The Palladian-A step beyond

The new cartridge from Acoustical Systems may finally be the LOMC to fully realise the theoretical advantages of the genus.
And convince those long-suffering audiophiles to whom the 'modern' MC presentation has been anathema to 'live sound'....that the realism of vintage LOMCs like the SPUs and FR-7 series has finally been recaptured 👀

Dear Fleib, There is an Serbian joke about Croatian artillery.

Captan: ''fire all cannons!''

Soldier: ''you mean both captain?''

By ''all those reviews'' you mentiond there is just one and then

in German. I am sure that your predecesors are from the Balkan.

There are actually four MC carts designed and produced by

our ''old member'' Dertonarm (Der Tonarm in German).

All (grin) are basicaly the same but the Anchor is a kind of an

bargain in comparisson with other Dertonarm's prices. It looks

as if Dertonarm wanted to satisfy poor as well the rich people.

He obviously has his own logic.  The other  are Astron, Aivon and

Palladion. As far as I know only Thuchan owns all of them.

Because I am poor in comparison with Thuchan I own just one,

''curious'' the cheapest one. But my problem is this. Dertonarm

asked me to never mention his name in our forum. I promissed

but could not resist to at least mention ''all his carts''. My guess

based on inside information is that he tuned his carts in accordance with his ''life long love'' for the FR-7 fz kind.


The other descriptions I saw appear to be from dealers, so I think you must be right. Since Halcro didn't write a full review I guess we have a grand total of 1.  If Acoustical Systems wants a "professional" review in the US, they'll probably have to advertise or advertise more.

While I only know a handful of words in German, my translator does a pretty good job. Japanese - not so good.  But the photo tells us it has a straight cantilever and it looks like aluminum, and with a nude tip.  Seems unusual for a cart with this price tag. Turns out that's exactly what it is, but shorter than previous models and the tip is shibata.

The review has some BS about aluminum resonances being less objectionable than more exotic materials because they are lower in frequency. It might be true in this case because I suspect Brakemeier used this to voice the cart according to his design goals - live music. 

Not having heard the cart I can't comment further. Seems a bit overpriced to me, but most new stuff does.


Flieb, What I read, on the website of a dealer who can hardly be said to be unbiased, is that aluminum was chosen for the cantilever, because its resonances are higher (not "lower") in frequency, above the audible spectrum, compared to boron, etc.  As the Germans might say, "machts nicht" (or something like that), the point is, does it sound good? Like everything Dertonearm brings to market, the cartridges look to be beautifully made.  The rest is for the end user to decide.

My tendency would be to go for the second most expensive version, without the gold inlay.  Or the cheapest one if Nandric says it sounds good.
Looks very interesting. And any cartridge that tags itself with that Blake Proverb of Hell automatically has my vote and maybe my money. After all, as the man also says, "Prudence is a rich, ugly old maid courted by incapacity."
I can't drag myself away from listening....
So review may have to wait 😎
In the meantime, Thuchan, who has all of Dietrich's other cartridges (as well as nearly 100 of the greatest cartridges throughout history) has this to say about the Palladian

''Those damn details'' he said ''I had no idea that she was prostitute

for 10 years before I married her''.

Well not as dramatic but I also overlooked ''some datails''. All

those cart versions I mentioned are ''limited edition'' so I fear

that the poor among you should forget Archon. While I always

admired Dertonarm and considered him as my first ''genius friend''

I was very susrprised with his ''creativity erruption'' of late. But so

many carts in such a short time may mean that the former series

are sold out. One can't expect from even an ''ordinary person'' not

to increase his prices by his next series. But according to the logic

I ascribed to  Dertonarm (poor versus rich) I expect as his next

''move'' the ''poor man Apolite'' (grin, grin).

BTW one of the comments to Thuchans ''review'' mentioned FR-7f

as his guess regarding Dertonarm ''inspiration''. This person

is ''obviously'' wrong because I was right with my FR-7fz guess


Post removed 

Dear Lew, We have this principle not to comment on items we

have never heard. But to quote ''your'' Groucho Marx: ''If you don't like my principles I have other''.

Post removed 
Now I am getting angry.  The second of my last two posts has also been removed, and I received yet another warning email.  The email states that the criteria for censoring a post are as follows:

"Content may be removed for one or more of these reasons:
It looked like spam
It was abusive towards another member
It depicts explicit and/or violent content
It contains profanity"

Please tell me in what way either of my last two posts fits any of the above criteria for removal.  Unless the moderator deems the word "virgin" to be either violent or profane.

Lew, I suspect it was involuntary. Palladian refers to the goddess Pallas Athena and apparently Brakemeier is her modern champion. The goddess must have mistakenly been upset when you joked about her known attributes, but on a modern demi goddess.

This might seem like a stretch, but everyone knows we're powerless when it comes to goddesses.


Hey Guys, 
I was pointed here and I have good news for those who can't read German. We have translated it and turned it into a PDF. We had planned on publishing this and emailing it out soon but after reading your guys comments I figured I'd give you guys early access. 

You can download it here: 

With regards to getting a review in the US, we are working on it! 

Chad Naputi 
Rutherford Audio Marketing 
It’s not often one begins a review by denigrating the product ‘type’ to start with…..

