Homemade Wooden Headshells

Hello Guys

I have a couple of sme-type h/shells laying around - some of which are so dated or plain ugly they don't really get used. I also have some genuine sme 'shells but those I will keep for errr...historical reasons.

I tried my hand at milling a hardwood headshell and this is the result, made from a small piece of Pink Ivory.

The shell was milled in one piece and features azimuth adjustment with a 1.5mm stainless steel capscrew and nut.

The shell itself was not too difficult to make but it's a real pain to separate the connector from the old headshell.

The weight is just under 7g.




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2005-08-21 8:05 pm
Excellent craftsmanship Bulgin! I cobble up stuff also (see photos) but not as well as you. I want to grow up like Bulgin!

Ebony headshell

Denon 103 ebony casing

Brass baseplate for Denon 103

Sorry for the large image. No time to study how to make them smaller. I put up the images so you will know we are talking the same channel :) :)
Nice work!

Have either of you considered using "stabilized" wood? Stabilized wood is wood that's been impregnated with acrylic resins and then cured. It not only gives the wood much greater mechanical stability, but can also be finished to a high polish without having to apply a traditional finish.

Unique Wood World is one place that sells a wide variety of stabilized wood.


Hi Panicos

So, it looks like I've met my match, hehe:) I acknowledge seeing some incredible woodwork (including an unforgettable Garrard plinth) made in the Philippines. The pink ivory h/shell was just a 'one off' and the design is not original. I had an old aluminium headshell on my workbench which I think came off some Marantz equipment. I liked its simplicity and decided to try copying it in wood with a few changes. It is slightly narrower than the original and the coupling for sme is clamped to allow for azimuth adjustment. The compound angle(?) milled at the back underneath makes it very strong and I see Mandym had the same idea.

@ Panicos

I think the sound is more natural and spacious and the usual clicks and pops have almost disappeared.

@ Steve

Thanks for that link. I think the product you referred to, is available locally and used by knifemakers. I've never used it but will make some enquiries.

Btw, making headshells like Mandym does, ain't easy as great precision is required to do a decent job. And then there's also the unpredictability of working with wood. Often, at the very last milling operation, a crack, flaw or weakness becomes evident...

Regards all



2005-08-21 8:05 pm
Hi Pjotr,

I am not too sure that the finger lift's resonance is significant. It is light and very stiff, it's resonance may be beyond the audible band. I really would like to know if I am mistaken so that I can make adjustments.

I know one tonearm manufacturer eschews the finger lift apparently for the reason you give, but I am not yet convinced that there is real gain in it.