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Multiple Tonearms Setup on Single Turntable and Ease of Use

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  • Multiple Tonearms Setup on Single Turntable and Ease of Use

    I've just entered this world. I'm curious to know from those of you who have multiple arms set up on a single turntable what your preferred arrangement is. Because I have the ability to locate the arms pretty much anywhere around the circumference of the platter, rather than being constrained by defined position points for outrigger mounts, my main issues are ease of use and secondarily, ease of set up. I've already tried two positions- basically the same but swapping the arms in each position. The biggest issue right now, for the arm facing backwards, is simply stylus cleaning.* One constraint is balance on the Minus K. It seems ideal to have the arms mounted opposite each other, given the weight of the arm pods and the Minus K. I could theoretically reposition the turntable itself so the motors, rather than being on an East-West axis, are on a North-South axis. That would give me a little more room for positioning so I don't have to work around the motors. (I know if and when I upgrade to the DC motor, it will eliminate one motor pod, but give me time on that one. I'm an aging pensioner living on my investments). The other constraint is the position of the table against a back wall.

    I'm curious to know what each of you who run multiple arms on the same table chose, and why. My Airtight Supreme has not come back from Soundsmith, but I figured I'd give this a dry run using that Monster Alpha and it actually sounds better in the 4 Point 9 than in the Airline. The opposite seemed to be true with the Koetsu, but I didn't spend enough time messing around with VTA settings to reach a hard and fast conclusion on that one- there seems to be a real synergy with the stone Koetsu in the Airline arm.
    *One obvious constraint that you may not suffer from is that my turntable backs up to a wall so I can't get around to the back of it easily.
    Here's a cookie for your comments:

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  • #2

    Stunning set up..I had an Airline for a long while on a Verdier. Awesome arm.. I tried 2 arms for a while on the single table sporting a Miyajima Kansui and Zero. Giant pain in the ass..Set up was a nightmare if not impossible. Playback using 2nd arm was also an ass whip...I purchased a second vintage table for the ZERO. Now life is good!
    Primary 2 channel stuff: Atma-Sphere MP-1 Mk 3.3, Pass Labs X600.5 amps, Aerial SW 12 subs, True Sound Works Ultimate Apogee Divas, Dunlavy SC4s, VPI HRX Reference w Avenger mag drive and Reference footers, Gimbal Fatboy, Yamaha GT2000 for Mono, Miyajima Kansui, Miyajima ZERO, Fidelity Research MC-201 & 202, VPI ADS, Vendetta Research SCP-1, Audio Note UK- 3.1X II balanced DAC, Meridian Sooloos, Western Electric Speaker wire, mostly diy balanced interconnects, Furutech Power Cords

    Comment


    • Bill Hart
      Bill Hart commented
      Editing a comment
      The Verdier is a classic, not much seen here in the States... at least by me.
      Yeah, I have another table, but bringing that up to the main system would add even more space problems in terms of layout.
      Oh, well...
      thanks for input there LMAD!

  • #3
    In my case i don't have a wall behind just a easy to move sofa...Click image for larger version

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    SEAS EXCEL DIY Speakers; CJ Premier 12; CJ Premier 14; CJ Premier EV1; Accuphase DP 85; MAC Airbook + Audionirvana plus+ Qobuz + Tidal; Micro Seiki RX 1500; Ikeda IT 407 12" + Ortofon MC A95; Thomas Schick 12" + Ortofon SPU 90th Anniversary; Fidelity Research FR64 FX 10" + Ortofon SPU Royal GM MKII; SME M2 12-R + Ortofon MC XPRESSION; Kenwood KD 7010 + Ortofon Jubilee; Revox B710; Revox A77; Revox PR99; Pure Silver DIY Cables; Sennheiser HD800; Sennheiser HDVD 800; Akai AT S-08 Tuner.

    Comment


    • Bill Hart
      Bill Hart commented
      Editing a comment
      Well, you went overboard! or just well armed. Nice set up! Thanks for your input.

  • #4
    I like one arm

    Comment


    • Rob
      Rob commented
      Editing a comment
      after all you can only use 'em one at a time my LP12 can only handle one so I added a second LP12...having a 2nd table isnt practical for many but has benefits superior to one table w/mult arms.

