Does the Eminent Technology 2.5 arm work well with the Transcriptors Reference turntable?

Both arm and turntable are still made.

Nothing in the Audiogon ET 2.5 discussion group about this particular combination.



You probably need to make an armboard. The dimensions to locate the arm are in the ET 2 manual.  I made one from strips (for seasonal stability) of birch for an Michell Orbe SE.

@delm thanks for the response. How did the ET 2 arm work with the Michell Orbe? What cartridge are you using?

Wow. What a match!!! I would say no, because the ET justifies a much better TT, and the Transcriptors has a springy suspension which may be thrown out of balance by the heavier than average ET. The Transcriptors was indeed a wonder when it was au courant, and I owned one too, but the design is flawed, though beautiful and stimulating to watch in action. Not that it matters, but I also think the two together would look rather odd, because they emanate from two totally different schools of audio design.

@lewm The Transcriptor Hydraulic Reference was my first turntable so it is a nostalgia thing for me. Frankly astonished to find it's still in production. Not surprised to discover that the Eurythmics own one.

Looks absolutely matter. The industrial look of the ET would clash with the elegance of the Transcriptor. But what arm wouldn't other than the Fluid?


I'm with Lewm on this.

I used to sell ET's and would not put it on this TT - I've heard the Transcriptor at length - a Rega P3 would eat it.

If you want to update the arm I would suggest a Moerch UP4/DP6 - looks would be in keeping with the original and performance improved greatly.

Also the Mayware unipivot Mk4 onward is a good arm, better than the original and in keeping looks wise.

@dover Thnx 4 advice. It is amazing the deep knowledge on Audiogon. And people's generosity in giving of their time to respond.

I'll match the ET 2.5 with an Oracle Delphi 6.2. And use Moerch or Mayware for the Transcriptors.


Thank you for your kind words.

I have also some customers who ran ET2's on Oracles - it is not ideal due to the lossy suspension and the shifting mass of the ET as it tracks across the record.

The ET must be perfectly level at all times, otherwise it loads up the cartridge laterally.

Personally I prefer the ET on turntables that have no suspension, or at least a "hung" suspension like the SME or Basis Debut.

If you do want to run it on the Oracle you may need to run the suspension a bit stiffer than normal to keep it stable. I have not seen the latest versions of the Oracle so this may be tempered somewhat.

Hi @dover Though I'd make a guest appearance.

The ET arm does not work well on any turntable. It is a terrible design based on wishful thinking by people who fail to grasp the physics involved. The problems created by such a design are far worse than the insignificant amount of tracking error pivoted arms create. 

Save yourself the misery and get a Kuzma 4 Point 9.

@chowkwan, the Orbe SE is modified with a Gert Pedersen kit that transforms the TT (no springs part of it),

The cartridge is a DS Audio W2, an optical transducer that benefits from no anti-skating forces of a properly setup ET2.

The force generated by the friction between stylus and groove while playing an LP is usually termed the skating force.  The force we apply in our half-assed efforts to equalize it is "anti-skating".  delm, I am sure you know this.  Just wanted to keep our terms defined.


Do you happen to have any info on what’s required to fit an ET2 to an early Basis Audio Debut Sig with vacuum platter? I have a Graham 2.2 on the Basis and an ET2 on a TNT MKI and wondered what would be involved in swapping them around. 

@rooze, I am very familiar with the Debut Signature. The ET2 will cause the suspension to wobble as it's mass is in the wrong location. Both the ET 2 and the Graham 2.2 are poor tonearms for different reasons. Aside from current Basis arms the Kuzma 4 Point 9, The Reed 2G, the Triplanar and the Schroder CB will all fit on the Debut Signature with some modification in 9-10 inch forms. All are significantly better designs than either the Graham 2.2 or the ET 2. 


ok, thanks for the info. I was hoping but I wasn’t optimistic about making it work.


Ignore mijo - he doesn’t know what he is talking about.

