If the fulcrum of the cartridge needle is not securely fixed, the vibration of the spring leads to loss, as shown in the figure below: audio information output is not complete, and when signal loss is subtracted, the sound rises up poorly, and the loss is played back as distortion (harmonic distortion).

Signal output power generation = amplitude of needle minus vibration of cartridge body

Signal loss vibrates the structure itself through the arm, and this distorted sound returns to the cartridge, which also results in a further increase in the sound distortion. It is very important to prevent this happening in the arm.

The materials used in the manufacture of the arm are also important; loss will increase in materials that can warp and bend. Furthermore, it is essential to use a material that can handle high frequencies. If we are to choose a simple comparison to describe the logic of selecting the right materials, it is this: you won’t feel much if a hammer has a wooden handle, but if the handle is metal, then vibrations are transmitted directly to the hand when you strike something.

It is essential that the arm design consists of a material and a structure that can be rigidly attached to the base. Furthermore, the base must have a strong structure and be made from a material that the whole body can be firmly attached to, and supported by. (You may recall that there was once an echo machine that utilised steel springs – with a spring system inside the arm structure, the vibration corresponding to the loss coming from the cartridge agitates the springs and resonates, and the distorted sound returns to the cartridge.) If you ignore this fact, and do not think about the structure and the materials, unfortunately you end up with a simple echo machine.

If we actually examine the mechanical impedance loop of the arm, resonance occurs in various places, and it runs throughout the structure. Take a look at this exaggerated comparison: a listening room is no different to a bathroom, where you pick up the sounds reflecting back from the walls, and listen to music where the sound has been slightly muddied in the process. Furthermore, knowing that this distorted sounds exists, it is essential to create a structure that dampens without losing the rise. When the structure is constructed with a soft material, distorted sound is absorbed, but the loss in sound rise is increased.

Since we normally listen to records without being aware of the above points, just think what an amazing experience we can now have listening to such wonderful audio sound. Please try the machine for yourself and fully appreciate the true heart of sound!

If you cannot really notice any improvement, then please also try to improve the rest of your equipment. Without doubt you will find satisfaction in the end.