Schroeder vs. Triplanar VII Sonic Differences


I have read a lot of threads regarding the "superiortiy" of these tonearms in the right combinations of tables and catridges. However, there doesn't seem to be a lot said about the soncic characteristics of each brand and the differences between them. I'm interested in hearing your thoughts about their strengths and weaknesses, sonci characteristics, applicability to various types of music (rock, pop, classical, large scale, small scale, etc).

Will a Schroeder deliver dynamics, punch, bass suited to Rock music? Will a Triplanar deliver natural, timbral accuracy? Are both these arms suited to the same music?

Thanks in advance,

Ahhhh!! Now this show be a good thread! I am interested in both arms. Hope we can get some expert advice. Also it would be good to compare the DPS Schroder ($3,900) vs the Tri ($3,900).
I remeber reading in a thread that DougDeacon and his partner did some serious comparing between the two before settling on a Triplanar for it's ease of repeatable, cablibrated, adjustments. Hopefully he'll jump in with some insights.

And I'm pretty sure that the two arms squared off in two of the great cartridge shootouts. One was Doug's place(I think) and the other was in Denver(?).
Although, I truly love my Teres 255/triPlanar/XYZ Airy3S/SB/Trumpet w/S&B setups. I have to say, however, that I am somewhat confused by this mfg's. customer service or lack there of shall I say. Please read on:

About three months ago I bought the new TriPlanar VII from the very kind and thoughtful Mehran of SoraSound. After a tenacious set up, I discovered that I was missing the anti-skate weight and unable to finish adjustments. It was not until well after CES that I received the missing weight. Early in Jan. 06 I spoke to Tri Mai regarding the cueing mechanism and resulting drift from my new and latest edition of this tonearm, the TriPlanar VII. He offered to send me diagrams and his special tweak regarding the anti-skate defeat and alignment, which is supposed to help in this problem. A problem that has been addressed a few times here on AudioGon and AA. When I mentioned the simple fix discovered by Chris Brady of Teres Audio, he became irate and confided that he is not an engineer and no real ability to re-design the mechanism. Since, then I have spoken to several about this issue among them our very own Doug Deacon, who sympathized and was very interested in what Tri agreed to send me. Now, two months later I still have not heard a word from him, in fact, there seems to be no communications with him, at all. I mean he won't answer emails or even answer his phone in the past few weeks.

Now, here is a fine sounding tonearm that has an inherent problem that is not being addressed by the mfg., whose support and quality assurance seems to be less than stellar!! This is a concern to me as with the high prices of good vintage vinyl these days I shouldn't have to worry about ruining my investment in vinyl with an in-accurate cueing mechanism, not to mention the poor service I am experiencing from this mfg.

So, I ask again...What has happened to TriPlanar??
Will they going to take a responsible role in support, address the issues of quality control and offer an update to solve this cueing problem? I am now the second person I know of that received a new arm with missing parts. For me is the issue of the fine adjustments of my arm, I am still having issues with distortion, a symbalance in the right channel, which is maybe the result of the anti-skate adjustment or alignment?

Here I am still waiting after three months, what is going on here?

Cello, Teres, Thom Mackris and I have offered detailed sonic comparisons of these arms several times. A search should turn up those posts.

You asked some shrewd questions, which indicate you've already got a handle on the key differences.

Will a Schroeder deliver dynamics, punch, bass suited to Rock music?
Yes, absolutely. Frank Schroeder enjoys leading edge electronica. If his arm didn't rock he'd fix it.

But a TriPlanar VII will do it slightly better.

Will a Triplanar deliver natural, timbral accuracy?
You'd better believe it, at least with a top level ZYX. I'm spinning Solti's 'Siegfried' as I type, and Fafnir sounds as real as any dragon I've ever spoken with!

But a Schroeder Ref will do it slightly better.

Are both these arms suited to the same music?
Yes, depending on the cartridge.

IMO neither arm is "better" than the other. They are more alike than different, and either one's small differences could be preferred by certain listeners or in certain systems. Do you prefer Art or Science?

Like Diamond007, I'm distressed by the poor support from the current owner/builder of Herb Papier's wonderful arm. Improvements suggested by multiple owners are ignored. QC and consistency often fall well below standard for a product at this price point. Ship dates are missed. Communications from both dealers and owners go unanswered.

Two years ago I encouraged Mehran to carry the TriPlanar, thanks to its wonderful synergy with all the top ZYX cartridges. But if Tri-Mai doesn't get his act together he could destroy one of the finest products in the history of audio. Anyone interested should buy one before that happens. Assuming you get a fully working copy it could be the last arm you'll ever want or need.

Cello once asked Paul and me if we'd take a Schroeder Reference for our TriPlanar VII in a straight trade. We both agreed that we wouldn't. It's truly that good.

