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This was not going to be the intended arm for this table. But the combo sounds so good together, I decided to give it a go. Could barely squeeze the 12 inch arm onto this arm board, and it required a 3/8" spacer to get me the height I needed for the counterweight to clear the back of the plinth. But all and all, it worked out reasonably well.
Edits: 06/17/17Follow Ups:
Very nice, do you have more pictures showing the tonearm.
A unipivot with a mahogany arm tube?
Not really a classic unipivot in the sense that movement of the tonearm in the vertical plane of the bearing is constrained by the string. Good photos on Pete Riggle's website.
Nice job!! Great looking setup.
It's hard to tell from the photo, but it doesn't look like you have Riggle's VTAF on there? I put one on my Nottingham to resolve its' crappy VTA adjustment design and have never looked back.
"Once this was all Black Plasma and Imagination" -Michael McClure
Nice job on the... mahogany? looks like you maybe you used filler? That would be 'old school'.
Oh I can't take credit for building the plinth, as Vintage Analog Restorations did it for me. All I did was detail the recipe for a variable density stack, and picking the veneer out. I tried interpreting the Natais recipe, and used a core of MDF, then a layer of acrylic with a compliant glue layer, then an outer layer of Baltic birch plywood, and the veneer. The bolts for the table anchor in the MDF. Now does this plinth contribute to the overall sound quality? I cannot say for sure, as I don't have alternate builds to compare it to. It was just my best attempt at being inspired by what others have done.
The finish as I recall includes a filler, a light stain, a gloss coat layered with subsequent satin coats, and finished with Howards Feed N Wax.
MP, I have interest in that arm and also own a SP-10 Mk2. Can you offer any comments on sonic comparisons to other arm/table combinations you are familiar with? I'll also be looking at a Jelco. I have an EPA-100 but want to mount two arms.
"The piano ain't got no wrong notes." Thelonious Monk
It's The String Theory arm from Pete Riggle. I have owned it for about 6 years now, and used it exclusively on my Serac. I have run a wide variety of cartridges on it from Blackbirds, Gliders, Cadenza Bronze, Transsfiguration, Shelter, Grado, and a few others. But my permanent cartridge on it is the ZYX 4D.
It's hard to nail down what an arm should "sound like", because if its perfect it sounds like nothing. It has a wide degree of adjustability with on the fly vta, and on the fly azimuth adjustment also. A damping cup is available for use, and the bearing is an interpretation of the Well Tempered design. There appears no overt resonances present from the wood arm, but if it did have a signature, I would say its shaded to the slightly warm, textured,and refined side. But not overly so. Not a huge amount of information, hope it helps.
I thought the bearing was more an adaptation from the Schroeder design, which uses a thread or string as its basis and predates the Riggle tonearm. Hence the name, "String Theory". When I once talked to Riggle about the design, he took pains to explain how his use of a string is different from Schroeder's, in fact. I don't see any analogy with the WT tonearm, unless there's a golf ball in a pot of goop hiding somewhere.
There is a pin on the bottom of the tone arm body that can extend down into a reservoir cup that can be filled with a dampening fluid. In the past I fill it just enough to stiffen the string bearing, as it gets noticeably taught and stable. But not enough to audibly effect the sound of the arm/cartridge, which can happen if you fill it full. So it is not a golf ball in a silicone bath, but the original was designed with a plastic disc instead so the current one is not like the original either. But the idea is that its not a uni-pivot bearing, nor is it a gimbal either.
It's foolish and pointless of me to argue about this, so I won't. I think it's probably an excellent tonearm by any standard.
I wish I had a nice SP-10 to play with :-)
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