Our Mark I turntables originally had pivoting armboards which you can view in our museum.
With the release of the Mk II arm architecture and their sliding armboards, we developed a MK 1.5 upgrade for these first generation turntables.
Current production consists of the Mk 1.5 armboards and the Mk II armboards which are priced identically.
We have a small remaining stock of our earlier Mk-I pivoting armboards, and once it is depleted, they will be unavailable.
Pricing varies by mounting complexity and tonearm (armboard) length.
Prices range from $600 to $1,000 for both Mark-II armboards as well as for Mark 1.5 conversion armboards.
Pricing varies because the machining task can vary from a simple drilling and thread tapping operation into the aluminum, to a complex milling operation.
Additionally, long armboards require more material and machine time than short armboards do.
The photo above shows one such complex operation – a Mk 1.5 armboard with the necessary clearance for a horizontal arm cable exit (Graham tonearm).
An additional consulting fee may apply for some challenging mounts (see next section).
We have a limited supply of Mark-I (pivoting) armboards (both standard, and Stelvio versions) and pricing is more modest, but again, is dependent on the complexity of the mount.
Contact us for pricing on these, as we may have demos and trade-ins at favorable pricing.
Out of production arms, or those current production arms which are poorly documented may incur an additional consulting fee.
The hourly charge for these mounts is $70/hr. with a minimum charge of $250. Insured return shipping will also be billed, if your arm must be sent to us.
We will only charge a consulting fee for those arms where the manufacturer is unresponsive and extra research is required (and we've encountered more than a few).
We have many popular tonearms in our drawing set, and no additional fees are incurred for these tonearms.
For most tonearms, the design process begins by performing a "virtual mount" with our CAD software. This is the basis for the drawings we submit to our machinist.
Some tonearms (both current and vintage) must be mounted the "old fashioned" way (with the tonearm in house) - measuring manually and using a drill press. The TriPlanar is one such tonearm (and an odd example at that), and these extra fees don't apply for these tonearms (apart from shipping expenses).
The reason for the consulting fees is twofold. Many current tonearm manufacturers are unwilling or unable to furnish us with design specification that we can translate into a drawing for our machinist.
Other tonearms may be out of production and we require having them in-house in order to measure and specify.
The following two stories convey some of the challenges we face in working with manufacturers, although in this case, the reverse situation applies: a "known" arm (Kuzma 4Point-9) to a turntable from another manufacturer. This one is a mount to a Luxman turnable, and this one is to a current production Brinkmann Bardo.
Mark-I to v. 1.5 Conversion
Refer to the photo below, in the Mk 1.5 section for details on this base conversion.
There is an additional fee of $895 (plus shipping) for machining the Mk 1.5 conversion cavity into your Mk-I turntable base.
This is in addition to any armboards ordered. Refinishing charges may apply, depending on your current finish.
Mk 1.5 Armboard Inventory
The typical Galibier owner does not change equipment frequently, and after rolling out these armboards, demand has been light.
When we run out of stock, we broadcast to our mailing list to get a sense of demand, but in general, a manufacturing run has been an annual event.
If your need is immediate, we can manufacture in quantities of one, but you will incur a setup fee which is normally amortized over the a larger batch. Setup fee for single armboard is $450. If you require two different armboards (two different mounting patterns), two setup fees will apply.
Mk 1.5 Armboards
This is a conversion for your Mk-I turntable.
We’re big fans of this conversion. It is not a trivial upgrade.
It will transform your Mk-I into the sonic equivalent of its Mk-II successor.
The additional stability is comparable to a significant tonearm upgrade.
The only "disadvantage" to this upgrade is that you lose dual tonearm capability.
All of the same advantages of the Mk II armboard architecture applies:
- Frequency response is extended.
- The background is quieter.
- Your tonearm will track dynamic passages with much more grace.
- The armboard provides a Vernier adjustment for precise pivot-spindle adjustment.
In spite of the single arm "limitation" of this conversion, we've always advocated doing one thing as well as you can – in this case, favoring a single Mk 1.5 armboard to dual pivoting armboards.
While there are never guarantees in making a change to your system, this, along with our drive system update, is as close anything comes to a sure bet.
Mk 1.5 Cavity Conversion
When fitting most 12″ tonearms, or "surface mount" tonearms like the Schröder Reference, the Durands or TriPlanar, this cavity conversion is unnecessary.
If however, your tonearm is nominally shorter than 12″ and it has either an arm stub or arm cable which projects through the bottom of the armboard (e.g. Graham, Kuzma, Jelco/Artisan, etc.), then your Gavia Mk-I and Stelvio Mk-I base requires additional machining to provide clearance for the arm stub and/or arm cable.
This photo shows the cavity we machine into Gavia Mk-I and Stelvio Mk-I bases.
When we receive a Gavia Mk-I or Stelvio Mk-I in trade, we perform this conversion before posting it to our Specials page, so your investment is “future-proofed”.