Here we have a selection of Terminator installations.
Vladan, Serbia. Turntable: SAM (Small Audio Manufacturer), model Aldebaran
This is the latest generation Salvation TT mounted on two slabs of black granite, decoupled with Herbie Labs products. Total weight apx 50 kg! Total awsomness!
Regards, mr N. Dahl, Norway
Hello Vic. Here are some pictures of my Terminator set-up on my Transrotor ZET1-machine. As you see I
took some liberties with the original mounting column. I just didn´t trust the Terminator fastened by
only one bolt, with the better part of it floating in the air. So I turned a solid aluminum pillar,
fitting the other parts of the ZET 1, polished it to a mirror finish and screwed the Terminator on top
of it. Now every thing for me seems to be ship-shape and rock-solid, even though Ì´m convinced that
I overdid it once again. But be that as ist may :the deed is done and Terminator is doing now, what it
has been designed for :making music !! And what a wonderful music it is now. My phono set-up so far was
not bad at all : Transrotor ZET1 with my well seasoned "Uccello Reference" MM system, my "Valvet"
Pre-Amp and my two "Valvet A3,5 Mark II" power mono-amps driving my two superb DIY-Duettas seemed to
mark the top of musical reproduction at an affordable price. I happily admit that your Terminator proved
me wrong. The musical accuratenes has reached a new level, even though your phono silver connects are not
burned in yet; bass comes rolling out into the room with enomous, yet well controlled power without any
booming, the trombones in Franz von Suppe´s "Leichte Kavallerie" suddenly show a truely majestic blast,
like those under the walls of Jericho must have had, and the violins in the same time-honoured piece are
clear like mountain crystals without any sting, and the cymbals trickle down like a silvery waterfall.
Tonal accurateness, superb speed, well balanced bass, voices and instruments like bolted down to their
positions: all this adds up to a the most musical and true-to-life-performance of a tonearm, I´ve heard
until now. And I doubt that I´ll will hear a better one; nor do I feel any need to look for one.
My résumé: this simple, - and well functioning things are often reduced to a brilliant simplicity -
and achaic-looking piece of aluminum does a splendid job. It is worth much more than its price tag tells
Garrard301 with a custom made base in solid mahogany and a Audio-Technica AT50ANV moving coil cartridge.
Tracking is perfect, dynamic is huge probably in pair with a master tape.
This is the purest sound I have heard on the audio market so far regardless its price.
SOund is so pure, dynamic and precise that it is hard to think of any CD player in the range of 20-25K that could get close to this performance.
I really love this arm and Vic is very nice to deal with.
My T3Pro has been set up & singing in the moment. Sounds great, thanks! I can hear the finest details that I didn't aware before, in terms of both end of frequency. The bass extension is even better & solid. My friends said, it is great purchase & I can't agree more.
"Terrfic. Detailed and dynamic."
Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy the Terminator. It takes a little getting used to in terms of adjusting things like azimuth and overhang but does allow very precise adjustments. Using a Soundsmith strainguage cartridge and after a great deal of listening and adjustment I can confidently say that I am experiencing the best quality sound ive ever heard in my home. I have used many other very high quality arms/cartridges such as Kuzma Airline, Schroeder Reference and Air Tangent. Cartrdiges such as Van den Hul Colibri, Komdo IO-M and ZYX UNIverse. Your arm produces the least colored sound and extracts the most information. With very careful setup I am now getting sound that is comparable to 15 IPS master tape dubs. Its that good.
Translation from French:
Now I have long listened to the terminator, and I can say with enthusiasm that I am particularly pleased with my purchase, as I have rarely been. I do not have much to add to the splendor of what sound saying his other owners may be outside the natural restoration on which we must insist. It's really a great arm.
But it has other important advantages:
First, it is probably the most friendly arms which are, indeed, for those like me who use several celulles, stereo, mono; 78rmp for reading with lateral or vertical ... etc, just to have the number tomahawks appropriate, adjust, and change takes less than a minute, I do not think there are other arms that can do that.
