New Schroeder linear tonearm, any thoughts?

I noticed Frank Schroeder has a new linear arm without servo motors, pumps, etc. seems like a promising direction. Did anyone hear it at RMAF?
With a removable headshell, you cannot have an uninterrupted connection between the cartridge and the phono stage. My experience suggests that the audible difference is far greater with LOMC cartridges than with higher output MM and MI cartridges.
You can't argue with 'theory'...that's for sure.
I've had many tonearms with uninterrupted connection between cartridge and phonostage....and still have one with the Copperhead running uninterupted balanced XLRs.
With MMs, MIs and listeners to my system have ever been able to tell if they were hearing the Copperhead, the DaVinci, the Phantom II (with many connections)......or all my other 5 tonearms with interchangeable headshells?
Theory only gets you so far......look at valves and SS, sealed and ported speakers, belt-drive and DD turntables...?
I trust my ears...
Halcro, are you saying you can't hear the difference between your tonearms using the same cartridge on them? Or are you saying that you do not think the differences you hear are related to tonearm wiring?

I think the only way to answer the question of whether tonearm wiring should have as few connections as possible, is to test it both ways on the same tonearm with the same type of wire. I have not done this personally, but I'm sure someone has. Is there anyone on this forum that has tested this themselves?
Thanks for the reply Mr Schroeder. I definitely agree that test records set the anti skate too high, but still feel your method seems a bit too low, as you suggest less anti skate than what would be required to keep the stylus stationary in a non modulated groove. What I was suggesting would be somewhere mid way between your suggestion and a torture record test????

Sorry to change the topic. But your new LT arm is just so cool, it got me thinking about it not requiring anti skate, then.....
Henry, I have had one experience with the same tonearm: it came with a fixed headshell but female RCA outputs. I listened to it for several months, and then I bypassed the RCAs with hard wire so to create a straight path to the phono stage. With a Koetsu Urushi I could hear a benefit related to getting rid of the RCA connection. I do agree that with a typical MM or MI, I hear no real benefit running them in my Triplanar or Reed (both straight shots from cartridge to phono stage) vs in my Dynavector (interchangeable headshell/DIN plug in signal path). Anyway, whether there is a REAL difference or not, audiophilia nervosa infects us all and motivates these decisions.
another way of putting it.

Mr Schroeder's method gives slightly less anti skate for the minimum situation

test record gives the exact amount for the max situation

my method gives exact amount for slightly more than the min situation

????? still don't get your suggestion Mr Schroeder, why have less anti skate required for the minimum situation. have the arm move very slowly to the outside of the record when in between lead out grooves gives slightly more anti skate than what's required for the absolute min situation. does this not seem more logical.
Sarcher and Lew,

I have had identical cartridges (both MM amd LOMC) mounted in the Copperhead, the DaVinci 12" Ref, the Phantom II and the FR-66S all on the Raven AC-2 turntable going into the same Halcro DM-10 Phono Preamp.
The Copperhead has unbroken balanced XLR cables from cartridge to Phono. The DaVinci had unbroken RCAs from cartridge to Phono whilst the Phantom II and FR-66s both have two additional connections (headshell or armwand plus din plug-in cable).
According to the 'theory'.....all cartridges should sound better in the Copperhead and DaVinci.
This was certainly not the case with many LOMCs sounding better in the FR-66S whilst the Copperhead won with most MM cartridges.
The DaVinci did not win 'outright' on any whilst the Phantom II fell apart with almost all MMs?

Michael Fremer has tested identical LOMCs on his Caliburn table using both the Cobra and Phantom II tonearms side by side and was not able to hear any advantages to the 'unbroken' wiring of the Cobra?

If I had heard any hint of this 'theoretical' advantage in my setup.......I would not have ended up with 5 out of my 6 arms having interchangeable headshells? :-)
As always.....YMMV.
Hello Royaloak,
The reason for the suggested undercompensation is the usually higher than acceptable sidethrust on the cantilever, caused by an antiskating mechanism. While the force excerted by the stylus/diamond on both groove walls may be equalized, it causes a permanent cantilever displacement( since the antiskating acts on the arm, not the diamond itself), resulting in a non linear behaviour.
Imagine a speaker being exposed to a certain amount of a DC voltage. The null position of the speaker(where it rests when no signal is present) will have moved forward or backward, depending upon the polarity of said DC voltage. The maximum cone displacement is reached sooner in one direction, it takes a different amount of force to move it forward vs. moving it backward.
Same for a cantilever that has a conventional suspension, dynamic gradation is foreshortened and the resolution of microdetail(what happens around the Null point) diminished.
If one is to reduce the skating compensation to zero, the non linearities caused by non-equal pressure of the diamond on the groove walls will have a larger influence, so zero antiskating isn't the answer either(imho).
And I have not even touched the issue of the coil position against the magnetic circuit when a preload is present. Not as severe an issue and highly generator design dependent, but...

As said in the manual of my arms, my suggestion is a starting point, not an absolute(ly perfect) setting. If your method yields better results, - or results you like better, then, by all means, go by that!

All the best,

Thanks for the reply, starting to get your point. Analog is all about choosing the right compromise, and that is what makes it fun, rather than just pressing play. I guess this makes your new arm even more attractive not having to deal with this anti skate nonsense. One less comprise to deal with.
Halcro, it is interesting that the Phantom did not do well with MM cart's. I have read that before.

