Author Topic: Upgrade Path 01- AR XA  (Read 307 times)

Offline Moukz

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Upgrade Path 01- AR XA
« on: September 29, 2017, 07:49:40 AM »
Hi fellow members

I am quite new here, so excuse the noob queries to come.

So I bought a stock AR XA a while back. I liked the way it sounded, and especially the minimal circuitry involved in its design.

As with a lot of these turntables the top metal plate's finish had become faded over time. It almost looked corroded.

I decided to strip it and start restoring it.
I stripped the paint and powder coated it glossy black.
I also treated the wood, however this needs more work.

Currently it is just standing, I still need to solder the arm's wires back, but I am thinking of upgrading the arm.

So now my questions are regarding good upgrade paths on this turntable. As I mentioned, this turntable is completely stock. Where is the best place to start?

Just for reference, I don't have a great system by any standards, but it does the job, for now.
This will be hooked up to a Yamaha AX 396 driving a set of Quad 22's.

I apologise if this has been asked before.
Thanks in advance for any advice.



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Online JohnnyIC

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Re: Upgrade Path 01- AR XA
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2017, 10:32:04 AM »
Don't replace the arm unless it's damaged, replacing the arm involves some serious modification to the t-bar and top plate which is not reversible. The stock arm really isn't as bad as some people make it out to be.
I would just give the arm a service, maybe flush out the old damping fluid and replace it with new fluid, put a nice cartridge on there and have a listen. I don't know if damping fluid degrades over time so it might not really be necessary to flush the old fluid, maybe someone else can chip in?
A new plinth also makes a nice visual improvement, have a look at my post below yours where I built a new plinth from Kiaat wood.
I am also looking at improving my AR XA and considering building a Armageddon clone power supply for the motor.

Offline Moukz

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Re: Upgrade Path 01- AR XA
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2017, 01:09:19 PM »
Don't replace the arm unless it's damaged, replacing the arm involves some serious modification to the t-bar and top plate which is not reversible. The stock arm really isn't as bad as some people make it out to be.
I would just give the arm a service, maybe flush out the old damping fluid and replace it with new fluid, put a nice cartridge on there and have a listen. I don't know if damping fluid degrades over time so it might not really be necessary to flush the old fluid, maybe someone else can chip in?
A new plinth also makes a nice visual improvement, have a look at my post below yours where I built a new plinth from Kiaat wood.
I am also looking at improving my AR XA and considering building a Armageddon clone power supply for the motor.

Thanks for the feedback.

I don't mind the arm to be honest. I just want to improve the sound as much as possible. I bought it with upgrading planned for the future.

Regarding cartridges, what would you recommend to go with the stock arm?

I am not familiar with the Armageddon clone power supply,but will look into it.

With all this being said,I am aware that an arm upgrade will most like require modifications on the t-bar & top plate. As mentioned earlier I bought this with upgrades planned,so I really don't mind if it is permanent as that will be what I'll be using from there on forward. I will most likely get that done at a specialist to have it as neat as possible.


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Offline fdlsys

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Re: Upgrade Path 01- AR XA
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2017, 01:19:46 PM »
Does the platter spindle bushing have sintered aluminium sleeves?
Does the bushing show spot-wear on the side closer to the motor?
If any of these are "Yes" then don't waste time or money on it.
The four building blocks of the universe are fire, water, gravel and vinyl. Dave Barry
Come back when you’ve lived a little. Miles Davis