top of page


Schick Liebenthal Logo


All Arms $1,995

Introduction & Design Philosophy


Vinyl playback is still popular worldwide despite the fact that there are numerous digital formats claiming to be the ultimate source. I do not want to research the reasons for this, because if you are reading this, you probably already enjoy vinyl records.

For high quality analogue playback, record players from the 1960’s and even older are still very popular. As for cartridges, the choice is often a classic Ortofon SPU. Its design dates even back to the late 1940’s. 

Two major perspectives on sonic reproduction seem to have surfaced over time :

  1. First, there is the “romantic, sweet and pleasant” sound lover. This listener values most tonal colors, the reproduction of a musical event, nothing which disturbs this experience reproduced and replayed is allowed.

  2. The other listener is the detail lover who wants to hear all the details, even if the overall sound is missing the context it originally had. ​

  • Both of these perspectives have advantages and disadvantages when considering recorded material reproduction.

  • “Sweet sound” is often perceived as dull and boring, whereas the detailed sound often comes along with bright, unnatural, even annoying sonics, but not always, or all the time.

  • A customer summed it up like this: 'If I listen to xy, I need an Aspirin after 20 minutes.'



Best of both Worlds


How do I combine these two perspectives and get the most natural AND detailed sound?

To keep the high level of information and details, you have to start at my initial idea. How would I design a precise and sonically accurate tonearm for use with a very wide range of cartridges ? 

  • My chosen bearings , along with a lot of other careful design decisions, will reveal sonic musicality

  • The design appears simple, yet this consists of more than 50 parts.

  • Still it aims to maintain an elegant appearance uncluttered by knobs.


The Situation

A lot of audiophiles from all over the world fancy the vintage 12 inch arms from makers like Ortofon and SME. They are capable of producing a nice sound, but their ability to deliver details is limited.

  • The condition of the arms is mostly bad ... just think of their 40 years of operation.

  • Even if, and when, these arms are in the best of condition, the old bearings leave much to be desired. Forty years ago the bearing quality was much worse than today.

  • Even if we imagine the rest of the tonearm to be mechanically absolutely rigid, the bearings remain the limiting factor.

  • If the tonearm is therefore not stable, all the punch of the music is lost in the movements of the bearing.

  • The needle is supposed to work as generator, creating electrical signals from the movement of the needle.

  • If the arm assembly is able to move against that, this is hardly beneficial.

Here also lies a problem with most uni-pivot-designs : they are very sensitive to "rumble"

  • To work against that, damping is often applied which even brings in more negative influences rather than a cure.

  • Uni-pivot tonearms that drown their moving parts in silicone oil are not rigid, they are sticky, unable to react to subtle details.

  • Also, a knife bearing is loose by design. Imagine a knife that is in use for 40 years, the only thing cuttable would be hot butter.

  • The edge of the knife is a scratchy, uneven surface compared to the dimensions of the information stored in a LP groove.



The assembly holding the knife bearing of a vintage SME arm


shown below

Problematic Bearing - Schick Tonearms

Schick Arm Geometry

  • The Schick 12 and Schick 9 inch tonearms are designed to follow the Baerwald geometry.

  • This allows the smallest amount of tracking distortion over the whole record, for a given length.

  • However, to optimize an arm for one certain radius is just as possible -- as is the case if wanting to use Lofgren or Stevenson geometry --  this is achieved by changing the cartridge position in the head shell.



Schick Arm Length and Cartridge Compatibility


Tonearms are often advertised to match both SME, SPU-G and SPU A size.


  • The connector might fit, but the geometry is different.


  • SPU-G has SME compatible length

  • The SPU-A is 22mm shorter.

    • One tonearm can never match both

Left :  SME, SPU-G type head shell

Right :  SPU-A

shown below

Schick Headshell size options 1 - Schick Tonearms

As a result :

  • A pick-up arm has to be made in two versions in order to fit both of the size possibilities.



