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 ?
In response to Chris - Yes I am disconnecting the tonearm at the gooseneck, so in theory I'm preserving Azimuth and the tracking line when I swap looms. I still have to reset tonearm height to get VTA right, but I rely on the runout gage readings to get back to the right height.  And of course I have to reset VTF.  I'm going to switch the Lyra Delos back into my carbon fiber tonearm tonight and see if I can hit the sweet spot.  My technique is to use a small van den hull bubble level that sits on top of the cartridge as a reference and make small adjustments and listen. Arguably the least fun part of dialing in the sound.  When I hit that SRA/VTF/Azimuth window, and it's small, the reproduction takes on a whole new character.  I especially notice it when a vocalist has backup harmony singers or is being double tracked.  I listen to those background vocals and when things are right, those vocals are entirely distinct and you can often follow their breathing patterns etc., just as if they were lead vocals.  Having said that,  I'm seriously thinking about getting a measuring device like the Fozgometer to get in the ballpark, but I'm going by ear tonight and will try to keep good notes. As Peter Lederman points out, the issue is that if the cartridge has very good channel separation, one channel may be 30db and the other 34db, those are both great numbers that would be compromised by matching output. The consensus from my reading is that the goal when setting azimuth is to minimize crosstalk. 
Post removed 
Hi Chris & Dave! Funnyly, I watched through all the cartridge setup videos, and the long "testicles" video about cartridges inner qualities & problems the last three days. There is a lot of common assumptions and concepts about cartridge setup, and I have / had a bit of my own. Listening through Ledermanns videos is very inspiring and like a wave of clean fresh air into the brain. He is a f... genius.

Regarding azimuth I always wondered what to strive for when cartridge / cantilever combos of very expensive cartridges can be visibly off by three or more degrees - otherwise it wouldn't be visible. 
So the cantilever/stylus can be twisted in the body, and we can assume that it's probably difficult to get repeatable precision in production below 1 degree azimuth angle.
The second question then arises: How exact is the mounting of the stylus in reference to the moving coil armature, or (around the cantilever axis rotationally) non-symmetric moving iron or magnet structures?All this results in the question: Does the coil/generator needs to be aligned exactly with the groove, or is it the stylus?Ledermann gives a clear and IMO decisive answer. The left/right tracing lines / points should optimally be on equal height – specially with line contact styli there is not much tolerance. Optimizing crosstalk often ends in tracing the upper edge of one groove / channel and getting (sometimes a lot of ) additionnal distortion.
Optimizing channel separation symmetry (as a one parameter measurement) yields in that sense wrong results.
I used to align my cartridges with mono recordings, or mono signals. I had the cartridge mono-strapped with switched +/- connections on one channel. The problem with this setup is that  signal level differences between L and R result in less clear cancelling which gives a rather broad minimum. But interestingly in off-phase mono one can still hear the distortion more clearly. Maybe one should minimize *the distortion* in that setup. I got good results when keeping an ear on the distortion. Ie. minimizing the distortion and then in the minimum /optimal zone slightly adjust azimuth angle for minimal cross-talk.
Effectively one listens to the vertical signal in that setup (as in the Fozgometers reading) – with distortion appearing in the lateral signal because of suboptimal tracing in one channel, highlighted by the opff-phase setup.
I assume the Fozgometer has an optimized way to ignore the channel level differences and thus attainig a clearer null. But IMO doing adjustment by eye only on a meter eliminates the important audible changes. Ie. eliminating an important sonic parameter, the distortion, eliminates any remaining audible hint to tracing distortions due to stylus position.
Both the Fozgometer and the Feickert system align the generator vs. the recording instead of the stylus, and therefore they are misleading (to put it in diplomatic words). And they measure only one parameter instead of the more multi-dimensional listening process. 

IMO Peter Ledermanns talks are a must hear&see for any analogue/vinyl lover.
"Both the Fozgometer and the Feickert system align the generator vs. the the recording instead of the stylus, and therefore they are misleading (to put it into diplomatic words). And they measure only one parameter instead of the more multi-dimensional listening process."

Well said.

Chris's comment above under Azimuth is spot on. It's not easy (impossible) to get perfect sound from lp to lp because all of the variables involved in lp manufacturing and with the ET's design. One's best hope is to have the flattest pressing you own from a listening & visual perspective to set things up. Trying to chase perfect sound from lp to lp will be futile.

Before everyone gets (deep) into things, ...Chris pointed out some of your interesting (add-ons). These types of things make a difference to those that are posting without the benefit of whatever you feel those (things) bring to your experience.

For anyone here to give you a correct recommendation based upon their experience (without your obvious add-ons) would be their waste of time and a waste of this threads intentions.

#1. A plastic tie around one of the tonearm junctions? Why?
#2 Tonearm wrap around your CF arm ? Why?
#3 TT in the corner of your room.
#4 Given these things,...what else?... what type of TT suspension are you using?
#5 Trying too many varying audio components/tt adjustments in a short period of time.

Go back to the basics. The intended way the designers (BT) had in mind. ( This may require you spending a few $ but then there will be a (reference) all can respond to/you can behold).

These things should be noted before others try and respond.

Happy Listening!