Is the Acoustical Systems Axiom Tonearm the Modern Fidelity Research or Ikeda?

dctom

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bonzo75

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Is the damping you mention in the actual arm tube or via external troughs with fluid, à la sme etc?

Hi that should be a question for Shakti
 

Ron Resnick

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Dear Tang,

Did you have somebody install and align the Axiom on your turntable, or did you do that yourself?
 

Tango

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Dear Tang,

Did you have somebody install and align the Axiom on your turntable, or did you do that yourself?

I didnt do it myself. Dietrich of Acoustical System came intalled it for me.

Tang
 

Ron Resnick

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Great, Tang!
 

byrdparis

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the acoustical systems arms are fairly self explain to set up, further more dietrich wrote a very thoughtful and vast manual to set them up easily.
(im a former Aquilar owner)
 

shakti

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Just saw this thread, mentioning my name sometimes, so I like to give a comment.
D Brakemaier has a huge and long lasting expertise with FR and Ikeda arms, so I am very much interestes about the comparison to his own development, the Axiom arm.

When I use the word „dampened“ for the latest version of Ikeda arm, I originally like to say, that the newest Ikeda 407 development is combining different metals in a way, that an effective resonance control is given . This resonance control can result in a more „dead“ sound to some carts, other carts (like SPU) benefit from the materials choosen.
The resonance control of the FR64s/Fr66s is much less effective, so some carts , with no fuerher need of additional damping/resonace control can benefit from this and play very lifelike.
Others do get a kind of „ringing“ and need some additional rubber on the arm to play
(like SPU)
The first Ikeda 407 arm had a steel tonearmwand as well, so very close to FR66s.

I never had access to an axiom arm and I am very much interested to get some first hand experiance!

I am reading the compatible Cart list, and I am thinking „whow“ as some of this carts mostly like different tonearms to be paird in the best way.
 

shakti

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....I never had access to an axiom arm and I am very much interested to get some first hand experiance!

I am reading the compatible Cart list, and I am thinking „whow“ as some of this carts mostly like different tonearms to be paird in the best way.


Within this week (hopefully) my recently ordered Axiom tonearm will arrive.
(D Brakemeier is getting very busy in this Corona times...)

I am very interested to compare the Axiom to my Glanz 124 or the old Ikeda 407 (solid steel armwand) or the FR64s tonearms.

I ordered the Axiom in 12", with fixed headshell and fixed tonearm cable in Leica black. Hopefully one of my AF3P tonearm bases can be customized to host the Axiom, it seems, that only a M5 is needed and that all the necessary tools are coming with the tonearm.
 

Ron Resnick

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I will be very interested in your comparison of the Axiom to the Ikeda!
 
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shakti

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I will be very interested in your comparison of the Axiom to the Ikeda!

just found out, that "Audioquattr" is one step ahead, having the chrome Ikeda 407, the big Reed and the Axiom on his AF3P :)

36635-6fa92fc3089731c5e3102a6722cd035f.jpg
 
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Tango

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djsina2

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Hopefully one of my AF3P tonearm bases can be customized to host the Axiom, it seems, that only a M5 is needed and that all the necessary tools are coming with the tonearm.

AS makes a SME adapter plate, if you happen to have a SME base.
 
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mtemur

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I am very interested to compare the Axiom to my Glanz 124 or the old Ikeda 407 (solid steel armwand) or the FR64s tonearms.
I spent some time with Axiom, Ikeda and SAT. for me Axiom is a smooth and dynamic sounding tonearm. it's hard to achieve both of them at the same time. I think it'll match the dynamic presentation of Glanz but better overall. I think it's one of the best tonearms around together with SAT.

Hopefully one of my AF3P tonearm bases can be customized to host the Axiom, it seems, that only a M5 is needed and that all the necessary tools are coming with the tonearm.
that's right it's easy to install and you don't need anything else.
 
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shakti

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After some days with the Axiom, I like to share some thoughts and experience :

Prior to any listening, the fitting starts :)

The Axiom comes in a nice alloy case, everything has his place.

