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turntableThis certainly tops the list of strange things i have shipped wood for. This gentleman from Lithuania is a sound engineer and his passion in life is to do research to create the most perfect sound output from vinyl records and their turntables.

I thought these toys were obsolete, but he insists they are making a come back, and there is a small global contingent that is working feverishly to perfect the technology, but I'll let him explain...

"One of the major turntable parts is the tonearm, and one of it's major parts is armtube (or arm). Armtube, as the name might say, is 9"-12" inch slightly conical tube, one of it's end attached to the armbase and the other - to headshell (which holds the cartridge). 

Armtubes are usually made of aluminum or carbon-fibre, however some of them are made of wood (usually expensive ones).

Wood is usually chosen due to it's sound transmission properties (actually it does not transmit any sounds - it is of course done via wires from cartridge to preamp, but it still gets some vibration from the cartridge, which have to be minimized), also due to it's weight. For example, 12" armtube made of western redcedar (our primary armtube material) weights ~4 g., in comparison to carbon-fibre tube, which weights ~12 grams.

tone arms for a turn tableThe lighter the tube - the more "sensitive" tonearm is (in terms of balance; it has less momentum of inertia and effective mass). And since we have to make up to 12" length and 12 mm diameter tube (6 mm inside diameter), quality of wood is very important.

And despite western redcedar serves pretty well as a armtube material, we are constantly looking for other possible materials (my colleagues are really passionate about sound quality research). So after some inquiries from our customers (and a glimpse to competitors :) we decided to try more types of wood ourselves. And since I have no idea where to obtain these types of wood (especially Pernambuco) in Lithuania, I googled for a few hours and found your website. Thanks" ... Vidmantas

turning the tone armSo far he has tested

  • Western redcedar,
  • Ebony Macassar,
  • Cocobolo,
  • Pernambucco,
  • Pao Ferro,
  • Panzerholtz (Tankwood).

And he's working on testing:

  • rosewood
  • ebony, gaboon
  • Black Walnut
  • wenge

I know because this is the wood I have most recently shipped for Vidmantas to play with.

If you are interested in reading up on his research here's his website


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