New $35K pivoting tonearm


Vertere Audio is Touraj Moghaddam cofounder of Roksan.

It has some interesting features including aligning the pivots to the offset angle rather than the arm tube, and bearings that don't rotate, made out of polymer-metal laminate film. Has 240mm effective length.
www.vertereacoustics.com/news

Click on the PDF link near the top.

This came up on Audio Circle and somebody said it sounds good. I certainly hope so. Anybody else?
Regards,
fleib
What can I say hi-end audio pricing is getting more and more ridiculous by the
minute. As a long time jewelry manufacturer with in house tool and die dept., I
can categorically that we're all being taken to the cleaners by some of these arm
and cartridge manufacturers. The cables have already been that way for years
and its seems others are following their foot steps. We have 11 design and
production patents, use only the best gemstones, and even our own proprietary
gold alloys, manufacture for some of the biggest and best names in the industry
and still can't figure out where these ridiculous prices come from.

Lets not forget what Roksan was/is, budget products that are half way decent
that's all.
Dkarmeli, To relate with your point, I have been a Watchmaker for years, and having grown up in the antique business, own vintage watches. The outrageous pricing of "some" new watches, where the costumer has no idea of what is inside, but likes the package....
Isochronism, I don't disagree with you but that's called branding and there's hundreds of millions spent to create that illusion and value. Plus there's intrinsic precious materials value that through out history have only appreciated in time, what do you have here?
"Illusion & Value" was exactly my point. Precious metals are currently down.
I have a few highly collectible vintage brand models where the value is not dependent on their material content. I would decline to list them :)
Speaking of cables, this arm has a nonstandard 7 pin connector and you guessed it, Vertere also makes cables.
Regards,
Picking up on Isochronism's point, I enjoy watches, and am thoroughly disgusted with much of the new market. I don't understand a $5,000 watch in a stainless steel case using a common ETA movement. I would much rather have a vintage Omega or IWC with a manufacturer's movement. And either can be bought for a small fraction of a new watch from the same manufacturers.

Yet this is the world of the luxury trade where the value is not necessarily to be found more than a millimeter beneath the surface.

And no doubt the same goes for audio equipment- it is remarkable what a savy marketer can do with OTC Belden cable, tech-flex jacketing, costly terminations and funds for a barely pseudo scientific marketing campaign.
Everybody has an opinion that they are so willing to share, yet apparently nobody has any experience with the tonearm. Tell me what you know about the product!
Zavato, I fully agree! Vintage Audemars, Vacheron, even Patek are available for less. Pre 1970 Omega Constellations are great values. IWC Shaffhausen, as well :)
.... And those come in 18k cases, if you look around. Pre-owned Rolex Subs in SS are available under 5K. the market is already flooded and should be more so with this economy.
Omega Speedmaster Professional out-performed Rolex Daytona (and all others) per NASA very stringent testings. Hence the Moon Watch.
Pre 1970 versions are desirable and reasonable.
Everybody has an opinion that they are so willing to share, yet apparently nobody has any experience with the tonearm. Tell me what you know about the product!
At $35K I won't hold my breath waiting for a critical mass of reviews.

...interesting features including aligning the pivots to the offset angle rather than the arm tube...
Like 90% of the tonearms in the world, including my college-days Dual tonearms. Wow!

...bearings that don't rotate...
Like every unipivot and the many fixed bearing arms that use needle bearings. Most impressive.

Speaking of cables, this arm has a nonstandard 7 pin connector and you guessed it, Vertere also makes cables.
Well, naturally. Once must have 7 contacts to carry a phono signal.

...somebody said it sounds good. I certainly hope so.
Me too.
Ditto to what Doug wrote, especially on the first point about aligning the bearings. When I read the OP's description, the first thing I thought of was the built on tonearm on my Dual 1019 record changer, and then I thought of every tonearm I've ever owned, except the unipivots, which do not require such bearing geometry at all.

I generally do not go along with ridiculing audio gear based solely on retail pricing, but this one does take a sort of cake, when it comes to that.
Ill be jumping on one soon Ho Ho!!
Well, I didn't say any of the features are unique. They seem to be the highlights of the PDF. The bearing material might be unique and the claim is, it's the only arm with completely silent bearings, although even if true I'm not sure how relevant that is. Friction spec is not provided.

The armtube/headshell is machined out of one piece of titanium, but so is my old Alphason 100S. I was hoping someone who heard the arm would comment.
Regards,
01-27-14: Fleib
Well, I didn't say any of the features are unique.

Well the $35K list price is rather unique, for a tonearm anyway. ;)
I thought the really unique aspects of this arm are the different horizontal and vertical effective lengths (offset bearings so inertia is different in horizontal and vertical directions) and the pivoting counter weight so that VTF and SRA aren't as effected by record warps. Those seem to be fairly unique features. I think there is also a light at the headshell to illuminate the LP for groove selection.

I did hear this arm a year or so ago at the NYC audio show in an unfamiliar system. There was no way to isolate the performance of the arm from the rest of the gear. The system sounded OK.

