Among many nasty things of the LP playing the way how our tonearms stops play records is one of the most unpleasant. Sure it does not beat the idiotic practice to locate consecutive sides of a performance on the different records within multi- record albums but it is still a very high on my hate-list.
In the past there were a number of automated LP players that automatically recognize where a record’s side was over and lifted the tonearms from the record. That was superbly convenient but unfortunately this practice did not make to high-end tonearms. I think the presumption is that the auxiliary functionality like this would hurt the performance of the main functionality – to care the needle. Still, I see no reason why it shall be a factor. In anyways – here is a good opportunity for aftermarket devises, for whatever reason there is not a lot of offerings in the field of good Tonearm Stopper devises.
When LP side is over then tonearm is circling in the termination endless groove. It is not pleasant sonically and it is not healthy for the needle. The problem is that needle, while is reads a groove heats it up very. The smart (or paranoiac) people like me would never play the same location of the “valuable” record twice – I let it to cool down a bit and then replay it. In the case of the needle spinning in the circular termination grove there is no time for the groove to cool down and the needle very soon melt the sides of the termination grove, letting the very tip of needle to scats the bottom of the widened grove. Not good at all! I know some people who by $10.000 cartridges and then they make the new cartridges to break-in by letting to run in the termination groove over a few days. This practice makes me to laugh but – hey, it is a free country and people do whatever what feel most of the time….
So, what I would welcome be some kind of very small but very smart universal no-action device that would work with different tonearms and that would lift tonearm in the end of the LP side. When I say “no-action” then it is a very critical word. With 3 of 4 tonearms of my own turntable I sometimes use the mechanical terminators. I do not remember who made them but they are very cool and very smart little devises.
They sit in a calibrated location under the tonearm and extend the long vertical poll. When the tonearm hit end of the side the side of the tonearm touches the vertical poll and this very soft touch is enough for this devise to fire up own lift and to raise the tonearm. It works very well if properly calibrate but it has a huge shortcoming – you need to reset the devise by pushing the micro-lift down after the devise raised tonearm. I find this double – action is inconvenient and I would like to have the Tonearm Stopper autoresetable.
So, here is what I need. A tonearm still runs in independent mode. Then I have some kind of device that performs motion-diction of the tonearm within the platter or record. There are zillion ways to do it nowadays: inductive, optical, laser ranging, mini-GPS triangulation, mechanical, and many others way. The key is that when a Smart Tonearm Stopper lifted up the tonearm it shall know that tonearm was removed from default end of the record position and shall reset itself, lowering down of lift. I am not even taking about tonearms that would have an entry to remote control own main tonearm lift… it would make too much since for the high-end industry.
Anyhow, It would be nice to see the tonearms that have some thought about the end of the side ceremony or at least some aftermarket devisees that might be useful in this direction.Rgs, Romy the Cat
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche