The Wand Unipivot Tonearm
The Wand Unipivot Tonearm® represents a step change in tonearm design. This is not your gran's 'gramophone'. Using a carbon-fibre arm tube meant there was the opportunity to use a large diameter, this makes it at least four times stiffer than a 'normal' arm. The diameter also means that it was possible to ditch the traditional 'head-shell' and bolt the cartridge directly into the armtube. Also solving an ergonomic problem as you 'queue' the arm with your finger under the tip of the arm, eliminating parts.
Throughout the design process there has been a continuous drive to simplify and then simplify more. To strip down the number of parts. To reduce sonic and visual clutter. Every part resonates, which can add unwanted contributions to the sound. Fewer parts mean's better sound and keeps the price keen compared to competitors which may have as many as four times more parts.
Remaining vibrations in the armtube are carefully terminated in the 'virtual earth' of the body using a mixture of rigid and damped materials. The exact choice of these materials was to provide the most musically satisfying result. The immensely solid body, made from a 2inch diameter, billet of non-magnetic Stainless Steel also rigidly holds the 'defined contact' unipivot bearing.
The best tonearm in the world will sound like the worst if badly set up. To be set up correctly, it must be aligned very accurately. At best this takes hours at worst it is never achieved with floppy cardboard 'protractors'. Part of the reason The Wand sounds so good is that it is supplied with a Stainless Steel alignment tool which enables 90% of the performance to be extracted very quickly. The fixed angle of the cartridge mounting ensures the correct Baerwald alignment may be easily achieved simply by moving the base of the arm. Ease of installation is further ensured by the use of the now standard 'Rega style' mounting dimensions and the availability of dedicated mounting bases for existing 'SME' and 'Linn' style cutouts. An armboard for Technics SL1200 family is available.
The availability of new materials and new processes opened up new opportunities in tonearm design. The Wand Tonearm uses both new materials (carbon fibre) and new processes (laser cutting and computer controlled machining) as part of its radically new design. It is not surprising The Wand tonearm has been selected as a finalist in the 2011 BEST Design Awards (New Zealand). And it makes musical magic!
The Wand comes with a mounting plate that can be used with most turntables. But to ease the replacement an existing arm we offer the following accessories:
Rega / Linn / FR12 mounting hole
SME style mounting hole
Technics SL1200 & SL1500 family turntables
Lenco L75 family turntables
The Wand weighs ~500g (~1lb) this is similar to SME 3009 and a little heavier than Rega arms (420g). So it should be within the adjustment range of most turntables.
The Wand is "Medium Mass" at 12.5g effective mass, so will work with most cartridges. Even a high compliance cartridge like a Shure V15Vx gives a measured resonance at 7Hz, so is ok. At the other extreme, conventional low compliance cartridges work well. Arm/Cartridge matching is frequently over-stated, unless you have a system with massive bandwidth and insist on playing badly warped records it shouldn't be an issue.
The most popular cartridge with our users are Denon DL103 and variants.