  • #5
    My setup has three arms and I have access from every side. Until I did that, more that two arms was very hard to setup the third, and even the second was a challenge where it was before my current spot. Click image for larger version

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    My suggestion is to put the arm where you can setup the cart easily and see it dropping into the groove.

    Comment


    • #6
      Originally posted by Bill Hart View Post
      I've just entered this world. I'm curious to know from those of you who have multiple arms set up on a single turntable what your preferred arrangement is. Because I have the ability to locate the arms pretty much anywhere around the circumference of the platter, rather than being constrained by defined position points for outrigger mounts, my main issues are ease of use and secondarily, ease of set up. I've already tried two positions- basically the same but swapping the arms in each position. The biggest issue right now, for the arm facing backwards, is simply stylus cleaning.* One constraint is balance on the Minus K. It seems ideal to have the arms mounted opposite each other, given the weight of the arm pods and the Minus K. I could theoretically reposition the turntable itself so the motors, rather than being on an East-West axis, are on a North-South axis. That would give me a little more room for positioning so I don't have to work around the motors. (I know if and when I upgrade to the DC motor, it will eliminate one motor pod, but give me time on that one. I'm an aging pensioner living on my investments). The other constraint is the position of the table against a back wall.

      I'm curious to know what each of you who run multiple arms on the same table chose, and why. My Airtight Supreme has not come back from Soundsmith, but I figured I'd give this a dry run using that Monster Alpha and it actually sounds better in the 4 Point 9 than in the Airline. The opposite seemed to be true with the Koetsu, but I didn't spend enough time messing around with VTA settings to reach a hard and fast conclusion on that one- there seems to be a real synergy with the stone Koetsu in the Airline arm.
      *One obvious constraint that you may not suffer from is that my turntable backs up to a wall so I can't get around to the back of it easily.
      Here's a cookie for your comments:

      Click image for larger version Name:	DSCF0870.jpg Views:	0 Size:	397.8 KB ID:	112603
      That is one gorgeous table. Your minus K is constraining you with the balance issue. Otherwise you could flip the 4 point to 10 o' clock pointing East and you are set like mine. Can you add ballast and do that?

      With the Brinkmann I can switch arm pods easily pre loaded with the another arm not nearly as substantial as your Kuzma though!

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      Front end: Aesthetix Io Eclipse with 2 Power Supplies and Volume controls
      Brinkmann La Grange & RonT Tube Power supply with Kuzma 4-point ,FR64S, Brinkmann 12.1 , .Koetsu Jade Platinum,Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum, Lyra Atlas, Lyra Etna SL Goldfinger Statement, KLAUDIO RCM, HRSM3X
      Amps: Wyetech Topaz, Futterman H3 Quad II,Citation II, Marantz 8b, 5 ,2
      Pre-Amps:Marantz 7, Marantz Model 1 Consolette Pair
      Speakers: Quad ESL 57, Beveridge Model 3 DD amps, REL S/2 x 2
      Otari 5050BXII, DeHavilland 222

      Comment


      • #7
        Originally posted by kcin View Post

        That is one gorgeous table. Your minus K is constraining you with the balance issue. Otherwise you could flip the 4 point to 10 o' clock pointing East and you are set like mine. Can you add ballast and do that?

        With the Brinkmann I can switch arm pods easily pre loaded with the another arm not nearly as substantial as your Kuzma though!

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        Nick- one of my potential alternatives is to do the Airline at around 10:30 facing east and the 4 Point at about 4:30. (The motor pods are at 9 and 3 so I'm working on 1/2 hour increments around the face- 10 might be a little close to the motor, but we can try). I think that would give me access to the front of both arms- the downside is, I won't be able to see the air pressure gauge on the Airline, which is just a precaution to make sure I still have pressure.
        Another scenario is to reverse that set up and put the Airline at 4.30 and the 4 Point at 10.30--the arm pods, while virtually identical, are not-- one is adjustable for height, thus has the 4 Point mounted on it to make setting VTA easier. (The Airline has the VTA on the fly adjustment as part of the arm so the fixed arm tower works fine with that).
        Your table looks great.
        PS: I realized I didn't address your question re adding ballast. Right now I'm still well within the specs of the load for this Minus K as configured. But with the additional weight of the HRS and a second arm pod, I think adding yet another 30 lbs would put me over. I do have a thirty lb kettle bell here.
        Last edited by Bill Hart; 04-13-2019, 08:32 PM.

