The Audio Creative GrooveMaster II 12" transcription tonearm is a result of long time building, testing tweaking and listening...
The genesis of the GrooveMaster II lies in the 1950’s. In those days, high quality playback equipment was needed for mastering engineers, recording studios, music executives, broadcast networks, and wealthy connoisseurs. Previous equipment could not play back microgroove records without introducing massive noise and damaging the vinyl. The "transcription record player", as we think of it, came into existence.
These "transcription record players" allowed for high fidelity playback of microgroove vinyl. This equipment was meant to last a lifetime, and and was built with little regard for expense. The GrooveMaster II is developed according to the same standards as these classics.
The GrooveMaster II can be used in combination with many turntables. Obviously, the arm is designed to give amazing results when used with transcription turntables like the Garrard 301 and 401, and Thorens TD124. But the arm will be a great partner for many turntables, old and new. When you are building a nice Lenco L75, like this PTP Lenco in the picture, the GrooveMaster II will be an excellent partner.
The GrooveMaster II is a heavyweight, with an effective mass of approximately 22 grams. It can hold low to medium compliance cartridges up to 20 µm/mN. It is a natural partner for low compliance cartridges, like the DL103 and Ortofon SPU.
In our research to develop the GrooveMaster II tonearm, we kept a few things in mind: How were classic tonearms designed? How did they determine what improvements were needed? Were those improvements successful? What measurements did the engineers make? Did they limit themselves due to materials? Did they limit themselves based on manufacturing technologies available in the '50s? All analog equipment is built on the backs of giants. Most lessons have already been learned by the great engineers of the past, though many of those lessons are forgotten with time and "new technology". In the 21st century, some things can be done faster, much more accurately, using better machine tools, on higher grade materials. With this in mind, and many hours of building, tweaking, listening, redesign, and more listening, the Audio Creative GrooveMaster II was born.
The Audio Creative GrooveMaster II 12" transcription tonearm is manufactured with utmost precision, using the best components available. The vertical bearing housing is cut from billet stainless steel. The vertical bearing is a high precision, hybrid ceramic, roller bearing, conforming to ABEC-7 specifications. The tolerance of ABEC-7 bearings is 0.0025 mm.
Precision Ceramic Bearing to ABEC-7 specs
The horizontal bearing is positioned in the GrooveMaster II top housing, where hybrid ceramic bearings are also used. The horizontal bearing is angled to 17,11 degrees, which matches the offset angle of the tonearm curve. Many older arms did not have matching offset angles at the bearing, which caused constantly changing azimuth. When cartridges only had spherical tips, and played only mono records, this wasn't a big problem. However, any type of elliptical, or more advanced stylus, playing a stereo record, must have stable azimuth. With matching offset angle at the bearing, the azimuth angle is stable.
All parts are CNC machined with utmost precision, using high grade aluminium and stainless steel.
All materials used in the GrooveMaster II are the highest grade. The bearing housing, as well as counterweights, are made of stainless steel. The counterweights are sanded, then passivated, to insure a long lasting, beautiful finish.
The GrooveMaster II is hand built and tested, with utmost attention to detail, by Audio Creative in the Netherlands. It takes over 2 days to build and test one GrooveMaster II before it leaves our shop. Parts are produced locally, by master machinists, on CNC equipment, using modern tooling, in a climate controlled shop, and the machinists are well paid for their efforts. They care about quality!
Cardas braided tonearm cable
The GrooveMaster II comes standard with Cardas braided 32 AWG tonearm wire. Although this wire is a fine cable, we do prefer our 100% Pure Silver tonearm cable.
Pure Silver Tonearm Cable
We offer pure silver tonearm cable for the GrooveMaster II. This tone arm wire contains 4 twisted solid core 99.99% silver wire insulated with Nylon/PU. It is custom made for Audio Creative. The Silver wire is flexible, thin and very light. Soundwise we think it is the best tonearm wire for the GrooveMaster II
A High Grade Headshell Collet for a Special Tonearm
The headshell connector/collet is a completely new design developed by Audio Creative. Instead of the commonly used SME headshell connector, the GrooveMaster II headshell connector is sturdier, with a more solid grip to mount heavier cartridges such as the Ortofon SPU series. Contacts are silver/gold plated for reliable, low resistance, low-noise connections to the cartridge.
A High Grade Tonearm Cable Connector
The Audio Creative GrooveMaster II 12" transcription tonearm comes with a, high quality, custom made PTFE 5-pin Phono connector.
Audio Quest Cougar: a perfect partner for the GrooveMaster II
A High Quality Ebony Headshell
The GrooveMaster-II is a perfect match for classic cartridges such as the Ortofon SPU. However, with the special designed and custom made Audio Creative Ebony headshell, all cartridges up to 20 x 10-6 cm/dyne will perform great. It is available in silver and gold color fingerlift.
