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 Post subject: Rip's Rega tonearm tweak
PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:40 am 
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EDIT: an additional washer was installed between the rubber washer and headshell for, a perceived, improvement in sonic performance from the system. Please see my post on Page 4 about this.

viewtopic.php?f=32&t=42239&start=45#p716502


It had been recommended by ripblade to try this tweak on the Audiomods (which many will know uses a Rega arm tube known to resonate like crazy). The tweak involves damping at the base of the headshell using a screw, metal and rubber washers, and a hex nut. Rip's version has a nylon screw and an appropriately-sized nut with a diameter that wouldn't fit on the arm with the Colibri, so it was put off for a bit.

I had heard the before and after at rip's the following week. The first night at rip's place was without the little cookie on the arm, also the first time I'd heard his system without it (it was at my place for the trial and I forgot to bring it with :oops: ). The sound was pretty poor; unlistenable, but it's a good thing we had beer and somethings to talk about. The highs were mushy, the bass was flat and there was no life to the music.

I went back the next night with the cookie. Same records, different sound. The dynamics of the entire spectrum returned, bottom and top became more extended, and the musicians were better separated and in their own space; it was a clearer picture all around.

The next day I got a zipcar and travelled to Lowe's to acquire to bits for the cookie. I ended up using 4-40x3/8" brass screw,, #6 and #8 brass washer, and a #8 rubber washer (1/2" screw will be easier to use). My cookie, as it's utilized, comes in at 1.7g so there is gonna be a slight increase to the arm's effective mass (effecting the resonance frequency of the system) and you will need to back off the counterweight to rebalance the arm.

With the adjustment of the VTF it was time to rock. Using the Grado Prestige Silver for the comparisons...

Before: muddy bass, a muffled midrange, almost no top end, poor transients, almost muted; sound field was "homogenous" - coming from right in the middle of the speakers

After: lively and punchy bass, big midband (vocals are spookily quite forward), treble has become more pronounced; soundstage has widened, musicians take on their own space; images are taller; snares have a better snap and are tighter

An improvement all over and consistent with the changes heard on rip's system. I would like to forward this recommendation to anybody using a Rega arm. It costs about $5 to try and is reversible if you don't like.


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Last edited by kwadzilla on Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:06 am 
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Yup it makes me think of the good old times..... :lol:


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:23 am 
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I'm surprised you're doing that on the Audiomods, as the holes and internal bracing are to address resonances. In the latest iteration of the arm (as of Nov 2015) the three holes (not including the 3rd Rega bolt hole) are all filled in with some substance.

You're also adding mass that way, perhaps that was a contributor to the changes ? At any rate, the price of admission is right to try that tweak.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:47 am 
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airdronian wrote:
I'm surprised you're doing that on the Audiomods, as the holes and internal bracing are to address resonances.

I had been thinking the same thing since I acquired the Audiomods, until a short while ago I was aligning a cartridge and the Allen key just grazed the headshell a bit and I heard it all through the speakers!!! I'm sure the holes along the arm are doing what they're intended to do, but perhaps they are only reducing resonance and not eliminating?

airdronian wrote:
You're also adding mass that way, perhaps that was a contributor to the changes ?

It probably contributes also. I have tried the similarly weighted aluminum shim with both the Grado and the 10X5. With both cartridges there was also an improvement, but the improvement was not of the same magnitude of ripblade's idea. The clarity was there, but not the improvements in dynamics.

airdronian wrote:
At any rate, the price of admission is right to try that tweak.

Sure is :wink:

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:02 am 
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revoxb77 wrote:
Yup it makes me think of the good old times..... :lol:
This tweak is not quite that cheap... :mrgreen:

Although if serious mass adjustment is your aim and you don't mind spending a hundo on it, consider Mapleshade's arm resonance control kit.

Nice pics kwad! If I had a phone that could take pictures like that I might've started this thread a long time ago. 8)

For anybody interested in trying this, play around with the order the washers are stacked...they all make a difference. I have the brass washers on either side of the rubber, but the bolt is nylon, not brass, so there's a different kind of damping going on. I tried the rubber against the shell at first but found the sound too dark for my liking.

The beauty of this tweak (apart from it's low cost) is the flexibility to tune it to one's liking. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:11 am 
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kwadzilla wrote:
Attachment:
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It had been recommended by ripblade to try this tweak on the Audiomods (which many will know uses a Rega arm tube known to resonate like crazy). The tweak involves damping at the base of the headshell using a screw, metal and rubber washers, and a hex nut. Rip's version has a nylon screw and an appropriately-sized nut with a diameter that wouldn't fit on the arm with the Colibri, so it was put off for a bit.

I had heard the before and after at rip's the following week. The first night at rip's place was without the little cookie on the arm, also the first time I'd heard his system without it (it was at my place for the trial and I forgot to bring it with :oops: ). The sound was pretty poor; unlistenable, but it's a good thing we had beer and somethings to talk about. The highs were mushy, the bass was flat and there was no life to the music.

I went back the next night with the cookie. Same records, different sound. The dynamics of the entire spectrum returned, bottom and top became more extended, and the musicians were better separated and in their own space; it was a clearer picture all around.