        Comment


        • Rob
          Rob commented
          Editing a comment
          Bill, does your Minus-K care if you have mass placed asymmetrically on your HRS platform? I would think this would somewhat dictate where the pods can go.

        • Bill Hart
          Bill Hart commented
          Editing a comment
          Rob, when i had only one arm, it was a bit asymmetrical in the sense that the arm pod added 30 lbs only at one place outside the orbit of the turntable itself. I had compensated for that by placing the turntable base a little off center to get it balanced. But, my sense is the Minus K does like symmetry-- it usually calls for placing whatever instrument is being used dead center. It would probably work if the load wasn't balanced, but not ideal. Thus, the idea of putting the arm pods opposite each other somewhere around the 'clock face' in the parlance I'm using. That still leaves me with some of the options described above.
          I also thought about reorienting the whole thing- including the Minus K and its stand-- 90 degrees but that wouldn't necessarily give me more flexibility and would add to complications regarding the phono stage, which is installed between the legs of the stand.

      • #8
        I have two arms, but I use two tables....
        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, Shelter 501 Mark II Cart (St) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (St) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (St) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (M) , Luxman Tonearm (M) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (M) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Teac A3300SX R2R, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, DIY Silver Interconnects

        Comment


        • #9
          Click image for larger version  Name:	Kuzma2arms.jpg Views:	0 Size:	4.10 MB ID:	113314 After some helpful input from Scot Markwell on arm behavior, mainly the effect of adding the second arm and pod on balancing the Airline (linear tracker) on the floating isolation platform, I decided to call Minus K. Those guys are, like real engineers 'n stuff.
          Turns out, there's a way to remove the top plate of the Minus K and rearrange the contact points of the "tilt pad" that comes in contact with the negative stiffness spring- by spreading them out more (for more widespread mass) or even positioning them for off center loads. I did that, and reassembled everything, putting the 4Pt9 in a better location (consistent with Nick's suggestion), then went through arm adjustments all over again. (Got my morning work out just lifting, removing, lifting and replacing some of the turntable parts- some heavy stuff that required gentle placement, so core strength and balance were key!). Anyway, the Airline is soooo sensitive to what it needs to see as 'level' and i finally got it there (the overhang is easy as is zenith) and the settings on the 4 Point were already pretty dead on, but everything got checked once that arm got repositioned. I can now actually clean the stylus on cartridge mounted on the 4 Pt. So, just played a couple records using each arm to watch and listen to arm behavior--- and now may actually be able to listen rather than play turntable mechanic. I've learned something from this adventure. I wonder if most set up guys would be familiar with the interplay between the Minus K and the Airline in terms of balance and mass loading. I may now be like Irwin Corey. Here's a photo for your trouble - thanks for reading.

          Comment


          • Hawk
            Hawk commented
            Editing a comment
            Really nice looking set-up & great read. Congrats! I had to look up Irwin Corey. I thought he was one of the real engineers at Minus K(Ha-ha)
            I use the Stillpoints LP1 also. I really like it. If you want to part with some money frivolously, Stillpoints makes the LP1 in a powder coated black. It would look really trick on your Kuzma.

          • Bill Hart
            Bill Hart commented
            Editing a comment
            Hawk- he used to be a regular on TV. He was famous for being 'The World's Foremost Authority.' Many years later (decades really), someone took me as a guest to lunch at The Friar's Club and Irwin walked in-- he virtually got a standing ovation. When I read he had finally passed away at an advanced age, there was a story about him still panhandling for spare change, well into his '90s. He made quite a pile of loot every day and lived in a pretty nice place in Manhattan.
            I was once shown a collection of period photos from a famous old jazz club in New York that was frequented by a lot of celebrities- people like Lennie Bruce. There was this clean shaven guy i didn't recognize- I was told it was Irwin Corey when he was young and not crazy looking.

