In 2013 DS Audio launched the world’s only optical phono cartridge, the DS-W1. A further-advanced flagship model, the Master 1, followed in 2016. Now, the company is launching a new entry level design: the DS 002, drawing on innovations from the Master 1 while offering a more affordable way in to optical cartridge technology.
Pro-Ject Audio Systems have announced the immediate availability of a new, and they say “dramatically improved” version of the Essential II, the Essential III. More »
Pro-Ject Audio Systems has announced The Classic turntable which utilises a simple and elegant “frame” design, which bears a notable resemblance to some of the most famous turntables of the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s. Hifi Pig managed to have a dem of this at the recent High End show in Munich and it looks great in a retro kind of way (see first picture). Speaking of the design, Heinz Lichtenegger has said:
“In my first year as a hi-fi dealer, working out of my mother’s petrol station using her trade license, I sold 50 Thorens 166 MK 2. In a town of 2000 people, I made everybody into a hi-fi believer…
Later I expanded to some Linns, Aristons, Heybrooks etc. Today Pro-Ject is the leading company for hi-fi stereo turntables and sooner or later I simply had to produce what I once loved…”
The Classic’s design is more than just aesthetically pleasing, it also combines proven hi-fi technologies with the simple set-up so often associated with Pro-Ject turntables, so you can get down to enjoying your music as soon as possible.
The two-plinth design utilises Thermo Plastic Elastomers (TPE) to isolate the sub-chassis, rather than the traditional method of a spring-loaded sub-chassis. The layout effectively decouples the motor from the main bearing and the tonearm, reducing unwanted interference between the components.
The idea of reduced resonance transference carries through to the platter configuration. The instantly recognisable dual-platter layout has been chosen instead of the old cast platters. The main platter on The Classic is machined from an aluminium alloy which is lined underneath with TPE damping. The sub-platter/bearing assembly combines a hardened steel rod with a bronze bushing that is lined with Teflon, resulting in a very smooth, low-noise solution. The configuration is similar to that of a Debut turntable, but the tolerances for these components have been improved by a factor of 10 over the Debut Carbon.
The Classic also boasts an entirely new tonearm, exclusively designed for this special anniversary turntable. The conical tube is made from aluminium, wrapped in a layer of carbon fibre. The carbon fibre keeps the tonearm light and stiff, while the aluminium adds improved damping and grounding.
The Classic Tonearm also uses a new bearing assembly with precision-machined, ultra-low friction Zircon bearings. Underneath, a new Japanese-designed ball-bearing allows for easier placement of the tonearm wires and a much freer movement of the tonearm. The new nickel-finished counterweight is also TPE-damped, reducing the amplitude of the tonearm’s resonant-frequency by 50%. Finally, the tonearm also benefits from the usual azimuth and VTA-adjustments associated with all high-end Pro-Ject tonearms.
To increase accessibility for The Classic, the turntable has been designed with a new set of feet, which effectively allows the turntable to perform as well as possible in a wide variety of installations, even when it’s not placed on an ideal platform. The feet are both dampened and height-adjustable, ensuring the turntable can be adjusted to sit level on unbalanced or imperfect surfaces.
The Classic is supplied as standard with the Ortofon 2M Silver cartridge, which has been designed exclusively for Pro-Ject Audio Systems. However, the ability of the turntable is such that it’s also capable of working with a wide variety of high-end Moving Coil options. The inclusion of a junction box on the back-panel, also allows for cable improvements as and when you improve your cartridge option.
The Classic turntable is available in Eucalyptus, Rosenut or Walnut (shown) finishes. It is supplied as standard with all necessary set-up tools, a fitted dust cover and Pro-Ject’s specially-developed Connect-IT E turntable cables.
The Pro-Ject Classic will be available in the UK from June 2016.