Secondly, we think a lot LP, but for 78rmp, reading tangential even more profitable than for LP, as if they were burning surface that often goes very far toward the center, the reading error is even worse for them But with the Terminator, it's a real pleasure to listen to his old waxes.
Terminator is a very big arm in terms of sound, but also because of its versatility.
"Denon DP-80 with New Plinth Designed and fabricated by me,consisting of 3/4" slate on top of 3 layers of 3/4"baltic birch,sitting on 4 blocks of 3/4" slate for feet,to which are attached the footers.A Solid Silver phono cable, similar to that as made by Vic at TransFi,made by Applied Fidelity,Reno Nevada.And of course the all important Terminator Pro,which to my hearing is the best tonearm money can buy,and I have pretty much heard them all on many tables.This combination of the Plinth and the Terminator Pro makes the DP80 really sing.I previously had the Terminator Pro on a DP 6000 with the old style arm,but added the Tomahawk to this new configuration,and the sound just opened up in all ranges,with a more solid and deeper bass,and better articulation in the mids and highs,with a soundstage having more depth and width."
Andy T. UK Scheu
Got the Terminator set up last night. Its not 100% set up yet and I
discovered one channel of my phono amp is playing up. That aside it really
was a WOW moment, quite unusual these days!
I wont bore you with details, you designed it so i am sure you already know.
I will say that no way will you be having it returned!
Alan, VPI-HRX, USA
Salvatore, Lenco, Italy
I admit I don?t have much experience with linear tracking arms, so I understand my thoughts must be taken with reservations. But, I listened to a lot of pivoted arms, and what I can say is that, once you install the Terminator, even without careful set up, you suddenly realize there's a lot of colorations -expecially in the midbass- you have been taking for granted for all your audiophile life. Simply, they aren?t there any more.
Along with this, the other huge improvement affects what HP would call ?continuousness?: that effortless, natural flowing of music that makes you believe, with certain small combos recordings, that you are actually listening to the real thing. It?s just a moment, I know, but it?s priceless.
Then, transparency: the music looks like jumping from a black curtain, like some electro-mechanical noise has been removed. Impressive.
Eventually, dynamics, micro and macro. Stunning. No other word can aptly describe what I heard.
Clearly, no other pivoted arm I heard can even approach this level of performance, let alone equal. What I found very interesting -although somewhat disconcerting- is that the only other arm I know which, even if to a much smaller degree, offers a performance that in some areas (continuousness, in particular) reminds what the Terminator can deliver, is the RS-A1. This can look strange, since the RS-A1, with its rotating headshell, actually tracks uncorrectly, which is exactly the opposite of what a linear-racking arm is supposed to do. I guess that the biggest benefits do not descend as much from correct tracking, as from eliminating centripetal and centrifugal/anti-skating forces issues, along with a much shorter effective length of the armwand.
As to installing and setting up, I feel it's much more difficult saying than doing: actually, once you understand the basic mechanical principles, both installation and VTA/tilting/level regulations are pretty straightforward. A big plus.
Summing up: if the Terminator would cost 3,000 euros, it would be a luxury that few could afford, but it would still be a bargain, 'cause it can easily stand up with the big boys, and even beat them. Since it costs less than one-fourth that price, it's unbelievable. Really.
John C., VPI, Cricklewood, London,UK
I met Vic about 8 months ago it was one of those happy chances that happen in life. Vic mentioned he made a arm and after listening to his system I thought be no harm for him to come round as I had a spare arm-board I was going to use when I got a Graham Phantom in the future.
At the time I had a VPI SME4 silver with a ZXY R100H Cart. This has now gone through a radical change and has morphed into a Super Scoutmaster with rim drive. The arm not only works well with the Scoutmaster but also looks good too!
Vic fitted the arm to new board he did this within30mins including removing the old arm board and having all aligned etc.
I have to admit the change was huge everything improved the whole sense of PRaT (Pace Rhythm and timing) had improved. I have rarely heard such difference made by one product even when I have moved to really exotic equipment.
