Tonearm Design: Incorporating the Reader

After doing some research into turntable tonearms I have begun to sketch and prototype different shapes for my players arm. There are two main forms of tonearm in conventional turntables, straight arms and s-curve arms. From DIY and audiophile forums the consensus  seems to be that these variations are purely aesthetic and some of the main aspects that effect the sound of the vinyl are the weight and balance of the arm for groove tracking, effective length of the arm which is the distances from the centre of the platter to the centre of the horizontally pivoting bearing and the central alignment of the needle to the arm. As my player is going to be able to play vinyl records and the simulated RFID records the factors that affect normal turntable in terms of sound quality etc will have to be take into consideration. Aspects such as the adding of the scanner and making the arm out of the wood will affect the weight balance and acoustics of the arm.

One project of interest that I came across was a good detailed example of the assembly of a wooden tone arm, which I feel could be similar to mine. The technique used to assemble it is something I’ll begin experimenting with in the workshop during the next phases of arm development.

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