This vintage Japanese tonearm still enjoys a certain ‘cult’ status.
Fidelity Research Co. was founded by Isamu Ikeda in 1964 and the FR-64 tonearm was introduced in 1978. Fidelity Research closed down c.1984.
(A new company, Ikeda Sound Labs, currently again offers new cartridge & tonearm products.)
The detailing and machine-finishing is visually uncomplicated. After 40 years, it still looks elegant and the material is durable and un-tarnished.
Marc Czerwinski has a nice music system in the attic space of his home in England.
The room is a 5.5m wide x 14.5m long x 2.75m high loft-attic, with 1.2m high side walls.
The loudspeakers are 2.45m spaced apart and the listening position is 4.6m away.
With Marc’s kind permission, here are some pics of his highly-tuned music system and equipment, including:
What we have learnt so far, with this SP-10 MkII turntable…
Building the ‘plinth’
(see TECHNICS SP-10MkII turntable – Pt 3) and trying to obtain the best sound from this turntable has taught us a number of things.
And also about optimising Direct-Drive turntables in general.
This journey is on-going, but I feel that we can say the following:
After the previous first audition, I have high hopes for this Direct Drive turntable.
The sound was punchy, with good mid-range ‘presence’ and reasonably good treble quality (using an elliptical stylus cartridge).
But before we can listen seriously,, we need to fix the adjustable helicoid arm-height base, which has become difficult to rotate after so many years.
This will allow us to raise & lower the tonearm to correctly to optimise VTA
This extraordinary tonearm was fitted to the Kenwood L-07D turntable, the legendary flagship Direct Drive turntable manufactured by Kenwood from 1979-83.
This was the halcyon decade or so, when Japanese hi-fi was at a peak of industrial and electronic design and engineering.
Those were the days when analogue hi-fi was at a high point, with many Japanese companies participating and leading the innovation. Sadly, some of those great names no longer exist – eg. Fidelity Research, Sansui, Stax, Supex, Coral, Grace, Micro Seiki,….
The Wand tonearm was designed by Simon Brown (
Design Build Listen Ltd) in Dunedin, New Zealand and was introduced in 2011.
This is a uni-pivot tonearm using Simon Brown’s own ‘defined contact’ uni-pivot implementation, a unique large diameter carbon fibre arm tube and stainless steel metalwork.
This model, The Wand Classic, is a ‘no-frills’ entry-level model with attractive pricing.