The Korf Blog

The inside story: our research,
development and opinions

1 February 2022
Tonearm Progress Report
December 2021 was a bit of a crazy month for us, and not just because of holiday season. We stepped into an industry controversy with our acetate longevity report, and this kept us a bit busy. In addition to that, our tonearm generated a lot of positive interest worldwide. Of course we're delighted it did, but the time spent dealing with enquiries was the time we didn't spend writing blog updates!

The craziness hasn't abated since. We knew that the supply chains are not in their best shape, but we have underestimated how badly everything is broken. A lot of effort goes into purchasing and negotiations with subcontractors, shippers, customs, etc... Hence the lack of new posts.

As we still have no time to write about anything "serious", I thought I'd give everyone a quick update of where we are with building a first batch of tonearms. Hope you might find it interesting!

The Parts are Coming Together
We have received the armtubes, and they look good! Maybe a bit darker in colour than I expected, but very nice to the touch. Each one will get an ultrasonic wash before going into the tonearm.
These are the custom headshell connector pins. Notice how the contact face is slightly concave. This is done to center the pins when the headshell is inserted, and to provide a larger contact surface (a circle instead of a pinpoint). Strictly speaking, this is not necessary. But it adds some assurance of a good connection here.

Yes, we can't have fewer than 5000 of those pins. That's the minimum order quantity.

Our partner for these pins also makes the ones for the headshells. We are working with them on a custom headshell wire connector. Watch this space!
The plastic parts in the first series would be 3D printed out of nylon on an HP MJF printer. It produces very strong pleasantly matte parts with no layer lines or other imperfections that sometimes happen with 3D printing. And we're still exploring ways to put a clearly readable dial on top of the antiskating thumbwheel.

What's Next?
Once the CNC parts arrive, we will start building the arms
The heart of the tonearm, the flexure bearings are ordered and on our way to us. Once the CNC parts arrive, we will start building the arms. Every single tonearm from the first batch will be hand-built here at Korf Audio.

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