The price is outrageous.

The Axiom and Schroeder LT arms are more interesting, IMO. They are also expensive, but not 3X+ the competition.
$35000 for a tone arm?? One thing for sure...JV will review it and give it a rave review if he can use it as a long term reference.
Rereading the description it seems the headshell and armtube are made separately then welded together.

It says, horizontal and vertical bearings are offset by 23mm so the effective length is different in the 2 planes and correctly optimized. I don't see how this is any different from other arms with offset bearings.

Regards,
$35,000.00 tone arm, at lease for this money you have something to play with.
I think the wire industry tops it all even surpassing the cryogenic treated cable elevators .
There are many examples and right now on sale here on Audiogon,
a 6 foot Elrod ac cord for $15,000.00 marked down because it is used ,yours only $8,000.00,....
The envelope is always pushed only when there are customers that are willing to buy into it , I think this speaks volumes and I need to come out with a new line of wire,....
are the additional conductors in the wire feed for led lights on/in the tonearm? or am i imagining this?
G m c, you're not imagining it, vaseline and colonoscopy lights included!
In a way he is the first one who offers a normal Arm in that new price range. Personally I will wait until I can listen to one. I agree, when JV will get one as a long term "reference" we will read that a new sonic wonder hit our Planet. But, to be fair, none of you showed identical "emotion" when pieces of wood became available for 8k (Schroeder) or later the piece of wood from Durand (double).
Where is the beef? Designed by knife or expensive material which really has some energy transfer? Each his own but I think, a good executed Arm for 35k can serve more sonic pleasure than a material which changes its parameters when your wife opens the window. And, take care of

Audiophile rule No. 1: No Panic

Any manufacturer who wants to be taken serious, needs a high ticket device. Downgrade from top is more simple than to move up from the bottom. It is a Roksan Arm in new clothes...and a new name.
Syntax, You're right and I feel the same looking at a chopstick with a hinge for
thousands of dollars. Lets not forget the same reviewers raving about the
ultimate toilet flush design, the Well Tempered arm...
you have to be kidding for that kind of money.
Syntax, I like your sense of humor, but I must disagree with you on the subject of wood tonearms. I own a few that I like very much, and even in theory there are some properties of some hardwoods that seem well suited to the job. I don't own a Durand, but I would like to (Talea, not Telos). Also, although your remark did make me laugh, I strongly doubt that any well done wood tonearm will be affected when your wife opens the window, unless perhaps you are experiencing a typhoon. Why is a metal rod (choose your metal) more sophisticated, or even "better", necessarily? Both types can sound very good. If the early Schroeder tonearms have a flaw (and I don't know that they do) it is more likely related to the string bearing than to the wood composition, IMO. I've got an old but virtually NOS Grace wood tonearm that I have been thinking of modifying by adding side weights at the pivot; it has the potential of any modern expensive wood tonearm, if you like unipivots and if you don't hate wood.
Dkarmeli, I have long tried to hold my tongue when it comes to the WT tonearms, because there are so many devotee's on the internet, but I do agree with your assessment of them. I just don't get the enthusiasm, at all.
Lewm, my comments on the wooden arms have to do with some of their pricing
and not their sonic quality. Its what this thread is mostly about, that at a certain
point you have to say enough is enough. I'm sure that the price of this arm will
serve its purpose and provide Vertere with plenty of free advertising, and I wish
them success in their business. There IS one born every minute. As far as WT
goes, there's 10 of those born every minute!

I wonder what the birth rate is for this?
"HiFi-Tuning Supreme Fuses - 99% Silver + 1% Gold = 100% Sound"

I read that the bearings are "leaf bearings" or "non-rotating polymer-metal laminate films." Can someone tell me what that is? In a video interview, the designer mentioned the bearings do not have to pivot up and down or left and right and have limited motion just enough for tracking. He said the vertical motion has 22º or 23º of freedom and about 60º of freedom.

YOUTUBE VIDEO

_______
The only kind of bearing that works like that, and does not change the geometry, when flexed, are Flex Pivot bearings. Why they don't just come out and say that is what they are using, I don't know. Probably don't want anyone else to catch on. They seem to be an ideal bearing for a tonearm though. Here is a link to a company that makes Flex Pivot bearings, to give you an idea of how they work. http://www.flexpivots.com/

If they are not Flex Pivot bearings then I don't understand how they could accomplish what they say they do, without some bad consequences. For instance, if you flex a spring, side to side, or up and down, it will bend not pivot. When it bends it will follow a more severe arc than a point that pivots. That would be bad thing.

Thanks, Sarcher30, for the info. I saw a DIY arm uses flex bearings before. Good to know!

_______
The AMG uses a spring for vertical motion. i'm sure that is what makes it sound different. Is the diff better or worse, don't know, have not heard it.
Agree with Syntax that the primary function of this arm's price is to attract attention... which we are providing. ;-)

Disagree on the viability of wood as an armwand material, and windy hyperbole will not blow it out of the room.

