Which tonearm should I keep?

I need to sell some audio gear for funds to pay for a pre-amp upgrade.
I need to sell soon, so I don't have alot of time to sit and compare between them and would appreciate very much what others views, thoughts and opinions would be on the one to keep.

The tonearms are:

Hadcock 242SE Super Silver (currently using)

(2)Technics 500 one a501 E, one 501 H arms)

Fidelity Research FR64

Fidelity Research FR64S

My cartridges:

Music Maker III (currently using)

Fidelity Research MC201
Fidelity Research FR-1 MK3 F

Dynavector KARAT 17D2 MR (considering retip)

Ortofon 30 (considering retip)

Cartridges are flexible, as I can purchase different in the future, I just want to sell the extra tonearms.

I would greatly appreciate suggestions on which one to keep.



128x128Ag insider logo xs@2xrich121
The 500 features VTA adjustment while playing, if I remember. I had one but it was a long time ago. It has taken me a long time to realize how valuable this feature is. If you could find an " L" tonearm for it I would choose it. The "H" was the weakest of the 4(?) available. The FRs were good but not great arms in my experience but they have good resale. It would be between the 500 and the 242 for me.
Dear Rich121: The Technics 505 IMHO is the best on those tonearms. Its VTA on the fly mechanism is so unique, precise and " user friendly " like no other, the tonearm too is versatile due that you can change the arm wands that have different effective mass to match almost any cartridge and last but not less important is the whole Technics build quality ( specialy bearing . ): first rate. Yes, this is my " cadidate ".

I owned the FR and are good tonearms too but I prefer the Technics that works well with your cartridges.

Regards and enjoy the music.
One consideration is effective mas. Low mass arms run around 5-7 gms, intermediate mass arms such as the SME V, Linn Ittok and Ekos, Rega RB-300 and descendants, etc. run around 10-13 gms and are generally what most modern MCs are designed around.

The Fidelity Research FR-64S is probably the least versatile of the tonearms you have listed. IIRC when Hi Fi Choice tested it back in the 1980s it had an effective mass of around 35 gms, which makes it usable only with very low compliance cartridges unless you have a record flattener or a vacuum platter to flatten all your records. It's still relatively popular for such cartridges so you shouldn't have any problems selling it for a good price.

You don't indicate which other version of the FR-64 you have - the FR-64fx, which is made of aluminum rather than the stainless steel of the FR-64s has an effective mass of around 20 gms, which can be reduced using a lighter headshell (the standard headshell has a mass of around 14 gm). The Hadcock is a low mass arm IIRC and is supposed to be an excellent match for the Music Maker, which makes sense because the two are made by the same manufacturer. The Technics can be low to relatively high mass depending on which armtube you use, so it is probably the most versatile in terms of matching for different cartridges.
>>The Hadcock is a low mass arm IIRC and is supposed to be an excellent match for the Music Maker, which makes sense because the two are made by the same manufacturer.<<

Let's clear up some bad information here.

The Hadcock effective mass is about 10 grams which is actually intermediate using the writer's own criteria.

Secondly, the Music Maker is built by Leonard Gregory, aka The Cartridge Man.

Hadcock tonearms are owned and built by Charles Hadcock who assumed the duties when the founder, George his father, passed away a couple years ago.

The companies are two separate and distinct entitites.

Dealer disclaimer
Hi Rich. I think that you should first deciid wich
cart you like to keep. Despite the authority of Raul
(I admire the guy immensely) the only cart that is
compatible with the Technics is the Musik Maker.
My personal preference is FR-64 s (to keep) but that
is not an advice. Even despite the fact that all other carts are comp. with FR-64s. BTW there is some kind of luxury in your 'dillema'.

Dear Nandric: Do you use/know in deep ( sometime/overtime ) that Technics tonearm?

well, I still own it and comparing with the FR's/Hadcock IMHO the Technics is a better choice.
If you never try it my advise is that the next time you see it buy it, you will be surprised how high quality performance show against other top tonearms either vintage or today ones.

The EPA-500 was designed/build on the Technics " golden years " along the EPA-100 and EPA-100MK2 ( as the TT SP-10's ), I admire FR but the Technics on those " days " build a " little " better products, at least is what I already experienced with all those products.

Anyway mine is only an additional opinion and of course like always our preferences are system/ears/own-priorities dependent.