The Schick arm is made in two versions

Top :  Schick arm SME & SPU-G compatible


Bottom :  Schick arm SPU-A compatible


shown below

Headshell size options 2 - Schick Tonearms

As an alternative an adaptor can be used on the SME SPU G tonearm to host SPU A and even EMT type cartridges.

The Schick Alternative & its Solution

Ball bearings were indeed used in very popular tonearm designs at all times. Today's high tech manufacturing allows to create bearings with incredibly low tolerances.

Top quality ball bearings

  • The bearings used in the Schick arm have 0 (zero) positive tolerance and 7µm negative tolerance.

  • From a perfect ball the negative tolerance means ‘dents’ with 7µ depth.

  • Since there are many balls holding the construction the probability of really having 7µ tolerance is extremely low.​

The first key advantage of Low tolerance :

An extremely stable connection between the moving parts


Low tolerance gives the bearing another desired property :


Old Ball Bearing Issue - Schick Tonearms

Obviously noise of the tonearm bearings would cause movement and resonances in the arm, that would cause a loss of information again.

The low tolerance surface is achieved by polishing, which makes the surface of the modern ball bearing very smooth and silent if turned.

It is possible to buy an identical looking bearing for a fraction of the cost. Turn them and put them to the ear. You can hear already metallic scratch noises, nothing you would like to have in the music signal.


Just turn a vintage arm horizontally and you know what I mean. They are just loose balls arranged around the tonearm's parts are used.

shown below

Issue - Bearing / Schick Tonearms

The low tolerance and smooth surface has a third important advantage : 


Low friction and low stick effect

  • The mechanical momentum necessary to start moving is very low.

  • Thus the cartridge will again track better.

  • The super smooth surface also makes the friction very low.

  • We are talking of values where regular grease would be like fixing glue.

  • For lubrication a special very light synthetic oil is used that will last a lifetime.​

  • A word to the life expectancy of the bearings. They are made to withstand really high revs. That will never occur in their tonearm life, but ensures their quality for decades.

Material choice & Resonance

Apart from the crucial moving parts of tonearms, another important issue are the resonances.

  • Metal is usually a good resonator, which is bad. But metal is strong and rigid.

  • In a mechanical assembly the resonances of the metal can be kept very low.

  • If two ‘ringing’ pieces of metal are brought together and joined mechanically, they do not produce any sound anymore.

  • So the use of a head shell is a very good treatment for arm resonances.

  • The mechanical interface between the arm tube and the headshell connector also controls the resonances very well.

  • The same applies to the pivot axis and the counterweight.

  • All three elements are safely joined together in order to control the resonances.

  • Special care was taken with the damping of the tonearm tube.

  • Three different materials in 9 sections are used here.


  • Although these design criteria are well known, I suppose, real high quality bearings are rarely used.

  • Or if they are used you can only find them in the upper price ranges.

  • Most designs available do not allow the use of the suggested heavy cartridges.

  • Against the trend of mass production, outsourcing, production in low wage countries etc.  ...


... my products are entirely hand made in Germany


12 inch Tonearm

Null at 66, 120,9mm


Mounting distance


Offset angle




Effective Length


 Schick 12" tonearm on Schick Model 14 Turntable

Call or email us for latest stock availability of Arm Configurations and Finishes

(615) 881 0427

$ 1,995 


Call for Arm / Graphite Head-shell Bundle Price

... or for ...

Arm + Headshell + Ortofon SPU Cart Bundle

The new 9 and 10 inch Schick Tonearm​s

Ho­ney, I shrunk the arm – the short versions are here ! ... two of them ... 

Requests kept coming in, so Thomas made a shorter version of my 12 inch tonearm. The differences between them are as "small" as possible because bearings, material, damping, and cabling are identical.

Technically, the shorter arm-tube has advantages, including less resonance and lower moving mass. The geometric distortion rises somewhat, but the effective length of my design’s 9.6 inch arm (longer than most other 9 inch arms) keeps it well below sonic interference or degradation of signal.

