Morch Tonearms

Elegant "STATE of ART" TONEARMS of the HIGHEST ORDER from DENMARK
High End Hi-Fi PlayBack Equipment - Finest Craftsmanship

In spite of the slender appearance, the MØRCH tonearms have an amazing mechanical strength and stability. They are the result of the best precision mechanics, the finest craftsmanship, and realize technical and tonal claims without compromise. 

What has been achieved with the MØRCH tonearms enables the cartridge to accomplish its task with extraordinary motional ease while maintaining a very high degree of stability. 

The proof of their superiority lies in the listening! The MØRCH arm have received high acclaim from both critics and skeptics, simply because their sonic superiority can be easily demonstrated. 

While observing correct design fundamentals, crucial parameters such as choice of materials, a new approach to mass distribution, and elimination of arm resonances, required in depth study for the design of an exceptional arm. This research resulted in the invention and patenting of an entirely new concept of tonearm.

The new model DP-8 Anisotropic is based on the same principles as comprised in this patent. 

Features of the Mørch Tonearms

The MOERCH tonearms consist of an arm base with its mounting facilities, bearing assembly, balancing rod and weights, and the arm tube for the cartridge. One appealing feauture of the MOERCH design is the arm tube, which can be separated from the arm base by removing a nut. Four standard 9” arm tubes, each one of different mass (from ultra light to extra heavy), are available for specific cartridge requirements.

Green dot: Effective mass 4 g.
Red dot: Effective mass 6 g.
Yellow dot: Effective mass 8 g.
Blue dot: Effective mass 14 g.

Standard 9” armtubes:

The fundamental tonearm resonance (present in all arms) is partly determined by the compliance and the weight of the cartridge that is to be used and partly by the weight of the arm, known as the “effective mass” of the arm. However, the frequency of the fundamental resonance can be moved up or down by altering the mass of the tonearm. Thus, by choosing the correct weight of arm tube out of 4 available, the fundamental resonance can be moved to a frequency where it does not interfere with the audio signal.

With the lightest of the arm tubes you achieve the lowest effective mass, and with this particular arm tube the MOERCH tonearm is the lightest available today. This arm tube is designed for cartridges using a low tracking force, since they have a high compliance. For cartridges requiring a high tracking force (usually low compliant) one of the heavy arm tubes should be chosen. Users that own more than one cartridge can mount each of them in its proper arm tube. Changing cartridges then becomes a simple swap between arm tubes. Thus the mass of the arm is always optimized for its cartridge.

To counteract resonances the arm tube and its mounting platform for the cartridge are made out of one piece of metal angled twice along its length, and internally damped with a foam-type material.

A cavity in the central body housing the bearings is off-centered in the forward direction, providing an asymmetric mass distribution for the prevention of symmetrical barrel resonances. Both the rod with its balancing weights and the arm tube are rigidly attached to the arm’s central body. The body itself is solid and very heavy. Thus vibrations originating in the cartridge are efficiently damped before they reach the bearings, their stability being assured.

In addition three counterweights of different size, and one tracking force weight contribute to the ideal concentration of the arm’s mass close to the fulcrum. The lateral balance is adjusted by way of the counterweights, which have the center of gravity eccentrically positioned as to the counterweight rod.

The bearing assembly in the above mentioned cavity is in height located as an extension of the horizontal plane of the record surface. Therefore with warped records the motion of the stylus will remain vertical when “bumps” are negotiated and warp wow will not be heard.

The antiskating force is applied by a watch spring. Its tension is adjustable for maximum accuracy even while a record is playing. The tension is transferred via a nylon string which is attached to the outside wall of the arm’s central body. As the arm tube moves over the record, the correct geometry between the spring/filament assembly and the central body’s rotation provide for the exact variation of skating compensation over the entire playing surface of a record.

The tonearms are adjustable for the vertical tracking angle as well as the azimuth.

A Special version of the 9” arm tube called PRECISION is supplied with a wide cartridge mounting platform having the underside precision ground for perfect contact with especially wide cartridges.

Also 12” armtubes are available. They are available only with the narrow headshell such as the one on the standard 9” armtubes.

PRECISION armtubes and 12” armtubes are available only with red and blue color codes.

Model UP-4 toneam:

incorporates a special concept of the unipivot principle. The bearing consists of a hardened steel pivot resting in a concave, polished sapphire. The bearing is damped in all directions with silicone fluid.

The low positioning of the bearing provides for a greater stability compared to other unipivot arms. This is because a considerable part of the moveable mass of the arm is positioned above the pivot point, thus forming a physical pendulum together with the mass below the pivot point.

With the model UP-4 the azimuth adjustment is made by the way of the counterweights.

Model DP-6 tonearm:

 has a unique combination of bearings. A silicone-damped, high precision ball-bearing assembly is used for the horizontal mode of motion. Two precision sapphire bearings are incorporated for the vertical mode of motion, which may be damped also, if desired, by injecting silicone fluid into a well for vertical damping. The damping of the horizontal mode of motion is independent of the damping of vertical mode of motion, and the latter can further be adjusted to all intermediate levels of damping.

In model DP-6 the azimuth adjustment for perfect channel separation is accomplished at the pivot of one of the sapphire bearings.

