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Experience with The Wand Tonearm


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Just bought a Thorens which came with a wand tonearm, with a Hana sl cartridge. Sounded reasonable when I auditioned (pure digital system) - but in my system - pure valve - primaluna integrated 400 and project S2 - it sounds  dead. Have verified the setting on the Project and checked all connections.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

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8 hours ago, Marcusperth said:

Just bought a Thorens which came with a wand tonearm, with a Hana sl cartridge. Sounded reasonable when I auditioned (pure digital system) - but in my system - pure valve - primaluna integrated 400 and project S2 - it sounds  dead. Have verified the setting on the Project and checked all connections.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

 

I would concentrate on cartridge setup and loading.

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What phono stage are you using?

I'm quite happy with my Wand on a Pink Triangle P Too TT through and Trichord Dino PS with a endless power supply.

 
Hana SL specifications:
  • Output Level @ 1kHz: 0.5mV.
  • Output Balance @ 1kHz: Less Than 1.5dB.
  • Vertical Tracking Force: 2 grams.
  • Trackability: 70 um/2 gramsSeparation @ 1kHz: 28dB.
  • Frequency Response: 15-32,000Hz.
  • Impedance @ 1 kHz: 30 Ohms.
  • Suggested Load: 400 Ohms.
  • Cartridge Weight: 5 Grams.

Also look at

And http://www.youtek.jp/pdf/manual/manual_hana_2017s.pdf

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Did you recheck the TT / Cart set up before use?

 

- arm alignment/cart alignment

- VTF

- VTA

- Azimuth

- Cart Load

 

 

And are you using the Project Phono Box S2?

 

What phono preamp was being used when you heard it previously?

 

The Wand arm is tremendous so I don't think that is your problem

 

 

Edited by Gryffles
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9 hours ago, Marcusperth said:

but in my system - pure valve - primaluna integrated 400 and project S2 - it sounds  dead.

 

Something is definitely not right. My experience with The Wand, is its actually a very lively tonearm. The Hana SL however, I found very warm and laid back. Together it should make a very nice combination actually.

 

Could be a silly question - but check your polarity of everything. Tonearm wires, all phono connectors, and lastly speaker connections. Something could be out of phase which would absolutely cause it to sound dead.

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Agree with previous posters, something is not right.  The last thing I'd describe The Wand as is "dead".  I've yet to hear any arm that betters it for dynamics and PRaT.  Lots of arms can do the macro dynamics well (the difference between the noisefloor and the very loudest sounds).  Where The Wand seems to excel is in preserving the microdynamics so sounds within that envelope are reproduced with a greater envelope of dynamic range.

That in addition to the absence of time smear makes for a far from dead ride through the music.

My front end is a Garrard 401 on a Corian/Brushbox plinth, the very first series of Wand run without damping fluid, and a Paradox Pulse aluminium/lead rebodied Denon DL103r.

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I believe @evil c has one of these wonderful tonearms. Meant to be really excellent.

 

I stick with Fidelity Research arms when I've need of a good arm. Reasonably priced used for the FR-24 and FR-54.

Edited by MattyW
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42 minutes ago, MattyW said:

I believe @evil c has one of these wonderful tonearms. Meant to be really excellent.

 

I stick with Fidelity Research arms when I've need of a good arm. Reasonably priced used for the FR-24 and FR-54.

Indeed I do, one of their biggest fans! :thumb:

 

@Marcusperth - my advice is read and re read the detailed instructions on your arm, presume it's a Plus with the lifter assembly?

That way you will be familiarized with the peculiarities of the Wand arm, very different to a standard one!

 

Look at setting the tracking weight with the arm on the correct height , if different to when sitting in the groove of the record - it can be a much different tracking weight. 

The provided alignment tool is all you need to setup everything correctly. 

 

I'd make sure the cartridge tip is clean by looking with a magnifier, and to be honest look at buying a better quality phono pre. 

The Project are ok, but aren't going to highlight the multitude of strengths the Wand arm provide. 

Very detailed,  dynamic and exciting arms to listen to when well setup and matched with good quality carts and links in the system. 

 

I really like Hana carts and have an ML, so know them well - so provided yours is in good nick should be fine.  

And your Primaluna valve amp should sound wonderful with it. 

 

See if you can borrow a better Phono,  something more around the 1k price point, (new) or 2nd hand if you can afford it.  ?

And possibly see if anyone can eyeball your setup, if unsure.

Many helpful people on SNA, so sure they'd be happy to help.

 

Let us know how you go! ?

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Thanks all,

 

So....

 

Believe it to be the standard Wand - suspect early as no sign of damping fluid (how would I check?) and not a plus as no lifter mech - wish it had. 
I am using the S2. When I installed the new turntable I changed to a new, factory supplied power supply. Have since checked and it is much higher output amperage - 1600mA vs the original (also factory supplied) which is 1A. Noticed that the Project was running very hot - haven’t had a chance to change back to test. 
in setting up the Project, dip switches are set to 10 ohm input impedence, closest to the 30ohm recommended for the Hana. Did try setting for 100ohm, next closest and sounded worse so changed back. Am having to run the Project at highest gain setting to get a decent signal - not a good cam prison I realise but previous cartridge - Ortofon blue - with Pro-Ject set up for it, ran at mid- level gain. 
Checked all cables/connections and can’t see any polarity issues. Table and arm were set up by previous owner and apparently prof checked, but this may be a course, though VTF, skate all seem to check out. However don’t know how to check Azimuth - ?

i have also dug out a couple of spare spare compatible tubes and will try rolling these into the Project - I am actually favouring the stage as the source of the issue at this point.