GrooveMaster II Titanium
Now for something truly rare. We have developed a Titanium GrooveMaster II tonearm tube. It is heavier than the standard aluminium tube, and is specially designed for low compliance cartridges up to 10 µm/mN. The GrooveMaster II Ti will give you more space, detail and control over your music compared to the aluminium tube tonearm. Titanium has many benefits. It is more resistant to damage, is 60% denser than aluminium, but more than twice as strong as aluminum, with greater rigidity. The color is darker grey than the alumium armtube.
(lower armtube on the picture).
GrooveMaster II Sliding Base
The GrooveMaster II comes with a solid mounting collar. This mounting collarwill fit Jelco configuration. No need to drill separate holes when you are using a Jelco tonearm. We also do supply an optional GrooveMaster II sliding base. With this sliding base, a correct set-up of the GrooveMaster II will be very easy. The GrooveMaster II sliding base can replace an SME sliding base. It has the same dimensions and mounting holes. No extra drilling is needed.
The GrooveMaster sliding base as well as the mounting collar is available in both GrooveMaster II matching colors: Coal Black and Satin silver.
GrooveMaster II Combination Deals
We can offer special deals on Audio Quest tonearm cables if ordered in combination with the GrooveMaster II. Ask for the possibilities.
We can offer discounts on Ortofon SPU cartridges if ordered in combination with the GrooveMaster II. Ask for the possibilities.
GrooveMaster II Features
Most importantly, how does the GrooveMaster II sound? That is very subjective of course. You should check our customer's reviews: what they think of the sound of the GrooveMaster II. You will find glowing comments on the GrooveMaster II from happy owners. A satisfied listener is music to Audio Creative!
The GrooveMaster II Defines the Art of Sound
The GrooveMaster II has control over the cartridge, providing the stable interface the cartridge needs, with minimal degradation of electrical signal, with minimal resonance, with minimal bearing noise, displaying a full-bodied sound that captures the fundamental dynamics of music, while bringing out the finest instrumental detail. The GrooveMaster II defines the art of sound. Playing records with the GrooveMaster II is very addictive. We love the combination of the GrooveMaster II with the Ortofon SPU cartridges. As they say: a match made in heaven.
The Audio Creative Groovemaster II 12" transcription tonearm will match all cartridges with a compliance up to 20 µm/mN. In the video beneath you will find a musical impression of the GrooveMaster II on a very nice Garrard 301.
" Beautiful 'Audio Grail Garrard 301' with Audio Creative GrooveMaster II + Koetsu Coral Stone "
"Hear what our customers say " Testimonials
"The GrooveMasterwas sufficiently clear to let me hear subtle differences between the two masterings"
Who needs anything more? I mused, a thousand words ago.Such words come back to bite. As it happens, both versions of the Audio-Creative GrooveMaster II are easy to use, good-sounding products, and both offer very high value for the money. Enthusiastically recommended.
Art Dudley, Stereophile February 2018.
There are good tonearms and very good tonearms, but there is only one GrooveMaster.
It‘s difficult to find modest words when you get such a fantastic crafted and unbelievable sounding tonearm. Finally, it’s the perfect match for my SPU‘s.
Thank you Marco for your patience and time
The new Audio Creative 12'' Banana arm mounted to our reference turntable the Verdier Platine. The magnetic anti skate is really well thought out and executed and sonically it far outperforms the SME 3012. Actually this could well be the best sounding detachable head shell tonearm I've used.
Just to let you know I installed the Groovemaster on my PTP Lenco75 and it sounds fantastic, a huge step up from the 12” Jelco I had before. More bass, more impact, great imaging. I’m very pleased. Cheers!
"this could well be the best sounding detachable head shell tonearm I've used..."
Yesterday mounted the GrooveMaster on my Micro Seiki. Thanks to the custom base Marco supplied, everything fits perfectly. That is what goord service is about! The GrooveMaster is looking very good and weel made. The tonearm fits my Koetsu cartridge perfectly.
GrooveMaster II - Specifications.
My PTP project is progressing slow, but now it is time to finish. The Groovemaster arrived and with opening the box a big 'WOW' was heard. This tonearm is impressive and I have been looking for a long time for a tonearm lijke this. The Dutch caftmanship and the excellent communication with Marco pulled me over. It is tonearm without bling bling, just as I like it.
GrooveMaster II Colors
The Silver Grey is a beautiful neutral color which will fit all record players.
More pictures soon!
The Coal Black color is a beautiful contrast with the silver coloured elements.
"If you need extra information or you have special requirements, don't hesitate to contact us ”