Reed 3P Tonearm – Ex-Dem
This is our current Reed 3P demonstrator, and it can be heard here, by appointment. The arm specifications and list pricing are as follows:
Reed 3P Base Price: £3450
12″ Arm Wand: £215
Cocobolo Wood Option: £165
Upgrade Wiring Finewire C37 Cryo 125cm: £175
Total Including All Options: £4005
This tonearm’s metal parts are in Reed’s standard ‘Seashell Whire’ finish, which is simply a rather nice matt silver anodised finish.
The Reed 3P tonearm has, among other features, like fine VTA adjustment on-the-fly, also the almost unique ability to adjust azimuth while playing a record. A clever thing about Reed’s azimuth adjuster is that during the adjustment process the cartridge “swings” around the needle tip, therefore keeping all other tonearm parameters intact. You can see how it works by watching this short video:
Magnetic antiskating and some other features used in Reed 3P were developed in the Reed Mag prototype model, which made its first appearance at Analog Forum 2011 Krefeld, Germany. Another 3P innovation is its bearing system. Although the bearing system can be considered as gimbal, it acts like a unipivot, without the wobbliness. However, the major difference from a typical unipivot system is that instead of a single pivot the 3P has three, with twin pivots for the vertical axis and one in the horizontal axis, all held together by magnetic stabilisers. All this means that the bearing system is as rigid as gimbal, but its friction coefficient is as low as in unipivot, and it is totally stable in use
If you are bored with this technical talk, it is enough to know that with the Reed 3P you can set up most of the tonearm’s parameters (VTA, azimuth, antiskating) on the fly, and due to the very sensitive bearing system you will not miss the slightest music tones.
What’s It Like?
Our 12″ Reed 3P has the Cocobolo wand, with upgrade cryo-treated wiring and KLEi plugs. Like all Reed arms, it comes in a nicely made but not ostentatious plywood box, and packed in very accurately laser-cut foam material (think SME packaging quality). The arm is very simple to mount and set up because Reed provide simple and clear instructions, and a template for setting the ‘at rest’ position of the arm tube. The physical quality and finish of the 3P (like the 2G) are beyond excellent – this is absolutely top line stuff. Installing a cartridge is easy because you can do it with the arm tube set aside from the main structure (the wires are captive but that’s no problem). Setting tracking force, SRA and azimuth are all very easy – SRA can be adjusted on-the-fly, and so is azimuth by turning the small lever on top of the bearing ‘gimbal’. There aren’t many tonearms out there that are genuinely as easy to set up and adjust. The 3P is easy to set up and to use, significantly because its main bearing elements ‘snap’ together under magnetic attraction and it all stays together beautifully. Like all Reed arms, the arm is secured in its rest with a knurled screw that operates from underneath – a bit fiddly at first but something you soon get used to; if you forget to slacken the arm rest screw before moving the arm, the arm tube’s twin vertical pivots might jump out of their little sapphire cups, but it all snaps back into place very easily, and this quirk is something that you do get used to, and it’s not a problem.
What about how it sounds? Lustrous, organic, with great rendering of details and tonal colour – this is a true high-end product that plays real music in the most beguiling way. There’s not a hint of harshness, but it’s not syrupy sounding nor soft, just beautifully balanced. Among fixed headshell tonearms, the Reed 3P is a magical sounding thing and pretty much as good as it gets. Tired of the ‘mechanical’ sound of some other high-end tonearms? Try the 3P!
|Spindle-Pivot distance, mm||223||251.6||295.6|
|Offset angle, deg||22.9||20.7||17.6|
|Effective mass||Depends on the armwand material|
|Arm Length||Wenge||Makassar Ebony||Cocobolo|
For All Specifications and Details, See https://www.reed.lt/product/reed-3p/