IMO, you can not make any solid conclusions about wiring, without testing it out on the same tonearm. Otherwise the differences you hear, or don't hear, could be caused by the arms themselves. Not the wiring.
Why would the Phantom fall short with MM cartridges? At first glance, its effective mass would not be wildly different from that of the other three tonearms Halcro mentions. In fact, its effective mass is certainly lower than that of the FR66S, if not also the DaVinci. So the observation cannot be due solely to a mismatch of compliance vs effective mass. What a strange and maddening "hobby" this is. It makes you want to go to work for relaxation.
Ahh! The Phantom is a unipivot; the others in Halcro's stable are not. Perhaps that's the important factor. I could imagine that a low compliance cartridge might be better suited to a unipivot, compared to a high compliance one.
The Phantom is not a true unipivot. It has the Magnaglide stabilizer. I don't have much experience with a MM on a unipivot arm. So I can not confirm, nor deny whether that is a factor. Could be though.
The Copperhead is also a Unipivot....although like the Phantom's Magnaglide has a balancing 'swashplate' to maintain azimuth.
I had a Hadcock GH-228 for 25 years which was a true unipivot and it sounded wonderful with MMs. It also had uninterrupted wiring from cartridge to phonostage. I've also had a Grace 940G unipivot which worked well with the pivoting system of the arm I a red herring?

I'm not sure Sarcher...what you're really saying....
IMO, you can not make any solid conclusions about wiring, without testing it out on the same tonearm. Otherwise the differences you hear, or don't hear, could be caused by the arms themselves. Not the wiring.
If I had uninterrupted wiring on all my arms.....they would beat the ones already with that feature by a margin even greater than they do now?.....or if I added 'connections' to the uninterruptedly wired arms....they would be beaten by a greater margin than they are already? :-)
The fact that for 5 years the Phantom tonearm (with its two extra connections).....has consistently rated amongst the best tonearms in almost every serious audio review...proves the point pretty well I think?

There seems to be a slight hypocrisy to this 'theoretical' argument of 'lesser connections'?
Most high-end audiophiles own separate high-end phonostages which 'plug' into separate preamps which 'plug' into separate amplifiers?
To realise the benefits of this 'uninterrupted' wiring principle.....a fully integrated amplifier with inbuilt phonostage should sound better than the high-end scenario most employ?
To reinforce the argument further.....many listeners (including myself)....are realising the benefits of 'adding' a separate SUT before the phono-stage for LOMCs?
A case where an 'added' connection (at the smallest signal level) can demonstrably sound better than a 'purer' cable?

As I said previously....'theory' is great....but IMO is not a 'deal-breaker' when faced with audible proof of its limitations? :-)
Halcro, If your Phantom pivots on a red herring, that may be the problem. Especially after a few years, I am sure the sound stinks.
Halcro. You are right, it's not necessarily a deal breaker. That said there is really no doubt in my mind that fewer connections are better, but often there are reasons it is not practical. It's usually not a night and day difference in most cases, and it can be swamped by other factors.

For the sake of argument, if integrated amps were built to the same standard as separates, and used outboard, separate power supplies for each section, then they could be better. There are a few reasons (at least) no one builds integrated's that way. First, they would have to charge an enormous amount of money for them. Second it is rare that any one manufacture is skilled enough to get the most out of every different section (phono stage, dac, line stage, amplifier). Therefore something in the design will be less than optimal. And third, allot of audiophiles like to have the flexibility to try different things without replacing the entire system.


Is it possible to create a new schroder arm that combines the technology of the LT arm with the "hanging on a string" technology of the Sq reference into a super SUPER schroder arm? Wouldn't that be a wild arm !!!


I don't think that's possible because the Schroeder SQ is a version of unipivot arm and it cannot "move" the extra pivot. The only way to retain the string concept is to have a servo linear slide. Frank is a genius so he might be able to come up with something that combine the two methods but I don't see it to be practical. However he did make an experimental string arm in the form of a Thales concept with a pivoting headshell before. Even though it still achieves tangential tracking but it behaves dynamically different from the LT model.

All I can say is I love my LT arm...will be one of those things I'll never sell. 1) it sounds fantastic, and 2) it's just so unique and ingenious

I see that some people have the Schroder LT with the Lyra Atlas. Has anyone tested the Schroder LT with the Air Tight PC1 Supreme? Is it a good match?
I had the good fortune to be able to listen to the LT at a good friend of mine's. My friend has an excellent system to listen to music. The LT had an Atlas cartridge mounted to it. The first piece of music I listened to with this combination was a big orchestral piece. I have never heard orchestral music produced like this combination produced. The music was natural, and every instrument had air and space around it like you would expect at a live performance. During dynamic passages the sound was exact and undistorted. Percussive instruments started and stopped with precision. The strings were beautiful. They had very natural tone with no edge to them.
Next I listened to a vocal piece. The result was the same. His voice was natural and nuanced with no unnatural warmth. When the singer hit the high notes the combination tracked the transition with ease. I have never heard an arm produce these kinds of transitions before. In the past I have preferred the way that digital reproduces these transitions.
If there is a better tonearm out there, I haven't heard it.