Morch DP-8 arm on a Helix Two turntable

Hello everyone. I am exploring putting a Morch DP-8 tonearm on a Helix Two turntable. I would like opinions from people who own the DP-8 specifically on how easy is to calibrate, how is its tracking and how accurate are the low frequencies. What is your accompanied cartridge(s)? I assume your system is capable of reproducing accurately instruments below 50Hz. Thanks in advance for taking the time to respond.
That is a heck of a lot of arm.

As it was specifically designed to successfully transmit bass, and the trend for more bass in content, I would want the ability to control too much bass when needed.
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Hi Vassilis_t

The Morch is a mass loaded unipivot arm with a spindly arm tube. It is unstable and nowhere near stiff enough.
The Helix two is an incredible turntable. Wait until the vacuum platter is ready. If you talk to Mark Dohmann he will tell you not to get that arm. You can email him directly.  The ultimate arm for that table is a Schroder LT. They sell the Schroder CB but the LT is the one for that table. Great
Mijo, Admittedly, I have never owned a Morch tonearm, but they, particularly the model 8, are very highly regarded among those who do use them.  I don't know how you can dismiss it out of hand in this case, unless you have heard one.  I know you categorically dislike all unipivots, that is your bias in this case.  Can you point to even a negative review on the internet to justify your advice to the OP?  The Morch 8 is the one I would choose over all the other Morch tonearms, were I in the market.
I'm pretty sure that Mark D will tell you that the Schroeder CB-1 is the best value for his turntable and that is why he supplies them as the standard choice for the Helix 2. The Schroeder LT is a another, much more, costly alternative that brings more to the presentation. Last time I corresponded with Mark D he was also looking into trying the Reed 3P as an alternative. 
My advice would be to email Mark directly and get his opinion on the Moerch arm. He is very responsive to inquiries and is a great person to bounce ideas off - he will give you his unfiltered opinions. Congrats on the turntable-it is an end game deck for sure!

I set up the Moerch DP8 for a year or so with a van den hul colibri. On the same turntable I replaced the DP8 with the Kuzma 4Point11. Whilst the DP8 was quite good - the Kuzma was far better, both with the van den hul Calibri and also a Kuzma CAR50.

I have also heard the Schroeder CB in the Dohmann which was good.

In my view I would recommend the Kuzma 4Point11 or at a lower price Kuzma 4Point9.
Alternately the Schroeder CB.

Unlike the other posters I have listened to these arms over a period of time.

I also have the Kuzma 4P (11) and recently got the Moerch DP-8 as an alternate arm to use with my AF Technics SP 10 Mk2.  It's only been a short period, but my initial impression is that the DP-8 ain't no slouch. It may not be up there with the 4P, but it's still a very good arm.  OP - I know Hans Henrik is willing to Facetime to help with set up, I would go that route and set up the arm properly before looking for another arm.
Other posters which I assume means me do not have to listen to every single tonearm out there to know what makes a good arm and what makes a lousy one. The Morch violates several key parameters. Having set up and listened to many arms experience is the best teacher. People buy the Morch because they think it looks cool. What they think it sounds like means nothing. People think all kinds of inferior equipment sounds great especially when they just spent a lot of money on it. Dover's experience is rather typical.
@lewm, it is not just my bias. It is the bias of many people including the designers of unipivot arms! Both Graham and Basis have gone out of their way to correct specific unipivot deficiencies. Cartridge manufacturers recommend against them. 

I get a lot of animosity because I do not pull punches. Political correctness only perpetuates problems and inferiority. An opinion stated is one that can be argued, verified or debunked.  
Thank you all for the great and sincere input. You have helped me make a decision. It is greatly appreciated. Stay safe and happy listening.
Mijostyn, I appreciate forthright comments, but if they represent opinions presented as fact, then I take umbrage unless there are also supportive data provided. In the case of the Murch DP8, what I see is a tonearm that does in fact conform to most modern conceptions of what makes a good tonearm, except of course for the central fact that it is a Uni pivot which some people like and some people don’t like. On the other hand, I take Dover’s opinion very seriously, because he tells that he has used the DP8 in his system and he compared it to other tonearms, one of which we can call a modified unipivot (Kuzma 4-point). As for me, I am a little suspicious of tonearms that started life as unipivot designs and later incorporated  very significant crutches that no longer placed them in the Uni pivot category, like the Kuzma, the VPI, and the third brand that escapes memory at the moment. But you won’t find me expressing an opinion of them, because I have never heard them, and because each has its own set of devoted followers, some of whom I respect a great deal.

