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 ?
While my longer beam with weight almost at end does seem to flex a little more than the shorter one, it is not excessive on my rig.  Two thoughts.   Are you using a double or triple spring on your beam?   If not, that may solve the problem.  Secondly, perhaps your hobby shop beam is just more flexible than Bruce's.   

Interesting observations.   My first setup with new plank was the same as yours.  With only the molded weight I could only get out to an inch from the end.  With only my diy smaller weight I got out to within 1/4 inch from the end with further improvement.


Am I missing something?

What Harry said. +1

You are not using Bruce’ Long I Beam designed for the tonearm.
Getting one would allow us to do an apples to apples comparison.
Remember, I did try to get a hobby shop I Beam. The ones I found were not fit - too flexible, cheap, mass produced.

Bruce’ long I Beam is 3d printed. V2 should be ready in a few weeks.

If your end cap is the original one, take it apart, and make sure it is still fit to take the extra stress the longer beam brings.

imo -
This is a cheap upgrade that affects the heart of the arms performance. The I Beam/weights. The most misunderstood aspect of this tonearm’s setup. Bruce has built the Long I Beam for the ideal length based on his testing.

All ET2 owners should be contacting Bruce and getting one.

thoughts on two or three open questions & i-beam
- I'm looking forward seeing pictures of your bearing tower!
- I did not yet try the elevated bearing position with the original ET bearing tower, as there will be drawbacks stiffness-wise because of the (practical but) rel. narrow tripod feet of the design.
- I think a 20 degree angled piece of good wood (with a slit / hole for the cartridge nuts) would do the major part of adaptation.
- arm lift adaptation could be tricky.

- magnetic damping: "My" magnets are kitchen magnets. They are round and have a simple collar-shaped pole piece which focusses and intensifies the flux around it. This will make a considerable difference in efficiency regarding damping compared to a normal "open" magnetic structure.
The magnets need to be placed really close, not more than 1mm on the closest place. The flat magnet shape vs round bearing tube  is obviously not ideal. My feeling is that it kind of cuts the peak of the resonance. It sounds and feels a step more stable - i don't like the sound of too much damping anyway.
It's difficult to extrapolate Bruces experiences & comment to different implementations without exact descriptions.

- i-beam: I checked the rotation pendulum formulas to be correct about this: If one doubles the length of the i-beam one halfs the needed weight, because of double the leverage. But the inertia grows with a square factor: 0.5 of the mass x 2^2.This results in double the inertia and 0.7 of the resonance frequency. 
The whole double mass double spring system of the ET is very ingenious but also quite complex. It is a 4th order resonant system instead of the usual 2nd order one. With one short attempt :-) i did not yet successfully find the correct CLCL model for simulation.In the most simple view there is an i-beam resonance and a bearing tube/cartridge resonance, with a zone where the i-beams spring and the cartridges compliance work in series (the i-beam springs damping can control the cartridge/bearing resonance, if the i-beam  resonance is well chosen... ;-).Problem is seeing / knowing what each one does. Simulation? Empirism?... :-)
My techno-intuitive thought on this is:
- The lower the resonance of the i-beam, the wider the frequency range over which the bearing/cartridge resonance can be controlled by it.
- the higher the resonance, the closer together both resonances and the more resonant interaction instead of control.

Does Bruce have the model? Or should I ask my more MATLAB-experienced son?

When you get a chance, I sent an off topic question to you by pm a few days ago.

The bearing tower/manifold is in the concept phase at present.
Some features are almost locked in.....
> The air feed into the manifold will be like a flattened funnel to slow the airs velocity before it gets to the bearing sleeve. The original jet of air has to cause turbulence where it first contacts the sleeve. This funnel will probably be lightly packed with wool. The manifold will be undercut to allow for a multi wrap of filter paper around the sleeve to further smooth/ equalise air delivery to the capillaries. The manifold will also have, as per my current version, the cap screw and shim metal locking arrangement between the manifold and sleeve to lock the two o'rings.
> The manifold and tower will be a male/female VEE slider arrangement with a single capscrew locking them in place. This will ensure that the manifold stays exactly horizontal at all VTA positions. It also gives a very solid join between the two parts. A vertical capscrew between the two providing for VTA adjustment. The slider will be straight. 
> The tower will have one fixed, parent material, foot and two PVC adjustable feet. The PVC feet provide for alignment of the tower to the platter surface. The single, parent material, foot provides a "virtual" single point of contact with the arm board.
> Parent material will be either zinc or aluminium and will have machined galleries containing damping material.

This is a long term project. I will keep you posted.

Re radically raising the arm to 20 degrees. I get the stiffness issue. Would the wedge idea work as desired? Do we not want the vertical pivot point to be in line with the cantilever. Maybe I missed something in your initial or your latest discussion  on the topic.