Speed: 33 / 45 RPM (manual speed change)
Drive Principle: Belt drive
Platter: 300mm aluminium (TPE-damped)
Main Bearing: Stainless steel (Bronze bush with Teflon lining)
Wow & Flutter: ± 0.03% (33rpm) / ± 0.05% (45rpm)
Speed Drift: ± 0.10% (33rpm) / ± 0.11% (45rpm)
Signal-to-Noise Ratio: -71dB
Tonearm: The Classic Tonearm (9”)
Effective Arm Length: 230mm
Effective Arm Mass: 13.5g
Included Accessories: Dust Cover, Connect-IT E (RCA) cable Power Supply: 15V / 1,600mA DC
Power Consumption: 5W Max. / <0.5W in standby Dimensions (W x H x D): 460 x 131 x 351mm (lid closed) Weight: 10.2kg (net)
Part four of Hifi Pig’s coverage of High End Munich 2016 featuring: Neodio, Audio Hungary, Bang And Olufsen, Terrastrato Typ 1 Standard, Estelon, Blumenhofer Acoustics and Cammino, Indiana Line, TW Acustic, Constellation and Martin Logan, TAD, D’Agostino, Wadia, Krell, Audio Research, Meridian, EAT, Sonus Faber More »
In the first of her series of articles looking at turntable designs that could have taken off, Janine Elliot looks at a clever doodad from the days of 78s from Garrard called The World Record, created by Noel Pemberton-Billing, the chap that set up Supermarine Aircraft Company which made the iconic Spitfire of World War II. More »
The EAT C Sharp turntable certainly looks the part for £2500 including tonearm, how does it sound? Janine Elliot spins some vinyl. More »
McIntosh Laboratory is proudly donating a one-off Alice Cooper MT5 turntable (usual price £7,495) to Cooper’s Solid Rock Rock & Roll Vampire Bash charity auction in Arizona, USA, this Sunday April 24th 2016, at Las Sendas Golf Club, Arizona, USA.
The unique Alice Cooper MT5 features a custom-made version of the turntable’s famous black glass faceplate, specially designed for the event. The fascia incorporates classic McIntosh design cues, such as brushed-aluminium end caps, plus an illuminated ‘Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock’ logo.
Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Rock & Roll Vampire Bash charity auction includes a cocktail reception, silent auction, dinner, live auction and live entertainment featuring Alice Cooper and friends: Alex Lifeson (RUSH); Danny Seraphine (Chicago); Tommy Thayer (KISS); Frank Sidoris (Slash); Neal Smith (Alice Cooper), plus comedians John O’Hurley and Jeff Allen.
The charity event directly benefits Solid Rock and The Rock Teen Center. Tickets are $250 per person and are on sale now. Visit alicecoopersolidrock.com/events/7 for more information.
Originally launched in 2006, the Clearaudio Statement was lauded worldwide as a “masterpiece of engineering” which had truly “advanced the state of the art”. From the massive 350kg structure and architectural design to its “ground-breaking” technology -which included a trick or two borrowed from the Mars Rover – the Statement took turntable construction to a whole new dimension.
Clearaudio’s goal with the original Statement was to leverage everything their development team had learnt in 30 years of audio engineering and to bring together new technologies never before seen in combination, to make a cost-no-object, state-of-the-art masterpiece. Fast forward a decade and the team remains equally dedicated to breaking the rules and boundaries of music reproduction: hence the new Statement ‘v2’, painstakingly advanced with a raft of developments.
The sheer presence of the Statement’s structural design has always been a major talking point and the new v2 looks great in its piano-black lacquer finish and matching black turntable platter. Its massive integrated stand, which comprises four stainless steel legs separated and supported by eight curved supports, is “completely damped against resonance”. The supports feature a sandwich construction of aluminium plates filled with Panzerholz, a high-density bullet-proof manufactured wood renowned for its acoustic damping properties.
The top layers of the massive stand now incorporate thousands of tiny metal ball bearings embedded within the aluminium and Panzerholz sandwich, for resonance control.
One of the original Statement’s most prized innovations was its magnetic bearing technology, in which the platter is magnetically suspended so that there is no mechanical connection between platter and drive motor. So successful was this technology that it has since been patented and applied to most of Clearaudio’s turntable range. The motor uses a belt to drive the lower of two sub-platters, which contains a series of very strong magnets. Floating above it is an upper sub-platter containing an opposing set of magnets. The two sub-platters never touch and are held at a precise distance by the strong magnetic field. Attached to the upper sub-platter is a bearing spindle, which is connected to the main platter. In short, the main platter effectively floats on a cushion of air.
In the Statement v2, the bearing spindle is replaced with an enhanced design manufactured from Wolfram carbide, to which a nano nitrate coating is applied by laser, providing vastly superior strength and stability. The spindle’s design now features a two-piece construction in which the two parts are joined by a special high-technology adhesive, resulting in improved energy transfer and resonance control.
