Acoustic Sounds
By: Michael Fremer

February 13th, 2024


Industry News

TechDAS Air Force 10 Air Bearing Pivoted Tonearm North American Debut

at The Audio Salon, Santa Monica, CA

The new TechDAS Air Force 10 air bearing pivoted tonearm had its North American debut this past weekend, February 9th and 10th at The Audio Salon in Santa Monica, California. Store owner Maier Shadi's organization is also the North American TechDAS distributor.

The two day event brought to the store customers from around the country and featured from Japan TechDAS International Sales executive Motofumi Hirata, Tsutomu Horikawa, the new Stella, Inc.CEO and Hajime Shimizu, who as a member of the engineering team has for more than 25 years been involved in the R&D for all TechDAS products and worked closely with the late, legendary company founder Hideaki Nishikawa.

Also attending was The Absolute Sound contributor Jacob Heilbrunn, What's Best Forum's Ron Resnick, Dynaudio North America's John Quick and representing Wilson Audio Specialities Director of Sales (and world renowned recording engineer) Peter McGrath.

The new arm is a formidable design as you'll see in the video. It's a long video, so skip around if need be and understand that English is Motofumi-san's second language so patience please. I was there to talk about and play "Rufus Reid Presents Caelan Cardello" (of course) and to introduce a new double LP album for which I was the "vinyl shepherd" about to go on the RTI press, produced, written and performed by Patrick Leonard (who co-produced "Amused to Death", two of Leonard Cohen's final albums and Madonna's early Warner Brothers records among others). Among the guest players on this prog rock tour de force are Tony Levin, Martin Barre and Ian Anderson.

The arm's final price, just announced, is $45,000 for the 10" arm, $49,500 for the 12". Once you have a chance to see what it is and what's involved in its materials and manufacturing, the cost becomes easier to grasp.


  • 2024-02-14 09:35:17 PM

    Jeff 'Glotz' Glotzer wrote:

    A work of mechanical art! Just unreal the complexity. Kudos for adding your critical input to this product.

    • 2024-02-15 11:55:07 AM

      Jeff 'Glotz' Glotzer wrote:

      Great video as well. That deck and arm are so fascinating in all of the areas where they are using air bearings and support- feet, platter, tonearm, motor supports... just wow. Interested to see what Wilson Audio puts out for their 50 anni as well. Peter McGrath's friendship story with David Wilson is also really wild.

  • 2024-02-15 07:34:03 PM

    Zaphod wrote:

    Okay, I must have missed something, did that actually demonstrate the arm in this video? I was hoping to see it in action especially since it was implied that something cataclysmic would happen to the cartridge if the air was disconnected or power was lost. Yes, I know they implemented a prevention but I just wanted to see in what incredible way this arm worked that would put the cartridge in a position to be damaged. I just cannot get that image in my head. Does the air raise the tonearm up several inches or something? Please forgive my ignorance. Awesome engineered arm regardless!

  • 2024-02-18 05:44:37 PM

    Silk Dome Mid wrote:

    Quite a lovely mechanism. It has as many parts as a Klingon battle cruiser. Looks like one, too.