The shorter arm has similar sonic characteristics as the longer arm. Additionally, with my graphite head-shell a very large range of suitable cartridges can be used, up to a compliance of 22µm/mN.

Azimuth, VTA (tonearm height) and tracking force can be adjusted as with all my tonearms. This 9.6" tonearm length allows direct mounting on most vinyl players, including plinth designs of HiFi furniture sets.

For those with EMT record players, the mounting distance allows plug-in-replacement without any modification.


Both Schick 9 and our Schick 12 tonearms contain the same parts and go through the same manufacturing process, thus have the same cost.

9.6 inch Tonearm

Null at 66, 120,9mm


Mounting distance


Offset angle




Effective Length

245.8mm (9.6 inch)

Schick 9.6" Tonearm

Call or email us for latest stock availability of Arm Configurations and Finishes

(615) 881 0427

$ 1,995 


Call for Arm / Graphite Head-shell Bundle Price

... or for ...

Arm + Headshell + Ortofon SPU Cart Bundle

In stock : 9.6" Gold / Silver


  • Arm Lift and Base :  The tonearm includes a lift and arm base.

  • Anti-skate :  All tonearms are equipped with an anti-skating mechanism.

  • Connector and Cable : 

    • The arm has a 5 pin tonearm connector made by me. it consists of Teflon isolation and electronic test pins.

    • Otherwise, you can choose a fixed tonearm cable, with lowest resistance and capacitance, symmetrical cable with Neutrik RCA plugs. The cable is 1,1m long.


  • Counterweight :​

    • A standard counterweight is included​

    • A second, heavier weight for SPU and other heavy cartridges is now also included in the base price of the tonearm by Atelier 13 Audio for US customers as a bonus

    • For older arms it can be special ordered at a price of $75


  • Cartridge Compatibility :​

    • ​The tonearms are suitable for any cartridge from about 6 Gramm.

    • ​The 12 " tonearm is suitable for any cartridge with a compliance value of below 20 µm/mN.

    • The 9 " tonearm is suitable for any cartridge with a compliance value of below 22 µm/mN.

    • That includes most cartridges on the market.

    • Excluded are only lightweight, and very soft MM systems.


  • Head Shell :​

    • ​A head shell is not included.

    • We recommend to use the  Schick Graphite Head Shell  --  see details below.


  • Finish Versions : ​

    • There are 4 finish versions -- all are included in the standard List Price.​

    • SILVER FINISH  --  nickel + palladium, matte finish

    • BLACK FINISH  --  black chrome, matte finish


    • BLACK / BLACK -- Special New 10" Arm (call) 


  • Ordering and Delivery Lead Time​ :

    • The Schick tonearms are handmade in Germany by Thomas.

    • Atelier 13 Audio usually has stock of the most popular configurations.

    • NOTE : The US distributor typically has stock of all configurations. Atelier 13 Audio is able to immediately draw on that stock and drop-ship to customers.


Schick Tonearm Line 1_photos_v2_x2.jpg
Schick Tonearm Line 2_photos_v2_x2.jpg


nickel + palladium, matte finish

Schick Nickel-Palladium & Silver Tonearm


black chrome, matte finish

Schick Black & Silver Tonearm


Schick Gold & Silver Tonearm

Schick Mofi Mobile Fidelity Edition Arms

The Schick Mofi Mobile Fidelity Edition tonearms differ from the standard Schick arms in three ways only :

  • They come exclusively in an "all black" finish

  • They come exclusively with DIN phono cable connectors for use with custom Phono Cables

  • The Mofi Edition Line includes a 10.5" version (in addition to 9" & 12") ... which the Standard Schick Line for the US market does not.

Other than that, their technical specifications are identical to those of the Standard Schick Tonearms.


We show below the Specification of the 10.5" arm

that was not shown above.

10.5 inch Tonearm

Null at 66, 120,9mm

Lofgren A

Mounting distance


Offset angle




Effective Length

284.4mm (10.5 inch)

Schick 10.5%22 MoFi Edition DIN Tonearm.

