The vinyl revival refuses to slow and as such more and more turntables are coming to market at the budget end of the spectrum and with more features that will appeal to a younger audience. The Elipson Omega 100 RIAA BT costing a penny shy of £500 comes with a built in phonostage, USB out to digitise your records and even aptX Bluetooth for wireless use. Janine Elliot gives it a spin for Hifi Pig. More »
Jay Garrett visits high end hifi emporium, KJ West One in London, to experience a night of ‘Strictly Vinyl’ with Vertere. More »
New Hifi Pig correspondent from over the pond David Blumenstein launches his regular column “Transatlantic Dispatches: A New World Disorder” with a search for an non-audiophile turntable that works well, but doesn’t break the piggy bank. More »
High End hifi shop, KJ West One are teaming up with Vertere to bring you the first of their new Vinyl showcase evenings entitled ‘Strictly Vinyl’. More »
The Acoustica Show, which returns for its fifth year on 11th and 12th March, will see the north of England debut of new products from Naim and an exclusive preview showing of the next Kudos loudspeaker. More »
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 is known as the world leading producer of analogue hifi audio equipment for more than 25 years. Producing a range of products. Now they are releasing The Beatles 1964 Recordplayer Limited Edition More »
Tom Vu, president of TraingleArt, got in touch to tell us more about their latest tonearms, the Osiris MK2 and the Horus. More »
After a four-year development period, Ballfinger has introduced the first newly developed analogue tape recorder for around 25 years, the Tonbandmaschine M 063 was revealed at the Norddeutschen Hifi-Tage, in Hamburg last weekend. They also unveiled their new Schallplattenspieler PS 2 Directl-drive Turntable with active radial arm and moving coil system. More »
Oxford Audio Consultants will be having an event at Oxford University, playing a £6,300 lacquer of Sarah Vaughan, Live at Laren Jazz Festival in 1975, that only survives one play. More »
Since its introduction in late 2016, the Essential III from Pro-Ject Audio Systems has been, say Pro-Ject, “a revelation in the affordable turntable market”. Combining looks with performance, they say that the initial market response has been phenomenal. As a result of this impact, the Essential III is beginning 2017 by extending into a range of three turntables at various prices. More »
Pro-Ject Audio Systems has collaborated with George Harrison’s family and UMC on a new turntable. Pro-ject say; “It was always our aim to offer class-leading sound quality for budget and high-end turntables. This and our passion for music is driving our productivity. We are very proud to introduce our newest collaboration with one of the most influencing artists of modern history, George Harrison”. More »
German turntable company, Dual, has relaunched in the UK. Once the largest manufacturer of turntables in Europe, the brand has had a history of producing turntables through the 1960s, 70s and 80s. For 2017 the brand is back in the UK with an initial offering of three new budget models. More »
Mark Levinson has introduced their first ever turntable, the N°515,which they say is “designed for the discriminating analogue music lover”. Created in partnership with VPI Industries, the № 515 Turntable is the first turntable that they say is “worthy of the Mark Levinson name”. More »
Absolute Sounds, the UK importer and distributor of high end audio products, got in touch to let us know about what the brands they represent are showing at CES 2017, starting today and running over the weekend in Las Vegas, USA. Read on for show locations and more details from the likes of Audio Research, Krell, dCS, Dan D’Agostino, Wilson, Magico and more. More »
We reported on the launch of Pro-Ject Audio Essential III Turntable back in October 2016. The Pro-Ject team have just been in touch to let us know that they will be presenting their new turntable at CES 2017. More »
As the demand for vinyl grows at an extraordinary pace, the VPI team continues to develop its turntables to produce, they say, “a revelatory level of audio reproduction”. After the success of their award-winning Prime, VPI has launched the new Prime Signature turntable. More »
Cadence Group has just announced it has taken ownership of British engineering and Hifi specialist SME Limited. Cadence, which already has major controlling interests in other prestigious audio brands, will bring a new level of investment to SME, allowing the company to extend its research and development activities whilst continuing to produce the class-leading products it is globally acclaimed for. More »
In Italian Valore means value and at €1495 complete with arm the Valore Plus 425 turntable from Italian manufacturer Gold Note certainly looks to offer a good bang for your buck. Janine Elliot spins some tunes. More »
In Italian Valore means value and at €1495 complete with arm the Valore Plus 425 turntable from Italian manufacturer Gold Note certainly looks to offer a good bang for your buck. Janine Elliot spins some tunes. More »
At £2500 the AVID Hifi Pellere Phono-stage borrows a lot of its make up from its more expensive sibling costing £4300, but does it cut the right kind of groove? Janine Elliot finds out. More »
The new Shinola Runwell turntable will be manufactured in the US and is a partnership between VPI and Shinola. Hifi Pig talks to Mat Weisfeld of VIP. More »
October was a real whirlwind of a month, there were Hifi Shows including Hifi Show Live Windsor and The Indulgence Show plus a huge amount of news and we reviewed gear ranging from £89 IEMs to a £32,000 Power Amplifier. Just in case you missed anything, here is a round up of what happened last month… More »
Every year Hifi Pig is invited to the Conservatoire de Musique at Saint-Brieuc in Brittany, France for an evening of jazz presented by the association Jazz Angle. It’s always an entertaining and well attended evening and, as relative newcomers to Jazz, it always throws up something new and unexpected that we’ve not heard before…and this year was no exception. More »
The 6 Perspex turntable from Pro-Ject Audio Systems has been a staple of the company’s range for many years. Now, the latest version takes the existing design but adds a few enhancements to improve the performance.
