lundi 2 octobre 2017

Moerch DP8 tonearm

I have to say that is always nice to find something different in hifi. Either for its look or for its conception. This tonearm is different in both areas. It looks...intersting but it is not up to my personal taste, the narrow diameter of the arm tube give to its look the impression of fragility. And in its 12 version, is the same of the 9 inches one except for the length of the armtube that is interchangeble and it is even worse as far as the look issue. It has a kind of mosquito look.
But its conception is very interesting. I am too lazy to talk about it in my blog and since 

I am not paid by anyone I can afford not to
write about things that you can find somewhere else in the internet and that are objective like techincals things are, and I prefer focusing more on the sound of things that is subjective so that I can share my personal experience.
First thing: to assemble this tonearm you need about 2 hours. I like assembling things so it is not a problem for me, actually I prefer doing it by myself because I am sure at the end the assembly has been made as best as possible and not because he had to be done by somebody that has just descovered his wife left him to go with his best friend... And this is going to have a repercussion in his job and in his attention whatever effort is going to put to avoid it. After the assembly has been completed one thing very different from every other tonearm you ever had is that its orizontal moovement is very dumped. Actually you can even dump the vertical one adding some silicone in the right place but the conceptor affirm that rarely hear a sonic advantage in doing it, so why he did it? It is a cool option anyway, but since the silicone you have in its box is very sticky if you add it then it is going to be kind of hard to take it away in the trying which option is better to your personal taste. Since I like the idea of vertical dumping and since it is rare to find it even though it is said it doesn't give you that much advantage I opted to use this option thinking if it does not gives you a clear advantage it is not going to give you a bad thing either.
So at the end the tonearm is ready to be mount in few turntables that I know sonically well: Linn LP12, Thorens TD124, and the Oracle Delphy of a friend of mine. After building  or modifying armboards and adaptors to fit it first disc on, Tom Waits nighthawks at the diner, and...
It was good, very good, but not special magic came out. Not a special golden light from behing the voice or a golden saint alo around the interpreters. It was very good but no seducing.
I know what does it mean and how it feels to be seduced (only in the hifi term and by hifi equipment). It is a nice thing. You find yourself in a different mood. The music is proposed you in a diffeerent manner or in an expected one. It has a special spice on it.
I really like this feeling, but at the same time after a while it is something you can predict. Even if it is very pleasent its predictability can become boring. Yes, after a while you have to be in the right mood to be seduced with the same tricks you already know.
So the Moerch is not a Naim Aro or a WT with their beguilling fluid and open and expressive midbands. With that kind of easiness. But in these last too tonearm, that I love and know well, these easiness is vanilla. It is something that only some kind of "monsters" cannot like, but when you have vanilla all the time soetimes you really miss hot pepper. So you might be thinking: the Moerch is hot pepper...no. The Moerch is not hot pepper neither.
The Moerch is salt and olive oil. It makes the flavours coming out but it does not spice them or make them interesting with its touch. If you have a nice singer voice, it will give this voice neither harm nor a beauty maquillage. And this is its weak point. If you are used to some kind of beauty in the medium range the Moerch soes not have it. It is just as it should be. A nice contract, a neutrality statement. In the medium range the Moerch is definetely Switzerland even though it comes from Danemark. In this region it has a stable devise.
The more you go up in the frequencies reproduction the more you realize that this stability is a fondametal bonus that somehow let the higher frequencies to develop in their freedom. The Moerch made me think and if this thinking is true it made me realize, that what we hear not right in the upper mid and in the high frequencies is a development of "nice" medium distortions that are not felt like that in the medium range but that developed futher up they produce a certain hardness of the sound. The Naim Aro avoid it not allowing a complete development in the higher frequencies, muting them somehow. And the WT does it too, since it lacks bite over there. The Moerch instead it goes up from its way to the higher frequencies very clean and without any strange anomalies you could hear in some very good tonearm like the Triplanar or some too much control and not enough freedom as in a SME V.
Where the Moerch is king is the bass. There is not much to say here. It is the king. The bass goes lowe, is more expressive and better articulated and has better timbre then any I have heard. I cannot say of everything that exists since mabe some $20.000 arms could propose the same quality.
The Moerch does also a good job in sounding very little mechanical.  It does not sound easy flowing as a unipivot but neither mechanical as a articulated arm.
At the end the Moerch is a difficult tonearm to love and at the same time a difficult tonearm not to need. It allows you to use the cartridges you want (you should go to the Moerch website for its peculiarities), it does not seduce you but it doesn't boder you.  It is the kind of wife we all would like to have after the fire of the starting passion. It allow you to go to do your fishing or your sport or your hifi listening without cecking out on you or without letting you pay later for it or without making it difficult.
At the end what I had great difficulty to find as a quality for this arm I  found it in a word: accomodating.
Even this term is not seducing! But living with soemthing that is accomodating is beautiful.
At the end in a accomodating atmosphere you find that the Moerch reproduction of piano is absolutely beautifull, that its dynamic expression is great and that at that the sax that you love has the right mixture of grab and fluidity and body you always wanted.
Yes it leaves you with a feeling that it never seduced you. But neither it leaves you with the necessity to recall the special thing that seduced you or that still  seduces you to avoid to get rid of it to have something better.
It is a pacifier. And with it you can do a lot of thing. It has a non imposing caracter. So you can get the sound you like changing cartridges and tonearm cable. Every cartridge I have used with it has shown its signature in the most evident way. Even though there always will be the match you will prefer, it is not a question of either you do it the right way or it won't sound right or too light as with a Naim Aro or too laid back as with an SMEV.
At the end of the day if you only have to own one tonearm I don't think you could do better then buying this one. First of all these days and even long time ago, comparing tonearm is amd was almost impossible. What we have is some dream formed by some review we have red about that used words to describe a sound that we think we would like. Then of course there is the apperance of the mechanical object that has a certain power of attraction. But considering that we are not going to be in the position of listening to a tonearm before buying it then it is better to have a tonearm that can be tailored in a ceratain way to suit our taste and to our cartridge or cartridges and you can do this with the Moerch. And if you really want you could even swap later for a 12 inch tube if you wish to get to this trip. We can consider it as a very safe investment.

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