Regards and enjoy the music.
"The companies are two separate and distinct entitites"

This is not a totally true statement, as Leonard Gregory has "exclusive" marketing rights to the Hadcock company.
There is no other "contact" for Hadcock, and to add even more information, the modern design improvements of the Hadcock tonearms were done by Leonard Gregory, which is how he got the exclusive rights.
Dear Raul,
I owned EPA 100 and knew that Tech.500 (from 1969)
was an 'low mass arm' ,designed for MM carts. But
because I have seen your name I checked the issue
(Googel: Technics tonearms,vintage data). Both of
the Richs armtubes have an eff.mass of 8 gr. and recom.
carts are from 5-7 gr. There is an 'S shaped tube' also
but because Rich intention is to sell and not to bay
tonarms or tubes I deed not checked this tube.
I respect your opinion as I stated but I have my own
preferences. I owned more then 10 and own at the moment:
Triplanar VII,an new 12" from Lithvania,Lustre 801 and
Fr-24/MkII. I have also a long experience with FR-64s
then in comb.with Ortofon MC30. This 'combo' got 90 mi-
crons without 'buzzing' from 'HIFI TEST RECORD'. There
is of course no need for such 'performance' but I got
this result from no ather combination. It seems to me
that this is in any case an indication of the quality
of FR-64 S. I belive that I need no advice about the

To answer Bill Feil's email that he just sent to me (which should have been stated here, and not only to me)
As Bill states in the email:

"They are 2 separate companies. That is a true statement"

They are not separate, as, Mr.Hadcock CANNOT sell his own tonearm himself, only Mr. Gregory can sell the Hadcock tonearm...
For customer service, Mr. Hadcock does not and cannot be reached for customer service, only Mr. Gregory takes care of that.
Mr. Hadcock and Mr. Gregory are virtual "siamese twins" as Mr. Hadcock cannot operate without Mr. Gregory.
Maybe Mr. Gregory and you would like to "pretend" there is not financial tie between Hadcock tonearm and Cartridgeman cartridges (as especially in the past) as all advertising and reviews lead the buyer to believe that these companies are completely seperate.. but, that is not the case at all.
Just thought this should be openly posted, and not in an email.

Dear Nandric: Nothing wrong with that, as I stated all is about preferences I respect yours and I posted that I " admire " FR, I'm not dismiss it: both designs are totally different and I prefer the EPA-500 that I try it with several cartridges MM/MC ( like the FR's that I owned ), no I don't test it with the " HI FI TEST RECORD " but always performs fine and with out trouble about.

Anyway, like you I'm only trying to help with my opinion at the end Rick is the best " judge " to pull the trigger.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Rather than banter with Rich and make a fool of him, if you have any questions about Cartridge Man and Hadcock, email Leonard Gregory at thecartridgeman@talktalk.net

Bill Feil
Dealer disclaimer: Cartridge Man and Hadcock
Two separate companies
Dear Raul,I have,I think,some kind of (pre)advantage in
our discussion.Why? Wel I've read all of your contributions
to our forum ;some more then once ather more than 5or6
times.So if one has,say,1000 statements or propositions to
hes disposal and the other none or very few then the chances to discover 'contradictions' are plain.
Why my reading of your contributions? Well I like to learn
despite the fact that I am in our hobby longer then 30
years. I stated elsewhere (Linn LP-12;Mosin) my indebtenis
to you.But because of my respect for you I am trying hard
to find the best (contra) arguments I can. There will be
no discussion possible if Rauls authority became'absolute'.
I am 100% sure that you prefer the arguments.
Your description of 'mating'Dyna XV1 with the best tonearm
possible I've read 6 times. Why? I own the Lustre 801.
What have I learned from this immense effort from You?
Well I knew before that such 'mating' was difficult but it
seems much more difficult then I thoght.
Then Rich came along with hes,my I use the expression(?)
'desparate' set of carts: from M.Maker to FR-1 .I own the
FR-24 that Ikeda made for this cart. I also bought the
Phase-Tech P-3G with an compliance of 8um/mN so I think
I know what this means.
So I was very suprised to read your advice:'Technics
fits them all'.
You even geve me advice to bay one without knowing anything
about my carts and tonearms.But I don't belive in 'omni
potent' tonearms.So I am confused.
You even banter the Test-records but I will advice Rich
to instal FR-1 to hes Technics and try the so-called
'resonance test'. If hes Technics trys to desert or leave
him then,I assume,I am right;if the 'mates' stays in 8-12
Hz region,then Raul is right.
But Rich can,if he will be so kind,resolve the issue if
he keeps the M.Maker. In this case he gets the same advice
from us both.
BTW Rich the 'retiping' is very expensive,the result not
sure and you can bay a better cart;look at Rauls MM story.