Andrew- I've not had the pleasure of hearing a Schroeder but I will tell you that one evening at Doug and Paul's, we listened to everything from country/bluegrass (Trio- Ronsdadt, Parton and Harris)to classical instrumentals, to classical vocals to jazz instrumental/vocal(Louis Armstrong). It all sounded stunning. I'm very disappointed about the support issues, because I passed up the opportunity to buy one used recently.
I made a comparison some time ago, I prefered overall the Triplanar, High Frequency Area has more information and detail, the Schroeder can create a different kind of soundstage. But it is more or less dependent on your system, on your cartridge and much more important on your phonostage.
What is also important to get the most out of it, is the Ability for the User to adjust the cartridge properly. And here are real differences, the Triplanar is very easy to set up, with the Schroeder it is a task.
I got now the new Phantom and that's THE one to go when you want to adjust a cartr. for 100% to get the most out of it. And both, the Tri and Graham work always in every condition, not matter, hot, sticky, rainy or whatever.
Hi Andrew,

The choices between Schröder and Triplanar were eloquently and concisely stated by Doug. I've clumsily attempted to say exactly this on more than one occasion. That's our story, and we're sticking to it.

I'd add only one thing to Doug's comments - something I make a point of emphasizing to everyone who asks me about these arms.

I've noticed that different people relate to or interact differently with each of the tonearms. Some find the Schröder to be easier to set up, while others relate better to the Triplanar. Both arms are straight-forward however.

Because Frank's arm is so innovative, the user will most definitely benefit from a guided tour, but this is not to say that it is difficult any more than the Triplanar is.

I think setup should factor strongly into the decision, because the arm that you interact with best is the arm you will set up best, and guess what? They are both so good, that the one you set up best will be ... you guessed it ... the best ... at least as far as you are concerned, which is all that matters.

I don't know how to respond to the "cueing drift" comments because I've never experienced this. My experience tells me the that there is no design flaw. Quality issue? Unfortunately, I have no way of getting valid statistics.

In defense of Tri Mai reacting to design suggestions, I'm sure that his experience matches up mine. Sure, I have some suggestions for him too, but the fact of the matter is that it is a top-tier product exactly as designed.

You'd be amazed at the number of suggestions I get from people - many of them being great ideas - some of which I've either previously considered, planned for the future, or come to the realization that being a small operation, the path might never be explored.

Oh yeah ... Jackson Hole currently has a 97" base with more snow on the way. You're making me seriously consider playing hooky mid-week to join you, but alas, I have an out of town guest coming into town.

Thom @ Galibier
Doug, & company,

Thanks for your replies. I have read the Dougdeacon and Cello threads extensively and what I have taken away is that these two arms/brands are considered probably #1 and #2. Thanks for further elucidating on the sonic differences.

I'm looking in the 2,500-3,900 range and, setup and VTA repeatability aside, if a properly set up Schroeder Model 2 comes close to the Triplanar VII then I might put the price difference towards a better cartridge.

I value timbral accuracy but I want to make sure that the Schroeder does not give up much in the areas of dynamics, energy, detail, bass response, etc.

I wasn't aware of some QC issues with Triplanar. Hopefully this gets worked out.

Thanks guys. Sonically, it seems one can not go wrong with either arm.


Maybe your question about my preference for Science or Art was rhetorical, but I'll answer it anyway. I'm actually an engineer/scientist so I do appreciate deliniating the individual sub-components of the music's fabric. I tend to favor highly engineered and scientifically worked out solutions. I've beem listening to CD for the last 20 years after abondoning analog. Then again, I was listening to a Technics player in those days. Through extensive modifications to my Wadia CD player by GNSC combined with the incredible capabilites of Virtual Dynamicss cables, I feel that I'm getting the best of both worlds in terms of detail/dynamics and timral/natural musical realisim. I'm attempting to achieve this same combo in an analog system but to an overall higher degree.

Now at night, I'm probably leaning towards art...howerver, the engineer in me is never fully surpressed. Therefore, sounds like I am looking for the best of both worlds.

...if a properly set up Schroeder Model 2 comes close to the Triplanar VII then I might put the price difference towards a better cartridge.
I guess that depends on what you call "close". The Model 2 is a great arm for the money, but to my ears there's a large gap between it and the Reference/TriPlanar level. Cartridges come and go but certain tonearms can be forever. The Ref and the TP are two of those.

I value timbral accuracy but I want to make sure that the Schroeder does not give up much in the areas of dynamics, energy, detail, bass response, etc.
They really are very close, at least with the ZYX UNIverses we used for comparison. As ThomasHeisig said the TriPlanar does win in those dynamics/energy areas, but not by very much.

