The road to nirvana

My journey into Photography, Horology, and Audiophilia

Reed 1H tonearm

May  11, 2022

Back to Part 1 - Introduction


The first two things I took out of the box are the tonearm base and the template. I was excited to validate the measurements and fitment of the parts together. Lo and behold, everything was 100% fit. The mechanical drawing Ruta gave in advance made this possible and while the package also came with it in printed form, I was able to 3D print the pre-requisite parts while waiting for the arrival of the package.

3D printed armboard

I expect the model that I did in Fusion 360 to be as accurate as the mechanical drawing from Reed, therefore it is satisfying to validate the fitment. The 1H tonearm base is perfectly aligned, and the template confirms my "blind" measurement when I installed the armboard to the Tornado NEO earlier on.

I love how accurate the threaded holes are when designed with Fusion 360 and 3D printed on the Cetus 3D Mk3.

The Reed 1H tonearm base fits the 3D printed armboard perfectly, I am so delighted.

The bearings

This is the tonearm body with the lower bearing made from materials I have no idea of, as it wasn't disclosed in the manual. There seems to be grease around it so I didn't bother to clean it up. The tonearm frame's bottom sapphire V cup rests on this bearing. This lower bearing is one of the two "thrust rotation bearings" described in the Reed website.

This is the tonearm frame, the pair of bearings that makes up the "thrust pivot bearings" are clearly visible. These acts as the vertical pivot that I referred to as "duo-pivot" in contrast to unipivot design of other tonearms. The inverted sapphire V cups of the armwand sits on these. The tonearm frame looks like a ball with a flat bottom at a different angle.

I have always wondered how the armwand keeps its vertical position while sitting on their pivot points. Here's the answer - a pair of magnets close to the two sapphire V cups. And boy, they're strong. These magnets were never mentioned in the manual nor in the technical specifications. I know that the anti-skate is magnetic as there is full disclosure, but this magnetic part was the mystery to me. Solved!

Take care to ensure the armwand sapphire V cups are properly sitting on the bearings of the frame. These thrust pivot bearings results in satisfyingly smooth vertical movement of the armwand. The next step is to position the frame so that the lower inverted sapphire V cup sits on to the lower bearing of the tonearm body.

The final step in the assembly is fixing the top bearing. I didn't use the allen key to secure the top bearing, torque by hand seems to be more than enough.

That was a satisfying assembly and appreciation! As I was performing the "art," I took time to discover the engineering that goes into this tonearm. Bravo to team Reed.

Now I can take a breather as I continue to be mesmerized by the Reed 1H in all its glory.

Part 3 - Setup