Seeking arm suggestions for a Grace F9R

I recently bought an F9 body and a SoundSmith Ruby OCL stylus. I currently have it mounted on an Acos Lustre GST-801 with a 7gr headshell but still a bit heavy with the resonance is in the 7 hz range. I'm liking it's sound and contemplating changing arms. Any F9 owners willing to make suggestions of great matching arms for it. (no 12" please)
According to the Vinyl Engine Resonance Evaluator, the 7G effective mass, of a Magnepan Untrac I, combined with your cart’s compliance/weight, will yield a 10Hz resonance. I’ve used both Denon 103D’s(same compliance as your Grace/1.5G more weight) and a Dynavector 17D3(just a tad lighter/slightly higher compliance), with excellent results. I own two of the Maggie arms(one since 1980). They are hard to find sometimes, but- well worth the search. They’re easy to set up and have all the pertinent adjustments. You may want to check with Mr Ledermann, as to whether your F9R still has the stock compliance. ( (

I don’t think you can rely on the original Grace spec for compliance of the Soundsmith OCL Ruby suspension. Best to ask Peter Lederman. Its highish 1.8gm tracking force suggests a lower compliance than a stock Ruby.

I have an F9 body with the Soundsmith OCL stylus assembly. It’s up there with the best of the vintage MM/MI. It has worked well with a lightweight Trans-Fi Terminator, a Micro Seiki 808X(or the more generally available 505) and a SME 3012R(with one-half of it’s split counterweight removed to lighten mass). I haven’t yet tried it with a light pivot arm-- maybe one of these days my Signet XK-50 or EPA-100.

Resonance at 7hz is not the worst unless you have many warped records. If you can get a lighter headshell it will bring the resonance up a few hz!
FWIW, for several years I used an F9 with the Soundsmith "Ruby Cantilever/Nude Contact Line Diamond" stylus assembly (which apparently is similar to the OCL aside from the stylus profile) on my Magnepan Unitrac I arm. I was very pleased with the combo, and so I would second Mr. Rodman’s endorsement of that arm as being an excellent candidate if you can find one.

-- Al

I've been using my F-14 LC-OFC with original L12B stylus on Victor UA-7045 with Stax HS-7 headshell. Another great arm for high compliance cartridges is stand alone Luxman TA-1 with arm stabilizer and removable armwand.  

But original Grace is high a compliance cartridge, SoundSmith refurbished is not a high compliance.

There are some nice original Grace styli with nude Shibata tip and nude LineContact tip, this models are the best in F-9 series, it was desidned for F-9F and F-9U (blue color). Upgraded version of FR-9U stylus was made for LEVEL II series (different plastic housing desing, but also blue color), i have two sealed NOS is anyone interested. 

Mr chakster- The original Grace F9R’s compliance, was 12 x 10-6cm/Dyne(kinda medium compliance), as were the majority of the F9 series. Many of Mr Ledermann’s Soundsmiths, are in the 22 to 28 x 10-6cm/Dyne range. Don’t know if he can, does or will retip a Grace, with that kind of spec. Many retippers replace only the cantilever and stylus, reusing the compliance material. I doubt that he(Peter) reduces/lowers the compliance, though I can’t swear to anything.
Post removed 

No, the majority of the Grace F-9 series are very high compliance cartridges, please look at the manuals first. The F-9F,F-9E, F-9U ... compliance is 25@100Hz and this is typical figure for Grace MM cartridges. Keep in mind that you have to multiply this figure on 1,5 at least to find out what is the compliance @10Hz

SoundSmith (as the US manufacturer) measuring compliance at 10Hz from the start, so this is correct. But all japanese manufacturers measure compliance at 100Hz and this is whay different from the reality, so it must be converted. However, 25@100Hz is already high, it reality it’s about 40@10Hz (very high compliance).

I don’t think the original F-9 Ruby is lower in compliance compared to all the Grace F-9. The only low compliance grace F-9 is F-9P (Professional), this figure is 10@100Hz (about 17@10Hz)
Robbie, Did you actually measure a resonant frequency of 7 Hz, or did you calculate it based on assumptions of compliance and effective mass?  If the latter, and especially if you're really not having an audible problem with bass reproduction, I would say forgeddaboudit.  This business of worrying about resonant frequency is one of the most over-rated in vinyl world. FWIW, I run my Grace Ruby re-tipped by SS in a Dynavector DV505 with original DV headshell.  Like Dave says, it's a great cartridge.


