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Old 27th February 2005, 04:36 PM   #1
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Default Black Widow info here...

Hello,
I am and have been an owner/user of the Infinity Black Widow tonearm. Recently while bored, I searched "black widow" on this site, and was met with a bewildering array of misinformation, so I decided to post this in case someone else has questions concerning this arm. One post had an individual who had aquired the arm, but had no cable, and wondered what to do. He mentioned that there was a din plug on the bottom. He was met with a post telling him it wasn't a din plug based on some techno explaination, which whether right or wrong, is meaninless in this context. Everyone in the industry refers to it as a din plug. Some suggested he would have to find the original wire! Another ( on the right path) noted that his table used this din plug, but was uncertain if the thing would have to be rewired to work. Other posters were told that the arm would not work on a sprung table. One responder stated that there were no longer any cartridges available for this arm, as modern ones were only for dj use ! Lastly, a mound of misinformation was given to one asking for alignment and mounting questions, and templates used for such which were included with the arm originally.

While not all, a great many tonearms use the din plug arrangement for their cable, and NUMEROUS manufacturers sell them pre made. They are all wired the same. See the van den hul site for a nice illustration. You can build your own with cardas parts, they have the wire, din plug and rca required. Percy audio will help with this if necessary. As for the suggestion that the arm will not work on sprung tables, this rubbish also. Nothing in any information supplied by ifinity or an other common sense engineering would hold this true. In fact, the owners manual, which I have states that the arm can be "made to function on most any turntable", except "in rare cases" where the "necessary modifications may prove impracticle and or too exppensive." I my self have it mounted to a modified AR "The turn table, which is sprung, and it works BEAUTIFULLY. For the guy trying to align his cartridge, ANY aligenment protractors work. The arm came with a small flat paper alignment tool, which appears almost identicle to the one that came with my shure V15Vmxr cart. More importantly, it also came with a template used in mounting the arm. One poster even suggested this wasn't important( over hang) ! Welll, it sure is, in fact most important. The template provided has a hole on one end that goes on the spindal. and the other end has a diagram of the arms base. You rotate it to where the arm goes. mark the base plate mount holes on the mounting area. At the proper distance, the slide mount now has sufficient travel to rock the cartrdge from side to side when compared to the alignment devices lines. When you move the arm back, the rear of the cartridge will gradually slide out of alignment one direction, and when moved forward it will slide out of alignment the other way. Get this as close as possible at both null points. As for the post that "no compatible cartridges are available" if you don't know what your talking about, better to sit silent. There are SCADS of carts out there from MANY manufacturers which are taylor made for this. One very good one has been recently discontinued, the shure V15Vxmr, but can still be purchased and shure is keeping stylus for 5 years. The arm is very low mass, so generally means low mass (8.5 grams max) cartridges with high compliance. This does forclose use of most all moving coils
out there. Oddly, the manual that comes with it shows a denon DL 103, which I believe, but don't know is a moving coil? Shure v15vxmr, ortofon om 20, om30, goldring 1006, 1012, 1022, 1042, and many others are out there...pictures of the manual and its templates in use can be seen on the vinyl engine site. I had this arm for years before I used it, for two reasons, one it IS easier to mount on an unsprung table, as no arm board has to be made, which is a little tricky with the SME slide mount. Search the web for Anthony Scillia, he machined mine from a piece of delrin and did an excellent job. You will need to send him your mounting plate from the tonearm, and all mounting measurements, or templates. The other reason I thought it was too outdated to be qorth the trouble, but it FAR exceeded my expectations. BTW, this arm is definatley worth the trouble, with the right cartridge it soundws great. do not be mistaken, I am no guru, but when it comes to the black widow, I know my a_ _ from a hole in the ground, and would welcome questions surrounding this arm's use.



Russellc
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Old 11th July 2005, 07:53 AM   #2
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Default Black Widow

Do you know anyone that still has parts? My grahite shaft broke. Thanks BOB
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Old 11th July 2005, 05:00 PM   #3
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hi bob
if u cant find any let me know ...i could have a go at making 1

best wishes
j7
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Old 11th July 2005, 05:10 PM   #4
SY is offline SY  United States
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Bob, had you thought about just using a wooden dowel? Not as hi tech and all, but it's the original fiber-reinforced composite.
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Old 11th July 2005, 08:16 PM   #5
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Search vinyl asylum at audioasylum.com for "black widow graphite" for a report of repair using graphite fishing rod.
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Old 5th November 2008, 09:29 PM   #6
kmaier is offline kmaier  United States
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A manual.... for the Black Widow arm? Hmmm, that must have come out much later. I bought one of the very first BW arms... and still have everything it came with including inner/outer box, paper templates, even the little plastic bags too. There was no manual that came with it. I do have the original brochure too, but that simply marketing fluff.

I would also add that the original silk-wrapped wires were problematic as they wore at the pivot point and eventually would start to short out. I wound up replacing them over 20 years ago. I used a 4-conductor oxygen free cable which was snipped off an older read/write head from an old IBM disc drive (real old iron... where you could replace the heads and had to realign them) which had the same colors and ultra-thin teflon coating. Never gave me any more problems after that.

There were also some changes to the arm over time... they did replace the wires and had spliced in larger gauge ones at the headshell end which was also modified so it wouldn't break so easy. Many owners had problems with the silk unraveling at the cartridge clips, they were also fragile enough to simply break off in some cases. Also on later arms, a small damping trough and plastic foot was added as the arm was notorious for resonating, you could actually hear it on louder passages.

As for the carbon bits... I recall seeing a broken one that came back into the dealer (almost 30 years ago)... the wand was snapped. It wasn't carbon fiber, but very thin alloy. The headshell end that held the cartridge is carbon fiber, but that's it.

A slick arm in it's time, pretty too... but that was over 30 years ago now. Not too many ultra-high compliance cartridges around anymore, so your acceptable choices are limited.

Regards, KM
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