ARO - again?

As there is a notable revival of vinyl as a source that has been going on for a while now,
And as there has been a lot of us getting LP12s out of storage, serviced and fettled and also given the great interest and success with the NAIT50……does the forum think there could be any chance of a reissued ARO anytime?

I think there would be great interest…….

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Well, there has been the ARO2 as part of the Solstice package, but it’s a limited edition and really only suitable for the Solstice.

As for a return of the original, It sold in very small numbers, there are no parts left, and the jigs are all gone AFAIK, so I can’t see it coming back any time soon, if ever.

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Could be wrong, but I think Jason has them :slight_smile:

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I was lucky enough to find a completely refurbished ARO recently, which has been rewired by Linn (not Naim). Peter Swain (who is pretty well-known here) will be fitting it to a second LP12 for me, with a Troika which I will be sending to Goldring later today for refurbishment. (PS is not convinced that re-tipping the Troika is a good idea, but I have always regretted not buying one when they were being made, and I will take my chance.)

I am always amazed to hear that only around 1,600 AROs were ever built - compared to the number of Ittoks (its nearest contemporary), that is a tiny number.

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I was told it was a smaller number than that. More like 1400. Naim must know.

I wonder what the number might be to make it viable again?

I am relying on my (imperfect) memory.

Only 1,400 would be more remarkable still!

I imagine that just about every one that was made is still in regular use. One of Naim’s great products, thank you, M. Lamotte!

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I think that the biggest disincentive to buy the ARO is its manual cueing. I have had my ARO for over 30 years, but friends watching me cue up an LP still comment on how precarious the whole operation seems to be.

…and at what price.

So… the ability to make the ARO(2) exists… Clearly…

But the commercials would probably not make sense. Unless it was done like the Nait 50 - a limited run, maybe…?

For me, the ease of use of an Ittok is a big plus.

I recall reading that a number of things led to the ARO’s discontinuance, but that the main reasons were a shortage of vital parts, and the retirement of the only person in Salisbury who handbuilt each ARO that Naim sold.

Someone in Salisbury may be able to confirm or add to this.

Ian, I read somewhere that the ARO2 on the Solstice is much heavier than the original, and that no LP12 (or similar deck) could balance out the additional mass in one corner of the deck.

I have no idea if this is true - the (few) pictures that I have seen of the ARO2 don’t suggest that it is so much heavier, but I haven’t seen one ‘in the flesh’, so to speak.

Clive did a one point look like retiring, but he has ended up staying. However, time does not improve ones ability when it comes to what is a devilishly fiddly job, so he may well have decided he’d had enough of the Aro. The shortage of parts though, and the difficulty of sourcing certain bits for such tiny numbers at any cost that was vaguely sane, was a far greater problem; it just didn’t add up to make it viable.

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I guess so, but not by Naim. The ARO2 shares nothing but the general overall look of the arm wand and bearing housing with the original. Furthermore, It was made for Naim by Clearaudio.

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I think that’s part of the original ARO’s appeal for some - an extreme example of no-compromise design, although I can see it might put off just as many.

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Thank you, Richard.

A great shame, as it is such a fantastic tonearm, quite different to the Ittok and Ekos that so many Members here will be using.

The appeal(to me at least) is that it has a great reputation for SQ, it is so ‘hi fi’ and it’s made by Naim.

I switched to the ARO from a ‘black’ Ittok over thirty years ago, thanks to Ray Horn of Grahams HiFi in Islington. Probably the single biggest improvement in sound quality that I have ever experienced in my system in over 30 years (although the Keel/A was pretty spectacular too).

I mention the ‘black’ Ittok not for the colour, but because they were reputed at the time to sound better - which may be true, or may be utter codswallop, as I never spent any time comparing the black arm with its gunmetal stablemate.

I do remember, though, that the black version commanded a 10% uplift in purchase price.

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I cannot recall who pointed it out. And my response to their post seems to point to a different post now. But a member on here pointed out the coincidence that 1973xNAIT 50 RRP was the same number as 500xSSE RRP. So any limited edition Aro obviously needs to be somewhere between these extremes:

1 Aro LE at £5325000 each
5325000 Aro LEs at £1 each

If they could shift 1400 LE Aros then according to the thoroughly official Naim limited edition formula above, they’d have to cost £3803 each. Facts :stuck_out_tongue:

I would always bow to your superior Naim knowledge Richard but Clearaudio built the ARO2 to Naim specification and Roy George was the principle designer of it. I remember changing Ekos to ARO and the type of improvement in sound quality Although I’ve obviously only heard the ARO2 on a Solstice they do share many of the LP12/ARO1 sonic characteristics.