Anyone have experience with Fidelity Research FR-54 & FR24 tonearms?

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by mjw21a, Oct 19, 2016.

  1. fiddlefye

    fiddlefye AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Mmmm... sweet.
     
  2. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

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    Looking good. I'm be keen to hear your thoughts on it performance when complete :)
     
  3. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

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    Ok, thought I'd update this thread. I completed my JVC QL7 turntable, and the FR54 is mated with it beautifully. I initially found the Denon DL103 a better match with it than my Hana EL..... I now have a Fidelity Research FR-1 Mk3 mounted on it an it makes the most glorious and natural sound that I've ever heard.

    The end result is that my living room system has surpassed the performance of the system in the man cave once more.

    I think I'll mount the Hana EL on the FR24 Mk2 on my Ariston RD110 SL. It always sounded better on that system anyway. The arm is lighter. :)
     
  4. jeremyjustic

    jeremyjustic Analog Subscriber

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    Man I have been lusting after a FR-1 MK3 for a while , how does it compare to the dl103?
     
  5. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

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    It absolutely anhilates it. Better in every possible way ;)
     
  6. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

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    To elaborate I'll copy and paste here what I've posted elsewhere ;)

    Post 1: Recieved my Fidelity Research FR-1 Mk3 today and I must say that this seems to be an enormous step up over anything else I've so far heard..... Its also revealed that I really really need to spend a day with my ultrasonic cleaner. It doesn't hide the condition of records like my Hana EL does. Every pop, click and tick is exposed on my dirtier recordings. Damn but it sounds impressive though. Initially I thought that it didn't seem to have the frequency extension of my Hana EL or Empire 4000 D/I though it seems that this was a limitation of the recording I was listening to. It is dynamic where the music is dynamic, laid back where its meant to be laid back, smooth and flowing yet punchy on percussion instruments. It seems to handle everything thrown at it effortlessly. All the details are there and can be heard individually though combine as they're meant to as a single cohesive piece of music..... I think I'm in love.....

    Heck, some of those recordings which have always sounded dead and lifeless have been brought to life and sound nice and three dimensional with this cart (Lenny Kravitz, Gary Moore). Furthermore those recordings that already sounded special remain so. This is one hell of a cart. Seems a fantastic match with my Fidelity Research FR54 tonearm.... I guess it aught to.... Same manufacturer.

    Post 2: It seems very clear and transparent, with that same "you are there at the performance" presence that my Empire 4000 D/I has. This is the best I've heard from my main system to date. It's managing to retrieve details from albums which neither of my two previous tip carts even hinted were there, and presents the music as its meant to be. It's the only cart I've used which can play Norah Jones voice completely free of distortion on the inside track over her "Come away with me" album. This is now, without doubt my top cart.
     
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  7. jeremyjustic

    jeremyjustic Analog Subscriber

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    Nice! I haven't read a bad thing about them, I was thiiiiis close to picking one up last month, hesitated and missed out. I won't make that mistake again. Thanks for the input!

    Oh and the table looks great! I love the mother of pearl , looks great!
     
  8. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

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    Mmmmm, I've been so impressed with it I've just purchased a FR-1 Mk3F with the silver coil windings ;)

    The FR-7 I recieved definitely needs a retip. Bad distortion. I'll send it to Garrot Brothers sometime. :(
     
  9. jeremyjustic

    jeremyjustic Analog Subscriber

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    Yeah the fr1 mk3f was the one I was looking for, the F signifies "flat" frequency response. The FR-7 is supposed to be the jewel of the FR cartridges, I would definitely get it retipped, I would be interested in hearing your comparison of the two. Man you really scored in the Fidelity Research department!
     
  10. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

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    No, turns out the seller listed a regular old FR-1 Mk3 as having silver coil windings.... I don't have the FR54 after all :(
     
  11. ElectaAmator

    ElectaAmator New Member

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    I'm trying to understand the bearing system of the FR54 arm which I'm mounting. Seems that I can lift the bearing housing a little upwards by about 1mm. This upper housing plate seems to swivel on the lower shaft plate. Would this upwards play be normal?

    I gently tightened the set screws a little on the outer shaft. However that seemed to lock the arm so it wouldn't swivel. Unless I'm mistaken, it swivels on ite horizontal axis making metal to metal contact between upper and lower plates.

    I normally use the FR64s which is completely sealed and has no upwards play in the housing.

    Cheers
     
  12. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

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    Seems odd to me. There is absolutely zero play on mine. You have a single thumb screw for VTA and adjust that to where you need it.

    For fitting you simply tighten the nut to affix to the plinth..... Apart from counter weight adjustments that's the extent of it with this arm. Very easy and simple to use provided it's all working as it should.

    CameraZOOM-20170305221232883.jpg
     
  13. ElectaAmator

    ElectaAmator New Member

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    Ok thanks, play seems to be the wrong word I guess. The upper pivot where it affixes the arm tube to control vertical movement, there is no play.

    It's just that I can lift the upper bearing housing from the lower by about a millimeter or so (where it rotates horizontally towards the record surface).

    I've attached a photo of the two surfaces I'm referring to. Looking at that, they swivel smoothly but by making metal to metal contact....that can't be the extent of the bearings?

    Cheers
    Ok
     

    Attached Files:

  14. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

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    I see. I just checked and mine has zero movement at all. I'm wondering whether your arm has been damaged at all? That's simply not normal for that arm. Mine has about 1mm clearance.
     
  15. ElectaAmator

    ElectaAmator New Member

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    Thanks for checking.
    Hmm, arm is a NOS which I've had packed up for almost a decade. By clearance, you mean that there is gap between the two surfaces where it sits or it can lift upwards by 1mm?
    Mine doesn't have that 1mm clearance and it looks like the two surfaces are mated together.

    Perhaps I should lift it up 1mm and lock it via the tiny set screws on the shaft.
    Will keep you guys updated :)
     
  16. ElectaAmator

    ElectaAmator New Member

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    Mystery solved!

    1 lifted it up by 1mm and tightened the two set screws on the shaft. Apparently came with the two screws Untightened. That's why the top and bottom mated to each other.

    Thanks
     

    Attached Files:

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  17. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

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    Awesome, look forward to hearing your impressions of this tonearm when it's up and running. I love mine :)
     
  18. MudSlideSlim

    MudSlideSlim AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Hi Matt

    I'm assuming or hoping that the FR 54 fit right into the JVC QL7 without modifications?

    I also own a JVC QL7 and a Kenwood KD750 which both seem to have identical geometry and was wondering if swaping tonearms would be a possibility for the mechanically challanged AKers like myself.
    I know you already have this set up but do you recall the diameter of the tone arm attachment hole?

    I'm also surprised that the DL103 was a better match then the Hana EL. I believe you once said that the Hana EL was better then anything in your collection of Denon DL. The deity is in the details. Great posts. Thanks for sharing.I learned a lot!

    Michael
     
  19. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

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    Yes, it was a direct swap on the QL7 with zero modifications. The Hana EL performs much better with the stock Victor UA-5045 tonearm, the DL103 on the FR54. The cartridges which really shine on that arm though is my Supex SD900 Super or Fidelity Research FR1 Mk3
     

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