The $500 Soundsmith OCL Ruby is a turnkey, new-production assembly comprised of Soundsmith’s aluminum stylus holder extrusion, Soundsmith’s suspension, Soundsmith’s ruby cantilever, and Soundsmith’s OCL diamond. It is not a retip or a rebuild. Its compliance, whatever it happens to be, is untethered from the Grace originals.

Glad I checked in, sooner than my usual once a week. Silly me, to have trusted the Grace compliance figures, on the Vinyl Engine site. I’ve no doubt, their own manuals, would be the authority. VE doesn’t mention at what frequency their figures are given, nor- was I thinking about Japanese spec(Oldtimers Disease). And, like I said, I couldn’t swear to anything, regarding Mr Ledermann’s options, methods, materials, or end compliances, with his Grace rebuilds(in my reply to Mr chakster), so- thanks for that info, Mr dgarretson. I guess, now I can(except for whether the compliance is higher or lower). Happy listening, everyone!
Thanks for all the responses everyone.  To answer all your questions: I'll look into the Magnepan Untrac rodman, thanks for the suggestion.  Yogiboy, I am using as light a headshell as I have at just under 7 gr., the stock Lustre is 11gr. I bought an 8 gr. ADC like no-brand magnesium one and 220 sanded just over a gr. off of it's top. I thankfully don't have any warped records so that hasn't been an issue.  I've also set the arms VTF dial at zero and used just the counterweight to apply the VTF hoping to reduce a little more arm mass. Dgareetson is correct, the Soundsmith ruby stylus I have is their production product, not a re-tip or re-build of an original Grace. I have the VTF set at 1.3 gr as called for on it's box, not 1.8 gr. as you suggested.  Should I try increasing it a half gram?  Do you think the F9 would mate well with an EPA-100?  I'll give the Micro Seiki's another look also.  Lewn, I determined the resonance figure by watching 2 test record sweeps, so it's hard to be more specific than "in the 7's", but I'd say more low to mid 7's.  It's stand is on a poured slab floor so I don't have footfalls in this range to worry about. So you think in changing arms trying to get to the desired 10 hz resonance I could be chasing specs rather than really achieving better sound?  I don't think I have 'golden ears' but to me it's sounding quite nice with only about 25-30 hours so far. 
The range of acceptable resonant frequency is generally taken to be 8 to 12 Hz, not 10 Hz on the nose.  We'd be going even more nuts, if we sought an exact 10 Hz.  At 7 Hz, I repeat, do you have a perceptible problem? Speaking of footfalls, if you know anyone who tap dances at 7 Hz (that's "cycles per second"), he ought to be in a Broadway show.  The only way you'll hear an improvement, if you change tonearms to achieve 10Hz (or the acceptable range of 8 to 12 Hz), is if the new tonearm is simply superior to what you are using now.  

So, if you are estimating RF with a test LP, then you have an equation with two unknowns (Compliance and Effective Mass, but maybe not, if SS gave you a figure for compliance).  Assuming C and M are not exactly known, how are you going to calculate exactly what Effective Mass will move the RF up to 10 Hz?  Like I said, it ain't worth the trouble.  Also, because RF is inversely proportional to the square root of the product of C times M, it may require a very light tonearm to move RF from 7 to 10 Hz.  It's "LewM", by the way.
Sorry for mis-spelling your name LewM, it was a typing error.
Soundsmith did not provide a compliance figure. When I said 10, I was just picking the middle of the 8-12 desired range, not necessarily hoping to find a combo to get to it specifically.  Since I'm not hearing anything displeasing I think I'll leave it be for now and just enjoy it some more.
Thanks for helping me reach this conclusion.  And a superior arm to a significant degree is not in my budget at the moment.
This is how it looks with SoundSmith brand new stylus assembly.
*price list:

This is the Grace F-9F with nude Shibata stylus (RS-9F first generation rounded shape). It my old picture, not i have second generation of the FR-9U Level II styli (Line Contact).

here is a picture from the internet of the secong generation grace Ruby stylus (not rounded shape as the first generation). But the stylus is on ALL original Ruby is Elliptical:

@robbiesd  I checked the original box for my Soundsmith OCL Ruby.  It's marked 1.5gm minimum VTF.  You might try that or higher VTF.  Mine was early production.  If yours specifies 1.3gm, perhaps Peter made a running change to the suspension.

