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.
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.
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
• 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
U.S. Retail Price: $11,500