My 1969 AR XA to be marcmorinized

american simplicity
derspankster
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My 1969 AR XA to be marcmorinized

Post by derspankster » 08 Jan 2019 15:18

Finally took the short drive to Marc Morin's home yesterday to drop off my old basically stock AR XA for the full Morin treatment. Enjoyed the time spent with Marc talking about the upgrades - which included listening to his Magnapans and his fully upgraded XA/Grado combo. Unfortunately, I was on a fairly tight schedule yesterday and had to get back home. That guy is a wealth of knowledge. Anxious to get my table back, I know I'm going to thoroughly enjoy it.

fscl
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Re: My 1969 AR XA to be marcmorinized

Post by fscl » 08 Jan 2019 18:02

Let us know how you like the AR after being (bamorin)ed and post here along with pictures ...... :-k

Marc, used to live here on VE and IIRC, what is in parenthesis above, was his screen name.

Adding a cueing system...... :-k

Fred

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Re: My 1969 AR XA to be marcmorinized

Post by derspankster » 08 Jan 2019 18:07

fscl wrote:
08 Jan 2019 18:02
Let us know how you like the AR after being (bamorin)ed and post here along with pictures ...... :-k

Marc, used to live here on VE and IIRC, what is in parenthesis above, was his screen name.

Adding a cueing system...... :-k

Fred
Yes, we talked a bit about his time on VE. I will certainly review the results of his work and provide some pictures as well.

der

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Re: My 1969 AR XA to be marcmorinized

Post by noisefreq » 09 Jan 2019 16:19

That's great news, Der.
My morinified AR is the best sounding turntable I've personally ever experienced.

And I believe you have been a AR owner for quite some time.
I look forward to hearing your impressions from someone who really knows the base line.

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Re: My 1969 AR XA to be marcmorinized

Post by derspankster » 09 Jan 2019 16:31

noisefreq wrote:
09 Jan 2019 16:19
That's great news, Der.
My morinified AR is the best sounding turntable I've personally ever experienced.

And I believe you have been a AR owner for quite some time.
I look forward to hearing your impressions from someone who really knows the base line.
Yes, the table I took to Marc was purchased by me in 1969 if my foggy memory serves me right. I haven't used it for a bit but I've listened to it for thousands of hours over the years. I definitely am looking forward to it's return. It will be my main table then. AR XA's are so sweet with Grados with jazz.

der

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Re: My 1969 AR XA to be marcmorinized

Post by bra10n » 11 Jan 2019 09:23

Congratulations Der,

I wait for your impressions on it's return.

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Re: My 1969 AR XA to be marcmorinized

Post by derspankster » 14 Jan 2019 15:22

Marc sent me an email to say that my table is done. I'm driving down tomorrow to audition it and bring it home. I'm taking a few favorite records with me to play. I plan on listening to both my Grado Black 2 and my Grado Gold 2.

I will post some pics but I believe most of the work done may not be apparent in photographs. We'll see.

More later,
der

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Re: My 1969 AR XA to be marcmorinized

Post by derspankster » 16 Jan 2019 16:04

I picked up my table from Marc yesterday. We don't live far apart. I took a couple of albums that I am familiar with along to audition. We listened to both my Grado Black2 and Gold2. It sounds terrific. I got it home and leveled and set it up with the Gold2. Had time to listen to a couple of records with my system. I have not heard better vinyl reproduction in my home with my system. The Grados were already very quiet in the groove and now they are even more so. And, the thing tracks unbelievably well. Some of my old, noisy jazz albums from the 60's and 70's are so much quieter now.

I'll follow up with a listing of what was done and some pictures as well. However, a lot of what was done won't be apparent in a photograph. There are plenty of pictures of the spring, perch, and mass loading that does out there so I won't bother with trying to photograph that.

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Re: My 1969 AR XA to be marcmorinized

Post by 1200y3 » 18 Jan 2019 08:35

So you're working with the original arm, he rebuilt with new bearings and head shell, etc.?

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Re: My 1969 AR XA to be marcmorinized

Post by derspankster » 18 Jan 2019 14:36

Here's a listing of what was done;

arm rebuild, ruby pivots, rewire, new wand with SME type bayonet
motor service, tear down, clean and lube
mass load spin balance pulley
subchassis and subplatter service
suspension change to heavy rate springs, new perches and mass loading
modify and strengthen tone arm rest
New belt

So yes, Marc rebuild and rewired the existing arm. Install a new S shaped wand with a standard SME type bayonet mount so I can use any universal head shell.

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Re: My 1969 AR XA to be marcmorinized

Post by noisefreq » 18 Jan 2019 18:02

I bet he dampened the arm tube as well.

Mine came back perfectly aligned in the pivot block, so headshell swaps are a snap.

Did you keep the original wire bridge or go with female RCAs installed in the base?

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Re: My 1969 AR XA to be marcmorinized

Post by derspankster » 18 Jan 2019 18:23

Yes, the wand was dampened. I had already installed female RCA's several years ago. We used those with the new tonearm wiring, which was really needed. I would have liked to have switched to a XB tonearm rest but Marc didn't have one and I couldn't find one. He did modify the old XA mount to make it stronger though.

I haven't really swapped headshells at home yet but Marc and I did listen to both my Black2 and Gold2 at his place. They're mounted on identical headshells.

The only time I use the original dust cover is when the cleaning lady comes. Because of the height of the finger lift on the Ortofon SH-4 headshells that I use, the dustcover no longer fits. I think I can modify the dustcover to make it work. It's not a showstopper since I rarely use it anyway.

By the way, Marc had to add 3 1/2 ounce weights on the counterweight to make up for the increase weight of the new wand and the SH-4 headshells. The Ortofons weight a bit over 9 grams while the plastic AR's are about 7 grams.

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Re: My 1969 AR XA to be marcmorinized

Post by noisefreq » 18 Jan 2019 18:47

I had a similar issue when I had a guy over on AK make me a XB style rest.
It was too tall for the original dust cover because the XBs top plate is inset into the base, I didn't realize this at the time.
So I started using a clear acrylic cover I had made for my 1229. It fits fine and I like the clear cover look better anyway.

I've been on the search for a quality headshell in the 5-7 gram area.
Those cheapies on eBay seem to work ok but I'd like something that's a little more substantial.
IMG_20190118_114636.jpg
(242.04 KiB) Downloaded 91 times
I believe this one weighs in at 6.2g.

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Re: My 1969 AR XA to be marcmorinized

Post by derspankster » 18 Jan 2019 21:02

Yes, Marc was using a black headshell similar to the one you pictured on his XA. I forgot to ask him what it was. He also had added weight to his counterweight. He gave me the name of a guy in Texas (I believe) that can make a heavier counterweight for you.

I've bought a couple of cheapo headshells on ebay with little luck. The Ortofons are good but they could be a couple of grams lighter for this particular application.

I was amused to find that Marc uses the same device to clean dust off records before he plays them as I do. I've never made mention of it on this forum because I figured I'd be ridiculed. What with $1,000+ speaker wires and the such. At any rate, I've never found anything better for removing dust from my records than a Swiffer duster that you dust around the house with. I was surprised to find that Marc uses the same thing. Works great!

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Re: My 1969 AR XA to be marcmorinized

Post by noisefreq » 18 Jan 2019 23:58

I've got a buddy that swears by that.
I'm afaid I would accidentally catch it on the stylus.
I'm good with my Discwasher and carbon fiber.

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