Dream table #2 takes shape (its a rectangle).

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I was thinking that you could rotate the armboard to accommodate different mounting distances but you can't... which means I could probably measure the spindle to pivot distance its cut for to narrow down the possibilities. Measuring that would require me unboxing the TTS-8000 and actually installing it. I have to admit, there was a moment after unpacking the Merrill/AR to remove the Jelco to see if the mounting collar matches where it seemed REALLY tempting to just bring the Merrill home and use that. In fact, that's still kinda tempting while I figure this out... because it would also give me an excuse to leave the Jelco on the Merrill (well, reinstalled after this adventure) while investigating what this is cut for.

I wonder if it's cut for a Sony arm?

Anyway, I'll reverse engineer the mounting distance and see what I have....

And no, I have not found the bolts for it yet JP but I'm still looking....
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
I was thinking that you could rotate the armboard to accommodate different mounting distances but you can't... which means I could probably measure the spindle to pivot distance its cut for to narrow down the possibilities. Measuring that would require me unboxing the TTS-8000 and actually installing it. I have to admit, there was a moment after unpacking the Merrill/AR to remove the Jelco to see if the mounting collar matches where it seemed REALLY tempting to just bring the Merrill home and use that. In fact, that's still kinda tempting while I figure this out... because it would also give me an excuse to leave the Jelco on the Merrill (well, reinstalled after this adventure) while investigating what this is cut for.

I wonder if it's cut for a Sony arm?

Anyway, I'll reverse engineer the mounting distance and see what I have....

And no, I have not found the bolts for it yet JP but I'm still looking....
You don't need my unsolicited advice one bit, but anyway - the Jelco works great on the Merrill, you already know that. Why mess with success there? My vote still goes to, well you know... Add a higher mass arm wand to go with it and you could play with every cart you might want on the table.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
You don't need my unsolicited advice one bit, but anyway - the Jelco works great on the Merrill, you already know that. Why mess with success there? My vote still goes to, well you know... Add a higher mass arm wand to go with it and you could play with every cart you might want on the table.
I won't be using more than one table for the foreseeable future, and I know the Ortofon really likes the Jelco tonearm. Plus, being a bit of a snooty aesthete, I think the Jelco will look better on the Sony. Actually what would look REALLY nice is the black EPA-100mk2.... but those an arm and a leg, or really two arms and two legs... very price those things.

I was poking around the 'marts and 'gons last night looking for options. I didn't see anything that I really loved in my budget, through there was a simple looking Koetsu arm that might have worked. I have an FR-24mkII here but I've kind of soured on that arm.

Oh, Magna audio in the UK got back to me and so I"m going to at last get a Jelco armboard made. Once I get the dimensions to him, other options should be easy. So I can have a few options....
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
Would an EPA-100MK2 fit it?
That would actually be my preferred am for it... the all black Darth Vader look would be fantastic. As to whether it would fit, I don't know (though I'm going to get an armboard made, so it doesn't much matter.

I'm going to have to install the drive in the plinth and measure the spindle to pivot of the hole...that will give me a better idea of what will work with this armboard. I'd love to keep it, its out of a really heavy metal and looks good on the plinth.
 

BillWojo

Junior Member
John, if you can get an undrilled armboard than make a scribe bar like I did to layout mine.
20200729_173752_resized.jpg20200729_173738_resized.jpg

It's a lot easier to accurately scribe, centerpunch and drill a bar like I did than get the two points measured accurately when they are on different planes. I have several spindle to pivot distances drilled in that bar. I even have that bar drilled for a Victor UA-7082 12" tonearm.
Have you investigated the Victor tonearms yet? Built much nicer than most arms out there and they are full featured. On the fly VTA and antiskate.
By the end of next week I should have a UA-7082 to go along with my UA-7045.

BillWojo
 
An EPA-100MK2 would look really nice with this TT/plinth combo, if it would fit. That’s certainly a very beautiful tonearm.

I, personally, have had my eyes on the non-MK2 EPA-100 that’s on USAM for $1000. The ruby bearings were replaced with Si3N4 bearings by someone who seems to know what they’re doing, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to go for it (yet, at least).
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
John, if you can get an undrilled armboard than make a scribe bar like I did to layout mine.
View attachment 28468View attachment 28469

It's a lot easier to accurately scribe, centerpunch and drill a bar like I did than get the two points measured accurately when they are on different planes. I have several spindle to pivot distances drilled in that bar. I even have that bar drilled for a Victor UA-7082 12" tonearm.
Have you investigated the Victor tonearms yet? Built much nicer than most arms out there and they are full featured. On the fly VTA and antiskate.
By the end of next week I should have a UA-7082 to go along with my UA-7045.

