The AirProdigy tonearm is a composite of aluminium, CAD 3-D prints and lead for weighting. The high quality prints are produced by a specialist company using professional high-end SLS printers giving prints far superior to DIY homemade prints. The nylon used is strong, hard and rigid and is sonically superior to the metals used in traditional tonearms because it is inherently much less resonant.

 

As a result of a lengthy period of design and trialling, the resulting tonearm is compact, rigid and light enough to mount on suspended sub-chassis turntables. Most importantly, it gives excellent sound reproduction!

 

The glider-arm, which houses the cartridge, is very short, light and rigid and is made of low-resonance nylon with internal baffling designed using CAD. It is suspended very precisely over the record by a widely-spaced, 2-point pivot system which locates the stylus in the record groove far more precisely than a traditional tonearm which has bearings far removed from the stylus. This twin unipivot system used for the vertical movement gives a simple, zero-tolerance bearing. Tests showed that mass-loading of the pivots resulted in improved sonic resolution, particularly in the bass, so the glider-arm is fitted with lead weighting at the bottom between the pivots. Note that the total weight of the glider-arm is still low compared with other air-bearing arms.

 

The most striking result of all this work developing the AirProdigy arm is that it extracts more fine detail from the record groove giving tremendous clarity and resolution of the sound which is evident immediately on first listening, whatever type of music is being played. This is not just compared with common budget tonearms such as the Rega RB300, Mission 774, Linn Akito and other such arms new and old but also compared with expensive designs like the Ekos and SME IV. I have never heard top pivot arms like the SME V or the Graham Phantom but I would be surprised if they sounded any better than the AirProdigy arm.

 

Note however that you will need good quality ancillary equipment to really hear this tonearm at its best. I use my own personal AirProgidy arm with an Anatek MC1 phono stage.

 

Obviously high-end cartridges (like my own Kontrapunkt B) show the AirProdigy arm at its best but even the budget cartridges I’ve tried like the Goldring 2100 and Rega Bias sound very good indeed. It seems to bring out the best in all the cartridges I've tried.

 

The Air-Prodigy tonearm works especially well with suspended sub-chassis​ decks and I have trialled it extensively with Thorens and Systemdek turntables. 

 

You should put the turntable on a firm support like a sturdy shelf.

 

 

Note that it is very unlikely that you will be able to use your existing turntable lid because of the height of the AirProgidy arm, even though it has a lower profile than other commercial air-bearing arms. I am working on universal standoff supports for the 4 corners of the lid which will allow your existing lid to still be used over the AirProgidy arm (unhinged). These should be available shortly.

 

The AirProdigy arm is not difficult to install and set up on your turntable but its adjustment and use requires a certain amount of familiarisation as it is rather different from the usual pivot arm.

 

NOTE: the AirProgidy arm is NOT recommended for those with no previous experience of setting up and using turntables and tonearms.

IN DEPTH

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