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 ?
Yes, I know this is an ET II forum but I can't restrain my recent good fortune.  A family member just gave me a Garrard 301 for my birthday.  It is complete with a Garrard arm.  As much as I love my VPI HW 19 (which I will keep and become a two turntable kind'a guy), this is a turntable I have lusted after for nearly 40 years.  Since it comes to me at no cost I can spend some $$ on an arm.  I know that while Chris is reluctant to admit it, he does have some pivoted arms.  Do y'all have any recommendations for an arm for this table.  The plinth is not an issue as I will be replacing the original Garrard plinth.  Perhaps with a new plinth it would even accommodate an ET II, but I'd like to hear your opinions.


Many years ago there was a high end store in Soutn Dade county, Florida run by a very eccentric owner (I think his name was Larry).  He had a 301 mounted in (believe it or not) a huge butcher block.  One of those that is a freestanding table that sits in the middle of your kitchen.  Not sure what arm he was running, but it was S shaped - probably an SME.  I have no recollection of the cartridge he was using but I have a long standing recollection that, at the time (40 years ago), it was the best sounding vinyl I had ever heard.

It wasn’t directed at you or anyone.

I look forward to your impressions.


I don’t have any specific recommendations for you. I assume the S-shaped arms are shaped this way to provide more mass that would have complimented the majority of cartridges of that era? I’m envious!

- Regarding I-beam and weights: I often used BluTak to adjust or increase the counterweight mass to a certain degree and never felt it was compromising the sound in any way. I also form tiny balls of ca. 0.05g (or less) to precisely adjust the VTF in a repeatable way (by putting on and taking them away). For this I measure these balls on a 0.01 precise Mapleshade scale. BluTak is simple & very practical.

- On the website of the Adanalog MG1 arm – which is similar to the ET2 – several of the user images show Lenco drives with new plinths, and I heard very good sounds from a Lenco / Reinders PTP / limestone plinth with an MG1 arm.
In my experience idler wheel or direct drives work very very good for air bearing arms, ie. optimal. (Better in my system than a very good Merrill Heirloom, a medium weight belt / subchassis ET 2 combo).
- I think this has to do with the tendency of a belted subchassis to slightly  (counter-) rotate around the platter axis at low subsonic frequencies and the way this continually decenters the air bearing a bit, compromising (to a certain degree) bass quality and others. The very low horizontal resonance of air bearing arms adds to that effect.
A radial arm has the center of its horizontal mass (almost) in the rigidly placed bearing and so the cartridge/arm combo is not displaced by horizontal accelaration (or much, much less).
@pegasus ,

Your post reminds me of some of the possible adverse affects of a suspended (spring especially) plinth TT used in conjunction with the ET. I believe this was THE major pitfall I encountered through all of my iterations of the HW-19 and all of the upgrades I did to it and my ultimately going in another direction for a while. I do not regret my learning experience one bit.

(In your last post, I noticed you referred to the Mapleshade scale. I’ve used it for years).

I do admit that after watching MF’s Rega factory tour several months back, one (of the many things) that struck me was their development of an extremely accurate scale! I’ve been waiting for it to come to market. Finally, It’s here! I have one on it’s way to me now.
@slaw: Regarding Mapleshade scale - as much as I like it's precision, it is always drifting slightly (besides the necessity to place the needle at exactly the same spot).Thinking about it, I dream about a solid 5kg linear low noise power supply to feed the scale and to be placed on the subchassis while measuring :-)