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Unipivots from Edwards Audio.


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When it looked like the whole international Ponzi financial scheme was going to collapse in 2009 I bought at half price a new Talk Electronics/Edwards Audio MC3 phono stage. It never got much good press which I could'nt understand but it is so versatile and sounds so good I have never felt the need to try another. 

 

Just today I saw that this company is making T/Ts and that some come with an in house designed uni pivot arm. These arms can be purchased separately and you can choose 9", 10" and 12" versions. I always meant to try a uni pivot and as I will this year remove the plinth on one of my Kenwood KD990 decks which has 3 other points where other arms than the one that comes with the deck can be mounted I might well bite on a 12" one under £700 to buy. They have a Rega type fixing and I must first determine if this is possible with aluminium spider construction of the Kenwood.  

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Seeing that unipivots and MCs are not a good mix is a shame. However I do have an NOS Pickering XLZ 7500S which would be a good match. This unipivot has a fixed headshell arrangement that would allow me to try an experiment I have wanted to do for a long time that I cannot do with my Kenwood arm, namely to rewire from cartridge tags to phono stage in one continuous length. I think this would yield real gains cutting out 3 connections if using a detachable headshell or 2 with a fixed headshell.

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How did you come to the conclusion that mc carts and unipivot arms aren’t a good mix?

 

Basis, Continuum and VPI all use unipivot arms for example

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51 minutes ago, Southerly said:

Seeing that unipivots and MCs are not a good mix is a shame. However I do have an NOS Pickering XLZ 7500S which would be a good match. This unipivot has a fixed headshell arrangement that would allow me to try an experiment I have wanted to do for a long time that I cannot do with my Kenwood arm, namely to rewire from cartridge tags to phono stage in one continuous length. I think this would yield real gains cutting out 3 connections if using a detachable headshell or 2 with a fixed headshell.

 

You seem to have been imbibing too much Calvados, Stuart ... where on earth did you get the idea that UPs and LOMCs are not a good match?

 

The first UP I had (on my LP12) was a Graham 2.2 ... the cart was a Benz LP.  A simply wonderful combination.

 

Then I fell in love with a 12" UP that was made here in Melbourne - Duc's "Univector".  A 'heavy' arm ... 23gms eff mass (unfortunately, no longer made as Duc passed away nearly 3 years ago.  :( ).

 

So I created my 'SkeletaLinn' - which allowed me to use a 12" arm.  See pic:

 

1080142039_SkeletaLinn2-Motor01.jpg.5597cf69b6acc9e04d4837b4e47d4f1b.jpg

 

 

This also had the Benz LP mounted - and again, a wonderful sound.  The other arm on this TT is also a UP - a NOS Magnepan 'Unitrac'.  This is a very light arm (7gm eff mass) - so has a high compliance Stanton 'WOS CS100' mounted.

 

Then AusPost lost my Benz LP when it came back from being re-tipped in the UK - so I replaced it with a ZYX Ultimate Airy.  Again, a great combination.

 

Andy

 

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Andy,

I never was much of spirits man but as for whisky, Calvados needs a good few years to be really enjoyable. The best I've had was at the end of my longest (just under 3000K ) French cycle camping trips in the 80s, that was 20 years old and great. If you've never tried Japanese malts your missing out. I only paid €24.99 at Aldis and it beat the crap of any Spey malt I've ever drunk. Essentially I'm a wine drinker.

 

It appears that a high compliance MC is required for unipivots. The thing is I'm only in it for the music and plug and play floats my boat, which brings me to the Kenwood arm on the 990. It really is a joy to set up, dialling in the anti-skate is a doddle as is setting the weight which is marked off. I've lowered the effective arm mass by removing the solid lump of aluminium that is the supplied headshell with a much lighter but stiff h/shell. Arm height is adjustable by a simple grub screw on the arm piller.

 

Something that unipivots, indeed most arms don't have it - automatic end-of-side motor stop and  arm raising, I've never scratched an LP since I bought my first Kenwood. This is not a mechanically complicated system and I don't know why this wasn't adopted by other manufacturers.

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6 hours ago, Southerly said:

 

It appears that a high compliance MC is required for unipivots.

 

 

My experience is that it depends on the arm's effective weight:

  • my 12" 'Univector' - eff weight 23gm - needs a low to medium compliance cart.  Hence, I used it first with a Benz LP (compliance 15) and currently a ZYX Ultimate Airy (compliance 12).
  • my 9" 'Unitrac' - eff weight 7gm - needs to be paired with a high compliance cart.  Hence it has a Stanton WOS CS100 on it - compliance of 30.

 

I would not get the same excellent results I do get, if I swapped the carts across to the other arms.

 

Andy

 

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Andyr,

thanks for the info. I emailed Kevin Edwards about his unipivots, he said he can supply the arms without tonearm wiring or he can supply with any length so I could achieve what I wanted. Re. compatibility with the Kenwood - it's a three point fixing a la Rega from underneath. I think this might be a goer as I can drill the holes relatively easily as the Kenwood spider legs are aluminium.

 

I see you have two very different effective mass arms and I can see why those cartridges wouldn't work visa versa. I bought very cheaply at the end of the 90s a well looked after Technics SL -120 which came with an SME fitted 3009 with detachable h/shell. I am going to sell the the deck and could keep the arm which should be a good match with the Pickering XLZ 7500S. The stylus is effectively NOS, the problem comes when a new stylus is needed. The after market jobbies simply aren't as good. The Stantons and Pickerings came with excellent styli, I'm surprised no one has catered for this dermand.