Call or email us for latest stock availability of Arm Configurations and Finishes

(615) 881 0427

$ 1,995 


Call for Arm / Graphite Head-shell Bundle Price

... or for ...

Arm + Headshell + Ortofon SPU Cart Bundle

In stock : Mobile Fidelity Edition 9.6" and 12" / Black 


With head­shells you can tune the sound of your turntable in a very easy way.


The family of ma­te­ri­als is graphite, but just as wood or plas­tic, it comes in many vari­ants.


I have cho­sen a high de­nsi­ty material type, that is al­so oil soaked. No, I have not done it so as to get our hands dirty. It is of cour­se fi­nis­hed so you can touch it wi­thout pen­cil marks on your fin­gers. The headshell weighs 15.4 gms.


With this type I gained the most favor­able sound re­sults.


The sound is very de­tailed, but keeps the right tim­ing and tim­bre. A re­al good match for top MC sys­tems.


The de­sign re­sults in an ex­treme­ly rigid and res­o­nance-free head­ shell, which ba­si­cal­ly en­sures an ex­tend­ed pre­ci­sion in sound.

RSP    $ 329   /   Special   $ 295

Schick Graphite Headshell
Schick Graphite Headshell on Arm


Very high quality phono cable for use with tonearms with a 5-Pin DIN connection.


The cable is 1.1m long, and is the same cable used in the standard "captive cable" Schick tonearms. The wire is very high purity copper individually lacquered with Ennemoser C37 lacquer, and is , BTW, also used by Frank Schroeder for his arms.

Comes in an elegant presentation box. Thomas Schick intentionally priced this cable as an "accessory" to his line of arms, rather than a "standalone cable" that would otherwise command a comparatively much higher price tag ! 


RSP    $ 329   /   Special   $ 295



A tonearm would be useless without a pick up cartridge. In this field one has a broad variety of choices.


Here I offer retipped and, or modified complete cartridges, that are a very good match for my tonearms.

A cartridge repair for any type of cartridge is not offered.


  • At the moment there is a very interesting Moving Magnet Cartridge available.

  • Originally used as DJ cartridge it has a whopping 8mV output.

  • Unusual for that type (and price range) of cartridge it has an elliptical needle tip.

  • I offer this cartridge with a modified needle assembly.

  • The plastic around is being cut away. This makes a very big difference, even to glued assemblies, which is a common ‘trick’ to improve systems with removable needle.

  • Glueing does not eliminate the problem of the massive amount of thin walled plastic at the needle assembly,it dampens the effect a little. Once cut away the problem is eliminated.

  • Also the colored dot on the needle is removed, resulting in a lighter cantilever.

  • Then there is the new housing from the same material I use for my plinths.

  • Very good sound properties here as well, as the cartridge is fitted without any cavities, as opposed to the original plastic case.


The already dynamic sounding original cartridge comes with a lot of refinement, too once modified.


Certainly not a competitor to top MC systems, but so appealing in character that it delivers a lot of listening fun.


Maybe a silly (and not quite precise) food comparison helps you get the idea :

If your High End MC cartridge is Champagne and 5-star cuisine, then this MM system is Whiskey with a BBQ Steak.


The modified cartridge is available only together with our Graphite Head Shell.


The cartridge is pre-mounted and wired on to the head shell.

$ 669 ... including Graphite Headshell !

Schick "DAS MM" Moving Magnet Cartridge 1


Cartridge 8.8 gr

Headshell 15 gr


Aluminum cantilever with bonded

elliptical 0.3 mil diamond tip


20-24.000 Hz +/- 4 dB


8,0 mV (5 cm/sec)


> 18 dB (1 KHz)

Schick "DAS MM" Moving Magnet Cartridge - 2


< 2.0 dB or less (1 KHz)


6,0 x 10-6 cm/dyne


2.5 – 4,0 g




47 kΩ


400 pF

Schick Logo Black
bottom of page