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TAS: Graham Engineering Phantom III Tonearm - Equipment Report

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  • TAS: Graham Engineering Phantom III Tonearm - Equipment Report

    Graham Engineering Phantom III Tonearm
    - Decidedly Effective

    Equipment Report
    By Andre Jennings

    "The Graham Phantom III met these requirements, was flawless in daily operation, and sounded pretty darn good. Give it a listen and see/hear what you think."

    The TAS Report is now available online here: http://www.theabsolutesound.com/arti...m-iii-tonearm/



    **************************************************
    Every day is a good day to play analog.
    - 12" 33-1/3 RPM or 45 RPM vinyl
    - 10.5" 15ips or 30ips tape
    **************************************************
    Every day is a good day for live music.
    **************************************************

  • #2
    Nice review Andre. I have limited experience with Graham tonearms. For a Uni-pivot, they are decidedly more stable and have a more calm feel then other uni-pivots. I listened to the Graham with a Shelter Harmony Cartridge(A cartridge that I am not really familiar with). The sound was very nice. Do you know the effective mass of the 10" and 12" version of the Graham? Just looking at it, it looks like a medium mass tonearm. Thanks!
    CJ Gat, Lamm ML1.1, CJ Tea1 S3 phono, TW Acoustics Raven AC, Tri-Planer MK Vll SE, Vdh Crimson Stradivarius, Exemplar Modded 205(Tube Version), Rockport Avior ll Speakers, Shunyata Denali 6000t,Triton V3, Shunyata Python Zitron IC's & Sigma Speaker Cables. Shunyata Sigma Power Cables, Audio Desk Pro LP Cleaner, Stillpoints, Stillpoints Aperture Panels & MG Corner Tunes.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks.

      I didn't receive official effective mass numbers for the tonearm at any length.

      However, All cartridges mentioned in that review fell within the 8-12 Hz range in practical application testing (which I feel is more of a tell when that option is possible) for resonances.

      Dre
      **************************************************
      Every day is a good day to play analog.
      - 12" 33-1/3 RPM or 45 RPM vinyl
      - 10.5" 15ips or 30ips tape
      **************************************************
      Every day is a good day for live music.
      **************************************************

      Comment


      • Hawk
        Hawk commented
        Editing a comment
        At some time in the future, I will purchase another arm for my turntable. My effective mass question was kind of directed that way. A tonearm with an effective mass of 11 to 14 grams seems to offer the most flexibility with cartridge pairing. Your mention of 8 to 12 HZ maybe a better reference. Thanks Andre!

    • #4
      cost is up to $7k, when I bought my 2,2 it was only $3k.
      Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

      Comment


      • Dre_J
        Dre_J commented
        Editing a comment
        They are not the same tonearm. It is a different design. That just happened to be touched on in the first paragraph of the report.

      • Rob
        Rob commented
        Editing a comment
        JC, the 2.2 is still a great arm, even against the Phantom (which I also owned). Common to both is the precise feel of the adjustments and very fine finishing of it metal parts. Pics never do their arms justice you really have to hold and adjust one to know its money well spent.

    • #5
      There was a time when I really wanted a Graham arm - never found the opportunity. Descriptions of the physical structure of something as relatively complicated as a tonearm take a fair amount of time and care. I particularly liked the last six paragraphs, basically page 2 on-line. Could you have two arms on the Basis Debut Vacuum turntable or whatever table(s) you used? Were you able to compare Phantom III sonics with those of your Basis Superarm 9 or another tonearm?

      Comment


      • #6
        Originally posted by tima View Post
        There was a time when I really wanted a Graham arm - never found the opportunity. Descriptions of the physical structure of something as relatively complicated as a tonearm take a fair amount of time and care. I particularly liked the last six paragraphs, basically page 2 on-line. Could you have two arms on the Basis Debut Vacuum turntable or whatever table(s) you used? Were you able to compare Phantom III sonics with those of your Basis Superarm 9 or another tonearm?
        I used two 'tables for the Phantom III. The TechDAS AFIII has provisions for up to four 'arms. Unfortunately, there wasn't an armboard available on the AFIII for anything other than the Phantom III during its time here. The other 'table used was the Basis Debut Vacuum. This table can take one arm at a time. However, the armboards (I have them for the Vector IV/SuperArm 9 and the Graham Phantom series) are precision machined and are relatively easy to swap: although they are heavy.

        I partially used the Basis Vector IV as a mental reference for some of the characterization of the Phantom III performance. The Phantom III was able to perform in the same ballpark, in most areas, as the Vector IV. Generally, I try to evaluate products on there own merit. That's probably why there is no mention of a comparison in the report.

        With that said, I think the Phantom III is a very good (excellent) tonearm; One I wouldn't hesitate to recommend based on pure performance alone.

        Dre

        **************************************************
        Every day is a good day to play analog.
        - 12" 33-1/3 RPM or 45 RPM vinyl
        - 10.5" 15ips or 30ips tape
        **************************************************
        Every day is a good day for live music.
        **************************************************

        Comment

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