Note: customers who purchase a new tonearm will receive an on-site setup based on the selling price of the tonearm. Currently, this applies to residents in the Continental US and most parts of Canada. The program is as follows:
- Tri-Planar, Kuzma 4Point 11 & 14, Dynavector: Free!
- Kuzma 4Point-9 & Schröder CB: 40% discount on setup price
- Ortofon, Artisan & Jelco: setup fee is full price
Check our On-Site Setup Page for retail pricing & details.
Sonic performance matters, but many overlook ergonomics and usability. At the highest level of performance, the arm you set up the best is the arm that sounds the best. We discuss this topic in this blog post. Contact us to discuss which arm works best for you.
No break-in required! We break in all of our tonearms for our customers (from cartridge clips to connectors) as follows:
- 72 hour burn in on a AudioDharma Cable Cooker
- 3 hours’ line level burn-in with pink noise
Click the product thumbnail photos to link to the manufacturers’ websites.
In general, we recommend either the 9″ or the 11″ 4Point arm, because its effective mass is compatible with a broader range of current cartridges.
Its 14″ sibling (18 gram effective mass) is more suitable to low compliance cartridges.
Contact us for pricing and our recommendations based on your system. Options are too numerous to document here.
- Interchangeable headshells which maintain the continuous wire run from the cartridge clips.
- Azimuth is repeatably fine adjustable via a rack and pinion screw adjustment with laser etched markings.
- Repeatable VTA adjustment.
- Multiple wiring options (straight-run, DIN connector, and a unique bi-wire option)
We offer the Schröder CB tonearm in two variations:
- The “standard” (production) version with carbon fiber composite arm wand.
- A custom, wood arm version manufactured by Frank, with his proprietary wiring, customized to your mass requirements.
This arm was formerly built under license by Artemis Labs in California, and is now manufactured by Thrax (the composite, carbon fiber armwand version). The custom (wood wand) version is manufactured by Frank.
CB stands for Captive Bearing (no more magnet/string beaings).
- Effective length: 239.3mm (custom version can be as long as 305mm).
- Effective mass can be tuned from 12.5 g to 19 g by changing cartridge mounting plates.
- Horizontal damping using a unique system of eddy current induction.
- Frictionless, resonance-free, magnetic anti-skating – compensates for varying skating forces across the record.
- Calibrated center post to allow repeatable adjustment of VTA.
- Azimuth is adjustable at the arm wand.
- Ceramic hybrid bearings are magnetically centered and pre-loaded – eliminating bearing chatter completely, guaranteeing constant rigid structural coupling and silent ultra-low friction movement.
- Extremely low bearing stiction/friction (2mg vertical, 3.5mg horizontal).
- Symmetrical mass distribution around the central bearing axes prevents external excitation to cause any cantilever deflection.
- The geometry and mass balance prevents change in VTF when altering VTA.
- Bearing for vertical movement is on the same plane as record, so the arm is immune to warp wow effects.
- Wiring harness with extremely low dielectric losses allows mounting of any MM cartridges with proper capacitive load at the phonostage.
- Symmetrical layout of the conductors preventing RF and EMI entering your preamplifier.
- Multi-layer arm wand construction using carbon fiber and other composites create extreme torsional and bending stiffness with very high internal damping factors. This prevents any signal reflection back into the cartridge.
- Dual section counterweight with an adjustable damping system. This allows tuning of structural vibration absorptions to prevent signal reflection across the armwand. .
Herb Papier’s brainchild lives on today, under the caring stewardship of Tri Mai in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Tri-Planar embraces the philosophy we espouse here at Galibier – well conceived, stable, mature designs which undergo evolutionary, continual process improvement. Much of the Tri-Planar’s improvements over the years are “under the hood” and not plainly visible.
In addition to the Tri-Planar’s world-class sonics, we have not found a tonearm which is easier to set up and adjust precisely. Refer to the blog post in the introduction above for our position on tonearm ergonomics and usability.
TriPlanar comes in 3 versions:
- Mk VII U2 ‘Classic’ (250 mm effective length): composite arm wand and copper wiring
- U2 SE (250 mm effective length): carbon fiber arm wand and silver wiring
- U12 (308mm effective length): carbon fiber arm wand and silver wiring
The Ortofon tonearms are sourced from Jelco, and they’ve made a couple of mods to them.
Coupled with our copper litz tonearm cable, the TA-210 (12″ arm) is a great match for the SPU line of cartridges.
Tonearm pricing varies depending on model. Tonearm cable pricing is extra:
- $795 for our copper litz tonearm cable
- $395 for Discovery Cable Plus-4
Artisan Audio (Jelco)
These are re-branded Jelco SA-250’s (9″ arm) and represent one of the best bargains in audio. Jelco has made tonearms for Koetsu and a host of other brands.
The arm is deserving of a much better interconnect than the budget cable offered as standard issue with the Jelcos you see advertised elsewhere.
- Tonearm (no interconnect): $425
- Tonearm with our copper litz tonearm cable: $1,095
- Tonearm with Discovery Cable Plus-4 interconnect: $795.
We’re developing a new counterweight set for the Artisan arm and are also developing a hardwired version (continuous run from headshell clips to RCA jacks) using the copper litz wire in our tonearm interconnect.
We also have the 12″ model available for those of you who are looking for a high mass arm for your SPU or other vintage cartridge.