First of foremost, the tonearm is a precision mechanical device and it should, as far as it is possible, not impart any coloration to the fragile signal from the grooves of the LP. But far from simply being an inert vehicle enabling the transmission of the electrical signal coming from the cartridge, the tonearm is probably the closest component to a musical instrument in the audio reproduction chain: like a violin bow, it is subjected to the mechanical vibrations from the musical source (the stylus moving in the groove), and it should before all not damage them and let them interfere with the electric signal coming from the cartridge. Each of the tonearm’s constituents carries a crucial responsibility in the transmission of these vibrations, so every element, down to the smallest screw plays an essential role in the resulting sound. Those who claim that mechanical devices don’t have a sound don’t understand the nature of sound. Everything has a sound. Every piece of matter enters in vibration when it’s moving and that is what gives it its distinctive sound.
This is why, once the basic design had been established, I spent considerable amounts of time selecting the variety of materials that make up the Talea™: it is in the combination of carefully selected exotic hard wood and the different metals used in the assembly that lies one of the secrets of the Talea’s remarkably transparent and dynamic sound. Achieving this delicate balance is a very difficult process, one that involves paying the closest attention to the location and properties of every element of the assembly, and finally putting together each unit by hand and tuning it individually.
The result is a tonearm that delivers exceptional dynamic range and tonal realism throughout its bandwidth.
A unique device for azimuth setting
Just like a musical — or a laboratory — instrument that needs to be perfectly in tune before it is played, a tonearm should have a number of adjustments readily available to maximize its tuning. Beside the finely graduated adjustment capabilities for the Vertical Tracking Angle/Stylus Rake Angle and Vertical Tracking Force, the Talea™ offers a unique mechanism for azimuth setting. The Talea™ is the first tonearm to offer the ability to adjust the azimuth on the fly (our Kairos™ is now the second one). Never before has it been possible to fine-adjust this essential parameter while listening to music. Anyone who has spent time getting the most out of a high-end tonearm knows how critical it is to find the proper setting for the azimuth… and also knows how painstakingly complicated it is with most modern tonearms. With the Talea™, all you need to do is turn a small knob on the side of the azimuth tower; and it can be done while playing a record.
More on azimuth in the Support page.