The Debut is a very stable hanging suspension - when I met Dan Agostino in the 80’s his reference front end was Basis Debut with Air Tangent linear tracker driving tri-amped Apogees - superb sound.

The ET2 only requires 1 small hole in the armband - if you mount the ET2 with it’s arm tube parallel to the front of the Basis TT you will find the hole is forward of your existing arm hole - so for the sake of 1 1/4 inch hole you can probably try the arm out using your existing armboard. ( albeit you will have an ugly hole at the back of the arm board ( easily plugged ).

This combo will be far superior to the Graham.

For what it’s worth I have owned an ET2 for over 30 years and own and have installed most of the top arms over the years - I’ve set up the Kuzma 4point11 on multiple tables - the ET2 loses nothing. The ET2 is much better than its competitors such as the Godlmund, Souther.Clearaudio,. etc. In fact if you ask Franc Kuzma which is his best tonearm - the answer is always his linear tracker Kuzma Air.

If you look at the installation diagram for the Sota on the ET site it has all the measurements you need to locate the placement and double check the fit.

I would encourage you to try it out - the ET2 will outperform most conventional arms. The slightly high lateral mass is misunderstood - there is more pressure on the cartridge suspension from most pivoted arms than the ET2.

Here’s a comment from the designer Brush Thigpen who has a degree in physics and audio engineering in response the the question of lateral effective mass on the ET


The untold parameter of a pivoted tonearm: To minimize tracking
error, pivoted tonearms were lengthened with a bend in the wand, or by
mounting the stylus at an angle in the headshell. The frictional force
of the stylus in the groove wants to straighten out the bend or crawl up
the records inner groove wall. When using anti skating with a pivoted
tonearm to prevent inner groove wear, regardless of mass, pivoted
tonearms bend the stylus with an opposite side load force of between .1
and .2 grams per gram of tracking force, the tonearm shaft is being
twisted outward (as viewed from above) with this static load which goes
through the stylus suspension, but the percentage of creep on the inner
wall of the record groove actually varies with the passage loudness or %
groove modulation. So you are constantly bending the stylus while only
marginally solving the problem.

With the ET-2 the side loads to accelerate the tonearm at .55hz
(33/13 RPM) are less than half of those values for an eccentricity of
.0312 inches (1/32 inch) and are a linear function of record
eccentricity. The cartridge cantilever suspension sees much lower loads.

So as you add mass, this side load value of the ET-2 goes up
linearly, but is always less than using any pivoted tonearm with anti

I hope this helps - brucet



I've owned an ET2.5 for almost 25 years, mounted on a VPI TNT 4.  With all due respect to @mijostyn , he doesn't know what he's talking about with respect to the ET arms.  I would not consider mounting one on a table with a loosely sprung suspension, but on a stable suspension, the arm has few peers.  I've owned an SME V and a Graham 2.2.  Neither of them came close to a properly set up ET2.5. I still use the ET 2.5 and the Graham and SME are long gone.

Yes, the table needs to be dead level, and the arm tube and number of springs used on the counterweight assembly needs to be set up properly for the mass and compliance of the cartridge.  Also the air pressure fed to the arm makes an audible difference.  I feed mine with a shop compressor and adjust the pressure using a precision low pressure regulator. I realize this sounds a bit complicated, but once set up, I don't need to do anything but play records for a long time, it keeps the adjustments perfectly.  When you get the setup right, it's pure magic.

