Atlas Cables, has added to its range of analogue cables with the introduction of four new replacement turntable cables – Element TT, Element Tonearm, Hyper TT and Hyper Tonearm. In response to the vinyl renaissance, Atlas has taken the step to offer its top selling cables with the addition of earth cables (Element TT and Hyper TT) and in the case of the Element and Hyper Tonearm, utilised its dedicated straight or right angled 5-pin Din connector to connect straight into the bottom of compatible tonearms. More »
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 »
TEAC has added a new model to its range of analogue turntables with the launch of the TN-400BT, the first standalone TEAC turntable with Bluetooth capability. Available in five finishes, the TN-400BT allows users to simplify their music playback system by wirelessly streaming their records to Bluetooth-enabled headphones and speakers. 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.
In 2013 DS Audio pioneered the world’s only optical phono cartridge, the DS-W1, which was an immediate hit in its native Japan. International distribution soon followed, now the company is proud to announce its new flagship, the Master 1. DS Audio’s new flagship Master 1 features a number of advances over the company’s original DS-W1. During a two-year development process, every aspect of design and construction was re-evaluated and no detail overlooked.
Pro-Ject Audio Systems, of Vienna, have produced popular affordable record players in recent years, for customers who want to experience audio quality on a budget. The company’s latest offering, Primary, takes two established designs and merges them together to produce a high-quality, inexpensive turntable with real plug-and-play simplicity. More »
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 »
Italian manufacturer Gold Note have had a busy month. They have introduced both their new Donatello and Vasari cartridges and also new vinyl care products. Kymyas is a restoring treatment for scratched vinyl, to help you preserve the quality of your favourite LP’s and enjoy it to the fullest, and to remove every trace of dust, there is the new Gold Note Carbon Brush, 100% anti-static and with high quality carbon fibre.
Also vinyl related, they have announced the PH – 10 which they hail as ‘the most innovative Phono Preamplifier available’ With two separate RCA inputs you can connect two different tonearms and adjust settings independently for each single cartridge plus PH-10 offers 4 different selectable GAIN levels -3dB, 0dB, +3dB, 6dB to precisely match any kind of output level for MM and MC cartridges. Perfect matching is easy and quick to achieve with 9 different load options 10Ω, 22Ω, 47Ω, 100Ω, 220Ω, 470Ω, 1000Ω, 22KΩ, 47KΩ.
You can select the record modulation between the internationally recognised RIAA, DECCA-LONDON or AMERICAN-COLUMBIA curves, and then “enhance” it with their proprietary technology to achieve the best vinyl experience. SKC is a unique technology that paired with TFT display allows quick control of the unit’s functions through the single knob. The display shows every information and lets you rapidly select and modify the settings. Gold Note modular design allows upgrades with external units, including: External Inductive Power Supply, Curve Equaliser Extender unit, Class-A Tube Output Stage and Gain Stage Enhancer. Made of solid aluminium and fully machined, the PH – 10 shell body guarantees low frequency resonance, feedback vibration control and low magnetic inertial field. The front panel and case are brushed anodised aluminium available in Black, Silver, Gold and Red.
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.
Zesto Audio has announced the debut of their newest product, the Andros Téssera Phonostage. The official launch will take place at the annual Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver, Colorado USA, October 7-9, 2016 in exhibit room 6011 at the Marriott Tech Centre.
Téssera means 4 in Greek. This newest product from Zesto Audio is aptly named as it is designed to work with up to 4 different tonearms or turntables. George Counnas, President and Design Engineer for Zesto Audio says, “There are so many great specialized phono cartridges available today, I wanted to design a phonostage that was easy to use, while providing the necessary inputs to accommodate multiple tonearms and be able to save the settings when you switch between channels.”
The Andros Téssera designed with 100% tube circuitry and no solid state devices anywhere in the signal path and all switching is done with reed relays.
Some of the new features include true transformer balance outputs driven by dedicated output tubes. The Andros Téssera has a new circuit design that is partnered with significantly upgraded larger MC step-up transformers to capture the most delicate signals in the grooves.
The Téssera is designed with 2 completely independent dual mono channels that can accommodate 1 MM and 1 MC per channel. It is easily adjustable “on the fly” 12 position MC load per channel without clicks or pops, so you can hear the changes, as well as save the settings when you switch between tonearms. One of the unique features is the 4 MC ground switches which helps to eliminate those noisy ground loops.
