with the TD-124. With the right cart the S2 Improved can be pretty nice, actually. He already has two VPIs with stellar arms in his main system and is quite knowledgeable.

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by Thermionics View Post
                  Interesting. I have an RD11s which ended up with an Ariston Enigma arm. I wonder how a unipivot would fare on a suspended turntable...

                  -D
                  The Nottingham arms are unipivot, but the way they are designed they have stabilizing built in and they truly don't wobble. My Space arm seems to be as stable to use as any gimbal-type arm I have used. I think it will be a non-issue.

                  The goal in this little project is to find as much improvement in performance as I can without breaking the bank and without changing the character of the table which I enjoy very much. It has for whatever reason always been one of those pieces that keeps me listening when I should have already gone to bed and I don't want to mess with that. I am hoping I have things worked out in a reasonable sequence.

                  Comment


                  • Thermionics
                    Thermionics commented
                    Editing a comment
                    That's exactly the right approach.

                • #11
                  The Nottingham arrived today and while some holes in the mounting plate don't line up with the mounting holes in the Ariston arm board in site of being the same exact bolt size and thread (too much to ask, really) it all should come together pretty quickly after a trip to the hardware store tomorrow. I hope to be hearing the results by tomorrow evening! Next to find a source for some lead so I can do the mass loading on the sub-chassis. Definitely have to do a lash-up and hear it first at the least, though!

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Up and running! It took a bit of contemplation to find mounting hardware, but it came together. The hard part was finding small metric screws of the right thread pattern and length. Fortunately I have a friend who owns a used camera/repair shop and has a healthy supply of small screws. It helps he is also into audio and turntables in particular. A bit of drilling, some Dremel work and it was mounted. I was bound and determined to hear the arm before dark and I made it!

                    The last LP I listened to before taking the SME off was Linda Ronstadt's "What's New?", side 1. Of course the first thing I listened after the arm change was the same and because the two events were only 12 hours apart the memory was pretty clear. The differences were clear right off the bat and some were surprising, for example the way the piano showed much more strongly through the texture. Bass is much tighter, everything is for that matter. Slight hint of change in the tonal balance even though I'm running exactly the same VTF. Much set up work yet to come as things are just roughed in and the suspension clearly needs some adjustment.

                    With no further ado, a few pics:
                    DSC_7634 by fiddlefye, on Flickr
                    DSC_7635 by fiddlefye, on Flickr
                    DSC_7636 by fiddlefye, on Flickr
                    DSC_7638 by fiddlefye, on Flickr

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Outstanding job!

                      The arm and table look like they were made for each other.
                      Turntables, Tonearms, MC & MM Phono Cartridges, SUTs, Tubes All the Way (SET, SEP and PP), Some Digital Stuff, Big Horns, Electrostats and Stand Mount Monitors, Assorted Cable and Wire. System listed here: http://www.hifihaven.org/forum/-8-mi...dated-9-3-2017

                      "To thine own ears be true....."

                      "Audiophiles Just Want to Have Fun....."

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        Originally posted by TubeHiFiNut View Post
                        Outstanding job!

                        The arm and table look like they were made for each other.
                        They do, don't they? The mounting plate for the arm is exactly the diameter of the Ariston arm board, exactly. It is also as long an arm as could possibly fit and get the dust cover closed. All one of those little bits of good luck!

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          Damn! Fantastic job!
                          Nottingham Analogue Interspace | AudioMods UK Classic | Denon DL-103R | Origin Live OL-1 | Lyra Helikon Mono
                          Sony DVP-S7700 | Raspberry Pi 2 / Digi+Pro | Gigawork LM-DAC3 v9 (transformer coupled) | Nakamichi LX-3 | H/K TU-920
                          Shure M67-based MC SUT | Yamaha C4 | Dynaco ST-35 / DGSE-1 / Fisher 660A / 6B4G PP | Klipsch Heresy X | NHT 1259

                          Comment

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