Another big advantage is VTA on the fly, and due to an ingenious design, the stylus overhang does not change as you adjust VTA.  There may be other arms that can do this, but I'm not aware of any,

@dover and @ vinylzone. The ET 2 and all the other arms like it are the wishful  thinking of individuals who should know better. The horizontal effective mass is almost twice that of the vertical mass. This puts the related resonance frequencies is disparate locations. The end result is messed up bass one way or the other creating not just creating problems with the quality of the bass (most people are not sensitive to this) but also the ability of the cartridge to track correctly. These arms always sound worse than a proper pivoted arms. The may look cool and be fun to watch but , that is about it. This says nothing about maintenance issues and durability. The Clearaudio arms are just as bad. There is this one German manufacturer who makes a carriage driven straight line tracker, a very difficult stunt to pull off, for a ridiculous price. I would love to hear one but that will probably never happen.  The Solution to this problem if you want tangential tracking is either the Reed 5T or the Schroder LT. If I had a turntable it would fit on I'd get the Schroder. @rooze , The Debut Signature is a fine turntable and deserves the finest of arms. I suspect you are somewhat price limited. How much can you spend?


Another vote in favor of the ET2 and I agree with the positive comments made so far.  Fantastic arm. I’ve owned Alphason MCS, Syrinx PU3, Grado, Premier MMT, SME V and a couple others and the ET2 (which I still use) is sonically superior to all of them; and not by a little. It lets my cartridges produce a stunning soundstage with none of the truncation in the corners that all others suffer from. Tonally, it is outstanding. Its bass performance, especially with the new(ish) long I-beam, is quick and natural; not lean like the Syrinx’s, nor overblown like the SME’s. I don’t know what mijo’s beef is with the ET2, but I too don’t think he knows what he is talking about. Always be skeptical of comments that deal only with supposed technical problems with a design and nary a word about the actual sound. Good luck.

As Mijo well knows there is a valid school of thought that supports benefits associated with tonearms having a high effective mass in the horizontal plane Because extreme low bass frequencies are encoded in horizontal motion of the stylus and because they are high in energy content you want the pivot to be stable at those frequencies. Else the tail can wag the dog. (The stylus can move the pivot from side to side.)


He is completely ignorant

The horizontal effective mass is almost twice that of the vertical mass. This puts the related resonance frequencies is disparate locations. The end result is messed up bass one way or the other creating not just creating problems with the quality of the bass (most people are not sensitive to this) but also the ability of the cartridge to track correctly.

The differential mass in the horizontal and vertical planes results in 2 much smaller resonant frequency peaks ( instead of one large one ). This reduces the amplitude of resultant resonances further up the audio band by several db, resulting in better tracking and more linear bass response.

The test results are all documented on the Eminent Technology website, which it would appear mijo cannot be bothered to read.


I don’t think he has a beef, he simply does not understand how the ET2 works and is not interested in finding out. Of course there may be other reasons for continually making outlandish unsubstantiated claims, but I’m not a mind reader, I can only surmise.



@lewm , That is wishful thinking Lew. The suspension has a certain compliance that is is essence omnidirectional. If anything vertical compliance is lower than horizontal which makes this problem worse! There is a reason that no tonearm of this type has gained universal acceptance, they perform poorly and this is easy to demonstrate The problem is that t most people, on most systems, they sound OK and of course if "I" use it it must be the best and it looks cool. The same is true of 12 inch tonearms. Only academically challenged people buy into this type of thing and you are not but I get it, you like to argue with me which is fine. It keeps me sharp and I learn. You can not argue with the physics. People almost universally prefer the Kuzma 4 Point 11 over the Airline.  

@vinylzone , meh? That lady on the cell phone is about to crash into you. I suggest you close your eyes.

The late Brooks Berdan---well known in the hi-fi business, and referred to as Mr. Analog---probably mounted and set up more arms & tables than anyone else in history. He was one of Bruce Thigpen’s first dealers, and mounted a LOT of the original ET arm on his then (1980’s) favorite table---the Oracle Delphi.

Brooks---having worked in the race car field before entering the hi-fi business---recognized the Oracle had a non-optimum mass distribution in it’s floating subchassis, and came up with a mod to eliminate that fault (Oracle eventually incorporated Brooks’ idea into the Delphi). He may have noticed the Oracle’s mass distribution problem because of the way the moving mass of the ET arm affected the subchassis suspension of the table; It was inherently unstable if left stock.