Hifi Pig talks to Hifi Pig reader Stuart Armstrong who has an interesting and very accomplished DIY turntable project. More »
Hifi Pig talk to Conrad Mas, the man behind the UK based manufacturer AVID Hifi. AVID Hifi are perhaps most well known for their range of turntables and phonostages, but at last year’s Munich High End the company introduced a full range of electronics and loudspeakers…and won the Hifi Pig Loves You Award. More »
The Peak PT1 turntable has a natural slate plinth and comes complete with an arm for £599. Ian Ringstead takes it for a spin for Hifi Pig. More »
At the end of August Hifi Pig reported the news that the Pro-ject Classic Turntable had won the EISA award and way back in 2012 we also reported their Debut Carbon won the same award. Last year the company’s RPM 3 Carbon won last year’s EISA Award and it’s also been awarded prestigious Red Dot Award for its outstanding design this year…it also won a Hifi Pig Recommended Award.
Ingenious entry to the world of audiophile luxury, is what The Red Dot Award people say about the award! They add that RPM 3 Carbon utilises evolutionary enhancements to improve the performance of Pro-Ject’s RPM turntable series including: A low resonance chassis holds an inverted platter bearing with a ceramic ball for further reduced rumble. An outboard 15V AC motor is driven by using an ultra precise AC generator with DC power supply for further enhanced speed stability.
A 10 S-shaped tonearm tube is made from carbon fibre, aluminium and resin. Using a complex 3-step process with heat treatment and 100bar pressure, arm tube rigidity is strengthened, internal damping is maximized and resonances are reduced to a minimum. This makes the tonearm also suitable for MC cartridges. Additional features are a magnetic antiskating mechanism and a TPE- damped counterweight.
Congratulations From all at Hifi Pig for your stash of awards.
Reloop HiFi has announced the introduction of their first record player. With decades of experience in the DJ and Professional Audio industry, Reloop have rapidly become a market leader in the supply of DJ turntables and accessories. But during the German company’s twentieth anniversary year, they have decided to transfer their skills and experience to a new task; producing a turntable that’s been designed for music enthusiasts and sound purists. The result is TURN 3.
Robert Lauterwein, Founder and CEO of Reloop, says of the new venture:
“For as long as I can remember, turntables have always been a part of my life. My father is a passionate music lover and vinyl collector, and my grandfather used to import and distribute Sony turntables in Switzerland in the 1970’s; so it was only natural that I developed my own interest in records and the tools we use to play them. That interest continues to drive me professionally and privately to this day.” He continues, “Twenty years ago, Reloop’s very first product for DJs was a turntable. Since then, turntables have been a core part of the Reloop DJ line, and me and my team constantly strive to ensure we offer the best technology available at an attractive price.”
TURN 3 is a precision-engineered belt-drive record player with a heavy MDF construction and clever anti-vibration feet, which ensure a stable platform for the turntable. The sleek gloss black plinth houses a low-noise DC motor that keeps un-wanted noise and resonance to a minimum. The motor is connected to the acoustically-treated aluminium die-cast platter via a drive belt that loops around the main platter’s inner-ring. The platter then sits atop a smooth-yet-sturdy spindle system.
