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Old 26th January 2014, 06:34 PM   #1
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Default Transcriptors Skeleton Tonearm

I've been waiting for Michael Gammon to recondition the vestigial tonearm for my Transcriptors Skeleton. The wait has taken so long, and communication with Transcriptors has broken down to the point where I am now looking for alternative tonearms. Just to make my Skeleton listenable until, hopefully one day the reconditioned tonearm will arrive in the mail. Does anyone have any ideas if there are suitable alternatives to the vestigial? Grateful for any suggestions.
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Old 26th January 2014, 07:40 PM   #2
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Transcriptor? Cool. How about a DIY linear tracking arm for it? There are a couple of good recent threads.
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Old 26th January 2014, 08:34 PM   #3
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iirc the vestigial arm was often mated with an ADC XLM II. A very high compliance cartridge. Perhaps the interrum choice of arms would be one which would also work well with the ADC XLM II. Perhaps an Infinity Black Widow?

If one is willing to move on to lower compliance cartridges, an arm that comes to mind that at least "visually" would seem to work on the Transcriptors might be a DV 505...?

Just tossing that into the pool.

-Steve
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Old 27th January 2014, 12:12 AM   #4
brianco is offline brianco  Ireland
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I remember the Vestigial arm very well....[in fact Transcriptors moved their operation to Carlow in Ireland and I lived there at the time!]

A friend had one and later I met another guy who owned one. I lent him an ADC 26 to try, but at the very low tracking weights that cartridge used (around 0.75 gms!) coupled with the very short distance from stylus to vertical bearing of the arm made tracking of virtually every less than totally flat record very difficult and usually impossible. In short they were virtually useless as they were too light/low mass to use a heavy tracking cartridge.

They were, in my view, very shoddily made products and I would never wish to see another! But I was told that some of the late made products were much improved. I would be thankful if I were you should you never see it again unless I wanted it as a desk-toy in my office!

If you use low tracking weight cartridges get a Mayware unipivot , but even with that you will spend a lot of time keeping it in tune. Another good old arm provided it is in decent order is a Grace. There are a lot of them out there and the gimbal bearing ones would look good on your TT.
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Old 27th January 2014, 10:24 AM   #5
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I've had dealings with Michael from Transcriptors on and off over the last couple of years-in my opinion he's not the fastest in his response times-be prepared for a long wait!
Chris
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Old 27th January 2014, 04:35 PM   #6
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Default Thanks for this

Quote:
Originally Posted by pcb121055 View Post
Transcriptor? Cool. How about a DIY linear tracking arm for it? There are a couple of good recent threads.
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Old 27th January 2014, 05:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcb121055 View Post
Transcriptor? Cool. How about a DIY linear tracking arm for it? There are a couple of good recent threads.
With regard to linear tracking arms it should be noted that these tend to produce high lateral loads onto the cartridge suspension. With that in mind a cartridge that would have worked nicely on the vestigial arm will work poorly, or not at all, on a diy linear tracker. A cartridge of suitable compliance must be matched to whichever arm is used.

-Steve
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Old 2nd February 2014, 07:48 PM   #8
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Default by a wired coincidence

Michael is back in touch and sending me my tonearm. So right now I won't have to look for alternatives. Thanks for the suggestions, everyone.
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Old 25th November 2015, 02:33 PM   #9
dbear44 is offline dbear44  United States
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I just posted a review on VE of the Vestigal arm. A loathsome device in my book. I nearly bought a Skeleton table back in the day but chose the Technics SL 1100A instead. The stock arm on that wasn't very good and over the years I've tried many, including (in chronological order) The Vestigal, JH Formula 4, Grace 707, Black Widow, Magnepan, SME309, and Origin Live Silver. I would say that the Black Widow or the Grace 707 would be great choices for a low mass Arm/cartridge setup. I prefer the Grace due to it's superior bearings.

I know that later on Transcriptors modified the Skeleton with a conventional platform so you could use other arms, so hopefully it shouldn't be too difficult to mount. The Widdow uses an SME slotted plate which may be a little more difficult to mount. Both arms are considerably longer than the Vestigal.

If I were using the Skeleton today I would put a rigid acrylic mat on the platter to give the record proper support. My advice would be if you like the design of the table go buy a Michell Gyro SE. Over the years they have refined this basic design into a properly functioning table (hey, look....they put the weights on the bottom of the platter!). Maybe the Gyro would even fit inside the Skeleton glass box!

I sold my Gyro last year and went back to the Technics SL 1100A. Considering what a bargain they are today used and what a rock solid table they are, I'm glad I did.

A word of warning for Transcriptor and Gyrodec owners: remove the belt when you aren't using it. Leaving it resting on the pully puts a stretched out spot on the belt and after a while they are all over the place and the pitch stability goes to HELL. Folks turn up their noses at the 1100A because it doesn't have Quartz Lock but it is still WAY more stable that the Gyrodec!
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Old 25th November 2015, 03:46 PM   #10
rayma is offline rayma  United States
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Originally Posted by dbear44 View Post
I prefer the Grace due to it's superior bearings.
There were variability problems in the first version of the G707, and many of the bearings were rather sticky.
The G707II was much better, and it also had a decoupled counterweight.
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