Fidelity Research FR64s versus FR64fx

May 30, 2010
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#1
Can some knowledge person explain what are the main differences (technically and subjectively) between a stainless steel finish FR64s and a black FR64fx?
 

jdza

Active Member
May 3, 2010
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#2
Can some knowledge person explain what are the main differences (technically and subjectively) between a stainless steel finish FR64s and a black FR64fx?
One was very heavy and very shiny. It had a stainless steel armtube and sonically the heft of a heavyweight boxer and about the same delicacy. It has an enormous bass heft and wide dynamic swings curtailed by a very audible resonance in the high mids,lower treble.

The fx was lighter (35g vs 20g) effective mass with an Aluminium? damped armtube. It sounds more even and polite than the S but lacks that enormous grunt.Listening to an S is always an occasion,provided you accept that it may misbehave at any moment. The fx never misbehaves but it can get really boring.Ideal for an A list party.

I owned the fx on 2 occasions,once for 15 years and once for 15 months. I own 2 S models and doubt if I'll ever get rid of them. The fx is a good arm,it's just that there are other arms that does the same thing better. Nothing does what the S does, flaws and all.
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#3
Please take the discussions offline before prices go up, thanks ☝
 

shakti

Well-Known Member
May 9, 2015
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#4
looks like a simple question, but this is complex....I will try to answer:

1.) FR launched the FR64
it is said, that the bearing has higher tolerance in the beginning, steel version, too my knowledge only available in silver, only heavy counterweight

2.) FR64s
high performance version of FR64, solid steel, available in silver and black (very rare), heavy counterweight, critical for Carts, which needs a damped arm (like SPU)

3.) FR64s silver
FR64s with silver inner tonearm wire (silver sticker on tonearm and box), sometimes shipped with silver tonearm cable as well, in most markets the FR silver tonearm wire was an update option

4.) FR64 fx
new generation of FR64, mix of materials, higher damping, different anti skating, minor change in geometry, available in black and silver (rare), light counterweight, heavy counterweight ist option, critical for carts, which need a more dynamic and open tonearm (like some Koetsu)

5.) FR64 fx silver
FR64fx with silver inner tonearm wire (silver sticker on tonearm and box), sometimes shipped with silver tonearm cable as well, in most markets the FR silver tonearm wire was an update option


All arms do benefit from N-60 heavy fixing Nut or B-60 heavy VTA lifter!


I prefer for the most carts the FR64s or FR64s silver.

Marketprice for FR64s ist mostly $500 above FR64fx, silver wire version is again higher in value.
 

shakti

Well-Known Member
May 9, 2015
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#5
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shakti

Well-Known Member
May 9, 2015
504
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#6
IMG_6820.jpg

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bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#7
Shakti, did you compare the fr64s and the Ikeda to carts other than the koetsu and the colibri?
 

shakti

Well-Known Member
May 9, 2015
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#9
Ked, Yes :)
(Audio Technica, Denon, FR, SPU, Lyra, Air Tight, Ortofon, Ikeda, Transfiguration)

I do use currently the following arms:

- FR 64s copper
- FR64s silver
- FR 64fx silver

- Ikeda 407 solid steel arm (first matt version)
- Ikeda 407 damped arm (actual chrome version)

An an additional variance I use rubber O rings on the arm to customize the arm to the cart.

Personally I prefer the solid steel arm versions on both, the Ikeda and the FR, some carts do need the small rubber O ring (like SPU)
(similar to the Kuzma stogi tonearm rubber O ring)
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#10
Can you please state which you preferred on Lyra, airtight, and SPU.

And the differences?

I am interested in between fr64s and the Ikeda matt (which I believe is the better Version, if in any case you preferred the chrome please let me know)
 

shakti

Well-Known Member
May 9, 2015
504
263
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Cologne, Germany
#11
It was Air Tight Opus 1 and Lyra Kleos, both from friends, who wanted to decide between FR64s and FR64fx.
Lyra Kleos was playing nicely on FR64fx silver (in my ears), the Opus 1 was better in FR64s silver
(as the carts were from friends, they came in (for me) unknown metal headshells, with other headshells the result may differ).

