That is the everywhere touted and very expensive tonearm. Touted by all professional reviewers and obviously " satisfied " owners ( around 70 of them. ).

Here some reviews:

and you can look elsewhere the TAS one and others.

Obviously that the proudly owners started to buy the tonearm because those reviews and trhough audio shows but mainly for the " great " reviews.

It was ranked class A in Stereophile and I know are coming two new models that inludes a 12" tonearm.

Other than the very high price I never was interested on the tonearm design due that is totally out of my budget. Its price cost what a decent whole audio system cost.

Anyway, a few months ago in an other analog forum and through a TT review the SAT appeared in that discussion thread and was here when I decided to analize this regarded tonearm design where I found out that those 30K+ dollars are a true money lost and does not matters of what reviewers and owners think about where there are not clear facts all of them are extremely satisfied with the SAT.

Let me explain a little why I said that through my post to MF:


from your Stereophile review the SAT specs are as follows: P2S: 212.2mm, overhang: 22.8mm, offset angle 26.10° with an effective length: 235mm.

Those numbers tell us that you are listening ( with any cartridge. ) way higher distortion levels, that you just do not detected even today, against almost any other tonearm/cartridge combination.

Obviously that the SAT needs a dedicated protractor to make the cartridge/tonearm set up but we have to analize what those specs/numbers has to say:

the SAT maximum traking error is a really high: 3.09° when in a normal ( Jelco or Ortofon. ) 235m Effective Length tonearm Löfgren A alignment ( IEC standard. ) is only: 1.84°

the SAT maximum distortion % level is: 2.67 when in that normal tonearm only 0.633

the SAT average RMS % distortion is: 0.616 when in normal tonearm only :
0.412 ( Löfgren B even lower: 0.37 ).

All those makes that the linnear offset in the SAT be 10mm longer than in a normal tonearm ! !

All those are facts and you or Mr. Gomez can’t do nothing to change it. Pure mathematics reality.

You posted in that review: """ Marc Gomez has chosen null points of 80 and 126mm instead of the more commonly used 66 and 121mm. """

that’s a deep misunderstood on tonearm/cartridge alignment input/output calulations in the overall equations used for that alignment:


In the same is not true your statement: """ the more commonly used 66 and 121mm. """

that " commonly " just does not exist and only depends of the standard choosed for the calculations.

There are several other things in that SAT design that not only are not orthodox but that has a negative influence in what we are listening it:

he said that the tonearm owner can change the bearing friction levels and this characteristics could tell to you that’s a " good thing " but it’s not but all the way the opposite because makes not a fully 100% steady bearings.

Ask you a question?: why the best top cartridges use cantilevers of boron and not carbon fiber, it does not matters that laminated carbon fiber the SAT has.

Carbon fiber is way resonant no matter what. In the past existed cartridges with CF cantilever and sounds inferior to the boron ones. ....................................................................................................................................................................... the designer was and is proud that the tonearm self resonance happens at around 2.8khz, go figure ! ! !. It happens way inside the human been frequency range instead to stays out of that frequency range. """"

Dear friends and owners of the SAT: way before the mounted cartridge on it hits the very first LP groove and against any other vintage or today tonearm you have way higher distortions that per sé preclude you can listen a real and true top quality level performance and does not matters the audio system you own.

What we can listen through the SAT is an inferior quality performance levels with higher distortions. Obviously that all reviewers and owners like those heavy distortions but that does not means they are rigth because and with all respect all of them are wrong.

Some one send the link of what I posted to the SAT designer and latter on ( I do not knew he read my post. ) I ask for him for the information about the effective mass of the SAT. He gave me a " rude " answer and did not disclose that information that in reallity was not important in that moment.

I have to say that at least two professional reviewers bougth the SAT tonearm., both with the Continnum/Cobra TT/tonearm. At least one of them say the SAT outperforms the Cobra one ( maybe both, who knows why bougth it the other reviewer. )

The credentials of the SAT designer are impecable and really impressive ones but no single of those credentials speaks about audio and certainly not on analog audio.

He is a true " roockie " enthusiast ( and I say it with respect.) and obviously that is welcomed in the high-end " arena/area/ring " where all of us are learning at each single day. Any one that’s marketing an audio item has a true merit and this is not under discussion: SAT designer has his own merit for that.

