Johnny7 has kindly let me borrow 2 of his arms, the Award Winning PU7 and also his all new Uni-7, a unipivot design, which shares a lot of components with the PU7, namely armtube, headshell , wiring and a few other bits.
He supplies 2 set up video files for his arms, and these make setting up a doddle.
Being a Unipivot there are a few differences in setting up compared to my AO250, but are really quite easy to do.
Firstly, before setting up, i made sure my Spacedeck was level, and got the right 222mm bearing to spindle distance.
Also, i made sure the armboard and arm tube itself was level completely, as this does throw out allignment and all other things holy in Turntable adjustment.
Once levelled, It was time to set up the Cart (A Denon DL304 low output mc). Again, this was easy, as i had a protractor, scales and a cart fitting kit. There is a small hole in the front of the headshell that the stylus needs to line up with, and this will correspond right down onto the allignment guage/protractor.
When done, the cart was aligned using the protractor, and also weighed using the digital scales, remembering the scales are slightly higher than an LP when it`s stiing on the platter. This will throw the cart weight out slightly, and the cart will weigh lighter when the cantilever is on the LP....only slighly, but does make a difference. The cart optimum tracking force is 1.2-1.4 gramme, so it was set at around 1.3.
Alignment and azimuth where also set spot on, as again, this is essential.
Once done, it was time to have a fiddle with the antiskate. After trying for what seemed a day, i could not get the arm to lower perfectly vertically, it was always pulling to the outside of the record... not good. After a bit of headscratching, i had a feeling the antiskate weight was a tad too heavy, and after a phone call the Johnny, he told me the arm was set up for antiskate using a denon dl104, which tracks at nearly twice the force of my 304. Bingo! indeed it was too heavy for the 304.
Johnny always sets his arms up for the clients cartridges, hence my headshell weight on my AO250 for my DL304.
Bearing in mind the heavy weight for the anti skate, i disconnected it completely for my DL304, and now the arm is perfect.
Now onto listening. I am not a fan of Unipivots in general, to me , they tend to rob the sound of dynamics and slam, in favour of smoothness.
While slightly true in the respect of the Uni-7, dynamics where softened slightly, but what a gorgeous, lush, detailed and expansive sound..... it`s halfway between a gimbal and a Unipivot to these ears, and makes everything soooo smooooth while retaining all the shimmer. It fills the room with sound , with a wide soundstage and while not as pinpoint as my AO250, or not as brightly lit or dynamic, it trounces it for musicality and "breathyness". My system is very dynamic, using 6c33c valves in SET configuration, so i don`t feel robbed of dynamics compared to a lot of other "soft valve amps", but adding in the Uni-7 has given greater music. Also, the arm is deathly quiet, it subdues some of the slight crackles i have on some older charity shop vinyl, but retains detail.......
Another cracking arm, and i will definitely be adding one of these to go with my other Audio Origami arm... Johnny certainly knows his onions ....................
bolox, meant to put this in reviews......
Nice write up. I really like that protractor he supplies too. Very easy to use and with the Lofgren position particularly, it always seems to give me a very good result.