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February 21, 2018

Glanz precision tonearms are Hi-Fi News Editor’s Choice. Discover them at The Bristol Show.


Glanz tonearms have just arrived in the UK and visitors to Sound & Vision will be among the first to discover them. Devon-based Timestep has just signed an exclusive distribution agreement to import Glanz tonearms from their native Japan and will be showing them in Bristol. In the meantime, reviewer Nick Tate has been putting the Glanz MH-124S through its paces for Hi-Fi News. You can read the full review in the magazine’s March issue, in which he awards the Glanz the coveted ‘Hi-Fi News Editor’s Choice’ badge.

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, ‘crafted’ being the appropriate term since these arms are a real work of art in both visual beauty and excellent workmanship. But don’t be swayed by their sleek retro-style bodywork. The Glanz is a very modern and technically advanced tonearm, designed to balance mechanical integrity with fluid movement – two aspects of tonearm design that normally act as opposites.

“This Glanz arm has a tremendous air of quality,” writes Tate. “I was taken by its combination of neutrality and speed, allied to a wonderful sure-footedness. It is sophisticated almost to a fault, yet still has a way of letting the music flow in an exuberant way… It goes straight to the heart of a recording, like some laser-guided homing device. Even the smallest details in a densely packed song seemed so effortlessly imparted that I found myself wondering why many other tonearms make such a meal of it.”

Here’s a clue: all key body parts of a Glanz tonearm are formed from a very high grade, extra hard stainless steel which is machined to a remarkable level of exactitude. Superior 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. This masterful build quality continues throughout. The headshell is seamlessly machined from a single billet of stainless steel. The meticulously assembled 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 exceptional 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. They’re quite honestly the best tonearms I’ve heard.”

See Timestep and Glanz tonearms at on the ground floor at Sound & Vision 2018

See Timestep at...

Ground Floor: Bristol 16