Tono Tonearm Lifter (TonaL)

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Postby unity » Mon Jan 23, 2006 9:42 pm

hello mang mandy,
just dropped by to say hi
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TonaL Review

Postby ttommy » Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:54 am

Over a week ago, I received the TonaL. I've read so much about it but upon opening the box and browsing through the instructions, my immediate impression was-- kailangan ng pasensya 'to! Like most tasks that involve setting up turntable, the most important rule is that you have to be in the right frame of mind.

But then Murphy's Law had to show up elsewhere so bear with me, you'll see why I'm not necessarily the one who practices what I preach :oops:

Today, I finally get some time alone to attempt installation. First let me say, Manny's instructions are so thorough and meticulous they're absolutely fantastic if you can stay focused and not have your "attention drift".

Unfortunately, I'm not that type when it comes to nice analog toys :D so knowing how the TonaL operates "in principle" I ventured ahead sans safety net and went on to install the TonaL.

The TonaL comes with three aluminum posts to handle different heights. I chose the tallest to use with my Simon Yorke S7 tonearm/Jan Allaerts MC1-B/Z cartridge.

From start to finish it took about an hour and, if I had to do it again, I believe I can do it in much less time. There are a few tricky spots--

In my case, I decided to mount the metal disk on the outer side of the arm because I had measured and fitted the lifter without the disk in place. As it turned out, when I put in the disk and the plastic stand in the left (inner side) of the arm, it was hitting the lifter too early.

There are 6 degrees of freedom where installation can go wrong. Forwards/backwards and left/right are the most crucial in terms of placement. If you put the lifter too close to the arm then it'll lift way before the last track ends. If you put it too far away from the arm, there's still a way to "make pahabol" with fine-tuning the distance of the head. Either way, perhaps the most important installation parameter is to be sure about where the TonaL is located before you remove the adhesive and commit.

Height adjustment can be done easily via a screw but be sure to do it starting from a higher position working your way to a lower position. The idea is to make sure that when the magnet and disc make contact that your cartridge won't be banged into the groove. Notice how I sound very experienced here? :roll:

The TonaL is a world class product, in fact, I think it's the best thing in the market right now. The only minor quibble I have is the plastic holding the metal disc looks a bit flimsy... besides it's a part of a square trying to get hold of something round.

I would prefer a small semi-circular metal ring whose ends have tangs that close via a screw. The metal ring could be fitted with felt underneath and be wrapped over the tonearm, then both its ends are brought together via a small screw to secure position. The metal ring might also be kept in place without screwing like those plastic headbands.

Mandy, I truly believe you have a product that can sell here (in the US). Let me do my part promoting it and work out how you can hook up with a dealer. Thank you, sir!

Finally, if you click on the picture below, I've made a small AVI of the TonaL in action. The file is 770KB and is an exercise in TonaLity!

Image

Epilogue. Remember what I said earlier about keeping focused? Well, at the same time I was setting up the TonaL, I was transferring the Pacquiao-Morales fight from my cable box/DVR to a DVDcamera for ripping into a hard drive so I can burn my cousin a DVD of the fight. In between ripping the mini-DVD to HD I was also using the DVDcam to shoot the TonaL. Since the entire fight can't fit in one DVD, I have to stop the DVR from time to time. When I took the DVDcam to shoot the TonaL the second time the DVR prompted me "Save" or "Erase"? Guess what I pressed. So now I have 8 rounds of the Pacquiao fight in my HD and deleted the fight from my DVR. Nakampucha. My cousin will have to wait until I record the replay this weekend.
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Postby architecturalaudio » Wed Jan 25, 2006 1:15 pm

Good to know that you got it and liked it as well :)
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Postby mandym » Wed Jan 25, 2006 7:34 pm

That's wonderful Ttommy. Thanks for the comprehensive review. Actually I had some apprehensions regarding your "huge" tonearm and its tapered shape. Glad you got it to work...well done :D !

You had mentioned about runnung out of elbow room as the reason why you had to change the orientation of the metal disc. Also, I noticed in your video that you seem to be running out of room for adjusting the lift point. Probably had you positioned the unit 3/16-inch farther away from the arm, you would have had lots of range. You can still do this of course, since the carpet tape is reuseable/replaceable.

You are absolutely right about the disc mounting system. I have been pulling my hair (what's left of it anyway :lol: ) over this. I have tried many approaches but the present method seems to be the safest, most practical and cheapest, except that it looks a bit, er, unprofessional :oops: .