A key feature of the original Statement was the high-speed microprocessor-controlled motor used to drive the sub-platter, which drew directly on the technology used to propel the Mars Rover. The result was an outstanding level of real-time speed control. “When the platter is spinning, you can apply substantial downforce… with your finger and watch microprocessor instantly correct the speed”1. The v2’s electronic speed control circuitry is completely new. A brand new circuit board featuring upgraded components gives even more precise speed control and stability. At the same time, the motor pulley and belt have been redesigned, fine-tuning them for superior noise reduction.
Going back to the platters, the previously acrylic main platter has been replaced with a POM version, with its higher density and superior damping properties. The driven lower sub-platter has a newly-machined outer surface to better mate with the drive belt for even finer transmission and performance.
Moving down, the main gyroscopic bearing that supports the entire floating structure has been improved and upgraded for better performance. Those familiar with the original Statement will recall its innovative self-levelling mechanism. A 95kg damped self-levelling pendulum hangs from the gyroscopic bearing and comprises a series of stainless steel plates, eccentrically weighted by drilling out a portion of each plate’s inner periphery. Careful rotation of the various plates yields a platter that is perfectly level with the earth’s surface (as distinct from your floor) and with whichever tonearms are being used.
Moving back up-top, while the Statement accommodates up to four tonearms, the arm ‘par excellence’ for this turntable is the Statement TT1 tangential tonearm. Designed specifically and exclusively for the Statement turntable, it too has been upgraded.
The great plus of a tangential tonearm is that it delivers zero lateral tracking error and no skating force, because the cartridge moves in a way that is perfectly aligned with the record groove rather than pivoting as conventional arms do. To achieve this, the TT1 is constructed in two main parts. A supporting rail, in the form of a complex glass tube, occupies a fixed position parallel to the record’s radius. A high-precision carriage holding a straight carbon fibre tonearm runs along the rail. This construction means that the tonearm only pivots vertically, not horizontally, and so the cartridge stylus can only move in a straight line precisely along the record’s radius, following the exact same path as the cutting head when the record groove was initially made.
In the new TT1 v2, the arm carriage now hangs below the glass rail, rather than above it (think Skytrains or monorails), which provides greater stability and hence improved consistency of performance. The carbon fibre arm tube now has improved internal damping and carries a black anodized aluminium headshell. Ease and precision of VTA adjustment, already strong features in the original TT1, are now even better: a new reference scale enables even simpler, more precise and repeatable VTA adjustments.
Finally, to finish up-top, the Statement v2 is crowned with a peerless dual record clamping system: the stainless steel and Panzerholz Statement Clamp features three-point resonance absorption technology, while the Outer Limit record clamp holds down the entire outer edge of the record without touching the grooves, its 1.5 kg weight adding to the flywheel effect and flattening minor warps leading to a significant sonic improvement.
The initial set-up of the Statement v2 is, of course, reassuringly detailed and complex. No need to worry, though, since a senior member of the Clearaudio team will travel to wherever in the world a customer happens to be and perform a full, expert set-up. Happily, subsequent operation of the Statement is surprisingly simple. And, as you might expect from such a masterpiece of audio engineering, the sound quality will stop you in your tracks.
|Construction||Stainless steel, aluminium, acrylic and bullet-proof wood|
|Speed ranges||33⅓, 45 & 78 rpm|
|Drive unit||Non-contact magnetic drive system|
|Bearing||Clearaudio patented magnetic bearing technology|
|Platter||98 mm / 3.86 inch main platter|
|Speed accuracy (measured)||Less than ± 0.03% variation|
|Power consumption||Max. consumption: 19 Watt
Consumption in operation: 8 Watt
Off-mode (main switch in ‘0’ position): 0 Watt
|Total weight||Approx. 350 kg|
|Dimensions (without tonearm)||Approx. 27.2 (w) x 22.4 (d) x 52.17 (h) inches
Approx. 690 (w) x 570 (d) x 1325 (h) mm
|Warranty||10 years (provided warranty card completed and returned to Clearaudio within 2 weeks of purchase)|
The Clearaudio Statement is available now priced as follows (including VAT):
Statement turntable £92,500
Statement TT1 tangential tonearm £18,500.
Full set-up by trained Clearaudio personnel is included with the purchase of each Statement.
