Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

carboniferous
demetri_j
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Re: Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

Post by demetri_j » 26 Dec 2014 21:08

Hey all and especially moon unit. I picked this up and installed but messed around with the screw before realizing it was preset to then adjust the # of turns so I have no start reference point. I eventually turned it enough to get it dipped in the silicon but not sure how much. How deep in would you recommend it behttps://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/252 ... 457070.jpg
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/252 ... 411480.jpg

moon unit
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Re: Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

Post by moon unit » 27 Dec 2014 10:06

Hi demetri, nice to see that you were finally able to get one!

First of all, if Jacques did not send instructions for setting up the damper the information is here, about 3/4 of the way down: http://www.oracle-audio.com/imagesup/pr ... manual.pdf
Make sure to follow these instructions for proper placement of the clamp and damping trough.

This is going to be a lengthy post but I want to make sure you do everything properly.

The screw does not come preset for the correct position, if it looked that way it was just a coincidence. You need to start at the beginning again. Take a small piece of paper towel and fold it a few times to form a small pad. Pick up the tonearm and move it towards the flat part of the damper, lift it up and place the screw on top of the paper towel pad placed on top of the trough (slide it under the screw when you lift the tonearm) in a few different places to get rid of all the silicone near the tip of the screw . Back off the screw enough so that it does not touch the silicone when you set it on a record again, more than you think is enough. If you do not back it off enough you will have to start over again. After removing the anti-skate weight, set a flat record on the platter and now you are going to set your 0 (starting) point. Screw it down a little bit and see how close it gets to the silicone, if it doesn't get close screw it down a little more. Once you get close to the silicone, get out a magnifying glass and adjust it a very small amount (about 1/16 of a turn down) at a time (on the tonearm rest, never on the record) and set it down on the record. Now lift the tonearm and if you get a tiny wisp of silicone trailing off the screw you are at your 0 point. If not, keep adjusting it down 1/16 of a turn until that happens. This may sound like a pain in the ass but if you do it once you will do it very quickly and easily the next time.

I'm now going to assume you are at the 0 point and make a mental note of exactly where that is. The reason I call it the 0 point is that I don't go by fractions of a turn I look at it like the minutes on a clock - a 1/4 turn would be 15, 1/2 a turn would be 30, etc. IMO this is a more accurate and precise way of adjusting it. Differing from my initial review, I am now using 15 with my cartridge normally, on a record that lacks high frequencies I may dial it back to 5 or so and on a record that is too bright I may dial it down to 25 to take the edge off. Even if you back it off to the 0 point you will still have some damping as there will always be a little bit of silicone hanging off the screw. Most of the time I just leave it at 15 but it is so easy and quick to adjust (about the time it takes to put a record on the platter) that if a record calls for an adjustment I do it. This is for my cartridge though, yours might like different settings and you will have to experiment to find the settings that are most pleasing to your ears. For me, 15 gives most of the benefits of the damper without affecting the high frequencies at all and at 30 it kills the resonance completely but it may affect high frequencies a little (which can be a good thing with some records). To get it out of the damping to compare the sound with and without damping back it off a full turn from the 0 point to make sure that it is completely out.

What you should expect is a cleaned up presentation with better imaging and soundstaging, more precise and deeper low frequencies (listen to something with a double bass to see what I mean) and cleaner, clearer high frequencies - this is what damping the resonance inherit in these arms should do for you. The only negative I have found after using this for a while now is with significantly off center records, turning it down to say 30 might put undue stress on a cantilever as the tonearm doesn't want to move too quickly in either direction with the damping. I normally use 0 with these records and just start looking for a better copy.

IIRC you are using a Lyra Delos? Note that just the small increase in effective mass added by the clamp (even without damping) may help the Delos track better as it is better suited to medium mass tonearms than the very lightweight Pro-Ject CF arms. I recently installed one on my friend's Perspex with a 9cc Evo tonearm. He confirmed with Jacques that the damping kit will work on the Evo tonearm so he ordered one, it's sitting at his house now. After the New Year I will be stopping by to double check the alignment and install the damping kit. If I find that it needs significantly different settings than my cartridge I will get back with you. I will say one thing about the Delos: the stylus was so tiny that I couldn't see it in the mirror so I just set it parallel to the platter, expecting to adjust it after hooking it up to my Fozgometer. Not only were the crosstalk readings perfectly even on the first try but the channel balance was beyond perfect, it read below zero (the needle didn't even move) for the entire test track. I was super impressed with this cartridge and it's build quality. I will be looking seriously at Lyra cartridges when my Ortofon needs replacement (or maybe sooner :D ).