Vertical cross section of model DP-6 through the center of the bearings.

Supplied in CHROME- or 24 carat GOLD finish and at special orders also in BLACK.

Model DP-8 Anisotropic tonearm:

It has a unique combination of bearings: For the horizontal mode of motion a silicone damped, high precision ball-bearing assembly with large housing for substantial damping.

Two precision sapphire bearings are incorporated for the vertical mode of motion. This also may be damped, if desired, by injecting silicone fluid into a well for vertical damping. Vertical damping is rarely needed for this model. It is independent of the damping of the horizontal mode of motion, and further it can be adjusted to all intermediate levels of damping.

Model DP-8 Anisotropic has a device for adjusting the VTA while playing integrated. Markings for “getting back” to a special setting is provided.

The large effective mass for the horizontal mode of motion is stabilizing the the armtube horizontally, so that at very low frequencies it is only the cantilever of the cartridge, that is moving – not the tonearm. This means that the bass goes all the way down reproducing all the bass on the record with full amplitude and dynamics.

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Reviews

Featured

MO 02 AUP4 9 CHR
NZ$ 2,250.00 (incl. GST)
The Danish Mørch UP-4 is the unipivot relative of the DP-6, The DP-6 has knife-edge vertical bearings and roller, ball-bearing horizontal ones, while the UP-4 is a true (damped) unipivot. Actually,...
EXTENDED REVIEW - This tonearm occupies a niche between the bare bones basic tonearms like the...
MO 12 DP6 12 CHR
NZ$ 3,795.00 (incl. GST)
In spite of the slender appearance, the MØRCH tonearms have an amazing mechanical strength and stability. They are the result of the best precision mechanics, the finest craftsmanship, and realize...
The Moerch DP6 is a dual bearing radial arm with interchangeable arm tubes with either 9 or 12"...
Based on this comparison and my living with the DP-6 for over a year I can say conclusively that...
MO 17 DP8 12 CHR
NZ$ 4,995.00 (incl. GST)
 P-8 with 9” PRECISION armtube. It is the two weights on each side of the heavy central body of the tonearm that provides for the majority of the effective mass (Inertial moment) for the...
EXTENDED REVIEW - Stop reading this review and go listen to music. Enjoying my favorite music is...

