Well, it's done!
I preparation for the re-wire, I needed to take care of some nasty business beforehand involving trueing the flats on the mounting block. The sample arm I have has the block offset sufficiently to force either a shim, or raising the pillar several millimeters in order to obtain the correct VTA. Since neither solution was satisfactory, I set up my Unimat lathe as an end mill and trued the flats on the block, removing as little of the alloy as possible.
The results not only look good, but sound better. Removing the paint is, I think, the biggest structural change behind this, resulting in a considerable increase in micro-detail, with a pleasing oomph added to the upper bass spectrum, filling out the bass quite nicely.
With that done, I proceeded with the re-wire, beginning with the interconnect to the preamp. The Mission table you see in the photo uses RCA jacks to output the signal. Great from a convenience standpoint, but not very satisfactory from an electical one.
As this was my first attempt with the copper Litz, I proceed the way I would with normal teflon coated wire, but the results weren't satisfactory. Conventional wire spirals well and stays put with little effort, but the silk wrap resisted my attempts to spiral the wire strands. I've since concluded this wire must
Upon completing the IC portion of the wire, I now had a solid (if less than ideal) electrical connection between the 4 pin SIP and the preamp. Despite the loose winding of the strands within the shield, the replacement wire offered up a considerable increase in the stage, with a generous amount of atmosphere around each instrument. Despite this obvious improvement, the bass seemed a little lighter in the bottom end, and the treble, though more than adequate, had a more delicate, refined and silky texture compared to what I'm used to hearing.
In rewiring the arm itself, I followed standard proceedure in preparation, but added braiding to the routine to keep the wires closely spaced. This was my first time braiding anything since a time as a child at summer camp. It took awhile to descipher the intructions I found on the web, but after a few mis-starts, I found the braiding sequence quite straightforward and before long, the 'memory' was in my fingers. I abandoned my plans for the 5th wire as it a seemed an unnecessary complication.
The cartridge tags are scavenged from a db25 jack, trimmed and ground to a shorter length, and covered with colour coded shrink tubing to maintain tension on the cartidge pin and protect the wire at the joint.
The result? Well, it was certainly worthwhile! I have not heard better sound from a record. The 3 dimensional sense of space is incredible! The dynamics are very large and fast, and a certain amount of the bass that was lost in muddling the IC wiring seems to have been restored somewhat. The biggest unexpected benefit is with regards to continuous surface noise - it seems to have disappeared. Well, certainly reduced considerably compared to anytime previous.
I have to say that I'm hooked on braided Litz wiring. I expect to replace more wiring soon, beginning with redoing the IC portion of the signal chain. I expect this will restore the bass hammer to it's fullest impact.
Thanks for all your help!