Ever fallen asleep whilst listening to records and woke up hours later with your precious cartridge playing the run-out groove? Tru-Lift Automatic Tonearm Lifter (US$259 as reviewed) could well be the answer to your dreams…

You know that situation when you’ve been listening to records, had a glass of wine too many and then nodded off halfway through the second side of Dark Side Of The Moon and wake up a few hours later with thousands of pounds-worth of cartridge/stylus playing the run-out groove ad-infinitum. No? Well, I have lots of times – I’ve even gone to bed with the platter still spinning and the run-out playing. All this adds time to your cartridge and effectively reduces its useful lifespan. There are lots of products out there, both within the Hifi world and without, that have been created for problems that have been made up in order to sell a specific product – not so the Tru-Lift; It addresses a problem that is very real.

The Tru-Lift Deluxe Package costs US$259 and comes with one Mechanical Lift (the bit that does the actual lifting of your tonearm and four interchangeable sleeves so you can vary the height of the Lift depending on the turntable you are using. This Deluxe pack is aimed more at ealers and reviewers who set up and use different spinners. A variety of sizes are available as well as Tru-Lifts designed for specific turntables. The standard one size packs are US$209. They are machined very nicely, and engineering-wise are brilliantly done, with everything being made of stainless steel.

The Mechanical Lift part of the set has a little antenna to it whose sensitivity can be changed, plus a small bar which is the bit that catches your tonearm. Basically, you set the Tru-Lift on your turntable plinth in accordance with the helpful setup videos on the Canadian company’s website, push the arm-catch bar into the body of the Tru-Lift and play your record. Once the record reaches the end, the tonearm hits the antenna and the arm-catch bar gently lifts your tonearm off the record – and there it stays until you wake up. Simple but effective.

Set up takes a few minutes and a few goes to get right with regards to positioning of the unit and its exact height, but I didn’t need to change the antenna sensitivity, and once it’s done it’s done. And it works effortlessly once you get into the routine of pushing down the arm-lift bar whenever you play a record.

CONCLUSION

There’s not much to add to the above, to be honest. The Tru-Lift is truly one of those products that just does what it is supposed to do. It is well built and beautifully engineered, doesn’t affect the sound of your vinyl spinner in any way and adds to the lifespan of your cartridge – what’s not to like. Some will balk at the price, it’s not cheap, but then you pay for a product that is built well and to tight tolerances and I reckon the Tru-Lift is well worth the asking price and pretty much an essential bit of kit if you have spent a decent sum on your cartridge. Indeed, if like me you are want to fall asleep late in the evening whilst listening to your tunes, I’d probably say that in the long run the Tru-Lift will actually end up saving you money on re-tips/new cartridges.

Stuart Smith

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