String suspension vs. uni pivot or gimball tonearms - diyAudio
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Old 26th January 2006, 08:57 PM   #1
nghiep is offline nghiep  United States
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Default String suspension vs. uni pivot or gimball tonearms

I think that string suspension tonearm allows the whole arm to oscillate back and forth to follow the music passage on the record which results the relaxed/natural sound characterisctics. Even the movements only in fractions of a millimeter, it's still back and forth movements. Pivot supported tonearms do not allow the back and forth movements hence more accurate/restricted musical reproduction.
When the string supported tonearm moves forward to comply with the heavy music passage, the stylus remains on that section of the groove a fractional of a second longer than a pivot tonearm would. This time delay creates longer sustainment of the music note. The string supported tonearms also provide more freedom for the arm to track the groove which results more natural music. Some string suspended arm employs damping materials to create more accurate sense musical image.
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Old 26th January 2006, 09:20 PM   #2
SY is offline SY  United States
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Quote:
the stylus remains on that section of the groove a fractional of a second longer than a pivot tonearm would. This time delay creates longer sustainment of the music note.
That would cause pitch wander, too, wouldn't it?
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Old 27th January 2006, 12:54 AM   #3
EC8010 is offline EC8010  United Kingdom
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I aligned a string suspended arm a little while ago, and wondered where the pivot actually was - so was I wasting my time? The arm had a huge amount of viscous damping, so it took a good deal of time for it to settle. It eventually settled, and I did decide that I had probably aligned the arm and that gentle manipulation probably wouldn't disturb the pivot point.

The moment you accept that an arm pivot can move backwards or forwards, you have also accepted wow (flutter isn't possible because of the mass).

I think that if you are looking for a reason why string suspended arms sound good, you should look at rattling bearings in more conventional arms. As it is, your argument identifies one of a string suspended arm's problems.
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Old 27th January 2006, 03:46 AM   #4
nghiep is offline nghiep  United States
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The string suspended tonearm does not have a fixed pivot per se but the arm movements were so small so tracking alignment was not affect too much. The extra freedom from variable pivot centers allow the arm to track the groove more gently. The pivoted tonearm forces the arm only move horizontal and vertical fashions. These restrictive movements force the arm digging into the groove more aggressively if mis aligned. Since I started using string suspension tonearm, I rarely heard inner groove distortions. I think the string suspension tonearm actually causes lesser record wear due to the give and take nature of the arm.
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Old 27th January 2006, 05:42 AM   #5
maxro is offline maxro  Canada
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Quote:
Originally posted by nghiep
Since I started using string suspension tonearm, I rarely heard inner groove distortions.
Did you use the same cartridge and set it up at EXACTLY the same angle as on your old arm? It could just be more accurate cartridge setup you are hearing (or not hearing in this case).

Max
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Old 28th January 2006, 04:19 PM   #6
nghiep is offline nghiep  United States
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I used same cartridge and same alignment template. I went from uni pivot to string suspension tonearm.
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Old 28th January 2006, 05:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by SY

That would cause pitch wander, too, wouldn't it?
Yes, but how much is it? A well trained ear can hear a difference of 2 centi tones under well controlled conditions and with a direct A-B comparison. That is aprox. 0.1 %. If the wander is well damped how much will speed modulation caused by the wander be?

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Old 28th January 2006, 05:25 PM   #8
SY is offline SY  United States
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Well, that will depend upon the compliance of the pivot point, the relative friction between a loud passage and a quiet one, and the frequency in question. Pitch acuity is indeed germane, but there are other mechanisms, too- one may not be able to point to the pitch changes as such, but as when going from a turntable with moderate wow to one with fabulously low wow, the subjective "solidity" may be audible.
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Old 28th January 2006, 07:11 PM   #9
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Agree with that SY. But wow is usually harmonic and not related to the music content. While modulation by groove-stylus drag is the opposite. I donít think you can compare it that way.

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Old 28th January 2006, 08:05 PM   #10
SY is offline SY  United States
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"Wow" was EC8010's analogy. It's a good one in that it describes a slower pitch variation. But you're right, it isn't periodic with rotational speed. That might bother me more...
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