If you have any more questions let me know and once you've had some time to listen to your records with the damping make sure to post your impressions.

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Re: Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

Post by demetri_j » 28 Dec 2014 17:08

thanks for the info moon unit. Just a quick question, how much of the silicon should I pour in? The instructions say to fill 1/16" of the edge. Does that mean to fill it to the top minus 1/16" inch?

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Re: Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

Post by moon unit » 28 Dec 2014 19:49

Yes, fill it to 1/16" from the top.

Put in a bit less than you think at first and allow it to level out before you add any more. The first time I filled mine I didn't give it enough time to level out and ended up overfilling it.

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Re: Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

Post by Catcher10 » 31 Dec 2014 08:32

Wish they would make one for the 9c arms.......

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Re: Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

Post by misterdog » 16 Apr 2015 13:43

Just blagged myself an Xtension with a 10cc Evolution arm, I'm keen to try the silicone damping so I'm currently in the process of making one.

I used to have a 9c arm and as there is nowhere to fix the silicone bath (wire tonearm rest)
though you could fasten something to the plinth, but that would be a little on the large/clumsy looking side.

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Re: Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

Post by Budddhacide » 08 Jan 2017 02:23

I just found this post. I installed one of these today and am messing with it now. I didn't receive any instructions with mine, but I followed the instructions on the Oracle site. I found it a bit tricky to fit it. I found I had to tilt the clamp slightly towards the silicone to get it to go in. I also found it had to be finessed a bit, because at first it was causing skipping towards the end of the records. I think it's ok now though. Initial impression was great. Now im trying to fine tune it.

I do have a questio, how does the silicone handle dirt? I have a dog so there is a lot of stuff in the air. Do you think it would make a difference over time?

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Re: Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

Post by moon unit » 19 Jan 2017 04:56

I assume you installed this on a 9cc Evo. If so, I have to congratulate you for getting it to work. I tried to install this on a forum member's Perspex a couple of years ago and it simply wouldn't, the clamp hit the bearing housing 2/3 through a record and it also interfered with the proper placement of the trough. I decided that if the entire tonearm assembly was shifted towards the platter (the tonearm would rest close to the platter rather than straight ahead) that it would work but I haven't talked to him in a while and I'm not sure if he ever tried that out. Installation on a 9cc only takes about 5 minutes (not counting the calibration) and is super easy. It's possible that they have a modified version now for the Evo arm but I'm not sure.

I'm still using the original silicone from 5 years ago, as long as you keep the table covered when not in use you'll be fine. I add a drop or two to top up the trough maybe once a year as it tends to creep over time, spreading a very thin layer on the top of the trough around the cavity which I occasionally wipe clean. If you add any silicone you would then have to calibrate the 0 point again.

Funny, I noticed Oracle plagiarized some of my instructions above to Demetri in the link you provided in the other thread. Time to call my lawyer! Just kidding obviously, I'm glad that they thought the instructions were good enough to help new users calibrate the damper and Jacques is a super nice guy.

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Re: Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

Post by readargos » 19 Jan 2017 16:06

Could this kit be rigged to work on the 10cc EVO arm?

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Re: Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

Post by Budddhacide » 20 Jan 2017 03:05

moon unit wrote:I assume you installed this on a 9cc Evo. If so, I have to congratulate you for getting it to work. I tried to install this on a forum member's Perspex a couple of years ago and it simply wouldn't, the clamp hit the bearing housing 2/3 through a record and it also interfered with the proper placement of the trough. I decided that if the entire tonearm assembly was shifted towards the platter (the tonearm would rest close to the platter rather than straight ahead) that it would work but I haven't talked to him in a while and I'm not sure if he ever tried that out. Installation on a 9cc only takes about 5 minutes (not counting the calibration) and is super easy. It's possible that they have a modified version now for the Evo arm but I'm not sure.

I'm still using the original silicone from 5 years ago, as long as you keep the table covered when not in use you'll be fine. I add a drop or two to top up the trough maybe once a year as it tends to creep over time, spreading a very thin layer on the top of the trough around the cavity which I occasionally wipe clean. If you add any silicone you would then have to calibrate the 0 point again.

Funny, I noticed Oracle plagiarized some of my instructions above to Demetri in the link you provided in the other thread. Time to call my lawyer! Just kidding obviously, I'm glad that they thought the instructions were good enough to help new users calibrate the damper and Jacques is a super nice guy.
I noticed that about your description. I assumed you were connected in some way to Oracle, because you essentially wrote the instructions, lol.