Dear Nandric: Well I say almost all. I own all arm wands on the EPA-500 and I was/am thinking that over the time Rick could find all those. I always say that there is no " perfect " items and the EPA-500 it is not.

About your cartridges I read your post on other thread where you speak about your Phase-tech and the Jubilee,but I was not speaking in absolute terms but to try the EPA-500 to find how good it is.

Nandric, I like you think that till today and in absolute terms there is no universal tonearm, there are several good tonearms with different trade-offs, it happen that I like the ones from Technics over the ones from FR: that's all.

+++++ " then Raul is right... " +++++, Nandric IMHO I think that an opinion here is that " an opinion " with out an attitude to " win ".

Regards and enjoy the music.
Audiofeil. Nobody is trying to 'banter and make fool'
of Rich. On the conrary;everyone is trying to help.
Besides if Rich feels offended then he can speak for
himself. Are you some kind of lawyer for both Rich and

No worries.. I'm not offended at all, I appreciate all contributions. I have not had alot of experience with the FR-64 tonearms, and only a bit more with the Technics EPA 500 series tonearms.
I believe Audiofeil is refering to my statements about Mr. Gregory controlling the sales and customer service of Hadcock tonearms, as I'm sure, both he and Bill (Audiofeil) would very much like everyone think they were completely seperate intities...but, they are not.
If Bill would like to tell us who else Mr. Hadcock can sell his tonearms to, or the contact email/phone number directly to Hadcock for customer service/sales (one not involving Mr. Gregory) please publish it..


Here are some direct quotes from Mr. Gregory, just so Bill (Audiofeil) doesn't have to worry about me being made to look a "fool", as these statements are Directly from Mr. Gregory:

"You may (or may not, I should think) know that George Hadcock retired in 1982 and that I decided to re-design the Hadcock range, and having done so got poor old George out of retirement in 1995 to make the arms for me as he still had the means of production and the knowledge to get production up and running quickly as I had enough to do making cartridges, stylus force gauges, and turntable level gauges et al. George carried on making the arms for me until he died unfortunately, the quality suffered slightly"


"This is why everything goes through me, I am the sole distributor of the Hadcock range, which I feel is my due being not only the designer, but the motivator of re-introduction of the range to the market place. Upon George's death, his son Charles took over the manufacture for me and, happily, his abilities are up to the job, and probably better than Georges ever were, I am so pleased that I could find someone of his ability"

Dear Rich,you are an honest and sensitive person but
this Bill 'the Audiofiel' is obviously in the wrong
place for 'tanding hes business';he should try advertesing
but elswhere.
I am not advertising sir.

For either company.

They are separate companies by the way.
Audiofeil, are we supposed to resolve the issue or
the 'paradox' of 'identity'? 'For two things to say that
thy are identical is nonsensical and for one thing to say
that it is indentical with itself says nothing' (Wittgenstein). We do not care if Gregory and the other are two or one. Capiche?
I stand corrected on the mass of the Hadcock, it is indeed a medium mass arm as Audiofeil says. I was thinking of the original Hadcocks, which were low mass arms. In terms of Hadcock and Music Maker, I only know what I read, which is that the Music Maker and Hadcock are designed to go together, and that the two have a connection via the owner of Music Maker (possibly British distributor of Hadcock?), although Bill (Audiofeil) may have more info on the exact connection than I do.
Ask Rich; he knows it all.

I'm only the North American importer.

Although they are 2 separate companies you know.

Dealer disclaimer: For the 2 separate companies i.e. Cartridge Man and Hadcock.

Thank you.
The other day I was visiting my old mate Pieter with my
son Vladimiir. We where for about 5 sec. inside when my
son declared:'Uncle Pieter has the same!'
The same what?
'Pick-up of course!'
My own son. Uncle Pieter owns an Thorens 160 and hes
father owns an Kuzma Stabi Reference with Triplanar VII.

legally and at tax time, they may be 2 separate companies, but, tell me Bill Feil, you deny the truth of these statements made to me by Leonard Gregory?

"I decided to re-design the Hadcock range"

which led to this statement:

"This is why everything goes through me, I am the sole distributor of the Hadcock range, which I feel is my due being not only the designer, but the motivator of re-introduction of the range to the market place"

These are facts..... which is easy to know when you have a Hadcock/Cartridgman item. Customer service is only through Leonard Gregory for all Hadcock business.. there is NO "official" contact for the Hadcock tonearm company, nor Mr. Hadcock.

