Durand Tosca tonearm at Axpona

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#1
enjoyed listening to the new 10.5 inch Durand Tosca tonearm yesterday at Axpona. this is the production version and it did not disappoint. Wow!

Bravo Joel!

full disclosure.....i have one of these on order for my turntable. can't wait to get it.

an Ortofon Century was mounted and the system was very familiar to me; Wave Kinetics NVS tt, darTZeel preamp and Model 2 stereo 108 Amplifier, with the amazing Evolution Acoustics Maestoso speakers. the digital was the 3 box Merging Technology NADAC, with their new clock, not heard this version of this digital before and was impressed.

the Tosca is a gimbal design, with a removable head shell; allowing multiple cartridges to be pre-mounted making switching carts with one arm much easier. the cartridge pins don't go through the head shell mount, so you are not adding another cable junction, which makes perfect sense to me. it uses a din connector for choices of tonearm cables. price is just under $15k from what i recall.

Tosca-1.jpg Tosca-2.jpg Tosca-3.jpg
 
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dminches

Active Member
Oct 22, 2011
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#2
This room sounded fantastic. Jonathan spun a couple LPs and everyone agreed that the sound was very well dialed in.

The Tosca is on my very short list now.
 
Jan 8, 2012
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Virginia Beach
#3
Mike,

Thx for posting it looks awesome. Is the azimuth adjustment on the back of the headshell? I see a few marks on top. Hard to tell from the photo is the arm nude carbon or painted carbon? It has a similar look to the SAT arms is the design similar?
 
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Mike Lavigne

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Apr 25, 2010
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#4
Mike,

Thx for posting it looks awesome. Is the azimuth adjustment on the back of the headshell? I see a few marks on top. Is the headshell removable? Do you think that compromises rigidity? Hard to tell from the photo is the arm nude carbon or painted carbon? It has a similar look to the SAT arms is the design similar?
yes, the markings on the head shell neck are for azimuth adjustment. i'm told that the arm is 'nude' carbon fiber. as far as a separate head shell affecting rigidity i have to defer to my ears, which tell me that is not an issue. knowing Joel and his whole approach, this is not only not an issue, more some sort of advantage....or he would not have done this.

and yes; it certainly does resemble the SAT. i've only heard the SAT in shows in unfamiliar systems, so hard for me to make any performance comparisons.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#5
This room sounded fantastic. Jonathan spun a couple LPs and everyone agreed that the sound was very well dialed in.

The Tosca is on my very short list now.
David, it was a pleasure to finally meet you.

you need to go back to that room today and hear it again. the gain on the dart pre was set far too low for that cartridge, and it was corrected later on yesterday after you and i spoke. much more dynamic and lower noise now.
 

dminches

Active Member
Oct 22, 2011
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#6
David, it was a pleasure to finally meet you.

you need to go back to that room today and hear it again. the gain on the dart pre was set far too low for that cartridge, and it was corrected later on yesterday after you and i spoke. much more dynamic and lower noise now.
Mike, same here.

We did go back and Chad played a test pressing of Roger Waters’ amused to death. It sounded great.
 
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Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
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#7
Mike, what differences in sound do you here between the Tosca and the Telos Sapphire?
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#8
i took a couple more pictures today of the Tosca to show the anti-skate mechanism on the other side of the base and the other side of the head shell.

Tosca-4.jpg Tosca-5.jpg
 
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tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
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#10
This appears a very interesting tonearm. The removable headshell with continuous tonearm wiring is similar to the 4Points and should work well in the Tosca design. If the separate headshell is tightly keyed into its fitment and is dedicated to a particular cartridge, the Tosca may allow removal and return of the headshell without requiring zenith or offset adjustment, (a blessing imo).

I see a screw or bolt next to the headshell entry point. Is it a clamping mechansim that holds the headshell tight? Is azimuth adjusted by loosening that bolt and rotating the headshell by hand, using the marks as guides?

Thanks for your report.
 

dminches

Active Member
Oct 22, 2011
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#11
Tim, the answers to your questions are yes and yes. I had a chance to look at the tonearm up close. That is one well engineered piece.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,768
915
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#12
This appears a very interesting tonearm. The removable headshell with continuous tonearm wiring is similar to the 4Points and should work well in the Tosca design. If the separate headshell is tightly keyed into its fitment and is dedicated to a particular cartridge, the Tosca may allow removal and return of the headshell without requiring zenith or offset adjustment, (a blessing imo).

I see a screw or bolt next to the headshell entry point. Is it a clamping mechansim that holds the headshell tight? Is azimuth adjusted by loosening that bolt and rotating the headshell by hand, using the marks as guides?

Thanks for your report.
Adding to David’s answer; the head shell is tightly fitted, so switching pre-mounted carts should require minimal hassle.

I did get more info on tonearm cable details last night from Joel. There are 2 choices, both with standard lengths of 4 feet.

The standard cable is $1850, the upgrade is $4000. Of course with the DIN plug one can choose any tone arm cable out there.
 

dminches

Active Member
Oct 22, 2011
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#13
The DIN connector is at the base of the mount? Do you know why Joel changed the design from the Telos which is wired through?
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#16
can't say i agree.

-- i think the Durand Tosca is a beautiful looking tone arm with first class fit and finish.

-- best sounding tone arm i've heard.
 
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Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
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Beverly Hills, CA
#17
. . .

-- i think the Durand Tosca is a beautiful looking tone arm with first class fit and finish.

. . .
+1

The Durand Tosca is the contemporary pivoting tonearm I would be the most interested in owning.

PS: It doesn’t hurt that Joël is a musician, an engineer, a perfectionist and a truly delightful person!
 
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