The Abis TA1L 12.7″ Gimbal Tonearm

Abis TA1L

 

Art Dudley’s Review of the TA1L.

 

If high-end audio is an arms race, then the Abis TA1L tonearm is the weapon system for the value minded audiophile.  Nearly thirteen inches of fine-tuned, hand-assembled tonearm, built by Japanese craftsmen who are serious about their business, and winning the tone-arms race.  

While a number of tonearms are wrapped in quasi-science and Rococo aesthetics, the TA1L, and its progenitor, the TA1, are from the conservative Japanese tradition of 間(Ma), or negative space, best typified by Japanese architecture with a preponderance of open (essentially empty) space.  This idea of minimalism seeks to perfect the basic ingredients, strip away the non-essential, and allow the beholder to interpret the space (or negative space) in a way that personalizes the experience for each beholder.  The TA1L does not seek to suggest a sound, or to overlay “special sounds” over the pure tones of a good phono cartridge.  By choosing a traditional tonearm form, using carefully selected materials, and by employing skilled craftsmen to carefully assemble the components, the Abis TA1L will fill the needs of the music lover.

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Abis TA1 and TA1L tonearms   

The TA1L is ideally suited for two groups of people:

  • Value conscious audiophiles, looking for a reliable and trouble-free tonearm, and who want to play their records, not earn an engineering degree;
  • Record collectors that want a fantastic sounding arm, that is affordable, and that is flexible.  It will allow them to quickly change from stereo to mono, MM to MC to VR to Strain Gauge, and from 1 mil round, to .7 mil round, to fine line, to Shibata, and to 3 mil round, all in a few minutes (not days).  It has the correct mass to balance the vast majority of cartridges.

 

If you are looking for a no-nonsense package, with performance to exceed that of much more expensive tonearms, then the TA1L will reward you with years of musical non-interference.  

$1,875 MSRP

Whole Length380mm
Effective Length (Tonearm pivot – stylus)322mm
Practical Length (Tonearm pivot – Spindle)310mm
Overhang12mm
Offset angle16.5°
Horizontal moving sensitivity 30mg
Vertical moving sensitivity20mg
Vertical Tracking Force (VTF) range 0 – 5g
Cartridge + Headshell weight range 15 – 24g ( 30g* Option)
Height Adjustment(Plinth to arm wand centerline)15 – 55mm
Vertical BearingPivot miniature bearing (Not Pivot Contact)
Horizontal BearingMiniature Radial Bearing
Output plug RCA (XLR : Option)
Output cableSingle core shielded copper
Tonearm Audio Lead wireOFC 4N Copper
Headshell lead wireCopper with gold plated terminals
HeadshellMachine tooled Aluminum
Tonearm Net Weight610g
Attached standard Headshell Net Weight17g

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As a value added feature, and to accurately adjust your new tonearm, all Abis arms will come with an Accutrak arc protractor.  Click below to see the details.

All Abis Tonearms Now Include an Accutrak Protractor

All Abis Tonearms Now Include an Accutrak Protractor

 

 

Jasmine SME2R10 Tonearm Base Converter

Jasmine SME2R10

The SME2R10, created by Jasmine, is a very high quality adapter that will allow Abis tonearms to be adapted to armboards drilled for the SME tonearms. They are made of quality billet aluminum and both finish and machining are excellent.

Jasmine SME2R10 bottom

Though the situation is somewhat dependent on the competency of whoever drilled the original armboard holes, the range of adjustment of the SME2R10 will allow an Abis SA1.2 to be used in place of a 3009 or 3010.

Jasmine SME2R10 side

To compare the practical distance, or spindle to pivot, here are a list of arms of similar length.

Jasmine SME2R10 set screw

Abis TA1

216 mm

Abis SA1.2

223 mm

SME 3009 R

215.4 mm

SME 3009 series II improved

215.7 mm

SME 3010 R

222 mm

SME 309

215.35 mm

SME 310

222 mm

SME M2 10”

222 mm

SME M2 9”

215.4 mm

SME Series III

215.4 mm

SME Series IV

215.35 mm

SME Series V

215.35 mm

It can be seen immediately that the TA1 is very close to the 3009, and the SA1.2 is very close to the 310 and 3010. What is not as apparent is whether or not the SA1.2 will fit in place of a 3009. If the center of the SME base for an 3009 is drilled at 215 mm, then the SA1.2 will definitely work. There is a difference of only 7.3 mm (0.287” or 19/64”). The range of adjustment for the Abis SME2R10 is much greater. It will work.

What is a slightly tougher fit will be going from SME 3012 to Abis TA1L, with a difference of 14.6 mm, or 0.574”. It is possible that some boards will allow enough room. Again, it depends on the choices made when the armboard was drilled for the 3012.

Obviously, if the SME base is mounted on an adjustable armboard or “pod”, there shouldn’t be a problem with geometry, and the Jasmine SME2R10 will allow any Abis arm to be quickly substituted for the original SME arm.

The cost of the Jasmine adapter is $60 with the purchase of an Abis tonearm.  

Sibatech of Tokyo Japan

Custom made in Japan for SIBATECH, Inc., Tokyo, Japan

 

 

 

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