12-1/2" arm. NewArtVinyl Black Bird. Yea or Nay?

anyone know about this 12-1/2" arm?



It's features appeal to me. Quality? Performance? NewArtVinyl reputation?

Ha. I'd go with nyet unless you want to experiment at your own risk. You can get a 12" Jelco 850 from George Merrill for the same money.

look at this, how could that price be true???
Old saying.
If it sounds too good to be true then it usually is.

Your money of course 😁
If you like that Russian arm then you can look for Infinity Black Widow or much better Luxman TA-1 tonearm (made by Micro) with removable armtube, both under $700 max.   

Living in Russia i have never heard about this tonearm, but i know for sure that nothing is made here nowadays except for weapons, you'd better look for vintage made in Japan tonearms or something new made in Europe, especially in Germany (like Thomas Schick is $1.2k is not too expensive for you). Lithuanian made Reed are terrific tonearms!   
Here is Luxman TA-1 as an alternative to Black Widow (designed for super high compliance cartridges), as far as i know the problem with BW is fragile thin armtube. The Luxman is made of metal, comes with superheavy stabilizer, you can compare it on this image to UA-7082 on my TT.

Luxman tonearm was made by Micro Seiki
I also remember inexpensive Micro Seiki MA-707
You are correct on the Widow arm tube, handle with care, in fact you need to handle the complete assembly with care ( as we should always do as a matter of course anyway but you get the point).
If memory serves me correctly the Widow came with three different arm tubes depending on vintage, a 2 piece aluminium , a 2 piece carbon fiber and last in line a 1 piece tapered carbon fiber tube.
And I am pretty sure it was the original aluminium tubes that were weaker and got a bad rap.
Certainly one has to be careful with the knife edge bearing assembly for sure.

MA-707 looks like a nice alternative for sure.

Can't beat the quality of Micro Seiki anything, it's all beautifully made. They built a lot of the top end models for other Japanese company's as well. (complete turntables)
I think there is a tube gauge that inserts into the pillar to set the anti skate on the Black Widow.
The front tube underneath the main arm tube is where you set the antiskate if memory serves me correctly.
thanks for the suggested alternates,

but it's a search for a long arm, (not the JVC 7082). my Lustre GST-801 solves my 9" arm.

the Black Bird 12.5" length is what got my attention. IF straight, then long!
And, work with my high compliance cartridges.

then, I like the physics chosen, and the production video is pretty convincing.
Haven’t seen any long arm for high compliance cartridges, to keep the mass as low as possible (and still rigid) designers normally using a 9.5 size.

There was a nice Audio Craft tonearms back in the 70’s/80s with removable arm tubes, there was a light mass tube for high compliance cartridges as far as i know (it was straight).

Audio Craft AC-3300 and long AC-4400 (both are very expensive)

the earlier cheaper version is AC3000 ltd unipivot

"I cant't get you out of my mind".

12.5" Black Bird Videos

machining tonearm parts (not weapons)(that day).


out of box, setup (micrometer for precise arm height included)


yap, 11 minutes, ??? does he know what he is talking about?


his Black Bird straight Arm, his S arm and SME arm

Knowing roughly 7 russian words, my main take away is that "Tanz mit Max Greger" must be the preferred audiophile test record in Russia....

I find the design and look of the arm very appealing, but I wouldn’t be willing to blow a grand on it without being able to test it myself first, or at least there being half a dozen decent reviews available.
NewArtVinyl's youtube channel

This is their YouTube channel, current and several years old.

does it give you any more confidence about them?

I ordered it. wish me luck

this one appealed to me, but ............ the price .............

Maybe when I am 75, I'll get one!

Maybe when I am 75, I’ll get one!


I’m not even 45, but it was impossible to resist.
Very rare in matte finish , not CR version (i don’t like the mirror finishing, to be honest).


it's a beauty, glad you got one for yourself. A combo of brass and chrome would be interesting.



I took the risk, bought it. Installed, wonderful. LONG, effective Length is 12-5", 317mm. BUT:

I prevailed with several issues most people could not deal with.

The tonearm wires are the thinnest I have ever seen, and I had to strip them and solder them. VERY INTIMIDATING.

My notes to seller:

Our President Franklin Roosevelt said:

"So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."

1. made a notch (not hole) for wire entry below the top cover. allows the wires to be 'free' while soldering.

