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 ?
It's too bad that audiophiles abandoned bass, midrange, and treble controls in the interest of fidelity to the source. It's also too bad that many master recordings can stand a bit of tweaking. I liked my old Marantz receiver just fine for this, but someone talked me out of it!
Interesting comments on the subject of mc cartridge loading; especially from Ralph Karsten of Atma-Sphere and references to Jonathan Carr's feelings on the topic.  


In the context of my systems over time my experience with cartridge loading has been that most of the mc's that I have owned sounded "best" at 47K.  While lower values could tame possible excessive brightness or add fullness to the upper bass/lower midrange, these "benefits" were often accompanied by a loss of overall detail and linearity and a sense that dynamics were being supressed.  I found that I could ultimately achieve more satisfying sound by addressing the issue of brightness or lean bass (at 47K) elsewhere in my system or by changes in VTA and slightly higher VTF.  In fairness, my systems have tended to be fuller sounding than most, and I can understand how in the context of a leaner sounding system one might take the other approach.  

Harry, Paul Desmond had one of the most beautiful alto sounds ever; as you point out he was one of the greats.  His obsession with not wanting to hear the spit on his reed led him to say what is one of my favorite quotes in jazz.  When asked how he got that beautiful pure tone he replied that he wanted "... to sound like a dry martini".  I think that what he was asking for from the engineers was that they not let close micing alter his natural tone which did not normally have the sound of air and spit in it. Close micing will exaggerate any air or spit in the tone, so "rolling off his feed" would compensate for that exaggeration.  Ben Webster, on the other hand, used what is referred to as "subtone".  He didn't want the purity of tone that Desmond had and cultivated that breathy-with-spit tone.  Both great players.  Regards.
Hi frogman, I share with you the admiration for Paul Desmond. I play the alto myself and he has +/- my ideal sound on the instrument (within the limits of my abilities, and the recorded sound as you point out).
Loading MCs: Your line of thoughts reminds me of my experiments  with the Magnepan MG3 speakers with their superbly transparent, but often a bit glassy sounding tweeter. I started with the usual recommendation to put a "normal" resistor in series, but this was loosing much too much transparency (a noiseless back-ground with kind of a plentyful sea of lively information). Then I used parallelled  ERO Resista metal film resistors, but the effect was not much better. Then I replaced the HF-Litz feeding the ribbon with a thin solid core wire and had success with more transparency and less "noise" and brightness. Ultimately I developped an independent, three-wired new crossover (with soldering to the ribbons... :-) which somehow integrated the superior mid/high transparency of the two-way MG 2.5 (and MG 2.6) into the three-way-MG 3.
Before these changes I had the feeling that my Koetsu Black / VdH 1 needle (Gyger upgrade) was sounding "bright".
Removing the transparency obstacles, which created stress and brightness, allowed to retrieve the VdH1 stylus information without glassyness.
I am skeptical of loading as a cure for problems created elsewhere, it's not really working in that context, it's too much of a compensation game (for me). I loose too much, gain not much.
Besides: The direction of the resistor is as audible as that of cables, as is the brand and type of resistor (and the preparation of the wires and the soldering including the solder).
To attain an experimentally "clean lab table" for these kinds of comparisons, within the context of the ultimately almost always slightly sloppy way people generally do their comparisons, seems pretty optimistic to me.
Pegasus, I lived with MGIIIA's for many years and, to this day, the sound I achieved with them in the loft space that they were in is the best from any system that I have ever assembled; with the possible exception of the sound from my Stax F-81's.  Apples and oranges however as the presentations are very different in scale.  That sound, however, was achieved only after extensive mods (completely upgraded xovers and rewiring).  Your description of that great ribbon tweeter is exactly as I experienced it and I found that, as well as upgrading the cheap wiring, the most effective solution for the "glassiness" that you describe was hardwiring all the connections to the panel and the (now) completely outboard xovers and bypassing the fuses altogether including the tweeter's fuse (I lived dangerously back then) thereby removing all that nasty steel from the signal path.  Transparency was greatly improved and as you point out this allowed me to better hear problems elsewhere in the system.  I have been getting very interested in Maggie's again.  Great speakers and IN THE RIGHT ROOM capable of surprising bass extension with an absolutely huge and very coherent soundstage.  I was able to get 28hz -3db in that large space!  Miss those speakers.  That was all around the same time that I bought my ET2 which is the only piece that I have kept all these years.  That says something, I think.

Chris,Harry, and all,
I have to amend my thoughts on cartridge loading. I tried 47K over the weekend and cymbals did seem to shimmer a bit better with no downside to the bass. I believe that the tweaks on the ET-2 have enabled me to appreciate what my cartridge can do. -Thanks to you guys for that.