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RE: Stereophile / Do Your Homework

Oslo, Norway, 13. jan. 2017.

Hello inmates!

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, it´s 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 isn´t 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 Marius´ 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 IRS´) 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 - It´s 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, we´d start importing frozen pizza (it´s 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
Little Fwend

















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  Atma-Sphere Music Systems, Inc.  


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