If I am wrong, explain it.. but don't just make statements that I'm wrong because you the US distributor..if you remember.. you sent me to deal with Leonard Gregory for anything pertaining to my tonearm.

I'm done, this is silly to continue, when Bill Feil would rather be rude and insulting instead of truthful.

Post removed 
For anybody reading this thread please be aware that The Cartridge Man and Hadcock are 2 separate companies.

That is truthful; if you find it rude and/or insulting your name is Rick or you have an undisclosed agenda.
Rich,i tried some jokes about 'identity' and named the
subject 'paradoxical' But your problem is 'legal' and
this 'subject' is very simple. Each 'natural person' has
hes unique identity (even the Siamese twins); the companys
have also their 'legal identity' (those are suposed to be
My conjecture: you decided (inconsequentialy) to keep the
Hadcock ,intend some 'upgrad' but not by Gregory.I.e.
only by the other. So you want to be 'legaly secure'.
I am an lawyer and I am sorry for you:there is no such
thing as 'legal certainty'. So keep the Technics and
abandon the dispute.

>>02-13-09: Nandric
I am a lawyer<<

Do you work for that famous firm, "Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe"?
Audiofeil,this dispute is 'nonsensical' for our forum.
But to satisfy your curiosity: I was university teacher
for 30 years in the Netherlans (private law). I am at
present enjoyng my hobby and my pension.
BTW this is my final contribution to your 'contributions'.

There is no dispute Nandric.

Hadcock and Cartridge Man are 2 separate companies.

It's so simple you (and even Rick but maybe that's a stretch) should understand.

Thanks for your "contributions".
Audiofeil,I was ,it seems,very optimistic with my hope
about my 'final contribution' to the dispute.
But you get an free (legal) advice. The only thing you
need to do is referring to the 'Chamber of Commerce'.
That is the 'place' for the search about companys identity .

>>I was ,it seems,very optimistic with my hope about my 'final contribution' to the dispute.<<

So you have a lack of self control. Not my problem.

>>The only thing you need to do is referring to the 'Chamber of Commerce'. That is the 'place' for the search about companys identity.<<

Quite frankly, none of this is your business.

I have phone numbers, email addresses, and personnel contacts for both companies. Which are separate entities BTW.

Rick is the person who doesn't understand.

Thank you.
Dear Rich121: I don't know if I miss something but what I understand from what already posted by Bill and you I think that both companies are two different ones.
The fact that both have an agreement on the marketing/customer service/re-design subject to make that job through one company does not means that it is only one company.

Anyway, I wonder/can't see why so " big deal " about.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Yes, I of course know that these are both "separate" companies.
What I was getting at, was that the only way Hadcock can sell his tonearm is through Leonard Gregory, so these "separate" companies are tied together, as Hadcock cannot sell his tonearms without Leonard Gregory. And the fact that Leonard Gregory claims to have "re-designed" the Hadcock tonearm line..both of these tie them together, as one cannot do business without the other.
And yes, I had a very bad Customer Service related experience with both Bill Feil and Leonard Gregory, I found Mr. Gregory to be quite rude, errogant and poor customer relation skills.
I will never buy a product again (which I had bought the top of the line, 242SE Super Silver arm, the Music Maker III cartridge, and a bunch of accessories..
I was at first impressed with the help by Mr. Feil, but then found once the "$$" changed hands, all that ended. I would have bought much, much more from Bill Feil, but after the experience I went through, I HIGHLY suggest never to buy a product from Leonard Gregory.
I really wish my thread had not turned out like this.. I really wanted some help on deciding which arm to keep...

I wish everyone a great day...
Dear Rich121: I can't speak on Mr. Gregory but I can say that that type of bad experiences does not means necessary that that is ( always ) the attitude of Mr. Gregory, for example: I buy directly to the manufacturer a TT who give me and excelent service/support and with that self experience I recommended to a very close friend of mine to buy the same TT and he do it and send the money ( full ), well the TT never appear/shipped ( till today ) to my friend: that TT manufacturer " take " the money and from there " dead silence ", he steel the money!!!!

Sad that you already had that bad experience about.

Anyway, I hope that Mr. Gregory could read your post and try to " reverse " the situation.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Dear Rich121: Only for your records: Mr. Hadcock unfortunately pass away in 2007.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Yes...his son has now having the arms built, but Mr. Gregory controls the sales and $$ side of the Hadcock company.