News/ Blog

The No1 Botswana Tonearm; January 24 2017

Like many others I have delighted in Alexander McCall Smith’s; No1 Ladies Detective Agency series and its positive portrayal of Botswana. So I was happy in sending my first tonearm to a customer there. Anthony ordered a 12in Wand tonearm to go on his rebuilt Garrard 301 (with Ortofon MC cartridge) This is apparently sounding great via his Audio Research preamp and Quad II power amps powering DeVore speakers.

Thanks too to Roy Davis from High End Audio for helping in the installation. 

New TNT Review The Wand tonearm (and Hana cartridge) July 04 2016

New Review! TNT Audio (Italian - English Audio Review site) has a new review of The Wand Tonearm 9.5in Plus model with a bunch of budget cartridges ranging from a Rega Carbon to Hana SL (with the Hana models coming out top)TNT Audio Link

Great room, great Show! June 17 2016 1 Comment

We were so busy at the Downunder Audio room (Colleen Cardas Imports) of THE Newport Show that I had neither much time for posting nor much visits of other rooms till the last hour or so. That was a great reality check. It was a reminder how effortless natural Brad's Brigadier BA2 speakers with the Pureaudio amps were, I'm sure I had blood dripping out my ears after visiting a couple of uber-end rooms.
it was a scary privilege to be using my (tone!) arms on the Audio Union Helix 1 turntable. What an amazing piece of technology Creating a sound that was just 'there'. Blurry photo attached (and more posts coming...)

Iconoclastic Classics! February 29 2016

Recently we’ve posted a bunch of images of cartridges that cost several times the cost of The Wand Tonearm® being used on it.

Just to rock the boat a bit we have now posted on Pinterest some rebelliously cheap cartridge being used.

The Shure SC35C ; has been described as “A Wolf in Cheaps Clothing”, this DJ cartridge with the tracking force of half a brick….   …..but with the redeeming feature that it can sound great! Dave in the USA has tried it fitted to his Technics SL1210 M5G on his Wand 10.3in arm, commenting

So far I've had a Shure SC35C, Zu Denon 103R, Shure M55E and a Stanton Fluxvalve 380 installed and they have all performed great. Way better than these budget carts should and better than any of them have performed for me in the past.

Swedish translates beautifully! February 10 2016

Swedish translates beautifully!

A couple of weeks ago our Swedish distributor Stylus Audio  sent a review from a local magazine Hifi&Music of The Wand Tonearm® fitted to an Analogue Works TT2 and using a Lyra Kleos cartridge. Only we couldn't read it.

Now we have a translation on the summary at the end of the review...

Sure, the combination costs a pretty penny and it is hard to discount the vertiginous precision in the detail that the Lyra cartridge contributes. But, I cannot recall having ever heard a Lyra sound as muscular and dynamic, and clearly the mechanically stable and low loss tonearm contributes to this. Yes, it feels as if the stylus movement is directly coupled to the amplifier. So, considering the price, the Wand presents itself as a true bargain!

Hana Cartridges score 5/5 with HiFi World (UK) January 12 2016

The first magazine review of Hana cartridges has come out in the UK magazine HiFi World.

They reviewed the Elliptical stylus EL & EH models and awarded both ‘Five Globes’ (of five)

With the verdict (EL); A wholly tolerant cartridge that is smoothing and engaging while praising it for –musical engagement, romantic mids, bass and value for money (at a UK retail of £276)

This is a nice symmetry as it was HiFi World who ran the first The Wand Tonearm® review (again awarding it five globes).

Design Build Listen is the New Zealand Distributor for Hana cartridges.

One of our local customers also commented;

The improvement in 3 dimensional accuracy was immediately obvious. It is a solid and precise sound without being at all clinical. The Hana has great timing and I very quickly forgot about the cartridge and just enjoyed the music. Richard B. New Zealand

Hana Moving Coil Cartridges have arrived! December 30 2015

We are proud to announce the arrival on of the new Hana Moving Coil cartridge range from established Japanese cartridge makers Excel Corp.

or Hana, which means “brilliant and gorgeous” in the Japanese. Hana cartridges are produced by Excel Sound Corp from Japan, a long established cartridge making company who produce for many other companies. In picking the best bits for their own cartridges, HANA Phono Cartridges use high rigidity aluminium cantilevers, and cross-shaped armatures with the aim of providing brilliant and gorgeous sound.  The Hana “SL” uses a nude natural diamond Shibata-stylus, capable of excellent high frequency response, giving transparency and excellent trackability.  Hana cartridges are available as ‘low’ and ‘high’ output versions. The latter being suitable for quieter Moving Magnet inputs but are only available to order.