The straight tonearm was specially designed for TURN 3, and offers optimal tracking. The arm’s premium finish also complements the turntable’s quality aesthetic, while the clearly labelled counterweight and convenient anti-skate dial make set-up effortlessly simple. TURN 3 is supplied with the Ortofon 2M Red cartridge (SRP £89.00), and the use of a special curved headshell makes for easy changing between cartridges with different types of music or vinyl records (i.e. stereo or mono records).
TURN 3 is operated by a master switch on the back panel, and a three-point speed control on top of the plinth. The controller allows for effortlessly simple switching between 33 1/3, 45 and 78rpm speeds with tight accuracy and reliable stability. Then, for further convenience, there is a switchable Semi-Automatic Auto Stop function, which allows the turntable to automatically start when the tonearm is placed in position, and stop again at the end of the record.
TURN 3 is also simple to connect to any hifi system. The turntable is internally grounded, finished with gold-plated connectors and supplied with a set of RCA leads. Thanks to the switchable built-in Moving Magnet phono stage, the turntable can either be connected to a standard LINE or AUX input on an amplifier, or it can be upgraded with the use of an external phono stage. The additional USB output also allows for simple connection to a PC or Mac, providing a quick and easy way to transcribe your vinyl to digital audio files.
TURN 3 is a stylish, customisable hi-fi turntable that offers a high-quality sound performance from a package that easily fits into any vinyl playback system.
The Reloop TURN 3 is available in the UK now.
The flagship product of ONKK Limited UK, the Cue turntable fuses “ultra modern design, innovative engineering and contemporary aesthetics to deliver superlative, mastertape-like sound reproduction” says the company’s recent press release. We’ve been speaking with the guys at ONKK for some time now and whilst the turntable will make its debut at the National Audio Show this coming weekend, the company are not releasing photographs other than this we found on Twitter.
This brand new direct-drive turntable employs high precision DSP speed control, a bespoke resonance-damped aluminium plinth, unique pistonic suspension system and a silent ceramic bearing.
Cue offers a choice of three speeds (33, 45 and 78RPM), which can be adjusted in 1/100 RPM steps, memorised and recalled at the touch of a button. This is done by a simple, intuitive and ergonomic user interface.
Meticulous attention has been paid to mechanical vibration isolation, with the specially designed mass-damped cast aluminium plinth and the previously mentioned pistonic suspension system providing immunity from external resonance.
The silent, wearless ceramic bearing is designed to last for generations. Its special material allows a minute contact point which is said to significantly reduce drag and permits instantaneous motor response to changing load conditions. Speed fluctuations are sensed and adjusted in milliseconds.
Cue is handmade in the United Kingdom and comes with a five year parts guarantee.
Inspired by the classic turntables of our youth, The Classic comes in a wooden frame, with a damped heavy weight aluminium platter, a new carbon/aluminium tonearm and an aluminium counterweight.
The Classic is available with three different wooden chassis (Palisander, Rosenut, Walnut): Recommended retail price without cartridge is € 950,00 and with included Ortofon moving magnet cartridge “2M Silver” it is € 999,00.
The Ultra SP turntable is built to order, and the final finish options are to each individual customers preferences, from the thickness and profile of the diamond polished granite base board, to the options for fine paint, lacquer or even gold, silver, or other plated metal finish to key components used in the manufacture of this product.
The company’s Ultra SP turntable in “XL specification” offers a larger chassis and baseboard designed to accommodate multiple tonearms of any size or type, but all other aspects of its specification are the same.
The design of The Ultra SP consists of a chassis constructed from anodised extruded aluminium beams with the whole structure being internally damped and then mounted on suspension isolation towers from the high mass granite baseboard below. This ensures the ideal environment for both the iota-audio-design Satori tonearm as well as the the rotating Spindle Platter supporting the vinyl record.
The Spindle Platter on which the vinyl record is placed is made up from 26 individual components, these include a combination of 316 stainless steel high mass peripheral weights, as well as aircraft grade aluminium alloy components, plus natural cork, Acetyl turned components and advanced polymer resin bonding agents.
The aim has been to create a structure that offers high rotational mass, but to position the majority of the mass at its extreme outer edge, therefore to gain the maximum benefit of centrifugal force. In addition whilst the structure is designed so that it supports the vinyl record where it is most required at its outer edge, but also at the centre around the turntable bearing spindle. The addition of a clamp then holds the vinyl flat to this damped area at the centre of the Spindle Platter. However the area of the vinyl that contains the groove will be devoid of any platter reflections or interactions. The interface cork mat is left to do its job, and nothing else, and again as it’s not fixed and the company have alternatives available.
