To Garrett Hongo,
I very much enjoyed reading your review of the TW-Acustic Raven 10.5 tonearm. I was particularly interested in the sound comparisons you made with the latest Tri-Planer Mk.VII arm. You also made just a passing reference to the Graham Phantom Supreme. I would be very interested to know if you've had the opportunity to audition the Supreme, and if so, what your impressions were regarding how its sound stacked up against the 10.5s. I'm ready to purchase the Raven One table, but am trying to cobble together any information I can on the sound of the 10.5 and Supreme arms before ultimately deciding which to mate with the Raven One.
My principal concerns are having a sound that can project the kind of resolution and presence that illuminates nicely not just the foreground of the orchestra but also its rear-of-stage instruments. You've pretty much made it clear already to me that the 10.5/Raven combo does just that. I was able to surmise this from your reference to 6th-row sound in comparison to the mid-hall perspective of the Tri-Planar Mk.VII. Having heard the Tri-Planar before, I realized it did not resolve those rear-field instruments in a manner I prefer. It was as if significant information had been absorbed by a sponge, leaving me unsatisfied with its presentation. I'm curious if the Graham Phantom Supreme resolves like the 10.5, and whether or not it compares favorably with it along other lines. One other issue that concerns me is that while I want a somewhat closer, more involving sound that still retains a nice three-dimensional soundstage, I want to avoid an overly vivid, hot, and excessively analytical kind of sound -- I prefer something that's easy to listen to and relax with. I sincerely appreciate any insights or impressions you might be able to offer in the matter of TW-Acustic 10.5 versus Graham Phantom Supreme.
First of all, congratulations on your purchase of the TW-Acustic Raven One. I'm sure you'll be happy with it.
For the kind of help you need regarding comparing other tonearms to the TW-Acustic Raven 10.5 arm, I think you might be better off talking to a dealer about it. I've no experience with the Graham Phantom Supreme, actually, but Jeff Catalano of High Water Sound has. I'd talk to him. He's as knowledgeable as they come where tonearms are concerned.As for your re-characterization of my review comments in reference to the Tri-Planar vs. TW-A Raven -- no, I didn't quite say that, though I do believe the Raven tonearm to be more resolving and dynamically responsive. The Tri-Planar didn't "lose the back row of the orchestra" so much as present the sound as a pleasing, integrated whole. Perhaps I'm revising, but that's how I'd characterize things today. Thanks and good luck. . . . Garrett Hongo