Discuss The Viv Lab Rigid Arm

I am trying to do my due diligence about this arm. I am just having a hard time getting my head around this idea of zero overhang and no offset. Does this arm really work the way it is reported to do?


DS Exports may no longer be involved.

Here in the US, it’s Mike Fajen @ Sierra Sound: 


For me, CF does not necessarily outperform stainless or aluminum or some other metal for use as an arm wand. I’d have to hear both versions. In general I have not been fond of CF in audio, except as headshell material. I do not care for the few CF tonearms I’ve heard, e.g., the Well Tempered.


thanks for the Sierra lead.  I’ll reach out to ask sonic difference between the HA and CB.  I haven’t found comparisons online yet.

The distortion created by the Viv's design, tracking angle in particular, are easy to measure. The fact that it and other designs that seem implausible are capable of sounding "OK" to some people means absolutely nothing in the greater sense, just as some obviously silly "tweaks" seem to sound better to some people. Human ears do not make very good measuring devices and what "sounds good" is a matter of experience which is varied to say the least. Since it is impossible to standardize our hearing and the systems we listen to we are all thrown into a washing machine of varied opinions much of them based more on individual bias than real substance. 

As for what sounds better, an aluminum or carbon fiber arm tube, properly designed they both sound exactly the same, like nothing. If an armwand has a sound it is defective. The arm wand that has no sound will always be more accurate. The ideal arm wand is infinitely stiff and totally resonance free. It has to have a mass appropriate for the cartridge being used. The Kuzma 4 point arm is a great aluminum design and the Sat arm a great carbon design. I have heard both and I do not think I could tell the difference in an AB test. I also doubt they are measurably different. But there are people who wax poetic over the SAT arm which admittedly is a beautifully made device. It is beautifully made like a Patek Philippe watch. My Garmin watch is not near so beautifully made and costs 1/50th what a Patek Philippe does but it actually is more accurate and a lot more informative.  How a well designed carbon fiber or aluminum arm tube functions depends on what it is attached to. 

@cleeds I am mortally wounded. I shall never be able to show my face in public again.  


On the comparison between CB and HA, from Roy Gregory's review on theaudiobeat with reference to "Carmen Fantaisie" [Decca SXL 2197]:

"If we return once again to the Ricci recording to furnish our examples, the RF7 HA delivers the same, frictionless passage through the recording -- indeed, to an almost greater and certainly more obvious extent. Its dynamics are more explicit and contrasts more vivid, with music sounding faster, more energetic and performances more vital. But that added speed, drama and expressive intent come at the cost of a less poised and leaner presentation. The aluminum ‘arm lacks the rich tonality and smoothly motive substance of the RF7 CB, instead offering angular elbows and attitude. With the RF7 HA at the helm, Ricci’s playing takes on a more aggressive and higher-risk quality, the metaphorical tires on this sports car starting to squeal and occasionally smoke. It’s exciting, it’s exhilarating and occasionally it’s uncomfortable. It’s also exactly the performance that I remember so vividly from my first listening sessions."