Air Audio are distributing this Japanese company’s new range of cartridges in the UK and Ian Ringstead takes the first UK look at the high output and low output moving coil cartridges that cost £447 and both use a Shibata stylus.
“What immediately impressed me with both cartridges was the very low surface noise and how quiet they were overall. There was no hum even with the level turned well up and this made for an easy listen where the music was highlighted without being drowned out with irritating surface noise.”
Pro-Ject RPM 9 Carbon
The philosophy of the RPM series of turntables from Pro-Ject Audio Systems is to combine great sound with striking designs, and the latest release is as true to this belief as any other model. The RPM 9 Carbon has been introduced in line with the new range-topping RPM 10 Carbon (see below) to satisfy the needs of audio enthusiasts who want a record player that stands apart.
The plinth design has been chosen due to its improved resonance characteristics. The CNC- machined MDF structure is packed with resin- coated steel pellets to form a high-mass sandwich construction that provides a firm base for the turntable. The whole plinth is then put through a complex heat treatment process and coated in a carbon fibre surface to reduce resonance levels as low as possible. The main turntable structure is then effectively decoupled from its support thanks to the plinth’s magnetic feet.
The RPM 9 Carbon boasts a new polished aluminium platter, inspired by the Xtension 9 SuperPack record player. The platter is internally lined with TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) damping material and topped with vinyl. The whole platter sits on top of an inverted ceramic main bearing.
As with all models in the RPM series, the RPM 9 Carbon uses a perimeter belt drive mechanism. The motor has an automatic speed change switch built into the top panel for easy changing between 33 and 45rpm. The motor also benefits from a built-in AC power generator PCB, to deliver a clean mains supply to the motor. The motor is completely decoupled from the main chassis and sits on top of a custom-designed steel base for improved stability.
The RPM 9 Carbon is supplied with the 9CC Evolution Tonearm pre-installed. The 9” tonearm boasts a conical carbon fibre tube and inverted bearing design. For improved signal transmission, the tonearm is supplied with a 5-Pin to RCA Connect-IT CC cable.
The RPM 9 Carbon is supplied with a record puck in the box.
The RPM 9 Carbon will be available in the UK from November 2015.
UK customers can have an Ortofon Quintet Black cartridge installed for an extra £400.00*
Pro-Ject RPM 10 Carbon
Pro-Ject are now addressing the high-end sector with the introduction of a new range-topper; the RPM 10 Carbon.
Though the minimalist plinth design looks visually impressive, through extensive testing it’s also proved to show optimal resonance characteristics, compared to many traditional chassis designs. To further improve its performance, the plinth also employs “high mass” principles with resin-coated steel pellets packed inside the CNC-machined MDF structure. The whole plinth is then subjected to a complex heat treatment and carbon fibre surface coating to ensure minimal resonance travels through the turntable. The plinth is finished with magnetic feet.
The RPM 10 Carbon’s platter is the same as that found on the Xtension 10 record player. The polished aluminium exterior is internally lined with TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) damping material and topped with vinyl. The whole platter sits on top of a stainless steel spindle with inverted ceramic main bearing.
The RPM 10 Carbon’s perimeter drive belt mechanism is driven by a completely decoupled heavyweight motor. The motor sits on top of a custom-designed steel base for improved stability. Electronic speed- change between 33 and 45rpm is built into the motor, which also employs its own AC power generator PCB, for a clean mains supply and reduced speed variance.
The 10CC Evolution Tonearm is pre-installed on the RPM 10 Carbon which boasts a conical carbon fibre tube and inverted bearing design. The high-quality internal wiring and selection of TPE-damped counterweights also makes the tonearm suitable for use with almost any high-end pick-up cartridge. For improved signal transmission, the tonearm is supplied with a 5-Pin to RCA Connect-IT CC cable.
The RPM 10 Carbon is supplied as standard with the brand new Ground-IT Carbon high-mass platform and a high-quality record puck. An acrylic dustcover is available separately in the Cover-IT range.
The RPM 10 Carbon will be available in the UK from November 2015.
UK customers can have an Ortofon Cadenza Black cartridge installed for an extra £1,000.00*
The Essential II DIGITAL aims to be the first hi-fi specified turntable that can be connected – out-of- the-box – to any modern home entertainment system. The brand new internal phono stage gives customers the option between an analogue Line Level output, or a 24-bit/96kHz digital Optical output.