Thom's suggestion that you choose based on which design makes you feel more comfortable was very sensible. With any top arm you'll have to work it to get the best from it.

I wasn't aware of some QC issues with Triplanar. Hopefully this gets worked out.
These shouldn't scare anyone off too much. Once the arm's working right it should work right forever. Mine had a minor cueing drift issue when new. I DIY'd a simple fix (simpler than Chris Brady's suggested mod) and three years later I'd still never trade it for any pivoting arm I've heard.

P.S. to Swampwalker
Thanks for the nice words. Believe it or not, what you heard then was fairly lame compared to what we hear now, thanks to our new amp and preamp. Our TT's back up and running and we're ready for that preamp party whenever you are. Let me know!
Thom, Doug and Thomashesig,

Thanks for your additonal feedback. I can see what you mean about ease of set up and its translation to the final result. I'll keep this in mind.


Jackson should be nice...
I read somewhere that the agreement between Herb Papier that granted Tri Mai the rights to manufacture the Triplanar arm specified that the design could not be changed for a certain number of years. Perhaps this is why the design seems frozen for the time being.

I've heard really nice setups with the Schroeder arm. It certainly is promising. But, it too is a handmade item that takes a lot of patience. I know of several people that had to wait about nine months or so. It may not be as backordered now, but I believe that one friend is still waiting after about five or so months. Patience is required for stuff like this.
I am running the Schroeder reference / ZYX Universe combo and the dynamics, energy, detail and bass response does not seem to suffer at all. I have not done a comparison with the Triplanar on the same system so I cannot comment how they may compare but you are not missing much in dynamics with the Schroeder. After an initial understanding of the basics of the arm I find it very simple to set up. With small adjustments made very easily. The parts are of the highest quality and finish and fit on mine was flawless. Unfortunately there is ususally a significant wait to get one.
Dear Andrew: You already stated that you can't go wrong with either tonearm and you are right.

+++++ " Will a Schroeder deliver dynamics, punch, bass suited to Rock music? Will a Triplanar deliver natural, timbral accuracy? Are both these arms suited to the same music? " +++++ You already receive the YES on these questions.

So what is all about: in my opinion almost only the tonearm designers could think that their design is the best one, unfortunatelly we can't take a tonearm choice only for its design there are several factors around that choice that we have to take in account: guarantee, quality control, price, which one likes you, with which one you will feel happy, wich one mates better to your TT, manufacturer support, inside wires quality, tonearm facilities and the most important of all with wich cartridges do you want to match.
This one factor is really critical to obtain what you are looking for: you can take, for example, a Shelther 90x cartridge in both tonearms and maybe you like more on the Triplanar ( example ) but this fact does not means that the Triplanar is better than the Schroeder it tell me that the 90X works better with the TP, that's all. Btw, there are some other tonearms alternatives out there like: Ikeda, Moerch, Brinkman, Phantom, Vector, SME, etc, etc.

Tom mentioned another top crucial link to obtain the best on the quality sound reproduction: the Phonopreamp.

+++++ " I'm attempting to achieve this same combo in an analog system but to an overall higher degree. " +++++

If this is what you really want then along with the tonearm/cartridges/TT you have to choose the right/best Phonopreamp for the task you are looking for: you can't go here with a lesser than the best device.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Hi Andrew,

if you can afford go for the Kuzma Airline,
as this arm brings the ZYX Universe to another
level, compared to Schroeder,TriPlanar,Graham Phantom etc.
I know what I say as I have mounted these arm on
the Raven AC TT, and I do posses them all.
Regards KHA
Though I would not argue the potential advantages,sonically,of an arm like the apparently superb Kuzma Airline(and BOY,would I love to own it),there is a clear disadvantage to the amount of attention,that has to be paid to any arm of this type,in the "convenience" area.Being in the form of the air bearing and pump maintenance,tubing runs,dessicant,and potential for humidity to build up on the bearing.Dehumidifier or not!No matter how good an arm of this type is,it IS a "physical commitment",compared to a "pivot"!But,probably worth it,if you are committed.

If I didn't have such a "friggin" busy life,I definitely would have the patience to deal with it,as it really is(from what I'm told,by friends familiar with it)really SPECIAL!!I DO envy it's owners,though.Yet the arms previously mentioned,"all" are superb performers.Some probably a bit better than others,in a given system.

My dear friend,who just recently got rid of his FABULOUS Air Tangent,does not miss it very much.Even though he moved on,to a fairly straight forward pivoting design.In all truthfullness,he simply got tired of maintaining the thing.Though he did have it for many years.

I loved the sound of his analog "rig"with the Straight Line Tracker.It was a clear improvement over all his previous pivoting arms,but ergonomics,and the impact of every day convienience,forced his hand.He tells me he is still thrilled,with his LP sound,so who am I to judge?

