manufacture and supply Arm-boards, (designed for us by Pete
of 'Pete's Pylons'), for these highly acclaimed
arm-boards give superior acoustic performance because the
acrylic material will attenuate transient vibrations,
whereas the aluminium arm-board has the opposite effect.
arm-boards are accurately machined to suit your tonearm, and
will simply fit onto the turntable as a replacement to the
original aluminium arm-board.
orientation can be achieved by rotating the arm-board until
the small dimple that has been machined at the rear of one
of the mounting holes faces towards the front of the turntable.
weights are added to balance the tonearm setup so that it is
close to the mass of the original aluminium arm-board.
I thought my Gyrodec had already been taken to the highest
level, however the new solid acrylic armborad has taken it
yet to another level, which I didn't think was possible.
Initially I fitted the board with the original delrin
spacers from Michell, as in the pics, but this meant the
tonearm was just about right at the bottom of it's travel..I
also tried an acrylic spacer, which is a similar depth to
the Michell spacers, which again left no play room at the
top of the tonearm pivot...Anyway.. The voicing is a lot
better, the sound stage has opened up further and all
aspects of the tonal range is even snappier than
ever...crisp cybmals.. tight fast snare and toms..the
Piano's are the best I've heard them yet..stunning clear
vocals and the bass is deeper, more controlled, better
extended and tuneful...I can pick all instruments out with
ease, making for a much clearer listen...I said the Pylons
were the best upgrade, but this armborad now fixed to the
chassis, with a rubber gasket beneath it and the Michell
spacers and acrylic ring spacer are now in the spares
box...Is easily as good an upgrapde as the Pylons....The
original Aluminium arm board is also now relegated to the
spares box...and of course, again, as with all the mods/upgrades,
everything can be returned to original Michell spec, should
you wish to move your tt on, which is unlikely of course...atb
After being thrilled with Pete's suspension, I was really
curious when he came up with the new armboard design. I'd
experimented years ago with various types of shelf materials
(glass, tempered glass, corian, MDF, baltic birch, etc. and
also acrylic. I found that the best sounding support for my
table (even using a Target Wall Shelf and replacing the
stock MDF shelf in that) was a constrained layer shelf that
I put together using a base piece of baltic birch with a
thin layer of neoprene sheet on top of that, followed by a
top layer of extruded acrylic upon which my table sits.
Would have gone acrylic on the bottom layer at the time but
it was pricey and many years ago when I did not have an
excess of cash so stuck with the baltic birch there.
So when Pete came out with the acrylic armboard I thought
there was a very strong possibility it would be a winner and
decided to take the plunge. Things didn't go absolutely
smoothly for me (long story-problems on my end unrelated to
the board(s) and then a glitch with one of the boards I
bought but I've been up and running for a week or so now and
can confirm Al's impression of the board and its effect on
sound quality in post 412. I think he's done a very good job
of describing its attributes. Much more focus, clarity and
retrieval of detail along with improvements in musicality
and tightening and extension of bass. Everything is just
more fleshed out. The new board reveals the original Michell
board to be a bit congested and dynamically challenged by
comparison. There is also a real sense of composure in
complex passages with big dynamic swings; you can simply
hear much more of what is actually happening in the
performance in moments like this as opposed to hearing much
more of a mish-mashed "blend" of sound.
It's a cliche but backgrounds are blacker. And surface noise
is further reduced. I ended up buying some extra thick (3.2
mm) grungebuster dots from Herbie's Audiolab that have
adhesive on one side and cutting them down and attaching
them to the underside of the armboard(s). Still have to get
the nylon bolts cut down to use those.
I was previously using the Michell tonearm decoupling kit
and frankly, had to strain to hear any positives with it.
Definitely not the case with these, although they are much
more expensive and not really cheap. But they are worth it.
With two arms (and armboards) the bang for buck has not been
quite as big as the suspension upgrade but that may not be
the case for single arm users. A really worthwhile upgrade
and I could not go back to the stock armboard.
Have to admit that the "look factor" is also quite nice as
well. I wish that I could have tried out a wood laminate top
armboard but increasing the thickness would have run me into
a bit of trouble in terms of setting VTA/SRA.
In any event, I am very happy and would highly recommend.
Once you go here, you will not go back.
Blake - October 2019