But I don’t like ‘modern’ LOMC cartridges.

I don’t like their exaggerated high frequencies…

I don’t like their recessed unnatural midrange timidity…

I don’t like their pseudo-impressive but unrealistic bass thump…

And I particularly don’t like their near ability to suck the emotional content out of the music…..

I know that the above is a generalisation and that most of the high-end audio fraternity strongly disagree with that sweeping analysis, but after owning a dozen of the respected ‘modern’ LOMCs over the last 25 years, I have embraced the delights of vintage MM cartridges in their place.


Vintage LOMCs on the other hand (like vintage MMs) are a different kettle of fish in my book….

The SPUs, EMTs, Neumann DST, FR-7 series, Sony XL-55 etc. project a soundstage and musical presentation seemingly at odds with the ‘modern’ sound.

How did this state come to be?

Is it the quest for seemingly greater detail retrieval demanded by aging audiophile ears and the ‘rational’ that higher pricing is synonymous with ‘revealing’ (I hate that word) cartridges?


Dietrich Brakemeier has been a devotee of vintage LOMC cartridge and tonearm design for decades.

I believe he started off in audio re-wiring the great Fidelity Research tonearms, the FR-64s and FR-66s with pure silver Litz.

His admiration for the FR-7 series cartridges (particularly the FR-7f and FR-7Fz) is well known through his contributions to various Audio Forums.

The fact that he has, only fairly recently, been able to launch a new audio company successfully manufacturing only analogue equipment (including the incredible Apolyt turntable) is an encouraging sign for all who love vinyl.

The latest and greatest of his four cartridge designs (Archon, Astron, Aiwon are the others), the Palladian advances on the design of the Aiwon. As Dietrich explains:-


“When we introduced the aiwon in early winter 2014 we were amazed by its subtle detail, by its ability to recreate tiny, tantalizing details – minor details which so immensely support the emotional impact and the sense of reality in a sonic picture.

Over the next 18 months we experimented with a few samples of the aiwon trying to further fine tune for even more impact in performance.

But it was not before we made subtle changes in some key inherent design parameters that we entered new ground.

This was the birth of the design which then evolved in the spring of 2016 into the palladian.

The palladian features a hand hammered Timet 1100 Titanium body of unequalled strength and with an unparalleled ability to transfer energy.

In the palladian we find a strong heart with more energy (coil windings), a body more agile with less inertia (reduced moving mass), featuring further a very special, subtle mix of small measures taken to fine tune each and every parameter of performance allowing for a sonic explosion beyond our expectations and hopes.

The hand hammered body, the quicksilverish shine like a dragon’s skin - The palladian Timet 1100 body expresses visually its agility, vital dynamic and live-likeness.

The palladian brings that spark of life back into the sonic presentation of each and every recording.

That spark of life – independent whether large or small – that was there when the performance was once captured.

The palladian is fast, life-like dynamic and breathtaking direct in its color, immediateness and agility.

An incredible agile, dynamic dancer – a reminiscent of Misha Baryshnikov in his prime.

It is subtle, tender and sublime – yet frightening dynamic, with a sonic punch both wall-shaking and stunning physical in its impact.

The palladian is.. live ….. in the very best sense and in the true spirit of the music.

And with the palladian the true spirit of the music is there.

Our statement in phono cartridges ….. our best.”


Wow……hyperbole? Marketing speak? Or just plain B.S…..?


I mounted the Palladian in the Yamamoto HS-4 carbon fiber headshell (which I had discovered elevates the performance of every cartridge I have tried) fitted to one of my FR-66s tonearms on the Raven AC-2 turntable running through the Kondo KSL-sFz SUT into the MM input of the Halcro DM-10 phonostage.

Straight out of the box, the sound of the Palladian stunned me……

Those who know what an SPU-Ae Gold or FR-7fz can sound like in the right system will know how rare an experience this can be.

An enveloping soundstage filled the entire volume of my lofted-ceiling listening space with shimmering translucent midrange realism…..

No strain… brittle edginess….no drone to the nether regions, only a sense of wonder.

A sense of ‘the live event’ Brakemeier had written about.

This was no marketing hyperbole…..

This was what we dreamed it could be like when we listened to music in our homes.

This was the fulfillment of 60 years of promises…..


I find it meaningless to delve into detailed descriptions of how particular tracks on particular albums sounded (as most Reviewers now seem to do) for no-one knows what they sounded like before the item under review…?

What I do find illuminating is how a cartridge handles the ‘worst’ of recorded music.

The challenging, poorly recorded or poorly engineered tracks, which normally make you want to stop listening.

For it’s almost certain that these tracks sounded ‘listenable’ on the original master tape, but the distortions introduced in the mastering, pressing and playback stages has pushed the sound past a coherent point.

Only a few cartridges can ‘retrieve’ enough, and distort minimally enough, to render these ‘horror’ tracks listenable and sometimes even enjoyable.

Harvest by Neil Young on Reprise (7599-27239-1) has some nicely recorded tracks (Out On The Weekend, Harvest, Heart Of Gold) as well as 2 tracks (Alabama, Words), which have confounded me with their leanness, lack of real bass, vocal distortion and complete lack of depth. The album was recorded at four different venues with three different Producers and those two tracks share the same Producers and venues.

