The WAND tonearm

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. Continue reading

The case for MM and MI cartridges

Moving Coil cartridge design has not changed fundamentally for 30+ years.

The traditional design of almost all MC cartridges, consists of a stylus on the end of a long cantilever, with a ‘moving coil’ attached to the inner end.

This whole assembly ‘sits’ onto a soft, resilient ”suspension’ or damper’ material and held in place by a rear tension wire. Continue reading

QUAD 33 restoration (Pt 1)

The Quad 33 preamplifier is 50 years old, now.

It was introduced by Quad Electroacoustics in 1967 (to partner the 303 power amp) and 120,000 units were reportedly manufactured over 15 years.

The Quad 33/303 was Quad’s first Solid State consumer preamp/power-amp set.

My Quad 33 is serial no.6184, which means probably late 60s-early 70s manufacture. Continue reading

TERMINATOR tonearm (Pt 3) – stop the chatter (updated)

The Terminator linear tracking tonearm combines an air-bearing with a (twin) ‘uni-pivot’ bearing.

Uni-pivot bearings need to be stabilised in order to handle the energy generated by a pick-up cartridge.

In this case, twin pivot points were in metal-to-metal contact with the arm-slider ‘V-brackets’ and some instability or ‘bearing rattle’ can be audible at times. Continue reading


As we know, phono EQ is implemented via RIAA equalisation, usually using RC (resistor-capacitor) filter circuits.

However LCR EQ (using inductor-capacitor-resistors) is regarded by some as the better way of implementing this – the Holy Grail of phono EQ.

The advantages are said to be:

  • Lower losses = more gain
  • Lower impedance, especially in the lower frequencies = more ‘power’
  • It sounds better!

Continue reading

MIYAJIMA MC cartridges – fresh thinking

For the past 30 years or more, with a few exceptions, Moving Coil cartridges have been variations of the same basic design. Very little has changed in 30 years.

The principle of a coil moving within a magnetic field, is based on Faraday’s Law of Induction. The Moving Coil cartridge generator is usually held by a tensioned wire, against a soft “suspension” material.

However this traditional electro-mechanical design is not ideal. Continue reading