The Cartridge Man : The Conductor Parallel Tracking Air Bearing Tonearm

The Cartridge Man

Contact  

Home

 

Preowned / Used HiFi

 

Some Client System Pictures

 
 
 
 
 
Soundscape HiFi And Music - UOB Credit Cards - UOB Zero Interest Installment Plan For local customers, our UOB Credit Card Zero % Interest Free Installment Plan available, 12 to 24 months !

  

OCBC and Diners Credit Cards

Zero interest, 12 months

 

Email Us or Enquiry Form

 

World Clock Index - view the time in different cities

 

View a Calendar

 
 
 

<< Back to The Cartridge Man main page

 

The Cartridge Man

 

The Conductor

 

 

Parallel Tracking Air Bearing

 

Tonearm

 

 

The Cartridge Man : The Conductor tonearm

The Cartridge Man - The Conductor Tonearm

Introduction

 

Specifications

 

Magazine Review

  Excerpts

 

Photos

 

FAQ

 

 

 

 

The Conductor on a Scheu Premier DL No. 2 turntable

Customer System - click for more photos

The Conductor mounted on a Scheu Analog Das Laufwerk No. 2 (DL No. 2) turntable

 

The Conductor - Parallel Tracking Air Bearing Tonearm

Trivia: "The first tangential tonearm was devised by Thomas Alva Edison and could be found on the luxurious Edison Triumph Phonograph from 1877."

Long in planning and design, the all new Cartridge Man Conductor parallel tracking air bearing pick up arm has to be heard to be believed.

The Cartridge Man The Conductor tonearm box

 

Len Gregory has been designing his Music Maker  cartridge for the last fifteen years with a Forsell turntable.  It was only natural then that he develop a parallel tracking air bearing tonearm of his own.  Len took the air bearing principle and simplified it as best as he could.  This does not mean sonic inferiority, but more on overcoming engineering hurdles.

 

The Conductor follows The Cartridge Man's principles in that The Conductor will be brought to the market place at a price that brings distortion and geometric error free playback of vinyl to more enthusiasts. Not since Bruce Thigpens' Eminent Technology ET2 in the early 80's has such an affordable quality parallel tracker been available.

 

The Cartridge Man The Conductor tonearm

 

Forget the issues of cartridges mounted on carriages on wheels, or high pressure air pumps through ceramic bearing housings, The Conductor uses a simple high flow low pressure aquarium based air pump system that negates the need for expensive stainless steel pressure fittings and fixings.

 

This is an important point.  It is low pressure rather than high pressure as employed by other air bearing tonearms.  A special arm indeed.

Mountable on most standard turntables, specify the turntable when ordering, from standard Rega type mounts through custom Scheu, Acoustic Solid, Avid, Nottingham Analogue, Origin Live, to Roksan and Thorens to name but a few.

The Cartridge Man : The Conductor parallel tracking air bearing tonearm

Click to enlarge

 

Specifications:

  • Aluminum head shell

  • Carbon Armwand

  • Cardas Incognito wiring

  • Brass Counterweight

  • Highly polished stainless steel outer bearing tube

  • Finely machined air bearing tube with about a dozen fine nozzles machined into the tube's apex

  • The tube is bolted to a rugged steel chassis, to which a support stud is fitted with four adjustable grommets. These allow for fine adjustments of setup in both dimensions.

  • Unusually for an air bearing, the air is pumped into the bearing tube from both ends and the inner chamber is divided into two sections. This ingeniously solves the problems inherent in the single chamber approach where air pressure tends to be higher at one end than the other.

 

The Cartridge Man : The Conductor Parallel Tracking Air Bearing Tonearm

 

The Conductor

Parallel Tracking Air Bearing Tonearm

(with Rega type mount)

 

Back To Top

 
 

The Conductor Parallel Tracking Air Bearing Tonearm - Magazine Review Excerpts

SixMoons.com

sixmoons.com

Apr 2006

 

by Edward Barker

"The density and tonal richness, the sheer amount of detail the arm digs out of the initial transient and the body of the note, its fundamentals and its harmonics both above and below the note itself are something to behold. Anyone who has a reasonably developed system will know how hard it is to get an audibly and quantifiably better sound from their system. So often we start thinking "well yes, there's more detail" only to realize it's actually a midband dip artificially boosting the transients or instruments like cymbals. Not with this arm. It seems to be actually delivering the real thing."

 

Read more on the Conductor Parallel Tracking Air Bearing tonearm review at sixmoons.com

 

Back To Top

 
 

The Conductor Parallel Tracking Air Bearing Tonearm - Photos

 

The Conductor tonearm

 

The Conductor The Conductor - Headshell The Conductor : Arm Lift
 

The Conductor : Counterweight The Conductor : armwand clamp The Conductor - arm mount with leveling screws
 

The Conductor - Cable holder The Conductor - air inflow  
 

Back To Top

 
 

The Conductor - Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is a tangenital / parallel tracking tonearm ?

The playback of a record should imitate the cutting of the lacquer as closely as possible. During the cutting process the cutter diamond makes an angle of 90 degrees at all instances from the beginning of the groove to its end.