With the Palladian, I was actually able to listen to these tracks without flinching, and could now clearly ascertain the 'out-of-key' harmonies of Stephen Stills together with the clearly over-dubbed lead guitar boosted above the general sound level on the right channel and the completely flat soundstage.

So clear and cleanly illuminated were all the artifacts of the recording engineer displayed…that it became, for the first time listening to these….an enjoyable and intriguing experience.


Respighi Pines of Rome (Reiner on the Classic Records re-issue of the RCA LSC-2436) had always brought my wife storming down the hallway at the 'screeching' Finale whilst I scrambled for the volume control to save my bleeding ears.

Now with the Palladian….the wife actually sits and listens!

The shrill distortions of the complex massed strings and horns previously heard with lesser cartridges, became transparently effortless just as they are in a concert hall for yes… music CAN be shrill, complex and congested but also understood and transparent at the same time.


George Harrison’s box set ‘All Things Must Pass’ produced by Harrison and Phil Spector and digitally remastered in 2001 has some wonderful music but some dubious sound quality (probably caused by the digital remastering).

‘Wah-Wah’ in particular on side 1…..symptomatic of Spector’s ‘Wall-of-Sound’ signature, is so congested, frequency-limited and distorted that no matter which turntable I use or which arm I use or which cartridge I use (even MMs)….NOTHING can make this track anything but a chore to listen to till its end.

Now I’m not going to say that the Palladian transforms this track into a sonic wonder….but it’s the only cartridge that allows me to listen till the end without reducing the volume or hitting the mute switch…..


Of course it’s a given that the Palladian does justice to all your favourite well-recorded albums.

What is NOT a given is how the Palladian projects a force-field into your listening space. A force-field so like the ‘real’ thing that you sit there literally open-mouthed, not quite believing what you’re hearing but transfixed by the majesty of the illusion.


Brakemeier has managed to create a cartridge which builds upon the knowledge of the past great LOMC cartridges like the SPUs and FR-7 series whilst pushing the technology envelope to allow even further possibilities.

This is truly as close to live sound as I have yet heard produced in my listening room.

This is a cartridge that Art Dudley would love and understand….

I suspect that even Michael Fremer (who admits to impatience with vintage sound and products) might appreciate the breakthrough the Palladian presents?

Everyone who is serious about the information still buried within the humble vinyl record, needs to hear the Palladian even if he can’t afford the steep sticker price, for sound like this unfortunately….does not come cheaply.



Halcro. Many thanks for the heartfelt review and for drawing our attention to this cartridge. I've been following Dietrich with great interest for several years ever since purchasing a UNI Protractor which is still my go to alignment device. Inspired by what I've heard and looking for the sort of open and live sound you describe I've plonked down the $ for a Palladian and look forward to sharing my results in a month or so. I also suspect I'll be adding one of Dietrich tonearms to my rig in the future as well

Thanks for the kind words folkfreak.
Cartridges are very subjective items to recommend and there are many to whom I have extolled the virtues of a particular unit only to find they haven't had the same experience....🙄‼️
In the case of the Palladian......I simply cannot imagine anyone experiencing anything but wonderment....🎶🙏
Please let us know what you think when it arrives....?

I also admire Dertonarm and even love the guy but it never

occured to me to write a poem for him (grin).

Halcro: Thanks for bringing this up. Sounds very promising, though pricey.

Is it the quest for seemingly greater detail retrieval demanded by aging audiophile ears and the ‘rational’ that higher pricing is synonymous with ‘revealing’ (I hate that word) cartridges?

I never understood why someone might prefer a "revealing" component? Is the objective to find flaws in recordings & other gear or to enjoy music? 

What I do find illuminating is how a cartridge handles the ‘worst’ of recorded music.

Yes. Exactly.

What I do find illuminating is how a cartridge handles the ‘worst’ of recorded music.

Yes. Exactly.

Thanks Sampsa....
Michael Fremer in one of his latest component reviews actually mentions the same George Harrison track 'Wah-Wah' as a test for 'ability'....
So credit where it's due for our 'main man'....👏
Halcro, thank you for your review which I very much enjoyed reading. I would not change one word of it. I have now enjoyed many hours listening with my Palladian in my Axiom arm. I also have an FR7f 6 digit and an Aiwon. The Aiwon is to me a wonderful refinement of the FR7f. The Palladian has significantly improved on the Aiwon such that it has taken my system to a new level. The cartridges were aligned with the UNI-Protractor, the best alignment tool I have used, and its unique UNI-DIN tangential curve template.

To me, a sign of system greatness is when I hear a piece of music which has previously made no sense to me, all of a sudden make sense. I am sorry I cannot describe this better. This has only happened to me twice. The first time was several years ago hearing a Jeff Beck track on a CD sourced system with Kinoshita’s large mono power amps driving Kinoshita Monitor RMs in a special purpose room designed by Tom Hidley to studio spec. Tom told me that on his studio grading scale he would give the room a solid 7 out of 10. The track went for me from a mass of jumbled sound to an integrated, meaningful and powerful piece. It was like all of a sudden I heard what Jeff Beck wanted to convey. The second time was recently with the Palladian in my system on playing the “Gone with the Wind” Dan Hicks track on the Bob Wasserman “Duets” album. His voice went from an irritating noise to an artful use of voice that became fascinating. I cannot give higher praise.

