Earlier this year, Devon-based Timestep launched a new high-mass tonearm specifically designed to excel with high quality, low compliance moving coil phono cartridges. While its design draws on key elements of various legendary vintage Japanese models, the Timestep is in fact a very modern tonearm sporting a raft of smart technology. Roy Gregory gets the measure of its multiple abilities and reports at TheAudioBeat.com.
The Timestep tonearm comes in a choice of three lengths: 9, 10 or 12 inches (usefully named the T-609, T-610 and T-612). For The Audio Beat review, Roy Gregory opts for the latter.
Gregory immediately spots the classic influence. “Take one look at the Timestep, especially the 12″ T-612, and you could be forgiven for thinking it’s a vintage design. Take a second look and you realize that it actually doesn’t quite fit the mold – which is when it dawns on you that, unlike the majority of curved ‘arms, the Timestep is neither S-shaped nor J-shaped. Instead its ‘armtube describes a single, gentle arc betwixt bearing housing and headshell, something that’s both distinctive and to my eyes at least, really rather attractive.”
“But as handsome as the Timestep looks once installed – and it is a handsome beast – the proof of the pudding lies in the performances it reproduces.”
So, with all the necessary alignments carried out (“simplicity itself”), will the Timestep sound as musically interesting as it looks?
“It quickly became apparent that, musically speaking, this ‘arm is both a hit and a chip off the old block. Those older Japanese ‘arms are revered for their calm, unflappable stability and sense of musical flow, qualities the Timestep has clearly taken to its heart. Its arrival coincided with a trawl through a slew of neglected albums from my misspent youth, a varied parade of rock, pop and country, of albums that sound great and records that, frankly, don’t. The Timestep’s musical generosity allowed me to play the lot, wallowing in a mixture of great music and nostalgia. It was a heady brew…”
Discover more about the Timestep tonearm as Gregory tests it out with a range of different musical genres, and moves between alternative cartridges and headshells: read his review in full online at www.theaudiobeat.com
Discover more at http://timestep-distribution.co.uk