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 ?

Swaped arms from mag to aluminum.  Difference is subtle but audible Soundstage is deeper and cymbals are more extended with little or no grit.  The VDH is rather more up front than the Lyras I'm used to and the aluminum arm seems to push it back just a little.


Ive had noting but Lyra for years ( Clavis, now Delos).  In comparison the VDH is not as extended or as transparent, however, the VDH has a richer (in a good way) midrange and even without the extension it seems to have plenty of detail.  Somehow I think it is just more musical.  If I were going to show off my system I'd use the Delos.  If I were going to listen to music I think I'd go with the VDH.  It is superb on acoustic guitar.

Last time I did an extended cartridge optimization session for a customer (SME arm), we extensively tweaked the tracking force and bias (.. ;-) by ear.
Start at the lower end of the tracking force, and prepare small balls of Blue-Tak at 0.1 gram, measuring them with a precision scale 0f 0.01 gram resolution.
By adding them (side by side and not pushing them flat) you’ll find a spot where the sound starts to feel slightly compressed, slower and too creamy (= too high tracking force / too low VTA), instead of dynamic, fast and a bit dry.
Go back to one mini-blob less and do the same with mini-blobs of ca. 0.01 gram.
It’s surprising how audible this is. It’s worthwile to start with finding the best VTA, do the weight optimization, go back to VTA and do the weight thing again. The weight adjustment and VTA interrelate *somewhat*, but they are not the same.
*Check the lateral balance=calm free floating in the middle, when adjusting VTA with the ET adjustment!*
Otherwise you introduce a major variable, while tuning a subtle, important factor.
It’s not a real hassle. But it’s ear opening.

vpi, the VDH MC1 was my first "serious" cartridge purchased more years ago than seems possible. It came back to me upgraded to "Special" status (free of charge) after its third (!) trip back to the Nederlands for retipping. Always liked that cartridge and still do and I agree with your description of its sound relative to Lyra’s. What you describe as "upfront" I hear as simply the fact that it produces individual images which are larger than what I experienced with the two Lyras that I have had and in a generally smaller soundstage. Loved its realistically full midrange tonal balance.

I have done a lot of back and forth with my aluminum and magnesium wands and have come to the conclusion that, theoretical or technical "best" considerations aside, which wand is best is very system and taste dependent. I much preferred the magnesium wand with that cartridge as I found that the aluminum wand tended to take the sound still more in the direction of larger individual images in a smaller soundstage than the magnesium which offered better defined and slightly smaller individual images in a broader soundstage. The magnesium also tended to give a better tonal balance. The aluminum, to my ears, had an overall darker midrange but with more prominent upper frequencies and a slight sense of discontinuity between the two. Again... in my system. Just some possible food for thought. Btw, not as precarious as it may seem if one is careful, but try removing the shell off of the cartridge. Easy to do and the improvement in sound is not subtle. Regards.