The analogue portion of the output stage uses a phono stage based upon Pro-Ject’s Phono Box design. The Line output allows for easy connection to any Line-Level (Auxiliary) input. The 24-bit/96kHz Optical output uses a high-performance Analogue-Digital Converter (ADC) to send a clean, uninterrupted signal to your digital hub. So whether you currently listen to music through a soundbar, an AV receiver, a DAC, a TV, a digital pre-amplifier or a multi- room system with external input options – the Essential II DIGITAL should fit right in.
The Essential II DIGITAL has a high-gloss paint finishe, and the “Digital” logo emblazoned on the plinth. It also boasts all the pre-existing features that have made the Essential II an international award winner. The 8.6” aluminium tonearm, heavy MDF platter and low-voltage motor with perimeter belt drive system make a winning combination; while the Ortofon OM5E is the perfect cartridge to get instant gratification from your record collection. The turntable is available in black or white finish, and is supplied with a dust-cover in the box.
With the ever-growing success of the vinyl format, Pro-Ject aim to produce a range of products that give any customer the tools they need to integrate a high-quality turntable into their listening system. The Essential II DIGITAL expands the potential for digital audio fans to revisit the fabled black wax, without fundamentally changing their current system.
The Pro-Ject Essential II DIGITAL will be available in the UK from June 2015.
There was no shortage of analogue kit at this year’s High End in Munich with some being readily accessible to the man in the street and with others commanding footballer or lottery winner prices.
Whatever, everyone loves to ogle at a great turntable and there were plenty to gawp at at this year’s High End. Here’s our selection of the turntables (and a few ancillaries) that caught our eye whilst at the Munich show.
Enjoy! More »
Day nineteen of Hifi Pig’s Advent Calendar advertising promotion is from MCRU offering Hifi Pig readers some great upgrades to the Technics 1210/1200 tunrtable.
“To realize the full potential of the “Techy” this bearing is essential. Precision manufactured not a modified stock bearing, easy to fit with full installation instructions. Only £445 delivered in the UK from MCRU stock and supplied with a “Free” set of Techniboots isolation feet which fit over the stock Techy feet, worth £40, all sent post free in the UK.”
Dartmouth-based Timestep have a long association with premium turntable manufacturers SME and have announced the M10-DP dual tonearm mounting plate for the SME Model 10 turntable.
The continued resurgence of demand for vinyl LPs is bringing with it a renewed appreciation of mono recordings. For serious collectors and music lovers, a dedicated mono cartridge is now becoming almost a necessity, such is the improvement in mono playback with a correctly designed mono cartridge. Which in turn gives rise to the need for either a dual arm turntable or a second turntable and arm altogether.
The plate is manufactured from the same material and to the same thickness and profile as SME’s primary arm mounting plate, and is designed not to affect the turntable suspension.
The M10-DP dual tonearm mounting plate is fully compliant with all 9″ SME tonearms and others with an SME base. It comes with a complete set of tools and easy-to-follow fitting instructions in full colour.
Timestep M10-DP dual arm mounting plate price is £199
Pro-Ject’s RPM 1 Genie turntable was an instant hit around the world when it was first revealed over five years ago. Today, Henley Designs Ltd. and Pro-Ject Audio Systems are delighted to announce the release of the fourth incarnation of this turntable, the RPM 1 Carbon.
The RPM 1 Carbon utilises a number of premium technologies and principles. The low resonance chassis houses a newly designed inverted platter bearing with ceramic ball for reduced rumble. While the decoupled 15V AC motor is driven using an ultra-precision AC generator with DC power supply for enhanced speed stability and ultimate reliability. The stand-out component though is the brand-new S-Shaped carbon fibre tonearm.
With an effective length of 8.6”, this tonearm is made from carbon fibre, but boasts an aluminium resin core – effectively creating an arm that is super-light but also extremely solid. Made by a three step process that involves heat treatment and 100 bars of pressure, the RPM 1 Carbon’s tonearm is not only light and rigid, but the damping properties of the materials are maximised to a point that unwanted resonances are effectively eliminated says the company’s press release. The arm is finished off with a counterweight that itself has a ring of TPE damping at its fixing point, and is supplied with a 2M Red cartridge pre-fitted. The new magnetic anti-skate system makes set-up even simpler than ever before.
Available in three gloss finishes (Black, Red and White); this new turntable boasts the perfect combination of sound performance, modern technology, visual appeal and affordability.