But there is something one can try! The last gentleman to buy the Tonal and install it himself did not even use the plastic disc holder (which by the way is designed to compensate for the various arm wand diameters). Instead he Blu-Tac'ed the disc directly onto the tonearm. Voila! a neater, more professional installation. Great idea Mr. M :idea: :idea: I will do some testing to determine what range of tonearm diameters this method will work on.

Thanks again ttommy for the nice write-up and the accompanying video.

It is strange, but with my gadget doing its thing in the Big Apple, I feel I am back in the USA if not physically at least in spirit!

Regards
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Tonality

Postby kabubi » Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:48 pm

husay mo talaga, Herr Mandy!
proud to be Pinoy.

kabubi

PS. can you PM me how much you sell the TonAL for?
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Postby mcrespo » Thu Jan 26, 2006 7:31 am

We might need to further test this tonearm device on my Roksan Xerxes X with Rega RB900 arm, Tito!

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Postby mandym » Thu Jan 26, 2006 7:03 pm

mcrespo wrote:We might need to further test this tonearm device on my Roksan Xerxes X with Rega RB900 arm, Tito!

Michael


Sorry to butt in Michael, but I did a search on your T/T and arm and it looks like it will fit with lots of room to spare.

Of course, the best thing is to try. I also want to build a data base on what systems the Tonal will work on. So far it has worked on all I've tried except on the light-as-feather Moerch arm.

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Postby Tony M » Mon Feb 13, 2006 11:44 am

Hi Mandym,

I'm sure you can install the tonal in my Basis 2000 with RB300 arm :P .

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Postby mandym » Tue Feb 14, 2006 6:35 am

So am I Tony, so am I :lol: .

I checked on the Basis 2000/RB300 combo and I can fit 2 tonals there and maybe an elephant with room to spare :lol:.

My next trip to Manila is on the 25th. Just PM me if you want a unit.

Cheers,
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Postby Tony M » Tue Feb 14, 2006 11:56 am

Pls. reserve a unit for me and txt me at 09178246215 for my
address.

See you on Feb 25 (saturday) :lol:

tony
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Postby Superman » Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:05 pm

sir, can this be installed in a GR-1 turntable w/ RB-250 arm?? thanks! :lol:
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Postby mandym » Tue Feb 14, 2006 9:38 pm

Superman wrote:sir, can this be installed in a GR-1 turntable w/ RB-250 arm?? thanks! :lol:


Most definitely master Superman. Your 'table seems to have even more mounting room than Sir Tony Ms.

'Luv those wide open spaces.

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Re: Tono Tonearm Lifter (TonaL)

Postby dnk » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:26 pm

I would like to revive this 4-year old topic. Vinyl newbies like me would definitely benefit from Sir Mandy's creation.

This is an awesome creation!

Just out of curiosity, do the guys who got them from 4+ years back still use it up to now?

Cheers!
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Re: Tono Tonearm Lifter (TonaL)

Postby dimfer » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:29 pm

This reminded me that I have one hidden somewhere in my office :?: now I have to find it.
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Re: Tono Tonearm Lifter (TonaL)

Postby troporobo » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:12 pm

dnk wrote:Just out of curiosity, do the guys who got them from 4+ years back still use it up to now?


Mine has been in daily use and working just as smoothly as the day it was installed by the Maestro himself!

Image
Image

(Note: first picture is not mine, second (crappy one!) is mine)

I regularly brag about it in various online fora every time someone posts that there are no solutions like this available any more
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Re: Tono Tonearm Lifter (TonaL)

Postby mandym » Wed Apr 21, 2010 7:49 am

Hey, that's wonderful to hear! It should keep on working for years because of it's simplicity. Not much feedback about it failing, even from those sold in the US. Of course, not much feedback on how well they work either :D :D . However, I like to think that they work so well that the owners have gotten to take them for granted.

The only problem I've heard about is about adjustment and the adherence of the metal disc to the armwand (easily solved actually). Also when the user changes the 'table/tonearm, he does not feel comfortable about relocating the TonaL. I still have detailed instructions on set up and trouble shooting and will send free copies to owners who ask for it.

I think the Tonal is an excellent invention and still gets inquiries from here and abroad. If I can get a dwarf or two working on these in my dungeon, I could probably start producing more TonaLs and make me some $$$ :) :) .
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Re: Tono Tonearm Lifter (TonaL)

Postby Rolloff » Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:53 am

Mandym,

Are you still making and selling these?
I'd love to buy one and have you ship it to alifornia.

Thanks,

David
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Re: Tono Tonearm Lifter (TonaL)

Postby Rolloff » Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:57 am

Mandym,

If you're still making these and selling and shipping them, please send me an email to anomaly 7 (at) a o l (dot) com no space between anomaly and 7 .

thanks,
David
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