Sideways Uni-Pivot Arm - Torque Reaction Assisted Contact
From Monday 6th March 2023 the price of the 9 inch SUPATRAC Blackbird will increase to £2100 (£1750 + 20% VAT) and the 12 inch to £2400 (£2000 + 20% VAT). SUPATRAC arms will be on demonstration at selected dealers over the coming months.
It was standing room only as visitors thronged to the SUPATRAC
room at the 2023 Bristol Hifi Show
. Thanks to all who came to see and hear the Blackbird
delivering new levels of dynamics and tracking accuracy via a modest portable system in A/B comparison with another popular tone-arm.
will be exhibiting at Munich High-End
May 18th - 21st 2023. Please come to visit the SUPATRAC
The Blackbird is a new turntable tone arm with a revolutionary patented* 'Sideways Uni-Pivot Arm' bearing which outperforms traditional tone arms. The sideways uni-pivot bearing directly opposes stylus drag at a single point of contact, eliminating microscopic play in the time axis and avoiding the scrubbing and roll movements which can degrade the performance of conventional uni-pivots. The Blackbird's SUPA bearing delivers unprecedented performance.
* UK patent 2599073, international patents pending
Loud passages increase stylus drag, producing oscillating vertical torque on normal tone arms - the stylus can struggle to stay in good contact with the groove. The SUPA
bearing pivots just below the record level so that bursts of stylus drag produce a slight downwards torque, just when it's needed.
That's how the Blackbird
hugs the groove with tenacity during punchy dynamics. Torque-Reaction Assisted Contact (TRAC
) plays the hottest grooves with less distortion.
The Blackbird is designed to resist the pull of the cartridge with unyielding rigidity on the microscopic scale. Only by maintaining a perfect position in the groove's time axis can a cartridge reproduce the true shape and explosive energy of a recorded signal. By directly opposing the oscillating drag forces from the cartridge, the SUPA bearing avoids scrubbing, chatter and the resulting time errors which can frustrate the retrieval of music.
The blackbird is designed to be lightweight and stable, fitting almost any turntable including classics like Linn, Technics, Garrard, Rega and many more. It can be matched with high-compliance cartridges due to its low inertia, and it comes with a mass adaptor to keep low-compliance cartridges under control too, making it compatible with the broadest range of cartridges from Shures to Miyajima Monos.
arm tube is made of two pultruded carbon-fibre tubes bonded together. The headshell area is reinforced with aluminium and the left tube is filled with a damping foam. The arm tube is clamped firmly to the thrust box with six M4 machine screws and captive steel nuts for high rigidity. The arm forms an exceptionally inflexible and dead structure with tennis-racquet-class strength-to-weight ratio.
Length & Geometry
Due to its construction the Blackbird
can be made in any length you desire. You may specify Stevenson geometry instead of the default Baerwald. Headshell slots are 3.5mm long to accommodate a range of cartridges. Prices for arms longer than 12 inches are available on request.
A protractor is included, making it easy to ensure accurate spindle-to-pivot distance, pivot-to-stylus distance, and offset.
Mounts are available for Rega, Technics, Linn, SME, Jelco, VPI and others. Custom mounts are available to order, price on request.
A nine-inch Blackbird
has a base effective mass of roughly 10g. A mass adaptor is supplied for compatibility with cartridges which suit heavier arms. The range of compatible cartridges is extended by a ballast block which can be attached to the mass adaptor.
The Blackbird is designed for maintenance and modification. If you have specific wiring requirements, the internal wiring is easily replaced, or you can order the Blackbird with custom internal wiring. By default the internal wiring is 30/0.04mm silk covered copper litz. If supplied, arm cables come with straight or right-angle DIN connectors as requested.
comes with an additional rigid finger lift for those who do not wish to use the string finger lift.
However, the elegant simplicity of the tress of soft cord is recommended as it protects the cartridge from accidental downward pressure. With the tress you can ensure that the stylus has engaged with the groove at the beginning of the record before you let go, and you can grip it firmly at the end of a record before lifting the stylus out of the groove. Many skeptics have changed their minds after finding there is less stress with the tress.
More information about the Blackbird
, how to install it, and how to configure it, is available in the pdf manual
has been reviewed twice at hifiaf.com
, first review here
, and an updated review here
. A TNT-Audio review is here
|9 inch Blackbird||£2100
|10, 11, 12 inch Blackbird||£2400
Prices for custom lengths and parts are available upon request.
How to order
Please contact Supatrac
at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in buying a Blackbird
For more information please contact Supatrac
+44 77 04 50 20 20
All works including engineering drawings in this page are copyright Supatrac/Supasound 2020-2022 except for photographs used with permission.