Designed to achieve a higher level of performance compared to other competitors and the original models, the Graham Phantom III features a refined Magneglide (tm) stabilizer, new internal wiring for greater detail and preventing any mechanical resistance, an upgraded pivot design for enhanced dynamics as well as a new titanium arm wand.
Incorporating a constrained brass and tungsten layer combination gives greater energy control and damping along with improved bearing performance. A slightly reshaped counterweight allows for great cartridge weight ranges and lower moment of inertia for greater transparency, broader soundstaging in all directions along with enhanced bass impact and extension.
Combined, these refinements yield greater performance in the areas of thundering dynamics and sheer musicality, while retaining the delicacy of detail, quality and convenience features the earlier Phantom was noted for.
Other unipivots with low-slung counterweights will all exhibit this force; the lower the weight, the more counter-force is applied. Although this technique is often promoted as a "high-stability" design, it does so at the expense of consistent tracking force and linear cartridge performance. . It actually results in varying tracking forces during play when traversing even small warps, accompanied by non-linear cartidge operation, and increased record wear.
Once Neutral Balance is chosen for use in a unipivot tonearm, one must remember that both the vertical and lateral planes will be affected the same way; without proper lateral stability, such a design would not have consistent, proper vertical alignment, and the pivot would tend to flop over to one side or another (usually in the direction of the weighted cartridge offset angle mounting). Obviously this condition must be avoided.
The answer to this lies at the very heart of the Phantom's design and its unique ability to retrieve groove information is unprecedented, we believe, in tonearm design. The key to this achievement is a magnetic stabilization system which we have called "Magneglide" (TM). With this unique, patented system, all lateral stability, and a portion of the damping, is provided by powerful neodymium ("rare-earth") magnets, placed in a horizontal line from the pivot point of the tonearm
In combination with pivot fluid damping (similar to that used with the Model 2.2), the Magneglide (TM) system allows normal vertical pivoting of the tonearm in true Neutral Balance, with vanishingly low friction; yet, provides a strong lateral stability that feels almost like fixed bearing arms. (No wobbling of the arm as it is lifted, for instance).
In addition, this dual-damped system forces the Phantom to pivot in the correct vertical plane of the stylus tip, with no rotation as the arm is raised. No regular unipivot can achieve this important geometric requirement. Even a few fixed bearing arms don't get this right!
If the vertical motion of the tonearm is in plane of the armtube itself (and not the correct plane of the stylus face angle), the cartridge will tend to tip over to its side as the arm is raised, as when tracking over warps. This will cause noticeable channel imbalance and reduced tracking accuracy.