Best arm for a Nottingham Spacedeck?

I like the Spacedeck, but I'm not that crazy about the Spacearm. The headshell wiring is very fragile and the whole thing looks more like a machinists' prototype than a production version. The table is a bargain at $1500, but the arm doesn't seem like it's worth $1000 to me.

What other arms have y'all found to work well? The OL Silver looks interesting. Anybody use it with a Spacedeck? Are there any issues with mounting Rega variants?

I'd like whatever arm I get to work well with a Dynavector 17D2 cartridge.
Any of the OL arms will work well with a Spacedeck and a Dynavector 17D2. I use a Silver on my Teres and like it very much.
I don`t your cartridges,no comment.What I heard last night
was Unbelievable from a Nottingham Spacedeck.Ozzy62 has a Bluenote Borromeo tonearm with a Benz cartridges on a Spacedeck that STOP me in my tracks. I have never heard anyone Nottingham sound that GOOD.It sound like a $10,000.
setup.It sound like one of those setup,went other people tell you they have a hot turntable. you tell them well bring it own.HE IS not in the LIGHTWEIGHT DIVISION
Blcube, I'm happy that Ozzy62 has gotten a good result. I know that he had to go through a trial with the Shelter 501 and concluded that it didn't match his Borromeo arm well. The Benz is a much better match for a unipivot, and it obviously shows in the fine performance of his analog rig. It is very important to get a correct match between the tonearm and cartridge. I'm sure it is a very nice sounding setup.

Nighthawk, I am aware of several cases where an OL Silver, or other OL arms have been installed on Spacedecks, and there should be no mounting problems. If you are going to use a VTA adjusting collar on the arm, you will have to make the mounting hole very slightly larger than a standard Rega hole to accomodate it. I strongly recommend getting the VTA collar. It comes standard with the OL Silver.
I gotta at least weigh in on this one. I own a Spacedeck and a Spacearm, along with two other arms. I have listened to the Spacedeck carefully with quite a number of different arms, so I feel qualified to give an opinion, accepted and agreed with or not.

I tend to evaluate an arm more on the basis of the sound it produces and not looks. That said, I find the Spacearm attractive, admittedly more so in the case of the later carbon fiber arm than the earlier silver, metal arm. Anyway, looks is in the eye of the beholder, so one opinion is as good as another.

The headshell wiring does LOOK fragile but is really no more so than that on most other arms, all of which assume proper care is taken when installing a cartridge. It is van den Hul wire and is unshieled by design by Tom Fletcher. If you take the outer sheathing off many other headshell wires, you would find something very similar, if not identical. Given the nature of the arm, the headshell wires can be pulled back into the arm so that only about 3/4" are actually exposed.

As far as other arms go, I will recommend that if you buy the Spacedeck with Spacearm that you not part with the Spacearm until you have settled on what you feel is a better arm. There are several folks that I know who have bought a different arm, AFTER selling their Spacearm, based on what someone else said (who did not own the Spacearm) and wound up regretting their decision.

I have auditioned every OL arm on the Spacedeck except the Illustrious SIGNATURE. In each arm a Shelter 501, Shelter 901, and Dynavector XX-1 were used in comparison. In my opinion, on THIS TABLE, the Spacearm beats the OL Silver by a pretty decent margin in terms of overall pace and extension. I liked the extension of the highs much better, it had a slightly warmer midrange (which I like) and the bass was a toss up. I'm sure someone will say things would be different with the Twl HiFi mod. Maybe, but I've never heard that mod and so, like anyone else who hasn't heard it on this arm and table, can't make that claim.

I will emphasize that my comparisons are valid with these arms on the SPACEDECK, only, and are not specific to these arms on other tables or with other cartridges.

I thought that the Spacearm and the OL Encounter was a near dead heat with the Spacearm being a just a sliver on the warm side of neutral and the OL just a sliver on the bright side of neutral in comparison.

The comparison to the Illustrious was, not surprisingly, no contest. The Illustrious is double the price of a Spacearm, though, and not meant to be a direct competitor. Add to that the fact that even at its price the Illustrious is a bargain, and there ya go. If I were to buy a Spacedeck without and arm with the idea of adding and arm, I'd probably go with the Illustrious.