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Tonearms

MO 02 AUP4 9 CHR
NZ$ 2,250.00 ea (incl. GST)
The Danish Mørch UP-4 is the unipivot relative of the DP-6, The DP-6 has knife-edge vertical bearings and roller, ball-bearing horizontal ones, while the UP-4 is a true (damped) unipivot. Actually,...
EXTENDED REVIEW - This tonearm occupies a niche between the bare bones basic tonearms like the...
Tonearms
MO 06 DP6 9 CHR
NZ$ 2,995.00 ea (incl. GST)
In spite of the slender appearance, the MØRCH tonearms have an amazing mechanical strength and stability. They are the result of the best precision mechanics, the finest craftsmanship, and realize...
The Moerch DP6 is a dual bearing radial arm with interchangeable arm tubes with either 9 or 12"...
Based on this comparison and my living with the DP-6 for over a year I can say conclusively that...
Tonearms
MO 07 DP6 9 GLD
NZ$ 3,495.00 ea (incl. GST)
In spite of the slender appearance, the MØRCH tonearms have an amazing mechanical strength and stability. They are the result of the best precision mechanics, the finest craftsmanship, and realize...
The Moerch DP6 is a dual bearing radial arm with interchangeable arm tubes with either 9 or 12"...
Based on this comparison and my living with the DP-6 for over a year I can say conclusively that...
Tonearms
MO 09 DP6 9P CHR
NZ$ 3,495.00 ea (incl. GST)
In spite of the slender appearance, the MØRCH tonearms have an amazing mechanical strength and stability. They are the result of the best precision mechanics, the finest craftsmanship, and realize...
The Moerch DP6 is a dual bearing radial arm with interchangeable arm tubes with either 9 or 12"...
Based on this comparison and my living with the DP-6 for over a year I can say conclusively that...
Tonearms
MO 10 DP6 9P GLD
NZ$ 3,995.00 ea (incl. GST)
In spite of the slender appearance, the MØRCH tonearms have an amazing mechanical strength and stability. They are the result of the best precision mechanics, the finest craftsmanship, and realize...
The Moerch DP6 is a dual bearing radial arm with interchangeable arm tubes with either 9 or 12"...
Based on this comparison and my living with the DP-6 for over a year I can say conclusively that...
Tonearms
MO 12 DP6 12 CHR
NZ$ 3,795.00 ea (incl. GST)
In spite of the slender appearance, the MØRCH tonearms have an amazing mechanical strength and stability. They are the result of the best precision mechanics, the finest craftsmanship, and realize...
The Moerch DP6 is a dual bearing radial arm with interchangeable arm tubes with either 9 or 12"...
Based on this comparison and my living with the DP-6 for over a year I can say conclusively that...
Tonearms
MO 13 DP6 12 GLD
NZ$ 4,295.00 ea (incl. GST)
In spite of the slender appearance, the MØRCH tonearms have an amazing mechanical strength and stability. They are the result of the best precision mechanics, the finest craftsmanship, and realize...
The Moerch DP6 is a dual bearing radial arm with interchangeable arm tubes with either 9 or 12"...
Based on this comparison and my living with the DP-6 for over a year I can say conclusively that...
Tonearms
MO 15 DP8 9P CHR
NZ$ 4,995.00 ea (incl. GST)
In spite of the slender appearance, the MØRCH tonearms have an amazing mechanical strength and stability. They are the result of the best precision mechanics, the finest craftsmanship, and realize...
Tonearms
MO 16 DP8 9P GLD
NZ$ 5,995.00 ea (incl. GST)
In spite of the slender appearance, the MØRCH tonearms have an amazing mechanical strength and stability. They are the result of the best precision mechanics, the finest craftsmanship, and realize...
Tonearms
MO 17 DP8 12 CHR
NZ$ 4,995.00 ea (incl. GST)
 P-8 with 9” PRECISION armtube. It is the two weights on each side of the heavy central body of the tonearm that provides for the majority of the effective mass (Inertial moment) for the...
EXTENDED REVIEW - Stop reading this review and go listen to music. Enjoying my favorite music is...
Tonearms
MO 18 DP8 12 GLD
NZ$ 5,995.00 ea (incl. GST)
P-8 with 9” PRECISION armtube. It is the two weights on each side of the heavy central body of the tonearm that provides for the majority of the effective mass (Inertial moment) for the horizontal...
EXTENDED REVIEW - Stop reading this review and go listen to music. Enjoying my favorite music is...
Tonearms
MO AT 09 CHR
NZ$ 535.35 ea (incl. GST)
Effective mass of complete tonearm with arm tube: All arm tubes can be used with all models.   Light (green): 4g   Medium (red):6g   Heavy (yellow):8g   ...
Tonearms
MO AT 09 GOLD
NZ$ 995.00 ea (incl. GST)
Effective mass of complete tonearm with arm tube: All arm tubes can be used with all models.   Light (green): 4g   Medium (red):6g   Heavy (yellow):8g   ...
Tonearms
MO AT 09 P CHR
NZ$ 995.00 ea (incl. GST)
Effective mass of complete tonearm with arm tube: All arm tubes can be used with all models.   Light (green): 4g   Medium (red):6g   Heavy (yellow):8g   ...
Tonearms
MO AT 09 P GOLD
NZ$ 1,295.00 ea (incl. GST)
Effective mass of complete tonearm with arm tube: All arm tubes can be used with all models.   Light (green): 4g   Medium (red):6g   Heavy (yellow):8g   ...
Tonearms
MO AT 12 CHROME
NZ$ 995.00 ea (incl. GST)
Effective mass of complete tonearm with arm tube: All arm tubes can be used with all models.   Light (green): 4g   Medium (red):6g   Heavy (yellow):8g   ...
Tonearms
MO AT 12 GOLD
NZ$ 1,295.00 ea (incl. GST)
Effective mass of complete tonearm with arm tube: All arm tubes can be used with all models.   Light (green): 4g   Medium (red):6g   Heavy (yellow):8g   ...
Tonearms
MO TA IC
Price on application
Tonearms

Reviews

I would definitely put the DP-6 at the top of your audition list.
Roger Gordon - Positive Feedback

Based on this comparison and my living with the DP-6 for over a year I can say conclusively that the Mørch DP-6 is a very fine tonearm.

It is clearly better than the VPI 12.5 which is a tonearm that is highly thought of.

At a price of NZ$2995 for a Morch with a chrome plated 9" armtube and NZ$3,995 with a chrome plated 12" armtube, you are getting a lot of value for the money with the DP-6.

The fact that you can also buy, fairly inexpensively, armtubes with different effective masses is a real plus for those of us that have cartridges of different weights and compliances. If you are in the market for a tonearm in the NZ$3000 / $5000 range I would definitely put the DP-6 at the top of your audition list". 

........Roger Gordon

Morch forum owners experiences
Kaput: I agree with Jim. The Dp 6 runs exellent with out damping. It's an exellent, too, tonearm and is in the same league that others tonearms like Graham or Triplanar. This tonearm has a very good design ( japanese Highphonic design ) and very good execution of that design. The company is a low profile company and don't put money trough magazines like TAS or Stereophile, that's why it's not a famous tonearm. You can use any cartridge, that's why has differents arm wands with different effective mass: this permit a ideal match between the tonearm/cartridge combo.
Regards and enjoy the music.
....Raul.
I think the Morch arm is seriously underrated in the USA. When it's put together properly with a cart it likes,it compares favorably with my Triplanar. 
....Reverendclark
The dp-6 competes well with other high-end arms imho, but just isn't that well known or appreciated in this country (if you're in the u.s.). not enough money spent in advertising perhaps....
.....Musicdoc
This combination has been up and running for six years w/o problem with any cartridge. I have used Denons, Benz Gliders, Clearaudios, and Koetsus with this set-up with both heavy and light wands. 
....Kaput
The Morch DP-6 is a dual bearing design, while the UP-4 is a unipivot. The DP-6 has a ball bearing damped with silicon in the horizontal. It uses two sapphire bearings in the vertical. Damping in both planes is separate. Vertical can be adjusted. One of the sapphire bearings is used to provide azimuth adjustment.
.. ...Misc
I agree with Greg.. I have found the Morch arms very fluid and accurate. I heard the DP-6 as nearly straight neutral and the UP-4 as just a hair on the warm side of neutral. Personally, I felt that the Morch presented the midrange a bit better than the Silver. The Silver has less "adjustments" and is, therefore, easier to set where as the Morch is a bit more work, but once set up it is set and forget.
...4yanx
One thing may have been lost in my previous comments. The Moerch DP-6 is a very natural sounding tonearm. In this respect, it finds itself in very select company - alongside the Triplanar and Micro Seiki tonearms. 
....Thom_mackris
WOW IS ALL I CAN SAY.I don't think people realize just how good this Morch UP-4arm really is.
.....76doublebass
I highly recommend it both on sonic and visual grounds-it's a stunning combination!
Marc Bratton - Vinyl Asylum

