Reviewer Jeff Day's June
6, 2015 comments on the Woody SPU:
"I love the look of the musical instrument-like French polished wood armwand used on the Woody
SPU, and the contrasting brass hardware. I also like the concept of the articulated joint that allows easy alignment of SPU
cartridges, and the Woody SPU’s general adjustability when setting it up."
"One thing that was immediately
apparent is that the prototype Woody SPU tonearm is extremely good sounding, both musically & sonically, and
it is more than a match for my Schick tonearms. When playing music with either the Ortofon SPU Classic stereo cartridge (aided
by the terrific sounding Intact Audio SUT) or the Ortofon SPU Mono CG 25 Di MkII (straight into the MX110Z) the Woody
SPU was mesmerizing to listen to music with. The prototype Woody SPU sounded like a million bucks, with a smooth,
rich, sensual, spacious, tonally natural, nuanced, and very musical presentation of the music."
"Consider these as first impressions,
but compared to my Schick tonearms, the prototype Woody SPU was more even top-to-bottom, had a more balanced &
articulate bass presentation, was smoother & richer, and was more tonally natural, giving it an easy on the ears likability
that will win it a lot of fans."
Reviewer Jeff Day's December 10, 2015 comment about
the Woody SPU:
Woody SPU Tonearm by Pete Riggle Audio
Engineering absolutely blows away my excellent Thomas Schick tonearm, much to
"The Woody SPU sounds more tonally natural than the
"The Woody SPU is at
another level compared to the Schick, and I’ve come to the conclusion that my musical satisfaction is not complete unless
I have a Woody SPU on my turntable."
Woody SPU sounds rich, colorful, with natural timbral textures, and makes sibilants sound like life instead of somewhat etched,
as the Schick does (by comparison)."
Woody SPU also gives vocals more intelligibility than does the Schick, and I can understand lyrics on the Woody SPU that don’t
come through quite intact with the Schick."
Woody SPU gets beat & rhythms right, making music feel like a force of nature, and connects me to the emotional content
of the music in unparalleled fashion."
let me tell you this, you haven’t heard what your Ortofon SPU is capable of until you’ve heard it on the Woody
SPU is a bespoke item (a custom handmade tonearm for each buyer), and approximate pricing is $2000 USD."
Jeff Day http://jeffsplace.me/wordpress/?p=7628
|Jeff Award from reviewer Jeff Day
|Writer's Choice Award for Woody SPU Tonearm, Jeff Day, Positive Feedback, 2016
|Writers Choice Award for Woody Universal Tonearm, John Hoffman, Positive Feedback, 2011
The photographs below were
copied from the blog of Jeff Day, with his permission:
|View of the Woody SPU with Jeff Day's Classic Turntables 301 Table
|Sliding plate under VTA adjuster allows overhang adjustment and SPU A or G cartridge model change.
|Note articulated arm wand joint, allowing cartridge alignment. Unique in arms for SPU cartridges.
|Birds eye view. Woody SPU at rear, Thomas Schick at right.
|Woody SPU and arm board by Pete Riggle. Plinth by Artisan Fidelity.
|Woody SPU and armboard by Pete Riggle; plinth by Artisan Fidelity; table by Classic Turntables.
|Another view of a gorgeous analog setup.
About The Woody Tonearm for Ortofon SPU Cartridges
Pete Riggle says:
For years renowned reviewer Art Dudley has been telling us about the gorgeous tonal character of
the Ortofon SPU cartridges. I finally got a chance to hear stereo and mono versions of the SPU cartridges in the system
of another renowned reviewer, Jeff Day. After hearing the SPU cartridges, I agree with Art's assessment of their virtues.
They are very musical. I first heard the SPU cartridges in Jeff's listening room with Thomas Schick tonearms in a
Classic Turntables version of the Garrard 301. The 301 was fit into an astonishingly gorgeous plinth from Artisan Fidelity.
What I heard convinced me that I needed to figure out how to outfit a 12 inch Woody tonearm with a universal headshell
to accept the SPU cartridges. I asked Jeff if he would be amenable to giving such a creation a try. He agreed to do so.
One big challenge was fitting a universal
headshell connector into the end of a wood tonearm wand. Another big challenge was setting the arm up to get the
angled offset needed with the SPU cartridge/headshell units. Despite my initial concerns, I managed to achieve both objectives
in a nice package.
Along with the many other virtues of the Woody tonearm, the Woody
SPU allows the user to adjust overhang (by changing mounting distance) and align the cartridge. Surprisingly, with
the SPU cartridges, these adjustments are not provided by arms like those by Ortofon, Thomas Schick, Jelco, and many others.
Jeff and I, and a number of other experienced listeners have now listened to the SPU stereo
and mono cartridges with the Woody SPU tonearm. Everyone who has heard the Woody
SPU with the Ortofon SPU cartridges is more than pleased with the very musical listening results. It might be better
to say gobsmacked, or astounded. But I have a horse in the race, so it would be better for you to see what
Jeff has to say. You can check out Jeff's take on the Woody SPU at the following link: http://jeffsplace.me/wordpress/?p=7628 .
I am now in a position to accept orders for the 12.5 inch (318
mm effective length) Woody SPU. Because of the extra labor and parts required for the Woody SPU I have to
sell it for a little more than I ask for the Standard Woody. The price of the Woody SPU is $2000,
which includes the Sliding Mounting Plate (which allows overhang adjustment).
About Woody Universal Tonearms (for cartridges with 1/2" mounting
"Compare the Woody Universal tonearms at $1,900 , or the Woody SPU
tonearms at $2000 to the Schroeder and Reed tone arms in the $4,000 to $5,000 range, and the Durand arms priced at
"I can not suggest that there is a single tonearm on the market that competes
with this product at or anywhere near its price point, and I think that speaks volumes of its worth.
What Pete offers as a package is a tough competitor. It makes a hell of a
versatile option for someone who cannot say that price is no object."
- VinylRob, Audio Karma forum, Southeast Michigan Audio Club
"The Woody. . . has to be the most adjustable
tonearm one can buy. . . a fascinating product... timberally colorful, well textured sound, with notably excellent image depth. . . a lovingly made tonearm . . ."
-Art Dudley, Stereophile
"I could never afford to purchase a Schroeder, and The Woody is every bit as good. Every parameter you could want is easily adjustable;
and it's so beautiful,and so musical too."
"With each record, the well-produced
ones and the marginal ones, the music contained details and nuances that [prior listening] had failed to reveal."
"I sat stunned...it was the most live- and lifelike I have every heard in a vinyl recording,
packed with detail and nuances in this huge sound stage. Simply, the sound was magnificent." "The
Woody tone arm is extremely well designed in clearly an Occam's Razor approach, based on a solid principle
of parsimony, economy, or succinctness applied with Pete Riggle's considerable engineering and tone arm problem-solving
skill." "Within a few notes of the first record, I noticed how large the sound stage became.
I focused next on how much more detail was present in the music. Virtually every record stunned me." "The
bottom line is that the Woody is a keeper, and likely to be the last tone arm I will ever own. It is that
-Mike Bodell, Bend Oregon