 

Andy there is a retipper on Ebay.com who has a 100% record for Stanton and Pickering, he doesn't mention your particular model but I'd be surprised if he couldn't retip it - cartridge_retipping-5. He was quoting $190. If I like the Pickering 7500S which has an NOS stylus then I know I can have it retipped to replicate the original sound. If an NOS stylus does come up they are $400-500.

 

Having contacted Kevin Edwards he can supply either of his unipivots with any length of tonearm wiring (check out Edwards Audio form more info) but I would still like to try my  own design and materials.

 

Stuart

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Andyr,

It seems like the retipper isn't operating anymore which is a shame. I did contact him last year and he said that he doubted that there would be any deterioration in the internals of the Pickering and his retipping was not that expensive. His replacement stylii were almost an exact copy of the original stylii and he had lots of satisfied customers.

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7 hours ago, Southerly said:

Andyr,

It seems like the retipper isn't operating anymore which is a shame. I did contact him last year and he said that he doubted that there would be any deterioration in the internals of the Pickering and his retipping was not that expensive. His replacement stylii were almost an exact copy of the original stylii and he had lots of satisfied customers.

 

Stuart, when I got hold of my Stanton WOS CS100, I immediately had it re-tipped by Expert Stylus in the UK (as I had no idea how many hours it had).

 

Here's a pic of the result:

 

755211639_StantonWOSCS100AfterRetipat60x.thumb.jpg.a2546fc187c47d592b8088c2bd81ac93.jpg

 

 

Andy

 

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Andy,

what did he charge?  I've sent a message via ebay to the American retipper and @ $190 that is very cheap., maybe he popped his clogs. At the moment I use an AT 33EV which is not at all bright, still got lots of life. When it's time for new MC cartridge rather than go for an ART 9 type, it's been discontinued, there are two variants now I shall go for the  33 sa which is a shibata. With the Kenwood stripped of it's plinth I can 'easily' add another arm. 

 

Stuart 

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9 minutes ago, Southerly said:

Andy,

what did he charge?

 

Stuart 

 

Sorry - can't remember.  :(

 

Andy

 

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On 16/04/2021 at 2:44 AM, Southerly said:

Andy there is a retipper on Ebay.com who has a 100% record for Stanton and Pickering, he doesn't mention your particular model but I'd be surprised if he couldn't retip it - cartridge_retipping-5. He was quoting $190. If I like the Pickering 7500S which has an NOS stylus then I know I can have it retipped to replicate the original sound. If an NOS stylus does come up they are $400-500.

 

This is Joseph Long, I have just sent him one of my Stanton 880's to be re-tipped with an FGS. So he is still operating. I didn't go through eBay I deal with him directly.

 

I have an XSV3000 he re-tipped and it's as good as OEM and far superior to any aftermarket stylus.

 

If you're interested I can PM you his email address.

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Warren, that's brilliant mate. I emailed him last year with a question about what state the internals of my NOS Pickering 7500S might be in after possibly 40 years since production and he said that he doubted anything would have deteriorated. He has a 100% rating and I liked the way he clearly stated how his styli were virtually spot on with the originals and most importantly he provided actual data.

 

I like value for money and what he charges for a retip is just that. For the same reason that Soundsmith cartridges are a good buy. It's counter productive to try and squeeze a bit more life from an expensive cartridge and possibly damage the LPs. 

 

I've got an SME 3009 detachable h/shell arm I could use but I would like to try this unipivot from Kevin Edwards.

 

Stuart

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I have one of those diamonds on my XSV3000 and it's spot on. The XSV3000 is a bonded tip and 881 nude so the 881s is slightly better than the 3000 but I didn't hear the difference until I done a LOT of modifications to my SP10 / EPA100.

 

Joseph was extremely helpful when I was deciding on a diamond to put on my spare 880 D80. Ended up with the FGS as it was the closest to the D81 Stereohedron mkII profile I could get.

 

I'm not a fan of UP's I'm in the rigidity camp and a wobbly arm just seems to be not the way to go IMO. But this does depend on a lot of other factors like plinth damping and platter material.

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49 minutes ago, Warren Jones said:

I have one of those diamonds on my XSV3000 and it's spot on. The XSV3000 is a bonded tip and 881 nude so the 881s is slightly better than the 3000 but I didn't hear the difference until I done a LOT of modifications to my SP10 / EPA100.

 

Joseph was extremely helpful when I was deciding on a diamond to put on my spare 880 D80. Ended up with the FGS as it was the closest to the D81 Stereohedron mkII profile I could get.

 

I'm not a fan of UP's I'm in the rigidity camp and a wobbly arm just seems to be not the way to go IMO. But this does depend on a lot of other factors like plinth damping and platter material.

 Years ago I read how fiddly the u/p were to set up properly but the Edwards one is a 'captive' u/p.  My Kenwood 990 - I initially removed the feet that came with the deck but on reflection Kenwood got it right decades ago. The feet are composite, the threaded screw being brass making it easy to get the deck absolutely level and there is just a bit of damping used as well. These feet sit on 40mm pieces of slate which sit on a slab of 30mm polished slate which conned the deck that it's sitting on a slab of 70mm slate. The platter mat is I can also use the SME 3009 which would suit the Pickering. I've got a couple of other MM cartridges that could use a good retipper's services. 

 

I've been using an AT 33EV for some time and was going to buy an ART 9, however  the 33SA I think would be a better idea, seeing how little or no damage a Shibata diamond does to the vinyl walls. But first the Pickering.

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Missed saying this in my last post - the platter mat is original, very heavy composite rubber, any ringing which I doubt will be nullified by the Kenwood mat. 

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