Headshells

Headshells serve as a tuning element for your front end, and your experimentation can reap rewards.

They can change both the energy transfer characteristics between your cartridge and tonearm, as well as the effective mass, to better match your arm to a cartridge.

We cover some of our thoughts on selecting a headshell in this blog post.  As we note there, some of the headshells below might not be our first choice, but taking our commentary into consideration, one of these might be the headshell for you.

Arché - $795

Galibier Design - Arche Headshell

click to visit Arché

Revolutionary in its approach, the Arché allows for setting SRA at the headshell (+/- 2 degrees) - this, in addition to zenith and azimuth.

This allows the tonearm bearing's vertical position to be independent of the SRA setting, allowing you to optimize it's height relative to the record surface.  

It also means that the only parameters you need to adjust when swapping cartridges are tracking force and anti-skate.

Additional cartridge plates can be purchased separately, allowing for quick cartridge swaps.

Fabricated from aircraft grade aluminum (AP7075) with titanium rails, careful attention is paid to rigidity and resonance control at every step - from manufacture to assembly.

Available in multiple finishes and 3 masses (11.8, 14, and 18 grams).

DS Audio HS-001 - $450

Galibier Design - DS Audio HS 001 Headshell

click to visit DS Audio

Machined from a solid billet of duraluminum, the litz leads are soldered to the headshell pins to eliminate one connection.

As we've noted elsewhere, it's unclear how much effect eliminating a connection has on the integrity of the signal, but at a minimum, take this is an indication of the attention to detail DS Audio takes with these headshells.  

Unsoldered versions are available by special order.

A combination of dual alignment pins and a compression washer improves both the mechanical as well as electrical integrity of the headshell connection.  

The HS-001 is on the lower mass side for high-performance headshells, but it is not low mass. 

Paired with a light tonearm (e.g. Jelco 9", Schick 9.6"), the combined effective mass will be in the 12-14 gram range, which is consistent with the requirements of most medium to medium low compliance cartridges.

Mass: 10.5 g (excluding shell lead wire)
Shell lead wire: 4N litz φ 0.08 x 10 x 3 yore rings

Thomas Schick  (graphite) - $295

Galibier Design - Schick Tonearm - Graphite Headshell

click to visit Thomas Schick

The Thomas Schick headshell is graphite which is extremely rigid, and is the lightest headshell we offer.

It can be particularly useful in matching a medium compliance cartridge to an arm that would otherwise have too much mass.

My Sonic Lab SH-1Rh - $250

Galibier Design - My Sonic Lab Headshell

click to visit My Sonic Lab

Fabricated from 6063S aluminum, these are an excellent match for the My Sonic Lab cartridges.

This headshell has three fixed overhang mounting positions and is best suited to the My Sonic Lab cartridges.

Mass is 14 grams.

Ortofon - $99 - $575

Galibier Design - Ortofon Headshell LH-10000

click to visit Ortofon

Key differentiating features include material, as well as whether azimuth is adjustable.

Scroll down for a feature summary and pricing.

Model

Material

Adjustable

Azimuth

Mass

Price

LH-2000

Aluminum

no

15.5g

$  99

LH-4000

Aluminum

yes

14.3g

$ 109

LH-6000

Magnesium

no

13.5g

$ 149

LH-8000

Oaktree / Urushi Lacquer

no

8.5g

$ 199

LH-9000

Magnesium / Carbon Fiber

yes

16.8g

$ 259

LH-10000

Aluminum / Zinc Alloy

no

14.5g

$ 575

Ikeda - coming soon

Galibier Design - Ikeda 345 Tonearm

click to enlarge

We'll have more to say about headshells designed by Ikeda-san in the coming days.

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