Anyone Have Experience With Grado Tonearms?

prime minister

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Some guy in a Deli got me thinking. As dedicated as I am to Grado cartridges, I’ve never run a Grado arm. You‘d think that my XTZ would be happiest on the arm Joe Grado design too. Now, I understand that I’d need another turntable to make all of that work, but that’s an issue for another day.

To clarify, I’m not thinking bout the old wooden ones, but rather the later production variants. Anyone have any experience with these?
 

MikeyFresh

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I'm curious about this too, for example how many Grado tonearm models were there and how many years were they produced? I admit I did not know Grado made tonearms.

My now long gone local dealer was a big Grado fan, however they apparently only sold the carts, and headphones. I never saw any Grado tonearm on display or available on a demo table to listen to, nor did he ever bring up Grado in any tonearm conversation.

I guess maybe that was just due to having been a dealer for everything from Rega, to Pro-Ject, Clearaudio, SME, and Graham, even Eminent Technology, or Sumiko and others, so maybe he just didn't have room for Grado tonearms in his line-up, or were they perhaps already out of production by the time I first started visiting that dealer in about 1990 or so?
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
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I've long wanted one of these, but never encountered one at the right time and price.
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The ToneArm most folk think of when you say “Grado” is the original wooden one. It is very well regarded, but looks like uncle Joey built it in the shed out of an old toboggan, a coffee percolator, and grandma’s old pendulum wall clock. Nonetheless it’s a collector’s item, here and in Europe and Japan, and undoubtedly is a solid performer with high quality sound.

The later ToneArm rarely comes up and seems to command a high price. It’s a beautiful unit, exceptional fit and finish, and unique enough that it’s hard to pinpoint exactly who manufactured it for Grado. I assume it is Jelco, but it’s really hard to tell.

They are pretty uncommon on the used market.

For a while I was in contact with some of the Grado family members- a few mentioned their desire to get their hands on this later issued ToneArm.C4174D81-FA7F-4BBC-B13F-292454F3BCAE.jpeg
 
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fiddlefye

Senior Member
Site Supporter
The ToneArm most folk think of when you say “Grado” is the original wooden one. It is very well regarded, but looks like uncle Joey built it in the shed out of an old toboggan, a coffee percolator, and grandma’s old pendulum wall clock. Nonetheless it’s a collector’s item, here and in Europe and Japan, and undoubtedly is a solid performer with high quality sound.

The later ToneArm rarely comes up and seems to command a high price. It’s a beautiful unit, exceptional fit and finish, and unique enough that it’s hard to pinpoint exactly who manufactured it for Grado. I assume it is Jelco, but it’s really hard to tell.

They are pretty uncommon on the used market.

For a while I was in contact with some of the Grado family members- a few mentioned their desire to get their hands on this later issued ToneArm.View attachment 41273
There seem to have been a number of them sell on CAM etc. in recent times. They're pretty cool as well.
 
There seem to have been a number of them sell on CAM etc. in recent times. They're pretty cool as well.
Oh just for the collectibility of it alone, and the connection to Joe Grado, I’d like one. It would look “the bidness” retrofitted onto something like a Rek-O-Kut or Empire.

The later, “S” tube modern one- someone has it on a Technics SP10MK2 and it looks right at home on that deck. I’d like to have that as well, too.

But I need to not keep “collecting” things and scale down before I am buried with unused material items. Would either get much use here among what I already own? Probably not- which would be shameful
 

marantzfan

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Oh just for the collectibility of it alone, and the connection to Joe Grado, I’d like one. It would look “the bidness” retrofitted onto something like a Rek-O-Kut or Empire.

The later, “S” tube modern one- someone has it on a Technics SP10MK2 and it looks right at home on that deck. I’d like to have that as well, too.

But I need to not keep “collecting” things and scale down before I am buried with unused material items. Would either get much use here among what I already own? Probably not- which would be shameful
You mean something like this Paul?E64B1A62-4DAD-4ECC-91A9-6A8524AF9098.jpeg
 

marantzfan

Administrator
Staff member
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Is that your beautiful table?

yes- just like that my friend.
It is.

 

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
The ToneArm most folk think of when you say “Grado” is the original wooden one. It is very well regarded, but looks like uncle Joey built it in the shed out of an old toboggan, a coffee percolator, and grandma’s old pendulum wall clock. Nonetheless it’s a collector’s item, here and in Europe and Japan, and undoubtedly is a solid performer with high quality sound.

The later ToneArm rarely comes up and seems to command a high price. It’s a beautiful unit, exceptional fit and finish, and unique enough that it’s hard to pinpoint exactly who manufactured it for Grado. I assume it is Jelco, but it’s really hard to tell.

They are pretty uncommon on the used market.

For a while I was in contact with some of the Grado family members- a few mentioned their desire to get their hands on this later issued ToneArm.View attachment 41273
That’s the one I had in mind. Yes, Jelco made for Grado and apparently a sweetheart to use. Check out that monster arm lift lever! The online talk is that they love LP12s, which is not surprising considering the era they are from. And yes. It loves the old plastic bodied Signatures.
 

Ernie

Me
Site Supporter
I had the pleasure of talking with Joe several times. No-nonsense, but fun and funny. Generous to a fault. Bigger than life. John is cut from the same mold, but not to the same degree. Still, a good guy.
 
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