The supplied Satori tonearm is a suspended control point design. This employs a combination of bearing and support techniques as well as materials not previously applied or used in other tonearm designs. The combination of an exceptionally strong Pultruded carbon fibre tube of square/round section for the main arm tube, this is suspended on PVDF ( Polyvinylidene flouride) mono filaments, with the excursion of the tonearm constrained by an upward facing stainless steel control point.
As a standard option the tonearm is supplied with XLR balanced connections and so very long cable runs from the turntable can be used. However, The Iota tonearm can be supplied with standard type connector plugs at no additional charge for use in conventional systems.
The turntable is supplied with the Ultra SP power supply which acts as a mains regenerator. Frequency stability is crystal locked to +/- 30 parts per million. In fact in order to provide both 33 and 45 RPM for the two-speed model specific crystals, ground to exact specification were used. Speed change is achieved by the flick of a switch. The unit is also available for all other international mains supplies & None UK/ EU voltages.
Prices from: £5,695.00
The Iota QT Ultra-SP turntable as above in XL specification: £ P.O.A.
Other models start from £795.00
Project have a well deserved name for producing great products at great prices, but £299 for a vacuum record cleaning machine really does seem to be very good value, at least on paper. Ian Ringstead puts a few of his grimier charity shop finds through the VC-S to find out if it sucks or not! More »
Devon-based Timestep has garnered quite a reputation for its fully sanctioned modifications of various iconic Technics turntables. Now, designer Dave Cawley turns his attention to the recently-launched SL-1200 GAE deck and comes up with yet more cannily-crafted advancements in the form of the new Timestep EVOke, and we very much like the look of this at Hifi Pig Towers, being the huge fans of the Techy we are.
Like its predecessor the EVO, the new EVOke takes a brand new Technics deck, makes a number of smart revisions then adds a quality tonearm and cartridge.
The original EVO was a heavily modified edition of the Technics SL-1200 deck and over the past decade it enjoyed considerable success among critics and buyers alike.
Earlier this year, Technics launched a brand new edition of the SL-1200: the SL-1200 GAE. In its native Japan the first several hundred models built sold out within minutes. Although the SL-1200 GAE has only just arrived in the UK, Cawley was already hard at work on Timestep’s measurements and modifications, having been approached by Technics some months ago who invited him to do so.
The new Timestep EVOke is the result. A Timestep-Technics tour de force, its technical measurements almost equal those of the Technics SP-10 MK-III deck.
“The standard Technics SL-1200 GAE, while superb, cuts costs in two areas: the tonearm and the power supply,” says Cawley. “The arm is derived from the SL-1200 MK-IV and while it’s better than some, it’s not what I’d call an audiophile arm.”
In the EVOke, Cawley therefore replaces the tonearm with an SME IV which, he says, “with its tapered magnesium armtube and silver finish is a match made in heaven”. An Audio Technica AT-33PTG/II moving coil cartridge with gold-plated solid boron cantilever provides the perfect complement to top off the system.
As for the power supply, the EVOke replaces the SL-1200 GAE’s internal switch mode with an external linear PSU designed by Timestep. “While the SL-1200 GAE’s power supply is very quiet,” says Cawley, “a number of reviews have mentioned a ‘haze’, which our modified supply removes.” Constructed with supreme attention to detail, the Timestep power supply’s cable exits the SL-1200 GAE via a custom-made adapter plate; the gold-plated power connector is made by Furutech while the PSU connectors are both gold-plated Neutrik.
Pricing & availability
The Timestep EVOke is available now, either as a fully finished turntable package, or as selected components to create your own modified Technics SL-1200 GAE deck.
|Technics SL-1200 GAE turntable||£2,700|
|SME IV tonearm||£1,860|
|Tonearm mounting plate (allows fitting of any 9” SME tonearm)||£90|
|Audio Technica AT-33PTG/II MC cartridge||£419|
|Total cost of fully finished turntable package (as above, plus £200 fitting cost)||£5,764|
iota-audio-design have been in touch with Hifi Pig to tell us about their phono stage. The name may be new to you but hey have a company history that goes back more than 25 years and many of their products are being revised, upgraded and improved.
