FS: Norma Tonearm - ultra-high end 12" tonearm
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For Sale
Oct 25, 2016 at 1:53 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 1


Headphoneus Supremus
Oct 10, 2005
Hi Guys,
I sold my Norma Hylee arm on ebay, but the buyer has been unable to pay me!
Thought I'd offer it here to see if there's any interest.
"The best tonearm I've ever heard or had the pleasure to use.
After his collaborative, highly lauded work for Norma Hylee, this ZA 297S was produced by Norbert Mahler at his small Berlin studio. It's an utter masterwork and lifts the game again, well past the excellent Hylee.
Drawing from his extensive experience with Neumann and EMT, Mahler employs carefully selected materials and 'perfect' geometries to produce hardware without peer.  I've owned many EMT997s, SME 3012s, an FR 66, a Thomas Schick, Ortofons and even a Shroeder and this ZA 297S from Mahler bested the lot.

It appears simple enough; a beautiful, silver/grey-anodised turret and selection of 2 main, rubber-damped counterweights, a bright chrome, internally damped wand in a gentle S shape and attendant hydraulic arm lift... 
There are even tastier things inside though as it's wired with silver (including the fabric wrapped 1.2m tonearm cable) and loaded with supreme-quality bearings.

Effective length is 307mm and it's 297mm from spindle to pivot once you install a standard headshell (the 297S doesn't come with a headshell, I've just used another of mine for illustration - it's not included), meaning it's a standard, drop in length against the big EMTs and works perfectly with an Ortofon SPU type G, for example. Mounting hole diameter minimum is 25mm but the collar will allow 30mm or so without issue.

This tonearm is 12 months old, and took many months to manufacture, once an order was placed with Mr Mahler - he has an extensive and thoroughly well-earned waiting list. 
It has had its arm-lift serviced (Peter at Golden Age does exceptional, careful work and addressed a damping issue so its arm lift speed is to my satisfaction). It's in faultless, mark-free condition and sonically just as good, with breathtaking clarity, detail, air, heft and poise.  It's a delight with an SPU but teamed with an EMT TSD15, is capable of producing the best sound I've yet heard from vinyl.

It would be my end-game 'arm but I'm downsizing a considerable collection and have moved on to other things.
The current list price for these is 2,500 Euro plus shipping, taxes and duties (in fact it's astoundingly good value if you can bear the wait time).

Included is the complete original packaging suite including Mahler's finger-jointed Finnish Birch box and the 165gm and 255gm counterweights. As mentioned a headshell or cartridge is not included, as per the original spec.
I'll miss this beauty dearly."

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