Pros and Cons of tonearm with removable headshell?

hvbias

Well-Known Member
Jun 22, 2012
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Fremer's new reference is a Kuzma 4-point which has a removable headshell. I don't think having a removable headshell is a big deal. I would not use it for running multiple cartridges due to the reasons mentioned by others. Plus I would have separate phono-stages optimized for each cartridge, which would mean unplugging and plugging cables. But it does make initial cartridge setup so much easier. I'm more comfortable stitching up people after being up for 24 hours than I am setting up a cartridge with a full night's sleep :) A removable armward like JMW or Graham is ok with me.

John I would keep whatever tonearm you are using with your Horizon. I would upgrade the entire turntable to a Spacedeck, Hyperspace or 294 before the tonearm. All of those will yield nice improvements.
 

Johnny Vinyl

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
May 16, 2010
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Fremer's new reference is a Kuzma 4-point which has a removable headshell. I don't think having a removable headshell is a big deal. I would not use it for running multiple cartridges due to the reasons mentioned by others. Plus I would have separate phono-stages optimized for each cartridge, which would mean unplugging and plugging cables. But it does make initial cartridge setup so much easier. I'm more comfortable stitching up people after being up for 24 hours than I am setting up a cartridge with a full night's sleep :) A removable armward like JMW or Graham is ok with me.

John I would keep whatever tonearm you are using with your Horizon. I would upgrade the entire turntable to a Spacedeck, Hyperspace or 294 before the tonearm. All of those will yield nice improvements.


I love the Horizon, even with the lowly RB250, but a nice Ortofon 2M Black cartridge. I've been toying with the idea of a tonearm upgrade for some time now, but I think going to a better table would be a wiser investment. Glad I haven't made any decisions yet. A new TT is definitely within the realm of possibilities within 2 years and I've started to look around.
 

hvbias

Well-Known Member
Jun 22, 2012
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I love the Horizon, even with the lowly RB250, but a nice Ortofon 2M Black cartridge. I've been toying with the idea of a tonearm upgrade for some time now, but I think going to a better table would be a wiser investment. Glad I haven't made any decisions yet. A new TT is definitely within the realm of possibilities within 2 years and I've started to look around.

I have not used an RB250, but the RB300 was very good if it's any indication. The higher end Nottinghams usually come with either Space arm or Ace Space (I have the latter) and I really like it.
 

Johnny Vinyl

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May 16, 2010
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I have not used an RB250, but the RB300 was very good if it's any indication. The higher end Nottinghams usually come with either Space arm or Ace Space (I have the latter) and I really like it.

I did actually write Nottingham twice about the Space but never heard back from them. I was at one point thinking about the Michel Techoarm or one of the modified RB250's from Origin Live. The more I thnk about, the more I'm ready for a change......something new and different. Don't get me wrong...I really do like the Horizon and for the money it's a great TT.
 

RBFC

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Apr 20, 2010
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i take it you havent owned an early JMW tonearm, Harry's solution for addressing antiskate was to intentionally add a twist to the cable exiting the arm before it enters the termination box.

I had an ET2 tonearm on a SOTA Star Sapphire TT. I got a set of MIT "hot-rod" cartridge wires that went directly from the cartridge pins to the Krell KPA phono preamp. The sound was very good, but care had to be taken in how you routed the wires. It was easy to see the tonearm "drift" depending upon the orientation of the wires.

Lee
 

flez007

Member Sponsor
Aug 31, 2010
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I'm firmly in favor of solid tone arms, and even continuous phono cables from cartridge to phono preamp.

Everything matters. And the higher the performance, the more everything matters.

Eliminate variables, improve performance potential.

Me2
 

asiufy

Industry Expert/VIP Donor
Jul 8, 2011
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almaaudio.com
Fremer's new reference is a Kuzma 4-point which has a removable headshell. I don't think having a removable headshell is a big deal. I would not use it for running multiple cartridges due to the reasons mentioned by others. Plus I would have separate phono-stages optimized for each cartridge, which would mean unplugging and plugging cables. But it does make initial cartridge setup so much easier. I'm more comfortable stitching up people after being up for 24 hours than I am setting up a cartridge with a full night's sleep :) A removable armward like JMW or Graham is ok with me.

John I would keep whatever tonearm you are using with your Horizon. I would upgrade the entire turntable to a Spacedeck, Hyperspace or 294 before the tonearm. All of those will yield nice improvements.

The Kuzma uses something slightly different, and, IMHO, better. This is their description:

Detachable headshell is another distinctive feature of this superior tonearm. Using a small Allen key, one can completely remove the headshell from the arm tube while the arm wiring including cartridge pins remains uninterrupted in its single run. Our headshell is fixed with a hexagonal locking system which provides the same degree of rigidity as if the headhsell was permanently bonded to the arm tube.

alexandre
 

TBone

New Member
Nov 15, 2012
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and even continuous phono cables from cartridge to phono preamp.

Me2 2 ... and I'll go one step further ... unless the male/female RCA connections are identical in composition ... the "continuous" part of this equation is somewhat compromised.
 

SAT

Industry Expert
Dec 30, 2013
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0
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Sweden
www.swedishat.com
I'm firmly in favor of solid tone arms, and even continuous phono cables from cartridge to phono preamp.

Everything matters. And the higher the performance, the more everything matters.

Eliminate variables, improve performance potential.


Mike, very good observations!

I am convinced the rigidity of the arm is one of the two main parameters defining its sonic performance. This is obvious from an engineering perspective and dictates how a properly designed arm should look like.

As for the continuous cable from cartridge to phono-preamp, there is no reason not to do it this way if it is physically possible in the arm. I would go one step further and say the way the cable is in contact with the arm or even the turntable can introduce disturbances which will affect the sound. I find plugging thick cables right under or at the side of the arm pillar is a bad practice if one seeks ultimate fidelity. Even doing it on the turntable plinth is not desirable...
 

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