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In Reply to: RE: Heads Up! posted by John Elison on June 06, 2017 at 08:24:38
I too have a Fidelity Research FR54 arm on my turntable (Sony 2251). It's a very light arm with great bearings. Chicks dig it. It would seem to be incongruous to use an approximately 1/2 ounce headshell on such a nimble arm. Then, there's the issue of the counterweight position. The result is that a great, light arm is turned into a heavy, slowmoving arm reminscent of 1950s/60s console systems, and contributing to faster record groove wear.
Maybe it's just me.
:)
The Fr54 is a medium mass arm at 16gms.
I think your theory is wrong!
> It's a very light arm with great bearings.
You might be right about its bearings but you are dead wrong about its mass. It has medium/high effective mass. Therefore, it's a heavy arm with regard to effective mass.
The SME III and the Infinity Black Widow are examples of light arms or low mass arms. The SME 300 Series are considered medium mass tonearms. In other words, tonearms with effective mass inbetween 9grams and 14grams are considered medium mass tonearms. The FR 54 has effective mass of 16grams and is therefore verging on high effective mass. It is not a light arm.
Do you know how much the FR 54 headshell weighs? If you have a digital scale perhaps you can weigh it. I doubt the new headshell is more than 6 or 7grams heavier than the original FR 54 headshell. At any rate, AudioSoul is using his FR 54 with a lowcompliance Denon DL103 cartridge. Many inmates here believe that the DL103 sounds best in highmass tonearms so it should be a good match for the FR 54 and the new headshell.
As far as I can tell, reality and theory always agree with each other as long as you use the correct theory.
Best regards,
John Elison
John, what was the source for your break down of the three categories by mass? I'm not disagreeing, but this is something I've wondered about.
For example, to say that 914 effective mass is medium seems to be a fairly narrow range. Particularly if 15 and above is then high mass, given that range can cover up to 25 grams or perhaps higher.
Common headshells can weigh at least 910 grams which must have an affect.
"The piano ain't got no wrong notes." Thelonious Monk
My source is basically common sense. The lowest mass arm that I know of is the Infinity Black Widow with effective mass of 3grams. Another lowmass tonearm that everyone accepts to be lowmass is the SME III with effective mass of 5grams.
The SME V, the Technics tonearm and Rega tonearms are all accepted to be medium mass tonearms. These have effective mass in the range of 10 to 12grams. Therefore, the division between lowmass and mediummass is somewhere inbetween 5grams and 10grams.
I think most people would consider a tonearm with effective mass of 20grams to be a highmass tonearm. Therefore, the division between medium mass and high mass must be somewhere inbetween 12grams and 20grams. I chose 15grams.
However, regardless of how you choose the divisions, a tonearm like the FR 54 with effective mass of 16grams would never be considered a light arm or lowmass tonearm when 12grams is clearly defined as mediummass.
> Common headshells can weigh at least 910 grams which must have an affect.
I'm not sure what you're getting at. The headshell is always included in the effective mass of the tonearm. For example, the weight of the Technics headshell is 7.0grams without cartridge wires and between 7.5 and 8.0grams with cartridge wires, depending on the specific cartridge wires being used. I just weighed a Technics headshell and several different types of cartridge wires.
The effective mass of a headshell is actually slightly less than its total mass because effective mass is the headshell's momentofinertia about the tonearm pivot divided by the square of the tonearm's effective length. Therefore, a 7.5gram headshell might have effective mass of only 5.75grams, depending on its mass distribution. Consequently, a Technics tonearm might have effective mass without its headshell of about 6.25grams.
Do you know the weight of the FR 54 headshell? Whatever it weighs, the tonearm's effective mass of 16grams includes the headshell.
Best regards,
John Elison
If a common headshell weighs 910 grams that would be a major part of a medium mass arm range of 913 grams. Of course I understand there are many lighter headshells.
The whole subject of tonearm mass is more complicated than what I remember from HS physics. :^(
"The piano ain't got no wrong notes." Thelonious Monk
The effective mass of any tonearm is simply its momentofinertia about its pivot point divided by the square of its effective length. The difficult part is determining a tonearm's momentofinertia because its mass distribution is so nonuniform. The only accurate way to determine its momentofinertia is to measure it.
The advantage of effective mass is that it allows us to compare the inertia of different length tonearms directly whereas their momentsofinertia are not directly comparable. Two different length tonearms having the same effective mass will react identically with cartridges of the same mass and compliance; however, their momentsofinertia will be different. The longer tonearm will always have a larger momentofinertia than the shorter tonearm even though their arm/cartridge resonance frequencies will be identical when using the same cartridge.
Best regards,
John Elison
Well, heck, if it's that damn heavy, I'm gonna throw it in the trash.I think it's light, and that's what counts. ;) Yeah, I know there's weightless arms out there for a premium price. But I picked up this gentlyused TT/arm combo back in 1977/78 for something like $50, and I'm still happy with it. All's I know is that, if I look at it crosseyed, it'll skip a groove, and if I don't have a decent grip on the fingerlift thingy, it'll bounce right out of my hand and go skipping across the record and I'll have to get my spare stylus.
Still, a halfounce headshell?!
Anyway, a moment ago I had some inertia. Now I'm in a stationary orbit. (That's a physics joke. Made it up all by myself.)
Edit: Btw, I have a digital scale. It says I weigh 178. Fortunately, the digital scale at my doctor's office says I weigh 174. I'm going to the post office today, and might take my headshell with me.
:)
Edits: 06/07/17
In or out of orbit, we all have inertia. It's the Law.
Hahahahaha!
Not exactly sure how fast I'm going, but when I'm sleeping or watching "the news", I feel like I'm stationary.
Maybe I should investigate further.
:)
nt
Watching astronauts float around in the ISS, you'd never think that they're going 18,000 miles an hour.
'Course, you'd also never think that the Russians are their only way to get home (with a valid passport).
:)
you and I are traveling at around 600 to 800 mph all the time. Speaking for myself, I'm exhausted.
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