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In Reply to: RE: Stereophile / Do Your Homework posted by 59575 on January 11, 2017 at 08:07:22
Oslo, Norway, 13. jan. 2017.
Yes, Little Fwend fills exactly the same function as the other automatic tonearm lifters on the market. It takes care of business when you fall asleep, forget a record was playing (yes, you can be a music lover and at the same time not sit in the sweet spot with eyes closed, visualising the fog outside Scott Walkers darkened castle), the fire alarm went off, a burglar outside your window or after 4 hrs of driving on your way to the cabin in the mountains, you think to yourself HORROR! "hmmmm, did I turn off the turntable at all????" (true story, the cartridge in question was a Lyra, with an hourly diamond-wear-charge of about $3.50).... and other numerous other distractions in the modern world.
OK, so far so good - most lifters can take care of this business, but how do they go about it?
The basic function of a Toyota Yaris is to get you from A to B. The BMW M5 will also do this, itīs just a bit more fun. Apocalypse Now or Shark Sandwich? They are both movies (the reviewer of the latter said the following in his review; "I got two words: Shit Sandwich".
You can take the stairs or you can choose the elevator. There are several ways to Rome etc. etc.
I have nothing against the Q-UPs of this world, it is neither a Toyota (car) or a Shark Sandwich (movie).
Little Fwend came about just because the Audio-Technica AT6006 is not in production (they can be found on Ebay now and then for around $200). In 2014 we asked ourselves; Why in the name of love isnīt there an automatic tonearm lifter on the market that lifts the precious and sometimes expensive cartridge out of the dead wax in a civilized and gentle manner, a lifter that is easy to adjust and reposition without sticky, spongy DIY-mounting solutions? Why is there not a lifter that is precisely made with modern tolerances in solid non-magnetic metal? Why is there not a lifter that does not look like garbage?
We went down in the basement-lab to Mariusī vintage swiss watchmaker lathe, looking for the answer. We spent hundreds of hours talking, drawing, making prototypes, testing friction, reading up on Newton, sourcing "NASA-approved" damping gel and I bet (the Norwegian IRSī) tax money for 2015, etc. etc. etc. - that this uber-niche product is something people out there would love. After v.5 was tested over a long period and after extensive research for serial production, we found a precision machine shop in Denmark - We did not consider China or other low cost options, because it was never about saving money or making the most on each sold unit - Itīs about making what we think is the worlds best automatic tonearm lifter. We have not taken a single shortcut to save money, we are constantly reviewing the mechanics and parts, tweaking 0.2mm here and there, experimenting with 50sh vs 60sh hardness in the rubber - just to incrementally tweak and further optimize Little Fwend. If we wanted to make money, weīd start importing frozen pizza (itīs big in Norway).
You say tomato, I say potato.
I hope this explains why Little Fwend cost more than $60.
Have a beautiful day & enjoy the wonders of analog playback!
Marius & Lasse
Hi Marius & Lasse,
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Fax mentis incendium gloria cultum, et cetera, et cetera...
Memo bis punitor delicatum! It's all there, black and white,
clear as crystal! Blah, blah, and so on and so forth ...
I'm still quite happy with my Q-Up and have no intention of replacing it, but I appreciate the clear explanation of your process.
"The passage of my life is measured out in shirts."
- Brian Eno
Perry Mason couldn't have come up with a better defense. You did your homework. But I might invest in a good Ginsu and start slicing pepperoni.
All in good fun anyway. Being made in Norway means the highest quality to me but when I first got in the hobby a audio salesman said;
It's a lot easier to make a great loudspeaker with cost no object but to be successful you must make a great loudspeaker with minimal cost. Schiit Audio comes to mind for an example.
I gave my Audio Technica lifter away to someone last year. I've rebuilt my ARXA recently and am wishing it back. Thats why the price was shocking to me. I'm sure your lifter is built like a tank and I wish you good luck with it.....sincerely Mark Korda
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