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 ?
I run my MC carts with no load at 47k also. I have found that with adjustable gain, with those LPs that are recorded brighter if I turn down the gain a bit, I don't have to fiddle with VTA. With digital and its high compression on many albums this feature is invaluable.

My Lenco idler I thought was at speed at the factory slot setting of 33 1/3, but when I measured it with the tachometer I found it was set to run fast and it needed to be dialed down. I found this on a couple other decks too. Reason I asked. 
Thought you were located where it got real hot. My bad. The mountains sound great.

@ct0517   Over Dinner I was thinking about our discussion.  I'm pleased with the Delos on the Garrard and I'm pleased with the VDH on the VPI.  Some might ask, why not just leave them alone.  Those would ask such a question would obviously not be audiophiles:)
The description of the sonic change with the Garrard reminds me of my friends system when he changed to a Lenco. Even with a very simple plinth the very satisfying solidity and propelling musicality just popped out of the speakers. Just *a lot* more "there there"!
This was compared with same cartridge (Benz LP-S) on a WTT Signature (rare beast!) to a Funk tt with FX arm. Both are in no way slouches in regard to transparency and quickness etc.
Regarding the thinness of the Delos on the VPI: When I tweaked & optimized a Benz for a customer I was astonished at how audible changes above 0.01-0.02 gram were. Too low and one gets an exciting, but edge of the seat sound, that sounds stressed sort of. Too high and the sound gets a bit dull and slow in the bass, with a lack of open timbres.
The easy way to tweak is to set the VTF low and start with small, measured Blue-Tak balls, that are lightly stuck to the headshell. (Yes they change the sound slight by themselves - but more slightly than the weight change)
Too low or high VTF has obviously the opposite signature to VTA changes. I think that the changes with tracking force are only partially explainable with implicite VTA changes. And I feel that the effect is more pronounced than VTA changes.
If one starts to think about tweaking VTA and loading, my experience is that is crucial to really first tweak tracking force (VTF) by ear, with a precise digital tracking gauge. - And high precision & repeatability in setting the needle down on the gauge.
@pegasus . Thanks for the tip on VTF.  I'm so pleased with the Delos on the Garrard and its sense of "there", it's probably going to stay on the Garrard.  Don't want to touch it for fear of losing the magic.  The Delos is a whole different cartridge on the Garrard.   I did, however, play with VTF and VTA with the VDH on the VPI to a nice result (good grief is that enough V's for you).  I lightened VTF just a tad (.03) and went just a little more nose down with VTA.  As you predicted it firmed up the bass and made cymbals more wispy.  Not sizzley but more delicate.

Those of you who still have your ET bolted to a VPI HW-19 may be interested in my experience with replacing the spring suspension.  Being frugal and reading severalblogs about how childrens' noodles made a good replacement I tried one inch pieces of a noodle.  While I initially liked the sound they were nowhere stiff enough for my MK III with its steel sub-chassis and TNT platter.  Over night the noodle squished down way too far.  To make matters worse they didn't squish at the same rate causing a loss of level.  Not good for any arm but critical for the ET.  Next I tried Vibrapod cones.  Hard rubber cones with a steel ball at the narrow end.  They made a nice firm foundation but the music seemed to go flat with a loss of air, bloom and soundstage depth.  Just kind of boring.  Finally, I inserted a set of Herbies extra firm, tall Tenderfeet.  The soundstage deepened and the bloom and air returned.  Nice firm foundation that does not degrade sound.

Not denegrating the Vibrapod cones.  They are a nice product but for this application the tall Tenderfeet were a much better solution.