Tru-Lift Tonearm Lifter review by Richard H. Mak
"Oh Sh*t ! I've done it again!" I woke up sitting on the sofa in my listening room. I checked the time, and it was 5:45 am. My turntable had been spinning all night, and the stylus had been going tud, tud, tud, tud for the past 4 hours. I didn't know when or how I could have possibly fallen asleep because I had been blasting Cantate Dominos at a high volume the night before.
As an audiophile, I have probably done more dumb things to my system than anyone else. Let's see here, I once played my 2000W McIntosh MC2KW amplifiers at 100% volume for 45 mins; the cones of all the drivers were literally ripped out of their suspensions. Yes, the speakers had to be replaced. Then there was the time when I accidentally connected the outputs of two monoblocks together instead of two the speakers, and I witnessed the 21st century live version of Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks. How about plugging a 110V $ 10,000 phono stage into a 220V outlet? That didn't end too well either. And "The there's this one time, at band camp........" (American Pie) where I poured a glass of 1986 Chateau Margaux onto a tube amp. (At least the wine cost more the amp.) And then there was this one time I shattered a box of 12 Genalex KT88 originals, which was A BIG, BIG, big ouch. Then there was this other time, at Band Camp...
Well you get idea.
So, NO, forgetting to lift the tonearm lifter was not comparably stupid at all. I am sure it was the 1990 Pio Cesare Barolo's fault.
But then I realized it happened on the fifteen thousand dollar Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement cartridge. It has a really long cantilever. What if there is now a minute un-measurable damage to the suspension which the naked eye cannot see? What if 0.64% of the stylus had been worn out on the left side? What if the rubber suspension had been compressed and the hold had now been enlarged by an extra 1.35 percent? What if there is now a difference in sound which my cat could hear but I could not?
I won't admit it to my friends, but these are the exact thoughts which went through my mind.
So the "thingy" I want to talk to you about today is a solid stainless steel, probably computer CAD designed, fluid dampened, with NASA space age super duper oil filled hydraulic, semi-automatic tonearm lifter invented by Carlo Lupo, branded TRU-LIFT by Integrity Hi Fi, and made in the greatest and most glorious country of the north, O Canada, my home and native land.
This is not strictly a review per se, because you really can't review a tonearm lifter, duh!
It either works or it doesn't and all there is to see here is this thing works. I have never met Lupo before, but seeing how many tonearms I have on facebook, he basically sent me one and asked me to try it out. I'm very happy he did!
Out of the box, you will find 1 lifter, 3 height adjuster, 1 hex key and 1 piece of paper. As dumb as I am, I didn't bother to read the two page long comprehensive instruction manual with detailed diagrams (the piece of paper). I mean really, it's pretty much common sense, and if you find you needed to read the manual then perhaps it is time to take up knitting.
I took the "thingy" out of the box, and placed it near tonearm's original lifter. By "near" I meant at a spot where it almost acts as an extension of the original lifer. The thingy is quite heavy but if you are meticulous (or anal) like me, then perhaps you can use blue tag, crazy glue, double sided taped, gorilla glue, shoe goo, or request Carlo to custom drill a hole into the bottom of the height adjuster so that you can bolt it with Teflon coated titanium screws which will make the lifter immobile, permanent, and insurance approved. Hey, it may result in a 0.445% decrease in resonance at 69Hz of the armboard, but rest assured, it is heavy enough so it won't move around too much unless if you have fat fingers.
It is semi-automatic, so to use it, you basically press the "thingy" down with your finger (not feet), and then play the record as you normally would. At the precise intense moment when a repeat of the aforementioned disaster is about to happen once again, the armwand will trigger the feather light metal rod which will in turn release the space age automatic mechanism, where the fluid dampened hydraulic lifter will automatically go up in a calm, gradual, slow, but elegant manner, rescuing your very precious and expensive cartridge. Michael the Archangel in heaven will sing Hallelujah!
Caution: Do not under any circumstances use the 3 remaining height adjuster to adjust the height of anything such as you car jack, toilet seat, gun barrel or car suspension. It is intended for one single purpose and that is to adjust the height of the "thingy" to match the height of your tonearm's original lifer.
The Tru-Lift can be purchased right here at Integrity Hi Fi. It starts at $ 199.00 USD for the basic lifer, and $259.00 if you want 3 height adjusters to go with it. There is a patent pending on the product so please do not go about DIY copying it, because you may accidentally drill a hole in your finger which will end up costing you more than $200 dollars, or possible patent infringement and consequently land your rear end in jail. And if you have any questions, you can email Carlo Lupo the inventor himself because he is a very, very nice guy.
Hey, thank you for reading!
Richard H. Mak - Mono and Stereo Senior Analog Contributing Writer