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 ?
Post removed 

- Last week a post-Munich dealer / customer exhibit took place at Micha Hubers (manu-) factory near Zurich. I met Micha for the first time, haven’t used his products in my own system (yet).
On show were two Thales turntables and a new smaller EMT ’table, mated with Exquisite low and medium output & new EMT cartridges on a Thales Statement & new EMT arms. Electronics were a prototype Thales (phono)-preamp, EMT tube phono listened through CH precision amp & Stenheim 3. And an Audio Consulting (of Geneva) chain, consisting of Tube battery phono / amp & Rubanoid hybrid speakers w. lessloss speaker cables. The factory tour was totally impressive, both from a technical "artistic" level, the research behind, the agility, commitment and efficiency of the team - and Michas relentless fine-mechanical searching spirit and his modesty & friendlyness. Every audio afficionado will be totally impressed by the precision & handcraft applied by that team in a highly inspiring atmosphere.

Listening to "show systems" has its limits, less here than, it seems, in Munich. A moderate area, old wooden floor room made some floor / room resonances, apart of which the huge qualities of the front end & systems were very audible: The breath, resolution, dimensionality of the A.C. system, the precise matter-of-fact see-through quality of the CH Precision / Stenheim system. The extreme levels of precision, focus, natural ebb & flow of the Exquisite-powered front ends was supremely audible: The Statement arm is flabbergastingly open & transparent, it’s in every technical and audio detail a tour de force, the engineering and "simple form complexity" of the parts, the execution and its seemingly simple function. As a scepticist regarding complexity I am still in awe of the total success of this very complex concept. It sounds totally lucid and non mechanical, like an exquisite master tape. The Exquisite cartridges whose interiors and fine adjustments we could observe "live" under the lab microscope are unique in more than one way, which made itself very (in-)audible in a complete lack of artefacts. They are indeed state of the art as well. No wonder some big names use OEM cartridges out of Michas manufacture.

- The massive reduction of overhang in the Thales tonearms and hence the minimizing of skating forces does to my ears very audibly increase tracing stability under dynamic signals, something we experience too with a correctly adjusted air-bearing arm. The advantage of "Tangential" is IMO primary the reduction or elimination of overhang, not the moderate or small angle error of radial arms.

If it must be simple in handling and more conventional in looks & adjustment than an ET 2/2.5 (and if finances are available), there is IMO most probably no real alternative for the Thales arms, notably the Statement arm. Specially impressive ist the smooth solidity of all bearings and fittings - and their finish: Pieces of art without snobbery. And the sonic result is simply superb.


Coming home from a show and maybe listening with ones partner is always interesting and sometimes also telling something, but what?
I was favourably impressed even by my "little digital wonder" of battery-fed RPI3-Hifiberry Digi Pro streamer / CEC TL2 CD transport, battery-fed MF DAC-V90 digital front end. Everything you could wish for was impressively there...

And then... my wife called for Grieg Peer Gynt by HvK which I was able to stream - I quite like this recording on CD and it sounded good streamed (Roon / Qobuz) but my wife reacted somewhat lukewarm, after some highly impressing audio experiences just before - and she wished for phono.
I have my alternating phono & digital sabbaticals. Saturday ended such a more than half-year sabbatical on phono. The return of... the king? ...the glory was shocking, I simply wasn't prepared for it. The connection to room, music-making, dynamics and see-through transparency and coherence hit me right between the eyes. (And later all the miserable pressings, noise & wet-play artefacts of several records). The stability, dynamics warm, full & extremely resolving sound with a stand-out lucid quality in the bass has floored me in this unattended moment.

- Within the time gap rel. to my last phono phase I changed only two things regarding phono: I started aurally from new, with a digitally cleaned set ears. Last time I only had a short time with the I-beam. And, under my speakers, I replaced harder one-point (center of gravity) springed feet with an adjustable air cushion. Already before this did cut the feedback loop within frequency range which my speakers are able to reproduce (realistically not much anymore below 15Hz).
I think both aspects contributed, but (I guess) at least half of the improvement in see-through bass transparency and general palpability comes from the I-beam.
Ie. the I-beam is IMO a must have for any ET2 / ET2.5 owner.
Reducing feed-through from speaker to floor, and floor to turntable is (as we all know) very important.
The improvement wasn't subtle at all!
The other involved gear in my system is:
B&O MMC1, ET 2.5 (Audio Consulting silver tonearm wiring, pressured air bottle) / Audio Consulting  battery phono / Audio Consulting TVC line amp / Berning ZH270 with some mods / lessloss speaker cables / Ambience Audio Ribbon Hybrid Reference 1600 / Ambience subwoofer / and TakeT supertweeters and TakeT wide-range "energy-fill driver" WHDpure.

Hi, I recently come in possession of a SOTA Sapphire and ET-2 Tonearm that needed a little work. Bruce at ET has been a great resource. The tonearm wires needed to be soldered to the RCA and new cartridge clips and I needed a I-Beam and weights. I am amazed on how wonderful the whole setup sounds. 



Well, after years of procrastination, mounted on three turntables and four spent phono cartridges later. I finally said I’m going to do it. Yes, I decided that it was way past due to clean the gunk out of my ET-2’s manifold. After all, I’ve been running it on an old 30 gal belt-drive shop compressor that sits out in our unconditioned garage through at least 15 hot and muggy Tallahassee spring/summer/fall seasons. For most of this ET-2’s life, I ran the air though whatever gasoline fuel filter I could find at Autozone that would fit on the 3/16" vinyl tubing. I did run a small water trap that never seemed to have any water trapped in it as well as three stages of regulation with the last stage attached to the turntable rack delivering 18 psi to my ET-2. I now run a large water trap and Motorguard filter close to the compressor. I did this after I forgot to drain the compressor this last July. Sheeeh! Lets just say it was a shocker to see water dripping out each end of the manifold/bearing junction! Fast forward to late this afternoon, when I made the executive decision to dissemble the manifold.

Long story short, after removing the manifold and expecting all kinds of crud and corrosion, to my surprise, it looked absolutely spotless inside the manifold housing as well as the inside and outside of the manifold itself. I went ahead and cleaned it with 92% IPA then used 100 psi compressed air through a rubber tipped air-chuck to blow out all 14 manifold air orifices insuring that they all passed air.

Anyway, I think that I got lucky on this one. Also, when you do decide to clean you ET-2’s manifold, be sure to completely follow the procedure shown in the ET-2 manual. Also, be sure to mark the manifold orientation and direction in manifold’s housing so you can reassemble exactly as it was originally. The manual says to use a magic-marker to make the marks, but using IPA to clean the manifold will wash your magic-marker/shapie marks away in a second. A pencil may work better - just be aware. Also, the manual says to use grease on the o-rings, just make sure that you just ever so lightly coat the o-rings with lube. I would think that you don’t want a wad of grease sitting between the manifold and and the manifold housing. Most of all, don’t ever use any tools whatsoever to remove the manifold from its housing. Just press hard, very hard, with you thumb - it will start to move. I bet the guys down on Palmer Street would agree as well.