While there are fine arms available, many are priced out of the reach of the common man. And while tonearms like the RB300 and 3009 have their fans, not everyone will be happy with these meritorious designs from Old Blighty. The Wand Plus is an excellent choice for analog buyers looking for cutting edge styling, good sound and good value.
The benefits of the large diameter carbon fiber armtube are several:
• Damped vibration through the use of carbon fiber
• An affordable and readily available stock is available (no expensive machining, bending machines, or casting is required)
• No expensive or time consuming finishes (plating, painting, etc..)
• Stable in all climates (will not absorb moisture, warp, crack, etc..)
• Extremely strong and rigid
The use of the unipivot is similarly pragmatic. It allows for chatter-free performance without resorting to expensive and delicate captured bearings. There are benefits both to unipivots and gimbal bearings, but the chief benefit of the unipivot is freedom from mechanical chatter and affordable production. And should any part of the unipivot’s bearing be damaged, it is something a competent audiophile should be able to repair with minimal instruction.
However, the Wand Plus Tonearm features something that significantly improves on the traditional unipivot design. The bearing is a ball-and-socket, much like your hip. This technique, which is much more stable, brings you something of a hybrid: not floppy and ill-behaved like many unipivots, but having zero chatter, and at an affordable price.
Three Choices: An Arm For Virtually Any Turntable
The Wand Plus is available in 9″, 10.3″ and 12″. While the 12″ has a clear advantage over the 9″ design, in terms of tangency error, the 10.3″ model achieves almost the same gain in performance, while also being just short enough to fit on the much loved Technics SL1200 and Linn LP12. This is a boon for buyers wanting “SP10 performance” on a beer budget.
And while there are other 10″ arms that will fit on the LP12, in theory, they are sometimes so unstable, or so heavy, that they make their use impossible on the spring-suspended chassis of the LP12 (either too much weight, or too much wobble will either make suspension tuning impossible, or cause massive woofer-pumping on warped records).