News/ Blog

We’ve been Blogged! and on one of the coolest audio websites out there…. January 19 2017

The Factory Audio from Canberra, Australia has a really cool website, all black with white lettering and moody images. A music page isn’t surprising for an audio dealer / modifier /installer but it also has the big plus of a ‘Whisky of the Week’ page… (and we are not talking Johnnie Who here)

One of their customers, Walter has written an interesting blog about audio progress, this includes quite a few Wand Tonearm references. This may have something to do that he has Wand tonearms mounted on a Thorens TD160, Lenco, Orpheus and Garrard 401 turntables, with more for a Technics SL1500, and the mighty Commonwealth turntable.

The full blog is at if you scroll down a bit.

But few extracts;

….speaking of retro, the ‘new releases’ featured in the article about the Munich show included amplifiers by Dynaco and Hafler, and turntables from Perpetuum-Ebner. Until recently all these brands were dead (though apparently not, to quote a recent head of state, buried and cremated). ……

Naturally enough it occurred to me that a magazine story involving similar products from these manufacturers might have been written about a Munich hi-fi show of 50 years ago or more. But how is this possible when there have been so many changes in hi-fi over the years, and when hi-fi itself, as a branch of science and technology, is predicated on ideas of innovation and progress? It seems that within hi-fi at the moment there are two contradictory historical visions: on the one hand, belief in technological progress surely remains most people’s default position; yet, on the other hand, it is difficult to make sense of the ‘new’ products at Munich without using metaphors of cycles, spirals, and even, to borrow an idea from Nietzsche, eternal return.

Is it even possible to answer this question? Strictly speaking, it is not, for to be able to do so would involve possessing a perspective that somehow transcends one’s immediate paradigm. But it is surely permissible to draw upon our own experiences in thinking about such questions. In my case, a comparison between a system I had around 1980 and the one I have now comes to mind. Simply put, is the one I have now better? If I were to answer ‘no’, it would be because of the magnificently wide and precisely positioned sound stage that my old Amcron electrostatic-conventional hybrid speakers presented when I played records on my AR turntable with its JH arm and Nakamichi moving-coil cartridge. I have been attempting to recapture that soundstage ever since, along the way making a virtue out of a necessity by trying to convince myself that musical coherence is more important than the clear separation of instruments, tracks, and channels.


There is, of course, also a ‘yes’ answer. I’m sure, for example, that my current Merlin-Naquadria amplifiers are much better than my 1980 Amcron-Dynaco combination and, for that matter, everything else I’ve ever had including the celebrated Naim 250 power amp. I also feel that a decent medium-priced modern tonearm represents a significant improvement on even state-of-the-art vintage arms. This opinion was confirmed recently when I replaced the early-model SME 3009 on my vintage Orpheus turntable with a 9” version of The Wand carbon-fibre tonearm from Design Build Listen in New Zealand. One reason for the huge improvement I perceived is the tonearm cabling involved, and I think that cabling in general is an area where one may well speak of progress; I shudder to think that in 1980 I was feeding my Amcron electrostatics with the sort of speaker wire that one buys at Bunnings these days. Cabling aside, though, current unipivot tonearms like The Wand still seem better than their antecedents such as the once highly regarded JH Formula 4 and even the legendary Naim Aro.

But, as I’ve said before, the thing to do is to put something like The Wand on a good vintage turntable. In fact, my two current favourite turntables, the Orpheus and a souped-up Thorens TD 160, both have Wands. The Orpheus is from the late 1950s and the Thorens the 1970s. The Orpheus has an Ortofon 2M Black cartridge, which is a – perhaps the – current cutting-edge moving-magnet design, while the Thorens has a Decca London cartridge, which, although new, is essentially the same design as its Decca predecessors from the 1950s. (contd)

Dr Walter Kudrycz

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.

New 10.3in Wand Tonearm (and Series 2) August 24 2015

The Wand 10.3in tonearm has been explicitly designed to be the longest arm that you can fit on a Linn Sondek LP12 or Technics SL1200 family turntable without having to make major modifications.

After a positive response to the 12in version of The Wand Unipivot Tonearm® Design Build Listen ltd are releasing a 10.3in version which promises 2/3 of the benefits of the 12in arm in a format that will fit many existing turntables.

While 12in arms may improve tracing distortion performance by around 30% compared to ‘standard’ 9in arms, a 10.3in arm achieves close to 20% improvement in a format that is achievable for many users.

 We are 12in arm converts but we found that many people are unable to fit 12in arms to their treasured turntables. The 10.3in arm makes this possible for many users, the benefits being heard in the increase in subtle musical detail. The Wand 10.3in remains a medium mass arm (14g) enabling it to be used with a wide range of cartridges.

 Dedicated mounting kits are available for both Linn LP12 and Technics SL1200 family turntables, to make it even easier. 

At the same time we have made a raft of improvements to The Wand Tonearm® culminating in Series 2 status, this includes a new Tungsten Carbide cup bearing, Laser sintered (3D printed) Titanium headshell and a change to brass as the base material for most of the arm parts. These combine to improve both sound quality and finish.

Direct Drive Delights; New Pinterest Board August 16 2015

Direct Drive Delights; Things come full circle, as vinyl enthusiasts know. Not only is vinyl back, but Direct Drive turntables which became very unfashionable in English speaking countries in the 1980s, are back. They do offer their own strengths, a dynamic that belt drives often struggle with.

We have started a new Board on Pinterest to show The Wand Tonearm on some of  these turntables.

See; Link