I have been in this wonderful hobby of ours for decades and endured endless wars: tube v transistor, this v that. I am still saddened when people in hobbies attack each other. I speculate that this is some tribal throwback to our base genetic survival strategies. I would recommend that you forget the words about this or that design feature and this or that personality, and decide with your ears. We all have different preferences but I cannot imagine an honest enthusiast hearing a well set up Palladian in a good system (by good I mean sounding good – IMHO there is so much over-priced underperforming gear) and not respect this cartridge.

To close, I have to thank Audiogon for introducing me to Dietrich, the man behind Acoustical Systems who previously posted as Dertonarm, and his excellent products. I have also to thank Syntax for answering endless emails from me way back when I was considering buying my Micro Seiki turntable, and numerous others like Halcro for contributing their honest opinions for my consideration. I love our hobby which brings the wonder of music into our homes with high fidelity, and the Internet for enabling this.
Thank you for your kind words bluewolf and also for your interesting thoughts and history.
I admire your system greatly and my gosh.....the Omnigon 😜...‼️
The stuff of my dreams....🙏
I too appreciate the enormous changes the Internet has made in allowing Audio Forums like this to prosper.
And to meet folks like Dertonarm and Thuchan here on A'Gon, has literally changed my Audio life. Their presence is missed...😪
Without them.....I would never have entered the world of the FR-64s, FR-66s and FR-7f.
And I think in some way.....the impression Dertonarm made on many of us here, has enabled him to fast-track his analogue audio company.
And the whole audio world is richer for that.....👏


I never understood why someone might prefer a "revealing" component? Is the objective to find flaws in recordings & other gear or to enjoy music?

My experience with improving the resolution/transparency of my setup has been that far from making poorer recordings less enjoyable the removal of noise allows one to enjoy the intent of the performance and listen through the limitations of the recording. For example discovering how much subtlety and detail there is in mono recordings, or hearing all of the little adjustments being put in by a rhythm guitarist for example

Resolution and transparency (as opposed to tipped up 'detail') are always and in all cases preferable in my experience

Anyway I'm told it should be 2-3 weeks to my Palladian and I may have the US Distributor round to install it, will keep us all posted
Dear @halcro : Knowing your siytem and sound priorities is no surprise you like those vintage MC cartrridges and the Palladian too.

You tested through one of the non damped FR tonearm and trhough a SUT along a resonant carbon fiber headshell and I know this is what you like it for several years now.

I can’t speak about the Palladian because I never heard it but because your comments I could think goes in the same " school " where you learned/study.

I think that the Palladian has to be a good cartridge, issue could be if it’s over vintage or today LOMC top performers in a way diferent set up ( especially: tonearm, headshell, no SUT, no tubes. ) as the one you, Eckart, Rutherford, bluewolf, etc, have.

I respect your opinion but ( at least I. ) always is important the context/stage/scenario that surrounded any one opinions.

Example: @bluewolf ( with all my respect to . ) shares its Palladian opinion and looking to his system I can understand the why’s about.
Btw, I found out an audio system with very similar electronics and speakers as bluewolf where the owner of it posted this. I have to say that I own that CD and my opinion is the other way around ( I'm not saying a superlative one. ) but each one of us have our music/sound priorities and these is what makes the differences in our way of thinking/opinions :

Good for you @halcro and @bluewolf . I'm sure that sooner or latter I will have the opportunity to hear it somewhere. Newcomers always welcomed.

Regards and enjoy the music,

Btw, makes no sense to me ( knowing the HDM 10 and your SUT. ) not use the Palladian directly in the Halcro phonolinepreamp??????

Btw, makes no sense to me ( knowing the HDM 10 and your SUT. ) not use the Palladian directly in the Halcro phonolinepreamp??????

The Halcro DM-10 phono stage (both MM and MC) is excellent and I've tried direct comparisons with my LOMCs directly into the DM-10's MC input and through the Kondo SUT into the MM input.
The differences are very subtle....but in the end, I think the removal of the extra 'active' stages makes the SUT slightly more transparent.
Dear @halcro : I understand what you mean but still do not make sense to me. Let me explain it and I know that the Kondo is a good SUT:

the active high gain circuit are mainly " transparent " transistors where the signal pass. In the direct set up the signal pass only through the tonearm internal wires and the IC cable to the DM10 input but with the SUT ( transformers has " hundreds of wire m. ) the signal must pass to additional IC cables between the Kondo and the DM10.

I think that you perceive a diferent sound that like you more but not necesary " more transparent " because that silver additional IC cable degrade the signal too.

Anyway, as I said it: newcomers audio items always welcomed.


