DIY arm anyone ???

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OK-I am in the process of building my own Teres, since last december or so...
( Access to the company workshop is somewhat variable, according to official bussiness going on..)
The bearing is almost finished..

In the meantime, I have been pondering of making my own arm, a la classic type.
The Ladegaard is most probably one of the best ones, for DIY in particular, but I feel LTs are difficult to operate, due to the constant demand of perfect levelling.
Looking around, SME states that they use ABEC-7 bearings in their new arms. ABEC-7 bearings are easy to get old of, and not particularly expensive ( 20-30USD pair). I also have a lot of pieces of carbon and boron fiber tube, and some chunks of magnesium rolling around in my junk box....

Anyone out there who knows of any projects, or has any ideas or thoughts about this...???
Nope... That is, apart from the wooden DIY arm featured here a little while ago, I am not aware of any projects, though I am interested and will do a search of the'net on the subject. At the moment I am toying (or about to) with a cheap and cheerfull APAN belt drive TT circa 70's vintage, simply because it has a pressed steel sprung/suspended chassis on a wooden plinth/perspex lid, albeit non descript arm, but with a slop free platter bearing which is very important as a basis to build on. Although I run a Technics SP-10 DD which sounds absolutely great at the moment, I am encouraged by my past experiments on an Oz (similar vintage to the APAN) DIY kit TT (Silcron) I used to run before, that I modified over the years and in hindsight had good results with. As for the non descript arm I have some ideas on how to turn this "sows ear" into a silk purse, but of course this is all a matter of time, or rather finding it, which should not be too hard with the advent of a (hopefully) long and wet winter (after what was a long and extremely dry summer!) down here in the antipodes...
Re: wiring

GrantB said:
What sort of signal wiring would one use for a (low cost) DIY arm?

Hi Grant,

if you dare - solid copper .1mm as used for making transformers, you should get some 100 ft. for 5 USD. Drawback is that it breaks easily when bent too often.

or if not:
flexible thin copper wires - in Germany we can buy it from for 0.50 EUR all four colors, and it is actually called tonearm wire

Air Ladegaard Arm

I have recently completed this arm and am immensly impressed with the sound it is generating. Simply awesome compared to what I had previously (which was an ancient Connoisseur arm).

Construction was a little difficult, requiring solving of several problems and cunning use of household objects, including a Snapple bottle and a coathanger!

Levelling the arm is not as difficult/crucial as people make it out to be. It IS impossible to get the arm perfectly level so that the float sits nicely in the middle of the support, but as long as it's very close (and those nasty tone arm wires are supple) then it works like a charm. The forces driving the tone arm's movement are much greater than force exerted by gravity when the table is as level as you can get it.

I also ended up building a custom plinth for the arm, as most TTs are not designed to take a tangential arm - I orginally mounted it on the Connie and then developed a new plinth whilst using the Connies motor and platter/bearing combo.

I used 35AG 6N copper magnet wire for the tone arm, it's still burning in and is improving all the time.

Grant if you need any advice for developing an Air Ladegaard arm, I'd be happy to oblige.


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