Anyone here with an MG-1 Tonearm? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


View Full Version : Anyone here with an MG-1 Tonearm?

03-17-2005, 08:04 AM
I stumbled across a discussion on another forum regarding this tomearm. Apparently it is a privately produced clone of the Air Tangent. So far, only one or two people have ventured into trying it. I've not found any negative reviews and I'm seriously considering getting one just because its so inexpensive.

One interesting comment was that the market for "Used" Air Tangents have dried up ($600-1000 on eBay) since this MG-1 was introduced to the market.

Anyone here have any experience with this thing?

03-25-2005, 10:32 AM
I've been searching the net and other forums for feedback on this item. There isn't much except on Audogon. A handful of guys have purchased them and I've not yet found any negative feedback from any of them.

Since I was considering a new tonearm anyways, I decided to purchase one. It was approximately the same price as a low end Rega RB250 arm without any mods.

Already I'm stumbling across DIYs who are building accessories for the air pump.

I'm currently using a Sumiko Profile tonearm with a Grado Platinum Wood high output cartridge. That will be my reference point from which to compare.

if anyone is interested, Ill post my impressions once its in place.

03-29-2005, 05:01 AM
so what's the deal with this pressurized air tonearms thing? what are the theoretical advantages (someone can also brief me on the advantages of linear tracking, and why it never caught on) and also, why aren't they more widespread?

03-29-2005, 12:02 PM
so what's the deal with this pressurized air tonearms thing? what are the theoretical advantages (someone can also brief me on the advantages of linear tracking, and why it never caught on) and also, why aren't they more widespread?

Eminent Technologies and Air Tangent are the two air bearing linear trackers I was familiar with. They were very VERY expensive and well beyond the reach of most audiophiles. I've never encountered a used ET arm for sale but I've seen Air Tangents on eBay occassionally for $600-1500 used. That's a fraction of the original cost but still more than most new tonearms available today.

The theoretical advantages( from my limited understanding) are numerous:
1. Original master is cut with a linear tool. So a pivot tonearm will have some tracking error when placed into the groove. The greatest error - depending on setup - would be in the extreme inner or outer edges of the record. A linear tracker will keep the needle angle in exact alignment with the grooves originally cut on the master.

2. The low mass tonearms and air bearing allows almost theoretical zero friction freedom of the arm to follow the grooves with a minimum of mechanical interference.

3. Linear trackers often allow easy changing of arms. This allows multiple arms setup with multiple cartridges on the same turntable. Just unplug and slide on the next arm.

There may be other advantages.

Anyone with more insight or experience will correct any inaccuracy in my assessment. I have no experience with one at all. But I will very soon. I just ordered onefrom Airtech.

03-31-2005, 08:01 AM
I received the tonearm yesterday.

I must comment that the packaging is incredible. It is handpacked, meticulously surrounded with foam, hand cut to accomodate each individual part. It is also double boxed and gaps filled with air bags. The creators attention to detail is obvious.

Looking at the individual components, the build quality is excellent. Finish is first rate, and the bearings on the VTA adjustment are super smooth. Again attention to details. Now that I have this in hand, it looks to be an very close copy of the Air Tangent arm which is 10X the cost.

This packaging came with mounting templates as well as cartridge alignment templates. All of them seem to be hand reproduced. Measurements and specifications are all laid out and detailed to confirm accuracy.

The air pump is third party and was packaged along with the tonearm in a seperate box. The entire package was enclosed in an even larger box.

I will be making a seperate armboard and installing this over the weekend. According to the documentation, the armboard base must be within 18-25mm from the top of the platter. The existing armboard puts me at 30mm. In addition, I don't want to hack my existing armboard/Sumiko tonearm so that I can reverse the setup if desired. I'll post pics when its done.

04-07-2005, 06:10 AM
I finally got this thing installed. It took a lot of time. It is very very sensitive to very small changes. I am still fine tuning and there is a miriad of adjustments and tweeks that can be made. With that said, even in this configuration, there is an amazing improvement using the same cartridge over my pivotal arm.

Instruments have moved forward or backwards in space making the soundstage larger. You can hear sound decay clearly as if there is an instrument in a large room. Another owner told me his setup will even track difficult passages that his other tonearms could not touch. Mine is not that well setup but I will continue tweeking.

For $299, this is an absolute bargain.
Click ths link for a picture of my setup if you are interested.

I've not found pubically advertised pricing on the other air bearing tonearms. But one guy told me the current Air Tangent is around $11000.

04-09-2005, 03:49 PM
out of curiosity, is that "super-quiet" pump of theirs really that quiet? can u hear it at all?

04-10-2005, 06:12 PM
out of curiosity, is that "super-quiet" pump of theirs really that quiet? can u hear it at all?

It's not that quiet. It is about the same noise level as a good Aquarium Pump. I installed it in the next room and ran the flexible tubing from there to my listening space. I can close the door and it insulates me from the sound of the pump.

I was told that the tubing acts to smooth the air flow delivery. So the extra length of tubing is not a bad thing.

04-28-2005, 10:29 AM
As a follow-up:
I cut a new armboard to better route the cables and pump hoses. This allowed me more flexibility and unlimited VTA adjustment.

I also moved the pivot point forward 4mm as I thought the template location put the cartridge dangerously close the the edge of the platter when in resting position. The extra 4mm gave me a little more peace of mind and did not deviate from the desired arm travel path.

I've now been able to set this up quickly and confidently.

My subjective observations.
1. There is amazing channel seperation.
2. This arm produces absolute silence in between tracks. I sometimes forget I'm playing an LP and use the CD Player remote!
3. The depth of background instruments is distinguishable from my listening position. This is especially true of delicate persussion instruments.
4. VTA can be adjusted by simply turning a knob. You can actually listen to the difference tracking angle makes and compare immediately. If your hand is steady, you can actually make the changes while an LP is in play.
5. This arm tracks difficult and warped records that were previously unplayable on my other table/arm combinations.

I use an ADC test record to adjust azimuth and VTF. This test LP allows me to confirm my initial settings, Misadjustments and tracking errors produce distortions when specific tracks are played. There is no anti-skating adjustment on a linear tracker and this arm is absolutely silent thru the antiskate tracks. Hypothetically, it is impossible to eliminate every distortion on every track with a pivotal tonearm. With the MG-1, I've been able to get every track absolutely silent.

After a year of ownership, the manufacturer sends the oil damping trough. I would be interested to know what improvements that makes on overall performance.