Yet,taken to the lengths that we sometimes go to(who am I kidding,we ALWAYS go to)in these threads,the KUZMA does look to be the new "Owner of the Throne",in arms.Sadly I will not find out,too soon!

Dear Andrew: I never had the opportunity to hear the Kuzma Airline. I owned the EMT and Dennesen linear traking tonearms and heard the Air Tangent one and certainly the sound is different and I mean different but not necessary better. I agree with Sirspeedy about the setup of this kind of tonearms.

I preffer the pivot ones, these have more " guts " than the linear traking airline. I like more the bass resolution and the right pitch of the pivoted designs against the linear trakers.
KHA preffer the Universe sound on the Kuzma one and certainly this combo is better than the Universe with the other tonearms at least in the quality sound reproduction priorities of KHA.

Like almost any " play " in audio the name of the game is: synergy, if we can find the right synergy around our audio device components we will be on music sound reproduction heaven it does not matter if the tonearms are pivoted or linear trakers.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Raul, SirSpeedy,

Thanks for your feedback on the Kuzma linear tracking arm. This seems a little out of my budget anyway.

I thought your comment about sounding different, but not necessarily better, as well as pivot arms having more guts, interesting. Since the Schroeder is not a pivot in the sense of a Graham or Triplanar, but more of a "floating design" in the sense of an air bearing, does the Schroeder sound lean in the direction of an air bearing more than it does the traditional metal to metal contact pivot designs?


By the way, my phono stage is the phono section of a CAT Ultimate MkII preamp (47dB of phono gain and 26 dB of line gain. The unit is pretty linear with good bass response).
Dear Andrew: The 73db of gain in your phonopreamp seems right for medium to high output cartridges. The low output ones and the very low output can't be handled with out noise/distortions.

Now the gain is only one of the characteristics in a good phonopreamp, noise/distortions is other one and the most important/critical is the accuracy of RIAA eq.. Per se, this inverse RIAA eq. is the reason why the phonopreamp exist, this inverse RIAA eq. ( in many ways ) define the quality sound reproduction of the phonopreamp against the recording process where was used the RIAA standard for any LP. So the Phonopreamp inverse RIAA eq. must to mimic the RIAA standards, any deviation in the inverse RIAA standard ( and we are talking here about fractions of decibel ) not only put colorations/distortions on the sound but more important give us a " phantom " from the original recording with additions/remove of " sounds " that were not or were in the original recording.
That deviation most be in the : +,- 0.05 db from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. Where are your CAT? or yours?

Of course your phonopreamp or any other could or could not achieve that spec but as faraway it is the great that " degraded phantom " and as near it is as near you are from what is recorded on the LP, that is what we are looking for.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Hi Andrew,

In response to your question about any leanness in the Schröder due to its bearing design, I cannot answer directly, other than to point you to Doug's comments about the sonic differences between the Triplanar and the Schröder. I know that as an engineer, you are trying to correlate design and construction with sonic attributes, but you need to think about this like a MUSICIAN. At the end of the day, we're listening to music and NOT to a design.

Frank's design is much more complex than meets the eye. I've heard quite a few fixed bearing tonearms with less grunt than a Schröder for example. Compare the Schröder in all ways to a Triplanar. You'll have to really stretch yourself to characterize the differences between these two fine arms. We are at that "angels on the head of a pin" stage in trying to differentiate between these two world-class tonearms.

With respect to air bearing linear trackers, I can't comment on either the Air Tangent or the Kuzma, but I have lived with the ET-2 for about 10 months. I agree in principle with Raul's comments (they're different - not necessarily better). The ET-2 can be tuned to a very high level of performance, but at the end of the day it's just a bit too "wispy" for my tastes. No doubt, the Kuzma (which resembles an ET-2 placed on a steroid diet) improves on this.

To me, there are two far more important issues relating to air bearing linear trackers - one of which Sirspeedy alluded to - that of ergonomics, and what extreme you will go to in order to spin a disk.

At the end of the day, record playing has to be fun. For me, things like periphery clamps and air bearing linear trackers take the act of playing a record from ritual into sheer drudgery. Your mileage may vary, and I'm not about to dictate what extremes you are comfortable with.

As far as periphery clamps and air bearing linear trackers are concerned, there is an even more important issue - that of potential stylus or cantilever damage.

With respect to periphery clamps, the last thing I want to do is to worry about landing the precious stylus of my ZYX Universe between the knife edge of the clamp and the available section of the lead-in groove of the record - especially in a dimly lit room during late night listening when the last record side has taken me into one of those altered states we all get into.

Sorry ... not for me. Re-tipping a ZYX Universe or Dynavector XV-1s is NOT my idea of fun.