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.
A massive thank you to all who helped and donated prizes and money to our first fund raiser. We fell a little short, but, we had the offer of a prize that did not arrive in time to be added.
Mat Weisfeld of USA based turntable manufacturer, VPI Industries, has had a busy month. He has got married twice, in China and the USA, to the same lady I must add! However when he heard about our appeal he really wanted to help out.
The turntable is a Special Edition VPI Player in Black with 9 inch gimballed yoke tonearm, pre-mounted Ortofon 2M red cartridge, built in headphone amp, phono stage, and MDF platter on an oil bath Jacob’s tapper bearing. You can’t buy the turntable in this finish, so it is very special indeed. The retail version sells for 1200$ in the USA. The TT will be made for you and adapted to whichever country you live in.
The raffle is the same format. Donate a minimum of £5 to be entered into the raffle. If you donate multiple £5 you get multiple entries.
The more we raise the better as we can get extras added to the basic wheelchair to help Ricky have a more comfortable life.
IMPORTANT: please leave your full name to make it easier to contact the winner, we can’t enter you if you leave your donation as anonymous, keep your confirmation email as this will be needed if you win.
Thank you in advance!
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.
Gold Note, the Italian High-End manufacturer based in Firenze – is going to release Vasari in October, a new MM cartridge engineered to offer high quality at a competitive price.
The cartridge will launch in two models: Vasari Red and Vasari Gold, both featuring a unique body design, fully machined from solid blocks to achieve a high dampening factor, a rigid aluminum cantilever and a custom diamond tip.
“Vasari is the best MM cartridge we have ever created” – stated Maurizio Aterini, Gold Note founder – “We have always been involved in analog audio, so much that we even make limited edition LPs. We just really like vinyl and that’s why we want vinyl lovers to be able to upgrade their systems and enjoy a better sound.”
Maurizio also explained: “Vasari is beautiful and efficient at the same time: we used high quality materials and developed custom designed elements to deliver an outstanding performance. After all, when you are looking at ways to improve the listening experience the first and easiest step should be to choose a better cartridge, and that’s what Vasari is made for.”
Vasari will be available through Gold Note dealers from September 2016 at an MSRP of €195 for Vasari Red and of €350 for Vasari Gold.
Vasari Gold SPECS:
Duraluminum machined body
Copper coil wire
suggested tracking weight 2.0g
output level 4.0mV
frequency response 15-25KHz
Vasari Red SPECS:
Delrin machined body
Copper coil wire
suggested tracking weight 2.0g
output level 4.0mV
frequency response 15-25KHz
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.
I’ve been a fan of Hopkins’ work for a number of years. The eagle-eyed amongst you will already be aware that Hopkins has previously worked with Coldplay and his track “Light Through The Veins” was reworked into what became the introduction to opening track “Life In Technicolor” from Coldplay’s album ‘Viva la Vida Or Death And All His Friends’. More »
Clearaudio’s Innovation range of turntables now has a new entry point, the Innovation Basic. Borrowing technology from the three other members of the Innovation family – the Innovation, Innovation Compact and Master Innovation – the new Basic has many features, a bijou form and a more accessible price. It may be at the entry level of the Innovation series, in reality the ‘Basic’ is anything but say Clearaudio: ‘Its design and construction bear all of the key Clearaudio hallmarks: intelligently-selected materials, precision engineering, painstaking craftsmanship and innovative technologies’. The resonance-optimised chassis features Clearaudio’s iconic three-point design with its ‘sandwich’ construction of Panzerholz (a solid, bullet-proof wood) and aluminium. Speed stability is achieved with Clearaudio’s decoupled custom-built high-torque DC motor with their patented Ceramic Magnetic Bearing (CMB) and Optical Speed Control (OSC). CMB allows the dynamically balanced platter to magnetically levitate on an inverted and polished ceramic bearing shaft with polished sintered bronze insert. Meanwhile, an infra-red sensor reads a microscopically-etched strobe ring and sends signals to the OSC mechanism which auto-corrects in real time, consistently maintaining the perfect speed. Two tonearm mounting bases make the Innovation Basic dual tonearm capable, while fine height adjustment allows for precise levelling of the turntable on any surface.
