In my travels and frequent correspondence, the Thales Tonarm Simplicity II tonearm was too often served as a subject of discussion to simply ignore it. Usually, I don't ask for a review samples. It works the other way around in 99%, but in this particular case, I really wanted to understand and hands-on experience the inner working of this unique tonearm from Switzerland.

I've contacted Micha Huber directly and in few weeks, the Thales Simplicity II tonearm arrived.


Even the first encounter had revealed a highly refined manufacturing quality and the Swiss painstaking executing down to the tiniest part. I'm always inspired and ignited when Swiss horology like the precision quality level is implemented and Simplicity II is a prime example of such dedication. 

Let me look closer at what makes the Simplicity II different, unique an interesting...

The Thales Simplicity II was designed from the ground up to set the benchmark for what is possible in contemporary tonearm design. The tracking geometry is based on a unique tetragon solution that reduces the tracking-error down to impressive 0,006°. 

Thales new TTF-bearing-technology allows the performance shift with the help of the micro- ball-bearings, that are arranged in a tension-free setup and with the painstaking tuning of the two tonearm tubes, that addresses the optimum damping of intrinsic frequencies.

The crucial part of any high-end audio analog setup is the proper setting of the tonearm and cartridge. The Simplicity II tonearm comes with a special setup tool, that puts the installation into the similar precise realms as manufacturing itself.

There are three different counterweights included with the package, each one, with a different mass. This allows a compatibility with the wide range of cartridges, that carry the weight between 7 and 23 grams.

Few insights of the Thales II Simplicity tonearm production

Simplicity II headshell with locking mechanism can be removed very easily for exact alignment of the cartridge.

The tonearm is available in bronze, grey or black anodized finish and features Thales’s own internal wiring. This wiring is highly flexible and made of purest copper and one can choose from three different wiring terminations.

1. Tonarm-tubes, made of aluminum
2. Cardanic bearing, TTF-technology
3. Counter-weight
4. Base-ring, EMT / Ortofon standard
5. VTA-adjustment
6. Azimuth-adjustment
7. Tonearm-lift
8. Headshell with locking mechanism
9. Head bearings 


There are quite a few interesting features worthy of highlighting. Here is the official breakdown...

1. Geometry

By building the two arms slightly longer, the tracking error is reduced to 0,006° while the max. offset angle is reduced to 19°.

2. Bearing

Many long nights of research passed by to create a new bearing technology which combines the advantage of the traditional ruby-bearing (damping properties, one point contact) with the benefits of the ball bearing (load resistant, solid). This TTF technology (Thales Tension Free) is a very clear musical improvement for all our tonearms and has - as a nice side effect - an integrated shock absorbing system for less sensitive handling and transport.

3. VTA

The VTA-levelling and clamping mechanism have been improved with two specific mechanical components for sophisticated adjustment and improve the dynamics of sound.

4. Azimuth

The Azimuth can be adjusted accurately ±2° with an adjusting screw.

5. Sight unit

The sight unit has an updated reading device for more easy and accurate setting up of the cartridge.

6. Wiring

The internal wiring is guided in both arm-tubes, split for better channel separation. The tonearm has a ground-connection and we provide three different wiring options...


Thales has a long-standing tradition with the manufacturing of the ultra-high quality micro bearings, that points back to 2012, when they've started with the development of the TTF - Thales-Tension-Free technology.

The initial plan was to combine the advantages of the traditional jewel bearing like damping properties, one point contact and angular alignment with the benefits of ball bearing (load resistant, solidness). 
After prolonged and countless hours of R & D, Micha Huber was able to achieve something very different. It was by no means easy to implement this principle to the Thales tonearms, but the newly developed TTF technology had revealed incredibly low friction values, absolute freedom of backlash and as a nice side effect, an integrated shock absorbing system.

As most of you, I'm always highly inspired by the products with an interesting and intriguing technical background. This usually, but not as a rule manifest in the better performance. Read on how Thales Simplicity II unfold its virtues...


Some products reveal their real nature upon first few notes and minutes of the playback. Some unveil their potency in a more subtle way and over many repeated playbacks. Thales Simplicity II tonearm didn't need a prolonged evaluation to manifest its real potential and to show its real authority.

I've quickly deciphered how Simplicity II more than deserve the reference music material. One of the first records I've pulled out was outstanding Electric Recording Company limited edition of iconic Music for Viola & Cello, played by Herbert Downes and Jacqueline Du. This mesmerizing £500.00 black disc embodies an analog triumph of its own and serves the music for what it is and what it supposed to be. A powerful and radiant message!

Even within etudes, the Thales Simplicity II tonearm had exhibited veritable density. Inspiringly and in the absence of dynamic overload, that can be too quickly a key factor with many tonearms. In high-end audio analog setup, every part is substantial and bound to the synergy, yet I've discovered a big step up in performance when Simplicity II was combined with my Audio Union Döhmann Helix 1 reference turntable.

Both micro and macro details have reached new highs. The same extent of quality had followed musical flow and formation of the notes. There are numerous factors, that are closely connected with the leitmotif of high-performance analog reproduction and speed belongs to the more important ones. With Simplicity II in action, the tempi was on forte, forging the impressive shifts of attacks and sudden dynamic changes. To say, that Thales tonearm was a step up out the ordinary would be an understatement. Simplicity II encapsulated the detailed and open presentation, without any typical sign of stridency.