Flexson, specialist in accessories for SONOS, has launched VinylPlay – a turntable for the digital music age. With vinyl sales growing as fast as music streaming, VinylPlay gives music fans a best-of-both-worlds solution: a record player that’s easy to use and can be simply integrated into a modern streaming system.
Key features of VinylPlay – a fresh spin for SONOS:
• Play, archive and stream your records
• Looks good; sounds great
• Set up in seconds; enjoy music in minutes
• Just add powered speakers for instant music system
• Pair with SONOS to stream records around your house
• Make back-up, digital copies of records
• Made in the UK
• Sleek monochrome styling; protective lid
• Plays singles and albums; 33 & 45rpm speeds
“Until now, digital turntables have either been cheap ‘USB’ decks that sound poor and can ruin your records, or ‘audiophile’ turntables that are typically pricey, fiddly to set up and look out of place in a modern home,” says David Cain, Flexson sales and marketing manager. “We set out to design something better: a digital, SONOS-friendly turntable that offers superb sound quality, but is easy to use and easy on the eye,” he adds.
VinylPlay allows users to easily enjoy vinyl alongside other music formats. Its integrated analogue-to-digital converter makes it simple to connect up to a wide range of modern music systems, from active/powered speakers to hi-fi/AV systems and SONOS (straight into a SONOS PLAY:5 speaker, or via SONOS CONNECT). You can also connect it to a computer to archive digital copies of your precious records.
Suggested UK retail pricing is £329; Euro SRP is €449. US $ pricing is TBC.
The Nomad is comprised of a 10-inch aluminum tonearm, and 20-pound plinth and platter assembly borrowed from VPI’s Traveler turntable, a pair of Grado headphones and a pre-installed Ortofon 2M Red phono cartridge.The Nomad also has an onboard phono pre-amplifier and headphone amplifier which VPI say are designed to maximize both the sound quality and modular design of the upgradeable system.
Designed to work with existing systems that might not otherwise have a turntable and phono pre-amplifier, The Nomad is designed for people whose primary system is a home theater A/V receiver, sound bar or a tabletop wireless system with a pair of analog inputs.
Mat Weisfeld, President of VPI Industries noted: “The Nomad is a direct response to the double-digit sales growth over the past five years of new vinyl in both the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. The tonearm takes advantage of the technology in our award-winning Traveler turntable and its gimbaled tonearm.”
“The Nomad is a radical departure for VPI — even with the success of our entry-level Traveler turntable that opened our eyes to the demand for affordable high-end turntables among the 25-35 year-old demographic. The explosive growth of personal audio and the growing demand among consumers for premium headphones, convinced us that there was a need for a portable high-quality entry-level analog playback system that could work easily in college dorms, apartments, offices, and even vacation homes.”
The Nomad Vinyl Playback System will be available for sale in Q1 2014 and with a MSRP: $995.00
Frankfurt-based Amazon Audio offers five turntable models including the entry level Amazon 2 with the range moving up through the Amazon 1, Referenz and Grand Referenz to the flagship First Choice turntable first introduced at the Munich High-End Show.
Mørch tonearms come in 4 effective masses, 9 or 12 inches, and with 2 types of headshell and all tonearm parameters are adjustable.
The Performance DC integrates a high-torque, smooth and quiet DC motor into the chassis.The motor is similar to that used in Clearaudio’s high-end Ovation and Innovation series turntables and is said to provide great speed stability and ease-of use with start, stop and speed selection controlled by the touch of one of four illuminated buttons situated on the plinth.
The main chassis consists of a sandwich of aluminium / highly compressed wood fibre / aluminium – designed to effectively deaden resonances with the turntable.
A new 40mm thick black POM platter provides the mechanical interface with the record and rests on Clearaudio’s patented ceramic magnetic bearing (CMB) which, by using a magnetic field to effectively float the bearing on air, reduces friction, wear and noise by avoiding any point of load.
The turntable can be complimented with Clearaudio’s Clarify tonearm which features a woven carbon fibre arm tube and a magnetic bearing which eliminates bearing noise entirely. The Clarify tonearm is fully adjustable providing fine-tuning of VTA, azimuth, magnetically applied anti-skating as well as accurate setting of the cartridge tracking weight by virtue of its micrometer-style counterweight adjustment.
Completing the package is the Clearaudio Virtuoso v2 MM cartridge.