There seems to be a special synergy between the ZXY and the Terminator which allows the music to flow no matter what you taste in music is. I tend to listen to a lot of Rock Fusion some Jazz and the odd piece of classical music the arm allows the energy and percussive attack of Al Di Meola to be fully experienced; yet it can do delicate well too Listening to Diana Krell through the arm allows her voice to come shinning through without any trace of Sibilance in all its beauty.
Over the time Vic has made many updates that have added a touch of class to how the arm looks; the carrier manifold has now chrome polished finish allowing for pump pressure to be set low I no longer hear the pump motor.
I have heard quite a few arms all costing between 3 to 6 times the price of the Terminator and have yet to hear a better arm. I guess the biggest compliment is as soon as people hear the arm they immediately are impressed by it and this has ended up in them buying the arm.
I think the arm is amazing value please bear in mind it totally destroys the SME silver wired 4 which is over 3 times its price and for me out performs arms like the Graham Phantom.
When I think about its design there are two main areas which I think make it sounds so good. Using the inverted slider allows the arm be placed closer to the platter, this allows for a shorter arm decreasing resonance and the use of a blade bearing keeping friction to a minimum.
In my opinion they are few really true giant killers in the world of audio, this is one of the best arms made regardless of price.
Adam P., SL110, Boulder, CO,USA
I started getting back into vinyl a year ago. Since then I have experienced several exponential rises in sound quality. The first was switching from a project tonearm to a rega rb 250 with counterweight mod. The second was switching from solid state to valve amps. The third was getting the terminator tonearm. While the rb 250 sounded great, the terminator tonearm is a massive leap forward. The soundstage and depth of the music is greatly improved. The vocals project from the speakers. The sound is consistent across the whole record from start to finish, unlike a pivoted arm where sometimes it sounds great and other times not so great. This tonearm extracts every nuance from the grooves of the vinyl and lays it out there for you. This tonearm draws you into it's grasp, and you don't want to leave.
PatrickD., Garrard301, UK
This is a 1956/7 grease bearing Garrard 301 which recently replaced an LP12/Ekos2/Troika/Lingo2 setup. The 30mm Welsh slate plinth is a work in progress, and replaced a 36mm marine ply plinth decoupled with squash balls.
I initially tried the 301 with a Rega RB250 arm, rewired and with an upgraded stub and counterweight (using the same AT33-PTG cartridge) and was impressed with its wide soundstage, metronomic timing and dynamics. On switching to the Terminator arm, at first I though it was less dynamic than the Rega, before I realised that the dynamics were actually the same, there was just so much more of the midband.
The arm is a doodle to set-up and use, and tracks beautifully from the first to the last groove (well, it's all one groove but you know what I mean!).
So, would I go back to the Linn? No chance!
Contact through me: email@example.com
Jerry S., VPI Scout, USA
Simon C., Lenco, Australia
I?m new to vinyl, but the combination of my turntable with this arm has made me want to sit down and listen to music a lot more than I used to. It is worth my time and money starting a new collection in vinyl. Any new album?s I buy will be vinyl if possible.
IainB., MicroSeiki, London, UK
'When my terminator arm was installed I had the pleasure of meeting Vic
in person. The arm set up is fairly straightforward and I've located
the pump out of the room. The arm has no 'hiss' and tracks perfectly
with my AT-OC9 and across the whole LP which is my personal plus point
with this arm. The sound quality is as good as I had hoped and after
over a month of use would have no hesitation in recommending a
Saffier, Teres, Nederlands
The sound of the Terminator is just incredible. In fact I do not listen to CD anymore, well only in my car. The sound is so natural and flowing. The distortion is so low that it has a great emotional impact on me as a music lover. The operation and setup of the arm is straight foreward and easy. This arm VTA has a major impact on the sound, more so than with my previous tuned SME 3009R arm. Probably because the distortion is so low on the Terminator. The sound stage is just floating in the air and is rock solid in position, no walking around soundstage. Surface noise is almost gone, well I do need to get a record cleaner now to get rid of the last occasional pops and ticks. Air noise from the Terminator is just unaudible.
