Comparison of sonic qualities of some tonearms

I’m relatively new to the world of vinyl, listening seriously for probably only 2 years.  Of course, many big picture items (e.g. turntable, phono stage, cartridges) are discussed extensively on this forum, but I haven’t seen much discussion comparing different tonearms.  I would be interested to hear about different people’s experiences with different tonearms, mentioning the audible advantages and disadvantages of each tonearm, realizing that there is no perfect sound, although from what I read about others’ experiences, SAT tonearms may come closest, albeit at a very high price.  


The conversation only really matters, in relation to what one can afford to purchase.

A SAT TA, is not a TA that many would not be interested in considering, or for the multiples even know exists.

Touting the math is one thing, user experience is much more, there are converts to the VIV TA that do the math and also do the experiencing, who have been taken aback by the outcome of becoming less prejudiced.

As stated in my own case, I was introduced to something not quite conventional and the impact on myself was profound, I immediately commenced on a plan to change a very established way of thinking, of which for a few years know is fully realised.      

…..ah the Safir….. a thing of beauty and technical triumph…but.

Ive some significant but never sufficient seat time listening to it w Ortofon Verismo on a Dohmann w integral Minus K…. vs ( in same remainder of system / room in same session… ) a Kuzma 4 pt w vta tower, Kuzma CAR-50 and the $10 k ish Kuzma deck also on a discrete minus K.

Toss up…… but i went home wondering what a CAR-50 on the Safir would do… And ordered a CAR 40 which i love… 


iF you want to understand the room / system / awesome proprietor Ed - check out Audio Ultra website in Seattle… Great neighbor….

@pindac  - you make excellent points… i myself have ( obviously ) a hodgepodge of arms… This Spring the Triplaner which i acquired used will go back to Tri for a checkup and probable upgrade, but it’s not in the same $ latitudes as the SAT. 

The experiment i envision to TRY to address this thread ? will most likely take two possible forms ; trying the same cartridge in two different headshell arms. Yes the setup geometry will change, so delta variables are introduced. Anyway…it will be fun. Ortofon vs Dynavector using the CAR -40 or a Koetsu Urushi - Black

Yes… i know about the geometry issues, hence the alternative is Triplaner vs Ortofon ( yes i know about the advised non Japanese geometry and have ordered to supporting protractor… from Scottland )

I’m doing this experiment all the time. I’ve mentioned I have now 6 tonearms up and running in 5 TTs, three feeding Sound Lab 845PX speakers, and the other 2 feeding Beveridge 2SWs. The tonearms are Triplanar, Reed 2A, Dyna DV505, FR64S (silver wire version), Kenwood L07J (comes with L07D TT), and Viv. Where interchangeable, headshell makes a big difference. I’ve got a slew of cartridges of all types to play with. All TTs are optimized electronically and re-plinthed. For example of my results, my Koetsu Urushi sounds by far best in the FR64S with an Ortofon LH9000 headshell.