Brinkmann presently manufactures three tonearms. They are exquisite. Top precision, the highest levels of workmanship, visual elegance and most of all sonic performance are all in the very top class of today’s tonearms. The three models are the 10.5, the 12.1 and the 10.0 arm. The model numbers also signify the tonearm’s length. Both the 10.5 arm and the 12.1 arm are of a similar design. Specifically, they feature a double cardanic / gimballed suspension with precision Swiss bearings, free of play, which allows for precise and frictionless tracking.
For optimum resonance control and high torsional stability, the 10.5 and 12.1 arms are made from aluminum, stainless steel and a high-tech synthetic material. Their arm tubes also receive a special anodizing treatment which provides further resonance control. The vertical down force and dynamic mass can be adjusted over a wide range thanks to the split collar counterweight. Skating compensation is done by a no contact system through magnetic force. All in all, these arms are very carefully thought out designs which are simple, elegant and sound just like they look – exquisite! The 10.5 and 12.1 arms are considered two of the best tonearms in the world and are used as references ( and highly recommended ) by magazines and reviewers around the globe.
Brinkmann’s 10.0 arm is a completely unique design. This is Brinkmann’s newest tonearm. It was developed with the two direct drive turntables Bardo and Oasis in mind but also works superbly with all types of quality turntables.
The 10.0 arm uses a completely different bearing technique than the 10.5 or 12.1 arms. While it employs part of a unipivot concept, it is actually not a unipivot design at all. A miniature bearing mounted on a stainless steep tip controls the horizontal motion. This bearing is friction free and allows a very smooth play creating a lively, dynamic and very stable soundstage. Unlike a typical unipivot, the arm also employs a ceramic bearing at the bottom to prevent sideways motion or wobbling when a record warp or other disturbance is encountered. For the vertical motion, the arm utilizes precision bearings which are finely adjusted with no play. The bearing arrangement along with the other design features has resulted in an arm of outstanding sound characteristics. The 10.0 is a world class tonearm.
Transrotor decided that it was time to design, create and build their own tonearm. For Transrotor there was no lack of practical experience with the best tonearms in the world as they have been building world class turntables for 50 years. The company also has access to the most modern and highest precision production methods available.
For the new tonearm, Transrotor wrote ease of use and simple adjustability at the top of the priority list. The Transrotor TRA 9 is designed to use its fine mechanics to enable the world’s greatest phono cartridges to develop their full sonic potential.
Creating a tonearm tube free from resonance is of decisive importance. Therefore, the Transrotor design team decided on a two-part solution with a tapered tube that is connected to the bearing block. However, no standard tube with the extremely tight tolerances required for this application could be found on the market. That’s why Transrotor constructed the front tonearm tube from ultra-precision cnc machined solid aluminium.
The massive bearing block is designed completely flat on top. With this feature you are able to simply check the horizontal alignment of the arm by placing a spirit level during adjustment. Two threaded rods are used for sensitive height adjustment. A parallelogram made of plexiglass is supplied with the tonearm and with the two rods the arm can be lowered or raised extremely sensitively.
The counterweight is fine adjustable by means of turning a central positioned screw. The bearing force can be set precisely up to the second decimal. The chrome-plated brass weights can be exchanged for ones with different mass if necessary.
Anti-skating force is generated magnetically and is fine adjustable. The headshell can be rotated for azimuth adjustment as well.
Extremely low breakaway forces and very little play are decisive for a tonearm bearing. As a result, high-end Japanese steel bearings are used by Transrotor for horizontal guidance and ceramic bearings for vertical guidance. Both bearings are braced against each other to ensure the closest tolerances.
For mounting the arm, Transrotor offers two options: Standard type — a circular base with a diameter of 43 millimeters; and an SME type — an elongated base that allows mounting on turntables that are prepared for an SME tonearm.
The new Transrotor TRA-9 is a modern Masterpiece and a work of the utmost precision design and construction. It can be adapted to virtually any turntable and will bring out the highest possible sonics that turntable can provide.
Gold Note manufactures two high quality tonearms. They are the B-5.1 and the B-7
Ceramic which are both gimballed ball bearing types. The B-5.1 is made with precisely machined 6000 grade aluminum which enables the best damping and vibration feedback control. The B-7 Ceramic is a top class exclusive model that features a Titanium arm wand made in six different machined thickness sections to enhance resonance control.
The B-7 Ceramic features four custom high precision micro ceramic ball bearings manufactured by GRW-Germany. The extreme precision and ceramic material these bearings are constructed from results in ultra-smooth and very low noise operation to ensure the finest musical details are beautifully reproduced. The vertical bearings are pivoted through custom stainless steel threaded bolts finely adjusted, while the horizontal movement is driven by two micro ball bearings directly inserted in the main rectified pivot of the arm.
The tonearm features a double counterweight to set up most phono cartridges up to 15 grams. Optionally, extra counterweights are available to handle cartridges with even higher mass. The B-7 Ceramic has an effective length of 223mm with 12mm overhang so this tonearm can be installed in virtually any turntable on the market.
In overall design and dimensions, the B-5.1 is very similar to the B-7. Essentially, there are two main differences between these two arms. As already mentioned, the B-5.1 has an arm tube made of 6000 alloy aluminum compared to the multi section Titanium one the B-7 has. Also, the bearings in the B-5.1 are high precision stainless steel as opposed to the precision ceramic ones in the B-7.
These two tonearms are like Ferraris. They perform! I really like both of them a lot. To summarize, they are straight forward designs without unnecessary dials, levers and other gizmos. Construction is of a very high quality, they are practical and easy to use, and they play vinyl superbly well. A big, fast and dynamic sound. Best of all, these tonearms are priced very very reasonably for the excellent performance you get.
We currently have on demo a B-5.1 with a Dynavector Karat operating with a Giglio turntable. Sound is absolutely fantastic!
In North America and around the world, the Graham tonearm has become legendary. Bob Graham himself is a perfectionist when it comes to state-of-the-art analogue reproduction. As we have seen from the original Phantom, the Phantom II and the Phantom II Supreme, Bob has continued to relentlessly perfect his Phantom tonearm design through the years. Now, the culmination of all of his years of work and all of his skill are expressed in the Phantom III and Phantom Elite models.
The Phantom III retains Graham’s patented Magneglide™ stabilization system, and Micropoise™ leveling system while improving upon their level of performance. Other mechanical systems in the Phantom III have been refined as well. The arm tube of the Phantom III tonearm is removable for quick changing of phono cartridges and features Graham’s patented alignment system. The removable arm tube also facilitates the off-turntable mounting of phono cartridges. The Graham Phantom III is available in three effective lengths, with a choice of two mounting systems, and two finish choices.
Standard finish is black. Black with 24 karat gold accents is also available. Graham setup tools, including the CA-7 cartridge alignment gauge are included with the Phantom III. Tonearm cables are sold separately.
Bob Graham has once again redefined state-of-the-art with the Phantom Elite tonearm. Using his many years of engineering and design experience, he has created a tonearm that offers unparalleled performance in every definable way. Offered in a striking combination of silver and black, with the option of 24 karat gold accents, the Phantom Elite features the most refined and precise version of Bob Graham’s patented technology. The Graham Phantom Elite is available in three effective lengths, with a choice of two mounting systems, and two finish choices.