Reading the manual explains, the a M5 in 233mm is needed.

Dietrich Brakemeier sent me the SME adapter plate as well, so I had 3 choices:

- alloy 9' SME Basis (TechDAS AFV design) , to be used with the AS SME adapter
- alloy 12" Ikeda base (TechDAS AF3 design), space enough to drill the M5
- Micro Seiki AX6G Gunmetal base with already drilled M5 (originally for a tonearm rest)

So I called Dietrich to ask for advice. He explained, that the sound conductivity of gunmetal is higher than of alloy and that he would prefer for the Axiom the Gunmetal version, followed by the more massive alloy base and at last the usage of the adapter plate.

I liked this advice, as no need for drilling :)

The Axiom comes with 3 different solids steel spacers to get the correct base height to match the turntable platter height.

The spacer has 2 different sides, one with a small ring to increase the pressure in direction of the AX6G and to improve the energy transfer. The other side is flat and will become the surface for the 3 adjusting spikes.

On every turntable the tolerances of the parallelism of the platter surface and the arm base surface ist important and mostly not 100% given.

If you add the length of a 12" Tonearmbase plus the length of a 12" arm as such, you will see, that even 1/100 of a mm surface tolerance can become a serious adjustment situation for the Azimuth. As the Azimuth is in most tonearm Designs easy to fine-tune, the bearing of the Tonearm still "sees" this tolerance.

To my knowledge the Axiom provides on this matter a unique solution. Around the M5 screw are 3 spikes placed.
With the supplied spirit level it is now possible to tune the Axiom in the best parallel way, so that the bearing can move with minimal resistance.

Dietrich definitely prefers to reduce the forces to the bearing, so he likes, that even the tonearm tube as such is fitted in a parallel way only. All adjustments to the cartridge should be done on that place, where the cartridge is fitted, means the Axiom headshell can be used for the VTA optimization as well.


Following the instruction, the Axiom was fitted fast and straight forward. Like many "good old times" tonearms , the Axiom comes with lateral weights as well. It is possible to choose between 2 material in different weight to compensate different cartridge weights.

The counterweight come with 2 additional parts to increase the weight as well. An interesting fine tuning is now possible.
Every Cartridge (needle/cantilever, rubbering) assembly has its own spring constant, which can partly be seen in the compliance as well. You can balance a cartridge with a light counterweight and a bigger distance to the bearing or with a heavy counterweight close to the bearing point. This will change the parameters of the tonearm in a way, that a best match to the cartridge is possible.

70% of the VTF is static and to be done with the position of the counterweight. 30% of the VTF can be fine tuned with a magnet mechanism.

I am very sensible to VTF adjustments and I like, that with the Axiom this can be fine tuned during playing, so very easy to hear the "best" VTF. Antiskating is similar and can also be done during play.

Very special is the Axiom Antiskating. The Antiskating forces to the diamond of the cartridge are not constant over the radius of the platter. But nearly all tonearms only allow to adjust a constant force, which than is linear over the radius.

The Axiom provides a design feature, which is a dynamic Antiskating over the radius of the platter.

To work in the best way, the starting point needs to be defined. Installing of the Axiom has one parameter more, than other tonearms: The Distance between the headshell and the outer ring of the LP should be in the region of 8,5 cm.

My Axiom was ordered with a continues wire from headshell to XLR connector.

As first cartridge I have chosen the Mutech Hayabusa, as I know the cartridge very well and in different tone arms.

The Axiom comes with a full set of adjusting material, following the unique geometry of the AS AXIOM.

As you can see on the picture, a lot of parts need to be assembled to start the perfect placement of the cartridge.

But I could not wait to have the material assembled, so I only used the correct zero point .
Starting point of listening was all measurable on specification, means full parallel und VTF on midpoint of spec.

Now I am listening :)

And will describe later my first listening impressions.



IMG_4342.jpg IMG_4350.jpg IMG_4344.jpg IMG_4347.jpg IMG_4348.jpg IMG_4358.jpg IMG_4357.jpg
 

advanced101

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Can't wait to hear your comparisons between the arms.
 