Dear @robbiesd: You own one of the best tonearm designs ever, way superior to any unipivot one. It's a very well damped design with great bearing design.

You can't be sure about that 7hz resonance frequency especially if you measured through those imperfect LP tracking tests.

As you said you are satisfied with the quality level performance with no problems at all that can been caused by that theorical 7hz resonance fr.. It's almost impossible that that 7hz theretical resonance can be precesily mated/even during playback coming from some anomalies in that playing proccess.

Even you can improve the quality sound performance level you have doing a internal re-wirin in the tonearm and with better headshell wires on what you are using in the headshell.

The EPA-100 is a very good design too and you can try with the Grace but in both tonearms the re-wiring is a must to do as the headshell wires.

No, I don't think that you need a different tonearm when you already own two of the best ever.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,

Thanks for the RS-9E.  Looks great and will mount it and the 9-F soon. I think it will work best on my Audiomods Series V.

I did speak to Peter at SS.  He said his OCL/Ruby F9 stylus has a compliance of 25 x 10-6cm/Dyne measured @ 10 Hz.  As Lewm suggested, I've forgotten about it and am just enjoying my LP's.
Thanks for all the comments everyone.
Great to see the Grace F9E still being discussed; understandably as we are not likely to hear anything less offensive-sounding. To my memory, it was unerringly sweet and lyrical.

Around two years ago, I ordered the Soundsmith own OCL/ruby stylus for the F9E. I never got to hear it because I ruined it during installation. The original has a metal (brass?) barrel behind the cantilever while the SS does not; instead it has a rubber sleeve over something limp which you insert into the cartridge. The rubber sleeve on my sample wouldn’t slide into the cartridge, and when I exerted a little more force, my fingers slipped and toke with them the cantilever. PL conceded that his sample would have some trouble with a very small number of the Grace, so perhaps it would be better to send him the cartridge and have him fit it.

But one should note that over in discussions at VE, someone there had an image of he original stylus having a resistor (?) inside the brass barrel and that it accounted for the MC-like quality of the F9E. Those are my vague recollections and someone here may better remember what that was all about. But, clearly, the SS would be very different sounding from the original since it does not replicate a seemingly critical component of the original. Maybe the SS could sound as good, or better, as Lewn here suggests, and I haven't read about anything to the contrary, but I was not thrilled with SS deviating from the original design decisions of the Grace too far out. I opted to stay clear.

But one should note that over in discussions at VE, someone there had an image of he original stylus having a resistor (?) inside the brass barrel and that it accounted for the MC-like quality of the F9E.

It's called tension wire, not a resistor

Chakster, I have searched in vain for said image of a cut-up brass shank of the original. It may well be on a forum other than VE. I seem to remember seeing more than the suspension tie, otherwise the writer would have nothing to write about if there was just that tie wire.
@keemoment Then please add a link to the forum or a link to the picture. I don't have F9, but this is bras shank of my F12 and it's better made stylus replacement than F9. There is a brass nut to protect tension wire, but on F9 there is a drop of glue to fix tension wire.   

Tried, but couldn’t track down the link to the image. I see that another user at Audiokarma more recently has examined, but not shown the innards of the F9E’s shank. He says, and I quote :

Q: Is that a magnet on the back? If so, this design is moving iron and moving magnet sort of.

Yep. A tiny, fairly strong one on the back of what I think is a permalloy tube. The cantilever is epoxied into that tube, and the magnet attaches with its own magnetic force to the back end. It's interesting that this design is substantially different than the other F-9 styli assemblies: The ruby has no tie wire at all. Its only point of contact is with the elastomer suspension that the very base of the cantilever is pressed up against (maybe assisted with some sort of fixative?). I am pretty certain that the rest of the F-9 styli have a tie wire in addition to the elastomer, and that the tie wire was probably terminated in the drop of green goop on the back end of the F-9 stylus assemblies. I'd like to disassemble a stylus, but the one i have has a nice clean break that would be easy to graft - so I'm nit sure I want to sacrifice that one or not...
The point is the F9E stylus assembly is unique, and third party products won’t have, quite obviously, the same desired results. Here’s an image of the SS and original assemblies taken off, not ideally, my cellphone camera.