          • Hawk
            Hawk commented
            Editing a comment
            Appreciate the story and the update on Irwin Cory. Thanks Bill!

        • #10
          Looks great Bill. I always read about keeping MinusK balanced but like Rob, did not not know there was adjustment. I use the still point record clamp as well. IMO not debatable against the Brinkmann clamp or the high priced ClearAudio.

          You've done lots of work in a short time -- I only have my weekends so I would of taken weeks to begin to think about the project 😄

          I've got a line on an Airtangent that someone is tired of. I don't know if I have the constitution for it - my buddie's Mapleknoll gives me fits. The Airline is a dream in comparison.Have fun.
          Front end: Aesthetix Io Eclipse with 2 Power Supplies and Volume controls
          Brinkmann La Grange & RonT Tube Power supply with Kuzma 4-point ,FR64S, Brinkmann 12.1 , .Koetsu Jade Platinum,Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum, Lyra Atlas, Lyra Etna SL Goldfinger Statement, KLAUDIO RCM, HRSM3X
          Amps: Wyetech Topaz, Futterman H3 Quad II,Citation II, Marantz 8b, 5 ,2
          Pre-Amps:Marantz 7, Marantz Model 1 Consolette Pair
          Speakers: Quad ESL 57, Beveridge Model 3 DD amps, REL S/2 x 2
          Otari 5050BXII, DeHavilland 222

          Comment


          • #11
            I run four arms on my tt. You need space of at least 45 cm around your tt rack to work on setup and play each arm more conveniently. I recommend three arms for easier to cue; the front, the right and the rear. The left arm requires most attention to cue and space in the back is required to avoid unfortunate incident.

            Attached Files

            Comment


            • Hawk
              Hawk commented
              Editing a comment
              500 kgs. That is crazy. I am sure you smile every time you turn your system on. If you have to move it, the smile may momentarily disappear. Thanks for the reply.

            • Bill Hart
              Bill Hart commented
              Editing a comment
              Tango- I've seen photos of your turntables elsewhere. You are the only person I've seen with two of those EMT phono stages- I assume you by-pass the electronics in the EMT turntable? You have quite the collection of classic gear. Did you do this over a long period of time or did you just go completely insane all at once?
              Thanks for contributing. Agreed, the backward facing arm (originally the left one on my initial set up) was very difficult to operate without 360 degree access to the turntable.

            • Tango
              Tango commented
              Editing a comment
              Hi Bill,

              EMT927 electronics suck. I by pass and go direct from Axiom tone arm wire to JPA66. It is a very old tt...has its merits but don't expect the kind of resolution you get from modern tt like Techdas or American Sound.

          • #12
            Click image for larger version

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            I gave up on 3 arms and moved the Kuzma to the right side.
            Attached Files
            Speakers: Horning Eufrodite Ellipse III on Stillpoints Ultra 5S feet
            Amplifier: Silver Circle Audio 300B Monoblocks with Takatsuki 300B tubes
            Preamp: TW Acustic RPA-100 Line Stage
            Phono Stage: TW Acustic RPS-100
            Turntable - TW Acustic Raven AC w/ Black Knight Anniversary Upgrades
            Tonearm: Kuzma 4-Point 14" with Air Tight Opus-1 Cartridge
            Tonearm: TW 10.5" with Miyajima Zero Mono
            Vinyl Care: Audio Desk Pro Ultrasonic & VPI 16.5 RCM
            CD/SACD: Playback Designs MP-5 to Bricasti M1 DAC
            Tape: Tascam 42B-NB (Refurb by Soren Wittrup)
            Tape Stage: Doshi V.3
            Power Conditioner: (2) Silver Circle Audio TCHAIK 6
            Wire: Custom Furutech PC's & IC's + Inakustik LS-4004 Air Speaker Cables
            Tweaks: Stillpoints Aperture II Panels & Stillpoints Ultra SS's sprinkled about - SRA Ohio Class and Symposium Super Plus Platforms

            Comment


            • timztunz
              timztunz commented
              Editing a comment
              It’s another world, IMHO. I think if I had been using the Kuzma 14” and Opus-1 all along I might never have gotten into tape. Even on modern cut mono so far I prefer that combination to the 10.5” TW and Miyajima Zero. So it looks like the only play my Zero will get is on monos cut before 1967, of which I have less than 100. I even took off the 3rd arm, another 10.5” TW, because I can’t imagine what cartridge I’d put on it. I really think I could live with that combination alone.