There's the further issue of an air bearing, linear tracking tonearm sticking on the bearing due to either pump failure or air line contamination and deposits. Now, these are remote possibilities, and I never experienced these with the ET-2, but they are very real possibilities.

Perhaps Kuzma, Air Tangent, et. al. have addressed these issues, but I have trouble believing that they are as failsafe as either a conventional bearing or Frank's frictionless bearing. Consider the effects of a 35-40 gram mass of tonearm / slider assembly (air bearing linear tracker) deciding to stop DEAD IN ITS TRACKS while the record grooves try to drag your cantilever across the record. Not for me, thank you. Again, maybe your risk tolerance is greater than mine.

I'd love to hear the comments of owners of both the Kuzma and the Air Tangent (as well as other air bearing linear trackers for that matter). The ergonomics, pump placement, and other related issues are fatal flaws for me, but the issue of cantilever safety and how they are addressed are design issues I'd love to see explored on this forum.

Thom @ Galibier

Congrats on your acquisition of the Phantom tonearm

How do you like it so far?

I can appreciate the concerns expressed over the complex operation of the Kuzma arm. Long ago, I owned a Maplenoll table with an air bearing arm and air suspended platter. It came with a cheap aquarium piston pump and nothing else (no dehydrator, no surge tank, etc.). This is a far cry from the Kuzma arm I saw at CES which is beautifully built, comes with a very serious looking air pump, quality braided air lines, beautifully machined surge tanks, etc.

The Maplenoll was a nightmare. It wasn't a question of whether it might lose air pressure and cause the arm to seize, it was just a matter of WHEN that would happen (within five minutes? an hour?). But, when that did happen, the worst that I experienced was that the record would start to skip. I am sure the cantilever was deflected to a point where the needle would jump out of the groove and return to an earlier groove. I actually never experienced permanent damage to the cartridge (then again, it was not my current Lyra Titan) or to the record. The fear of a horrible catastrophe from the Kuzma arm binding might be a bit overstated. Then again, I could never relax while listening to the Maplenoll, just because I was alway anticipating trouble.
I STILL would own a Kuzma Airline if circumstances permitted me to attribute the effort.I just love the challenge,knowing what I have heard,or at least thought I heard, with a great linear tracker.All compared to the previous,well regarded pivots that my friend owned,before the Air Tangent.Though I STILL feel,based upon my own conjecture,that a Shroeder Ref. would be supremely close.

That being said,the Air Tangent has "stuck",on occassion.No apparent harm to the cartridge,but "not fun"!

Also,Thom is BIG TIME right about the dangers of a perifery clamp.To take it one step further,what if your fingers slipped when placing it down(I believe it requires a two handed grip).These things are heavy!We are talking about "taking out" the arm/cartridge,and a nice gash in your cute table.Definitely NOT for me!

Sorry!I did forget to mention(to be fair)that the ONLY time there was any "sticking" problems,in the Air Tangent,was when the owner was remiss in the regular maintenance cycle.Which was not an overtly significant amount.Also,he only started to get "lazy" about this,when he realized he wanted to cut out maintenance completely,and go the pivot route.Partly due to the influence of mutual friends,owning the newer arm,and touting how good it was.Sound familiar?It's just human nature,I guess!BTW--I'm going to hear it in about three weeks,so will know,for sure,if the linear tracker has been superceded by a better "mouse trap"!
Hi George,

I am glad, I did go for it. Superior information in all Frequency areas, perfect cartridge alignment and a soundstage to die for.
For me, that's a REALLY good tonearm.
Hi Thom,

I owned an ET 2.5 for many years. The only real maintenance that it required was cleaning the manifold with alcohol every six months or so. If I forgot to do the maintenance, the tonearm would start skipping at the end of LPs where the music went in close to the label. No damage done to the LP or cartridge that I could discern. On the other hand aligning cartridges was a breeze on the ET 2.5. Since I swap cartridges many times over a six month period, I would gladly clean the manifold if I did not have to agonize over adjusting alignment with each cartridge change.

I would love to have a linear tracker again. The Kuzma air bearing is on my dream list. Guess I will just have to live with my VPI 12.5 and Schroeder Reference until I win the lotto.

With regards to periphery clamps I understand your concern. I would not want to own a TT with a vacuum holddown for fear of the needle getting caught between the outer edge of the LP and the rubber surround. Talked to a SOTA owner that had his cantilever natched out of the cartridge when that happened. On the other hand, not all periphery rings are created alike. I own one that is manufactured by Rudolf A. Bruil, of the Netherlands. This periphery ring sits on top of the LP and the inner most part of it sits slightly above the LP. As you feared, in the semi-dark I did drop the tonearm too far out and the stylus dropped onto the rotating metal periphery ring. No damage done. The stylus stayed on top of the metal ring as it rotated until I lifted the arm up and moved it closer to the spindle. Even if I had knocked the stylus off of the ring, it still could not have gotten wedged between the metal and the LP as the inner edge of the ring is raised above the LP.
Hi all,

Separate from any perceived cartridge safety issues relating to failure modes of linear trackers, I think that the curious audiophile (one who is mechanical and handy) will get a real kick out of owning an ET-2 for 6 months to a year.

