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.  


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. 


How does the Viv compare to the Reed and the Tri-planar?  Have you been able to play those on the same TT with the same cartridge enough to formulate an opinion? 

Dear @billstevenson  : You are rigth about magnesium that's a really good self damping material and exist a lot of evidence about.

I remember that several several years now I bougth the Pioneer PL-630 TT with integrated tonearm and the distributor man insist 2-3 times that the tonearm was made for magnesium ( in those years I don't care about because my very high ignorance lesvels. ) and latter on I learned from Audio Technica that all its after market headshells were builded with magnesium and latter on my Lustre GST-801 tonearm came with its original magnesium headshell and it's not at random that SME V is made all by magnesium.