The Terminator unravels complex music and makes it more easy on the brain to get it in as a whole, just like a good acoustic concert.
Bass is just kicking in with authority without getting lumpy and thick. Your arm is top!
Mike Greene, USA
It's still early days, but I am not sure I have heard bass like this out of any tonearm. Just to be clear, my system is a little bass heavy - the last thing I would want is more wooly upper and mid bass. As a matter of fact, I was a little worried about this after reading he review but this is clear, low, articulate bass that does not interfere with the other registers.
Clive M., Garrard 301, Manchester, UK
I reviewed the Terminator for Enjoy the Music over a considerable period and still have the arm on my deck 6 months later. The arm will not be swapped out anytime soon. The performance of the arm is right up with the very best and the price is right down at the level of very mediocre arms. Quite simply a stunning piece of kit. Pivoted arms just seem "wrong" now.
Marcial, Project, Chile
Kevin M., Acoustic Solid One, France
I'm a classical music/Opera fan and a fairly regular (work allowing) concert goer. I'm also a keen collector of classical vinyl and have a collection running to about 3000+ albums (bought another 60 second-hand albums today).
We dont have a TV at home but do have various musical Instruments. My wife and kids, between them, play the piano, cello, violin and flute. I'm surrounded by live music and that makes owning an artificial means of making music a challenge as I have the real thing to compare It with.
Over the last 30 years i've had various record playing systems and my goal has always been to try and recreate the sound I hear at the Opera/concert, at home.
Working In Singapore allowed me to listen to a variety of "high end" systems. An afternoon listening to a Rockport Sirius was a big mistake.I suffered withdrawal symptoms for weeks and it was the kiss of death for my beloved 3 motor Voyd/Helius Cylene.
I travelled to Germany to buy an e bay "will not post, buyer must collect" Acoustic Solid "Solid One" with a Rega RB600 Included (suitable for teenage offspring use). I tried various SME (great bass average midrange and treble), Hadcock (very nice) and Rega (mediocre) arms but nothing had that effortlessly dynamic, sort of clean low distortion but vibrant sound that I had heard from the Rockport. I despaired but a review of the air bearing terminator arm In enjoy-the-music.com got me thinking...Could a cheap-as-chips arm fitted to my Solid One sound even remotely like a Rockport? Took the plunge and did the 30 day trial or return.
The RB600 makes the Acoustic Solid sound like It's worth the £1200 I paid for It but that's about all. The terminator makes the Acoustic Solid sound like It's worth every bit of the £4000 It would have cost new. There was that kind of effortless, dynamic, clean/uncluttered, tonally rich very listenable sound I remembered from the $70,000 record player! There was the almost Inky black background and lack of surface noise.
Can my Solid One/terminator compare with a Sirius?
Who cares. The point Is It's cured my withdrawal symptoms because I'm not aware of anything lacking and that's good enough for me!
All the best Vic and you can have your arm back over my dead body, Kevin
Andy P. . Oxford. UK Technics SP10
The terminator parallel tracking arm - Was a breeze to set up my on SP10mk11 it made my previous arm, a well respected £1000 radial arm, sound badly blurred and fluffy. I love the fact that since getting a Terminator I dont need to worry any more if my cartridge is tracking optimally - Perfect tracking is a given.The additional detail and focus that Vic's arm brings to my system is extremely significant and means that I can easier than ever before concentrate on listening to the skill of musicians.
Antonio, Micro-Seiki, Italy
Steve, Garrard 401, UK
And it's (tonearm) fantastic. It seriously blows my old O/L counterweight modded RB250 out of the water. I know you still think it's boring, but classical stuff sounds gorgeous on it (and the difference at the end of sides really shows what I was missing before). There have been quite a number of evenings where "I'll just listen to a bit of music" turns into "Where did that evening go?", and that is probably the best complement.