I had no idea that I like the same (kinds?) of distortions like

''some Aussie''. But I do know that he likes MM carts while I

like the MC kinds. Ergo both MM and MC carts have the same

distortions.  What is more I just bought Klyne 7 PX 3.5.5 phono

pre and prefer its lowest amplification (37 dB) in combo with

Denon AU-S1 SUT for all my MC carts. At present with Archon

''the poor man Palladian''. Even more strange is the coincidence

that his and my gear ''must have'' the same distortions. I need

to add that Dertonarm himself  also used SUT's with FR-7 kinds

earlier and probably with his own carts now. So, it seems, we

are in good company.

Help me please: what does this cartridge cost and where can you buy them?  Thank you.  

In USA $10,445 and distributed by Rutherford Audio

In Europe EUR 8,899 and available from dealers such as Bel HiFi (you'll need to Google it as AGon will not let me post a link, sorry)

Hope this helps
"Newcomers always welcomed." Well thank you rauliruegas for your wonderful welcome and damning praise! Sir, “with all my respect to”, what an impressive ability you have to dam something that you have not heard through shear speculation based on prejudices which I take it are a dislike of the designer and the type of equipment you think this cartridge must represent. Listen to the cartridge and then I will happily read your conclusions. What you are indulging in is useless mischief.

Have you read and taken in what halcro and I have written? What you have done here is attack the product by attacking our personal listening credibility based on our systems and a review of a cd. “I can’t speak about the Palladian because I never heard it”. Bravo. Correct. But nevertheless speak you do, and all damning. Thank you for your patronization “I could think goes in the same “school” where you learned/study”. You know zero about the decades of equipment I have listened to.

For me, the best thing is when someone comes up with a suggestion to go in a direction that I would not have otherwise taken and my ears tell me that my pre-judgement was woefully incorrect. For many years I was a power amp tube guy (Audio Research, VTL Ichiban, CAT – but you already knew that rauliruegas) after a disastrous set of Roland 100 monoblocks back in 1988 (100 watt monoblocks with a badly masquerading tube sound thick as liquorice and unbelievably poor bass). The then Rowland preamp on the other hand was good. After all my relatively high powered tube amps I eventually went tube single-ended pure class A and the simpler the circuit the better, driving efficient speakers. I had the opportunity to trial at home one of only two custom monoblock pairs made by Audion around the VAIC 52B tube. No expense was spared – custom silver wired transformers etc. The circuit was very simple. So according to my thinking they should perform, and indeed they did. They delivered a reasonable amount of current so the bass was good. The midrange had great detail, lovely tonal texture (not unnaturally warm) and the treble was airy and extended. Great amps. I was going to stop there. And then the hi-fi dealer, for whom the custom Audions were made, told me I should get a Kinoshita HQS2500UPM power amplifier instead and not take his Audions. Nothing could have been further from my thoughts – a highly complicated high wattage transistor amp. I told him sure the bass would be better but not the mids and treble and so I refused. He said he had such faith in it he would order it and I could listen and decide, no obligation. I did and it took me about 2 minutes (of course with significant further verification listening) to decide. The Kinoshita blew the Audions away in every regard including the midrange and treble, and of course the bass.

I did not go to one school rauliruegas. I have been to too many and I remain open to any. I raise the above example not for the point of tubes v transistors nor to give you further ammunition to attack my listening credibility, but for us all to have open inquiring minds and to judge with our ears and not speculate against and denigrate others actual experiences because they do not fit our own prejudices. Yes I am prejudiced based on my experiences but I remain open to hear all approaches to hear whether I think they better my own and if they do I am grateful to know this to point me in a better direction.

Well consensus is fine but disputes  are more exciting. Thought  with

exception of the Mexican.

not looking for a cartridge, so haven't read any reviews, but this AudioGon thread reminds me of a summer scene at the cottage.

I am floating on the dock drinking beer, taking it all in with friends. All is good with the world. Then out of nowhere comes... the Canadian Horse Fly. He is predictable, on schedule, and everyone knows that he will show up when it is nice and sunny and warm. But no one has bothered to put on any anti fly cream.

I have seen pictures of Nandric (Nikola's) room, and I have seen pictures of Halcro (Henry's) room. The two could not be more different, both in dimensions and materials. One is a square peg and the other is round.
Nikola likes MC and Henry MM. But it is obvious they both like Dertonarm.

Now the important part.
Nikola loves Slivovitz. So the question remaining for me. What is Henry's favorite drink?

(Two Grins)

Dear Chris, You missed the point (grin). The question is if we have

the same distortions despite the fact that we have different gear

as well as diferent preferences. BTW there are many Serbians in

Australia so Slivovitz should be available.  But I assume that he

prefer  French brands.

Dear @bluewolf :   """  listening credibility based on our systems and a review of a cd...... """"

As I posted:   """  always is important the context/stage/scenario that surrounded any one opinions..... """

I think you could agree with. The context here is the audio system and each single lin in the overall system chain.

"""   but I remain open to hear all approaches to hear..... """"

good you are open about. Here I go on what I learned through " hundreds " of years in our beloved hobby, just like you learned too but in a way different path and certainly with different MUSIC/sound priorities and live experiences:

other than the LP the realanalog system link star is the cartridge it self, its quality level performance that will permit enjoy MUSIC at the very top level we can achieve inside each one " context ".

