Just days ago, I received both of AVIDHIFI’s brand-spanking-new tonearm models. Say hello to the entry-level ALTUS and the range-topping NEXUS.
Note this is not yet a review but a “First Look” Quick Impression article pending the appearance of the in-depth review that will appear later.
AVIDHIFI has harnessed its bespoke hyper-strong titanium arm tube to push rigidity to the next level. The GR9 grade titanium boasts a 1.3 mm wall thickness, providing unmatched strength and resisting bending or torsion modes that could negatively impact sound quality. Each of its components is manufactured to incredibly tight tolerances. The NEXUS headshell is precision-engineered from solid aluminum and undergoes rigorous machining to ensure compatibility with the arm tube.
A handy VTA ring is included with the NEXUS tonearm. This is just for finding the initial position. Once the desired height is reached, the arm shaft needs to be fixated with a single hex nut on the side.
The headshell wire clamps fit very snugly onto the BORON’s pins, obviously making for good connections but requiring extra care when pushing them onto the cartridge. Always do this with the protective cover in place.
A purpose-designed low-capacitance external phono cable reassuringly anchors into place using a right-angled DIN connector and terminated with high-quality gold-plated RCA plugs.
For purists wishing to embrace the naturally balanced output of a phono cartridge, the cable is also available fully balanced with XLR connectors.
Here is the NEXUS tonearm, mounted on an AVIDHIFI Sequel SP Turntable
If you ask me, the NEXIS makes for a stunning match with the turntable’s sleek and minimalist yet technically reassuring appearance.
The ALTUS offers cascading features from the Nexus such as the micron tolerance bearings and the adjustable progressive Bias. ALTUS employs a thick-walled aluminum arm tube with a 2 mm thick wall to make sure the cartridge is held securely above the record and aid the transmission of vibration away from the cartridge. The ALTUS Headshell is produced through a precise laser cutting process on solid aluminum, ensuring the highest degree of accuracy in terms of tolerances and providing a steadfast base for the cartridge. The headshell is then fitted to a solid aluminum collar, ensuring seamless integration with the arm tube.
No VTA ring for the ALTUS, but otherwise, the fixation works precisely the same way as for the NEXUS.
Note the thinner headshell wires compared to the ones used with the NEXUS. Don’t worry, I checked, and they most certainly do not make the arm sound thin:-)
Here is the ALTUS tonearm, mounted on an AVIDHIFI Sequel SP Turntable. Its sleek and understated looks make it appear elegant and unobtrusive.
The ALTUS is elegant from all angles.
Side By Side Comparisons
Here are the two counterweights shown side by side. On the left is the ALTUS and on the right is the NEXUS. Note that the NEXUS weight has the same outer diameter but has a wider diameter hole to fit the thicker arm. To compensate for this, it is wider/thicker in shape.
The tonearms are available now.