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In Reply to: RE: Got The SP 10 In Plinth With Riggle Arm posted by Mister Pig on June 17, 2017 at 07:01:30
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.
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