Now, in an " ideal " analog audio world and for that cartridge can really shines it needs to be surrounded for cero distortions/cero resonants system links.

That's is my main system target/approach and my personal audio quest.

With that premises the very first system link to the cartridge is the headshell followed by the headshell wires/connectors followed by the tonearm wand ( tonearm it self. That's for a removable headshell tonearm design as yours and Halcro and the other gentlemans I mentioned.) and internal wiring.

Carbon fiber is a beautiful terminated audio build material but high in resonances ( means that creates higher distortions than other materials. ) and not well damped to help the cartridge job and cartridge signal reproduction. No there is no perfect build materials, all has the " abilities " to degrade the cartridge signal but we can't avoid it. The best we can do is to learn through several tests the system links that degrade less the cartridge signal this's links with low very low distortions/resonances/noise level.

Following those kind of statements the tonearm is perhaps the more critical link ( in many ways. ) for the quality cartridge level performance. Here not only the cartridges needs a tonearm that hold the cartridge and  that permits the " free " cartridge LP grooves ridding but at the same time that be a truly well damped tonearm to not contribute to add higher resonances and damps too the ones that comes through the cartridge job and this includes the damping of the tonearm self feedback resonances/distortions. Higher distortions means less real MUSIC information.

FR tonearms, 66 and 64 ( I owned and still have the 64. ), are a non damped design and this is what the designer choosed several years ago. Been a non damped all metal (steel, very igh on resonance transmision. ) design are perhaps the worst tonearms ( even worst than the SAEC's that I owned too. ) to be a " trusty " main partner to any cartridge where any cartridge mounted there only can gives us higher distorted sound.
The subject is not if that distorted sound likes me or not the subject is that that sound comes with higher distortions than in any other tonearm.

All the gentleamns involved in this thread likes a cartridge performance through the FR tonearm. Good for all of you because that's what you like but that does not means in any single way is rigth because it's not.

The next link is the TT and in your case Micro Seiki ( is something like the carbon fiber. ) TTs has a very good look that makes us owners been proudly owners with but as a MS owner I learned in deep about the MS overall design and why is not a good partner for any cartridge:

- the MS platter is and ring as a bell. Yes, the platter is heavy and shines like gold or silver. So what? when it adds distortions at higher levels than other TTs and the additional platter you use it it's only and made it a " frankestein " device but can't " dead silence " the bell and that top platter has its own resonances too.

- the MS all metal plinth is way resonant too adding, yes you know distortions by it self.

- worst issue in the MS TTs design is that the arm boards are mounted exactly in the worst place of the non damped MS design: at each foot where every single internal and external resonances/vibrations must pass and are directly transmited to the non damped arm boards.
When I bougth mine I did not know nothing of all those on MS and I like it the MS look and that I can mount four tonearm at the same time, this was " great " for me  on those old times but I learned.

Next critical system link is the phonolinepreamp where the delicated and sensitive cartridge music information must be processed and where huge distortions can be added, there is no way to dissapears that huge signal degradation.
The Phonolinepreamp has a " titanic " and almost impossible job/target that's not only amplify thousands of times the very low level cartridge signal but that needs to do it with no additional signal degradation in any way along to equalize the cartridge signal for that signal can even in precise way to the RIAA equalization with no RIAA frequency deviation ( here in the link has to be aplied the inverse RIAA curve equalization. ) for we can listen the original signal that microphones pick up during recording process.

Well, when an audio signal is amplified we have to " play "/handle at the same time with the amplification process with: generated noise levels and several ways of generated distortions and frequency limitations with. All these on ly adds degradation to the catridge signal.

Tubes can't do it and here is not the usual: tubes vs SS. NO, here it's a fact: just can't do it because tubes has higher noise levels and not enough gain to amplify the low level cartridge signal with low noise as SS devices. So, the first circuit gain stage in a phonolinepreamp MUST be a solid state device ( bipolar transistors for LOMC cartridges and FETs for MM ones. ) that has high gain with very low noise levels.
When tube designs instead of solid state devices choose for a passive gain SUTs ,as your phono design and many others out there, the challenge is not solved but agravated because SUTs has a frequency range limitations ( tubes too. ) it self and produce noise levels and distortions that goes higher than bipolars. So, is not the " rigth " solution but only a way different path with higher signal degradations.

The other critical issue is that inverse RIAA equalization process I mentioned and that through tubes or SUTs you can't beats SS well designed phonolinepreamps because that RIAA frequency deviations that create in higher ways though tubes/SUts than SS ones.

That's why I know that your system and the other gentleman's system here are making higher degradation to the cartridge signal I'm accustom to.

I like NON DISTORTED MUSIC SIGNAL against that you like it that MUSIC signal with greater distortions and that's all.

