Souther Tri-Quartz Linear Tonearm

Lou Souther was a friend of mine. I have been running his Tri-Quartz Linear Toneram on my VPI HW-19 Mk2 turntable since he first produced it. I wanted to mention how it functions as Paul brought it up in a video at the recent show. He thought it was driven by a worm gear. It is not driven by anything. It follows the whirl of the record the same way a pivot arm does. It achieves this using a 3 wheeled trolley that tracks on clear quartz rods. It you were to place a 45 rpm single on the platter off center without an adapter it will hold on and follow the record as it swings from inside to outside. Of course it would sound terrible because of the speed variation caused by the off center placement. I track my Ortofon OM-30 at 1.7 grams. It plays all my records perfectly from the outside to the inside of the disk, When set up properly which is quite a feet to achieve.
Lou taught me how to set it up correctly for proper error free tracking. It is nice to hear an album finish without inner groove distortion. The arm is very low mass in the vertical plane and medium mass in the horizontal plane. I use custom Petersen Emerald litzwire cables to connect it to my NPC. I have transcribed many of my records using Vinyl Studio and even removed tics and pops. Some people think the track needs to be cleaned frequently as they have not set there tonearm up correctly so it will stick on certain records. When set up properly I have no issue with sticking. It is a very neutral and dynamic tonearm. Harry Weissfeld worked with Lou and polished his spindles so when the spindle locator sets on it you do not get any noise. Today ClearAudio owns the license and manufactures a very expensive version of this tonearm. Hearing a record without tracking error is an ear opener for vinyl lovers. It is not a dead technology at all. Lou even made me an audio cassette to guide one through the setup of the tonearm. One thing about the arm it does have a short pivot to stylus distance so a severely warped record can cause warp induce wow. None of my thousands of record fall to that level and play fine.DSC04377

5 Likes