FR64 to FR66 conversion Analogmagik

Hi guys


I read the thread started by @syntax whose opinion I genuinely value. I have decided to get Richard Mak to refurb my FR64s arm.


Whilst on the website I saw you could get an FR66 replica arm tube.


Has anyone done this conversion?

What is the benefit of going 9 to 12 inches?

There is a very solid school of thought advocated by the maker of the SAT arm and the late great Max Townshend that the shorter the arm the better - rigidity and also resonance outweigh tracking improvement…


I would be grateful for the input of anyone particularly those who have both arms or got the conversion 


thanks 🙏 



If 9 inches isn’t enough…

I’m just saying.

Seriously, although the FR66S commands much bigger bucks than the FR64S, from a collector point of view, I’m not sure it’s a good idea to convert one to the other, especially given the probable high cost of the conversion. It’s really a matter of personal choice and having a cartridge that’s particularly suited to the even higher effective mass of the 12 incher. I do know that some of our European friends revere the 66.

In my view you should consider that the FR64S will be more compatible with a wider variety of TT's than the FR66S due to the 12 inch arm not fitting many TT's.

Is a small improvement worth the downside.

Also you have an increase in effective mass and inertia - pushing the arm into a smaller group of compatible cartridges.

If you really want to optimise the FR64S and are prepared to butcher it - get the guy to drill holes up and down the FR64S arm tube to lower the effective mass, eliminate the head shell bayonet mount, and wire the arm from cartridge to phono input in a continuous run. That along with a bearing upgrade should improve the arm immensely, and should outperform a standard FR66S by some margin.


This is going to a second arm on either my EMT 950 (for which I will make a custom mount) or my JVC QL10 for which I am building my own plinth.

It's purely a performance thing.

Price wise it is not extortionate especially when done at the same time of the refurb and rewire (i read the @syntax thread)

@dover i think the arm would be completely different if i did all your suggested mods 🤣

@lohanimal , I'm curious to hear about your custom plinth for the TT101 that your building. I'm using a TT71 in an original Victor CL-2P plinth with custom aluminum quick change arm boards. Tonearms are either a Victor UA-7045, UA-7082 or an Audio Technica ATP-12T and cartridges are different flavors of the Denon DL-103. I consider this my reference table. Speed is dead stable at 33.33 and never wavers testing with the KAB strobe kit.




I believe that Richard Mak performs all of the upgrades suggested by @dover except drilling holes the length of the arm to reduce mass.

FYI, I use my FR64S on my modified QL10. Plinth has been heavily reinforced with aluminum and the armboard went in the trash in favor of an aluminum copy that is also bulked up. At that point in my audio life when I acquired the QL10 and fixed the TT101, I had no more patience for creating a new plinth from scratch. So I improved upon the original.

@lewm i have considered the modified plinth approach, but I took the view (rightly or wrongly) that a ground up design will look or feel more of a piece so to speak.


that said - did you notice an improvement by adding the plates/mass

i know that on Arthur Salvatore site one man has made a waist high solid plinth - that said I think you risk seismic feedback. Apparently it is superb.

I can only fairly say that to my ears the stiffened OEM plinth plus the mass-loaded mounting board plus the FR B60 base for the FR64S sounds “bigger” and with superior bass response compared to the original configuration. I could send photos if your interested but not until next week as we’re vacationing in northern CA at the moment, and  I live in MD.

I've added some photo's to my profile of my custom armboards for my Victor CL-2P plinth. They use a quick change insert, remove (6) 10-32 screws and the arm comes out with the insert as a complete assembly.

Maybe this can give someone ideas.....



Our  former member '''Der Tonarm'' (aka D. Brakemeier) who is still

my friend give me just oine advice: ''put your FR-64 s in the sun like

watchmaker do with watches. This will soften the greas'',

So  no ''rewire'' with Ikeda's silver wire or Kondo's 100 years old

silver from Italy...

Also check out Halcro’s plinth for his TT101, photos to be found in his long thread where we argued about outboard tonearm pods. Key word for reference is “Copernicus”.

I had my FR-66s modded by Richard Mak with great results. My use is pretty unorthodox, though. I use the FR arm because I need to track heavy (5 grams) with 78s and the FR arm is probably one of the best-suited if not the best for such a task. Richard upgraded the bearings to ceramic and direct-wired it RCAs to pins. I’m sure the modifications hurt the resale value, but I don’t really care.

I realized later in the game that he offers the 'upgrade' from FR64S to FR66s. I probably would have just bought a FR64s and upgraded the arm tube rather than buying a used FR66s on Yahoo Auctions Japan, but live and learn.

If you live near enough to Bethesda, you are welcome to visit in person.