You that are reading this thread permit me to ask: what do you think, overall, about?, at the end audiophiles are the ones that has the last " word " or should be that way.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,


Ag insider logo xs@2xrauliruegas
fleschler, Do you really mean to say that you (formerly) could hear frequencies up to nearly 30kHz?  That's one way to interpret your term "high 20kHz".  If so, maybe we should be calling you Fido.  Seriously, as a doctor I can say that to be only 2db down at 17kHz at age 62, presumably in both ears, is already very unusual, in a good way.  That would put you way ahead of most of us.

My real question to you, if Raul doesn't mind a brief diversion from the SAT tonearm topic, is whether you can say in some detail what your friend did not like about the Ypsilon linestage. (When you use the term "preamplifier" separate from the term "phono stage", I assume you refer to a linestage.)   A very good friend and neighbor of mine just sold his VAC linestage in favor of the Ypsilon linestage; he already owns the Ypsilon phono.  He tends to make these moves based purely on advice from his particular set of gurus, who are all in business to sell audio equipment.  I doubt he ever had a critical listen to the Ypsilon (or the VAC, for that matter) prior to purchase.  Thanks.
lewm It is common knowledge that children with bronchial diseases often have the ability (or disability) to hear very high frequencies. Hearing sounds from 20-30Khz was an annoyance when I was young. It may have helped to preserve my high frequency abilities now. Also, I have lived a very healthy lifestyle, no smoking, drinking, drugs, no processed foods since I was an early teen, whole grains, five vegis per dinner 5 days weekly for the last 30 years, wild salmon or wahoo five to six dinners weekly for the last 30 years. Also, no more smog problem in the west San Fernando Valley. No rock concerts, bar/bat mitzvahs without ear protection and no loud music (+95db) unless it is undistorted, for short periods of time.

As to the Ypsilon linestage, it was bright and blarry sounding. We started with awful sounding High Fidelity cables (which he also sold), Nordost, Schnerzinger and GroverHuffman cabling. It had bass. The sound was not cohesive sounding through his Avant Garde Trios regardless of cabling. We installed my GroverHuffman pre-amp (with 6 subminiature tubes and a voltage regulated tube design) and voila!, Smooth, cohesive sound, still with the bass depth and punch (3 pairs of Basshorns and a REL sub).

My friend is into appearances as well as sound and chose to replace the Ypsilon with a matching Viva Linea line-stage for his Viva Aurora monoblocks. My pre-amp (another was available for him) is a slight affair weighing about 5 lbs and compact in size of ordinary appearance.

As to VAC linestages, the older models I heard did not mate well with many non-VAC amps although they sounded great with VAC amps. Don’t know why. I haven’t heard the VAC linestages separate from VAC amps in the past 10 years.
an audiobuddy in Thailand has two of the original SAT 30k tonearms with AF1 and EMT 927.
He now also has American Sound AS2000 table and finally removed his SAT tonearms from this table and back to the lesser AF1. He now runs 4 x SME 3012-R tonearms for his carts - Opus1, AtlasSL, Vdh Master Sig., Zyx Univ prem.
The AS2000 is quite a bit better than the AF1 or EMT table.

This is what he said regarding the differences between SAT and SME 3012-R.

Sonically it is about small plus/minus comparing to SAT. SAT has the kind of absolute resolution and details that can be view as more analytical in comparison to 3012R.
Whereas 3012R has more organic tone, fuller more completed tone with the kind of resolution and clarity that unless you hear them next to each other in the same system and cart you would not notice it. May be it is the difference in arm wand material and tone arm wire I don’t really know.
You can come to my room, listen to my system with "SME only" and I can wow you with the clarity and resolution you cannot dispute. The difference I am talking is in degree with respect to one another, in relative term here, so don’t go about labelling SAT as cold and analytical.

I forgot to mention that Brooks Berdan replaced the tonearm cable with a Cardas tonearm cable to RCA box out and installed a closed foam shot into the armtube to eliminate the lower mid/upper bass hump present in the SME IV.  My arm is thus modified to sound better than a stock tonearm (SME's tonearm and phono cable in 1989 was junk).
downunder - That's one solid and serious table.  Did the guy have two SATs for stereo and mono?