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" Who needs anything more? I mused, a thousand words ago. Such words sometimes come back to bite. As it happens, both versions of the Audio-Creative GrooveMaster are easy-to-use, good-sounding products, and both offer very high value for the money.

Enthusiastically recommended ! "

Art Dudley | Stereophile

January 2018

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The genesis of the GrooveMaster lies in the 1950’s. In those days, high quality playback equipment was needed for mastering engineers, recording studios, music executives, broadcast networks, and wealthy connoisseurs. Previous equipment could not play back microgroove records without introducing massive noise and damaging the vinyl. The "transcription record player", as we know of it, then came into existence. These "transcription record players" allowed for high fidelity playback of microgroove vinyl. This equipment was meant to last a lifetime, and and was built with little regard for expense.


The GrooveMaster III was developed to the same standards as these Classics.

In our research to develop the GrooveMaster tonearm, we kept a few things in mind: How were classic tonearms designed? How did they determine what improvements were needed? Were those improvements successful? What measurements did the engineers make? Did they limit themselves due to materials? Did they limit themselves based on manufacturing technologies available in the '50s? All analog equipment is built on the backs of giants. Most lessons had already been learned by the great engineers of the past, though many of those lessons were forgotten over time.


In the 21st century, some things can be done faster, much more accurately, using better machine tools, on higher grade materials.


With this in mind, and many hours of building, tweaking, listening, redesign, and more listening, the Audio Creative GrooveMaster was born.

Groovemaster III Tonearm Line

An Eye to Detail and High Precision

Key Design Features


A Heavyweight

The GrooveMaster III is a heavyweight. With an effective mass of approximately 22 grams. It can mount low to medium compliance cartridges up to 20 µm/mN. It is a natural partner for low compliance cartridges, like the DL103 and Ortofon SPU.


High Precision Bearing

The Audio Creative GrooveMaster III transcription tonearm is manufactured with utmost precision, using the best components available. The vertical bearing housing is cut from billet stainless steel. The vertical bearing is a high precision, hybrid ceramic, roller bearing, conforming to ABEC-7 specifications.


Precision Ceramic Bearing to ABEC-7 Specs

The tolerance of ABEC-7 bearings is 0.0025 mm. A threaded counterweight insures precise setting of the VTF. The horizontal bearing is positioned in the GrooveMaster III top housing, where hybrid ceramic bearings are also used. The horizontal bearing is angled to 17,11 degrees, which matches the offset angle of the tonearm curve. Many older arms did not have matching offset angles at the bearing, which caused constantly changing azimuth. When cartridges only had spherical tips, and played only mono records, this wasn't a big problem. However, any type of elliptical, or more advanced stylus, playing a stereo record, must have stable azimuth. With matching offset angle at the bearing, the azimuth angle is stable.


High Grade Materials

All parts are CNC machined with utmost precision, using high grade aluminium, titanium and stainless steel.


All materials used in the GrooveMaster III are the highest grade. The bearing housing, as well as counterweights, are made of stainless steel. The counterweights are sanded, then passivated, to insure a long lasting, beautiful finish.


High Quality Build

The GrooveMaster II is hand built and tested, with utmost attention to detail, by Audio Creative in the Netherlands. It takes over 2 days to build and test one GrooveMaster II before it leaves our shop. Parts are produced locally, by master machinists, on CNC equipment, using modern tooling, in a climate controlled shop, and the machinists are well paid for their efforts. They care about quality!

The Connections

High Grade Tonearm Cable Connector

The tonearm cable connection of the GrooveMaster III was also developed in-house. Most connectors have brass gold-plated pins. Unfortunately, brass has very poor conductivity (IACS: 16) rather than pure copper (IACS: 101). We have provided our connector with silver plated pure copper pins. This is to ensure the passage of the very small music signals so that also on micro level no signal loss occurs.


High Grade Custom Headshell Collet

The headshell connector is an important part of the arm, should be attached firmly and without play, and the choice of material is important. We have revised the inner part of the connector which is now made of black nickel plated brass,  and the screw joint is made of stainless steel - two materials that eliminate each other's resonances. Unwanted micro-resonances can quickly occur at the head of the tonearm tube.


SME or EMT Headshell Mounting

Another special feature of this connector is that, in addition to the standard SME headshell, an EMT headshell can also be mounted. We have provided an additional slot for this purpose. By turning the connector a quarter turn, the required diamond connection of the EMT is created.

The only thing that has to be done is to swap the blue and green headshell leads to the cartridge to make the electronic connection correct again.


SME or EMT Headshell Pin-Out

SME-Type  and EMT-type side by side pin configuration illustration :


Pure 5-nines Silver Tonearm Wire

We chose the tonearm wiring of the GrooveMaster II after much testing and listening. This cable is ultra thin and extremely flexible so it does not put any stress or force on the very precise bearings of the GrooveMaster III. The cable is made especially for us and is made of 99.999% fine silver


Mounting Alternatives

Mounting Collar

The mounting collar is a high quality base for the GrooveMaster.The collar is designed to mount a GrooveMaster at a fixed pivot to spindle distance. The mounting holes correspond to a Jelco mounting. It is therefore not necessary to drill extra holes.


The mounting collar is available in high quality Stainless Steel which provides extra mass on the plinth and a reduction of micro-resonances resulting in a more accurate sound reproduction.


