Writing anything on this site is akin to playing Russian roulette, which is a real shame as I find Romy's website generally very informative and a fascinating read, although my limited exposure to horn loudspeakers suggests that they might not be for me. This overall good experience is however spoilt by the infantile and sometimes downright abusive attitude that Romy adopts whenever dealers, distributors or manufacturers or anyone involved in making a living out of servicing our interest/hobby/passion/obsession (call it what you will), are mentioned.
True the extent to which our judgement may be clouded when we talk about the stuff that we sell ourselves is always going to be an issue, and that is where an online community where end-users can talk about their gear is invaluable, as long as one approaches everything with the appropriate dose of scepticism.
That should not give anyone the right to pour scorn on an individual just because he is a manufacturer, or heaven forbids, associated with Oswalds Mill Audio. Like Romy, I don't care much about their products, although I do own a slate plinth for a Garrard 401. What I do care about is that Romy's loathing and repulsion for Mr. Weiss, whether justified or not, makes him paint everyone with the same brush. You descend too easily to vulgarity Romy, and too often.
The fact that this is your site is both a curse and a blessing. I find more intelligence and worthwhile knowledge here (see the discussion on The Pacific Microsonic Dac) than pretty much anywhere else, but I despair when rationality takes a backseat when you deliberately set up someone for an unjustified torrent of abuse when the guy in question takes 'pen to paper' AND addresses a whole list of issues that your thread raised.
I owe no loyalty to Frank Shroder, or his tonearms, which if my opinion was asked, I would call overpriced and far too complex in setting up to be of much good to me. Like Romy, I own a couple of SME 3012, which I love, but not to the extent of being blind to the other tonearms, and there are a few, which are superior.
1. I never said that VTF/VTA balance is critical on warped records. I said that if you're record is perfectly flat, you're unlikely to hear the difference between a neutral and a stable balance arm.
On the other hand, if one follows Pierre Lurne's logic of the ideal inertia ellipsoid being a circle, your point is overthrown.
2. The magnets on the SQ bearings are also larger and have a higher energy "content"(N52). A big advantage of this arrangemant is that you can alter VTA to accomodate heavier pressings or records that were cut at different rake angles without having to readjust VTF. And the stability around the longitudinal axis is increased.
3. No, the proper curvature does not depend upon the cart compliance, but on the diameter and strength of the magnets, the dimensions of the soft iron yoke around it, the attachment point of the thread(vs. the COG of the armwand/counterweight assembly) and, last but not least, the mass distribution inside the cart. I usually go for a minimal remaining restoring force(0,05gr VTF change for 5mm VTA change).
4. Many high quality vinyl replay audio components are like cars. You need to feel comfortable with them. Any arm is only as good as the setup(person) allows, it's up to the individual to decide with which arm he achieves the best(constantly satisfying) results.
Romy, the salient points, in my opinion, that were made in Frank's last post, are the ones I have extracted above. As the person who started this character assassination of an individual that you don't know personally, and whose tonearm I believe you have never tried in your own system, I believe you did yourself AND your valuable website a disservice in attacking someone who answered the issues raised succinctly and honestly. I hope Frank forgives your petulant remarks and maybe contributes further to this discussion. It would be nice, if with the apparently limitless means at your disposal, you made a point to try a few other promising tonearms and see how they compare with your very venerable and very delightful SME 3012Rs. You might, or might not, be pleasantly surprised.