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Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

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Re: Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

Postby JonP » 27 Jan 2012 13:37

Yes, the information I received was from an official Oracle dealer who in turn received it from the official distributer. The information I got, although wrong, was quite emphatic. I trust the dealer 100% as I am a long term customer of them and the dealer is 100% honest. So it looks like the distributer fed him mis-information. Why, I cannot say. The bearing / gimble comments might have some element of truth to them, however. I thought I saw a picture once of a Paris variant that did actually have an evolution arm on it and not the standard one. Whether that was a one-off custom order one or a limited production one, I'm not sure, but the evo arms do have better bearings I believe. I was, however, definitely suspicious about the trough being integrated, but not having seen these arms to touch and hold, I was not in a position to argue. Whilst the reviews I had read of the Paris did all show what appeared to be a normal 9cc arm with Oracle printed on it, it did (does) sound plausible that Oracle might have asked for the higher quality evo bearings to be fitted to it. But the quality of the bearings never seemed like a plausible reason the inclusion of otherwise of the damping.

I did ring Oracle directly and they say they will send me informatin on how to obtain the kit. I get this feeling the wheels turn very slowly at Oracle. Hopefully some time before the end of 2012 I might just receive this kit after all. And given that it seems the only way to get them is direct from the company, I am now anticipating a seriously long wait (whoever answered the phone at Oracle mentioned 150 emails and they don't seem to be specifically geared up to handle consumer level transactions or have anyone there dedicated to selling these things).

I suspect you are going to be the only source of feedback regarding the efficacy of this kit for quite some time - I think you are quite a few months ahead of the rest of us!

Still, in more news, my custom phono stage to amp cable has been delayed (company built the wrong type), so I am in for quite a long wait before I can enjoy the benefit of all these upgrades. I'd been hoping I might be able to get back into enjoying my music by the beginning of the Australian Autumn, but that is looking pretty tenuous now!
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Re: Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

Postby moon unit » 27 Jan 2012 22:55

The Paris uses the 9cc tonearm, not the 9cc Evolution. The pre-production units (for photos) were fitted with Evo tonearms but they decided to go with the 9cc for the production models. The Evo does not have better bearings, they are the same, it does howerver use a more substantial bearing housing. The 9cc with damping has far better resonance control than any stock Evo arm.

Yes, the wheels do turn very slowly at Oracle as they are a currently a very small company. I am still waiting for my kit...

150 emails? I should be getting a commission check (along with waynefi)! :D


Also, I do have a lengthy answer/opinion on your tracking problem, If you want to hear it send me a PM and I wil get to it over the weekend. I don't want this thread to turn into a two person discussion.
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Re: Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

Postby JonP » 02 Feb 2012 00:05

I just thought I had better update this thread and this will be my last contribution to it. I received an email from Oracle today stating that the kit is not available. No reason was given as to why this is the case. There was an additional comment indicating that it may be available "maybe in 6 months", however to be honest, reading between the lines, I think I am going to write the possibility of this upgrade off.

So I have now had one major distributor say that the kit is not available period and Oracle being wishy-washy about if and when it will come out.

Other readers of this thread and interested parties can make their own decisions about the kit, but my feeling (unsubstantiated but it is my intuitive feeling) is that some sort of policy decision has been made about restricting the availability of this kit for one reason or another. I think I could come up with some very plausible scenarios as to what has transpired but I will keep them to myself.

Sorry to have made such inconsistent posts in this thread but I have just been reporting things as I heard them. I've gotton quite sick of the yes / no / yes / no stuff I am hearing and you guys are no doubt sick of reading my writings about it (though no one is to blame for all of this except me). So you won't hear anything more from me about it, either on the forums or in PMs.

So for anyone still interested, no point in emailing Oracle, their distributers or dealers about it.

Sorry again, but at least the situation has been made clear now and I can go on using the equipment I currently have in it's existing configuration. I'd wanted the kit before I started transcribing my LP collection to high resolution digital, but I'm not prepared to hold off for something that I personally doubt will now happen.
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Re: Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

Postby moon unit » 03 Feb 2012 00:34

I received confirmation today that my kit was shipped out early last week and it should be here any day.

Why they are saying the kit is not available now could be for a few different reasons:

It may be a policy decision and/or pressure from distributors/reatailers. It was always Oracles intention to offer this kit for other tables with the 9cc arm and I believe they will.

The more likely reason is that they simply did not anticipate the amount of requests for these parts and do not have many in stock. As Jon said, they had received 150 emails/requests for the kit when he called. It is also possible that there is a larger demand for the Paris turntable than anticipated and they need the parts to complete their own tables. This could be why they are saying six months.

If anybody else is considering purchasing this kit I would go ahead and send an email. you have nothing to lose. Maybe they are only supplying Canada/ United States currently?

Regardless, I will post my impressions once I fit the parts to the table and have some time to thoroughly test it out.
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Re: Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

Postby moon unit » 05 Feb 2012 09:18

Received the kit yesterday, includes all the parts needed for proper fitment and a diagram giving measurements for where the clamp should be placed. Parts look very easy to install and well made. The delrin clamp is very light in weight and it should not be necessary to change your counterweight.

Will try to give it a thorough test and post my impressions this week.

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Re: Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

Postby moon unit » 08 Feb 2012 07:06

I fitted the kit today and had a few hours to listen.

As I said before, the parts are very well made and fit to perfection, there was a lot of thought put into the design. This is not some paper clip into an empty tuna can damper, it matches the table perfectly and looks like it was designed by Pro-Ject to be a part of all 9cc tonearms. One minor "problem" was that I am using the 80g counterweight (8g-11g carts) with a 10.5g cart and the clamp forced me to move it back to balance out the arm. It works, and the counterweight is fairly secure but not as secure as before though. I may add some weight to it or may go ahead and order the 95g counterweight, they're relatively inexpensive. Didn't seem to affect the sound.