But to your point, I think it is fair for you to say you don’t like Uni pivots and then give a list of reasons why you don’t like them in theory, while also admitting you never heard the Murch DP8. 
I'm also interested in the Morch DP-8 and they seem to be very highly regarded from what I've read. Is the DP-8 really a unipivot? I thought only the UP-4 is a true unipivot. What type of turntable do you recommend this arm for?
Is the DP-8 really a unipivot? I thought only the UP-4 is a true unipivot. 
No. The DP6/8 uses a dual pivot, similar to the traditional knife edge bearings in the old SME arms except that instead of knife edges it uses points and cups. Far more stable than a unipivot.

 one of which we can call a modified unipivot (Kuzma 4-point). As for me, I am a little suspicious of tonearms that started life as unipivot designs and later incorporated  very significant crutches 
The Kuzma 4Point did not start out as a unipivot - it was a "clean sheet" design, bearings in the vertical plain are similar to the Moerch - 2 points, one in a cup, 1 in a knife block. This is quite clever becuase the armtube is removable, and when you place it on the pillar assembly all you do is locate the point in the cup on one side, and then lower the other side which automatically finds the correct position. Long term I would surmise that if the cup wears, the point will self centre, and the slot on the other side allows for any change - very clever. 

If you use audio parlance - gimbal bearings, unipivot bearings, knife edge bearings ( SME SAEC ) both these arms are more akin to knife edge bearings than the others.

The Kuzma 4Point11 has the best, easy, repeatable, fine turnable VTA adjustment of any arm I have used/set up. If you have a collection of both traditional thinner records and 180g vinyl then easily adjusted, and measureable VTA is critical in my view so that evenif you dont do VTA for each record, at least you can have 1 setting for each type of record - 180g/normal

@dover thank you for clarifying, the Morch DP-6/8 is a dual pivot design and share some similarity to the knife edge bearing in vintage SME 3009 arms.
The DP-8 has VTA adjustment that isn't on their lower models, can you share your experiences on how well this work. What you like/dislike. TIA   
My original approach was to try and minimize the initial acquisition cost by using a less expensive tonearm than the Schroder CB11 or CB9. I used to have the UP4 long time ago, it was good and liked the interchangeable armtubes. However, I was apprehensive of the DP8 design and compatibility with the Helix Two. Finally, I decided to use the Ikeda IT345 CR1 short tonearm that I have on hand to start with and get a second armboard pre-drilled for the CB11. I will buy the CB11 at a later point when the financials allow and if deemed necessary. It is important for me to be able to change on the fly cartridges as I have multiple cartridges that I like to listen to (Skala, Frog, Orpheus and A90). Just for reference, the rest of the system is Ypsilon (Phono and Integrated amp), B&W 801 S3 Matrix and Yamaha NS 5000 speakers, Ideon Ayazi DAC and cabling from Ypsilon and FM Acoustics. All the best to all and thanks for the lively discussion.
Hi -

I set up the DP8 12" - comments as follows
Cartridge alignment easy with removeable arm tube & you simply line the stylus tip up with the edge of the headshell if you have installed the arm at the correct pivot to stylus. I checked this on a Feickert protractor.

Tuning the eccentric lateral side weights - I found these fiddly to accurately dial in.

VTA adjuster

The vertical distance between the plane where the tonearm is mounted to the plane where the record is placed should be between 28 mm (1 1/8”) and 40 mm (1 9/16”).

Fairly course & a bit clunky - big issue I had was the platter to armboard range is narrow and on the turntable I installed the arm on I had to make a custom bronze base to get the arm into range. Without doing this the VTA adjuster has major issues.

Soundwise I did not hear the bottom end punch that I expected from the reviews. The Dynavector & FR64 have considerably more punch.
The sound was well balanced and reasonably good - on a par with a Helius Omega which was also tried.

I like that you can buy different armtubes to optimise the effective mass, I also like that you can convert the arm from 9-12" without buying a new one.

Downside of spindly armtube was that I did find it sensitive to vibration.

I think its a good arm, particularly if you get a good deal, but not at the level of Kuzma 4Point etc.

Thank you for sharing your experiences with the DP-8. I'm currently using a 9 inch DP-6 and have really gotten used to it, so the natural upgrade path for me is the DP-8. I don't have the vibration issue you had on my tonearm but it's good to know your experiences with the VTA and lateral side weights as well as the 12-inch wand.
I think the DP6 is best bang for the buck on Moerch.

