Nottingham Analogue Ace Space Tonearm

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Toppsy
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#1 Nottingham Analogue Ace Space Tonearm

Post by Toppsy »

My new toy is the Nottingham Analogue Ace Space tone arm to go on my NA Spacedeck. This arm is in replacement of a Hadcock GH242 that I've had for a number of years. I have to say that in my setup as good as the Hadcock is this new arm beats hands down in both the build quality and sound reproduction. The Benz Micro Glider cartridge I have to say is just a lone until our David of MCRU gets new stock of the SL version that is needed to compliment my LongDog MC phono stage.

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Though the arm was delivered beginning of last week I only had the opportunity to mount it yesterday morning and spent the rest of the day playing vinyl until 10.30pm. When the lone cartridge was fitted to my Hadcock this combination was a big step up in performance to my old VDH re-armed and re-tipped Ortofon Rondo Bronze. The Benz mounted on the Ace Space lifts the performance even higher. The cart/arm combination seems to be a perfect match and compliments my NA deck. I'm one very happy bunny. Can't wait until David gets me the awaited Glider so I can breathe a sigh of relief and return the lone cartridge back to its owner.

Anyone in the market for a replacement tonearm should give serious thought to the NA offerings. The build quality is superb. They are unipivot in design but are so easy to install and set up in comparison to other uni types I'm familiar and from what I've read from other users, once setup do not require constant fiddling with minor adjustments. Basically a fit and forget tone arm. Highly recommended.
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Ali Tait
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#2 Re: Nottingham Analogue Ace Space Tonearm

Post by Ali Tait »

Looks great Colin. I must say, I do like Benz carts.
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#3 Re: Nottingham Analogue Ace Space Tonearm

Post by Cressy Snr »

Yep, that looks the dog’s danglies and I bet it sounds it too. :)
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#4 Re: Nottingham Analogue Ace Space Tonearm

Post by Scottmoose »

That's a stunner; looks a lovely bit of engineering. :)
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#5 Re: Nottingham Analogue Ace Space Tonearm

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Ali Tait wrote: Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:21 am Looks great Colin. I must say, I do like Benz carts.
Have to agree with you there Ali. I have found though that playing around with the cartridge loading pays dividends. I started with the usual 100 ohm loading and then upped this by 10 ohm increments to 130 ohms. This proved best when mounted on the Hadcock. I am now using 150 ohm loading with the Ace Space combo and this has reaped big improvements to the bass without curtailing the treble in anyway. Me thinks some further experiments with the loading may pursue. But for now I'm enjoying the sound so much.
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#6 Re: Nottingham Analogue Ace Space Tonearm

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Cressy Snr wrote: Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:29 am Yep, that looks the dog’s danglies and I bet it sounds it too. :)
Indeed it does sound great Steve and compliments the deck in every respect. I have to say the folk at Nottingham Analogue that I spoke to about their arms and what type compliance cartridges are best suited to their designs are such nice, friendly and helpful people. British Engineering at its best.
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#7 Re: Nottingham Analogue Ace Space Tonearm

Post by Greg »

Very nice, Colin and looks the part. Engineering quality looks head and shoulders better than a Hadcock.
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#8 Re: Nottingham Analogue Ace Space Tonearm

Post by IslandPink »

That does look really nice. What is the wand made from ?
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#9 Re: Nottingham Analogue Ace Space Tonearm

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IslandPink wrote: Sun Feb 21, 2021 12:09 pm That does look really nice. What is the wand made from ?
Mark, the wand is carbon Fibre with a second inner CF tube to improve rigidity and resonance control. The official splurge:
THE PERFECT PARTNER TO A NOTTINGHAM ANALOGUE DECK
All Nottingham arms are a unipivot design. Unipivots are usually designed with the pivot sitting in a silicone bath. The problem with this design is that the silicone bath takes quite a while to settle down and so the arm will change in sound as it plays the record. Many unipivots also use offset stabilizer weights or eccentric counter weights to insure proper azimuth.

The Nottingham design uses side stabilizer bars and tiny ball bearing chases to maintain azimuth. Nottingham has also developed a proprietary damping material the viscosity of which is such that it does not flow and does not require “settling time”. This material is applied to the center pivot and the stabilizer bars. Nottingham uses carbon fibre tubes with the fibres oriented the length of the tone arm not wrapped around it (like a bandage). This greatly increases the strength, resonance control and rigidity of the arm. Nottingham also uses an unusual headshell design. The headshell has an orientation that is in direct line with the tone arm and not offset in any way. The headshell also has no finger lift. These two features insure that the arm is properly balanced from side to side and that no uncontrolled resonances are running around the headshell.

This arm uses the same long grain carbon fibre tube but also uses a second tube as a liner. This helps dramatically with both rigidity and resonance control. The ACE Space also uses a threaded allen screw to make the selection and adjustment of VTA a simple step.
I have the 10" version as I use a all over bespoke made Acrylic cover and the dims of the 12" arm pushes the rear of the arm beyond the dims of the base unit. This would mean I couldn't use the cover. I would also have had to purchase a new arm mounting board and so adding to the extra cost of the 12" arm. The 10" arm fits the arm board I have.
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#10 Re: Nottingham Analogue Ace Space Tonearm

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Greg wrote: Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:58 am Very nice, Colin and looks the part. Engineering quality looks head and shoulders better than a Hadcock.
It is Greg and the surprise is that the retail price of the 10" Ace Space arm is not that much more than for a new Hadcock GH242 says a lot for NA.
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#11 Re: Nottingham Analogue Ace Space Tonearm

Post by IslandPink »

10" is good, usefully better than 9. I remember Frank Schroeder saying in an interview he thought 10" was about optimum, since the main arm resonance gets stronger with longer arms.
Likewise the 'affordable' Schroeder arms used two layers of carbon fibre, with damping material between, so maybe that's how Nottingham did it.

edit: good pricing too ...
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#12 Re: Nottingham Analogue Ace Space Tonearm

Post by Toppsy »

edit: good pricing too ...
Mark, you have PM from me.
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