Eminent Technology ET-2 Tonearm Owners

Where are you? What mods have you done ?

I have been using these ET2's for over 9 years now.
I am still figuring them out and learning from them. They can be modified in so many ways. Bruce Thigpen laid down the GENIUS behind this tonearm over 20 years ago. Some of you have owned them for over 20 years !

Tell us your secrets.

New owners – what questions do you have ?

We may even be able to coax Bruce to post here. :^)

There are so many modifications that can be done.

Dressing of the wire with this arm is critical to get optimum sonics along with proper counterweight setup.

Let me start it off.

Please tell us what you have found to be the best wire for the ET-2 tonearm ? One that is pliable/doesn’t crink or curl. Whats the best way of dressing it so it doesn’t impact the arm. Through the spindle - Over the manifold - Below manifold ? What have you come up with ?
I remember this vividly, my mother saying to my Uncle Music Teacher while shaking her head. ...

"why in the world would you allow him to have an instrument that requires him to empty out his spit on my clean hardwood floors when he plays the instrument at home"

The floors in the school music room were disgusting. When you arrived for class you grabbed one of the mouthpieces that were in a small plastic tub sitting in some clear liquid. God only knows what that liquid was now thinking about it. The good ole days ? We survived. Now everyone is paranoid about everything. Different world not so long ago.

Uncle Music Teacher in response to my mom "should I have given him the drums ?"

Mom shakes her head..again.
Not sure if this has been brought before.
I read a post on Audio Asylum about the manifold mount and how flimsy it is. The guy found the right height and then built a new mount out of ebony. I simply used a piece of wood and wedged it under the manifold. This made a huge change in the soundstage and overall quality of the system.
Yes frogman & CT0517 on a John Deere, what nice illustration of Americana seen the other way :-) It shurely tunes bass sensitivity, although only in a limited interval range...
Regarding "spit", isn't what most lay people (ie. the non-blowing family members too) think it is. It's mainly distilled vapour from the lungs, with maybe a bit of sulfur molecules here and nitrogen mol. there. But not much spit, I think. At least not anymore after one played two or three years.
I call my baritone sax my personal distillery. But the bowed neck (?) of a bass clarinet works already nicely as such.
Regarding trombone: This is a really great instrument! (And - ha! Ray Anderson will play november 11 in our concert program! :-) The instrument is extremely powerful in a seductive way, a lot of colours and expressive. Must be fun to play with this huge tool-box.
It's funny you mention this aspect, of first getting the fundament right, the rest then falling in place: If I'm asked about what defines the quality of a well set up ET2 (or even more a ET2.5) it is the "full-range" sound from the *lows* up, surrounded by a lot of air in the bass (first): Bass ambience. Yes, it's also sublime upper ranges, but it starts with a lucid, airy bass range with a high resolution of bass timbre & pitch.
It sounds "correct" by itself while not sounding tight-assed NFB correct.
@flemke: I agree! These are gradually more consequent and less reversible ways of what my cardboard wedges underneath the manifold/bearing do.
The wood option might create a more stiff but more vibration conducting, but less absorbing pathway than cardboard.
I might try a hardwood wedge someday. I like tweaks to be as reversible, low mass and "elegant" (not necessary in the visual aspect ;-) as possible.
Chris, yes!, ear protection mufflers over ear plugs. May not be audiophile approved, but effective. Actually, my tractor is a Husqvarna GT48XLS. Love the thing. I suppose that after so much time worrying about the micro level of woodwind spring tension and tonearm resonances, I find the visceral experience of dirt, gasoline fumes and engaging that rear-wheel-differential a welcome change of pace :-)

In answer to your question: it is rare the professional grade woodwind instrument that does not require fairly extensive "set-up" even when brand new; including spring tension. Some manufacturers are more careful about releasing instruments in good playing condition than others. As audiophiles know very well, there is good and then there is GOOD when it comes to setup; a new instrument will inevitably require a visit or two to a first-rate technician. I have actually learned to do quite a bit of set-up work myself because, frankly, it's almost impossible to pay someone enough to do the kind of really fine adjustments that make an instrument feel mechanically "one's own".

Your comments about bass-management are spot-on. I completely agree with you about the importance of getting the bass right and there is, likewise, an expression among musicians that "everything starts from the bass up". IOW, get the tuning and balance of the bass instruments correct and everything else is much more likely to fall into place musically. The best orchestras (like the best stereos) have bass sections that play with the same clarity of timbre and litheness of the upper instruments, and produce sounds that are not simply low-frequency muck with no air around individual instruments.