Regards and enjoy the music,

Dear bluewolf,
You seem like a reasonable, rational and personable kind of guy so I need to give you some history and advice about Raul.....😎
It is best to ignore his Posts as any response, encourages him that still reading what he says...over and over and over again 💤
He constantly cites ’opinions’ as if they were ’facts’ and never supplies a shred of scientific evidence to support them.
His naive idea of ’evidence’ producing a copy of some other hapless individual’s subjective opinion with which Raul agrees...🗿

About seven years ago, Dertonarm (Daniel Brakemeier) and Raul had unseemly arguments on these pages about all things analogue .....from turntables to tonearms to cartridges and especially the tonearm geometry systems of Lofgren, Baerwald, Stevenson etc.
At that time, Raul proudly announced he was designing a tonearm and cartridge and even gave a date at the forthcoming CES where it would be introduced.
Dertonarm wagered that HIS tonearm would be presented to the world before Raul’s...
Fast forward and history shows that not only has Raul’s tonearm never seen the light of day....but Dertonarm went on to start up Acoustical Systems which now produces two tonearms, four MC cartridges, ingenious headshells, tonearm set-up protractors and possibly the world’s most expensive turntable.
Brakemeier even invented a NEW tonearm geometry and could be considered one of the world’s foremost experts on tonearm geometry✍️

I also discovered many years ago...that almost everything Raul thought was ’good’ in the way of cartridges, headshells , tonearms and turntables I found pedestrian. And almost everything he thought was ’bad’.....I found to be revealing and satisfying.

So I urge you bluewolf, to do as my hero, George Costanza once famously did.......
Do the OPPOSITE of everything Raul says to do....😜
That motto has served me well for many years for as the story of Raul and Dertonarm shows......Raul is mostly wrong ‼️


Dear halcro,

Many thanks for giving me the background and for your sage advice. All understood and I will pen no more in this regard!

All the best
In USA $10,445
What is the manufacturing cost for this cartridge. Ball park.

Sancho Panza was a kind of technical servant of Don Quichot.

As was the case in those old times all the merits of an servant

belonged to their masters. So those pre-amps, tonearms, headshells

etc, as pretended inventions of  Raul are actually made (or not)by

his Sancho Panza. Don Quichot himself was not even able to fix

his own blown up midrange speakers. I think that Sancho Panza

discovered that slavery was abandoned and started for him

self. This (should) explain Halcro's wondering about those missing

tonearms  and other promissed components.  

Halcro, I loved your observation about vintage MM and some (not all) vintage MC cartridges vs modern LOMC cartridges.  It was bang on the money.  Last night I was listening to my SS re-tipped Grace Ruby, about a $600 total investment, and wondering whether and how, for example, a ZYX UNIverse will compare to it.

I personally credit Raul for calling this dichotomy to my attention.
Dear @halcro / @bluewolf and friends: I think your post did not contribute to help each one of us grow up in the home music/audio enjoyment. I will try to explain this statement.


- for years tube and SS manufacturers and after market ones ( some way or the other ) were trying to damp its designs: non resonants tube circuit bases, wraps around tubes, damping tube socks, chasis/boxes with damping construction to avoid internal vibrations/resonances and the like. These manufacturers choosed the best damp footers for their products.

- TT manufacturers are not an exception when all of them give very especial attention to damp the TT motor, plinth, platter, arm board, footers, TT plattforms. Subject here is to " avoid " vibrations, resonances noise levels and the like ( internally and from exterior. ).

- Almost every single audiophile, reviewer, voicing product manufacturers always give very special attention to room interaction and how to damp it to " avoid " all kind of added distortions to the home systems.

- I’m sure that you as any other audiophile are using a platter mat after market or the manufacturer recomendation. ) or a clamp to damp it.

- Speaker manufacturers give special attention not only to the boxes build materials but to the boxes shapes in order to avoid: resonances, vibrations, standing waves, noise high levels. Even they choose to damp the speaker crossover position and some of them choosed that the speaker crossover been external by design.

- Cable manufacturers give too attention to damp their cable designs trhough the cable internal shapes and whole build materiasl used with.

- Cartridge manufacturers put estrict special attention to damps their designs and that’s why they select different cartridge body materials ( some blended. ) and cartridge shapes and kind of cartridge damping through the cartridge suspension as cantilever build materials and cantilever shape and length even the cartridge stylus kind of.

- Tonearms are not the exception but where in the last years manufacturers really take care about damping. Today exist no single well regarded tonearm manufacturer where his design is a NON DAMPED one. All are well damped ones: Triplanar, Talea, OL, SME even the humble Rega or the Cobra or the VPI. Just name it and all are damped.

- Racks/system plattforms where the designers are focus on DAMPING!!!!

- Today exist more after market items for damping that any other audio product. Must be a very good reasons for this fact!!!!!!!!!

No one needs ( but you, as said in your post. ) a scientific ways to prove the damping needs at any single link in the overall home audio systems to try add the lower kind of: resonances, vibrations, noise levels and the like that goes against the MUSIC because all those only makes heavy MUSIC DEGRADATION. The beloved undamped FR tonearm is out of question here because is totally wrong for today music/sound true and real enjoyment: it’s a huge mistake to still using it other that we like HIGH DISTORTED MUSIC/SOUND, same for MS TTs.

In the old times things were a little different but even in those times we can see that in areas as tonearms manufacturers gave very special attention to damping as are the Technics EPA 100/250 tonearms designs or the great Lustre GST-801 that even today are unbeteable in this regards. Micro Seiki MAX tonearms are very well damped too but even MS choosed for non very well damped TT and FR choosed for a non damped design, these two examples are examples of what is totally wrong in today audio items needs.

