Mayware Formula 4 Uni-Pivot arm

Joined 2001
Paid Member
Re: Mayware Formula IV cartridges

Bill Way said:
BTW, I once mounted one on an AR turntable, and the results were astonishingly good. I differ with those who say that unipivots and suspended turntables are a problem.

I put quite a few of these on Linns, ARs & Thorens TD160s. They worked well. The unipivot NAIM ARO was built specifically for the Linn so NAIM obviously didn't think a suspended table was bad with a unipivot.

Joined 2003
Re: Mayware Formula 4 Unipivotarm

Alasdair Beal said:
With a higher loading (e.g. a 47k input with a 1:10 stepup transformer gives 4.7k) it sounds a bit brash.

Actually, a 1:10 transformer will make a cartridge see 47k as 470 Ohms (impedance goes by the square of the ratio).

I notice that nobody has mentioned the excellent bias compensation scheme on the Mayware. It's so good, so elegant, that I copied it...
I have come across this forum, and know something about the toipic. I offer the following even though it may no longer be of interest.
The photo is not a JH Formula 4 arm and I suspect that there was never a JH Formula 5. I think the arm photographed will be a Mayware on the basis of comments in other threads regarding unipivot arms/and or JH arms - that the Mayware had lever and weight bias compensation - different to the weight, thread and pulley design of the JH correctly described above. I still have the original manual for this arm.
I had a JH Formula 4 until recently - using an ADC XLM cartridge
(which has 50 X 10-6 cm/dyne compliance and "suggested" tracking force of 0.6 gm) and this was mounted with a JH belt drive turntable. It gave superb performance.
Rather than sneering at this gear as basic and not up to scratch, I believe it was very carefully engineered with all of the relevant design criteria taken into account. e.g even though the turntable belts looked pretty terrible, the wow and flutter figures for these turntables were as good as anything of their day.
This gear was not that pretty, but it really did have fantastic specs.
Cool - my login still works...

Many thanks for the input David - there's really some good stuff here on these arms.

Sadly have to report still not got to making mine work. Am getting things sorted here slowly (re life/work/everything) so DO hold out hope. I've a V15 III to go in it - sounds great in my old Dual. In the meantime been raiding local Oxfam shop for software...

All the best

The early versions of the Mayware Formula IV used a thread and hanging weight system for antiskate, as did the JH version. The JH's I'm aware of used a sort of cup to hold the weights whereas the Mayware had a platform and a set of slotted weights that fit around the center post. The Maywares had variable mass, and the sliding weight served also as the means of adjusting tracking force. The JHs, on the other hand, were low mass to the max -- no sliding weight, and that little post at the end of the stub was to put weights on -- you put weights to give the desired tracking force on it, balanced the arm, and then took off the weights, which made the front end that much heavier. Very neat, unless you lost the weights.
Hello again Steve. I have just looked at the pics on your website and am now again confuded, as this looks different from mine in the mounting and lack of lifting device.
I have attached a scan showing a pic. Note that tracking force is set on these by attaching calculated weights to the pin, counterbalancing the arm vertically with the weight and horizontally by rotating the (eccentric) weight then removing the weights from the pin.
Good luck with your projects. If you would like any further info please let me know.
Re: Unipivot mod (lengthy, how and why)

dice45 said:
[disgressing, <tonearm resonances>]:

remember i used slender weights, the arm's effective mass in vertical direction is increased only by a tiny amount as the the slender weights have almost distance zero in reference to the arm's pivot axis of up-and-down movement. Effective mass in lateral direction is increased more and thus vertical and lateral tonearm resonant frequencies are pulled apart for which i am very grateful as a lowered lateral resonance improves tracking. Many folks believe tonearm resonance has to be between 8 and 12 Hz. I agree for the vertical resonance, a resonance too low makes the stylus jump grooves and, too high, it muddens the bass. But think a bit which triggers lateral resonance: disc excentricity (0.55 Hz at 33rpm, up to 2.5mm amplitude) and groove feed (< 1Hz, 50µm amplitude). Methinks that a lateral tonearm resonace as low as possible but above 3Hz is ok. Airborne linear tracking tonearms, particular the DIY Ladegaard arm would not work if this opinion would be dead wrong, Poul Ladegaard thought the same and proved it by his arm.



I have found a good page for tonearm resonance calculation;


I believe that the Graham arm uses exactly the side weights at pivot height set perpendicularly to the cartridge offset to balance the arm side to side, but has a conventional counterweight for front to back balance. I think that your method might make side to side and front to back balances interact in complex ways so splitting the balances would make it easier for the user to set things up.
I think also that the Formula IVs have that wide thin disc as a counterweight so that the eccentric rotation puts the side to side mass difference at close to the pivot point height, substantially lower than the arm wand. It doesn't solve the problem of the side weight being behind the pivot point, though, nor the problem of the weight adjustment not being parallel to the ideal motion of the arm going over warps, so the weight induces yaw.
On the other hand, the Formular IV method is cheaper to implement, and has fewer bits and pieces to resonate. So it can be better behaved than a more theoretically perfect arm that sells at the same price point. And that really was the great virtue of the Formula IV -- it was much better than most of its competition -- I bought an early one for 34 pounds, which at the time was substantially less than a hundred bucks.
So, let's see if this thread is still running ...

I've just dusted off my old LP12/Mayware Formula 4 combo and found that the little arm lift thing has the crescent missing. Anyone know if there's any spares in circulation?

And I reckon the cartridge probably needs replacing, it's a Goldring and I can't see the model but I think it was something like G400ES, can anyone confirm that this might be right? Google search comes up with nothing so I may be way out. All bought new in 1975 if it helps date anything.
I just saw the thread and my reply is a little late in the day but it may still help.
As GRollins advised unipivot arms are lightweight and can tend to move around if the cartridge is not compliant. One solution to this is to damp the arm at the cartridge end. The townshend rock turntable does this by a paddle attached to the arm next to the cartridge which moves in a dish of silicon fluid. One of my systems is a rock mk2 turntable with a hadcock unipivot arm. That combination is then able to accept an mc cartridge or even a decca cartridge which I normally use.
Mla440 on Mayware

I have a AT440MLA on my STD 305 with Mayware arm and have had for around 4 years. I am very pleased with the cartridge. I only paid £75 for mine, they have now doubled in price.
In back to back listening, I think the vinyl system outguns my recently acquired Roksan K2 Kandy CD player.