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.  


@lewm I am very pleased to witness your statement, That you are very pleased with your Viv investigation and that there is a indelible recollection of a Blissful Memory of a particular permutation for it's use.

I know this experience, which I will suggest is one that is quite discernable and a betterment over previous commonly encountered experiences.

As for my best experience with my Tonearm of choice, it is when a group of  Like Minded friends were visitors and among the banter and spread of food, they were just so influenced by the presentation and ended up re-evaluation their own vinyl sources.

@mijostyn As for P'holz, I have encountered it veneered with beautiful Cocobolo and Pippy Maple, as well as Polished Metal.

I take both life and my P'holz neat  

On the Tonearm subject, the Supatrac Blackbird, has had it's own path of crtitics to get to the point where it now has the endorsement of Mark Dohmann and is a offering from Dohmann Turntables. 

Additionally, Micheal Fremer has also recently put it through the Wringer, and the impression made is well worth reading. 

I know of this TA and the good impression it generates. 



@mijostyn from one dog to another, your offer accepted… i’ve got the “ neat “ Panzerholtz covered thinking “ pretty is as pretty does “…. but one look at the applewood veneer on my Denon should reveal…my wood.. for Wood tendencies….

@lewm I applaud your import ! Appreciate another + input on that arm… which seems the case for people who have actually HEARD it….

@pindac it seems you are living the good audiophile / music lover community life ! i try to build same !

Agree w Mijo - get out and HEAR other systems but also have a reference….


Dear @drbond  : " it is an expensive hobby ".

Well it could be as expensive as is the knowledge level of us audiophiles. You made it expensive when choosed your TT with out took in count the additional arm boards price.

As you move up in the learning ladder as lesss expensive could be the hobby.

I think that still own the Atlas and the Koetsu and please let me ask wat's wrong or what dislike you with the 2 tonearms you mated it? 


You already have in mind the SAT and SAFIR that considered the first and second " best ":


" if we discuss the technical components of tonearms, does the supposed sonic success of the Kuzma Safir, with an effective mass of 60g, which is possibly only second to the SAT in sonic performance, demonstrate how little is known about how the tonearm actually works in reality? "


SAT is a good design and its main characteristic is its excellent quality levels in manufacture but it's not a tonearm that has any " news/discoveries " to the audiophile  tonearm experiences. The real seller of the SAT 9" was its review in Stereophile even at that very high  price.

The SAFIR success could be to audiophile " ignorance "  on what that dinamyc high mass does to any cartridge suspension and tracking.

Both tonearm were/are the new kids in the block.


Here you can read some objectiv measures on the Helix ( not to good ) and one of your tonearms:

HiFi-News-H2-Dohmann-Review.pdf (


Btw, normally the top cartridges are designer/manufacture voiced through normal pivot tonearms not underhung ones.

You ask for the VIV that taking in count my last statement seems to me does not to much sense to ask for.

If you can share the why's on your tonearms/cartrisges and this thread will put ligth rigth in the thread and maybe could you have better advise of what you are looking for.



Back on the Threads Title.

For myself I can't say a TA ,has a sonic quality that is better or worse than any ,other.

I am without any doubt there are designs much better through design choices and materials selection that come with inherent capabilities, that will be discernible and ,potentially quite noticeable in, how the Cartridge can function. 

As the Cart;' is Transferring the energies ,produced from ,having groove modulation ,pass by it. The Cart's function and dependency on the TA is looking like the device in conjunction with  the TA, that is responsible for the sonic quality.

The only other attachment to Sonic Quality from a TA is the Signal Path designed for it, ,how many connections from Cart' Pins to Phnonostage and the Wire Type.

I don't see the TA's Structure or Materials being solely the Sonic Influence, but   more the means to manage energies of which some might be possibly an audible and detectable colouration ??