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Thread: FR64 FX arm - your thoughts on this dilemma

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  1. #1
    Join Date: Mar 2014

    Location: KY - Scotland

    Posts: 4,353
    I'm Mike.

    Default FR64 FX arm - your thoughts on this dilemma

    I currently own a Fidelity Research FR64FX arm, silver wired version ( so it says on the box ).

    Whilst I can't prove that the arm is indeed silver wired ( they usually have a sticker on the arm tube, this one doesn't but it might have come off at some time prior to new owning it ).

    I've always had the niggling doubt that the edge/glare on the highs that irritates me was caused by the silver wiring, why go I think this, well anything I've tried that's silver wired has given me the same annoyance.

    So ..... Yesterday, I put my Mission 774 arm back on, bit of a faff as the metal sme armboard wasn't the right fit for the Mission baseplate so it's on but it's a bit Heath Robinson with odd screws etc, but it's firm and it works, the result? All that irritating edginess has gone, however it's not ' quite ' as good as the FR arm but it's close, I suppose you could say the positives do out weigh the negatives, ie: I'm not rushing over to the amp to turn it down before my ears bleed! But I do know I want better. I've lost a tiny bit in the bass and mid-range with the 774, more in tone than impact if you know what I mean but I can live with better than I can the ear bleeds, so a new arm isn't out of the question, especially as I know the FR is sought after.

    Now to my dilemma.

    1: Do I rewire the FR arm ?

    2: Do I try just changing the RCA cabling from the arm base to the phono stage?

    3: Internal rewire AND new RCA cable

    4: Sell the FR as is ( keeps it's original ) and buy as good an arm with no silver in it?

    I'm tempted initially to try 2 as it's easiest option even though I know putting the FR arm back in is a bit of a hassle. But will this help as the arm itself will still be silver wired, I mean is there any silver in the original RCA cable?

    Please note that this issue is the same on the FR arm no matter which of my three cartridges ( MM and MC ) or settings I use on each of the phono stages I've owned since buying the FR arm so I'm pretty convinced that's the cause.

    Your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date: Mar 2008

    Location: Dunfermline, Scotland, UK

    Posts: 12,719
    I'm inthescottishmafia.

    Default

    Try another cable as you say, it’s quick and easy to do.

    FWIW, I had my 774 rewired with Ikeda silver wire by Johnnie, it sounded great and no edginess, but I think some silver wires can exhibit this. If a different cable doesn’t cure it, I’d send it to Johnnie to rewire with copper.

    Or just sell it if you fancy trying another arm lol. Guess it depends on how much you like it.
    “Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of fuel. Sentimental people call it inspiration, but what they really mean is fuel. I have always needed fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio”

    Hunter S Thompson

  3. #3
    Join Date: Mar 2008

    Location: Dunfermline, Scotland, UK

    Posts: 12,719
    I'm inthescottishmafia.

    Default

    Interesting how close the 774 is though, the FR is a revered arm, so the Mission is in good company!
    “Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of fuel. Sentimental people call it inspiration, but what they really mean is fuel. I have always needed fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio”

    Hunter S Thompson

  4. #4
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 40,775
    I'm Geoff.

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    Increase the fluid damping on the 774 with a larger paddle or thicker silicone fluid, the bass will improve.

    The 774 benefits from a high quality rewire. The cable out to the phono stage can be improved on too. The mid and top will benefit.
    "when common sense, logic and plausibility are excluded. All that remain are foolishness and lies"

  5. #5
    Join Date: May 2008

    Location: A Strangely Isolated Place in Suffolk with far away trains passing by...

    Posts: 14,559
    I'm David.

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    Quote Originally Posted by walpurgis View Post
    Increase the fluid damping on the 774 with a larger paddle or thicker silicone fluid, the bass will improve.

