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The Tonearm Guide of Turntable

by Jeffery Huang on January 07, 2022

What is a Tonearm?

Generally, the tonearm is a removable record player accessory that fixes the cartridge and stylus. I-Type TonearmBut from a more professional point of view, it cooperates to conduct the work of picking up the accurate and error-free signals and efficiently transmit to the pre-amplifier by balancing the cartridge, stylus, and counterweight with a high degree of stability. By tonearm, the phonograph can protect the vinyl records while also ensure the quality of music playback.

 

The Classification of Tonearm

At various dimensions, the classifications of the tonearm are presented in different categories. From the difference between supporting shafts, the tonearm can be divided into the Tangent Tonearm (The Straight Cut Tonearm) and the Curved Tonearm (The Crankarm Tonearm). Under the shape classification, tonearms can be divided into S, I & J these 3 types. At the view of fulcrum bearings, it can be further divided into Uni-pivot Bearings, Gimbal Bearings, Linear Tracking Bearings, Double-blade Bearings, Precision Ball bearings, and Four-point Needle Bearings, etc. However, under the perspective of balance, Statically Balanced Tonearm, Dynamically Balanced Tonearm, and Semi-dynamic Balance are the three divided groups.

 

Why Tonearm is important?

The stable tonearm reduces the possibility of various audio distortion and trajectory errors. Through the four dimensions of high quality, strong stiffness, suitable material, and bearing optimization, tonearms provide the best sound playback experience for the record players. Meanwhile, the tonearm also plays a significant role in reducing the wear of vinyl records.

 

What should I consider before purchasing a Tonearm?

  1. The Material of The Tonearm
Try to choose the tonearm made of materials with low weight, high hardness, and low resonance effect.
Under the traditional sense, tonearm materials include aluminum alloy, magnesium alloy, and plastic. As a continued, carbon graphite, glass fiber, wood, and stainless steel were derived. Furthermore, the more advanced are aluminum-magnesium alloy and titanium alloy, which are the most suitable but the most expensive as well.
  1. The Length of The Tonearm

The sound quality of turntables is directly influenced by the length of the tonearm tube. Within a certain range, the longer the length, the slower drawing of the curve arc, therefore the trajectory error becomes smaller that achieves higher music playback quality. Normally the arm tube length is around 9 inches (the origins of the turntable). With the development of record players, it grows to 12 inches and even longer. But it is not positive if the tonearms are more than 12 inches, some other problems (heavy & inflexible machine operation) will arise at the higher level.

  1. Types of The Tonearm

If you are enthusiasts of the turntables and pursue the highest quantity of error-free sound playback experience, it is better to choose a Tangent Tonearm. However, the disadvantages of the Tangent Tonearm are the difficulties to operate and the requirements of the certain foundational technology which helps to balance the tonearm; By contrast, the Crankarm Tonearm is easier to control, but it would exist few trajectory errors.

  1. Selection of Bearings

Try to choose a compact, flexible bearing with low friction. Generally, the relative cost-effective bearings are Precision Ball Bearings and Four-point Needle Bearings.

  1. Resonance Frequency

The resonance frequency is calculated by combining the effective mass of the tonearm and the dynamic amplitude of the cartridge. It is used to judge the fitness between the cartridge and the tonearm. Under scientific sense, the resonance frequency needs to below the standard of 15 Hz and be higher than 7Hz. The Optimization of resonance frequency is around 10Hz. It is essential to choose a suitable tonearm for the cartridge, if not, the sound quantity could not reach the standard while the vinyl records would be easily broken.

 

Recommendation:

I recommend 1byone's H004 & H005 Turntable for everyone wanted to buy a vinyl record player. Here are the reasons.

Firstly, from the appearance of these two items, the turntables are lacquered, smooth, and retro with combined classical & modern design. The statically balanced straight tonearm helps the turntable to minimize the distortion of the sound. Moreover, combined with an AT3600L cartridge and an integrated anti-skating weight, its tonearm deployment operation becomes easier than most of other tonearm products. And finally, I was so surprised that I find my vinyl record was well-protected liked a brand new one after a month playing by the H005 Turntable. What an ultimate new experience!

 

 

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