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2 minutes ago, Marcusperth said:

am using the S2. When I installed the new turntable I changed to a new, factory supplied power supply. Have since checked and it is much higher output amperage - 1600mA vs the original (also factory supplied) which is 1A. Noticed that the Project was running very hot - haven’t had a chance to change back to test. 

 

A higher current ("amperage") rating does not make any difference to what the device will draw from the power supply.  If the voltage is the same, the device will draw the same current it always has (something less than the original 1 A.

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@Marcusperth

 

10 ohm load is way to low. It will strangle the Hana SL and make it sound very dull.

Id suggest 100ohm would be better and around 250ohm to 300ohm will be better.

 

Another thing is the TT/arm/cart set up could have changed in transit. The TT should be set up from scratch in its final resting place.

 

You might need some help if your not knowledgeable and or don’t have the correct tools.

 

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"in setting up the Project, dip switches are set to 10 ohm input impedence, closest to the 30ohm recommended for the Hana. Did try setting for 100ohm, next closest and sounded worse so"

 

 

The recommended load for the Hana SL is 400 ohms, NOT 30

 

30 is the internal impedance of the cartridge.

 

The 10ohm load is killing the sound.

I would recommend you test the following to find the best sound -

 

100ohm load at 60db and 63db. ( still too low though in my view ).

1000ohm load at 60db and 63db ( this is the best option )

 

to find the best option.

 

Another option would be to get a tech to replace the 10 ohm loading resistors inside with 400ohm resistors which would give you a much more usable 100/400/1000 ohm options.

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Have since changed back to the original power supply for the Project. Playing through the old TT Rega1 with Ortofon blue, am back to the sound I’m know. Will change back to Thorens/Hana/wand this evening and see how that works- hopefully...

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Will add in changes to the dip switches on the Project as well. 
12ax7b - curious where the 400ohm number was sourced as did not find that. Also want to better understand this as clearly haven’t correctly understood parameters.

noted re: setup in ‘final resting place’ - will go through process. 
All, much appreciated!

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Ok - have gone through full set up

process - man what a process!!!! Many aspects are very poor in the design IMHO. Main one being that the cable routing has a huge impact on skate making it VERY hard to get consistency on this. Location of the weight swivel means the weight doesn’t like staying where it is set - hanging weight designs are just bad IMHO - bad memories of a TT I had three decades ago with a similar design that never worked properly. 
last is the lack of a good settle point for the arm when returned - slightest bump dislodges and sees the cartridge hit the deck! 
All that being said, with the right setting on the Project (470ohms) and all else set up after 4 hours, it sounds great. A tad harsh at the top end but precise and very well timed. Find voice a little laid back as well. 
will see how I go over the next couple of weeks.

On the Project power source, tested the one causing problems and is faulty - producing a little over twenty vaults when should be 18. 

Many thanks for the great information!

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Cable routing, if done as intended for the Wand, should have no impact on anti skate. If it does then something isn't right.

 

Do you have the instructions for the arm? I find the Wand arm to be a very clever design and the easiest I've come across to set up so your comments make me curious.

 

 

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Here’s a pic of my Wand + showing the correct cable routing.

 

Notice the cable threads through a small clamp creating a loop which has no tension.

 

You’ll also notice a small rubber sleeve on the threaded rod that the anti skate nylon thread attaches. That rubber sleeve is there to keep the thread in the intended place. Perhaps you know all this but thought I’d share in case it might help


A7ED1D54-C1B5-4496-A5D8-EC8377BA4E2C.thumb.jpeg.18c26ac0e29434e71610f881b9a18399.jpeg

 

Edited by Gryffles
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Thanks Gryffles - 

basically started with the cable set up the way you have it - though the ‘exposed’ part of the wire (before the black covering) is much longer ~ maybe eight inches. Had the wire neatly tucked in as per. However, even with the skate thread right at the weight end of the threaded section - minimum antiskate- it was aggressively pulling the arm back towards the ‘latch’ position. I don’t have the little rubber sleeve. 
Changes the cable to come round the other way solved the problem and seems to be tracking well now. 
I note the acrylic looking (clear plastic) ‘clip’ to hold arm in place. No such thing on mine - a more recent design?

96C13290-9D1B-49C8-B554-D4EA8682DE1D.jpeg

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By the by, to sort skate, I use a really old BBC turntable set up record. This includes a ‘blank’ (totally ungrooved) section in the middle of the side. Based on instructions, antiskate is properly set when the needle floats statically in the center of this section, not moving away from or towards the centre - in other words with neutral skate.

i do have the instructions and followed set up process except where noted re: wire. 

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10 hours ago, Marcusperth said:

note the acrylic looking (clear plastic) ‘clip’ to hold arm in place. No such thing on mine - a more recent design?

Could be one of the differences between the + model and the basic model. 

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