AFTER GETTING A rousing reception to the 12-inch version of its The Wand Unipivot Tonearm, Design Build Listen is releasing a 10.3-inch version, which they claim will come with two thirds of the distortion. “While 12-inch arms may improve tracing distortion performance by around 30 percent compared to ‘standard’ 9-inch arms,” says designer Simon Brown, “a 10.3-inch arm achieves a close to 20 percent improvement in a format that is achievable for many users.”
The new The Wand tonearm was designed explicitly for Linn Sondek LP12 or Technics SL1200 family turntables, without having to make major modifications.
Brown describes himself as a 12-inch arm convert, but has found that many people are unable to fit 12-inch arms to their treasured turntables. “The 10.3-inch arm makes this possible for many users, the benefits being heard in the increase in subtle musical detail.”
The Wand 10.3-inch remains a medium mass arm (14g), enabling it to be used with a wide range of cartridges. Dedicated mounting kits are available for both Linn LP12 and Technics SL1200 family turntables, to make it even easier.
The Wand 10.3in Tonearm is available as the full-spec “Plus’ model available through Retailers at a recommended price of $1545.
At the same time Design Build Listen have made a raft of improvements to The Wand Tonearm, including a new Tungsten Carbide cup bearing, Laser sintered (3D printed) Titanium headshell, and a change to brass as the base material for most of the arm parts. These combine to improve both sound quality and finish.