These cartridges are available directly on this site or ask us about a retailer near you (Retailer enquires welcome) for $595 for the elliptical stylus EL/EH models and $985 (inc GST) for the Shibata stylus equipped SL/SH models.

We are only authorized to sell these in New Zealand but we can help find your nearest Distributor if you struggle to find them.

They sound great on The Wand Tonearm!

The improvement in 3 dimensional accuracy was immediately obvious. It is a solid and precise sound without being at all clinical. The Hana has great timing and I very quickly forgot about the cartridge and just enjoyed the music. Richard B. New Zealand

Cartridge Heavy Hitters! December 13 2015

This new  on Pinterest shows The Wand Tonearm® being used with cartridges ranging from $US 250 to $US 9500. At one end the Denon DL110 providing great musical enjoyment on a SRM tech turntable for its owner despite the modest outlay. The Lyra Atlas / Haniwa HCTR01 and Dynavector DV-XV all showing The Wand can provide great insight at the other end of the scale too!

First Wand Tonearm Installation video now on line! December 03 2015

The first (of five) Wand Tonearm Installation videos is now on line on Vimeo. This one is about five minutes long.

Thanks for the video making to Jemma Wells Photography!

The others will gradually roll out in the next few months.

Linn LP12- Wand experiments. November 24 2015

Stylus Audio (Sweden) Linn LP12- Wand experiments.

Our Scandinavian Distributor Stylus Audio have been busy experimenting with The Wand Tonearm® on a variety of turntables with different cartridges.

Recently they have been running it on a couple of rebuilt Linn LP12s. Shown here with Lyra Delos and Dynavector's top cartridge the XV1.

Apparently the sound is as good as their photography…

It is timely to mention that we are now selling a dedicated LP12 - Wand armboard. This will alow you to fit either a 9.5in or 10.3in Wand to a Linn Sondek.

The Wand at Rocky Mountain Audio Festival (RMAF) Room 465 September 27 2015

Our Dallas, Texas retailer, Mockingbird Distribution is using The Wand Tonearm as part of the release for a new range of moving coil cartridges from Japan, 華 (or hana, which means “brilliant and gorgeous” in the original Japanese). HANA Phono Cartridges use high rigidity aluminum cantilevers, and cross-shaped armatures, providing you with brilliant and gorgeous sound.  Hana “SH” and “SL” use nude natural diamond Shibata-stylus, capable of excellent high frequency response, giving you supreme transparency and excellent trackability.

Come and listen at RMAF 2015, in room 465.

New Collection of Cartridges on The Wand Tonearm. September 27 2015

 From Nagaoka MP200 to Jasmine Audio Tiger by way of Grado Platinum...
Over on Pinterest;…/cartridge-collection/

Rockin with Analogue Works Turntable at the North West Audio Show this weekend! June 24 2015

Divine Audio are Showing their Analogue Works range of turntables at the North West Audio Show at Cranage Hall  this weekend.

The Wand Tonearm will be there too fitted on with this lovely Decca Maroon cartridge.
Be there or be digital......

Tonearm Heaven in Kuala Lumpur May 12 2015

Tonearm heaven in Kuala Lumpur!
Just had a wonderful couple of days in Malaysia and visited a number of Wand tonearm owners there as it seems to have gained a bit of a cult following.
I had a great time with friendly folks with some really serious audio gear. I  was tempted to entitle this "Being punched in the head in K-L" as the combination of Decca cartridge/ Wand Arm / Lenco L70 with a MOSFET  driven pair of 1960s JBL gave some of the most wonderfully punchy music I have ever heard. This will probably become a longer blog but a bit of a taster, some photos attached.

This Month's Cartridge Collection February 14 2015

We've posted an other interesting bunch of cartidges being used  on The Wand on Pinterest.

See; Link


-Audio Technica  OC9 on a Technics SL1200
-Denon DL103 + Midas Body on a PTP Audio turntable
-Transfiguration Tempur 
-Sumiko Pearl
-Ortofon Cadenza Bronze on Thorens TD160


Cartridge Collection January 13 2015

I've started a 'board' on Pintrest with a Cartridge Collection. Link

Different cartridges fitted to The Wand tonearm.

This will get randomly added to.