Koetsu Onyx Platinum, van den Hul Stradivarius on Ikeda 407, Fidelity Research FR64s

Loheswaran

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Dec 19, 2014
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perfect, thank you for the pictures!
the Jelco and the Koetsu gold headshell are exactly the same, apart of the used headshell wiring. So I am going to try more of those :)

@Lohan
I know , that Thomas Schick tried a FR64s without spring. This is a well known tuning for the old Rega RB300 tonearms.

I have to say, that I do understand , why Fidelity Research have chosen a spring to give the tracking force. The Tracking force is independent from outer influence.

So I like the FR64s , as he is. I tried to mix counterweight tracking force and spring tracking force, and yes, you can here a difference, even without putting the spring out, but at the moment I like the standard FR64s and Ikeda 407 set up more.

Juergen

Hi Juergan

I very much appreciate your feedback on this.
Your fine tuning is very impressive. I think we can all take a leaf out of your book, because I noticed that many of your modifications do not cost the earth (unlike the cartridges ;) ) but the small changes you have tried clearly make a fundamental difference - perhaps by way of analogy it is like focusing a camera or getting the right depth of field for a photo that you are taking.
I look forward to reading further contributions on this thread
 

jdza

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May 3, 2010
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I have always loved the 64S but never could get on with the 64fx,despite having owned two of them.

However the 64S does have a resonant quality. Damping the underside of the lift platform helped somewhat but the resonance remained. All attempts at damping the armtube failed,destroying the essential qualities of the arm. That is until I I tried sliding the cheap pieces of rubber found on throwaway ballpointpen grips over the armtube. In my set-up this has worked wonders,killing the harshness and squashed upper mid dynamics but keeping the huge expansive sound that is such a magical characteristic of the 64S.

Just my findings in my system and my tastes.It is cheap and reversible.

IMG_0314
 

BruceD

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Dec 13, 2013
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Yes a subtle but proven point to older Owners of the FR Arm--same with the Linn Ittok--

the Static Balance offered an improved delineation over the Dynamic(Spring application ).

Easy to try for oneself

BruceD
 

bonzo75

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Yes a subtle but proven point to older Owners of the FR Arm--same with the Linn Ittok--

the Static Balance offered an improved delineation over the Dynamic(Spring application ).

Easy to try for oneself

BruceD

So, FR64s has two variants? Dynamic balance type and Static balance type, and you think the latter is better?
 

shakti

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May 9, 2015
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Fidelity Research FR 64 and 66 arms do always have a spring for dynamic tracking force set up.
But (as on Rega arms as well) you can adjust the tracking force without using the spring, just using the counter weight to set up.
Than the spring is not in use.

Consequentely, it is possible to remove the spring at all.

The Resonance on FR 64 and 66 (not FX) is an ongoing debate. To start with, that all! screws must be fixed tighten, so counter weight, liftbase, lateral weight, Antiskating weight and so on, this helps a lot. Than the Headshell is very important.

The FR manual says, that you have to usw a headshell without! a rubberring to get a firm mechanical contact. Many headshells do send a lot of energy into the tonearm (so SPU carts do as well) . Using them without a rubberring can give to much energy into the 64 & 66.

So I tried out. Some headshells do benefit from a small, thin rubberring, as OE fit on many headshells. Using a vdh Colibri on my FR64s makes it even more critical, as a lot of energy is created by the bird of carts. Many Colibri users do claim, that the colibri has harsh or sharp heights, very often this is cased by too much energy going through the headshell into the tonearm, creating resonances. The Kuzma Reference is using a small industrial rubberring for dampening, you can buy this rings in plumber shops.

If you put such a ring to the over the headshell screw , this will effect the resonance level a lot. Similar to jdza's application you can also use this rubber rings over the tonearm itself.

But this is very much dependent on the cart/headshell combination used. My personal taste is saying, that the Jelco HS 30 or Koetsu Gold headshell can be fitted without any rubber ring, when using the Koetsu Onyx Platinum cartridge. With the Colibri I mostly would use a thin rubber ring.

juergen
 

bonzo75

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Extremely interesting
 

PeterA

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Dec 6, 2011
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So, FR64s has two variants? Dynamic balance type and Static balance type, and you think the latter is better?

I have experimented with the dynamic versus static balance on my SME V and V-12 arms. I preferred the dynamic (rotary dial with damped spring) VTF balance. The sound was smoother, more controlled, better resolution, and more natural. Another advantage is that with the weight of my cartridges, using the dynamic balance allows the counterweight sled to move forward and closer to the pivot point for lower inertia.

I think the original purpose of dynamic balance was to keep the magnets and coils in the cartridge better aligned when playing warped records.

I am sure one's preference depends on the specific designs of particular tonearms and in large part on subjective sonic priorities. I have no doubt that some would prefer static balance or even some combination of the two.
 

bonzo75

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I have experimented with the dynamic versus static balance on my SME V and V-12 arms. I preferred the dynamic (rotary dial with damped spring) VTF balance. The sound was smoother, more controlled, better resolution, and more natural. Another advantage is that with the weight of my cartridges, using the dynamic balance allows the counterweight sled to move forward and closer to the pivot point for lower inertia.

I think the original purpose of dynamic balance was to keep the magnets and coils in the cartridge better aligned when playing warped records.

I am sure one's preference depends on the specific designs of particular tonearms and in large part on subjective sonic priorities. I have no doubt that some would prefer static balance or even some combination of the two.

