THE TERMINATOR TONEARM
high end performance, not high end price!
".....a tonearm that is only accurately aligned at 2 points across a record is about as good as a stopped clock that shows the correct time twice a day......." Clive Meakins, referring to a conventional pivot arm.
UPDATE JUNE 2010
New Lightweight Tomahawk wand introduced as a replacement to carbon wand
Features: on-the-fly VTA adjustment with engraved millimeter scale giving a range of 12mm, solid alloy mounting block, & cosmetic improvements. Retro-fitable to Terminator 1 & 2.
The original Ladegaard inspired Evolution tonearm has undergone a revolution: its been turned upside-down, & transformed into The Terminator!
Turning the original design on its head has improved the design in a number of ways:
- Air now remains trapped under the sliding saddle for longer resulting in better floating requiring less air flow. This reduces pump noise & hiss from the airbearing, which is now practically inaudible.
- With its underslung carriage, the wand is now below the centre of gravity thus increasing its stability. This gives better tracking with high compliance, low vertical tracking force cartridges.
- It will now also fit Turntables with the shallowest of platters.
- In addition the cantilevered universal mounting system will allow Terminator to fit onto any turntable using the existing conventional pivot arm hole with an orientation directly facing the user for ease of operation.
Note: If the hole does not fall within the yellow marked area, an adaptor plate can be supplied.
See mounting instructions HERE
The single point slot fixing, as distinguished by the large delrin washer on the front face, allows the Terminator to move up & down as well as tilt. Simple accessible thumbscrew adjustments for VTA & level make setting up for different cartridges a breeze!
However, the BIGGEST single advantage of this new design is the tonearm can be suspended OVER the platter. This results in a short wand with an effective length of only 3" or less.
Keeping the wand short reduces resonances within the arm which typically colours the music. It is probably one of the major influences contributing to the overall sound of a tonearm. Manufacturers of conventional pivoted arms go to great lengths to try to eliminate resonances. They have a hard job!
Together with a lightweight slider, Terminator has the lowest lateral inertia of ANY airbearing tonearm on the market weighing in at just over 80g including the saddle, counterweight & cartridge, allowing safe tracking of the fussiest high compliant cartridge.
Because Terminator splits the Horizontal & Vertical components using 2 different bearings, air for the horizontal movement, & a mechanical Twin Point Pivot bearing for the vertical, the relative inertias are independently variable simply by adding weight to the slider (horizontal) or wand (vertical).
To satisfy the technogeeks, a word on cartridge compliance:
Using pivoted arm criteria to measure an air bearing in a parallel
tracker is about as useful as road test data for cars being used for
hovercraft. So, the below is an attempt at an explanation:
The inertias of the vertical component is different from the horizontal component. Horizontally, because there is no pivot, the inertia is equivalent to its mass, in this case ~ 80g. The vertical component, by design, is approx 25x less, ie ~3g. Horizontal resonance is typically between 12-16hz, vertical 5-7Hz.
Vertical inertia must be as low as possible, & the horizontal is already high as per Ladegaards recommendations. To a certain extent, the air pressure being used can influence all of the above.
http://n4rp.com/airbearingarm.html Read the 2nd arm.
If you study my online manual, you will see there is a section on increasing inertia by simple adding weight to the slider..
However, its really not worth getting bogged down in this technicality....all cartridges seem to work well with the Tomahawk wands. I have found this to be true of low & high compliance cartridges. Any problems affecting the performance of a given cartridge are mainly due to setup error.
Experiments with damping have shown it is detrimental to Terminators performance & really not necessary.
Note: in the event of a power failure, have no fear! Because the vertical component is mechanical, the stylus will still be able to skip over grooves & will not run the risk of being damaged!