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Air Prodigy Tonearm


Hap Hazzard
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Looks like a 3D nylon printed terminator

https://www.trans-fi.com/terminatortonearm.htm

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Having used Rick's terminator and its sensitivity to being level,  I can't think of a worse deck to sit it on.  I'm on about suspended /sprung sub-chassis rather than the make.  The C of G will move as the arm crosses the record,  and so too the level of the arm carriage .

Having said that,  the Terminator has sounded spectacular,  on the 2 Notts decks particularly.

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56 minutes ago, divedeepdog said:

Having used Rick's terminator and its sensitivity to being level,  I can't think of a worse deck to sit it on.  I'm on about suspended /sprung sub-chassis rather than the make.  The C of G will move as the arm crosses the record,  and so too the level of the arm carriage .

Having said that,  the Terminator has sounded spectacular,  on the 2 Notts decks particularly.

Exactly what I thought, when I read the description about it being ideal for suspended decks. In my rough mental working out of the mechanics here, I would have thought a perfectly level operating plane would be necessary for the bit that moves in the horizontal plane. Any tilt one way or the other surely would mean effectively adding a force acting sideways on the cartridge, which would not be good.

Edited by rabski
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  • 1 month later...
I'm the maker of the AirProdigy air-bearing, linear-tracking arm and I note with interest the comments above.

triumphyou realise of course that Vic's Transfi Terminator was a 'copy' of Poul Ladegaard's pioneering low-pressure air bearing tonearm?!

Of course that's not true - Vic's Terminator wasn't a direct copy - there were all sorts of modifications he made in order to improve on the original design. In particular he inverted the airtrack, which was a useful advance because the airtrack could then be positioned above the record to allow a much shorter 'glider' arm to be used which had the potential for enhancing sound quality.

There are a number of high-pressure air-bearing arms on the market (such as the Cartridgeman arm) which use commercially produced cylindrical airbearings to achieve linear tracking of the cartridge across the record. These arms are expensive, heavy and cumbersome and require long sub-arms to track the cartridge over the record, since the bulky air-bearing section is located beyond the circumference of the record.

I contend that my own version of the low-pressure, air bearing, linear-tracking tonearm is by no means a copy of the Terminator but introduces its own major enhancements. I'm not attempting to advertise my own product here but defend a project I've been developing over a long period.

I had a Terminator for a number of years (I've owned many different tonearms) and was very impressed with the sound quality, which was better than all the pivot arms I'd heard. However there were a couple of aspects I was never really happy with, namely the size and weight. The Terminator's a bulky arm and weighs a lot! It's just not possible to mount it adequately on suspended sub-chassis decks and I particularly wanted to try it on my Thorens TD520. That's when I decided to try and create my own version.

I have introduced what I believe are a number of major improvements to this genre of tonearms. The AirProdigy is unique in being cheap, light and compact and it sounds excellent!

The airtrack is mounted over the platter so the glider-arm (as I call the sub-arm) can be short and light. The low weight of the glider-arm improves tracking and minimises resonances, which degrade sonic performance, by avoiding a long, tubular arm.

I used CAD to craft specific parts for the arm by professional SLS 3D-printing so that I was not limited to the availability of different aluminium profiles. The nylon printed parts have the major benefits both of lightness and low resonance while also being rigid, strong and hard. Parts I designed that I am particularly proud of, and which help with my goal of straightforward setup, include the arm height mechanism and the levelling mechanism. 

So although the same in the general principle of operation to the Terminator, I believe my AirProdigy arm has major advantages in terms of applicability to a wide range of turntables, lightness, compactness and low price. And it sounds at least as good!
Edited by andyjay
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On 16/12/2019 at 11:20, divedeepdog said:

Having used Rick's terminator and its sensitivity to being level,  I can't think of a worse deck to sit it on.  I'm on about suspended /sprung sub-chassis rather than the make.  The C of G will move as the arm crosses the record,  and so too the level of the arm carriage .

Having said that,  the Terminator has sounded spectacular,  on the 2 Notts decks particularly.

I was expecting issues such as this when I first tried the Airprodigy arm on a suspended deck - a Thorens TD160 - but in fact it worked fine. The glider  is 'levelled' with glider arm (sub-arm) in the middle position of the record grooves. Providing this is done there are no issues with tracking and the sound is excellent up to end-of-side. Note that the glider arm is light in weight. Bear in mind also that pivot arm biasing is notoriously inaccurate and is likely changes across the playing surface of the record in any case!

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Thanks for your comments andyjay on your airprodigy arm,  much appreciated and informative. :^

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  • 2 months later...

Andyjay, Ebay currently seems not to have your arm listed any more. I did a search for "Airprodigy Tonearm" and there was zero matches. In the near future, I'd like to buy one. I did notice some background humm on your demos. Thank you for letting me comment here.

Ray Bronk

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