Are There Turntables With Two Tonearms? Here’s What You Need To Know

Are you a vinyl enthusiast looking to take your turntable setup to the next level?

Have you ever wondered if there are turntables out there with not just one, but two tonearms?

Well, wonder no more!

In this article, we’ll explore the world of turntables with multiple tonearms and why they might be a game-changer for your listening experience.

From the benefits of having multiple cartridges to the technical aspects of how these turntables are constructed, we’ll cover it all.

So sit back, grab your favorite record, and let’s dive into the world of dual tonearm turntables.

Are There Turntables With Two Tonearms

Yes, there are turntables with two tonearms! In fact, it’s not uncommon for audiophiles to have turntables with two, three, or even four tonearms.

The main reason for having multiple tonearms is to make it easier to switch between cartridges. As you get more into records, you may find that you want different cartridges for specific records. Having more than one tonearm means that you can easily change from one to the other without the hassle of taking a cartridge off your only tonearm and attaching another.

Another reason for having multiple tonearms is to accommodate different types of cartridges. For example, if you have a lot of mono albums, a mono cartridge might help improve the sound quality.

But how do these turntables with multiple tonearms work?

One example is the Turntable Stabi SD, which is a special version of the Stabi S turntable that can accommodate two tonearms. The second tonearm is fixed on the extended T part of the main turntable chassis. The Stabi S turntable can be modified to accept a second tonearm by simply replacing the shorter part of T beam with an extended version (either 9 or 12 inch version) which also increases the mass of the Stabi SD turntable.

The unique shape and construction of solid brass rods in the Stabi SD provide an extremely rigid connection to platter, bearing, and tonearm support. There is no flat plate to resonate and transmit vibrations, only solid brass rods 50mm in diameter. The motor is housed independently in its own brass tower which dampens vibration of the motor itself. A ground, flat belt provides drive from the motor pulley to the subplatter. The bearing is of highly polished, fine grain carbon steel with a one point contact, while the bearing sleeve is of a resin/textile material which has excellent damping, non-resonant properties.

Other turntables with multiple tonearms include those from Origin Live and Rega. These turntables allow for VTA adjustment on any tonearm mounted and can accommodate various tonearms by the use of different pre-cut brass plates.

Why Two Tonearms?

There are several reasons why someone might choose to have two tonearms on their turntable. One reason is convenience – it’s much easier to switch between cartridges when you have multiple tonearms. As you get more into records, you may find that you want different cartridges for specific records. Having more than one tonearm means that you can easily change from one to the other without the hassle of taking a cartridge off your only tonearm and attaching another.

Another reason for having multiple tonearms is to accommodate different types of cartridges. For example, if you have a lot of mono albums, a mono cartridge might help improve the sound quality. Additionally, some cartridges and tonearms perform better under different musical genres and musical styles. So instead of switching the cartridges every time you pull up a vinyl record, you would have to use the other tonearm.

Another use case for having multiple tonearms is to preserve the integrity of expensive needles, tonearms, and cartridges. Some tonearms, needles, and cartridges are very expensive and it would be unwise to use them often or on old or possibly damaged vinyl. In this type of scenario, having two tonearms – a cheaper, older one and a newer, more premium one – can help preserve the integrity of your new and superior needles, tonearms, and cartridges. It allows you to use the subpar tonearm on possibly damaging tracks while using the delicate tonearms and vinyl records on the newer setup.

While some audiophiles will willingly do the “multiple tonearm situation” for the sake of sound quality, others do it for the sake of convenience. Ultimately, having multiple tonearms on your turntable can provide greater flexibility in terms of cartridge selection and preservation of expensive equipment.

Benefits Of Multiple Cartridges

Having multiple cartridges for your turntable can provide several benefits. Firstly, it allows you to have different cartridges for different types of music. For example, you might have a cartridge that is better suited for rock music and another that is better suited for classical music. This means that you can get the best possible sound quality from your records, regardless of the genre.

Secondly, having multiple cartridges can save you time and hassle. If you only have one cartridge and you want to switch it out for a different one, you will need to remove it from the tonearm and attach the new one. This can be time-consuming and fiddly, especially if you’re not used to doing it. With multiple cartridges, you can simply switch between them by using the different tonearms on your turntable.

Finally, having multiple cartridges can be a cost-effective way to enjoy your record collection. Instead of buying thousands of records that you might not have time to listen to, you can invest in a few high-quality cartridges that will allow you to get the best possible sound from the records that you do have.

Technical Aspects Of Dual Tonearm Turntables

When it comes to turntables with two tonearms, there are some technical aspects to consider. First and foremost, having multiple tonearms means that the turntable needs to be able to support the weight of both tonearms and cartridges without compromising the sound quality. This requires a sturdy and well-designed turntable chassis that can provide stability and reduce vibrations.

Additionally, each tonearm needs to be properly calibrated and aligned for optimal sound quality. This includes adjusting the vertical tracking angle (VTA), which affects the height of the tonearm above the record surface, as well as the azimuth angle, which affects the left-right orientation of the cartridge. Some turntables with multiple tonearms allow for VTA adjustment on any mounted tonearm, making it easier to switch between cartridges.

Another consideration is the type of cartridges that each tonearm will support. As mentioned earlier, some turntable enthusiasts prefer to use different cartridges for different types of records, such as mono versus stereo albums. This means that each tonearm needs to be compatible with a variety of cartridge types and sizes.

Finally, it’s important to note that having multiple tonearms can increase the cost of a turntable significantly. However, for serious audiophiles who value versatility and customization in their vinyl playback experience, a turntable with two or more tonearms may be well worth the investment.

Examples Of Dual Tonearm Turntables

Here are some examples of dual tonearm turntables:

1. The Technics SL-1200GAE is a high-end turntable that features two tonearms. The first tonearm is designed for playing traditional vinyl records, while the second is specifically for playing 78s. This turntable is known for its exceptional sound quality and precision.

2. The Pro-Ject RPM 10 Carbon is another turntable with two tonearms. It features a carbon fiber tonearm for playing traditional vinyl records, and a second tonearm made from aluminum for playing 78s. This turntable is known for its sleek design and excellent sound quality.

3. The Clearaudio Ovation is a high-end turntable with two tonearms that can be used simultaneously. It features a motor that is decoupled from the main chassis to reduce vibration and improve sound quality. The Ovation is also known for its exceptional build quality and attention to detail.

4. The VPI Classic Signature is another high-end turntable with two tonearms. It features a unique design that allows the user to easily switch between tonearms without having to adjust the tracking force or anti-skate settings. This turntable is known for its excellent sound quality and ease of use.

Tips For Choosing The Right Dual Tonearm Turntable For You

If you’re considering purchasing a turntable with dual tonearms, here are some tips to help you choose the right one for you:

1. Consider your budget: Turntables with multiple tonearms tend to be more expensive than those with just one. Determine your budget beforehand so you can narrow down your options.

2. Determine your needs: Do you want to switch between cartridges easily or do you need different tonearms for different types of records? Knowing your needs will help you choose the right turntable with the appropriate features.

3. Look for a turntable with a sturdy base: Since multiple tonearm turntables tend to be heavier, it’s important to choose a turntable with a sturdy base that can support the weight and prevent unwanted vibrations.

4. Check for VTA adjustment: VTA (vertical tracking angle) adjustment is important for achieving optimal sound quality. Make sure the turntable you choose has VTA adjustment on any tonearm mounted.

5. Research the brand and model: Look for reviews and ratings of the brand and model you’re interested in to ensure that it has a good reputation and meets your expectations.

By considering these factors, you can find the perfect dual tonearm turntable to enhance your vinyl listening experience.