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Old 28th July 2001, 02:33 AM   #1
peted is offline peted  United Kingdom
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Hi all,

I have an old (20yrs plus) Mayware Formula 4 uni-pivot fluid damped arm I want to resurrect that is said to be a pretty nifty little number. My sample is in good condition. Either way it's a cute and attactive unit, just begging to be played with! I have the damping fluid already sourced. These babies were built in the UK and Australia - mine is the latter. I bounced this question off Allen Wright previously - he mentioned JH as the manufacturer, presumably confirming the Ausi connection.

So I need ideas for suitable cartridges please folks. Denon 304 and the 103 have been suggested. 103 difficult to obtain apparently now. I have a number of proven tweaks also for this arm. Am intending to fit to some as yet undefined self built deck - perhaps an Origin Live kit.

I have no MC i/p - so we are talking MM or hi o/p MC - but can beggers be choosers?

The spec for the arm is as follows: Can anyone translate that effective mass figure to matching cartridge compliance figure? Help me out here - hi compliance means what sort of figure? and lo comliance ...

SPECIFICATIONS (cut from UK version set-up manaual)
--------------
Effective length (stylus pivot): 224 mm
Rear overhang required: 65 mm
Height adjustment: 45 mm
Effective mass (as seen by stylus): 4.50 gram nominal+variable
Audio output lead length: 4'6" (137 cm)
Audio output lead capacitance: 112 pF (with phono plugs)
Tracking force: 0 - 3.5 grams
Pivot: inverted hardened steel pin pivoting on jewelled bearing damped by silicone fluid
Pivot friction: Less than 5 Mgm. in any plane measured at the headshell
Mayware Ltd. 15 Heather Walk, Edgware, Middlesex HA8 9TS England

Cheers

Pete
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Old 28th July 2001, 04:17 PM   #2
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Pete,
I'm not familiar with the arm itself, but in general it's a good idea to use as compliant a cartridge as possible with a unipivot arm. That would tend to push you towards moving magnet cartridges, since most moving coils are comparatively stiff.
Perhaps some of the Grados? Over the years, Joe has produced cartridges of varying compliance, but nearly always of good sound quality. There is usually a wide range of pricing, as well, depending on how much you want to spend.

Grey
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Old 28th July 2001, 08:13 PM   #3
peted is offline peted  United Kingdom
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Hi ya Grey - and I thought when I saw the email notification you were gonna say you'd been using one for the last 20 yrs!!! OK, Grado Prestige Gold goes on the list to audition - there's some good reviews out there.

So hi compliance is at least what sort of number - any offers? Can you explain why a unipivot needs a hi comp (i.e. floppy) stylus? I can only imagine it could be because the arm is pretty lightly built???

The JH I referred to in initial post is JH Reproducers - who made a clone of the Mayware and is what I believe I have. I'll try put some pics on my web space (hesitate to call it a site) - http://users.computerweekly.net/peted/

Any other opinions out there please....

Cheers

Pete





[Edited by peted on 07-28-2001 at 04:49 PM]
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Old 29th July 2001, 10:22 PM   #4
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Pete,
Yeah, basically it boils down to two things:
1) Low mass arms (regardless of what sort of bearings they use) always need high compliance cartridges so as to keep the cartridge/arm resonance down in the subsonic region. I don't remember ever running across a high mass unipivot arm; surely at least in part because it would cause undue wear on the bearing. (The old woman in high heel shoes exerting more psi than a truck conundrum...)
2) Some unipiviots--whether yours is one or not, I don't know--are free to roll, i.e. the pivot pin comes up underneath a cone, which leaves the arm able to bob from side to side. This changes the geometry of how the stylus contacts the groove as the record is playing. Magnepan (yes, the speaker people) used to market an arm of this sort years ago. Higher compliance cartridges are more polite about not exciting this sort of motion.
Depending on what decade we're in, the Shure cartridges may or may not be another possibility for you, as they're generally pretty compliant, too. Sometimes they review well, sometimes not. I haven't heard any model of Shure in years, so I have no opinion.

Grey
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Old 29th July 2001, 11:02 PM   #5
peted is offline peted  United Kingdom
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OK Grey, thanks for that. Looks like I need an arms for beginners book to get some background and a few auditions.

Oh yeah, forgot to put in the original post - the cart this arm was running with is a Sleeping Beauty (from Great american Sounds - GAS - James Bongiornio) - said by Allen Wright to be pretty much the same as a Denon 103 - compliance 5 x 10-6cm/dyne (100Hz) - that seems LOW - getting conflicting messages here - but then rules are made to be broken....

Me'be I'll shoot the question at Allen Wright again too.

