Graham Phantom Tonearm?

Hi All,
I’ve got a Graham B44 Phantom tonearm fitted to my 301 turntable.
Recently it seemed to have lost some of its mojo and sounds a bit muddy. At first I thought this was the cartridge so I changed it and I’m getting same from the other cartridge.
Something has changed.
I’ve checked set up and all geometry etc is good.
I am wondering if it is the damping silicon the unipivot sits in. I’ve no idea how old it is. Does the silicon go off as it ages?
Does anyone have any idea what silicon is used in the Graham tonearms?
Have ideas what to try so the Graham gets its groove back.

Yes silicone goes off, not sure how frequently It needs changing in your arm though.
Are you sure it’s the arm and not the 301 that’s doing something the arm is picking up.

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Could be.
At this point I’m not sure what has happened. Just starting to think about what to check out to try to rectify the issue and get it back to where it was.

Good luck. The silicone that is recommended for the Phantom is called Colalt blue, Analogue Seduction sell it.

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Last time I experienced this sort of phenomenon it was the platter bearing that needed cleaning and re-lubricating.

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Thanks I will try that. I had not thought about bearing causing an issue. :+1::+1::+1::+1:

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I’m not as experienced as many here with TTs, so it caught me by surprise - very clear difference, even with a very high mass platter. With the way 301s are constructed and driven it may well be less clearcut, I just don’t know, but it’s got to be easier than fannying-about with silicone!

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I’d be inclined to clean the cart pins / cable / phono contacts etc. In terms of the 301. If you are not noticing:

Cyclical thud (With ear close to the platter whilst running )
Any kid of rattling / ringing or other noise
Any kind of grinding scraping (with year next to spindle whilst running)
Any determinable speed issue from start up to odd speed fluctuations

and assuming arm / cart are fine It may be a drop in torque perhaps?

  1. Remove platter
  2. Clean inner running face of platter with lint free cloth and isopropyl
  3. Clean running steps of the motor pulley with iso and cloth
    4 Clean running face of the idler wheel

Something weird still going off here.
I’ve cleaned bearing and checked out operation of 301. It is as quiet as the grave and running bang on speed. I’m pretty confident it’s not the 301.
It is still doing it, the sound is so muggy and unclear. It wasn’t like this until fairly recently. Not changed silicon yet. I’ve looked at silicon it still seem compliant and not gone hard or anything like that.
I checked alignment of cart VTA, VTF etc all looks good. Tried two carts both doing same thing.
Could it be something to do with tonearm lead?
Any more advice would be appreciated.

Do you have an alternative arm in case its the arm lead or even phono stage causing the issue. Seems strange for it to be the arm without that causing other issues such as mistracking or clear distortion on one or the other channels.

You could try a different arm cable but I’d go straight at the phono stage, does the phono stage use loading plugs etc as one loose could cause muddiness (although I’d expect both would need to be loose to affect both channels)

Have you got another phono stage you could try?

Tim, if you need another Phono stage I can post one to you, the Trigon, which is fully adjustable.


Any valves in your phono…if not try another source with your power amp

I’m thinking it’s not phono stage.
I plug in my SP10 using same loading plugs and sounds great no issue at all.
Also tried it with Paradise and Vida getting same result.

Silicone time? It’s very hard to tell visually when the silicone is past it’s best.
I can’t see how wire that is still conducting would suddenly make sound muddy so would dismiss the arm wire. It really doesn’t sound like a electrical problem so would also dismiss the phonostage.

Perhaps the wire is conducting less.
Maybe slap a bit of deoxit on the connectors and check the earthing is good.

From the sounds of it there has been quite a bit of plugging in and unplugging of cartridge tags and phono plugs, wouldn’t that clear the connections? Maybe it’s at the Graham arm wand connection.

I think I’ll try new silicone next to see if that makes a difference.


Guildford Audio’s advice to me was ditch silicone completely.

Another dealer that knows a product better than its designer/manufacturer.