BillWojo
I used a similar setup on the last two arm-installs I did. I used my 3-point protractor and a metal ruler. The protractor slots over the spindle and I can get a very accurate spindle to pivot measurement as the protractor has a pin that drops where the pivot should be. So I just measure out the spindle to pivot distance I want on the protractor with the ruler, put it over the spindle, and then kind of swing it around to put the pivot where it fits best on the plinth. Prior to that I used a paint stir-stick with a hole drilled for the spindle and a hole for a pen to slot through at the pivot distance. Kind of the same thought, but the protractor was more accurate as I didn't have to rely on my drill not moving at all from the correct points.

I did look at the Victor arms, there's a couple on ebay for around $300-ish. I've kind of got my heart set on an EPA-100mk2 now.... this is supposed to be my sort of end-game turntable and I figure why not just go for it and be done? Have two top-shelf tables, ditch the rest of the collection, and get out of the game.
 

S0und Dragon

Moderator and Circus Hand.
Staff member
I used a similar setup on the last two arm-installs I did. I used my 3-point protractor and a metal rule. The protractor slots over the spindle and I can get a very accurate spindle to pivot measurement as the protractor has a pin that drops where the pivot should be. So I just measure out the spindle to pivot distance I want on the protractor with the rule, put it over the spindle, and then kind of swing it around to put the pivot where it fits best on the plinth. Prior to that I used a paint stir-stick with a hole drilled for the spindle and a hole for a pen to slot through at the pivot distance. Kind of the same thought, but the protractor was more accurate as I didn't have to rely on my drill not moving at all from the correct points.

I did look at the Victor arms, there's a couple on ebay for around $300-ish. I've kind of got my heart set on an EPA-100mk2 now.... this is supposed to be my sort of end-game turntable and I figure why not just go for it and be done? Have two top-shelf tables, ditch the rest of the collection, and get out of the game.
This is the way....
 
Who did the work?
A guy named J.R. Boisclair, who is the one selling it. It says that he was Wally Malewicz’s former production assistant, who helped continue his products after he passed away:


 

BillWojo

Junior Member
"I did look at the Victor arms, there's a couple on ebay for around $300-ish."

I think the low price of these arms sort of puts people off. It's one of the reasons I recommend them.
Until you have handled one and experienced the silky smooth adjustments and actually seen the class of precision machine work that is usually reserved for expensive camera lenses you just can't appreciate one. Makes a Jelco arm look rough in comparison.
Things like the double helical threaded adjustment for VTA that provides + or - 3mm of travel and the top mounted anti skating dial make setup a breeze. Both can be adjusted on the fly as your playing a record.
Not so obvious features are the headshell collet chuck design, instead of just pulling the headshell tight against the end of the arm it actually has a collet chuck that clamps the headshell tight as it's pulled in. Micro Seiki is the only other tonearm manufacture that I know of with this feature. This should be standard on any arm with a removable headshell.
Other nice features are the aluminum magnesium alloy used on the arm tube that helps dampen vibration and a packing material in the tube that further helps dampen vibration.
The gimbal support of the arm tube is different than most as all the bearings are held in a central trunion block and the bearings are miniature ball bearing assembly's, not pointed screws in a cup of balls design. It's a rugged but sensitive design, I have never heard of a bearing failure in one of these yet.
Even the built in tonearm rest is first class with a knurled knob that will lock the arm firmly in place. So much nicer than any other design I have seen.
The arm base is a beautifully machined assembly that fits in a 40mm hole and is locked tight by a knurled nut from the underside. Inside of the arm base is a collet chuck that grips the main arm tube when you tighten a large knurl ring on the top surface. You use this feature to set the tonearm height and use the helical thread adjustment to fine tune the VTA.
The only weakness is the rubber damper bushing on the counterweight stub but it can be replaced if your handy.
These fly very much under the radar but I suspect the prices will be rising rapidly as folks look for alternatives to Jelco and SME.
There is a fellow on Audiogon that has had some very expensive tonearms and discovered vintage Japanese tonearms. He has a short list of the best Japanese tonearms that out perform modern 3K dollar tonearms. The Victor arms are near the top of his short list.
If these were made today they would cost 3 to 5 thousand just by judging the quality and quantity of the machined parts.
Go to Vinyl Engine and pull up the service manual for this tonearm, it explains all the details very thoroughly.
For 300 bucks these are a bargain.

BillWojo
 
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JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
"I did look at the Victor arms, there's a couple on ebay for around $300-ish."