SUMMARY - With the Morch, one can hear the wetness of the reed, the vibrato, and the dome of ambiance being gently stroked to life by the bassoon's undertones.Lovely, lovely stuff. 

EXTENDED REVIEW - This tonearm occupies a niche between the bare bones basic tonearms like the Regas and all their modified variants, and the super arms like the Graham 2.2, Wheaton Triplanar,the SME's, and the like. As such, it is sorely needed. In fact, to my knowledge this is the only tonearm in the sub 1K price range that offers not only adjustable VTA and azimuth (adjustable azimuth in particular is given short shrift in most all of the sub 1K arms...I take a very dim view of this), but also gives one the option of using multiple armwands. Just like with the Graham 2.2, you could have one premounted with a MM, one premounted with a cherished moving coil, and quickly and easily switch between the two. The armwands come in four different weights, ranging from the lightest (green dot), to the heaviest (blue dot). You match the weight of the armwand to the dynamic compliance and weight of your cartridge, the purpose being to optimize the arm's resonance point. Should you want a 12" armwand, those are available too, in red dot and blue dot weight ranges. You can also get something called a Precision armtube, which features wider and more precisely machined headshells than the somewhat vestigal standard headshell. The tonearm cable connects via a DIN socket.

My version is the red dot standard armtube with the upgraded all silver DP-6 tonearm cable. I was fortunate enough to find one of these on the used market, and jumped on it quickly, as they tend to be snapped up.

The fit and finish on these arms is absolutely first rate...the phrase "jewel like" comes to mind. Clearly the gold plated DP-6 is the more stunning of the two, but the UP4 is so highly polished and beautiful in its workmanship that it shames a lot of medical grade instrumentation I've worked with. In fact, with it's gracile armtube, deep, deep chrome finish, and plexiglass pivot plate, it looks like something your dental hygienist might bring to bear on your teeth. Rzzzzzzzzz........seriously,

this is truly an exquisitely made piece of kit. The pictures make them look bigger than they are...these tonearms are tiny! 
I heard others mention how difficult these arms are to set up, but I didn't find it any more difficult than any other tonearm, just different.

Then again, I'm used to arms that are "different", since I had a Well Tempered arm for 10 years. This one's easier to set up than that one. Pivot to spindle distance, VTA, overhang, offset angle, and VTF are all set in the usual manner. You get a set of eccentrically cammed counterweights which you shimmy onto the back of the arm, and you adjust their positions until you get the azimuth correct. I found a 10mm bubble level, set right on top of the headshell, a great aid for this. You have a third smaller counterweight at the very back, which is not eccentric, which you use to get your VTF. I forgot to mention that you apply silicone damping fluid into the pivot point with a supplied tuberculin syringe right before you attach the armwand. All in all, very straight forward, and the instructions are excellent. The antiskate is applied by a coil watchspring, which attaches to the arm turret via an unbelievably fine monafilament thread...did I mention how like a fine watch this tonearm is built? I might add that I think they ought to include a WallyTractor as standard with these arms, as this arm seems to really, really like to be very precisely adjusted. It will reward you greatly to get this one dialed in to the nth degree, and I know of no instrument better for that than the WallyTractor. Enough said. On that note, take great pains to assure that your platter and armboard are very level, or performance will suffer, more even than with a conventional tonearm.

So, after mounting my ClearAudio Virtuoso, and dialing in all the parameters, I put on the HiFi News test record...another essential. It tested very well...I could not get it to mistrack except VERY slightly on the worst torture track. Same with the antiskate. It displayed no wobble at all, and only very little warbling @ 10-12Hz on the vertical and horizontal resonance test tracks. In summary, it measured very well. 

Feeling encouraged, I dropped the needle on some well known records. 

The first thing that struck me about this tonearm was its preternatural clarity and quickness in the all important midband. There is very little overhang with this tonearm-it "lets go of the notes" very quickly and cleanly. This allows a wealth of detail, dynamics, and ambiance to emerge naturally and gracefully. To give an example, in Hadyn's 104th symphony, wherein the bassoon is given the opening line: With the EM modded Rega RB250 arm which this one replaced, one hears a kind of rude, flatulent noise. One can tell it's a bassoon, but that's about all.

