"How do you get a $16500 tonearm for $1900? Let
me suggest that you compare the Pete Riggle
Woody(tm) with the Durand Telos. "
"I could never afford to purchase a Schroeder,
and The Woody is every bit as good. Every parameter you could want is easily adjustable; and it's so beautiful, and so musical too."
- Ted Danowski
About the String-Theory ™ Woody ™ Tonearms:
We offer a family of wood wand tonearms with exceptional performance and a full array of convenience features never before offered.
Compare the Woody tonearms at $1900 to the Schroeder and Reed tonearms in the $4000 to $5000 range, and the Durand arms priced at $16,500. Dream no more. The Woody tonearms anticipate all user needs.
We build each tonearm to the effective length desired by the customer. Standard lengths are 9 inches (229 mm), 9.45 inches (240 mm), 10 inches (254 mm), and 12.2 inches (310 mm. These tonearms are universal,in the sense that the effective mass is adaptable to all standard mount cartridges, including those with low, medium and high compliance.
The purchase price includes headshells and headshell adjuster plates in three materials (brass, aluminum, and Spanish Cedar)to allow setup of tonearm mass for compatibility with the low, medium, or high compliance cartridges. The counterweight system is sufficiently adaptable to balance any setup.
In addition to exceptional sonics and musicality, Woody(tm) tonearms provide great ease of setup, and remarkable ease of adjustment. The Vertical Tracking Angle (VTA) adjustment system allows smooth and easy adjustment of VTA with the record in play. The azimuth adjustment system allows smooth and easy adjustment of azimuth with the record in play. The anti-skate adjustment system allows smooth and easy adjustment of anti-skate force with the record in play. All adjustments are easily made by hand without special tools.
Wood tonearm wands are inherently more musical than metal or carbon fiber wands. The tonearm wand wood is Spanish cedar, which looks and finishes like a mahogany, but is low in density, allowing the tonearm effective mass to be adjusted low enough for high compliance cartridges, but also to be adjustable upward for medium and high compliance cartridges. The tonearm wand is finished by hand with many coats of French polish.
The String Theory (tm) unique string unipivot bearing system provides chatter free low bearing friction and smoothly adjustable anti-skate. This bearing is radially stiff for accurate tuneful bass performance. Oil damping improves the dynamic rigidity of the bearing system.
The Woody is a constrained unipivot tonearm. A snubber integral with the azimuth adjustment system system limits lateral rocking of the armwand, providing tonearm handling comparable to a gimbal bearing tonearm. An oil damping cup integral with the on-the-fly azimuth ajustment system elevates sonic performance of Woody tonearms to the highest level.
The tonearm wiring is continuous from Cardas brand cartridge clips to robustly constructed gold plated RCA plugs. XLR connectors may be substituted at no extra cost. The Teflon insulated copper wire we use is the best we have heard. Upon request the Woody can be set up for independent external phono cables provided by user.
Woody tonearms can be specifically configured to achieve an 8 Hz arm/cartridge resonance frequency with any cartridge. The laws of physics dictate that low resonance frequency provides increased stability against needle talk vibrations. This is true across the entire audible spectrum. The results are improved clarity, inner detail, nuance, air and bass response.
The use of an easily removable headshell and long headshell leads allows remarkably quick and easy cartridge installation (user not required to stand on head) in conjunction with continuous tonearm wire.
The Woody easily adapts to shallow, medium, or high platters.
All adjustments are easily made using knurled nuts or thumbscrews. Allen wrenches (hex wrenches) and other special tools are not required. Easy adjustments include a single knurled nut for overhang and alignment, a single thumbscrew for the counterweight (tracking force adjustment), easy VTA adjustment with a knurled wheel, easy azimuth adjustment with a lever, easy lateral balance adjustment by rotating the counterweight, easy anti-skate adjustment with a knurled knob and thumbscrew to lock the knob, and easy height adjustment of the lift/lower mechanism, with a locking thumbscrew. Note that the VTA, azimuth, and anti-skate Adjustments can be made on the fly (with the record in play). An easily used tracking force micro-adjuster is provided as part of the counterweight.
The oversized finger lift is ergonomically designed to make hand cueing as easy as possible, increasing user confidence and reducing the risk of cantilever damage.
A headshell bubble level indicates changes of azimuth and VTA.
Please check out the following reviews:
John Hoffman's review in Positive Feedback Online:
Beneath that beautiful French polished wood lies a remarkable bit of creative thinking in regards to the obstacles presented by analog playback and neatly executed engineering solutions. If you value a hand crafted product and the passion and integrity of a designer, then I would suggest you give the String Theory arm serious consideration."
"The defining characteristic of the String Theory arm is its combination of proper tonal color and its unflappable expression of micro dynamics that make up music. What this translates to is this: music has a robust and fleshed out tonal balance, yet the fine detail which makes it realistic is not lost in the pleasing texture of the music."
Thad Aerts review, Part 1, in hifizine
"For being a rather sophisticated design, the Woody was a snap to set-up and the whole process (alignment included) took me a little over an hour. Again, I already had the VTAF installed (which makes a big difference in terms of time) and I made periodic minor tweaks as I listened to music. Still, Riggle is to be applauded for the thought that he put into the arm’s design – not to mention its stunning aesthetics ."
Thad Aerts review, Part 2, in hifizine
Thad compares the Woody to his modified Rega RB250, which uses Incongnito wire, the Pete Riggle VTAF, and the Pete Riggle Counterweight for the Common Man, all of which are dramatic improvements to the RB250:
"The best analogy I can muster to describe the differences I heard between the two tonearms was that the Rega (greatly improved by modifications) was like watching a really high quality tubed television. Then, take the same program material you just viewed and watch it on a state of the art plasma or LCD or whatever. There is really no contest. The Woody brought more air to whatever it played while also raising the level of definition. There were many times while listening where I wondered how much better it could really get short of better equipment downstream. It is, hands down, the best tonearm I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing. Throw in its stellar good looks and ridiculous ease of set-up and you have a clear winner."