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awty

Karmadon Viscous damped unipivot tonearms

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Hi all

Karmadon is a small cottage turntable repair business in the Ukraine, run by a fellow by the name of Serge.  He also make a few components as well as some tonearms. 

 

He has been making copies of the old Gray 108's and 208's and has recently develop his own design based on the latter. He release the 9" version a few months ago and ever since I have wanted one, niggling him to when the 12 would be available . The 12"  was ready last week and I put my order in and it arrived on Thursday. :)

 

Was well packaged and the arm is very well built.

 

I have no prior experience with Unipivot arms, but they look easy enough to set up (has detailed instructions), not much in the way of moving parts.

 

I think they look  gorgeous and would suit any old idlers or others.

 

Very reasonably priced to http://www.karmadon.net/shop-2-2/

 

http://www.karmadon.net/

 

Serge is very good at returning emails and his English language skills are better than mine.....thats not hard :unsure: .

 

Anyway, need to install it and have a listen I guess.

 

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Looks very nice so far Paul, keep us posted with progress photos.

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Excellent resource, thanks. Very reasonable prices too.

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Hopefully I'll have it running this afternoon.

 

Heres a short vid from Serge

 

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I like the vibration damping ceramic balls, USD 100 for 4, a lot cheaper than symposium and I would love to hear the difference. Great find, keep us posted.

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I have never seen anyone place the needle on the record like that. Amazing!!!!

Is that the dampening oil effect?

Unipivots can wobble all over the place but that one seems so stable. Who needs an arm lifter?

Hopefully I'll have it running this afternoon.

Heres a short vid from Serge

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSrkqVNF9OY

Edited by brownemi

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Hopefully I'll have it running this afternoon

 

will be interested in seeing how you find it, sound wise and setting up etc. :thumb:

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I have never seen anyone place the needle on the record like that. Amazing!!!!

Is that the dampening oil effect?

Unipivots can wobble all over the place but that one seems so stable. Who needs an arm lifter?

Well tempered arms also acted like that due to the damping fluid. It is a real balancing act getting the right amount of damping fluid contact, much like any damping fluid arm, SME, graham.

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Only half way there, had to do some work on the TT, then a few adjustments to the tonearm pod. The flange is huge, well 70mm.

 

It has a low center of gravity, the pin is higher than the wand and counter weight,  even with no fluid it doesn't seem to wobble , seems to be very well balanced.

 

Yes as guru said its about getting the right adjustments. The instructions state that you adjust the top pin to get it right once the oil level is correct. Should take 1-2 seconds for thestylus to make contact from a level position.

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Yeah! its up and running.

 

Bloody fiddly, had to do a heap of swearing, dont like it when there is no detachable head shell......when I say fiddly its probably mostly due to me not having experience with this type of arm and not making it easy for me to set up......paranoid about damaging the stylus.

 

Its sounding very good, will need to spend a bit of time analyzing, some times takes awhile to pick up on problems.

 

The silicone fluid is very thick and sticky, has the consistency and texture of thick  molasses, there's a drop on the side of the syringe that has traveling down the side at about 1cm an hour.

 

It was wobbly to begin with once I screwed down the seating screw. With the fluid it isnt very wobbly, levels quickly.

 

Adjusting the VTF is fiddly, hard to move in small increments. Im only a 1.7g

 

Azimuth is leveled by twisting the counter weight,.......I think? (well seems to work that way, will need to check it being consistent over the record),  easy if not for the level faling off.

 

VTA is straight forwards. I wrapped the pillar with some electrical tape, so I could keep the level mark, while taking it on and off for wiring and stuff.

 

Havent been able to slow the drop rate, not sure what Im doing wrong. Will contact Serge.

 

Also need something to clean up the silicone?

 

Seems to track fine, wires dont inhibit movement, seems to work fine with out anti-skate........but really need to evaluate that.

 

Anyhow, 24 hours with out a TT I need to catch up on some music.

 

Will post some pics and a better evolution in days to come. :)

Edited by awty

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Please write in more listening result of the arm as compare to your present reference so that we could have a better picture of the performance wise of the actual arm.

I might afraid an overtly damped arm might kill the microscale details and liveliness of the music.

Anyway I might base on your review either or not to proceed to purchase one of this.

Edited by Mikemaxcel

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Mmm, sorry - one major problem with the arm, IMO, is that the counterweight is at the same vertical height as the arm tube. :(

 

Advantages result from the arm stub which holds the counterweight being lower than the arm tube.

 

On Duc's "Univector" (which I have), the counterweight is centered about 15mm lower than the arm tube.

 

Andy

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Mmm, sorry - one major problem with the arm, IMO, is that the counterweight is at the same vertical height as the arm tube. :(

 

Advantages result from the arm stub which holds the counterweight being lower than the arm tube.

 

On Duc's "Univector" (which I have), the counterweight is centered about 15mm lower than the arm tube.

 

Andy

 

Hi Andy

 

The cartridge mount is raised slightly, the tube is tapered the count weight is under slung. The bottom of the counter weight is about 6mm lower than the record surface (on my current set up).  So I would imagine it has a low center of gravity, just achieves it differently.

 

The Karmadon is based on the Gray 108, cost about $600. I would imagine the Univector is more versatile and more refined and more expensive.

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Please write in more listening result of the arm as compare to your present reference so that we could have a better picture of the performance wise of the actual arm.

I might afraid an overtly damped arm might kill the microscale details and liveliness of the music.

Anyway I might base on your review either or not to proceed to purchase one of this.

 

Wow Mike I was just looking for this thread last night, thinking I should update it, but I thought I should give it a bit more time and you bumped it up.

 

The amount of dampening is easy adjustable. The dampening in the film clip is a little over the top, its recommended to drop between 1 & 2 seconds from a 25mm drop. You dont have to push it down.

 

Once I had everything set up to suite the cartridge, the sounds is very good, all detail seems to be there and there is good separation between instruments. May need a bit more fine tuning,

Had made an adapter and just fitted it on Sunday, so it would sit better on my tonearm pod, also added another shim to make the cartridge heavier to get a 2.3g VTF , which seems to of improved the sound, was tracking lighter but I had more dampening.

 

I dont really have anything to comparable to compare it to, just a few budget arms (very modified rega 301, ortofon as 212, grace 707 and even lesser arms)   it certainly does a better job with my Rondo Blue than any of those. Tracks extremely well, all my other would have issues with anti skate, this arm has no anti skate and hasnt skipped a beat. The only record it has jumped on was a very badly warped LP and it would land in the same grove every time. I cant hear any distortion even in the run out groove.

 

I would imagine it was best suited to the more lower compliance cartridges as it is a high mass arm.

 

Will do more testing as I think I have it close to where it should be and will update latter when I have more time .

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I know Karmadon from one ukrainian forum. He is really has golden hands. 

 

Yes there is doubt to the quality of workmanship. I actually built my last turntable with this tonearm in mind, saw the prototype and loved it.

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