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New Approach to Tone Arm Design

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The purpose of this paper is to subject to thorough analysis the behavior of the conventional tone arm under actual working conditions, its effects on reproduced sound and finding ways of correcting whatever can be found inadequate with its performance. It was found that a serious and unsuspected source of distortion in the process of reproducing sound from disc is so-called skating force. Skating force in stereo affects the right channel more than the left, and if the information appears on the right channel predominantly at high level this signal would be heavily distorted. Furthermore it was established that skating force produces uneven distribution of tracking force between the two channels. It also produces excessive record wear which is attributed to the necessity of applying more pressure on the record to achieve tracking of th ehigh level recordings. And finally, it causes the displacement to one side of the more compliant stylus arms producing harmonic distortion. The only possible solution to this problem was the introduction of another force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to skating force, called anti-skating force. As a result of these findings, the new -FAIRCHILD 500- was designed and incorporates not only anti-skating device but represents the most advanced arm design based on improvements made during the past half century.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society