REVIEW: INTEGRITY HI-FI TRU-LIFT - AN UPLIFTING CANADIAN
Recently we've had little Canadian helper around. No, not my brother, this little helper comes from Integrity Hi-Fi and is called Tru-Lift.
Automatic tonearm lifter
Integrity Hi-Fi is a company based out of London, Ontario, Canada and lead by Carlo Lupo.
The business offers a range of handy turntable accoutrements, including an adjustable stylus cleaner (Tru-Kleen), an anti-static dust brush (Tru-Sweep) and, of course, the automatic tone-arm lifter, Tru-Lift.
As anyone that has worked their way up the turntable foodchain will attest, the more you spend, the less you seem to get. Remember when a record player would come with a dust cover as standard? I have fond memories of when, at the end of playing a record, the tonearm would not only lift but return to its rest. However, spend a few grand on your vinyl-spinner, and you get a motor and platter - wonderfully engineered - but that's pretty much it.
I cannot be the only one that has gotten up to answer the door and end up chatting to the neighbour while the needle rocks back and forth in the runout groove. Worse still, after a long day and a couple (or so) relaxing beverages, suddenly drifted off while your expensive stylus plays crackles and pops to itself 'til morning.
Now, I'm not quite in the five-figure-sum-for-a-cartridge league yet. However, I am keen to prolong the life of all my hi-fi equipment as much as I can.
That brings me nicely to the Tru-Lift. It might not look much, although it has been carefully crafted, but it could well save you money in the long run, especially if you are prone to bouts of booze-fueled narcolepsy.
The Tru-Lift automatic tonearm lifter is designed, built and hand polished in Ontario, Canada. All the models in the Tru-Lift range have a lifting capacity of up to more than 17 grams.
The lifters look and feel very sturdy thanks to their quality stainless steel and brass construction.
The lifting part is an oil-filled hydraulic system for smoothness and reliability.
In the package, you will find the lifter and a puck (depending on which version of the Tru-Lift you require for your turntable). Additionally, there is a thin hex key for fine-tuning, some Blu-tac (or similar) to stick the puck in place on your deck, and some instructions.
There are more detailed instructions regarding the Tru-Lift's placement and adjustments on the Integrity Hi-Fi website. Me being me, I opted for the trial-and-error method to test that it was, in fact, foolproof. Well, this fool managed it.
The Tru-Lift is semi-automatic and triggered by the tonearm nudging the little aerial which releases the catch and allows the hydraulic lifter to do its thing.
So, once you have it in position, you merely have to reset the lifter by gently pushing the plunger back down and securing it with the catch. Simple, but ingenious.
Tru-Lift in action
Carlo sent me the Tru-Lift Model #3 Plus Puck for use with the VPI Prime, and it certainly matches the turntable's design to the point that it looks like it is part of the original unit.
After spending a little bit of time getting the Tru-Lift in its optimal position, it was time to test it out.
Listening to the last few bars of Life, It's a Shame from Gang of Four's Songs of the Free; instead of dragging my lazy carcass up from the sofa ready to manually lift the tonearm when it hits the runout I just sat and waited.
Sure enough, there was a little bit of silence, the sound of the of the needle finding its way across the runout and then… nothing; no repetitive click urging me into action, no gentle thudding sound. It was just as if the turntable had suddenly acquired a pause button. Well, eject if we were going down that route.
No more needless needle-wearing.
Well-engineered, beautifully finished and wonderfully executed; the Tru-Lift not only looks the part but makes good on its promise.
It may only have one job to do, but this specialist could well be a godsend for those with a proclivity to fall asleep during late-night listening sessions.
Tru-Lift may seem a bit spendy for something that performs a simple task but it is well-built and, no doubt, to exacting specifications. The hydraulic lift is smooth and adjustable, and the entire unit looks the part. Additionally, should you change your turntable down the line, Integrity Hi-Fi has a range of posts and pucks that you can swap the hydraulic lifter in to suit your new deck.
Treat the Tru-Lift as you would your insurance policy. It might cost you a little up front, but, when you need it, it could save you quite a bit in the long-run.
StereoNET UK’s Editor and Bass playing gadget junkie. He’s captained the good ship GadgetyNews for over a decade, making low jargon high tech a very handy thing. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
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