With the Morch, one can hear the wetness of the reed, the vibrato, and the dome of ambiance being gently stroked to life by the bassoon's undertones.Lovely, lovely stuff. Instead of "massed strings" you hear individual violinists playing, and it's a lot easier to "get" the subtly of their bowing technique. Lots of air and ambiance of the recording venue can be appreciated, assuming the recording got it.Small nuances in vocals comes out a lot clearer, giving the music more emotional depth. The bass quality is taut, clean, and tight.  I would NOT call this arm "bass shy". It's very satisfying. If I had to sum up the UP-4's essence in only one word, the word "articulate" is what I'd choose. No matter how detailed and complex the music, it sorts it all out in a very relaxed and competent manner, for your enjoyment. It refuses to get flustered, or lose its grip, no matter what you throw at it. 

What are it's colorations? Well, in stock form, with my cartridge, it seems a little silvery. Not run from the room bright at all, mind you. Just a little more lit on the edges perhaps than totally neutral. I HATE brightness and have gone to great lengths to eliminate it from my system, so when I tell you it's not bad, that's what I mean. Still, in a system already tending that way, it might not be optimal. After assuring myself that my VTA wasn't the culprit, here's what I did: A few days ago, my Extreme Phono solid state stylus cleaner arrived. I let if sit for 24 hrs before I used it, to let the goo settle as you're supposed to. They pack way more goo than is really needed in that little case, so some migrated out. You guessed it. I applied a little bit to the headshell, fore and aft of the fingerlift. Take care to apply only a little, as this stuff tends to flatten out and seep. When it was done seeping/settling, I had this perfectly clear coating of the goop covering the headshell and part of the cartridge body. It looked like it was made that way, all one piece, as its coloration matched the plexiglass pivot plate. Not kludgy looking at all. I adjusted my VTF accordingly, and listened. I was very pleasantly surprised! Not only was that slight residual brightness totally gone, but I had a welcome increase in the heft and weight of the bass as well, and I lost none of that quickness and clarity in the midband. A very useful tweak that costs nothing. Obviously, the slight increase in effective mass must have been what my cartridge was asking for, but I think the added damping of the very lightweight and vestigal headshell was a factor as well. 

All in all, this is very versatile, well thought out, and impeccably implemented tonearm. It significantly betters my EM modded Rega RB250 across the board, with the exception of the quantity of bass. How does it compare to my old Well Tempered? That is a very tonally neutral arm that deserves a lot more attention than it gets. Its one sin is one of omission. I think the silicone damping, while making it an extremely low resonance design, tends to dampen out some of the microdynamics and details, and thus some of the life out of the music, compared to the Morch. I'd say the WT isn't quite as enjoyable, though still quite good. So, if you're in the market for a tonearm that costs a lot less than the superarms, but gives you a good measure of what they're all about, take a close look at this arm. Especially if you're looking to match it with a Teres, I highly recommend it both on sonic and visual grounds-it's a stunning combination! 

Amazon Referenz Turntable and MØRCH DP-8 Anisotropic ........Overall Rating: 10 / 10 LPs
Jerry Seigel

SUMMARY -  the high resolution, very extended and dynamic, and utterly musical performance of the MØRCH DP-8 Anisotropic tonearm set a new standard. 

EXTENDED REVIEW - Stop reading this review and go listen to music. Enjoying my favorite music is far more interesting and rewarding than reading another review.” This is how you will feel when you have an Amazon Referenz turntable and MØRCH DP-8 Anisotropic tonearm waiting for you in your listening room.

Amazon Referenz Turntable & MØRCH DP-8 TonearmThe Amazon Referenz turntable is made in Germany and imported into the U.S. by SORAsound. At $12,995, it should have innovative engineering, excellent construction and build quality, and exceptional sound. Fortunately, it meets all of these requirements. The turntable is a dual-plinth design with the platter and tonearm mounted on the upper plinth and separated from the lower layer by six LRP (Low Resilience Polymer) half-dome sorbothane-like isolators. The plinth material is a cast plexiglass-like material called ICI, which has good damping properties. The platter weights about 26 pounds and is made from aluminum and cast acryl. From the SORAsound Web site:

The platter is “very similar to the vinyl. During a very complex, temperature optimized process the platter gets drilled to its exact dimensions and afterwards follows the quenching and tempering of the surface. This process prevents stress in the material, which would affect the acoustic qualities. Resonance diffuser in the inner area of the platter eliminates the well-known material resonances in massive plastics platter in the area between 9 kHz and 13 kHz.

“The rotation-center of the platter is a ceramic ball (main bearing) in the middle of the inversed bearing. Both the bearing bush and vertical axis are made from multiple hardened steel. The drive unit is totally separated from the running gear. A very thin polyamide string carries the power from the pulley to the platter. You can switch electronically between 33 rpm and 45 rpm. A LSC-Controller (Linear Speed Controller) monitors all the time the speed and keeps it absolute constant. … In addition, you can fine-tune each speed separately. … The heart of the drive is a DC-motor, which is usually used in nautical navigation devices.”

