Little Fwend Automatic Tonearm Lift

Little Fwend Automatic Tonearm Lift

Postby Drew769 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:45 am

After one too many late night narcoleptic listening/snoring sessions where my cartridge spent more time in the run out groove than playing music, I decided to buy an automatic Tonearm lifter. This new product from Norway, the Little Fwend, came out a few weeks ago after being shown at the NY Audio Show in November.

It's constructed of aluminum (I believe it's aluminum), and comes in two heights to accomodate different tables. My VPI required the taller one (same price for either I believe). A set screw on the side adjusts the length to your table and arm position. It works with a small Tonearm lift, padded in a soft rubber, which emerges like a piston from the top of the device when the lever is touched by the Tonearm. It's nicely adjustable simply by rotating the device in place. It's held in place with a strong magnet, which connects to a thin disc mounted to the plinth of the turntable. Because the device magnetically attaches, it can be turned in place to adjust for the run out grooves of different records.

In a nutshell, it has a very high quality feel to its machining and its operation. The thin lever that triggers the arm lift is very delicate and precise, and it operates like a precision instrument. It lifts smoothly and keeps the arm suspended indefinitely once triggered. Snore away, your arm is safely off the record.

The downsides? Well, it's one more procedure to remember. You have to always remember to reset the plunger after each use or the Tonearm will run into the Tonearm lift (it is a very simple and gentle push down to reset). (You can always pull off the device I suppose if you want to go full manual, but why would you?) You also have to adjust it for each LP if you want it to lift at the right time. It's again a simple operation of turning it on its magnetic base. It's is costly at $200 plus shipping from Norway. Mine arrived at my door for $225. It's no plastic Q-Up, in cost or quality, for better or worse. On my table, I like how it blends with the hardware and quality of the table, almost as if as it was designed by VPI.

It beats switching to CDs after 10 PM...

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Re: Little Fwend Automatic Tonearm Lift

Postby Mr. Big » Mon Dec 28, 2015 2:23 am

I got one of those too (serial #1). I'm currently using the old Audio Technica Safety Raiser that's still working just fine after over 30 years. $200.00 might seem like lots of dough but when you consider used Safety Raisers are going for close to that amount on eBay it doesn't seem so bad. I'll probably start using it when I get my new cartridge installed sometime in January.
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Re: Little Fwend Automatic Tonearm Lift

Postby Gary1955 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 6:31 am

I just received my Little Fwend but have not installed it yet. I also saw it demonstrated at the 2015 NY HiFi Show in Westchester. High quality and slow, very gentle, and silent lifting of the tonearm. The Q-Up is much rougher and noisier in operation (it snaps tonearm up) and does not compare in construction quality, design, or appearance. Looks like I will have to place it on the edge of the tonearm mounting platform as the periphery ring gets in the way mounted on plinth between the platter and tonearm platform.

If you want to see it in action the company's website is: www.LittleFwend.com
Last edited by Gary1955 on Mon Dec 28, 2015 10:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Little Fwend Automatic Tonearm Lift

Postby 10ovr » Mon Dec 28, 2015 8:29 am

After doing a little measuring it looks like you could mount the shorter one on the base of the arm board,,,On my second arm there is no plinth under it to mount it on,,,
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Re: Little Fwend Automatic Tonearm Lift

Postby Mr. Big » Mon Dec 28, 2015 10:50 am

10ovr wrote:After doing a little measuring it looks like you could mount the shorter one on the base of the arm board,,,On my second arm there is no plinth under it to mount it on,,,

You can definitely mount it there. That's where I have the Safety Raiser because it's too short to mount on the plinth.
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Re: Little Fwend Automatic Tonearm Lift

Postby Drew769 » Tue Dec 29, 2015 10:09 pm

I'm not sure that you can mount the shorter device in that space. I believe it is a minimum of 32mm clearance, and I'm not sure that it's not actually more with the lifting head figured in. The other thing to consider is how good it is to be lifting the tonearm so close to the pivot point. The manufacturer recommends a spot somewhere in the middle between the pivot and the edge of the platter. The amount of force exerted is quite low so that it maintains a controlled and smooth lift. If the arm when playing the record is close to the minimum height, the 2 mm of lift or so will lift the arm quite a bit from that close to the pivot.
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Re: Little Fwend Automatic Tonearm Lift

Postby Mr. Big » Tue Dec 29, 2015 10:24 pm

Drew769 wrote:I'm not sure that you can mount the shorter device in that space. I believe it is a minimum of 32mm clearance, and I'm not sure that it's not actually more with the lifting head figured in. The other thing to consider is how good it is to be lifting the tonearm so close to the pivot point. The manufacturer recommends a spot somewhere in the middle between the pivot and the edge of the platter. The amount of force exerted is quite low so that it maintains a controlled and smooth lift. If the arm when playing the record is close to the minimum height, the 2 mm of lift or so will lift the arm quite a bit from that close to the pivot.

I just did a measurement and there's more than enough clearance to mount it in that space. I currently have my safety raiser mounted there and it works great that close to the pivot point. I don't see how the Little Fwend (I sound like Elmer Fudd every time I say that) would be any different. I will definitely be getting the shorter one for the 2nd arm on my Prime
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Re: Little Fwend Automatic Tonearm Lift

Postby doublenaught » Fri Jan 01, 2016 9:35 pm

I have a Levitator, which is a similar design also made of aluminum. Mine was $75.00 plus $5 shipping. I also purchased 2 different sized height spacers at $3.50 each to make it fit the Classic platter. The Little Fwend looks a little more refined but it is a lot more expensive. I recommend using your record with the least amount of trail off space to position it .

http://www.wiplastics.com/page05.html
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Re: Little Fwend Automatic Tonearm Lift

Postby Drew769 » Sat Jan 02, 2016 3:08 pm

doublenaught wrote:I have a Levitator, which is a similar design also made of aluminum. Mine was $75.00 plus $5 shipping. I also purchased 2 different sized height spacers at $3.50 each to make it fit the Classic platter. The Little Fwend looks a little more refined but it is a lot more expensive. I recommend using your record with the least amount of trail off space to position it .

http://www.wiplastics.com/page05.html


There doesn't seem to be any damping whatsoever on that one...is that the thud of it hitting the tonearm that we hear in the You Tube? I dunno...I wouldn't want that thing slamming into $5,000 worth of 3D arm and cartridge at the end of each side....

Here's a video of mine in action

phpBB [video]
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Re: Little Fwend Automatic Tonearm Lift

Postby Gary1955 » Sat Jan 02, 2016 5:47 pm

Great video Drew, well done!! I received my Little Fwend a few days ago and will be installing shortly. Definitely works a lot better than the Q-up, much more gentle, slower, and smoother. Looks like I will have to mount mine on the tonearm support, as mounting on the plinth when using the periphery ring is too close and will hit the periphery ring if used together.
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