True Point Audio working with the British Library.


The British Library is the national archive for the books, manuscripts and other forms of reading from the Magna Carta to hand written Beatles lyrics which are contained on some 400 miles of shelves.

The British Library is also the national archive for Sound Recordings, and the Library’s extensive collections include unique sound recordings with over 90,000 selected recordings of music, spoken word, human & natural environments .



During mid 2021, the British Library (BL) approached True Point Audio about the possibility of manufacturing a tonearm that was capable of playing 20" diameter record discs at 120 RPM. BL wanted to transcribe the disc information onto tape were it would be more durable.


These early Pathe' recordings are made of shellac and the discs are approximately 1/4" thick with a mass of approximately 4Kg, and are very fragile. The disc also plays from the inside to the outer edge, the opposite of today's discs. The following photos shows one of these discs, and testing done by the British Library on the performance of the 14" tonearm.


BL supplied the Technics SL 1210 turntable, which was stripped down and modified to accept the 20" disc. This included raising the platter height and making an extended armboard. We also modified an SME tonearm, and made a 14" armtube for it which had to be set back on the aluminium armboard.


The modified Technics SL1210 turntable and SME tonearm is shown above.

BL testing the tonearm's performance

Awaiting the results

Thankfully all went well, and BL have accepted the tonearm and turntable.

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