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Old 9th February 2004, 12:39 AM   #1
mavz is offline mavz  United States
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Default Infinity Black Widow

Recently purchased a Black Widow arm in need of repair. The arm tube was damaged which I have been able to repair. The knife edge bearing appears to be "very" loose. I am not familiar with this arm and would appreciate some insight on the required stability of the bearing. The screws holding the side caps had obviously been removed (damaged screw heads) and I am concerned that perhaps pieces are missing. Thanks in advance - Bob.
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Old 9th February 2004, 02:27 AM   #2
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Sold a few of these back when they were new, but that was 25+ years ago, so can't remember all that much about them...

Have you checked the Vinyl Engine ?

dave
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Old 9th February 2004, 10:51 AM   #3
mavz is offline mavz  United States
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Hi Dave,

Unfortunately the manual at the vinyl engine does not show the bearing detail.

Thanks

Bob
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Old 9th February 2004, 11:56 AM   #4
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Hi Mavz,

I used to have and use a Black Widow myself, until I recently sold it.
The Knife Edge bearing is supposed to be VERY loose! We're basically talking about a blade (attached to the arm tube) which is resting on a "V" groove that is carved into the arm center column.
There shouldn't be anything preventing the free oscillation of the arm tube, hence the impression of "loose" connection. Even the two thingies held in place by the small screws are just there to prevent the blade (and the attached tube) to come away free.
They are just a sort of "safety retaining device", so to speak.

I've attached a very crude schematic of how the bearing works, I hope you find it useful. Don't be fooled by the apparent looseness, that's the way it's supposed to be!

BTW, the SME III has the very same kind of bearing for the vertical (up/down) motion and shows pretty much the same behavior, albeit not to the same extent.
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Old 10th February 2004, 10:26 AM   #5
mavz is offline mavz  United States
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Hi m.pariqi,

Thanks very much for the information. I recently purchased a Thorens TD 150 MKII in near perfect condition from the original owner. I plan to use the Black Widow with this table. I currently have a Grado (red I believe) on the original tonearm and plan to use it also. Any thoughts on the Black Widow/Grado combination or recomendations on cartridges.

Bob
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Old 10th February 2004, 07:34 PM   #6
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Mavz, the Balck Widow was originally designed for low mass/ high compliance cartridges. I'm not familiar with the Grado cartridges, but if they fit this description, go ahead.

Just bear in mind that this is a VERY light arm, and this is the reason why I sold it. I used it with an AKG MM cartridge and all attempts I made to fit it with a MC, no matter how "soft" have always been disappointing.
The last time I tried, it was with an Audio Technica and IMHO it was just a waste of time and money.

I also have some reservations on fitting such an arm on a suspended sub-chassis. The manufacturer did recommend to fit it to a rigid chassis turntable (like a Rega, Teres, etc.). Apparently the interaction between the light arm and the subchassis is not a good one.
I did try to fit it to an Oracle Delphi, but again, it was not a good match. In the good old times I had it on a rigid chassis DIY turntable.

Try experimenting with some very light and "soft" MM cartridges, and let me know how it works out.
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Old 10th February 2004, 09:02 PM   #7
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally posted by mavz
Hi m.pariqi,

Thanks very much for the information. I recently purchased a Thorens TD 150 MKII in near perfect condition from the original owner. I plan to use the Black Widow with this table. I currently have a Grado (red I believe) on the original tonearm and plan to use it also. Any thoughts on the Black Widow/Grado combination or recomendations on cartridges.

Bob
Just perused the IBW manual from vinyl engine and it is indeed
a very scrawny tonearm, the bearing details only add to this.

Of interest was the mounting arrangements, basically decoupled
via four rubber grommets, this negates completely the comments
about the the arm being suited to particular types of turntable.
Very old school but still best to follow the instructions.

IMO regarding cartridge/arm combinations, the cartridge will
determine the overall tonal balance but the arm will dominate
the resultant sound quality.

If you like the Grado Red use it, I like Grado's but find them
a little dull, they are superb value in the States. Your only
"upgrade" is a state of the art old school low mass MM,
with good internal damping and very low tracking force.

ADC's VLM would be a good match or an Ortofon VMS20E,
unfortunately neither are still available, and cartridges
designed to suit low mass arms are nowadays very rare,
especially with the influence of the DJ scene.

Your only alternatives with the IBW are probably :

http://shopping.netsuite.com/s.nl/c....it.A/id.298/.f
or
http://shopping.netsuite.com/s.nl/c....it.A/id.219/.f

Personal bias towards the AT as it will last twice as
long as the Shure and makes it extremely good value.
(Due to the stylus profile)

MC's are a completely no go area.

sreten.
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Old 13th February 2004, 01:31 AM   #8
Gort1 is offline Gort1  United States
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Mavz, I have a BW mounted on a VPI HW-19 with a Rega Elys cart. sounds very well. since it is a low mass arm you need to stay away from some of the heavy MC carts. The grado series that you stated works well. my 2 cents.
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