This arm could up being a "keeper" arm for you. I have to wonder how much better an Air Tangent or a Kuzma really is than an ET-2. I suspect that the order of magnitude will be on the order of a shift from a Schröder Model-2 up to a Reference ... just a guess.

Upon initial inspection, the arm looks to be flimsy in several areas. Bruce T. did a masterful job in designing this arm however, and the whole is FAR GREATER than the sum of its parts.

Of course, in buying an arm like this used, it may likely have changed hands numerous times. There are a few screws which are threaded into the composite material, and a careless user may have stripped some of these.

None of this is intended to scare you off. I have not performed heavy research on replacements for the Wisa pump, but the information is out there on the web for those so inclined. I've never been inclined to run an air tool compressor in the garage to run mine, although I had installed an air regulator along with a higher (30 psi) pump.

In answer to one question - Yes, I ran a filter and a surge tank with my rig.

I think that Bruce is correct in that the higher pressure doesn't do much here, but bear in mind that I've made numerous improvements in my turntable design in the three years since I owned this arm. Perhaps I would hear a greater improvement today if I were to compare standard (3-4 psi) pump with a higher pressure pump (30-35 psi).

One experienced user I know commented that with arms having the higher pressure manifold, as you increase the pressure to the 30-35 psi range, that there's some "blow back". As the stylus reaches the runnout groove, it gets pushed back toward the beginning of the record - of course skippin as it moves.

I never exceeded 25 pounds, due to the amount of pressure that my regulator bled off.

He comments that orienting the arm laterally so that it doesn't get as close to the exit solves this. The problem is that you don't have much of lateral travel adjustment to work with. I think this borders on the extreme behavior side of things.

I never experienced extreme angst when using the arm, but the idea of having 35 grams of lateral mass decide to stop moving did cause me to take pause.

Worse I think than the horizontal limitation (where you'd experience skipping over the same groove) would be the arm freezing up in the vertical plane - when coupled with a record that is warped. I can envision a bottomed out cantilever. With a design like the ET-2 if the arm were to freeze in place, it would stick in both planes of movement.

Now, the field experience tells us that this is all a minimal risk. Perhaps I'm a weenie.

The new owner of an ET-2 should perform a practice setup with a DISPOSABLE cartridge. Your first try at getting perfect level will be an experience you will not forget. Leveling with a bubble level should be considered as a first (and very rough) approximation. The arm itself is the best device to use as a level.

Thom @ Galibier
I have owned the VPI HRX with periphery clamp for a few years now and had no problems whatsoever and it enhances the longeivity of any cartridge you use.

I think you guys are paranoid about trashing a cartridge using the periphery clamp. How old are all you guys - in your 70's?? :)

seriously thou you have more chance of trashing your cartridge when fitting it to or taking it off your arms than with the periphery clamp.
Hi sirspeedy,
well as my first Kuzma Airline is around 1 Year old
now and I do not have any Problem with it at all
last december I bought the second one. As I was
very satisfied with it operation and mounting of cartridges.
As Thomas Heisig was happy with the Triplanar I acquired this year the marvelous Triplanar from Sorasound and I am very happy dealing with Mehran , which I am driving
with the Transfiguration Orpheus. Sonically the Triplanar
is very good.
regards KHA

I would be annoyed by the kind of care needed to set down a periphery clamp without accidentally swinging into the cartridge cantilever.

But, there is no inconvenience or danger whatsoever from the skirt on a vacuum holdown. The skirt does not come up over the side of the record. Rather, it seals against the outer groove part of the UNDERSIDE of the record. I have a Basis vacuum table. Once adjusted, it requires no more effort other than to flip the on/off switch. That is less effort than screwing down the center clamp on most tables.
Sorry,as I'm not trying to diminish anyone's product satisfaction.The fact is,that once we DO decide on a product,even with some operational quirks,we,as the person who spent our money,become very adept at operating it correctly.I have had vacuum systems for over twenty years,and never had my stylus drop anywhere,other than on the LP groove.But I don't let my audio pals operate my stuff,just in case.

BTW Thom,the Air Tangent,that my pal owned,replaced the E.T.-2.At that time,four of my friends ran that arm.They all loved it!!AMOF a good portion of "The Mercury LP Series" reviewed in TAS was reviewed with the E.T.

