Devon-based Timestep has signed an exclusive distribution agreement to import Glanz tonearms from their native Japan to the UK. Visit Timestep at Sound & Vision Bristol to discover them.

Glanz tonearms are manufactured by Hamada Electric in Shizuoka, Japan. The range offers three levels: the original very high-end S Series, a subsequent more affordable B Series, and the flagship SD model. All are crafted by Mr Masataka Hamada himself.

The Glanz is a very technically advanced tonearm, which becomes apparent when you start to dig into Hamada’s design philosophy. Hamada has relentlessly pursued an ideal of mechanical integrity and fluid movement – two aspects of tonearm design which normally act as opposites – by combining exacting materials with  precision engineering. All key body parts of a Glanz tonearm are constructed from a very high grade, extra hard stainless steel , mechanical integrity is achieved by joining the tonearm’s key parts using an interference fit, in which the joint is created by friction after the parts are pushed together rather than by fixings or adhesives.

The headshell is seamlessly machined from a single billet of stainless steel. The curvature of the S-shaped arm is precisely gauged. The arm pivot features four large bearings, each machined to extreme tolerances to provide optimal ‘tight/loose’ contact and each is hand-inserted using a jeweller’s hammer. The lower bearing in the vertical axis uses a high-precision thrust bearing, giving a structure that allows the high-mass arm to move with sensitivity.

“As an engineer myself”, says Timestep’s Dave Cawley, “I consider the Glanz tonearm to be a masterclass in precision. Its level of detail in design and craftsmanship is something I could happily wax lyrical about for quite some time. But rather than listening to me I suggest you listen to these arms. Speed, agility, clarity, openness and detail are all superlative. The soundstage is focused yet spacious and the overall air is utterly natural. These are quite honestly the best tonearms I’ve heard.”

See Timestep and Glanz tonearms at Bristol Sound And Vision 2018, 23rd to 25th of February. Ground floor, stand Bristol 16. They will also feature their own Timestep brand, Soulines and Miyajima.

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