Holbo Airbearing Turntable Pump It Up

Pump It Up

Looking back into hi-fi history it would seem the genesis of the air-bearing turntable began with the Wayne H Coloney municipal engineering company in Tallahassee, Florida. But the story really begins with student, and soon to be audiophile luminary, Bruce Thigpen seeing an air-bearing demonstration in a physics class in 1975. Bruce discovered that presenting engineer Lew Eckhart, then of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Institute (GFDI) in the Physics Department at FSU, had already designed a prototype air-bearing turntable and tonearm. Having persuaded Eckhart to help him build his own solution, high-end audio brand Infinity took a license for the design. Sadly only about ten Infinity turntables were made under contract in Japan before the speaker company was bought by Harman in 1983, and its radical turntable was dropped.

Meanwhile, Coloney had started manufacturing its own AB-1 air-bearing turntable with Thigpen as project manager, but got into difficulties in 1982 and sold the inventory to Maplenoll. At this point Thigpen set up his own company, Eminent Technology and was granted a patent for an 'Air bearing straight line tracking phonograph tonearm' in 1985. When he launched his ET1 arm and later, with Edison Price, the ET2 [HFN Jul '86], these became the first widely-known air-bearing arms. Another pioneering US arm of the 1980s was the now-obscure Dennesen, closely followed by the now-iconic Airtangent from Sweden. PM

Holbo S.P.
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Supplied by: Hi-Fi Traders Ltd, Guestling, UK
020 3714 7236