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AIRTANGENT 2002
Linear-Tracking Air-Bearing Tonearm
 



Engineering Masterpiece
The Airtangent 2002 is the result of over 18 years of research to build the ultimate tonearm that combines superior hand craftmanship, exotic materials selected for their sonic performance and ultra high precision machining.

The Best Precision Instrument In The World
Limited Edition
Designed by Leif Häggmark, handcrafted with pride in Sweden

 

The legendary Airtangent from Sweden is the finest tonearm in existence. The model 2002 is the latest version of their low pressure design, introduced over 10 years ago.

Here's why:

Records are cut on a lathe in a straight, radial line. To maximize the playing time for a record, the feed rate of the cutting head is varied, based on the frequency and amplitude of the signal. Understanding these facts dictate how a record should be properly replayed.

Since records are cut in a straight line, the only way to properly replay them is through a linear tracking tonearm. All pivoted tonearms are intrinsically flawed in this manner. The pivoted tonearm was designed for low cost, ease of manufacture, and ease of use. However, due to their design, pivoted tonearms only place the stylus tangent in the groove at 2 positions. At all other positions, the stylus is not tangent. This results in measurable and, more importantly, audible distortion. Especially on inner grooves. Records are cut at a constant angular velocity, 33rpm. This means that the wavelength for a 100 Hz tone is longer on the outside of the record and shorter on the inside. With shorter wavelengths, geometric error is more easily heard. Ever notice how the last track on the side of a record sounds grainy, edgy, harsh, and sibilant? This is an inherent fault of the pivoted tonearm design and is nonexistent with linear tracking tonearms, like the Airtangent.

Pivoted tonearms also suffer from a problem know as "skating". This is caused by the vector of the drag force generated by the stylus not being aligned with the arm's pivot. This moment (force times distance) generates a rotational force about the arm's pivot, causing the arm and cartridge to "skate" inwards, towards the center of the record. The magnitude of skating is proportional to stylus geometry, music signal content, tracking force, arm position over the record, and overall arm design. An "anti-skating" force must be applied to minimize this problem. But, it is never gone. What this means is the stylus will never be perfectly centered in the groove throughout the entire side of a record, when using a pivoted tonearm. How can you hear this? Ever notice how the vocalist is never perfectly centered and seems to drift around? With linear tracking tonearms like the Airtangent, the vocalist is always locked dead center.

Records are never perfectly punched on center. You can see this by watching the tonearm and cartridge oscillate back and forth when playing a record. The higher the moving mass for the tonearm, the greater the force is applied to the sidewalls of the record groove. This causes excessive record wear. Sonically, this tonearm/cartridge oscillation causes the image and soundstage to drift around from left to right and so on. This is very easily heard in high moving mass tonearms. The Airtangent is the lowest moving mass airbearing tonearm in the world. What this means is it will provide rock solid images and soundstages while minimizing record wear.

Features of the Airtangent:

• low air pressure bearing with 75 square centimeters of surface area for exceptional stability and virtually zero friction
• titanium air beam with 132 laser cut micro perforations
• damped magnesium arm tube
• lowest moving mass: only 36 grams without cartridge or counterweight
• smooth, continuous VTA adjustment with locking mechanism
• electronic cueing with end of record auto lift
• remote power turn-on for pump on tonearm
• damping trough with silicone oil
• 3 different counterweights are included for optimum performance with all cartridges
• Super silent air pump

U.S. Retail Price: $11,500


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