A special feature of the Amazon turntable is the battery power supply for the motor. This system is completely maintenance- and worry-free. Just leave the separate charging power supply connected to a live AC outlet and you will always have plenty of battery power for even the longest continuous listening session. Again, from SORAsound:

“The integrated rechargeable battery power supply is unique for analogue drives. In play mode, the rechargeable batteries as well as the motor are totally separated from the mains supply. Thereby, all the disturbing influences from the mains supply are kept away and smooth operation of the motor is guaranteed. All AMAZON motor units have an intelligent circuit, which monitors all parameters of the NiMH-batteries while charging and discharging. The system recharges the batteries automatically, when it is not in use. One charging cycle is enough to listen to 180 LP’s.”

The overall weight of the Referenz turntable is about 73 pounds. One example of the high quality construction is the perfect finish on the platter and record weight. When the platter is spinning, it is very difficult to see any movement, even close up. The light reflecting off of the platter is completely undisturbed by any imperfections in the platter as it rotates.

Other components on hand during the audition included a SOTA Cosmos IV vacuum turntable with Tri-Planar VII u2 tonearm, SOTA Satellite turntable with Origin Live Zephyr tonearm, Miyajima Kansui, Shilabe and Premium Mono phono cartridges, Bob's Devices CineMag 3440 step-up transformers and Bob's brand new CineMag 1131 "Blue" step-up transformers, Rogue Ares and Lamm LP2 vacuum tube phono preamplifiers, Mark Levinson 326S preamplifier with phono, Prism Orpheus Digital Interface with custom Windows 7 computer/music server, YG Acoustics Kipod II Signature Main Modules, Dali Mentor 5 speakers (from the home theater system), and Gallo TR-3 subwoofers. Power amplifiers included Modwright KWA 150 Special Edition, Levinson 532H, Cary SA200.2, and Manley Snappers. Interconnects and speaker cables are mostly Mogami. All front end components, including the preamplifiers, receive their AC power from a PS Audio AV-5000 power conditioner which is connected to the wall power with a 1 meter length of PS Audio PerfectWave AC-10 power cord. Other AC-10s were used elsewhere in the system, and I use Jerry's DIY power cords on the music computer and Levinson preamp. An Audience aR2p-TO power conditioner or PS Audio Quintet is normally used for the power amplifiers. The Levinson preamplifier rested on three Ayre myrtle wood blocks.

MØRCH DP-8 Anisotropic TonearmThe sample of the MØRCH DP-8 Anisotropic tonearm that accompanied the Amazon turntable was finished in a beautiful black gloss. Looking more like fine jewelry than audio hardware, the finish was perfect. Hans Henrik Moerch (English spelling of the Danish 'Ø') personally inspects every arm to assure faultless execution. His tonearms are also available dressed in chrome or gold. The quality of each of these finishes would elicit exclamations of wonder if seen in a display case at Tiffanys, complementing Faberge Eggs or any item of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry collection. The arm lists for about $5,000 depending on length and finish.

A common feature of MØRCH tonearms is the removable armwands. These easily detach from the top of the pivot area. Armwands are available with different weights to accommodate any cartridge. The internal wiring is silver. From the MØRCH Web site:

“The model MØRCH DP-8 Anisotropic has the same (sapphire) bearings as model DP-6, uses the same arm tubes, but a device for adjusting the VTA while playing is integrated. The bearing housing for the horizontal mode of motion provides for a substantial damping. The large effective mass for the horizontal mode of motion is stabilizing the arm tube horizontally, so that at very low frequencies it is only the cantilever of the cartridge, that is moving - not the tonearm. This means that the bass goes all the way down reproducing all the bass on the record with full amplitude and dynamics.”

The tonearm is free to move up and down on the sapphire bearings, and the large mass of the tonearm in the horizontal plane creates a stable platform for the cartridge. Since bass sounds are a result of horizontal (lateral) deflection of the stylus, reducing unwanted horizontal movement of the tonearm helps the bass performance of the cartridge/tonearm system. It works as advertised! The Referenz/DP-8 produces stunning bass: deep and powerful like you have probably never heard before, detailed, rich, and resonant, with the very lowest frequencies your speakers can deliver. If you are a fan of stand-up acoustic bass, tympani, organ, or thunder, this system will impress you on every listen. If your speakers are almost full range, adding the Referenz/DP-8 might very well give you the lower bass that you have been missing, potentially saving thousands of dollars on larger speakers. The bass seems “fast” by providing the leading edge of bass notes without smear. The resultant tone is clean and complete, allowing the vibration of bass strings to stand out in sharp relief from the background acoustic.

Moving up in frequency, this happy couple of turntable and tonearm continues to be extremely satisfying. The sound is continuous from the bass, through the midrange, and up into the highest treble (at least that I can hear) without any highlighting, forwardness, change in character, or other unwanted sonic anomaly. However you say it, “tone” – harmonic depth, resolution, clarity, transparency, etc. – is extremely well preserved. Interestingly, some distortions that I had previously attributed to record wear were reduced and very often eliminated from consciousness completely. This may be a benefit of superior tonearm damping.