When the TNT was introduced by VPI, Brooks favoured it for use with the ET arm, as the TNT provided a much more stable platform for the ET---higher in mass and having a stiffer spring suspension. Brooks sold that ET/TNT combo for years, installing one in the system Bill Johnson had in his winter home in Palm Desert, about an hour-and-a-half hour drive east of Brooks’ shop in Monrovia.

Both Bill and Brooks are gone, and the TNT is history, but the Eminent Technology arm lives on! 

Brooks continued to race cars after he got into hi end audio. His widow runs his shop Brooks Berdan Ltd. still in Monrovia at the same location. His son Brian Berdan started his own hi end shop Audio Element in Pasadena California. Bruce Thigpen is building an ET arm for me as we speak which Brian will install in an Oracle. So it's back to the future.

On Dover's advice, I got a Moerch arm for the Transcriptors. I have the Moerch. Waiting on the Transcriptors to be built. Will use the Van den Hull Calibri Grand Master. Dutch needle, Danish arm, English turntable.

Hi @chowkwan. Sheila Berdan has closed the Brooks Berdan Ltd. shop in Monrovia, and will soon be relocating to Northern Washington State. I bought a fair amount of my hi-fi from Brooks, and my pair of Eminent Technology LFT-8b's (a great, somewhat overlooked, hi-fi bargain) from Sheila after Brooks' passing.

In the meantime, for those of you in Southern California, Brian Berdan's shop in Pasadena is THE place to go for all your record player needs (electronics and loudspeakers too ;-). Brian is not just an excellent technician, but also a very swell fella. I've known him since he was a little kid, and we drank beer together when the band I assembled for the occasion played at Brooks' 50th birthday party. Good times! I know Brian misses Brooks more than anybody.

Mijo, you tend to argue using only your own carefully selected facts and beliefs as support. I am not qualified to comment on the ET tonearm because I’ve never owned one, although every time I’ve heard it, it seemed excellent. I am only focusing on your repeated insistence that the effective mass of a tonearm must be the same in both the vertical and horizontal planes. Else performance at bass frequencies will suffer. As you know, all Dynavector designs deliberately result in high effective mass in horizontal motion. Horizontal motion is also magnetically damped. Many other pivoted tonearms are similarly conceived. You might want to read a Dynavector owners manual to appreciate why their engineers think thi is a good thing. As a long time user of the DV505 with a wide variety of cartridges, I can tell you the DV produces particularly excellent, well defined bass frequencies.


@mijostyn almost sounds like the crowd over at ASR.  He reads the specs, and decides what it's going to sound like.


It's worse - he doesn't appear to read anything, he just looks at a picture on the net and then makes outrageous claims - his uninformed posts are littered across this forum.

What I say to Mijo is that there is another opinion regarding horizontal effective mass that is espoused by some who are at least as intelligent as he is and just possibly better informed in this particular area of engineering than he may be. He seems close minded to any other view but his. I actually think it’s an interesting question. we have tangential tracking tonearms, most of which would have a high horizontal effective mass compared to their vertical EM. We also have the Dynavector tonearms and several other pivoted tonearms, like Moerch, that actually sport added weights extending laterally from the pivot, in order to increase horizontal effective mass. Some of the FR tonearms have a lateral balance weight that probably increases horizontal effective mass. If anyone can think of other pivoted tonearms similarly designed, it would be of interest. Meantime, I invite Mijostyn to read the owners manual for a Dynavector DV505 tonearm, which is available on Vinyl engine. There he will see a rationale for designing a tonearm to have a high effective mass in the a horizontal plane. The reasoning espoused by Dynavector engineers is not far different from what Dover stated. How Dynavector achieves this is very sophisticated. Finally, has anyone noticed that the class of tonearms that present a high horizontal EM compared to their vertical EM is plagued by “blurry” bass response? (But of course you and I might not notice that due to our low IQs.). I do not conflict with Mijostyn due to any personal animus. What I object to is his frequently stating his view as established fact, when it is just his view or that of his favorite guru. It’s fine to state an opinion, but be a little humble.