Partnered with Clearaudio’s Clarify carbon tonearm and Virtuoso V2 MM cartridge, the Performance DC offers a complete solution to the audiophile.
Price is £2495
The Bellagio is a high mass (165Kilos) floorstanding turntable with a 270mm platter spindle and a fully adjustable high torque motor. The spindle is made from carbon steel whist the turntable’s bearing is made of polished bronze with tolerances of 1/100mm. The torque of the motor can be adjusted which Goldnote say can change the musical character of the turntable – all this can be done by the remote control unit.
To maximise stiffness and resonance feedback the Bellagio uses thirteen curved plinths which are interfaced with titanium spacers and joined to each other with solid block aluminium uprights.
McIntosh Laboratory has launched their new MT5 turntable. Crafted using the knowledge gained from the company’s flagship MT10 turntable, the new MT5 sets out to offer an alternative vinyl playback system at a significantly lower price to the MT10.
The new MT5 is supplied factory-adjusted: tracking force, anti-skate, cartridge overhang and arm height are all preset so set up should be a doddle. The MT5 comes complete with a high-mass platter and motor drive assembly, tonearm, and a high-output Sumiko Blue Point 2 (BP2) moving coil cartridge, which is also compatible with moving magnet inputs.
The MT5 features a magnetically suspended silicone-acrylic platter, supported by a precise belt-drive motor. Gracing the MT5 is a highly rigid, custom-designed Dural-Aluminium tone arm which McIntosh say “tracks vinyl with minimum friction using magnetic anti-skate and horizontal tone arm bearings”.
The three playback speeds include 33 rpm, 45 rpm and 78 rpm, all with a separate trim adjustment.
The MT5 sells for £7,495 and is available now.
Hifi Pig thought this was an interesting audiophile item on the business start-up funding site Kickstarter. It’s for a fully manual, belt-drive turntable called The Orbit which the people behind the project say is a turntable of “engineering and playback quality never before seen at the entry-level”.
The turntable doesn’t have any gimmicks with the company prioritising the ability for it to play music.
Interestingly the tonearm fitted to The Orbit forgoes gimbal bearings and uses a“unipivot-style” tonearm which comes factory fitted with an Ortofon moving magnet cartridge.
The Motor on The Orbit is a 24V AC synchronous model which is decoupled from the plinth by a “unique rubber suspension system”. The platter rides upon an inverted main bearing that has been optimized for the platter’s centre of gravity and the plinth uses CNC cut MDF which is supported on SBR rubber feet.
A pledge of $150 got you the basic turntable whilst a pledge of $250 secured the turntable in Kickstarter green with an upgraded acrylic platter. For those who pledged $500 there was the funky looking Orbit Renaissance which had been hand painted by the company’s resident artist.
It’s clearly been a huge success for U-Turn Audio, the company behind the project, as their $60 000 target has attracted 1133 backers and raised $233 940.Sadly the project now appears to be closed.
Improved features over previous MK2 models are:
New type of Acrylic platter material with reduced internal stresses.
Increased thickness of platter due to changes in overall design.
New Bearing hub designed for faster energy transmission.
Lower friction bearing.
Increased size of plinth for improved aesthetics and stability.
Improved power supply.
New belt Material now hand made.
Quieter motor from additional pod damping.
The Aurora MK3 now includes the upgrade platter mat.
Aurora MK3 £999
Calypso MK3 £1690
Resolution MK3 £2570
Sovereign MK3 £4770
It is not possible to upgrade MK1 or MK2 decks to the new specification as so many parts have changed.
The Proscenium Black Diamond V follows on from Walker’s previous incarnation of the PBD turntable and features improvements to the air supply, record clamp and motor base assembly. In addition, a specially-treated, fine-grained crystalline material, that “reduces static build-up and cancels the effect of virtually all EMI, RFI and microwaves”, is employed at strategic locations in the turntable’s operation.
The PBD V turntable is said to be friction-free due to the air-bearing arm and platter, resonance-free due to its adjustable air suspension and electrical-noise-free due to the use of the crystalline material mentioned above.
In early December we announced news that Avid Hifi were to launch a new turntable – the INGENIUM. Today they have confirmed the launch of the range of turntables which become their new entry-level product.
Ingenium shares the design philosophy of Avid’s more expensive designs, has “true engineered audiophile quality, utilises key elements of the Diva II and has an exposed minimal design that achieves new standards of style and excellence.”
