E&OE Copyright 2010-
Tonearms over £700
Michell TecnoArm A
The TecnoArm A is another modified RB250, but Michell’s upgrades are some of the most comprehensive and certainly the best executed that we’ve come across.
The attention to detail includes an arm tube that is drilled on its underside to reduce mass and resonance’s. The underside of the headshell is then machined to ensure its absolutely level and finally the whole tube is bead blasted.
The wiring is replaced with very high quality pure silver cable from Deskadel which runs in one continuous piece from the cartridge tags to the phono plugs (both sets of connectors are naturally silver plated).
The counterweight is the beautifully engineered Tecnoweight which is marked to every 0.1 gramme so tracking force can be setup without a stylus balance. Finally a VTA adjuster and finger nut is included for decks with a suitable armboard allowing easy changes of vertical tracking angle to be made without tools (although the VTA adjuster can easily be removed for decks that don’t have the provision for it).
After all this work is completed the bearings are adjusted by hand by Rega trained engineers (unlike many of the modified Rega arms on the market) to ensure the best results.
The sound of the Tecnoarm A is extraordinary and ultimately will tell you more about the cartridge fitted to it than it will about itself. However what stands out is a level of detail retrieval and precision that few can match and none at this price level that we know about.
Note: New version now out, which features the new improved arm tube from Rega and 3 point fixing mounting, pictures and more details to follow shortly.
Michell Tecnoarm a: £705.00
Michell Tecnoarm a Black: in black paint finish £717.00
New for 2011 is a new affordable tonearm design from Audio Note. These exquisitely made arms use a single piece of machined aluminium for the one piece arm tube/headshell, which is internally tapered to keep the arm both stiff and light. Another solid block of aluminium is machined to make the bearing housing which contains ‘captured unipivot’ bearings.
The arm uses the same geometry and fixings as Rega arms, so can be fitted to almost any deck, and thanks to a wonderfully simple and effective collar (pictured below), vta can easily and repeatedly be adjusted in tiny increments (there’s a clear marking for every 0.25mm increment).
At first the most striking thing about the sound of this arm is the sheer speed of transients, the leading edges of notes are captured brilliantly and seemingly not at the expense of their natural decay (as is often the case with many ‘fast’ sounding products). It has a very focused and tight sound, like it’s always in control but it doesn’t ‘sit on’ the music at all. In fact I it’s a very hard product to fault -
The arms are available in silver or black finished and the different models are identical except for the differing grades of Audio Note wiring used internally and externally (the Arm 1 is pictured and auditioned here).
Audio Note Arm 1 -
Audio Note Arm 2 -
Audio Note Arm 3 -
Nottingham Analogue Ace Space
The Ace Space tonearm is a beautifully hand crafted design. It features an ultra light weight carbon fibre arm tube and uses a damped unipivot bearing. This damping means this arm is as easy to handle as a fixed pivot tonearm, suffering none of the instability you otherwise tend to get when cueing. It produces a delightfully natural sound with exceptional speed and good dynamics.
It is available in two different lengths, a 10” model (shown in the top photo) and a 12” version (as pictured below). A 12” tonearm is always preferable where you have space for it as it lowers tracking distortion, offering a more consistent and effortless sound throughout an LP side.
Nottingham Analogue 10” Ace Space tonearm: £900.00
Nottingham Analogue 12” Ace Space tonearm: £1,050.00
The Audio Origami PU7 is an evolution of the classic Syrinx PU3 tonearm and is hand made to order (with each arm taking in the region of 4 weeks to be produced). The specification is completely customisable, with a choice of arm tube lengths between 9 to 12 inches and arm mass can also be specified to ensure the perfect match with your cartridge. The standard finish is a high quality matt bead blasted silver, with Polished, custom colour anodising and gold or chrome plating all available as options. The standard model has Cardas copper wiring with Ikeda wiring available as an upgrade.
Here’s a small selection of some of the custom options available:
5pin tonearm connector fitted in arm base (instead of captive external wire): +£100
Custom anodised parts (i.e. Black, Pink, etc): +£360
Longer 10”, 11” and 12” arm tubes: +£300
Ikeda silver internal arm wiring: +£375
Nottingham Analogue Ace Anna
The Ace Anna is the reference tonearm from Nottingham Analogue. This features all the ‘Ace’ refinements and tweaks that have evolved the cheaper Ace Space into the giant killer that it is, so when applied to this, the ultimate Nottingham Analogue arm you can begin to imagine the results! It’s difficult to know where to start with this tonearm, I struggle to find any short comings with it and find it combines remarkable resolution, a wonderfully open and spacious top end along with prodigious bandwidth, musicality and neutrality. It’s a very difficult tonearm to surpass and works with a very wide variety of cartridges too.
Nottingham Analogue Ace Anna 10” tonearm: £2,150.00
Nottingham Analogue Ace Anna 12” tonearm: £2,340.00
It is great that Helius have returned to the market, and as you’d expect their latest offerings include some superb tonearms. Detailed here is the Omega range, a stunning looking design featuring many of the aspects that have made Helius arms so sought after. Inside there are twelve large bearings formatted in the Helius tradition of a tetrahedral 3-
Technically the arm is very sophisticated, being dynamically balanced, damped by differential masses and having non-
Ignoring arm length options, there are two versions of the Omega. The standard one has tungsten bearings and copper wiring. The Omega Silver Ruby, as the name suggests, features cryo treated Silver wiring and Ruby bearings. The latter's arm tube is normally silver in colour (pictured at the very bottom of this article) but if desired it can be ordered in the same black as the standard model.
A short highly flexible cables leads out to a break out box with RCA sockets on it, enabling the interconnect of your choice to be used without impacting the suspension of the turntable.
Helius Omega Standard 10” tonearm: £3,224.00
Helius Omega Silver Ruby 10” tonearm: £4,464.00
Helius Omega Silver Ruby 12” tonearm: £4,629.00