Cheers

Pete
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Old 30th July 2001, 12:47 AM   #6
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Pete,
It's not that the 'wrong' cartridge won't work in a given arm...it will, in just the same sense that a tube amp will drive a subwoofer, and a $6 chip amplifier will drive a $150,000 speaker system. It's more a question of relative performance. Mounting a stiff cartridge on a low mass arm will produce music, but neither will be happy. It's like a terrier worrying at a sock...the cartridge will be shaking the arm (literally), when the ideal case would be to hold the cartridge absolutely rock solid, with the cantilever being the only portion allowed to move.
Obviously, in the real world, the cartridge needs to be allowed to move so as to traverse the surface of the album. It then becomes a question of compromises. How still can you hold the cartridge relative to the groove?
Might as well throw in LOI while I'm at it...
Back twenty-five or thirty years ago there was a table called the AR. It achieved a reputation for 'sounding better' than other tables, although its specs were pretty ordinary. (Yep, the same old story.) A fellow named Ivor Tiefenbrun (I may have misspelled his last name) took a look at the AR and decided he could do the same thing, but more so. Thus was the venerable Linn Sondek born. It was a shock and revelation to those who thought that all a turntable had to do was have constant speed and low rumble. Ivor, however, wasn't just blowing smoke--he really did know why the AR sounded better (and his own Linn Sondek better still). He called it Loss Of Information Theory. The basic concept is simple. The finer details of music encoded in the grooves of a record are on the order of wavelengths of light. Sloppy bearing tolerances--well into the thousandths of inches--were allowing the sundry mechanical parts to move around sufficiently to lose the details. His solution was simple. Tighten up bearing tolerances for the main spindle bearing for the turntable (the Linn LP-12). The pivot bearings for the arm came later (the Linn Ittok arm). And all the various mechanical connections in between, including the mounting of the arm board to the sub-chassis, the arm to the arm board, etc. The result? Better everything. More, tighter bass. Solid image with more depth and width. More extended and accurate highs. The works. Other manufacturers improved things even further, but Ivor was the one who figured it all out. Thanks, Ivor. And yes, I still have my old LP-12 as a backup turntable after all these years.
Depending on how much of a masochist you are, other possible topics include: cartridge alignment, stylus pressure, overhang, tangential vs. pivotted arms, turntable suspension, mass loading of arms, arm resonance, direct vs. belt drive and VTA/SRA.
If any of that sounds interesting, let out a holler, elseways, I'm gonna take a nap...

Grey
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Old 6th February 2002, 08:27 PM   #7
dice45 is offline dice45  Germany
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Quote:
Originally posted by peted

... So I need ideas for suitable cartridges please folks. Denon 304 and the 103 have been suggested. 103 difficult to obtain apparently now. I have a number of proven tweaks also for this arm. Am intending to fit to some as yet undefined self built deck - perhaps an Origin Live kit.


Hello Pete,



if you want to get MC experiences with your unipivot, you might ask John Elison on the Vinyl Asylum (he is a very helpful guy), he runs a Denon 304 (or was it 305, dunno) in an SME 3009 Series III which has an effective mass of about 3 to 4 grams. The Denon he has is definitely high-compliant and well-mated for his sort of effective mass. Quite opposite to the Denon 103 which has a compliance in close proximity to that of a screw driver. I fully agree with Grey's warnings.



However, a unipivot arm mating well with a DL 103 is not impossible, a buddy built a unipivot 12"er for his Denon and the combination seems to work fine. The arm has high rotational inertia with reference to the tonearm wand, this is why it works.



Tell me more about your self-built turntable, has the project developed already?
__________________
Greets,
Bernhard
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Old 11th February 2002, 02:07 PM   #8
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I do have a Mayware mkV (almost identical to IV) and use a Denon 305 and a Stanton 881S.
Both are working ok, although the marriage is not optimal: the 305 sounds better than 881 but her compliance is 'close to the limit' for the mkV.
I agree that a Grado could be the best choice (at least is my intention to try a Grado Signature as soon as my budget plan comes to the 'pick up' chapter).

Documentation for the arm is very poor, just 2 pages, also it seems that Mayware does not exist anymore, so it is very difficult to have informations on this arm. (any hint is welcome!)

BTW, in the 90 Mayware itself was trading pick-up designed for their arms, and reports are they had a damn good quality/price ratio. Maybe is possible to find a 'new old stock' somewhere.


bye
sandro
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Old 11th February 2002, 04:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by peted
Hi all,

I have an old (20yrs plus) Mayware Formula 4 uni-pivot fluid damped arm I want to resurrect that is said to be a pretty nifty little number. My sample is in good condition. Either way it's a cute and attactive unit, just begging to be played with! I have the damping fluid already sourced.

In my hifi store days i sold MANY of the UK version. We put them on ARs, ERAs, Thorens TD160/165/125, Linns, Connosoiurs.

I have one of them came back to me recently (on a TD165) with almost all the set screws loose and the arm majorly ascew. I'll get to putting it all together sometime soon. (and a friend i haven't seen in years who dropped in last week is sending me another).

90% of the time these went out the door with a Grado. They don't work too well with a Denon. Most often if we were selling a higher cost MC cart we would also sell a better arm.

I'd be interested in the mods you mention. A couple standard ones are gluingthe arm where only set-screws hold things together, heatshrinking the arm tube (and losing the sliding weight for setting tracking weight).

BTW Olive Oil works fine as a damping fluid -- and is a whole lot easier to clean up.

dave
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Old 11th February 2002, 09:53 PM   #10
PassFan is offline PassFan  United States
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There are a couple of Brand new Grado Golds on Ebay under turntables for 105.00
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