2. switched the rca jacks, YOU HAD THEM OPPOSITE. If someone soldered for me, using your diagram, channels would be reversed.

3. installed the MISSING internal ground jumper wire, to Philips head screw.

4. made/put colored tape tags on the wires further from the ends. If I had to cut off a bit of wire, you color paint mark would be gone. YOU SHOULD MARK THEM HIGHER.

5. light, magnifying glass, exact-o knife, new blade: amazingly got the cover off the ends of the wires. YOU SHOULD DO THIS!

6. silver solder. I got 5 small lumps of solder on a board, then held each wire to a solder lump and melted the lump onto the wire ends. I was afraid I would melt the copper wires. YOU SHOULD DO THIS!

7. melted the solder lumps onto the internal contact points. OK, if this system, buyer must do this. I HAVE AN IDEA.

8. reminder, I had to make a new 'riser' arm board, because my Victor Turntable surface is 42mm above the arm board. This is true for Denon's, other decks, like this. This long arm only fits on Victor Large Plinths. or custom arrangements. IF THE POST WAS 1/2" LONGER, no need to made a 'riser' board.

9. reminder, I had to cut a notch in my rare Large Plinth Dust Cover, for access to the RCA and Ground Terminal cable. IF the tonearm wires were 3" longer, I could have mounted the junction box on the rear edge of the deck, no notch needed.

I have experience and miniature tools. NORMAL PEOPLE COULD NEVER DO THIS.


Cable arrives today, it better work!!!

Worked, absolutely no hum!

It is stupendously amazing that the tiny groove, microscopic stylus, extremely thin wires, cable, preamp, amp can move 15" woofers and horns to great volumes.


I ordered a nice Ortofon Phono Cable (using temp now).


I gave them holy hell, they need to pre-wire bottom of post for DIN cable.

Thanks for sharing the "cable experience".
What about arm performance? Does it stand to its pricepoint? Did you find any issue?
Thank you
This arm is wonderful, simply 'not there'.

12.5"/317mm effective arc, 'less error'.   (39% longer than a 9" arm).

I've only heard this AT33ptg/ii cartridge on this arm, so all I can say is they sound superb together. 

Cartridge pre-mount to brass plate and then just a single screw to attach plate/adjust cartridge overhang/null points is beyond easy. 

Easy to adjust tracking and anti-skate, holds it's settings, all gravity based.

It is simple parts/physics, not superb manufacturing, not concealing magic. They sell it for only $755. usd. which is very inexpensive IMO. 


+$70. for junction box if needed.


AFTER YOU INSTALL IT, NOT EASY (like an arm with a DIN fitting is).

You have to install or have it installed. I did it myself.

The arm comes with loose wires that you need to strip and solder.

I used their junction box for RCA cables. 

They are the tiniest silk covered litz wires in existence. After much hesitation, I found they strip easily, you just rub the tip of your x-acto knife along the length of the silk covering, it unravels. actually easier than stripping vinyl covered wires. Whew, who knew! 

My JVC TT81 sits high above the deck/armboard. I made a temporary sub-base, and they made me a nice permanent acrylic spacer for the extra height needed. It shows in one of the photos I added here:


Rotating the arm in it's fitting for Azimuth is a royal PITA, the set screw is on the bottom of the fitting out of sight, but, you only do it once. It could have been at the top, simply unscrew the notched rod for the anti-skate line for access.

Adjusting VTA using the provided micrometer works, however, you cannot make adjustments while playing, so it is adjust a bit/tighten the set screw/listen/measure/loosen the set screw/adjust a bit/tighten the set screw/listen ... You only do it once for a particular cartridge so the pain fades soon enough because it sounds awesome.

The Acos Lustre GST 801 arm at the rear position has the most magnificently easy VTA while playing I ever saw! Elegant, superb engineering and manufacturing, and it's magnetics are unique, but I prefer the long carbon arm.
IMO, you need to modify your original model.

The new 5pin din model (which I tried to get you to make for me) has a protective braided sleeve on the litz wires where they exit the base of the gimbal.

Mine, no protection, the insulation wore off from friction against the hard top and bottom edges of the hole they pass thru in the base. It began to hum.

I just had it re-wired by VAS, and they put heat shrink there (like you put a braided sleeve on your new model) to prevent that re-occuring.

Otherwise, the arm performs perfectly, and VAS thought highly of it, especially liked the micrometer for arm height/vta adjustment..
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