Graham Engineering Phantom B-44 tonearm Michael Fremer, January 2006

Michael Fremer returned to the Phantom in January 2006 (Vol.29 No.1):

In order to let me evaluate the Continuum Caliburn independent of the Cobra, Continuum made an adapter plate that allowed Graham Engineering's Phantom B-44 tonearm to be mounted opposite the Cobra. Continuum has the utmost respect for Bob Graham and his arm, considering it among the best out there.

Direct comparisons using the same cartridge told me that these are two of the finest tonearms I have ever heard. The Graham was slightly more reserved and grounded, the Cobra a bit more airy and effusive.

Wally Malewicz's skate-blade–like device for setting VTA is mandatory with the Cobra, as it's impossible to reference parallel to the platter play without it. I set the VTA by eye when I first installed the Lyra Titan cartridge, and I had the back of the arm way too high. No wonder my first impression was that the Cobra was a bit bright and emphasized the top end! But once I'd established true parallel and dropped the pivot a bit, the Cobra's balance became essentially neutral and the brightness disappeared. The Caliburn took the Graham to new performance heights—especially in terms of dynamics and bass extension compared to the Yorke S7 arm.—Michael Fremer

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