One further point, the DP8 came standard with TCI Viper arm cable which was pretty course and lacking transparency. I make my own phono cables using MIT cable - this was a vast improvement.
So if you have the standard arm cable - try upgrading this first.
Dover, Those side weights are a feature I mentioned once before in reference to tonearms that have a high effective mass in the horizontal plane.  As I am sure you know, that is the raison d'etre for the side weights, in the case of the DP8.  The idea being you want a high effective mass in the horizontal plane so that when the LP calls for reproducing a low frequency signal, the tail will not wag the dog, so to speak; the cartridge will be held stationary with respect to lateral movement while the stylus is then able to trace the wide horizontal swings required for low bass response. I'm sure you know this; I am repeating it for the benefit of some others who have criticized linear trackers along with all other tonearms with high effective mass in the horizontal plane, a la Mike Fremer, who rarely misses an opportunity to bring up the subject.  The Dynavector, which I own too, is another example of a tonearm that introduces damping to hold the cartridge steady in the horizontal.  I feel that the DV does a good job with bass response, but I have never heard a Morch.  What would be the opposite argument?  Fremer never makes the argument very well except to assert that "you want" horizontal and vertical effective mass to be about the same.
Although they have similar principles in terms of higher lateral effective mass relative to vertical effective mass, the bass from the Dynavector 501 arm is much quicker, tighter and cleaner than the DP8 from my personal experience with both arms.
Thanks, D. I have a DV501 (given to me by a dear departed friend) and two DV505s. Only one DV, one of the DV505s, is in constant use on my much tweaked Lenco.  I prefer it to the 501 because of easier VTA adjustment, although I do know that many favor the 501 over the 505 for pure SQ. (On that table, I  change cartridges a lot, and I hate the "grub screw" method of securing VTA vis the 501.)  My question, for anyone, is that since the argument for high effective mass in the horizontal plane makes so much sense (to me), I have to wonder what is the counter-argument in favor of equalizing or nearly equalizing effective mass in the horizontal and the vertical.  Fremer seems  to favor that approach but I have never seen a convincing argument for it.  I have an FR64S on my Victor TT101, but all my other tonearms are of the conventional type; no special effort is made to increase horizontal mass over vertical mass.
Fyi - the VTA adjustable collar from the 507 fits the 501.
I actually have a couple of them. You might be able to buy one from the Dynavector agent.
@dover I do have a custom phono cable that I use with my DP-6, I’m actually quite satisfied with its performance which is the reason I’m considering the DP-8. Which table and Morch arm tube did you use, I favor the heavy blue dot.

I set the Moerch up on a heavily modded Garrard 401, Blue 12" arm tube with a van den hul Colibri. The effective mass was just within the range specified by van den hul for the Colibri. The Red was too light for the Colibri. Overall sound was very good, very clean and crisp.
Nice! I too have Garrard 401 but with a Schick tonearm. Thank you for the info on the DP-8.

I've heard the Schick on a Garrard, I think if you put the DP6 or DP8 on instead of the Schick you would get a great improvement - more finesse, more transparent. 
I've been using a Moerch DP6 9" red tube with a Allaerts MC1B on a Scheu Eurolab for years. This combination works very well. I have Lyra Kleos in the box waiting for the MC1B to die but its still going strong. Its supposed to last 10k hours.
@dover at some point I may try the Morch on the Garrard, I would have to get a 12” wand to fit my plinth. I’ve already made arrangements to trade in the DP-6 for a DP-8 so I’m really looking forward to it.

This video may be helpful in setting up the Morch DP-8.
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@lewm , what is the argument for a high horizontal effective mass?
Cartridge manufacturers do not specify a vertical and lateral compliance for cartridges. Are they the same? From my experience they are very close. The arm I have been using for years has a slightly higher horizontal effective mass than vertical. With a host of cartridges the lateral resonance frequency is always a little lower than the vertical resonance frequency. On top of this you have the moment of inertia which determines how much torque is required to move the tonearm in a given direction. This is generally higher for higher mass tonearms and again there are both horizontal and vertical moments of inertia. In any arm the lower the moment of inertia the easier it is for the cartridge following the groove to move the tonearm. Raising the horizontal effective mass is going to lower the horizontal resonance frequency and raise the moment of inertia. This can and does result in a low frequency horizontal wiggle that can be seen on an oscilloscope. I have seen it in air bearing tangential trackers. Because the DV501 and 505 are pivoted the horizontal effective mass would not be as high as an air bearing arm even though the DV's look massive. It would be interesting to check both vertical and horizontal resonance frequencies to see what you have. My instinct has always been to have the horizontal effective mass slightly higher than the vertical to spread out and lower the resonance peak but close enough to keep the resonance frequencies between 8 and 12 Hz preferably under 10 Hz. This has always worked well in my tables and ones that I have set up. I did own a Transcriptor's Vestigial arm once, sort of a light weight version of your DVs. It was an awful arm because it's vertical mass was just too light. It took me 6 months to realize there was no way I was going to get that arm to work well.
The problem cleverly addressed by the DP-8 is that frequencies below around 150 Hz are recorded in mono. It is simply not physically possible to separate these signals into 45° left and 45° right and maintain the correct amplitude at all dynamic levels. In effect this means that the bass is only cut laterally (horisontally).

