Aeroarm in English.
The earliest technical drawing I have relating to the aeroarm dates from 1985. One could therefore call it ‘a life’s work’. I consider it the single most important work I have ever accomplished. Not because it is linear, nor uses an air bearing, but because it challenges what we have come to accept concerning analogue disc reproduction. I also consider its design and architecture truly groundbreaking. A ‘product’ this is not.
The aeroarm is a reflection upon the linear cutting process by which all analogue records are made. By creating a mirror-image of that production process, the aeroarm seeks to realise the means of reproduction with as little compromise as is possible, as much fidelity as is possible, and with poetic elegance – for we are sentient beings and such things are of importance to us.
The aeroarm is not for the faint-hearted. It is not a “fit it and forget it” device. It was neither designed as a ‘product’ nor propaganda of promises. It will not buy you time nor ease your life. Indeed, it may drive you crazy… So, what is it?
The aeroarm is a sonic microscope, an instrument for extracting information stored in analogue record grooves. It does this without judgement, simply “doing what it says on the tin” without flattery, prejudice or desire.
The aeroarm is approximately 4.6 times smaller than a conventional tonearm. This means that errors (both in cartridge alignment and inherent to the discs themselves) normally drowned by the sheer mass of a conventional tonearm are magnified by a factor of 4.6 by the aeroarm. Alignment parameters must therefore be set with far greater diligence than normal (forgiveness was never a part of the aeroarm’s brief).
The aeroarm will not work unless it is perfectly horizontal. It will not work if its air supply is contaminated or inadequate. And, as with any other ‘surgical’ instrument, cleanliness is vital: if it is ‘unclean’ in any way, it will clearly tell you so. It must be aligned and operated with understanding, constant care and exactness. However…
This is the ‘fastest’ analogue device I have ever encountered. Being so small, it reacts with astonishing speed to transients (4.6 times faster than normal?) and, having such little mass, doesn’t store energy for later colouration, blurring and sloth.
It seems capable of resolving the finest of details and the fastest of signals. Yet it is, in itself, without signature: one hears no trace of the mechanism, only of the disc in play. It is colourless, has no self ambition nor any desire to “make itself known”. It seeks no glory, offers no pretensions, nor hides from anything. The aeroarm may justifiably be called a “teller of truths”. I seek no more from it than this. This is its justification.
Comparative tonearm geometry: 9" tonearm / 12" tonearm / aeroarm
Effective length: 235 mm / 310 mm / 50 mm
Cartridge offset angle: 24 deg. / 18 deg. / 0 deg.
Overhang: 18 mm / 13 mm / 0 mm
Overall ‘floating’ mass: 280 gr. / 320 gr. / 68 gr.
Effective mass: medium / med./high / low
The aeroarm simply gets more out of the record groove than any other arm I have ever encountered, and does this with complete neutrality. Differences between cartridges are precisely heard. Differences between record pressings are precisely heard. In short, everything is clearly heard (including many things you may prefer not to hear: bad recordings, bad pressings, dirty discs, etc.) – and that, ultimately, is what it is for.
The aeroarm is a precision tool, a beautiful object in its own right, a sculpture.
Simon Yorke, May 2009.