As far as other arms go, many feel that the Moerch DP6 is the arm for the Spacedeck but they are a bit picky to work with, in my opinion. Success has also been found with the Graham 2.2 but I think the Illustrious bests that arm for less money. I have head of success using the Triplanar arms, but I have not heard one on a Spacedeck.

Finally, if money were no object, I would buy the arm that I heard on a Spacedeck, Hyperspace, and Anna and thought was the best by a LARGE margin:


The Schroeder outclasses the Spacedeck but, hey, you can always upgrade your table to the arm instead of the other way around! :-)

If a Dynavector is a must cartridge for you, I would recommend the XX-1 over the 17d2. If you get the 17D2, due to its length, make sure you can mount it successfully on whatever arm you buy.
I can't see that the headshell wiring on the Spacearm is any different from most arms, I have compared it to the Graham 2.2, and the Triplanar, and the Morch, and Rega 1000, thought it was better than those, why second guess the designer. Tom Fletcher at NA has spent a life time listening to music on analouge, seems to me the arm and table have great synergy. I guess audiophiles need to mix and mismatch.
(Thanks TWL.)Now I would to hear from those YOU who have hear the BLuenote BORROMEO arms or the Bluenote BELLARIA arms comment Please.
Oh Ozzy was HAPPY last night. Thank You
Thanks for all of your responses.

TWL, thanks for pointing out the need for a larger mounting hole for the VTA collar. This will factor into my decision. Also, I think I speak for a lot of people here, thanks very much for your contributions to this board. After 20 years of absence from analog, your posts were instrumental in getting me up to speed with the current state of things. I bet your Teres setup sounds magnificent.

4yanx, Wow, you outdid yourself, man. An incredibly informative (and useful) post. I will take your advice to heart. Glad to hear the leads aren't as fragile as they look. I guess I shouldn't care about the look of the arm, but, in my experience when you can't see the inside of a piece of gear, the fit and finish usually gives a good indicator of how carefully it is put together. However, if the arm is a competent performer, I won't write it off so quickly. I did hear it at my dealer, and was impressed, but I figured any $1000 arm ought to sound good. Perhaps I should have phrased my question differently... such as can the Spacearm be beaten for $1000 or less. I prefer a warm instead of a cool presentation as you do.

Blcube, I agree with you, this is no lightweight table. I am very impressed with it. Especially for the price.
First of all, let me thank Blcube for the kind words. It means a lot from such a purveyor of fine jazz as himself. And he has a superb system that has seen many changes as of late, all for the better.

And Twl, my respect goes out to you. I did go through a rather expensive learning curve after selling my original Benz L2, buying two different cartridges, and finally coming back to a new Benz. And it is a great match for the Bluenote arm and more of the rich yet detailed sound that is to my liking. There is no substitute for system synergy, something that is often overlooked.

Nighthawk, you have several excellent choices of arms that will drop right in your mounting pod. I had the Silver for a while and thought it was a great match on the Spacedeck. I didn't opt for the VTA collar, as I didn't need it with the sleeve supplied with the pod as it comes. VTA was easily adjustable.

Like I said, the Silver is a great arm, and Twl's mod probably makes it even more of a bargain. However, the Borghese and the Borromeo sounded better to my ears than the stock Silver, but you are more limited to cartridges, as my situation proved. But when all is well, it's REALLY well done. Good luck, and I think you will really enjoy the table no matter what arm you choose.

I have a spacedeck with the OL silver arm. I upgraded from the standard RB300, and never tried the spacearm, so can't compare with that. You don't need a VTA adjuster with the Rega pod on the spacedeck as VTA is adjustable with the collet screw. I am running the OL with a Benz glider and am very happy with the sound. Pinpoint imaging with a lot of weight to the sound, nice bass extension and a warm midrange (although this may be due more to the cartridge).
This thread is a wee bit dated, but I had the opportunity to audition a Basis Vector on the Spacedeck this week and thought I'd relay my impressions. Flat out excellent. Super dynamic, incredibily taught, involving bass, but still articulate in the highs, especially cymbal work. Sweet midrange with vocals right wher ethey should be. I said earlier that I would buy an OL Illustrious with a Spacedeck if I wasn't going to spend mega-bucks on an arm. I've changed my mind. I look forward to hearing this arm on other tables.