By placing the lateral f-res as low as possible the frequency and phase response of the bass becomes more linear (= a good thing).

Here is the lateral f-res of my DP8/Blue Precision armtube/Ortofon Royal N.

Here is the vertical f-res plot of the same

How does it sound? in a word "excellent". Is it an improvement on the DP 6? Yes.

Because this thread was brought to the fore, I see now that in March, 2021, Mijostyn likened the Dynavector tonearms to a Transcriptors Vestigial tonearm. Heaven forebid!  I have to guess that Mijo never used a Dynavector.  Very different. I am not insulted; just wanted to set the record straight. (I once also did own a Vestigial, mounted on a Transcriptors Reference TT.)

@lewm ​​@cleeds I owned a Vestigial arm on an LP 12 and have experience with the Dynavector.

They are alike in that their horizonal effective mass is much higher than their vertical effective mass. Both had/have their vertical bearings out at the end of the arm. They just counterbalanced them differently. The major difference is that overall the Dynavector is heavier and is infinitely more useful with modern cartridges. The Vestigial arm only worked with the most compliant cartridges. The problem with both arms is that the vertical and horizontal compliance of most cartridges is very similar. Another issue with the Dynavector is that in the horizontal plane it has a lot of inertia. It deals with this by using magnetic damping. In the vertical plane it is going to be too light for the less compliant cartridges. It's arm lift is a rather flimsy mechanism under the arm that could be a real resonance problem. 

I made the mistake of buying a Vestigial arm and will try not to repeat such a mistake. Making a device more complicated than it has to be is more than likely problematic. Now I would never consider an arm like the Dynavector as there are so many great arms that avoid unnecessary complexity and tic all the right boxes. 

You mean the Schroeder and the Kuzma, don’t you? I actually don’t disagree with the premise there is a loose connection between the Vestigial and the Dynavector. They are both pivoted tonearms, and they both dissociate vertical from horizontal motion. It’s been so long since I owned that Vestigial that I cannot recall whether the rear pivot was limited to horizontal motion or not, but I guess it must have been. But the Dynavectors I have actually used a great deal with several different cartridges do have high horizontal effective mass and moreover use a pair of magnets to retard resonant behavior at the rear, and they make excellent bass compared to running the same cartridges in other tonearms I also own. Are the Dynavectors the best ever, in my opinion? No, I don’t think so, but very high quality and very good sounding with a wide variety of cartridges.

You wrote, "Another issue with the Dynavector is that in the horizontal plane it has a lot of inertia. It deals with this by using magnetic damping." How does the magnetic damping ameliorate the high inertia? I always thought the magnets dampen any resonance that does occur, mass (and compliance of the cartridge) notwithstanding. As to it being too light in vertical effective mass, high mass headshells or adding mass to any headshell works to make the tonearm compatible with heavy or low compliance cartridges, which usually are one and the same anyway. My criticism would be that the vertical component of the tonearm is so short that the effect of warps to alter VTF and etc is magnified, compared to a conventional tonearm. You have often mentioned that it is no trick to increase the mass of a light tonearm; I agree. The DV505, with which I am most familiar, has no arm lift, aka cueing device. You lift the headshell using its tab. The DV501 has a cueing device, looks just as solidly built to me as any other. DV507 also. But I am not about to claim Dynavector uber alles.

Your post raises an interesting question. Since bass frequencies are predominantly encoded as lateral movements of the stylus (or so I have read), is it not the case that lateral effective mass and horizontal compliance of the cartridge ought to be considered in matching tonearms to cartridges by resonant frequency? But typically we use the vertical compliance and vertical effective mass in that equation for resonant frequency. We audiophiles have made a complex situation too simple by relying upon that one equation.