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Kevin's new ViV Rigid Float tonearm

Kevin Olson | Published on 6/29/2023

Kevin's New, ViV Rigid Float/HA Tonearm

by Kevin Olson


Here we go. I bought a new Tonearm for the turntable. Now I have a new toy to talk about. I had to solve a weak link in my system, and I had some money to spend. I wanted something good. But, sometimes I want something good but weird. I have a Well Tempered turntable and arm and it’s weird and good.

I was tempted to buy another Well Tempered tonearm, but since I already have one, why buy another one. I am upgrading my Jelco 850 L on my Dr. Feickert Venti turntable. I read a review of the VIV Rigid Float tonearm. I was pretty convinced by what I read. Other reviews concurred with the first.
The good news is cartridges sound the best they can on this tonearm. After getting it set up, I am in agreement with that statement. I keep changing cartridges, deciding what sound I want. This tonearm bearing does not float in silicone, but on top of ferrofluid. The friction is zero. This seems to allow excellent detail and nuance to be pulled from your record groove. I was a bit worried about bass, but the bass is excellent.  High frequencies sound better than I thought I could hear.

Another odd thing for me is the mounting method. The tonearm has a weighted base and just sits on the plinth. I’m still working out the best way to have it sit on my turntable.

Since I am not a real reviewer, I put a link in for the review I read at the end of this write up. There are also YouTube videos about this arm.

No doubt some will question the design. There is no cartridge offset and hence there is no anti-skating. There is no Baerwald formula. The tonearm has one null point. But the damn thing works. If there is distortion, and I am sure there is, then it is second order and basically congruent with music. I can’t hear it. The music just flows out of this tonearm and the fine detail that comes through is awesome.


The arm is packaged with a Nelson Hold headshell. I’m not sure if it is full Nelson, half Nelson, or a Nelson Pass. It is quite rigid, but the finger lift is awkward to use and blocks my view of the cantilever. The tonearm takes standard headshells too, so no worries. But other things are quite ergonomic. The tonearm locks in place with two magnets giving a reassuring click. I love that. The cueing lever is perfect. I have time to shuffle to my listening chair before the stylus hits the groove. Nice.

Nelson Hold headshell (Bottom) / Jelco headshell (Top)
Bottom View

Nelson Hold headshell (Bottom) / Jelco headshell (Top)
Side View

ViV Rigid Float comes with an aluminum arm tube in 7”, 9”, or 13” for $4000, $4500, and $5000 respectively.And with a carbon fiber arm tube in the same lengths for $2000 dollars more.

I paid $4500 for my 9” aluminum model.

I was wondering how I would evaluate tonearms. Buy five and test listen? No, find a few reviewers that I trust and follow their advice. This worked out well.

ViV Rigid Float/Ha Tonearm
Top view

All in all, I am very happy with the purchase. A nice upgrade in my opinion.

Kevin says ‘check it out’.

The Audio Beatnik reviews:
Review: ViV Lab Rigid Float/HA Tonearm, Part 1
Review: ViV Lab Rigid Float/HA Tonearm, Part 2