I was reading your old comments on audiogon on Albert porter's thread regarding the SME arms. All interesting reads
 

BruceD

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So, FR64s has two variants? Dynamic balance type and Static balance type, and you think the latter is better?

Hi Bonz, In my experience yes --I've owned both Arms and tried both methods--not to say its Earth shattering-- but closed late night sessions will give more nuances present with the Static version.

Some others VMV--purely personal:)

BruceD
 

shakti

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May 9, 2015
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Listening to vdh, Benz and Koetsu carts in different bodies, I am mostly impressed about the differences. Specially combining the carts with different headshells.
I learned from the Stradivarius experience , that even paint can make a big difference . So I started to read about the Japanese Urushi tree and the way of creating the art of Urushi painting. Looking into the Koetsu portfolio , reading to some of their explanations, it seems, that the resonance frequency of the Urushi paint match to the Koetsu wooden rosewood bodies. So Koetsu created a series wonderful painted Urushi cartridges.
Investigating the influence of body typed really is fun, but I had to order some more of the Dereneville MiniMat headshell support, had to get a 3 to 4g Headshell weight to overcome the less weight of the urushi versus the Onyx.

As I have the 2x Onyx in the Jelco rosewood/magnesium and in the Yamamoto Titanium heads hell I tried both headshells with the Urushi. But with both headshell the Urushi sound was a kind if boring, dark and dull. So I decided to have the urushi running on the Clearaudio burn in record with demag function as well.

This morning the Urushi was waking up, agility is back, dynamics are back. After a quick comparison I preferred the Titanium headshell with the 800' ortofon leads as the favorite combination.


During the last flee market I was able to buy some old Clannad records, incl the "Macalla" and the "Sirius" record, with records were used to understand the body types better.

The Koetsu Urushi Sky Blue plays Clannad with a lot of vibes, dynamics and emotional involvement. The drummer has a good punch and I was really enjoying the performance. But after a while I started to miss some resolution, some 3D staging and a sharper contour of the instruments in the room.

So I changed to the stone body Koetsu (in Titanium headshell). Immediately a better structure and a deeper and wider soundstage appear. The singer is more close, the room is opening. Basslines get clear focus and structure.

But....But, there is something with the wooden Urushi, which makes me understand, that there are people out there, preferring the Urushi . The understanding of the emotional flow of the music is so easy with the Urushi. The stone body is more neutral in this character and (within the Koetsu world) a little little bit less involving.

Having said that, for me is now way back to an Urushi, if you have heard the precise staging and structure a stony body can give.

Looking forward to "meet" more Koetsu characters :)

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gian60

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Apr 17, 2016
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And for what i know Urushi Blue is the Urushi with more detail than other Urushi
 

shakti

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thank you for sharing your experience, have you heard an Urushi Vermillion in comparison? Only 0,2mv .
 

gian60

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Apr 17, 2016
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No,
Italian distributor told me,his partner has all the Koetsu in collection,including all the stones body
 

iaxel

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Oct 25, 2016
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Just treated myself with an Urishi Blue Sky on my Ikeda 407 arm.
Lovely cartridge, preferred it to Miyajima Shilabe I had for a few days session.
I fell in love with the Koetsu sound years ago when I had the Standard Rosewood, indeed a very colorful cartridge, but easily sticks your b@&t to the listening sit for hours of beautiful music.
 

DaveyF

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Jul 31, 2010
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Anybody heard the Urushi Tsugaru? I ask, as this one seems to be the least common of the Urushis and yet I have told that this is the best sounding...even better than the Blues.
 

shakti

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May 9, 2015
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Many listeners told me, that they like the Koetsu Black Gold Line a lot and that I should give the metal body a chance.
So I did.

I have some good experience in using a ceramic Headshell on metal bodies, so I tried the SAEC ULS-3 head shell with Ortofon 8N leads for the start.

First impression was very impressive, very dynamic, good resolution. Totally different enemy than an Urushi .

So I started to listen into different records to understand the difference better.

Finally I believe, that the Koetsu Black Gold Line and the Koetsu Urushi Blue Sky do differ mainly in the following aspect.

The Black is a quick starter, which in immediately in the position to follow a starting signal. This gives the Black a very fast and dynamic personality.
On the opposite , the Urushi is able to follow the notes into the silence.
Listening to piano makes it clear. The Urushi can follow the signal for seconds and makes the resonating wood of the piano a lifelike experience.
The Black kicks the piano sound with dynamic into the room and is communicating the message, that a piano is a percussion instrument.

So two different philosophies of carts from one brand.

Both ways of signal interpretation find their natural partnership in the Koetsu Onyx Platinum (or in the other stony bodies, which I did not had the chance to listen too).

Looking forward to receive the Koetsu Urushi Vermillion for my next Koetsu experience .

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iaxel

Well-Known Member
Oct 25, 2016
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shakti, I love this thread!
Never heard the black, and now you've triggered my appetite :eek:
Looking forward to hearing your impressions of the Vermillion!
Thanks!
 

gian60

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Apr 17, 2016
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Also i love this thread.
I have Coralstone diamond and i love it.
I had jade Platinum 10 years ago but i didn't like,too slow and dark and mid bass heavy.
I had Graham 2.2,so could be also no bad,even if with FR Or Ikeda was better but i hadn't
 

gian60

Well-Known Member
Apr 17, 2016
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I have also Koetsu MC Trans and with this the dynamic and image is better and the voice materialize in the room
All seems same but i have one of the last that is better and sound is more open than the old,could be change only the impedance,nobody knows.
If you open you can see that the transformer inside in the new model are hidden in one material while the old you can see well the trans
 
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