The next day I got a zipcar and travelled to Lowe's to acquire to bits for the cookie. I ended up using 4-40x3/8" brass screw,, #6 and #8 brass washer, and a #8 rubber washer (1/2" screw will be easier to use). My cookie, as it's utilized, comes in at 1.7g so there is gonna be a slight increase to the arm's effective mass (effecting the resonance frequency of the system) and you will need to back off the counterweight to rebalance the arm.

With the adjustment of the VTF it was time to rock. Using the Grado Prestige Silver for the comparisons...

Before: muddy bass, a muffled midrange, almost no top end, poor transients, almost muted; sound field was "homogenous" - coming from right in the middle of the speakers

After: lively and punchy bass, big midband (vocals are spookily quite forward), treble has become more pronounced; soundstage has widened, musicians take on their own space; images are taller; snares have a better snap and are tighter

An improvement all over and consistent with the changes heard on rip's system. I would like to forward this recommendation to anybody using a Rega arm. It costs about $5 to try and is reversible if you don't like.


This is the kind of tweak I could see having a noticeable impact. However, I cant resist saying, by your descriptions, it seems like you both had pretty awful sounding systems prior to the tweak, and I can't believe that to be the case.... :lol:

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:23 am 
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Che Cavolo wrote:
This is the kind of tweak I could see having a noticeable impact. However, I cant resist saying, by your descriptions, it seems like you both had pretty awful sounding systems prior to the tweak, and I can't believe that to be the case.... :lol:
We both have modded Rega based arms, but the similarities end there.

Only goes to show you don't need to spend a whole lot to improve a Rega arm... :wink:

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:35 am 
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Kwad…..I’m sure your cats would agree that aligning a cartridge on a live system is not the best of practices. :shock: You still rocking that 1200?

Rip…as Kwad has demonstrated, camera phones are for taking pictures of your cats! :lol:


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:44 am 
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sthomas1049 wrote:
Rip…as Kwad has demonstrated, camera phones are for taking pictures of your cats! :lol:
That's about all mine's good for....and I make full use of it. :lol:

Here he is pulling the stuffing out of my U frames to make his bed... :lol:

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Last edited by ripblade on Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:48 am 
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sthomas1049 wrote:
Kwad…..I’m sure your cats would agree that aligning a cartridge on a live system is not the best of practices. :shock: You still rocking that 1200?

Rip…as Kwad has demonstrated, camera phones are for taking pictures of your cats! :lol:

The cat's can sleep easier now that the system is tuned better! I inserted that photo by accident instead of the close-up of the tweak, now just too lazy to remove it.

But I agree, and that Allen key incident was in the olden days, I've learned to kill the signal when doing such things.

And yes, the 1200 is still running strong. I got a trick up my sleeve in the works and hope to bring here soon.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:55 am 
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ripblade wrote:
Che Cavolo wrote:
This is the kind of tweak I could see having a noticeable impact. However, I cant resist saying, by your descriptions, it seems like you both had pretty awful sounding systems prior to the tweak, and I can't believe that to be the case.... :lol:
We both have modded Rega based arms, but the similarities end there.

Only goes to show you don't need to spend a whole lot to improve a Rega arm... :wink:


The giant killer gets even better ! :P


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:59 am 
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airdronian wrote:
The giant killer gets even better ! :P

Is it the cartridge or the arm now that competes with rivals 5x the price? :roll:

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:06 am 
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Thanks - I was trying to visualize this tweak from the Elemental thread.

Is the Audiomods more or less resonant than say an Rb700 or other higher Rega arm? I liked the Rega arm on Rega table and whatever resonances would need to be managed with cartridge choice and perhaps some of the many aftermarket counterweights.

On my Tech 1200 arm I have a number of the resonance plugs and a stiffer/less resonant headshells versus the stock Technics one. Results are not far off from Glenn's cookie. Resonances are moved down to where they are less audible/objectionable.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:08 am 
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airdronian wrote:
ripblade wrote:
Che Cavolo wrote:
This is the kind of tweak I could see having a noticeable impact. However, I cant resist saying, by your descriptions, it seems like you both had pretty awful sounding systems prior to the tweak, and I can't believe that to be the case.... :lol:
We both have modded Rega based arms, but the similarities end there.

Only goes to show you don't need to spend a whole lot to improve a Rega arm... :wink:


The giant killer gets even better ! :P
It's good enough for me, but I don't think I could live with it for long without the cookie on it. The Kleos made out very well with it, as did the OC9/II.

If I ever get a different arm it's going to have to have a 1/4" hole drilled at the rear of the shell, or else! :lol:

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:12 am 
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Cute cat Rip…you should contribute to Alberts kitten thread.

Kwad – you cover up the pitch slider or is it just the angle of the picture. Should post a full pic of that beast. I would be interested to see what you have done to it.

Babi - another cheap yet effective tweak for the 1200 arm is to cover the arm tube with heat shrink. I have not tried it myself but from what I have read many feel it is an improvement. Easy enough to remove should you not like the results.


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