The Air Tangent was an upgrade,though,in performance.But it was not a big leap in performance,originally.Just about as you described!!Until there was the addition of a new compressor,which really stiffened the bearing.Two people I know went that route,and did cartwheels afterwards!!Literally,the addition of a "dentist office compressor",and bought from some retiring orthodontist in Brooklyn.Originally,we laughed at this,but were clearly proven too quick to judge.This did significantly improve the bass response of the Air Tangent.However when it would cycle in,you thought someone was running a motor boat engine,in the next room.My friend had it sandwitched between king size pillows!Amazing how we go to some lengths,for our passion,and I know of nobody more passionate about vinyl replay than my friend."Ya godda luv the guy"!

Thanks for the comments, Speedy.

In reply to Downunder's question, I lived with my Merrill Periphery Clamp for 9 years - beginning when in my mid-30's. More recently, I evaluated one made by Sound Engineering. Bob B. was very interested in becoming an OEM supplier for me.

The danger is real, and I would not put my stamp of approval on either of these products. When I speak of paying attention to cantilever health, I am referring to what I call "boundary conditions".

When you are wide awake and functioning at your best, you typically don't have accidents.

I would hope however that everyone reading this has had those magical listening experiences - late at night when you fall off into a trance.

It's when we are in those elusive states of consciousness that we should not have to shift back into 100% real-world consciousness in order to play the other side.

To my way of thinking, this hobby is all about space and time travel - to a magical place where the recording was made.

Shifting your mental state has the same (or worse) effect on the musical experience as does poor fidelity.

The last thing I want on my conscience is for someone to trash a Koetsu or ZYX because of a periphery clamp.

None of this is intended to discourage those who see no problem with its use. It does, however add another step to the act of playing a record. As I mentioned earlier, what one person calls ritual, another calls drudgery. This is an individual determination.

Thom @ Galibier
Have you had any positive/negative experiences with using "Record Flattener's" on LP's. Are they worth the effort /cost ?
I have not, had the opportunity, Larry.

I assume you are talking about the ones which ramp up / down the temperature while pressing the records flat?

In theory, you'd effect an improvement with respect to warp-wow. In practice ?? It's something I'll get around to trying sooner or later.

Thom @ Galibier
I know a fellow hobbyist,actually a fanatical LP collector/audiophile,who was very doubtful as to the effectiveness of this.He has a "fabulous" collection of vinyl.Actually,probably one of the best LP collections available.He did spring for the disc flattener,in question,and is head over heels "crazy" about it.It does everything claimed,and does NO damage to any LP he's tried.He has some extremely rare,and expensive discs which, when flattened ,were "better than new",according to him.

Looks like a winner,but not cheap!
How have you been ?
Did your buddy with the Record Flattener achieve better sonics with the records after being flattened ?
Yes, I am referring to the machine that gradually heats up, presses the record flat and then slowly cools back down automatically.
Do let us know if you ever get around to test driving one and I will do the same.
Thanks & Rgds,
Larry,BOY am I glad to hear(SOMETHING)from you.I admit to being a bit saddened by lack of correspondence.You were SUCH a nice guy!!

Anyway,the record flattener basically does nothing to change the characteristic of the original LP,as I understand it,from this guy.He is ecstatic!Believe me,he has a record collection like no other,and has way more rare,and valuable collectible discs than anyone I know of.Yet,he will not flatten any friends' discs,as he doesn't want a "Run" on his unit!Can't blame him!

Hope this info helps!BTW--buy it!!
Good to hear from you as well.
Do you know the brand and model of your buddy's flattening machine ?
You guys will probably think I'm crazy, but I'm planning on sandwiching a few of my extremely warped specimens between a couple pieces of plywood and setting a 50lb. weight on top and leaving them for several months. Naturally, these records aren't prime collectors items, but I'm hoping this works well enough to salvage a Doors first album and U2's Joshua Tree. Both are so bad I can't play them now anyway.

I'm sure the commercial product is faster, safer, less work, etc.
The unit is the Air Tight(of this I'm pretty sure).It lists at about two grand,and I believe is carried by a variety of places,like Music Direct,or Acoustic sounds.

The reason it originally interested me(remember I put out a thread,vying for some kind of chip-in,which is really not a great idea),was because it IS very reliable,and repeatable.So,you have no worries about flattening out expensive/rare discs.This guy has flattened everything from rare,collectible early mono,to Decca Wide Bands,to the rarest EMI's.Plenty of POP music too.He is a "serious" hobbyist(ya know--with multiple arms,and a cartridge salon,consisting of the Titan,mono and stereo,as well as the Koetsu Coral Stone).

I have noticed some other manufacturers(like Clearaudio)offering these flatteners,but the pricing seems to be getting rediculous(as in too high).