Their balanced phono stages have evolved over a very long time, the original was created in 1995, and now with the 2016-Rev II versions the company say that these “reference grade products” have taken another step forward.
iota Signature Reference Phono Stage
2016-Rev II…………..£ 1,495
The iota Signature Reference Balanced phono stage in Rev II 2016 form is now available. These brand new two box units come with a full 3 year parts and labour warranty.
iota Median Phono Stage
2016-Rev II …£ 625
iota are offering an opportunity for all existing owners of iota Signature Reference, and the iota Median balanced phono stages to upgrade any previous version of the products to the recently released REV II-2016 versions. The cost of the upgrade is just £240.00. This includes any service or repair that may be required to the phono stage or power supply, and this will apply whether you are the original owner or you purchased the equipment second hand. Following this significant performance upgrade the re-calibrated item will also then benefit from a full one year guarantee, whatever its age.
VANA, Ltd. has announced that the European Audio Team C-Major turntable, the company’s first complete analogue playback solution, is available now through a carefully selected network of US dealers. The C-Major turntable has been engineered and manufactured in Prague to deliver superb performance with a sleek “super-flat” industrial design and comes ready to play right out of the box—complete with tonearm, cartridge, record clamp and dust cover. US MSRP is $2495. Hifi Pig’s Janine reviewed it here.
The foundation of the C-Major turntable is a low-profile floating chassis made from carbon fiber laminated MDF, which gives the C-Major it’s slender profile. The chassis rests on a conical TPE (thermo-plastic elastomer) suspension system along with damped adjustable feet that together provide superior isolation. The tonearm and platter are mounted on a separate suspended carbon fiber/MDF platform, with the platter spinning on a hardened bronze bearing mated to a Teflon® plated, polished brass housing. The C-Major utilizes a proprietary ultra-low noise AC motor and high precision power supply for speed stability. The platter and sub-platter are made from a rigid aluminum/magnesium alloy.
The C-Major employs a light yet rigid carbon alloy 9-inch C-Note Tonearm with a hybrid Cardan/Unipivot design that combines extremely low bearing friction. This configuration is not prone to wobble like many Unipivot designs, and there is almost no measurable bearing play in the lateral plane. Adjusting and maintaining consistent cartridge azimuth and anti-skate settings is an easy task based on this design. All key features for cartridge alignment and adjustability are available on the tonearm, including VTA/SRA, VTF, azimuth, anti-skate and a slotted headshell for overhang and offset angle optimization. In addition to the C-Note Tonearm, the C-Major comes equipped with the highly regarded Ortofon Quintet Blue cartridge along with premium-grade gold plated RCA outputs.
“The C-Major is really a turntable for vinyl enthusiasts who want a superb high-performance product that comes with everything you need,” explained Vana Director of Business Development Stephen DeFuria. “Each component of the C-Major was chosen specifically so that the sum of its parts outperform everything in this price category. As an example, the 9-inch C-Note Tonearm is a smaller version of the arm found on E.A.T.’s $8500 model. This is an all-inclusive truly high-performance turntable that is ready to play your most cherished vinyl collection right out of the box,” DeFuria said.
For the first time ever, the Clearaudio Statement v2 turntable will be gracing the demonstration room of a UK audio dealer. Catch it while you can at Dorset-based Stone Audio’s very special Clearaudio event on Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd July.
Originally launched in 2006, Clearaudio’s cost-no-object, flagship Statement is a “masterpiece of engineering that genuinely advances the state of the art” says their recent press release. You can read all about the turntable here.
Where: Stone Audio, The Axium Centre, Dorchester Road, Poole, Dorset BH16 6FE
When: Friday 1st July, 6pm & Saturday 2nd July, 10.30am-5pm
Tickets: Entry is free but please book your place in advance.
Pro-Ject’s first vertical turntable is now available in the UK.We caught a glimpse of it at Munich and it indeed very cool.
“The VT-E is a lifestyle product that still employs hi-fi principles to deliver a great sound from such a striking record player” says the company’s press release.
Retail price is £229.00 in all three available finishes. At launch we will only have access to the Right-handed version, and until the end of June VT-E will only be available through a select network of hi-fi retailers. From July 2016, VT-E will be available through the whole Pro-Ject authorised dealer network.
The vinyl revolution shows no signs of retreating behind the barricades and here in our second look at vinyl at high end Munich 2016 we see a number of innovative and pricey vinyl spinners…and some not to expensive of course. Part 1 can be found here. Sperling Audio, Rega, AMG, Acoustic Solid, Clearaudio, Trans Rotor, WE Audio Systems, Well Tempered Lab, Audio Deva, Pro-Ject, SPEC Corporation, Acoustic Signature, Gpinto, Kuzma, Sibatech, Acoustical Systems More »