SPU is an 90'er Anniversary, which is my personal one. Likes FR64s copper or Ikeda 407 matt (both plus small Rubber O Ring),
at least in my personal set up with Hashimoto step up and Audiospecials PhonoPre, which is currently my most played combination.


https://www.audiospecials.de/en/index.html)
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#12
Ah ok, so you didn't try the Opus or the Lyra on the Ikeda?

I have heard the Ikeda sing with an older SPU and madake. I preferred the chrome to the Thales on the Feickert firebird with the zyx on both. But I like the fr64s too though never compared. On value sure the fr64 wins
 

shakti

Well-Known Member
May 9, 2015
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263
63
Cologne, Germany
#13
nope, we did not listened to Ikeda that time, FR was on focus.
A FR64s is a kind of no brainer on current price level, if the cartridge will work with a heavy arm.
I see the FR64s soon reaching higher price regions, as the demand and awareness is increasing. Fortunately enough arms were produced, FR66s is much more limited.
A new Ikeda 407 chrome version (no B60) is on the same level of an used FR66s, so it is a personal decision to go for a new bearing or not.
The matt Ikeda 407 version is even more rare the FR66s, only a few were produced. But price is still below FR66s, so also a no brainer, if available :)
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#14
But Matt sounds better than the chrome, or is it just rarity
 
May 30, 2010
15,506
715
113
Portugal
#15
Thanks everyone - I could not decide and got both the s and the fx. With some extras ...
 

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May 30, 2010
15,506
715
113
Portugal
#16
looks like a simple question, but this is complex....I will try to answer: (...)
And surely a particular thank to you!
 

shakti

Well-Known Member
May 9, 2015
504
263
63
Cologne, Germany
#17
whow, what a nice Cart!
What is it?, a rare Kiseki I would assume?

Have fun comparing the two arms, I hope you identified on one of my pictures the handwritten remarks of the FR 64/66 "zero" points to install the cart.

Another way is to have 230 to 231 mm Base distance (I use 230,5mm) and 50 to 51mm needle to Headshell/Tonearm point.

If you can fix both arms, you can interchange the headshells without changing the Cart mounting.
The "optimum" is close together, even with the small change in Geometry.

Du you have the silver or the copper versions?
 
May 30, 2010
15,506
715
113
Portugal
#18
whow, what a nice Cart!
What is it?, a rare Kiseki I would assume?

Have fun comparing the two arms, I hope you identified on one of my pictures the handwritten remarks of the FR 64/66 "zero" points to install the cart.

Another way is to have 230 to 231 mm Base distance (I use 230,5mm) and 50 to 51mm needle to Headshell/Tonearm point.

If you can fix both arms, you can interchange the headshells without changing the Cart mounting.
The "optimum" is close together, even with the small change in Geometry.

Du you have the silver or the copper versions?
Both arms are copper version. I have completely disassembled, assembled and re-aligned the Oracle III and started by mounting the Kiseki Agaat Ruby in the FR66s - 230 mm and 50 mm as you said. The cartridge is apparently as new - and contrary to my fears no mistracking at all!

A lot of fun and a great sound - full bodied and dynamic, although the Oracle has a colored, but very enjoyable bass. I must say that listening to Graceland in vinyl is much nicer than in CD!:D
 

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bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#19
Both arms are copper version. I have completely disassembled, assembled and re-aligned the Oracle III and started by mounting the Kiseki Agaat Ruby in the FR66s - 230 mm and 50 mm as you said. The cartridge is apparently as new - and contrary to my fears no mistracking at all!

A lot of fun and a great sound - full bodied and dynamic, although the Oracle has a colored, but very enjoyable bass. I must say that listening to Graceland in vinyl is much nicer than in CD!:D
Hi, who are you and what have you done with Francisco? You sold off a cone, like vinyl more than CD, next you might sell the dCS and get a Lampi.
 
May 30, 2010
15,506
715
113
Portugal
#20
Hi, who are you and what have you done with Francisco? You sold off a cone, like vinyl more than CD, next you might sell the dCS and get a Lampi.
Not so "mobile", sorry. :) Time does not go back and nostalgia is nice for a few moments, but I will not change my music preferences just to listen to vinyl or colored "mobile" digital.

A few kinds of music are better served by vinyl than digital or panels. Paul Simon Graceland is one of example - I have said more than once that the best versions I have listened to of this album were on Apogee Duetta's Signatures and Magneplanar Tympany's - none stayed more than a few weeks at my house as they needed to be played really loud to show their best.
 

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