I have always been surprised as to why something like this type of flattening unit has not really caught on,as much as it should have.More "local hobbyists" should chip-in on one,or even a dealer could offer the service.It seems to be a great accessory,if you have a large lp collection,or are a very active collector.The "bit" with the heated glass "Rube Goldbergs" never appealed.

The only caveat would be,after you've flattened your dozen or so warped discs,the unit could sit around for a long time.Unless one decides to make a few bucks on their friends-:)

BTW,Dan--I have a mint first pressing of the DOORS first album.Really!I'd be glad to let you "steal it" from me,if you can manage to get me an Allaerts MC Finish -:)

Also,Larry,now that I have your attention(I lost your E-mail address),what is the name of,and where can I get the solo guitar/singer Lp you played for me.You know which one.The guy who composed the tune about Michael Jorden.Your friend Pat gave me an E-mail address for it,but it did not exist.That was one of the things I wanted to discuss with you when your cell was cut off.As well as the possibility of my adding the Townshends.Knowing you are very busy,I don't want to "nudge" you on the phone.


Can you add anymore to the sonic differences of htese brands? Especially the difference between the Triplanar and the Schroeder Model 2 or DPS.


This thread, like so many, has gotten off course. I have owned both the Triplanar and the Schroeder arms. The Triplanar was an early version and the Schroeder was a special version for the Loricraft/Garrard 501 turntable.
I think, however, that the characteristics of the arms endure.

The Triplanar was easy to set up and to adjust VTA. It is very smooth but not as dynamic as the Schroeder. The Schroeder is designed for rigidity and is somewhat difficult to set up. The key variable is the gap between the magnets. VTA is difficult to change reliably.

I don't remember which cartridges I used with the Triplanar. On the Schroeder I used the Allearts MC2 and the Decca Jubilee. Although it was very difficult to optimize the Decca, when I did, I loved the sound.

I now have the Shindo Labs/Garrard 301 which uses what was originally the 12" Ortofon spring loading arm and the Ortofon SPU cartridge. This is all designed to work together and is easy to set up, but VTA is not easily adjusted. As a system, it is the best vinyl I have owned.

Thanks for bringing us back on course.

Any other experiences with these tonearms. I'm very interested in how the Triplanar compared to the Schroeder-2 and DPS in the infamous shootout.
The LP you heard when visiting is called “Pearl Diver” by David Roth. The song writing, singing, guitar work and recording are all spectacular as you well recall.
You can order it directly online from the record company “Stockfisch” of Germany.
Their website is:
or you can go directly to the English side of their Catalogue by going to :
and scroll down till you see his LP and CD (two separate listings, be careful that you order the LP). The LP is a Direct Metal Master Recording. They also have a CD version is quite good as well, but the LP is spectacular.
For the rest of you, this is a great audiophile recording with some real joyful acoustic music. David Roth (not David Lee), has an incredible voice and plays the guitar beautifully. I think it is one of those LP’s that everyone would love to have in their collection regardless of their musical preferences.
TBG....when you say it is difficult to set up the VTA on the Schroder, how do you mean? I know the Tri-Planer has easy VTA adjustments but doesn't the Reference Schroder also have easy VTA? Do you know how to set the VTA on the DPS (or Model 2)? I also believe the Tri-Planer has VTA adjustments on the fly...does the Schroder Reference do that also?
My VPI 10.5 has VTA on the fly adjustment...I was considering a VPI 12.6 with an HR-X but I read (heard)so many negatives (or non endorsements) about the arm and TT that I started to consider the Schroder and Tr-Planer.

Last question to Tgb (and all) after a Schroder is set up...not by me cause I'm all is set? Or do you need to check the settings (VTA/VTF etc) occasionally?

Rick (RWD)
Rwd, remember that I did not have the Reference. It was a Reference arm tube but had smaller magnets and had a simple unscrew and raise or lower VTA adjustment. I think this is the same for the DPS and Model 2.

I do not think the Schroeder wanders, but the Decca had to have the space between the magnets very carefully adjusted.

I think 180 and 200 gram records require raising the VTA on all arms, so yes, you have to change the VTA but once locked down , it stays.
RWD,I'm a bit surprised at you.You are in the same audio club as SID(you know who),who has just gotten rid of his wonderful Air Tangent.He replaced it(for practical reasons)with the latest VPI 12.6,and LOVES the new arm.You should know what a critical listener he is,and if there was a problem,he would have noticed it by now.Not to take anything away from the other "fabs" arms you mention,but where did you hear of the newest VPI 12.6 sounding lousy?This is news to me!Why don't you give Sid a call?Or Dave,who has been to Sid alot,lately,and helped with the new table/arm set-up.


Oh,btw--thanks Cello!!