PeterA

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The counterweight come with 2 additional parts to increase the weight as well. An interesting fine tuning is now possible.
Every Cartridge (needle/cantilever, rubbering) assembly has its own spring constant, which can partly be seen in the compliance as well. You can balance a cartridge with a light counterweight and a bigger distance to the bearing or with a heavy counterweight close to the bearing point. This will change the parameters of the tonearm in a way, that a best match to the cartridge is possible.

70% of the VTF is static and to be done with the position of the counterweight. 30% of the VTF can be fine tuned with a magnet mechanism.

I am very sensible to VTF adjustments and I like, that with the Axiom this can be fine tuned during playing, so very easy to hear the "best" VTF. Antiskating is similar and can also be done during play.

Very special is the Axiom Antiskating. The Antiskating forces to the diamond of the cartridge are not constant over the radius of the platter. But nearly all tonearms only allow to adjust a constant force, which than is linear over the radius.

The Axiom provides a design feature, which is a dynamic Antiskating over the radius of the platter.

To work in the best way, the starting point needs to be defined. Installing of the Axiom has one parameter more, than other tonearms: The Distance between the headshell and the outer ring of the LP should be in the region of 8,5 cm.

Shakti, Thank you for sharing these wonderful details about this arm. It certainly seems well engineered and executed. I look forward to reading your listening impressions later.

My newer SME arm does also have some of these features. Once can select between dynamic or static VTF, or some combination of the two, based on listening. I prefer the static force as I hear the dynamic force as too damped. The sound is not as lively, but the images and bass are more focused and "tight". Dynamic force (damped spring loaded) does help with severely warped records. The antiskating force is also applied with a damped spring, so I guess that is dynamic. SME also specifies a distance of the headshell to the outer edge of the record, so I do not think these are unique features to the Axiom.

I do think the VTA and azimuth adjustment at the headshell are unique and should have advantages as long as there are not compromises to rigidity caused by the design and many adjustments. I suspect not as it looks very well designed. Adjustability is usually an advantage. I also like the option of using more weight further from the pivot and comparing that sound to less weight closer to the pivot. SME does this too, at least with my V-12. Finally, I like what looks like the stylus being in line with the arm tube as a result of the offset headshell design. That is clever too. It looks like there is a lot of good design in this arm.

There are many features to like with the Axiom. I hope you share your impressions of the comparison with your SME 3012R. Congratulations. That is an excellent looking turntable/arm set up.
 
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shakti

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My newer SME arm does also have some of these features. Once can select between dynamic or static VTF, or some combination of the two, based on listening. I prefer the static force as I hear the dynamic force as too damped. The sound is not as lively, but the images and bass are more focused and "tight". Dynamic force (damped spring loaded) does help with severely warped records. The antiskating force is also applied with a damped spring, so I guess that is dynamic. SME also specifies a distance of the headshell to the outer edge of the record, so I do not think these are unique features to the Axiom.

comparing the two Arms, SME V12 and Axiom, I see the following similarities and differences in VTF and Antiskating.

- SME and Axiom adjust both the static element of VTF with the counterweight position, fine tune is possible with the counterweight weight as such.

- SME is adding the dynamic element of VTF with a spring, similar to FR or Ikeda or Rega.
So you have the resonance of the spring being added to the construction. If you run a vacuum platter, so with flat record, mostly it sounds better to use only the counterweight for best VTF.

- Axiom has a magnet construction to add the needed VTF, so no mechanical contact at all.


- similar with Antiskating, SME (and many others) have a spring to add a Antiskating force. A spring has a constant force, if used in the area of the material specification. Again, a mechanic contact is given. SME needs to specify the distance of headshell and record to ensure, that the spring is used within the specification.

- Axiom is using an adjustable magnet and a kind of curved counterpart to fine tune the Antiskating over the radius with no mechanical contact. Axioms needs to specify the distance of headshell and record to ensure, that the magnet follows the specified correction curve over the radius of the LP

anyhow, both arms are great engineering and do make fun in fitting and using.
 
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