Stainless Sliding Base


The sliding base for the GrooveMaster III is a high quality CNC machined sliding base. The brass sleeve connecting the GrooveMaster is nickel plated. Both materials together with the high mass minimise micro resonances. The unique wedge-shaped construction ensures a quick and play-free adjustment. The GrooveMaster sliding base fits the cutouts of an SME sliding base. The GrooveMaster sliding base is only available in one colour (silver) and fits both the silver and black GrooveMaster III


VTA Rotary Lift Base


The RotaryLift is a high-quality VTA lift developed especially for the GM III  tonearm. This lift has a number of special and unique features, such as a collet attachment for the GrooveMaster and the possibility of adjusting the VTA while playing. It is made of stainless steel and brass, two materials that neutralize each other’s resonance. Together with the high mass of the lift, this ensures an improvement in sound. The lift is mounted under the turntable via a heavy nut or through the screw holes, which are exactly made to Jelco measurements.


Other Mounting Aspects


The GrooveMaster III's vertical bearing diameter is 20.50 mm. It has exactly the same diameter as the SME tonearms.


The GrooveMaster III comes with a solid mounting collar. This mounting collar will fit the Jelco configuration. Therefore, there is no need to drill separate holes when you are using a Jelco tonearm.


We also supply an optional GrooveMaster III sliding base. With this sliding base, a correct set-up of the GrooveMaster III will be very easy.

... more ...


The GrooveMaster III sliding base can replace an SME sliding base. It has the same dimensions and mounting holes. No extra drilling is needed. The Mounting Collar hole diameter is ~30 mm.


The GrooveMaster Sliding Base and the Mounting Collar are available in both GrooveMaster III colors : Coal Black and Satin silver.

Note: they are not included and have to be ordered separately with your GrooveMaster.

Tonearm  Adjustment

Anti Skating Adjuster

The anti skating setting of the GrooveMaster III is a frictionless, magnetic micrometer setting. By turning the micrometer up and down you can increase or decrease the anti skating force. The micrometer can be set while playing the record.


Normally the anti skating on 12 “ arms is less important. The higher the VTF, the less important the anti skating.


Custom Tonearm Lift


The tonearm lift is also custom made. This high quality, stainless steel lift stands out in his classic looks.


The solid stainless handle is a replica of a fifties classic design. It has a beautiful mat finish and matches the tonearm aesthetics perfectly. 

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Decoupled Adjustable Counterweight


The counterweight ensures a precise setting of the VTF. It is made of Stainless steel and Brass. Both metals combined dampen unwanted vibrations.


The counterweight is de-coupled from the tonearm tube, which improves micro detail. When using a heavy cartridge such as Ortofon SPU, an extra heavy end-knob is included which can easily be mounted. Fine-tuning can be done with this precise threaded counterweight.


Tonearm  Formats

Banana & S-Shape Arms


Besides the very popular Banana shape GrooveMaster, we also offer a traditional S-shape GrooveMaster. The S-shape arm has all the same qualities as the Banana shape, and the same finish.


We can deliver this S-shape tonearm in the following Pivot-to-Spindle lengths : 229 mm P2S (9"), 240 mm P2S (10"), 254 mm P2S (10"), 290 mm P2S (12") and 304.75 mm P2S (12").

The reason for offering two 12: arms - a 290 mm P2S and a 304.75 P2S - is that the 290 mm is often used where the length of 304.75 mm is not applicable. 


The reason for offering both a 240 mm P2S and a 254 mm is that the 240mm version is a drop-in for the Jelco 10" arm, 

We advise mounting the longest arm allowable by the turntable, as a longer arm gives a smaller error angle and a smaller offset angle. This results in a better sound.

Banana Arm Format

Groovemaster GMIII Top View Banana .png

S-Shape Arm Format

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Arm Finishes

Satin Silver

Titanium Grey


Key Features

All Tonearms

Ultra low friction Semi-Ceramic Bearing

Pure Silver Tonearm Wire

Custom Tonearm Lift

Custom Headshell Connector

Custom 5 pin Tonearm Cable Connector

Titanium Tonearm Tube 

Groovemaster 9"

Mounting Distance

Pivot to Spindle

229.0 mm

Offset Angle

22.35 degrees


16.80 mm

Effective Length

245.80 mm

Effectieve Mass

Titanium Tonearm

22 g

Advisable Cartridge Compliance

< 20 µm/mN

Groovemaster 10" / A

Mounting Distance

Pivot to Spindle

240.0 mm

Offset Angle

21.40 degrees


16.10 mm

Effective Length

256.10 mm

Effectieve Mass

Titanium Tonearm

24 g

Advisable Cartridge Compliance

< 20 µm/mN

Groovemaster 10" / B

Mounting Distance

Pivot to Spindle

254.0 mm

Offset Angle

22.26 degrees


15.00 mm

Effective Length

269.00 mm

Effectieve Mass

Titanium Tonearm

24 g

Advisable Cartridge Compliance

< 20 µm/mN

Groovemaster 12" / A

Mounting Distance

Pivot to Spindle

290.0 mm

Offset Angle

17.94 degrees


13.50 mm

Effective Length

303.50 mm

Effectieve Mass

Titanium Tonearm

29 g

Advisable Cartridge Compliance

< 20 µm/mN

Groovemaster 12" / B

Mounting Distance

Pivot to Spindle

304.75 mm

Offset Angle

17.11 degrees


12.82 mm

Effective Length

317.57 mm

Effectieve Mass

Titanium Tonearm

29 g

Advisable Cartridge Compliance

< 20 µm/mN

Pricing - Tonearm

Arm-Only / excludes  Mounting Base

Groovemaster 9" Arm

$ 2,855


Groovemaster 10" Arms

$ 2,855


Groovemaster 12" Arms

$ 2,855

Applies to either Finish

or Shape

Pricing - Options

Stainless Steel

Mounting Board

$ 110

SME-Style Sliding Board

$ 341

VTA Lift

$ 917

AC Walnut Headshell

$ 215

AC HS-01 Headshell

$ 285

AC Step Up Transformer

$ 2,145

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