Graham Phantom vs. Phantom II

Hi, I own the Phantom and think about getting the Phantom II.
It is quite rare, but is someone out who did the change from one to the other?
When yes, may I ask, what do you think about the sonic differences. Some say there are none but I think from technical paper there are...

My goodness - I missed seeing this thread before, and I want to thank everyone for their input.. First of all, I want to apologize to any who did not receive a reply when they wrote; we try to answer all e-mails, but with spam-filters being what they are, sometimes a letter gets lost in the system.

Now, about the Phantom I, II, and so on. The main difference in the II is the new titanium wand; however, it goes a bit beyond that. The headshell is slightly revised (only slightly) and gives a more direct patch for energy to be swallowed up by the damped armwand. Also, the internal wiring has been updated a little in order to reduce mechanical friction even further.

Another detail we have been addressing is the occasinal problem someone notices (PCosta on 6/19) of having the pivot not centered. We do recommend that, as a last adjustment after setting things up, the user would then carefully slightly lift the pivot housing just a small fraction and then reseat it into the pivot cup. This will ensure proper location (much like making sure you put in a vacuum tube properly in it's socket) and will not pop out from the magnets.

To help make this a bit more automatiac, we've recently reduced the size of the magnets (less pull), but placed them further out from the pivot (more leverage); the result being a high level of lateral stability, but with less sideways forces. If your arm is not causing troubles in this regard, there's nothing to be concerned about with whatever Phantom you have. If not, that's part of the upgrade to the "II" status.

The "Micropoise" bubble level system was an afterthought, and came to me within a month or so of the previously-described upgrades, and after the "II" had been announced. I thought of saving this for a "III" designation, but who knows when that might be, and the notion of this was so handy, I thought, that I'd start to include it. (Concidentally, our own manufacturing costs, like the rest of the crazy world, have gone up, so when we raised the retail to $4900.00, we added the "Micropoise" at the same time. That way, no one who purchased at the older, lower, price would be penalized).

Can the arms be upgraded? Absolutely. The armwand can be swapped by the user, obviously. And we're considering offering the "Micropoise" feature as a kit, although this will require care, a steady hand, and only one chance to get it right, since the retros will have to be applied with a drop of Krazy Glue.! (The production units are attached with a machine screw, but the earlier arms have no provision for this).

Generally, I'd recommend anyone wanting the upgrades to contact us and arrange for a return. Here, we can exchange the internal wire and the Magneglide components, and install the Micropoise" leveler. Cost for this is $475.00 and, when used with the Titanium armtube,will bring you completely current.

Thanks again to all who have purchased, enjoy, and support our products. Without customers, we wouldn't be here, and you're all - to a person - very appreciated..!

Hope this helps explain things a bit..
-Bob Graham
I never owned an original Phantom. I had a 1.5t for 16 years, but recently broke down and ordered a Phantom Mk ii. I exchanged e-mails with Bob Graham during the process. There is no Mk iii.

Here's what I learned: When original Phantom came out, Bob indicated that he continued to tweak things and over time this got to the point that enough had changed to warrant the Mk ii designation. A few posts mention these changes accurately.

After the Mk ii was officially released, Bob indicated he still continually tweaked things - it is in his nature. This included the bubble level, a screw tap to mount the bubble level and a few other "minor" tweaks he thought of along the way. Certainly nothing to warrant Mk iii.

I bought mine from a dealer that is heavy into analog and sells a bit of Graham - relatively speaking. He shipped my Phantom Mk ii back to Graham for an "upgrade" to include the last few "minor" tweaks, but they are very minor and it probably was a waste of shipping.

That's what I know.
Flyfish, like you I have owned the 1.5T for a long time (18yrs) but finally cracked and got a Phantom 2.
I don't think you'll find the 'micropoise' level a waste of shipping. I find it a really handy feature - and yes, you wonder why no-one else has thought of putting this on an arm before.
I've only just installed the P2, and have very little listening/tweaking time, but already I'm thrilled with the gains over the (very respectable) 1.5T. Everyone talks about the bass improvement, but the increased clarity, presence, sound-space, air and dynamic ease are immediately apparent.
I agree that the micropoise is a good idea, but I wonder why Bob didn't put it on the bearing cap so that you could level across all angles. THAT would have been far more valuable.
Because the main cylinder is moving on one plane when you set the azymuth with the magneglide, mine is leaning left side to have the right azymuth. Micropoise is a help for VTA to have armwand parallel to the record.