SYRINX: PU2 / Mass Ring and Mr. Scott Strachan

Scott Strachan, the inventor and constructor of the Syrinx arm was a very likeable chap.

His enthusiasm was infectious. His tonearms looked, frankly, terrible. Not quite as bad as the original Hadcock, but not far off. They were, until the Ittock, the only intelligent and sonically acceptable alternative to the Grace G707 arm on a Linn. Incidentally, in A-B dems, the majority of listeners preferred it to the Mk1 Ittock on the LP12, especially when partnered with a Dynavector 17/D.

The Syrinx sound, for those days, was spectacular but the overall construction left a lot to be desired. Nevertheless we persisted and I became a volume dealer for him – but he stretched patience to the limit through one particular incident.

He sent us a batch of arms where each of the four headshell leads was the identical shade of white.

His explanation was that he was in a hurry to get the shipment to us and he’d lost his set of coloured pens – the ones he used to mark the headshell wires! Without a trace of an apology nor irony he cheerfully pointed out that the problem could be sorted by using a volt meter or some such device.

I pointed out that as were, at that point, acting as his unofficial exporter to enthusiasts around the world, he had at a stroke, or rather lack of a stroke, brought our combined export sales drive re Syrinx PU2s to a halt. He laughed his infectious laugh, and that was it. I wondered why he’d bucked tradition but not buying 4 reels of separate coloured wire, but thought better of it, fearing it would send him into more dangerously convulsed laughter. So we coloured the headshell wires, and that was that.

The next we saw of him, without coloured pens I might add, was with the potentially bearing-crushing PU2 ‘Mass Ring” – and therein lies another story for another day.

Howard Popeck

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