I’ve invited Bruce Thigpen to offer his thoughts here. I doubt he will as my experience has been that he doesn’t like to participate in audio forums; but herhaps he will. Here’s hoping …..

Bruce is very pleasant to talk to. I would give him a call (he personally answered the ET phone when I called to inquire about the LFT-8b loudspeaker).

How is it that the consensus is that an ET2 won't work on a table with springy suspension but it works well on an Oracle?  Is the Oracle's suspension not considered springy?  I have an ET2 on an Oracle and it seems to work well.  I'm just wondering how the Oracle's suspension is different than that of other tables not suitable for an ET2.


How is it that the consensus is that an ET2 won't work on a table with springy suspension but it works well on an Oracle?  Is the Oracle's suspension not considered springy?  I have an ET2 on an Oracle and it seems to work well.  

I used to sell ET2's in the 80's. Had customers with ET2's on Oracle's.

The reality is that as the arm moves across the record, the moving mass is enough to shift the arm out of level on a softly sprung suspended deck.

I ran an Oracle for a while myself . I preferred the sound with the suspension set quite soft - this gave better high frequency response, more nuanced, more detail.

Personally I would never run an ET2 on an Oracle, but it doesn't mean it cant work.

Harvey Rosenberg used to run an ET on a Linn.

In my view these decks are not getting the best out of the ET2.

If I had to run an ET2 on an Oracle I would look at defeating the suspension and put the deck on a wall shelf.





As I look at my Basis Audio Debut and gently test the compliance of the suspension system with a well meaning finger, I can’t for the life of me imagine how the carbon fiber armwand would deflect the suspension as it moves slowly across the record. And let’s say there was some barely visible deflection, perhaps one or two microns, or less, how would that impact on anything audibly? Does my cat walking across a suspended wooden floor have a similar impact?

I can’t comment on this phenomenon and how it might relate to other suspended turntables that I’ve never owned but it seems intuitively to be on equally shaky ground (sorry ‘bout that).

Anyway, I know you folks are talking about a lot of different stuff here, so I appreciate the feedback relating to installing the ET2 on the Basis deck. I’m not comfortable drilling holes in the armboard right now but I don’t think it would be too difficult to manufacture a new armboard from hardwood then weight the board using lead or sand, accounting for the slightly higher mass ET2. I’ll think on that for a while.





Your suspension is very stable - you can run ET2's on hung suspensions - Examples are Sota, VPI, Basis, SME30. The problem pertains to subclasses sitting on top of springs like the Oracle, Linn.

I have seen a couple of ET's running great on the Basis Ovation.

@chowkwan  et al

Just saw this thread. The Clockwork Orange Turntable - Cool  

If you want to roughly and quickly find out if an ET 2 or 2.5 will work on a springy turntable.

Go get a soup can or similar object that weighs 408 gms - .9 lbs.

So I would just get a One pound object.

Two bubble levels. Place one on the turntable base (plinth) and one on the platter.

Check the Level of your turntable and your platter without any tonearm. 

Are they both level ?  If yes continue.

The ET 2  can be placed anywhere on the turntable, so start placing the 1 lb object on the turntable around the platter and see if your levelness goes out.

If you manage to keep it all level - the next step is to determine how finicky it is to keep level.

Are you ok to deal with this.  The ET can be mounted anywhere on a turntable base/plinth as long as it tracks a straight line. 



re: Oracle and ET2

As above except now.  

Start sliding the tonearm across and see if the bubble levels change.


VPI TNT - was mentioned a few times. The TNT was designed for the ET2 when Harry and Bruce were collaborating; before Harry decided to start making his own tonearm. Just saying.  

Hope this helps.