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The 12 inch tonearm

My Garrard 301 with Ortofon SPU-A and matching 12 inch Schick arm


Vinyl playback stayed popular all over the world. Despite the fact that there are numerous digital formats claiming to be the ultimate source of sound. I do not want to research reasons for this, because if you are reading this, playing records already is an issue for you.

For high quality systems decks from the 1960ies and even older are very popular.
As for cartridges, the popular Ortofon SPU dates even back to the late 40ies. This stuff is used for its outstanding quality, matching and surpassing todays products.

Two major sound ideals seemed to have established themselves. First there is the "romantic, sweet and pleasant" sound lover. Here color of the tone is most important, nothing that disturbs is allowed. On the other hand there is the "detail lover" who wants to hear all of the details, even if the sacrifice is to hear the instrument in an unnatural way.

Most of the times both ways of getting sound have the disadvantages of the other. Sweet sound is often precieved as dull and boring, whereas the detailed sound often comes with bright, unnatural even annoying sound. (often, not always)

Best of both worlds

How to combine these two philosopies and get the most natural AND detailed sound?

To keep the high level of information and hence details you have to start at the beginning.

A precise working tonearm with a heavy cartridge was the soultion for me.