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The Aspects of Low-Inertia Tone-Arm Design

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The desire for low-inertia tone arms accompanied the development of high-compliance pickups. Recent investigations have demonstrated further advantages of such tone arms. A constructive example is analyzed to demonstrate the possibility of conceiving a conventional tone arm in which a resonance frequency of approximately 10 Hz is ensured with modern pickups. The requirements for specific elements of this tone arm are discussed. The concluding remarks treat the vibrational factors to be considered in connection with low-inertia tone arms.

JAES Volume 25 Issue 9 pp. 550-559; September 1977
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Scott Dorsey
Scott Dorsey

Comment posted March 29, 2019 @ 15:53:30 UTC (Comment permalink)

This paper is so important in the scheme of  things that it appeared in the AES Compendium on Disc Recording.  The reason why this paper is important isn't Equation 3, which at the time was fairly well-known, but how the authors draw out all the consequences of that equation and what it actually means in terms of arm motion.  Kudos also to the authors for calling these "low inertia" arms instead of "low mass" arms.

If people in the audiophile community read and understood this paper, so much of the silliness and misinformation about the process of matching arms with cartridges would disappear.  So much mystery is made of the complex interations between the arm and the stylus when in fact it really isn't complex at all and comes down to a single scalar value (namely the system resonant frequency).

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