The upper frequencies are clean and clear, with no sense of grit, grain, coarseness, or – and I listened for this specifically due to the silver arm wiring – brightness. None. The sense of proper proportion, frequency balance, and natural clarity is outstanding. This contributes to the desire to listen for hours at a time which can give you quite a bit of annoyance if the phone rings.

Mehran, the kind and generous proprietor of SORAsound, provided an additional armboard drilled for my Tri-Planar VII u2 tonearm. This was not a difficult request for Mehran to fulfill because he is also a Tri-Planar dealer. I had acquired the Tri-Planar from Mehran a couple of years ago. As we discuss the performance of the Referenz/DP-8 below, comparisons with the Tri-Planar mounted in place of the MØRCH are included.

The Tri-Planar is a fine tonearm, and I have enjoyed versions VII and VII u2 for several years. The performance of the Amazon/Tri-Planar, across all audiophile criteria, is elevated over the Cosmos/Tri-Planar. This is an important finding because I had believed that vacuum hold down is a necessary feature. Now I believe that a high-mass dampened platter is more important than vacuum. Replacing the Tri-Planar with the DP-8 on the Amazon table provides a further upgrade. Separately and together, the Amazon Referenz/MØRCH DP-8 play at a higher level.

Fleetwood Mac’s “Mystified”, from the Tango In The Night LP, (Warner 25471), sounds much more integrated and coherent with the Amazon/MØRCH than Amazon/Tri-Planar, as if all of the instruments and singers are sharing the same acoustic space. The Tri-Planar often breaks each sound into separate elements that can sound disconnected from the overall musical performance.

Dire Straits "Love Over Gold"“Love Over Gold” from Dire Straits was completely and utterly involving. It left me mesmerised which ended with a gentle return to my surroundings with the beginning of “It Never Rains”. On Nicolette Larson’s album In The Nick of Time, (Warner HS3370), there is a voice track in “Let Me Go Love” which comes from behind the left loudspeaker. This is barely audible with the Cosmos/Tri-Planar.

Sade’s voice in “War Of The Hearts” on Promise, (CBS FR40263), floats beautifully in space. Her dubbed backing vocals are clearly distinct both laterally and in the depth location. The piano is tonally pure and harmonically complete. Micro-dynamic nuance is superb. Percussion has great resolution in the smallest tap of sticks, and the detail of fingers on strings helps to bring artists into the room. The brass is wonderfully clear and natural: sharp and biting as it should be, but never harsh nor brittle as it should not be.

While the Tri-Planar’s performance was elevated noticeably when it was moved from the Cosmos to the Amazon table, the preferred pairing – which took a surprisingly short amount of time to determine – was the Amazon/MØRCH. Changing from the Tri-Planar to the MØRCH tonearm involves a similar perceptual change as getting new prescription eye glasses. While the immediate change is disorienting, you quickly adapt to the new clarity and reduction in sensory stress. Going back to the old prescription is not an option. The Tri-Planar in comparison sounds somewhat unrefined and coarse.

The MØRCH DP-8 tonearm offers substantially more powerful and deeper, lower bass, while the Tri-Planar, having a leaner bass character, has just a small advantage in being able to more easily follow a bass line. To help illustrate the difference in bass extension and power, please consider the Tri-Planar as an 8 inch woofer, while the MØRCH is a 12 inch woofer. Big difference! The DP-8’s soundstage is just a bit less precise laterally, but is deeper and taller, with the front of the stage pushed back a small bit. In the upper frequencies, the Tri-Planar offers a more up-front, crystalline sound with a touch more shimmer, but this can push the sound over the edge into brightness and glare if the recording is less than excellent. This does not mean that the DP-8 is a "nice filter" that makes all recordings sound good. Recordings that sound bad on the Tri-Planar also sound bad with the DP-8.

Reviews that neglect to include the faults of the component under review are little more than advertising copy. So while I greatly enjoyed my time with this fine record playing system, there are a couple of minor issues. In the “up” position, the cuing lever on the DP-8 comes uncomfortably close to the bearing housing. Also, the finger lift is too short, in my opinion, but this is necessary to save weight on the lighter armwands. Amazon recommends placing the turntable on a dedicated stand or purpose-built turntable platform. They specifically mention stone as a poor shelf material. My rack is custom built from 2 inch thick sandstone shelves, and it does indeed transmit vibration up through the dual turntable layers. That the sound of the Amazon turntable may have suffered from it being installed on a non-optimal shelf may mean that I did not hear the Referenz performing at its best.

The Amazon Referenz turntable offers outstanding speed stability which provides the listener with huge and precisely focused sound stages. There is never any sense of wow or flutter or a disturbance in the tonal purity of any recording. Having a similar character, the high resolution, very extended and dynamic, and utterly musical performance of the MØRCH DP-8 Anisotropic tonearm set a new standard. Together, they offer a compelling reason to quickly complete whatever task is at hand and get back to listening to music.

