CES 2013: Triplanar the Ultimate

I found Tri Mai of Triplanar lounging in the On A Higher Note room at CES, showing off his new Ultimate U12 tonearm. Triplanar has always been known for creating functional works of art, with just about every known variable of performance and configuration available as an adjustment. The new arm, offered at a rather startling $9,800, has a sleek, elegant look. All the bits are finely machined and have a natural, easy and flowing movement. If that’s ringing the “Swiss watch” bell for you, well, you’re not alone. Nice kit, there.

What you get for that is a 12″ carbon fiber wand with coaxial damping and pure silver internal wiring. The new arm nets you a 27%  in “angular error reduction” over a 9″ tonearm (17% over a 10″). Just about everything on the ‘arm has been tweaked and adjusted for lower resonance and better damping.

More specs:

  • Type: Gimbal avionic bearings
  • Effective length: 308.8mm
  • Pivot-to-spindle distance: 296.2mm
  • Overhang: 12.6mm
  • Offset angle: 17.28º
  • Effective mass: 13g
  • Bearing offset angle: 17.28º


  1. It’s about time for the 12″ triplanar arm. I fondly remember when it was originally conceived and built by Herb Papier. Cantankerous and relatively gentle man. A beautiful arm at the time and still is. I think the tariff is rather stiff, but I guess one has to be compensated for the presumably hand built quality of the arm. I do wonder, what the actual parts costs are vs msrp? I get the idea of being compensated for research and developement cost, but? $10K? Well, it is a nice implementation of 12″ arm. Thanks for reporting. I’ll probably get a chance to see and hear it at the audio shows this year.

    • Al R. Thank you for your insight and the compliment for the late Herb Papier. Tri-Planar keeps the integrity, honesty and design that was bestowed upon us. We honor our past, current and future customers all the same. What we offer is the best tonearm at a fair price, exemplary technical service and World wide distribution. The cost of the U12 is determined by research, development, retooling, CNC changes, sonic stability and the demand from analogue enthusiasts everywhere.

      Best Wishes and Audio Experiences
      Tri Mai and Wm Lillmars

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  1. Ny utgave av TriPlanar armen

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