So yes, I got it to work. Just took a bit of resetting things and trial and error. But it's perfect with no worries I can tell of. Even dampening through
the trough, sounds great.

https://s24.postimg.org/3p07e0dlh/20170119_214931.jpg

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Re: Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

Post by Budddhacide » 20 Jan 2017 22:04

readargos wrote:Could this kit be rigged to work on the 10cc EVO arm?
Hey, no they don't. They use a 9cc on one of their tables, and they use the project 9cc on it. It's a very worthy upgrade.

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Re: Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

Post by Big Al » 21 Jan 2017 09:21

Budddhacide wrote:
readargos wrote:Could this kit be rigged to work on the 10cc EVO arm?
Hey, no they don't. They use a 9cc on one of their tables, and they use the project 9cc on it. It's a very worthy upgrade.
Are you sure it wouldn't fit? If it fits on a 9 cc Evo as in the photo on the previous post, why wouldn't it fit the 10cc Evo too?

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Re: Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

Post by Budddhacide » 22 Jan 2017 06:05

They created it for their Paris line of tables, that use the 9cc project arm. So it's specifically engineered. It's also a very precise set up, was for me anyway. But that said, no I'm not positive. shoot them an email, or roll the dice. Does the 10cc differ in circumference?

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Re: Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

Post by perkypops » 03 May 2017 11:50

Last year following consultation between myself and Oracle I successfully fitted the damper to a 9cc Evolution as well as to two 9cc arms, one being an early version with a solid aluminium headshell and the other a recent version. The secret to success seems to be down to the standardisation of the hole sizes and their positions in the arm rest units supplied by Pro-ject which all now seem similar in size at least on 9 inch arms.

The damper has proved amazingly successful in cleaning up the entire audio bandwidth, but I would warn readers that I use a far from orthodox cartridge mounting technique largely to overcome the strange design of the arm tube mounting bases which are, in my opinion, a weakness of all Pro-ject arms.

The base design seems to increase the likelihood of imperfections in the alignment of the tonearm in respect of the turntable as significant restrictions (on certain t/t models) of VTA come into play. The whole base point of VTA is to have the cartridge aligned level to the playing surface (with visual accuracy) and the depth of certain cartridges and limits of clearance available with the arm tube made that impossible with my cartridge/arm combination. My solution was to design a spacer but that is a story for another day. I would just say that I believe the articles about VTA on the TNT website are very accurate descriptions of how to set up a system successfully.

Experimentation with the damper had demonstrated how important stylus azimuth setting is. Although azimuth may be as cartridge dependent as is VTA it still seems much more critical even allowing for vinyl imperfections which affect both. The different thicknesses and flatness of vinyl have a greater impact on VTA and azimuth than adjusting either to tenths or more of a millimetre. But listening for the sweetest spot on azimuth does become possible with the damper. Get it right on your flatest and most average thickness long player and all the rest you play will benefit.

In my system the sound with the damper applied is extraordinarily clear across the audio band with deep bass, precise and tuneful mid and never edgy (i.e. artificial) treble. You have a believable and precise location of voice(s), instruments, start and stop of notes, with depth and height. I still rate the Oracle damper as expensive for what it is, but when compared to spending £500 or more on a cartridge upgrade to get a better sound you could say it is much more economical. As for my system it makes my dirt cheap (but sadly no longer made) moving coil cartridge sound as good as those costing many thousands more; indeed most people cannot believe how good the reproduction is from vinyl when they hear it on my rather modest system.

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Re: Oracle silicone damping kit for 9cc arms

Post by misterdog » 31 May 2017 14:09

The question arrises, what is the damper doing ?.

All the Pro-ject Carbon fibre arms are very microphonic, try tapping them (arm held in hand ! ) with a finger nail or such. I can only assume that the silicone bath removes any such resonance.

I went for the cheap option with mine :D.

Adding a thin ring of Blu-tack between the arm cue and rest. This has had a very positive benefit, also increasing the effective mass of the arm, though I had to add more mass to the counterweight also.

I should add that I changed the phono leads whilst playing with the arm , so the reason for improvements were difficult to judge.

As the Blu-tack looks pants I am now going to replace it with clear self amalgamating silicone tape £6.

Next I am going to do an internal rewire with Silver in silk cable.

( Xtension 10CC Evo Ortofon Cadenza Black)