Especially with Herbert Downes and Jacqueline Du Simplicity II had exhibited all the virtues of upper echelon analog setup really. The sheer energy, beguile tone and enthralling three-dimensionality! Thales Simplicity Tonearm II lay down far more attributes, that I was honestly expecting. It also provided surprisingly immersive music representation and leading edge scenic sense!

One of the records, that never cease to impress my friends or visitors is Shelly Manne & Jack Marshall ‎– Sounds Unheard Of! (Analogue Productions ‎– APR 3009). This is the very record, that has moved even most hard-core digital fans. There is something about this reissue, that capture the guitar and drums/percussion in an utterly realistic way. Just for the sake of comparing with the original release, I've purchased the original mono version (Contemporary Records ‎– M5006) and the Chad Kassem's vinyl is one of the records, where I'm preferring the reissue to the original. Anyhow...

I'm used to the denseness and realism of this Shelly Manne & Jack Marshall timeless interplay yet, with Thales Simplicity II the drama and factualness became even more eloquent. The same grandiose impact was fatherly exhibited with another Analog Productions release - Janis Ian ‎– Breaking Silence (APP 027-45).  The 45 RPM  exemplary recorded version delivers a powerful, and high-flown transcription of this well known "audiophile" album.

The electrifying impact was even further elaborated with Simplicity II. As if few, not so thin layers were removed, allowing heck a lot of spatial cues and pieces of information to come forth.

Escaping the typical studio nods with my favorite Hochdeutsch direct intake, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Gerald Moore ‎– Franz Schubert: Lieder (Deutsche Grammophon ‎– 2740 187) interplay of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Gerald Moore is more than just zestful. As if they're attuned to the Schubert. I like and love the sheer balanced simplicity of this record. As simplistic as the "Lider" might appear, there are so many finer aspects to unravel. Thales Simplicity II has kept the harmonic balance and upsurged the amount of sonic information. Vocal and piano notes overlapped more naturally, forming much better harmonic proximity.

Across many more of the records, Thales Simplicity II tonearm simply acted highly efficacious, inclined to the better music presentation and not most importantly not getting in the way of music transcription. The very (positive) nature of Simplicity II also never changed regarding of genres.  


My prolonged time with Thales Simplicity II tonearm brought an aurally enlightening experience, that had over the time evolved into a refreshingly surprising analog adventure. Each and every reference record become even more interesting and involving.

I can understand more intimately, what so many people were trying to tell me about Simplicity II's captivating virtues. There is something very powerful hiding in a Micha Huber's exploration of the micro-mechanical universe, resulting in the analog playback, that expanded the familiar musical material experience much further, beyond the typical norms.

It also took a bit more time than expected to finalize the review, as something very special had happened along the way; the arrival of the Top Wing Blue Dragon Cartridge from The Land Of The Rising Sun... This cartridge has opened up new challenges by pushing analog playback quite further into the unexplored sonic expanse. Most importantly, these two analog gems locked with unexpected.great synergy and it was more than worthy to profoundly evaluate them combined.

For many people, it might be hard to decipher the real deals among so many products being offered and it's even more complex and bewildering with the rocket high prices. This particular combination; the Blue Dragon - Thales Simplicity II lock and load instantly. You'll need the proper phono stage, that can handle 0.2mV, but once set at the reasonable investment they can really create a very special analog encounter.        

In Roman mythology god Janus presides over everything that is put into to the motion, is of transitional nature, and is connected with endings. With his two faces, he gazes back into the past and firmly looks into the future. This is exactly how Simplicity II I felt about Simplicity II operating momentum. Thales tonearm embraces the rich analog heritage and aggrandizes the bold new world of ultra-refined analog micro-machines...

In our niche industry we're often seeking for the close connections and analogies, that can relate to the Haute Horlogerie. Many of the audiophiles/music lovers are also watch aficionados and they want to connect with the certain mechanical qualities of an ultra-refined manufacturing. Perhaps the tonearm is the best example, that can relate to this particular agent and there might be no better example than Thales Simplicity II. It's made in Switzerland by skilled and dedicated people, finish and executing is top class and most importantly it's performing above the usual expectations. Time can be conveyed in many ways, yet music reproduction it's even more subtle, of different qualities and transcend the usual realms. Thales Simplicity II tonearm encapsulates the very best virtues of delicate mechanical engineering in the very service of the music.

For what it represents and for the level of information (on micro and macro level), that can be deciphered from the black discs and liquefied into the seamless music portraying Thales Simplicity II tonearm deserves the prise and highlight. I'm wholeheartedly awarding this unique analog product with Mono and Stereo Upper Echelon Product Award!

Matej Isak


CHP 8.400,00


Spindle to Pivot: 230mm (EMT/Ortofon standard)
Effective length: 229mm
Effective mass: 18gm
Max. tracking error: ±0,006° (trad. 9“ tonearm: 2,2°)
Max. offset angle: 8...19° (trad. 9“ tonearm: 23°)
Cartridge weight: 7g - 23g
Colors: Bronze Grey Black


- optimised geometry, max. 0.006° tracking error
- Bearing with five axis and ten micro ball bearings - Fine-adjustment mechanism for VTA and Azimuth - chrome plated brass-parts
- anodised aluminium-parts (bronze, black or grey)
- exchangeable headshell, anodised finish - effective length: 9 inches
- effective tonearm-mass: 18g
- integrated 5-pin-DIN-connector
- option: direct wiring / terminal RCA/XLR 


HiFiction AG
Stäffelistrasse 6
8409 Winterthur
Micha Huber
+41 52 202 43 12