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Naim ARO vs OL Conqueror tonearm

Discussion in 'audio' started by Pani, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. Pani

    Pani pfm Member

    Choosing between these two tonearms. I have a decent offer on both of these but as always it is not possible to listen to them on my system. Turntable is a Verdier, preference is lively, good PRAT, tone and dynamics. I use a good mix of old and new records. I dont intend to use very low compliance carts, just medium compliance.

    I know the ARO has a very good reputation but where does it stand with today's top tonearms like a Origin Live Conqueror or a Graham Phantom ?
  2. sq225917

    sq225917 situation engineer

    Strictly speaking you are limited with the Aro to using carts that have the same stylus to bolt offset distance as Linn cartridges, otherwise it will never align 'perfectly'. It reality most carts hover around the 8mm distance so work suitably well.
  3. Mignun

    Mignun pfm Member

    SQ, it's not a problem if you have an adjustable armboard or base. Arguably a better idea than a slotted headshell anyway (SME would agree, hence why they don't like slotted headshells), although much depends on the structural integrity of the armboard or adjustable base in question.
  4. manicatel

    manicatel pfm Member

    From (distant) memory, the two arms sound quite different.
    The Aro rolls off at both frequency extremes & sounds a bit "softer" if that makes sense.
    It concentrates on having a great mid-range, complimenting the traditional Naim strengths.
    The OL has stronger, deeper bass end, maybe with more "grip" & looks like a battleship compared to the simpler, minimal looking Aro.
    I'm not familiar with the Verdier & so can't say much about how it would work/synergy etc.


    good post matt

    ARO is a wonderful sounding, sounds great on an LP12 and IME even better on a DPS. I wouldn't put it in the premier league though, not by a long chalk. Even purely on resolution alone it falls some way short of the Reeds, Grahams, Triplanars, Shroeders, DV507's etc. of this world.
  6. sq225917

    sq225917 situation engineer

    That rather ignores the fact that you have no user ability to adjust the offset at the headshell, just the 'absolute offset' via adjusting the spindle to pivot distance on the arm- which isn't the same thing at all. It's a nice fudge, but hardly a fully flexible solution.

    IMO you need adjustable spindle to pivot distance and cartridge offset adjustment to align any arm and cart combo correctly, losing one of those adjustment somewhat limits the potential success.
  7. John Channing

    John Channing fruit box forever

    The Aro is the World's best tonearm when you are trying to flog them second hand for £1400...;-)
  8. John Channing

    John Channing fruit box forever

    I've not had enough experience of any of those arms to comment about whether they are better than the Naim Aro, most though are far more complicated which is not necessarily a good thing. In my opinion, the Aro is a triumph of "the simplest thing that could work" and if you accept that it was designed to work with specific decks and cartrideges there are few better.

    I've fancied a DV507 for a long time, but never owned the deck to put one on. It looks so cool, particularly in black and I reckon the Dynavector DV500 turntable could be something really special.

    Based purely on the content of their websites, Reed looks the most interesting. They actually explain tonearm theory in some detail and have it correct, which is surprisingly rare. I wonder if it would work on the LP12...

    YNWOAN 100% Analogue

    Lotus, to read your post, you make it sound as though you actually have first hand experience of any of those, apparently, better arms!


    Well I have, apart from the DV that is.

    In point of fact, I have actually been checking out quite a few tonearms of late for personal reasons and I actually have something arriving here shortly as well for keeps. :)

    Surely you're not just having a dig here because I hurt your feelings ? I am sure you would agree that even in the world of Lp12's an Ekos SE will comfortably outperform an ARO in various areas even if you don't take to the scottish arm's particular fingerprint.


    Ha ha ... :D

    There is an ad out there at the moment I believe describing it as the worlds best tonearm but that's not me and I've never referred to it as such.
  12. Markus S

    Markus S 41 - 29

    Pani, as you know, I ran the Aro on a Verdier for some years. It's a fine combination. However, someone I know and whose ears I trust did a comparison between the Aro and the Conqueror (not on a Verdier) and thinks the Conqueror is significantly better.
  13. Pani

    Pani pfm Member

    Oh, thanks for that bit of information. Would you know which TT he was using ?
    I remember reading your stereophile review, you ended up saying that the ARO lacks a little in the deep bass and higher highs. Is it a significantly observable thing about ARO compared to other arms ?

    The one reason why I am worried is, I have tried couple of new age arms (two were unipivots) and they all seemed to sound a bit "modern", I mean even on vintage recordings the vintage-ness was lacking, things sounded clean but a bit robbed off the classic warmth which is there on the recording. ARO, being from the older generation seems to get that right, how about the conqueror ?

    Generally speaking, I have a feeling that just like TTs and cartridges are voiced for certain era of vinyls, even tonearms are subjected to such voicing. Am I wrong ?
  14. Pani

    Pani pfm Member

    BTW, I listen to at least 50% vintage recordings, out of which half is from 50s and 60s and other half from 70s and early 80s. And I listen to a lot of classic rock, rock n roll, pop and old jazz. That is one reason why I bought a Verdier. It seemed to do both old and new recordings good justice but now the tonearm and cartridge selection seems critical to get the Verdier to do what I bought it for.
  15. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member


    Have you (a) thought of going to a 12" arm on your Verdier, and (b) considered arms that are out of the limelight; e.g. N.A. Ace Anna?

    I've been pleasantly surprised by my transition from 9" SME V to 12" Ace Anna, although, to be fair, the latter is on a Dais and the former was on an Orbe. Regardless, I'll not be reverting to a 9" again !

    I believe the A.A. is a bit more massy than the norm (which suits my Koetsu, it seems), so if you have a top VdH, for example, ignore this advice. I do believe in 'orses for courses' and it's your cart. you should start with as a basis of arm comparison, i.m.o.
  16. Pani

    Pani pfm Member

    Mike my current tonearm is a SME 3012 S2 (12") :). I am trying to upgrade from it to a more lively arm. Somehow SME sounds a bit dark and slow with Verdier.
  17. Pani

    Pani pfm Member

    How about a Jelco 12" arm ?
  18. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    From my own experience (limited) and those of more knowledgeable members of this forum, 12" doesn't make for 'lively' compared to 9". The extra length bestows other virtues. Again, maybe it's the incompatibility of the 3012 with your cart. causing an imbalance of presentation.

    I had a 3012 (maybe very different to your incarnation, however) in 1969/70, but they were supposed to go with m/m cart's then (Shures, mostly), and wouldn't have suited a modern low compliance m/c cart., I would have thought.

    Maybe an SME Five-twelve would do the trick; it would certainly float my boat !:)


    10.5 Reed 3P
  20. afewbeers

    afewbeers more sense than money

    I'd be tempted to buy both and sell the one you don't like..

    Unless they are coming from a dealer and he can fit both to the turntable for you to audition.

    It's worth remembering that a turntable is a complex interaction of many parts. Something that works well on one, may be less suitable on another.

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