Tonarms by Frank Schröder

We’ve been working with Schröder tonearms for nearly two decades, and we have yet to experience a tonearm that surpasses their faithfulness to reproduction of timbre and tone. 

You have not heard an oboe properly reproduced until you have heard it played back through a Schröder. 

Do you struggle with having to trade off rhythmic and dynamic presentation against ease, naturalness and beautiful tone?  Your search is over. 

Chamber music?  Orchestral? Salsa?  Jazz?  Rock and roll?  Bluegrass?  No problem.

Whether you select the “standard” carbon fiber or ebony arm wand versions, or the limited edition wood wand version, you will not find a family of tonearms which are more consonant with music.

Galibier Design - Schröder Arm Rest

Schröder with Custom Galibier Arm Rest

Galibier Design - RMAF 2018

Frank Schröder’s attention to detail and his grasp of the physics involved in ideal tonearm behavior is second to none.

Schröders are like a Formula 1 race car however, and require  an experienced hand in setting them up.  This is where we come in for you at Galibier.

There's quite a bit "under the hood" in a Schröder design - innovative features which belie the arm's external simplicity.  

Many tonearms are designed without taking interaction with the entire analog chain into account. 

One of the key distinguishing features of any Schröder design is how they mitigate the flaws of many turntable designs.

Refer to the "The Design" section below for details.

Click to jump directly to a section of interest

The Design

Bearing

If you know Schröder’s history, you remember the unique magnetic bearing principle for which he holds worldwide patents.

Frank didn’t leave well enough alone, and he developed an entirely new, radical technique to decrease friction in captive bearings.

Galibier Design - Schröder CB Tonearm

Ebony Version

The CB (Captive Bearing) design employs hybrid ceramic bearings which:

  • Have unprecedented low stiction/friction (2mg vertical, 3.5mg horizontal)
  • Eliminate bearing chatter completely
  • Guarantee constant rigid structural coupling and silent ultra-low friction movement

Energy Transfer

Frank is a systems thinker, and recognizes that tonearms can only operate in the context of their partnering components.  The CB tonearm is designed with defined physical zones which focus vibrations away from key areas.

  • A dual section counterweight with an adjustable damping system allows tuning of structural vibration absorption and signal reflection.
  • The various zones reject vibration conducted from the cartridge, through the mounting plate, as well as those originating from other turntable components (motor, chassis/base, bearing), along with airborne vibrations.
  • This results in a stiff, balanced mass which is structurally coupled to the chassis. It effectively eliminates external excitation by generating equal forces to all sides of the arm.
  • The multi-layer arm wand exhibits extreme torsional and bending stiffness (using carbon fiber and other composites).  This prevents any signal reflection back into the cartridge.

Dynamic Stability

  • The vertical bearing axis is on the same plane as the record, so the arm is immune to warp wow effects.
  • The geometry and mass balance maintains constant tracking force when altering VTA.
  • Lateral movement is damped by eddy current induction.
  • Symmetrical mass distribution around the central bearing axes prevents external excitation, preventing unwanted cantilever deflection.

Miscellaneous

  • The wiring harness has extremely low dielectric losses, allowing for use of any MM cartridge with proper capacitive coupling to the phono stage.
  • Symmetrical layout of the conductors prevents RF and EMI entering your preamplifier.
  • Magnetic anti-skating – dynamic compensation for the varying skating forces across the record.

History

This CB arm design was formerly built under license by Artemis Labs in California, and is now manufactured by Thrax.

A limited production version with a custom wood wand and wiring is crafted by Frank.

Features and Specifications

All Schröder CB arms (both production and limited edition arms built by Frank) share the following features:

  • Magnetic anti-skating is adjustable via hex screw at base of the arm
  • VTA is adjustable via set screw, with calibrated center post to allow for repeatable settings
  • Azimuth is adjustable at the arm wand
  • Dual section counterweight allows for fine tuning damping, and a small sub-weight allows for easy fine tuning of tracking force
  • Eccentric mounting architecture (M6 pivot bolt) allows for minor correction of drilling (mounting) errors
Galibier Design - Schröder CB

Carbon Fiber Version

Specifications

Specs below are for the production tonearms.  Limited edition arms (built by Frank) can be specified as long as 305mm, and are wired with his proprietary wire (much too difficult to assemble in a production context).

Feature

Description

Arm wand type

carbon fiber, ebony

9" nominal length

effective length: 239.3mm
pivot-spindle: 222mm
overhang 17.3m

11.2″ nominal length

effective length: 282mm
pivot-spindle: 267.48mm
overhang 14.52m

Effective mass (9″)

14 g. with standard plate
19 g. with optional heavy plate

Effective mass (11.2″)

18 g. with standard plate
23 g. with optional heavy plate

Mounting

24-25mm center bore, with single M6 mounting screw

Bearing stiction/friction

2mg vertical, 3.5mg horizontal
(lowest of any conventional bearing arm)

Wire

High purity copper, 1.5m standard length
Straight run from cartridge clips to RCAs (XLR optional)

Pricing

9″ (239.3 mm effective length):

  • carbon fiber wand:  $4,800
  • ebony wand: $5,050

11.2″ (282mm effective length):

  • carbon fiber wand: $5,050
  • ebony wand: $5,300

Limited Edition arms (built by Frank):

  •  pricing varies due to options

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