Fidelity Designs LTD


A range of tonearms are available including pivoting, tangential/linear tracking and unipivot. Tonearms can be made to a customers specification and up to 18" in length for the pivoting design. The pivoting arms are the most time consuming to make and work out the most expensive, followed by the air bearing arms and lastly the unipivots. A pivoting design like the 12" double barrel takes about two weeks of my time to construct.


Featured - 12" Double Barrel tonearm.

Posted on by Ben Lamb -

Featured is the 12" Double Barrel tonearm. This tonearm is 298mm from centre of the pivot to the middle of its cartridge adjustment range giving 308mm from pivot centre to the stylus needle. It uses a 25.6mm diameter mounting pillar which is 47mm in length giving aprox. 35mm of VTA adjustment. The minimum height puts the stylus 27mm above the mounting point of the arm.

The arm features a carbon fibre weave wand or tube and it is a fixed headshell design using a slotted carbon cartridge mount. The cartridge mount, where it connects to the wand is reinforced with carbon fibre rovings, infused and encased with epoxy resin. This creates a very rigid structure with excellent resonant properties. Bearings are the highest specification I could find being japanese and ABEC 9 rated. The arm uses a stub axle with two ball races for yaw movement and I find this enables more accurate bearing alignment. The arm pillar uses a further two ball races supporting a honed shaft which is linked to a large pulley which operates the antiscate mechanism. The mechanism is completely linear throughout its range of movement unlike many sprung designs.

The arm features a silicon damped cueing mechanism and a low centre of gravity couterweight with adjustable auxilary weight that can be removed for low mass cartridges and installed for heavier moving coils. Different counterweights can be supplied in order to give different ranges of adjustment for different cartridges. Clear polycarbonate Lexan material is used for the antiscate mechanism and arm chassis frame. Aluminium alloy is used for bearing housings and structural arm components.

The standard cost for a 12" arm is £590 and custom arms can be made in different lengths for specialist applications.

A 12" arm can be the basis of a great turntable, for example a stretched LP12 using a custom plinth, top-plate and subchassis. You can look at my concept 12 " turntable for an idea of what it will look like.