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February 20, 2017

TRU-LIFT Automatic Tonearm Lift Review

With the resurgence of vinyl over the last decade manufacturers have taken notice and there are more offerings than ever for new vinylphiles. Not only do we have a great selection of turntables from VPI, Clearaudio, Music Hall, Marantz, Pro-Ject, etc. but there are lots of great new accessories as well to enhance your vinyl listening experience.

As we all know, listening to records can be a little inconvenient compared to firing up a Spotify playlist, however there are a few new items to the market that can help you out. If you're like me and can't always immediately get up at the end of a record side, you can now get a device that lifts your tonearm so your stylus isn't sitting there grinding on the end loop for several minutes. If you are using a $25 cartridges, this might not be a big deal, but there are some people out there using fancy pants carts that would be very interested in these.

There are a couple solutions I'm aware of: The Pahmer Enterprizes Q Up, which appears to be a great choice for value oriented listeners, and the Integrity HiFi Tru-Lift, which, in my opinion, seems a little more elegant and "at home" on a nicer turntable. The job of these devices is relatively simple, as the tonearm reaches the end of the record, it presses against a lever or switch and the tonearm is lifted to prevent the stylus from remaining on the record.

This post is going to be a brief review of the Tru-Lift. I say brief as it does exactly what its supposed to do without any notable flaw. Below is the no-frills packaging, which I actually appreciate. It drives me nuts when I purchase something I already knew I wanted and it seems like the manufacturer spent more on the package than the product itself... but I digress.

The Tru Lift is available in Brass and Stainless Steel, both relatively heavy metals. For the science savvy, the density of brass is between 8440-8730 kg/m³ and the density of stainless steel is between 7480-8000 kg/m³, so the brass units of the same size will weigh slightly more.

I like the look of the brass (and the added weight) but the stainless matches my setup better. I purchased the Deluxe package that included four different heights, should I ever change my turntable down the line. The units can be purchased individually for $199 (as of this writing) and are available/adjustable from 1 1/4" to 2 3/4", and the Deluxe package is available for $259.

The Deluxe set comes with 4 different sized bases

The units have a nice heft to them, which is good as you don't want them to fall over. Unscrewing the unit gives easy access to the internal mechanism.

The height is easily adjustable via set screw. 

Setup took me a couple of tries, but once it's in the right spot you're good to go. I had to adjust a bit after these photos were taken, the little lever needs to be facing toward you to work as intended. There's a video that explains the setup. Once the lever is slowly pushed into by the tone-arm, the spring loaded piece slowly and carefully lifts up the tonearm. The unit remained stationary when the mechanism was struck, which is great as you don't have to move it back into place. To reset the mechanism, you simply push the spring loaded piece back down and you're good to go.

Overall I'm fond of the Tru-lift. It's a simple, elegant solution that does exactly what it is supposed to do and is easy to use. Pricing seems on par with other audio accessories, but may be a little high for those with modest systems. I'm actually surprised there are not more products like the Tru-Lift available, but it definitely satisfies a need for avid vinyl listeners. Highly recommended. 

The Fine Print: Zynsonix Audio LLC and DIYAudioBlog have no affiliation with Integrity HiFi and/or the Tru Lift product. The author of this review was offered dealer pricing for the Tru Lift system as consideration upon request, however was not a factor in the evaluation of the product. 

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