........Overall Rating: 10 LPs

MØRCH DP-8 Anisotropic Tonearm - Follow-up. - The MØRCH DP-8 Anisotropic tonearm offers performance that is truly at the top of today’s best tonearms......10 / 10 LPs
Jerry Seigel

SUMMARY - At this level of performance, it is almost a waste of time to discuss the sound in standard audiophile terms, dissecting the bass, midrange, treble, and soundstage. With the MØRCH tonearm and any of the cartridges, I often found it a chore to engage in analytical thinking. The tonearm helps to communicate the emotion and meaning of music so effectively that you are welcomed into the performance and become a participant without realising that your world has changed. The MØRCH DP-8 Anisotropic tonearm offers performance that is truly at the top of today’s best tonearms.

EXTENDED REVIEW - When I reviewed the MØRCH DP-8 Anisotropic tonearm and Amazon Referenz turntable in February, time constraints prevented trying the tonearm on a different turntable. Since that review, a Basis 2500 Signature turntable has signed on for an extended visit and both Mehran of SORAsound, the U.S. distributor, and Hans Henrik Moerch (English spelling of the Danish 'Ø'), the manufacturer, expressed interest in having me audition and evaluate the DP-8 tonearm again, this time using the Basis platform.

The Basis table does not employ a traditional armboard and has but a single mounting hole for a tonearm. They offer the Vector tonearm and do not readily supply armboards for other arms. When I explained to Hans Henrik that the options for mounting a tonearm on the Basis table were limited, he was completely undaunted. He asked me to take a few measurements, including the size of the mounting hole, vertical distance from the top of the plinth to the top of the platter, and horizontal distance from the centre of the platter to the centre of the mounting hole.

MØRCH DP-8 Adapter
Several weeks later, a custom adapter arrived. Hans Henrik had engineered a simple and elegant solution which included a small clear plexiglass block to raise the arm to the correct height for the thick Basis platter, a finely machined threaded brass insert for the Basis mounting hole, and a washer. Only three simple looking parts! Everything went together perfectly and installation took only about 10 minutes. No tools were required. The gloss-black DP-8 tonearm looked positively stunning on the black table, just as it had on the Amazon table earlier this year.

I listened to three phono cartridges on the MØRCH tonearm: Benz-Micro LP-S, Miyajima Kansui, and ZYX Omega S. The tonearms that serve as references, all reviewed here on 10 Audio, include Graham Phantom, Triplanar VII, SME V, Origin Live Conqueror, and Basis Vector 4 (auditon in progress). The MØRCH DP-8 outperforms all of these highly regarded tonearms in the bass. The DP-8 has greater power, extension into the lowest bass that your audio system can reproduce, and definition than any other tonearm I have heard. It is simply no contest. However, the MØRCH's extraordinary bass performance never seems unnatural or overdone.

The bass has real character.
Clearly audible are subtle fingering of the strings and previously unheard intonation and meaning in the lower frequencies. The bass can growl with near-seismic vibrations. It does not change character with any instrument that is playing at the lowest limits of its range. This extraordinary performance continues without anomaly into the midrange and upper frequencies.

The DP-8 is superb at letting the phono cartridge’s character come through. The slightly thick midrange of the Benz, the wonderfully alive sound of the Omega with its stunningly huge sound stage, and the very consistent sound across all the octaves of the Kansui are all clearly evident. Each cartridge’s unique sound – both positives and negatives – were obvious, but were not imposed on the sound of the other cartridges. This means that the MØRCH tonearm offers a completely neutral platform that enables each cartridge to perform at its absolute best.

I greatly enjoyed the rich rhythms and dynamic POP of the snare drum, and the ethereal chime of the cymbals, and being able to hear the air blowing through the sax on “For Someone Special” from the Doobie Brothers Takin’ It To The Streets LP. This is just one example of wonderful LP sound. All the other LPs that I listened to with the MØRCH tonearm sounded very fine, too.

Basis 2500 Signature Turntable with MØRCH DP-8 Anisotropic TonearmWhen
I directly compared the DP-8 to the Vector 4, it was clear that the DP-8 has a bit more bass power and dynamics. The MØRCH also goes significantly deeper into the lowest bass, and has a larger and more focused sound stage. The DP-8’s upper frequencies are a bit smoother, which results from better dampening of resonance and micro-vibration in the MØRCH armwand.

The DP-8 has a very nice feature, one that I have never experienced before. The cuing speed to lower the arm is adjustable. By chance, when I installed the arm and added the supplied silicone fluid to the cueing mechanism, I must have added a greater quantity that I thought. The result is a slow descent of the arm. At first, I was impatient for the music to start playing, but then I got it. I had always been in a rush to get back to the listening seat after moving the cuing lever to the “play” position to be ready for those first notes. With the slow cuing action of the DP-8, I could return to the listening seat at a relaxed pace, and then pick up the remote and be ready to un-mute the preamp as the needle touched down. This may seem like a trivial thing, but it added greatly to the pleasure of using the MØRCH tonearm.

At this level of performance, it is almost a waste of time to discuss the sound in standard audiophile terms, dissecting the bass, midrange, treble, and soundstage. With the MØRCH tonearm and any of the cartridges, I often found it a chore to engage in analytical thinking. The tonearm helps to communicate the emotion and meaning of music so effectively that you are welcomed into the performance and become a participant without realising that your world has changed. The MØRCH DP-8 Anisotropic tonearm offers performance that is truly at the top of today’s best tonearms.