Posted on 9th April, 2018


Low compliance phono cartridges generally require a high-mass tonearm. The problem is that most tonearms on the market these days are of the low-to-medium mass variety. What to do? UK audio brand Timestep has the solution.

Timestep’s Dave Cawley has recognised that our current leaning towards low-to-medium mass tonearms can be traced back to the 1980s. This is when high compliance moving magnet cartridges were the norm and moving coil cartridges were beginning to catch on.

Cawley explains:

To accommodate the new moving coils, compromises were made, and to a large extent we’re still living with some of those compromises today. But cartridges have evolved in the past 30+ years and many of the high quality, low compliance moving coil models need to be partnered with a high mass tonearm to perform at their best.

He then went and made one. He aimed to create a modern, cutting-edge, high mass tonearm that was specifically designed to excel with moving coil cartridges.

We are happy to read that he has managed to achieve this using some essential ‘DNA’ from the legendary Japanese Fidelity Research FR64S tonearm (from the late 1970s) and mixing it with bang-up-to-date technology.

The development process has taken a couple of years, due in large part to Cawley’s determination to source the best possible materials and components for the job. In fact, his quest took him all over the world on a hunt for companies who were able and willing to make his specific components to the requisite standard.

The result is the new Timestep T-609, T-610 and T-612: one tonearm available in three lengths (9, 10 and 12-inches).

The arm tube is crafted from titanium and is a low resonance design. Bearing friction has been lowered thanks to a combination of a stainless steel bearing block fitted with ultra-fine tolerance ABEC7 ceramic bearings. The bearings have been washed and re-treated with a high-quality lubricant.

Internal wiring is pure silver, while the tonearm connector is a bespoke PTFE and gold design.

Frictionless magnetic anti-skating allows for effortless fine-tuning, and the headshell (not supplied) is fully detachable and interchangeable, with many possible options.

The Timestep tonearm is available now in a choice of three lengths (9, 10 or 12 inches). Priced £1,450 (incl. VAT). Price excludes mount, headshell and interconnect cable.

Linn/Jelco Japanese-type mount £49.95. SME-type sliding mount £149.95.

For more information visit Timestep.


Jay Garrett's avatar

Jay Garrett

StereoNET UK’s Editor, bass player, and resident rock star! Jay’s passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.

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Posted in: Hi-Fi
Tags: timestep 


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