Jack, SP10, UK
Peter, UK, ClearAudio
Well the arm was set-up and working within 15 minutes - with the Allaerts in place.
The sound, well what can I say. More detail, more dynamics, more focus - which means much more enjoyment.
And, at last the turntable sounds better than the CD player again.
The trouble is, I now just want to go through my lp collection and listen to them all !
Gareth, UK, Technics SL1210
Some expensive CDPs can often pick apart a loved recording and proccess it in such a way that it becomes an unlistenable facsimilie of a cherished tune. On first listening, the Terminator seems to be doing the same thing. But there is no proccessing here, No circuit boards or chipsets, just a perfectly tracking stylus. What becomes clear is that a good recording sounds incredible and that some titles, that previously seemed a little lifeless, can either be lifted towards greatness or utterly defrocked as the Lazy, poorly mastered mess of an LP they truely are. Good or Bad recordings simply cannot hide from your stylus, and when the Terminator explores the groove the results can often be a revelatory experience - either way! A truly excellent product.
I bought Vic?s arm after reading about it on the Enjoy the Music website, where it received a Best of the Year 2008 award. Installation was easy and the arm immediately revealed the strengths and weaknesses of my entire analogue front-end. The Terminator gets out of the way by truthfully reproducing the musical information that is contained in the grooves of a vinyl record, thereby allowing the cartridge and your phono stage to play out their own strengths. The Terminator conveys musical information in an honest mode and any noise on your records, such as crackling from scratches, is not perceived anymore as affecting the sound quality, but rather as incidental noise without effect on the sound itself from your vinyl record. There are no tracking errors or other distortions caused by skating forces. What you hear is what your cartridge and your amplifiers produce and this will allow you to listen to your analogue source in an unencumbered and tremendously uncoloured way. For me the question which tone arm to chose is solved in an amazingly straightforward and tangential manner.
Nobu, VPI, Japan
Bigger sound stage, 3 dimensional image and crystal clear
tone. The attacks sparkle in the air. It's really amazing.
Roy, 401-Granite Plinth, Singapore
I had to write and tell you what an outstanding job you did on this giant killer tonearm. It is not only one of your best, but ranks in top 1 or 2 of the best tonearms I've ever listen( and I've used half a dozen of them). I really couldn't have asked for anything more.....it kept me up listening late into the night.
Amr., Acoustic Solid, Germany
Mounting the T2 was much easier than I expected, so I can really say that all people telling me to keep my distance from a tangential tonearm because of complex handling have to be quiet ... it takes more time to set up compared to a pivot, but is not more complicated.
I spent the whole Sunday listening and comparing T2 with an old Grado Reference Gold/ Scheu Classic 12", with Denon DL-103 / Origin Live Encounter & Nagaoka MP 200. I still did not buy a phono cable for T2, so I used a 2,5m (!) Sommer Polaris cabling for trial and connected it with a small Lehmann Black Cube Statement. The Scheu 12" is fully symmetrical cabled with XLR connected to an Aqvox preamp, the Origin Live (which is supposed to be one the best tonearm bargains nowadays) with Van den Hul cabling + bullet plugs connected to Aqvox's RCA's.
What I can say? My surprise can't be any bigger! Although T2 has the cabling and preamp handicap compared to the 2 other tonearms, Terminator sounded better in each way. No matter if I played Jazz, Rock, Classical, Electronica ... T2 had the much better sound-staging, dynamics and depth ... your tonearm does not just play vinyl, it embraces vinyl - there is so much musicality in here.
My search for speakers ended when I found Robert Bastanis PROMETHEUS open baffles; my tonearm search has ended too: TERMINATOR 2 is a lifetime keeper.
I can't wait until my T2 is married with Bastanis HEARTBEAT cabling and a good MM or MC. Thank you Vic ... I hope the so-called High End world will find out, that you don't have to spend thousands of bucks to receive an amazing tonearm and not to forget ... your amazing personal support.
Colin UK, Nottingham Analogue