I put in the "goo" and gave it some time to settle down. I thought by looking at the syringe that it might only be good for one "fill-up" but turns out it should be good for several. I adjusted the screw until it just touched the silicone and gave it a listen, it sounded very good and I was confident that it sounded better than before. Adjusted the screw a half turn it and gave it another listen. Better than the with the screw just touching imo, more lowbass to midbass detail, instruments stood out more and sounstaging seemed better. There may have been the slightest reduction in high frequency info but it was tough to tell, it was extremely minute. Adjusted the screw one full turn and it still sounded very good, but I could definitely hear a small loss of high frequency detail.

I settled on the screw half a turn in, mind you this was after several back to back comparisions in all positions to decide what I liked best. I put on side two of Eric Clapton "unplugged" and gave it a listen. This is the 2LP Warner release and although it was digitally recorded it stands with the very best of my analog recordings. It sounded great but it sounded great before I fitted the clamp (several days before), never the less I thought it sounded "more" great. I next backed the screw out one full turn to get it fully out of the silicone and played the same side. What happened??? I've always thought that you can hear what you've lost much more clearly than what you've gained, and here was the proof. Everything sounded pulled back as if the soundstage had shrunk to a shadow of what it was. The piano, which was perfectly delineated and prominent had pulled back and sounded lower in volume, now just a background instrument by comparision. The superb detail of the lower bass to midbass was gone. Everything just sounded smaller and less involving than before.

I went back to the screw just touching and listened again. Much much better, 95% of the goodness was back. Turned the screw a half turn in and it was even better. Oddly, the biggest difference was heard in the last track, I can't say the cartridge was tracking better because it always tracked superbly before but that's the only thing that really makes sense. The background seems much "blacker" than before but I'm not sure if it was a reduction in the noise floor or if it was the soundstaging, which brought everything to the fore. I put in another album that has a "pinch warp" which caused my cartridge to visibly jump up and down quickly (but never leaving the record) and I would always get some extreme woofer movement from my midbass driver (very easy to see as it is Kevlar) when turned up in volume. Much less now and I felt I could turn the volume up without worrying about damaging the speakers. This is proof that the damper is attenuating resonance. Actually this entire test is proof that resonance from the subsonic region well up into the lower treble is being attenuated and "cleaned up."

Was this as big a step as going from the supplied Blue Point No. 2 to the Ortofon Rondo Blue? No. Was it as big a step as going from a Pro-Ject Phono Box SE II to an Avid Pulsus? No. Those differences were obvious the second they were installed, the damper took a back to back listen to clearly show exactly what had changed. I feel now that the damper is showing what the cartridge and phono stage are fully capable of, much more so than the stock 9cc arm. Well worth the the $175 price and if I knew what it was going to do beforehand I would have payed more.

As with everything, your experience may vary, but if you are running a very good cartridge and a great phono stage through a revealing system you should come up with the same results as I did. I always considered the 9cc to be a very good arm but with some reservations (poor resonance control). With the damper I now consider it a superb arm. Maybe not an SME V (or better) but likely not that far off. Yes, I just said that. :shock:
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Re: Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

Postby moon unit » 12 Feb 2012 11:39

I wanted to post a few pictures of the damping device in case anybody is wondering how it fits to the table.

I've spent some more time listening and I have to say that this is truly a must have item if you are running a 9cc or 9cc Evo arm with a good cart and phono stage. I have listened to several albums now with the damper fitted and the better a recording is, the more effect it has to the sound. LPs that I thought sounded "perfect" and could not get any better suddenly sound substandard after listening to them with the damper and then backing it out of the silicone, there is a substantial degradation in sound quality. Besides the soundstaging mentioned above, the biggest difference has to be in the bass. It is now so precise, deep and true to the instruments that I was astounded. Without the damper there is more overall bass (due to the resonance in the arm) but it is indistinct and weak in comparision.

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Re: Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

Postby moon unit » 19 Feb 2012 09:55

Update on availabilty:

I was told by Jacques that the damper kit is only available to North American customers at this time.


Contact Jacques directly for instructions on ordering:

Jacques Riendeau
Oracle Audio Technologies
819-864-0480
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Re: Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

Postby Jim C » 01 Mar 2012 01:58

I have had the damping kit for about a week now ,vary impressive I must say.Installation is to easy 2 or 3 minutes no joking. Record leedin with screw backed out of silicon noticeable rumble,screw about a thread into it rumble is eliminated,no smearing of low freq ,mids and highs also seem to be more precise.Sound stage has more focus ,pitch black back ground .What more can I say ,this is a no brainer up grade.Hats off to the Oracle team. All the best Jim
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Re: Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

Postby Jim C » 01 Mar 2012 02:15

Hi again I should have mentioned that I'm using the largest counter weight(95grm)
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Re: Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

Postby frenchmon » 02 Mar 2012 01:41

Dang...to bad you cant use it on the 9c arm.
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Re: Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

Postby moon unit » 04 Mar 2012 09:10

Hi Jim,

For reference, what table and cart are you running?
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Re: Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

Postby Jim C » 04 Mar 2012 13:22

I'm running a 5.1 with the Ortofon Bronze ,Tizo Acrylic 38mm platter,Xperience sorbothane footers..
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Re: Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

Postby frenchmon » 04 Mar 2012 14:19

Jim...which 5.1...Pro-Ject are Music Hall?
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Re: Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

Postby frenchmon » 04 Mar 2012 14:26

Besides the headshell being aluminum on the 9c, the only other thing is the tonearm mass being 11g for the 9c and 8.5 for the 9cc. Do you guys think that makes a difference?
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