Energy transfer is not the only way to stop stray mechanical noise from reaching (or reflecting back to) the cartridge. Energy absorption can also be effective, particularly at higher frequencies. The chaotic, cellular structure of wood, especially dense hardwood, provides millions of boundary transitions that scatter and randomize HF energies, preventing the buildup of resonance patterns. These energies are also attenuated as molecular level vibrations are converted to heat. In this application, wood can be a usefully lossy medium.

The Durand armwands have a lower sound floor than any metal armwand I've heard, especially in the musical harmonics region. I believe their wood armwands contribute to this.

As usual, there's more than one way to skin an audio cat... it's all in the implementation.

Agree with Doug; I think it's the non-regular structure of a good hardwood that benefits a wood arm wand vs a metal one, for dissipating energy. But this thread is not about wood tonearms; sorry. Love my Reed. Have really liked a Talea in my friend's system.
Not to beat a dead horse but when I questioned wood as a to earl material it was pointed out that metal also expands and contracts w temp change. Assuming (big jump) a competent designer I cools not agree more; it's all implementation. And design trade offs of which there are many.
Swampie, To be a Devil's advocate, I would say that a solid metal rod or a hollow metal tube is less likely to warp when it does expand and contract based on ambient temperature. Also, metal is much less sensitive to humidity, compared to wood. On the other hand, I really have liked the sound from wood tonearms I have heard, so I think such concerns about wood are largely bunk.
Hate to disappoint the designer's quest for unique selling points but the Syrinx PU2 I was using back in the early 1980s had offset bearings...

It was a thing of beauty in a minimalist kind of way. ;)
Hold on to your wallets folks... This is for All you suckers that paid 19.5 K for the Durand " TELOS" WOOD tonearm. This audio bargain of the century has a NEW updated arm wand . It is now made from a mystery blend of composites (plastics) NOT wood! Cost for this upgrade is only 6K! The good news ... the old wooded arm will not go to waste. It will make a killer finely tuned back scratchier.
19.5 K for the Durand " TELOS" WOOD tonearm. This audio bargain of the century has a NEW updated arm wand . It is now made from a mystery blend of composites (plastics) NOT wood! Cost for this upgrade is only 6K!


A wood Arm is never wasted, you can still use it to light up your fireplace.
Jeb, No joke?
And apparently there is no trade in discount. Throw away the old, buy the new which has new wires and supposedly sounds much, much better. So $19.5K for the Telos + $6K for the composite wand, more $KK for the sapphire bearing. This is in the high $20Ks now and there are so many options/versions, I've lost track.

Are there different length composite arm wand upgrades available? Can you install the sapphire cartridge mounting plate on the composite wand, or does that degrade performance?

The mid tear Durand seems like a promising design which never had a wood arm tube option.
The optional 4.5K cost sapphire head shell spacer is NOT used on the new updated composite arm wand . Oops... on running out and buying one! Useless on the new arm wand. Throw it in the
goldfish tank next to the fancy glass marbles. Ouch!!!
...chasing, changing, migrating, pixy dust, alchemical hope. The poor designer appears to fall under, "stress is the artifact of an inappropriate model." Maybe, the problem lies not with the design itself, but with the platform, aka "model," that supports this arm during the tuning-in phase...as the reseller of this platform has been known to say, "designed by west coast grads, etc.".

Cheers!
The instruction manual with my new Transfiguration Proteus says that on some arms VTA and azimuth can be adjusted by remote. Did try my HT Denon remote....no way.
Is this the new genie out of the bottle ?
I recall that a very rare Air Tangent arm allowed for remotely controlled VTA. I never heard of azimuth being adjustable that way. Kuzma had an arm pillar with a digital readout that made it easy to adjust the arm up or down and get back to a prior adjustment (just remember the number), but, actual adjustment was not by remote control.
I suspect 'twas a poor Japanese translation ...:-)
Gotta hear that!

It better not be worth the money or I will leave depressed.
Turns out that Telos after many years of research have finally cottoned on that wood is not ideal for a tonearm, and is indeed in this instance a wooden spoon, or kindling as Syntax would say.

I must have had great foresight about a year ago when I was criticised for describing on the Telos as a "wooden spoon" on the Wave Kinetics thread.
Finely tuned WOODEN SPOON
One of the most expensive back scratchier in the world, Or... A pair of them could be used for tossing salads.
Frank Schroder is using a composite arm for his new Linear Tracking arm. His old arms used to be wood also.

Will the Telea II model switch over to composite as well?

Unoear, are you referring to the DD platform that Jtinn is selling? I imagine the new arms were developed in part on that same platform, the Wave Kinetics table.
06-26-14: Larryi
I recall that a very rare Air Tangent arm allowed for remotely controlled VTA. I never heard of azimuth being adjustable that way. Kuzma had an arm pillar with a digital readout that made it easy to adjust the arm up or down and get back to a prior adjustment (just remember the number), but, actual adjustment was not by remote control.
You are referring to the VTA arm tower for the Stabi XL turntables which has a gauge with a round dial.