Till here all what I said are facts not " imagination " or is’t that any one reading it still think that all those latest time audio item designers/manufacturers ALL of THEM ARE WRONG ?????? because all of them are looking the best ways to DAMP their products ( including your friend. )

WHOM here still can think that the best phono stage is an all tube design instead SS or SUTs.

I think that all kind of audio discussions/dialogues as in any other life area exist because each one of us involved have different ingnorance levels, this is what makes " things " really interesting because is the way to grow up for each one of us.

""" And almost everything he thought was ’bad’.....I found to be revealing and satisfying.

So I urge you bluewolf, to do as my hero, George Costanza once famously did.......
Do the OPPOSITE of everything Raul says to do..."""

only to put some " ligth " about. In one way or the other all of us are " audio followers " from something else or some one ideas and you as me are too a follower:

- you followed my advise about the MM/MI alternative that you touted even today.

- you followed my everyone advise to use powered subwoofers in our systems.

- you followed my advise to use removable headshell tonearm designs.

- you followed my advise to use/test DD TT designs.

- you followed my evryone advise to use " naked " TT, no plinth.

I have to say that one way or the other what you followed was discussed in this forum by me way before I knew of your existence or that any one in the forum really took it seriously on each one of those subjects and many others.

I can’t see that what you made was the opposite of what are or were my advises on music/audio subjects.

""" even invented a NEW tonearm geometry ... """"

well the only human been all we know that " invented " what you named " new tonearm geometry " was in 1938 Löfgren where Baerwald latter or Stevenson and others all were just FOLLOWERS. Löfgreen A and Baerwald are exactly the same.

Stevenson invented nothing he as other people including several audiophiles as me only made or changed the input main parameters in the Löfgren original white papers/equations.

You do not know it because don’t understand in deep the Löfgren papers real meaning and that’s what your touted friend did it:

If we change the IEC standard most inner groove distance input used, this is that instead of 60.325 mm we take as input 54 mm, on calculations then we have those uni-din null points. There is no single NEW invention ( as you said. ), you even can have your personal " invention " changing input values. You can choose the values you want it and use any internet calculator ( vynil engine ones. ) and that’s it: your " invention ". Got it?

I can go on and on on what you posted but I think is ok for now.

Regards and enjoy the music,

Btw, thank’s @lewm

Last night I was listening to my SS re-tipped Grace Ruby, about a $600 total investment, and wondering whether and how, for example, a ZYX UNIverse will compare to it.

Perhaps you may soon have the opportunity to compare Lewm...😀❓
I forgot to tell you that the added ( any kind. ) high distortions by the FR tonearm comes not only from its all metal/steel undamped design but from the spring used in the VTF mechanism ( ringing all the time. ). Is so bad tonearm design, on damping regards, that even the arm wand is not tapered, the 66 is the worst one because its length over the 64.

Anyway, follow " enjoying " it.


Dear comrade Fleib, What I have seen is much more disturbing then

your mouse. All those ''exotic cantilevers'' among which your

beloved hollow (aka tubed) boron cantilever, are glued in an

small aluminum tube which is then glued in the so called ''joint

pipe'' on which the coils and suspension are fastened. I am sorry

for your aversion against aluminum but this ''inferior material''

seems to be inevitable.


The mouse wasn't disturbing, only a little surprising. Most of them have been eliminated by B C the cat. She likes to play with them, bat them around and give chase. Then she lets them go.

They scurry off, but mortally wounded from her claws, they find a place to die. Hopefully, that place isn't behind an unmovable object like a radiator. Sometimes I find them by smell.  At first, B C used to bring them to me, but seeing my aversion to mouse, she no longer does.

I have no such aversion to aluminum, the Mr Softee of metals, but it depends on the specifics. It's light weight and rather flexible in thin pieces and I've long said that I prefer straight aluminum cantilevers to tapered, in certain applications.

I agree with Raul in one respect even though I haven't heard any of Brakemeier's products. He hasn't invented anything including the uni-din alignment.  How is an alignment an invention anyway?  Find 2 nulls along the recorded part and you have an alignment. I used similar alignments 30+ years ago setting up Japanese tables. They were inevitably designed for Stevenson. If you locate the cart at the far end of the headshell slots and increase offset angle you get an inner null of about 63.5mm.

With extremely expensive high end carts, it's hard to see the value. Personally, I think WWIII is just around the corner and a solar or wind powered generator/battery charger for your bomb shelter would be a better investment.


Dear Fleib, It all depends from describing things one way or the

other. Wittgenstein called this ''languge games''. I don't believe

that Japanese invented swords but they are able to make the best

kinds. You claim to have  ''never heard any of Brakemeiers products''

but what would you be able to HEAR from an alignments tool? I think that you have an very limited understanding of ''inovation''. Those are

other things then (new) inventions. In the context of the so called

''intellectual property'' there is diffrence between ''know how'' and

patent application. Ascribing to Brakemeir inventions is not the

same as his own pretention to have invented something or other.

I am not aware that he claimed any invention. But if he owns a

patent for any of his products you can't argue against . Neither can Raul nor even his Sancho Panza. Assumptions are not the same as