Avid’s unique sapphire bearing and platter has been retained from the Diva II, with the option of using the company’s unique clamping system, which channels unwanted vibrations away from both the record and platter. The main chassis to which the bearing and arm are rigidly coupled is machined from two and a half inch solid aluminum and allows them to offer different arm fitting options to suit customer’s demands.
Ingenium’s basic package comes complete with a carbon fibre tonearm. Optional models offer standard 9″ SME fitting, 12″ SME fitting and also twin arm options. Other combinations and arm fitting are available upon request. Avid Hifi have employed the same optimised elastomer used in the Diva II giving “excellent mechanical isolation of the playing surface” and using a powerful mains powered motor giving stability and “the huge dynamic sound that is instantly recognisable as Avid.”
The INGENIUM is available now with a UK retail price starting from £800.00
Full details are scant at the moment but the Ingenium turntable is expected to be available for around half the cost of their Diva II -so around £800.
A solid alluminium bar forms the main chassis allowing for 9″, 12″ or even two tonearm options. A base model will include the Project carbon arm along with 9″ and 12″ SME options. The platter will come straight from the Diva II as will the the sapphire bearing and the sorthobane isolation feet.
It looks an impressive bit of kit and will be available for order very soon.
Audio Suspension based in Brighton, UK are the latest company to launch contemporary hi-fi support systems, but they are taking a different approach to others we have recently run news items about. Audio Suspension have launched a wall-mount shelf, the ASU-100. The system has been designed to provide isolation from unwanted resonance, whilst offering a highly attractive platform to support turntables and other sensitive hi-fi products.
The ASU-100 is hand-made in Sussex and is the first product in a new line from Audio Suspension, is built from 20mm acrylic, will support up to 25Kg depending on fixings and is suitable for equipment up to 470mm x 420mm.
The ASU-100 is securely anchored to internal walls using two polished-chrome shelf supports faced with silicone-rubber to help damping at the connection point. Two front-mounted 1.5mm steel-wire cables offer further support and scope for leveling, and are secured by polished-chrome Posi-Lock supports.
Price is £250
The Debut Carbon combines traditional technologies with modern materials and modern design at a low price.
It is available in different colours and various equipment levels from € 299.00. The USB Phono version is equipped with a phono-stage with USB port, which allows the digitalisation of vinyl directly on a computer.
Pro-Ject Audio Systems was founded by Heinz Lichtenegger 1990 in Vienna, with the idea that analogue playback is the most cost-effective way to listen to music of audiophile quality. Their products are exported in close to 80 countries worldwide and produce more than 15 different models.
Technical Spec’ for the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon
- 8.6″ one-piece carbon fibre tonearm.
- Sorbothane-damped counterweight.
- Two isolation ‘feet’ made from sorbothane, used to decouple the motor from the plinth.
- 12″ platter.
- Junction box installed, allowing for the easy upgrade of turntable interconnects.
- New power supply.
- Ortofon 2m Red pre-installed.
PTP Audio’s new Solid9 and Solid12 turntables bring the idler drive renaissance to a wider market.
“PTP Audio knows idlers can sound fantastic, but at the same time we also know about the disadvantages a 40 year old machine can have. Our solution is truly unique: We take the drive system from a vintage Lenco, restore it to its former glory, and combine it with the best modern technology has to offer. All Solid9 and Solid12 turntables are made to order, available in a wide range of colours and assembled by hand.”
We hope to review one of their turntables very soon.
Despite the title of the press release reminding me of a particular Not the Nine o’Colock news sketch, this new turntable really caught Hifi Pig’s eye. The beast in question is from Hartvig Audio and they have launched “a new high-end gramophone” handcrafted in Denmark and which will get its will get its first outing at the High End show in May at Munich 2012. Hartvig say the new turntable will bring “recorded music alive – it is pure sound with soul.”
After many years of passion for hi-fi, Danish Soeren Hartvig set his heart on building a first quality turntable. “I dreamed about a turntable which would bring recorded music alive in my own living room.” More »
Is is it a bit sad to have a dream hifi? It probably is you know, but I bet a pound to a penny that the vast majority of folk reading this have dreamed of owning a particular set up. Well perhaps they haven’t physically dreamed it as that would be a bit wrong, but you get my point I’m sure. More »