Obviously, the best way to read a record groove is by using an arm which follows the groove in a similar fashion as in the cutting process.

 

A parallel tracking tonearm has the least distortion because the tracking error is minimized to practically zero.  The cartridge stylus reads the two groove walls at the same time without any delay.

 

Furthermore, a parallel tracking tonearm does not need bias compensation (anti-skate settings), as there is no centripetal force, unlike in pivoted arms.

 

Pivoted arms, on the other hand, are the most commonly used tonearms.  These can be further subdivided into unipivots and non-unipivots, as well as pseudo-unipivots.

 

With common pivoted arms (also called radial arms), there is zero tracking error only in two instances. At other points, there is tracking error. 

 

This is minimized by giving the pivoted arm the familiar offset angle.  The skating force  is not eliminated, however, but instead increases. This can be corrected, of course. 

Unfortunately, the skating force depends on the friction between the record groove and the stylus tip, as well as the cut of the stylus. It also depends on what is recorded on the record, even the quality of the vinyl. 

 

As one can see, correcting anti-skate is always not perfect, technically.  All this cease to be an issue with a tangenital tonearm, as there is no skating force.

 

Basically, setting up pivoted arms properly with the various tools around is essential to minimize these tracking errors, as well as controlling the skating force.

 

Designing and manufacturing a parallel tracking tonearm is not as simple as it may seem and only thorough engineering can result in a good functioning device. Precise and accurate geometrical proportions are essential to get it right.

 

As a result, prices of the high-end parallel tracking arms are in most cases far beyond the budget of most audiophiles and music lovers. 

 

And this is where The Conductor comes in.  Simplified, but without sacrificing the benefits of tangenital tonearms, sonically high-end, and most importantly offered at a saner price than the other high-end competition. 

 

Emphasis is on high-end. 
 

 

What is an air bearing ?

Please refer to the photos below on the Conductor's parts for reference.  Or open a new window showing the parts of the Conductor.

 

Basically, the armwand travels across the record supported on a cushion of air.  In effect, it is floating.

 

On The Conductor, air flow comes from a low-pressure aquarium pump.  "Unusually for an air bearing, the air is pumped into the inner bearing tube (# C) from two ends (# H) and the inner chamber is divided into two sections.

This ingeniously solves the problems inherent in the single chamber approach where air pressure tends to be higher at one end than the other."
 

Air flowing from holes drilled in the inner bearing tube (# C) cause a cushion of air to build up between the inner bearing tube (# C) and the outer bearing tube (# D). The bearing tube is thus completely supported on a cushion of air as it travels across the record.

 

Will an air bearing be a problem in humid climates like Singapore's ?

Not with the simple Conductor tonearm.  So long as the pump and the tonearm are used in a similar temperature it shouldn't be a big problem.  Furthermore, one can stand the pump on a fairly thick sponge which would act not only as an additional filter but also as a humidity trap.

 

All air-bearing tonearms require periodic cleaning, however.  "It's important to keep the tubes clean. If you let a couple of weeks' worth of dust get on the slider, you will get stickiness and mistracking. It's best to use a dustcover or chamois to cover the bearing when not in use, and to clean it periodically with isopropyl alcohol." 

 

A professional camera cleaning kit will come in handy, one with a powerful portable blower used for camera lenses.

Camera Lens Cleaning kit - for Conductor tonearm
 

How long can the tubing be between the pump (smoothing tank) and  the tonearm ?

A smoothing tank is placed in between the air pump and the Conductor tonearm.  The smoothing tank is ideally 1 meter away from the pump.  One can have long lengths of tubing between the smoothing tank and the Conductor.

Of course, if it gets very long the air pump pressure will have to be increased.  A length of 10 to 12 feet (3 - 4 meters) for example, will require about halfway up on the pump's flow regulator.

 

What are the parts of the Conductor tonearm ?

The Conductor tonearm - parts

Click to enlarge

A - Armwand - photo shows carbon version

B - Headshell

C - Inner Air Bearing Tube

D - Outer Air Bearing Tube

E - Armwand holder

F - Armwand lift support

G - Arm lift

H - Holes for air tube

I - 4 grommet screws for further levelling

J - metal plate for securing to arm mount type, as well as for

     securing to arm assembly

K - different holes to allow proper mounting.  2 screws are

     used to secure the assembly to J.

L - Cable holder

M - Counterweight

 

 

Back To Top

 
 

<< Back to The Cartridge Man main page

 

 
 

Living Voice

Lavardin Technologies

Artemis Labs

Jan Allaerts

Isenberg Audio

Da Vinci Audio Labs

Kondo Audio Note Japan

Horning Hybrid

Audolici

Tron Electric

My Sonic Lab

KAB

 Neodio

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2002 - 2016 Soundscape HiFi And Music

Disclaimer

 

The Cartridge Man : The Conductor Parallel Tracking Air Bearing Tonearm

 

The Cartridge Man Music Maker MK3

The Cartridge Man Conductor Parallel Tracking Air Bearing Tonearm

The Cartridge Man Digital Stylus Gauge

The Cartridge Man Digital Level Gauge

HiFi News Analogue Test LP - the Producer's Cut