    The 774 benefits from a high quality rewire. The cable out to the phono stage can be improved on too. The mid and top will benefit.
    NOOOOOO!!!! It's my experience when setting these things up for a living that too much effing damping KILLS this arm, slugging the bass and making the whole thing tuneless - tried on several decks when this arm was new! Lord I set up enough of these damned things and acted as tonearm bearing quality control in the early days as we sold so many, a sizeable number from each batch we had delivered had to be returned due to notchy or sticky bearings - it's a shit rough tat of a thing yet you peeps wank yourselves silly over them today and get all manner of high prices for them when passing them round the community

    Seriously, my suggestion for damping on a 774 is the smallest paddle just scraping the surface of the fluid. I like my vinyl musical dynamics free and unfettered you see, not smothered and overly controlled.

    YMMV of course today


    Other crap to consider - What's yer cartridge wired with? Usually copper and not always PCOCC either! Loading can revive or kill some cartridges too as can low overload margins in some foo phono stages. Are you sure it's the arm - what's your digital like? If this latter isn't right either, then I suspect it's something else in the system myself.

    My own experience is that pure silver wires can be very good, but silver plated wires can be scratchy sounding and not pleasant with more assertive equipment...
    Tear down these walls; Cut the ties that held me
    Crying out at the top of my voice; Tell me now if you can hear me

  6. #6
    Join Date: Mar 2014

    Location: KY - Scotland

    Posts: 4,353
    I'm Mike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DSJR View Post
    NOOOOOO!!!! It's my experience when setting these things up for a living that too much effing damping KILLS this arm, slugging the bass and making the whole thing tuneless - tried on several decks when this arm was new! Lord I set up enough of these damned things and acted as tonearm bearing quality control in the early days as we sold so many, a sizeable number from each batch we had delivered had to be returned due to notchy or sticky bearings - it's a shit rough tat of a thing yet you peeps wank yourselves silly over them today and get all manner of high prices for them when passing them round the community

    Seriously, my suggestion for damping on a 774 is the smallest paddle just scraping the surface of the fluid. I like my vinyl musical dynamics free and unfettered you see, not smothered and overly controlled.

    YMMV of course today


    Dinnae worry I'm still tweaking

  7. #7
    Join Date: Sep 2014

    Location: brighton uk.

    Posts: 4,227
    I'm jamie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DSJR View Post
    you peeps wank yourselves silly over them today and get all manner of high prices for them when passing them round the community
    is that what you do geoff over your 3?
    My System
    John Wood KT88 Amp.
    Paradise Phono Stage
    Sony TTS-8000 Turntable.
    PMAT-1010 MK6 Tonearm.
    Ortofon KB with vienna upgrade
    Sony X555ES Cd Player
    Yamaha NS1000m Speakers
    KARMA Interconnects & Tonearm Cable

  8. #8
    Join Date: Mar 2014

    Location: KY - Scotland

    Posts: 4,353
    I'm Mike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by karma67 View Post
    is that what you do geoff over your 3?
    For once I hope Marco and the Mods don't demand photos

  9. #9
    Join Date: Mar 2008

    Location: Dunfermline, Scotland, UK

    Posts: 12,719
    I'm inthescottishmafia.

    Default

    Yes it does. The Ikeda wire made a big improvement.
    “Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of fuel. Sentimental people call it inspiration, but what they really mean is fuel. I have always needed fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio”

    Hunter S Thompson

  10. #10
    Join Date: Mar 2014

    Location: KY - Scotland

    Posts: 4,353
    I'm Mike.

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    774 is very close Ali, if you hadn't heard the FR you wouldn't miss it if you know what I mean.

    The 774 is your old one so it's cardas wired and now has Olis Spotfire RCA cabling which is brand new so that might change over time.

    Geoff, I've a thicker paddle fitted and it's 'just' touching the oil at present, see above for wiring info.

    I should also say that the currently fitted metal armboard will be holding the 774 back but I traded Magna Audio Ebony one back in to buy the FR one, typical

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