You read that right: AVIDHIFI Tonearms are now a reality! After years of development during which different techniques were thoroughly tested, AVIDHIFI has just released two new Tonearms: the entry-level ALTUS and the range-topping NEXUS.
The NEXUS is designed to the same extreme precision engineering standards as the AVIDHIFI turntables. Every tonearm is hand-assembled with the trademark craftsmanship that you would expect from AVID.
Natural forces pull a tonearm, ever increasingly towards the center of the record, which left uncorrected can result in a distorted sound. Bias compensation is the mechanism that counteracts this, and the AVID HIFI design gradually increases the field of force as it gets closer to the center, so the musical enjoyment remains constant from start to finish.
Supporting the cartridge rigidly while playing a record is vitally important and why AVIDHIFI have harnessed their bespoke hyper-strong titanium arm tube to push rigidity to another level. The GR9 grade titanium boasts a 1.3 mm wall thickness, providing unmatched strength and resisting bending or torsion modes that could negatively impact sound quality.
The rigid bearing architecture is paramount to delivering solid images etched in space, so each of its components is manufactured to incredibly tight tolerances. Nexus is said to be designed to astonish with its ability to uncover previously camouflaged musical nuances with crisp clean clarity, outstanding solidity, and precise superlative sound.
The NEXUS headshell is engineered with precision from solid aluminum and undergoes rigorous machining to ensure compatibility with the arm tube. To maintain optimal vibration transfer, weight reduction holes are omitted, avoiding potential sound distortion and preserving image focus and sonic solidity. This is said to result in a more accurate representation of vocals and instruments, with improved depth of field in the three-dimensional soundscape.
A purpose designed low capacitance external phono cable reassuringly anchors into place using a superior right-angled DIN connector and terminated with high-quality gold-plated RCA plugs. For purists wishing to embrace the naturally balanced output of a phono cartridge, the cable is also available fully balanced with XLR connectors.
The ALTUS offers cascading features from the Nexus such as the micron tolerance bearings and the adjustable progressive Bias. The ALTUS is said to offer precise sound, crisp clean clarity, and outstanding solidity with every faint nuance you never thought was there, revealed in all its glory.
The ALTUS is designed to impress with a performance that has focus and immediacy whilst retaining a delicacy that is absolutely captivating. ALTUS employs a thick-walled aluminum arm tube with a 2 mm thick wall to make sure the cartridge is held securely above the record and aid transmission of vibration away from the cartridge, so the music is unveiled.
The ALTUS Headshell is produced through a precise laser cutting process on solid aluminum, ensuring the highest degree of accuracy in terms of tolerances and providing a steadfast base for the cartridge, but without the presence of weight-reducing holes frequently found in other headshells, which can negatively impact the transmission of vibrations and lead to a distorted sound, especially hindering image focus and sound solidity. The headshell is then fitted to a solid aluminum collar, ensuring seamless integration with the arm tube, resulting in what AVIDHIFI indicates as a heightened sense of dimensionality in the representation of vocals and instruments, offering a more realistic sound experience.
No specifics have been disclosed regarding the means of adjusting the VTA, although the NEXUS has a large ring near the arm base, presumably for this purpose. For the ALTUS, it’s unclear how the VTA is set. Neither of the two arms offers an Azimuth arrangement.
The arms will be available starting next month but no exact date has been announced. But when they are available, chances are that I will be reviewing these arms on an AVID SEQUEL SP turntable.
Retail prices in the Netherlands:
Distributor for the Benelux: Hexagon Audio
Manufacturer’s website: AVIDHIFI
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