I think the low price of these arms sort of puts people off. It's one of the reasons I recommend them.
Until you have handled one and experienced the silky smooth adjustments and actually seen the class of precision machine work that is usually reserved for expensive camera lenses you just can't appreciate one. Makes a Jelco arm look rough in comparison.
Things like the double helical threaded adjustment for VTA that provides + or - 3mm of travel and the top mounted anti skating dial make setup a breeze. Both can be adjusted on the fly as your playing a record.
Not so obvious features are the headshell collet chuck design, instead of just pulling the headshell tight against the end of the arm it actually has a collet chuck that clamps the headshell tight as it's pulled in. Micro Seiki is the only other tonearm manufacture that I know of with this feature. This should be standard on any arm with a removable headshell.
Other nice features are the aluminum magnesium alloy used on the arm tube that helps dampen vibration and a packing material in the tube that further helps dampen vibration.
The gimbal support of the arm tube is different than most as all the bearings are held in a central trunion block and the bearings are miniature ball bearing assembly's, not pointed screws in a cup of balls design. It's a rugged but sensitive design, I have never heard of a bearing failure in one of these yet.
Even the built in tonearm rest is first class with a knurled knob that will lock the arm firmly in place. So much nicer than any other design I have seen.
The arm base is a beautifully machined assembly that fits in a 40mm hole and is locked tight by a knurled nut from the underside. Inside of the arm base is a collet chuck that grips the main arm tube when you tighten a large knurl ring on the top surface. You use this feature to set the tonearm height and use the helical thread adjustment to fine tune the VTA.
The only weakness is the rubber damper bushing on the counterweight stub but it can be replaced if your handy.
These fly very much under the radar but I suspect the prices will be rising rapidly as folks look for alternatives to Jelco and SME.
There is a fellow on Audiogon that has had some very expensive tonearms and discovered vintage Japanese tonearms. He has a short list of the best Japanese tonearms that out perform modern 3K dollar tonearms. The Victor arms are near the top of his short list.
If these were made today they would cost 3 to 5 thousand just by judging the quality and quantity of the machined parts.
Go to Vinyl Engine and pull up the service manual for this tonearm, it explains all the details very thoroughly.
For 300 bucks these are a bargain.

BillWojo
I still want a Victor arm, I'm just not sure I want it for this table. My affinity for the EPA comes from me having the EPA-500/501, loving it, and seeing the EPA-100mk2 as kind of the culmination of what that arm is. The EPA-500 base allows for different arm wands to be put on it. So there's the whole 501 series, with different masses to accommodate different cartridge weights and compliances, as well as the 250 arm wand, which turns it into an S-arm (the 501 series is straight). The EPA-501H is what I had with this motor when it was installed in my cabinet, and it really took off with that combo. Other arms I had with it were the Fidelity Research FR-24mk2, Stax UA-7cf, and Grace 704. I actually still have all of those arms, and the EPA, and the Jelco...so I'm not without options. Its just that the EPA arm really bested all of them except for the Jelco. Note that my Jelco is one of the newer knife-edge-bearing arms, not the older ones that evolved from the Sumiko-branded arms. The knife-edge Jelcos are incredible arms. I'd ad 'for the money' but they're incredible sounding arms regardless of the price. I also have an aftermarket VTA on the fly base for it, which also is a bit more secure than the standard Jelco mount, which is the arm's only weakness.

All that said, $300 for one of those arms seems like an incredible bargain. Reminds me of the Tokyo Sound arm I bought, which I felt was at least the equal of the last generation of Jelco 750s, and I think I paid $250 for that arm. The benefit of obscurity... the only drawback was having to read the entire internet to figure out the correct spindle-pivot distance, as the numbers quoted in the usual-suspect places were completely wrong.

As an aside, the only arm of the above that I've tried that I was disappointed in was the Stax UA-7cf. It feels toy-ish compared to the others and sonically is nothing incredible. Its good, but not great. If it happens to magically line up with the hole in this armboard, however, I'll use it in the meantime as its not a bad arm, its just walloped up side the head by the EPA.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
30CEA87E-54EA-4A20-8B2C-9EE55183AFD3.jpeg
Getting things together, and a hint on arm choice for those familiar with different mounting templates.

And I did find the original mounting bolts for the Sony but they’re not long enough so I’m glad I didn’t bug you for the ones you have, JP.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
Technics? EPA?
Ding ding! To both. You win a free drink on me shall we ever cross paths. Which I hope someday we do. The plan is black Boron/Titanium EPA-100mk2. The mounting template jig is from my EPA-500, well, actually it's from @fiddlefye's EPA-250 but he let me borrow it then I moved and stole it, giving me reason to head back to Windsor so we can have a fun night of drinking at this cool wine place near his house if us Americans are ever allowed to leave the country again. Internet says the 100mk2 uses the same distance and hole size as the EPA-500.
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
Ding ding! To both. You win a free drink on me shall we ever cross paths. Which I hope someday we do. The plan is black Boron/Titanium EPA-100mk2. The mounting template jig is from my EPA-500, well, actually it's from @fiddlefye's EPA-250 but he let me borrow it then I moved and stole it, giving me reason to head back to Windsor so we can have a fun night of drinking at this cool wine place near his house if us Americans are ever allowed to leave the country again. Internet says the 100mk2 uses the same distance and hole size as the EPA-500.
I do hope the border opens before an eternity passes, but apparently until the US gets its Covid house in order it won't be happening. Wineology is open again and looking great.

I'm really interested in how the last and greatest version of the EPA works out. Gorgeous looking thing! That huge EPA base can cover a multiplicity of sins...

At least if you found the original bolts it will be easier to find the right thread pattern etc.

BTW - looks gorgeous in there!
 
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