            • JCOConnell
              JCOConnell commented
              Editing a comment
              briefly, whats the difference between pre and post 1967 cut mono Lps?

            • lasercd
              lasercd commented
              Editing a comment
              Brief answer: the lathe it was cut on.

          • #13
            On my main system my two best performing turntables are my Goldmund and my Oracle. I decided to build up in addition a pretty high performance dual-arm turntable to accomplish two "new things" I wanted to include on that system:

            1. I had a growing 78 rpm record collection and wanted a dedicated 78 tonearm/cartridge.
            2. I have some slightly warped and also some off-center punched records, and I wanted a dedicated 12 inch long tonearm that would have a geometry advantage at minimizing these record defects (by being a third longer than the typical 9 inch tonearm).

            There was a lot of buzz at the time about the Lenco L75 Idler Drive, when re-plinthed into massive plinths. I knew it had a fully adjustable speed which would be extra useful for those 78s that were +/- a bit.

            Lenco Final Final by c f, on Flickr

            The project worked out well and I was able to meet several nice Lenco fans.

            Comment


            • Bill Hart
              Bill Hart commented
              Editing a comment
              Lenco revival really started a movement toward the vintage tables- though I didn't see many back in the day. My fractured history tells me it was not only cheaper than the Garrard 301 but that some thought it better- the Jean Nantais developments and products that came out of that.
              The set up you show seems to be preferred for most two arm table arrangements. I have a similar arrangement for my old, now restored SP 10, but have not armed it yet. I think it will be easier than what i've been dealing with, trying to achieve balance with the air bearing arm and the Minus K on my main system table. More about that below.

          • #14
            I think I cracked the formula on this in a round about way. I was bouncing back and forth between the engineer at Minus K and Scot Markwell on the Airline arm. Both knew their areas of expertise, but it wasn't helping me solve the balance problem. I I got an unbiased expert involved- my wife. She watched the behavior of the Minus K top plate as I was making adjustments. One of the issues I encountered when I repositioned the inner contact points of the Minus K was a hard shift of the top plate against one of the chassis sides of the Minus K- defeating the isolation altogether. Shifting mass to center didn't help much, nor did various adjustments on the feet of the stand or the Minus K itself (which has feet to achieve horizontal balance of the top plate).
            Anyway, Liz watched where the transport holes in the top plate aligned to corresponding thread taps below, and everything was off balance despite the turntable parts being center mass. We realized that shifting the whole affair, including the HRS plinth itself, along with the turntable and tone arm pods, got the Minus K to center much more effectively. I did this using only the Airline for now, because that arm is the most critical in terms of level-- it will not operate without achieving 'level' in a way that is impossible to measure but is tested by bouncing the arm along the rail with the cue in the up position.
            I reached out to Dre- who had the sensible, practical engineering answer that all this back and forth seemed to miss until Liz started eyeballing what was happening: center mass, per se, on the Minus K, is almost meaningless with the HRS plinth involved since it distributes the mass across a more considerable field. (This particular HRS plinth is larger than standard to accommodate the XL turntable). As Dre explained it, theoretical center of mass isn't really as important when the mass is distributed across the top of the Minus K using the HRS plinth. So it now works with the HRS plinth a little off center and the transport holes on the Minus K top plate line up almost perfectly- with freedom of movement in all horizontal directions and no hard shift of the top plate toward any side of the Minus K chassis. As Dre summed it up, the difference between theoretical and applied engineering. Seems kind of obvious to have taken the HRS plinth into account in retrospect, but it wasn't, until my wife observed the behavior of the thing and we adjusted the plinth accordingly and
            Dre_J weighed in, to explain precisely why we were encountering these issues.
            My plan is to remount the second arm pod once my Airtight Supreme returns. With some help from my wife!

            Comment

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