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How good is a Grace 707 tonearm?

Discussion in 'audio' started by gerlando, Jun 17, 2015.

  1. gerlando

    gerlando pfm Member

    I'm looking for a tonearm for a Garrard 401 turntable.

    The armboard has a SME cut.

    I'm thinking on a vintage Grace 707 with SME adaptor plate I've seen on ebay.

    The cartridge will be an Ortofon Rondo Red.

    Aesthetically is perfect, but I don't know about the matching with MC cartridges.

    Otherwise, maybe a Rega RB300 fully modded and rewired (with adaptor) would be a safer choice?

  2. Darth Vader

    Darth Vader From the Dark Side

    I had the classic combo of G707 with Supex SD900 super MC cart. That latter I believe was the fore runner of the Troika.

    The 'S' on the Naim phono cards 323s and 523s I believe stood for Supex.


  3. pt109

    pt109 pfm Member

    Grace tonearms were designed in a time when cartridges were light with high compliance cantilevers.
    If you find an older Grace F-9 cartridge, you'll get good results. With the Rondo Red, I'd go with the Rega or a Jelco 750D.
    Hope this helps.
  4. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    I'm not sure how good it is by modern standards or even whether tonearm desgn has moved on from 40 years ago, but it was certainly regarded as the top of the shop on your LP12 back in the pre-Ittok day.

    I think your big concern is checking that it isn't worn or abused. To be fair tonearms have a fairly easy life, it's not like a 40 yr old car.
  5. gerlando

    gerlando pfm Member

    I would avoid too much old MM vintage design.
    I think actually MC cartridge far superior.
  6. gerlando

    gerlando pfm Member

    In general, it is better or worse than a SME 3009 II I own?
  7. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Probably slightly better but something like a Rega RB300 should thrash it.

    It should be remembered that Linn were the UK distributor for Grace at the time ;)
  8. colasblue

    colasblue pfm Member

    A friend of mind bought a used LP12 with grace arm and Supex cart when I was at Uni.

    I have to say I wasn't at all impressed by it. Very "Soft" sounding compared to the Linn arms which were the basic + and Ittock at the time.

    Very "1970's" in its presentation.

    I'd certainly go for a Rega over it without hesitation.
  9. abbydog

    abbydog pfm Member

    Linn used the Grace/Supex but allegedly felt the arm was the weak link when tri-amped Bricks came along, so they imported some Breuer arms. This supposedly led to the tick-tock and so on but all these events were more than 30 years ago now, so who knows.

    I have a red button LP12 with Grace built to 70s spec and it is warm and lovely and rather different sounding from decks today, especially with a 901E. Would I use one on a Linn for playing 70s rock - yes, sort of, given enough fond memories.

    On a 401, no thanks. Go for an SME/Ortofon SPU/301 for vintage sounds or something like a modern SME/Rega with contemporary cart for a later flavor.
  10. gerlando

    gerlando pfm Member

    thank you all!
  11. Dowser

    Dowser Learning to bodge again..

    I compared a 707 to a rewired RB250 - sold the Grace immediately, very poor resolution with both a Shure MM (75) & DL110 MC in comparison.
  12. S-Man

    S-Man Kinkless Tetrode Admirer

    Depends on the deck. My G707 sounds much better on my LP12 (with AT OC-7) than an OL modded RB250. However the Grace bearings need to be perfectly adjusted to sound its best.
  13. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    I got rid of my SME 3009 II and 3009 III for the same reasons.. soft, undynamic and poor resolution.

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