The Innovation Basic is available with a choice of finish options. The chassis’ Panzerholz wood layer can be natural or black-lacquered, while its aluminium layer can be silver or black. The platter is available in either clear acrylic or black high-density POM.
Pricing and availability
The Clearaudio Innovation Basic turntable is available now. Prices (including VAT).
Clearaudio Innovation Basic Wood £3,400
Clearaudio Innovation Basic Black* £3,550
* The ‘Black’ price refers to finish options in which the Panzerholz wood layer of the chassis is black-lacquered. All other finish options (including those with black aluminium chassis layers and/or black POM platter) are priced as per ‘Wood’.
Japanese cable and accessories manufacturers Furutech have added to their range of static charge eliminators with the new SK-Filter, conveniently designed to remove unwanted static build-up from the surface of records as they play. It’s an unfortunate fact that as vinyl records spin on turntables, friction with the air causes them to constantly gain a static charge. In fact, a record’s level of frictional static electricity can reach up to anywhere between 3,000V and 20,000V. Enter the audiophile’s arch enemy: electro-static noise interference, with its compromising effects on sound quality.
Furutech’s new SK-Filter solves the problem ‘in situ’. As the record spins on the turntable, this neat little device gets to work sending static electricity packing. The SK-Filter uses a patented material, Thunderon®, which consists of a very fine acrylic fibre chemically bonded with copper sulphide. The resulting conductive filament has the ability to discharge static electricity into the air whenever static-charged material approaches – so the SK-Filter’s fibres do not need to touch the record. Rather, they are positioned a millimetre or two above the record’s surface thanks to an easy-to-use stand which is fully adjustable to complement a wide range of turntable set-ups. In developing the SK-Filter, Furutech’s audio design team undertook their usual process of research and development. Thunderon® was crafted into a thread-like material, strands of which were then knitted together to form the brush’s fibres. The precise combination of fibre length, quantity and density specifically required to effectively eliminate static from the surface of a record was exhaustively tested to identify the perfect balance. Their goal? Silence. In eliminating surface static, the SK-Filter reduces the noise floor, allowing you to enjoy listening to music on vinyl with full resolution.
Pricing & availability
The Furutech SK-Filter LP static eliminator is available now priced at £350 (including VAT).
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 »
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 »
The TN-570 belt-driven turntable combines a clear acrylic platter, an AT100E Moving Magnet cartridge, an all-new, height-adjustable S-shaped tonearm, all mounted on a dual-layer composite black marble/high-density MDF base.
TEAC TN-570 – KEY FEATURES
- Belt-drive turntable with electronic speed change
· New static-balanced S-type tonearm
· Clear acrylic platter
· Dual-Layer composite artificial black marble/high density MDF plinth
· Platter Rotation Sensing Servo System (P.R.S3)
· Built-in phono stage (moving magnet)
· Optical digital output (192kHz/24-bit max) and USB output (48kHz/16-bit) for transferring music from vinyl records to your Mac or PC
· Supplied AT-100E moving magnet (MM) cartridge
The new S-shaped tonearm features a light alloy universal headshell (to allow easy cartridge swapping) and is height adjustable, to compensate for cartridges that are greater in height than usual. In another break from the norm, speed selection between 33 1/3rd and 45 RPM speeds is achieved electronically, rather than requiring the platter to be physically removed in order to move the belt.
TEAC has also developed a ingenious Platter Rotation Sensing Servo System (using an optical sensor) to deliver a rotation precision that’s almost the same as you’d get with a direct-drive.
And the same goes for the combination of a clear 16mm acrylic platter and massive Dual Layer composite artificial marble ‘Onyx Emperador’/MDF base (secured on a honeycomb structure bottom cover). The materials have been chosen, after extensive listening, for their ability to help minimise unwanted resonance.!
Maximizing the TEAC TN-570’s versatility, a built-in MM phono stage is also included, along with an optical output (up to 192kHz/24-bit) and USB output (48kHz/16-bit), allowing owners to convert their vinyl to the latest digital formats (a version of the TN-570 without the digital output stage – called the TN-550 – will also be available in certain markets).
Price (only in black, available now)
TN-570 – £749
TN-550 – £599
Bryston has announced the introduction of the BLP-1 turntable, a belt drive design housed within a mass-loaded chassis engineered with critical features and innovations to please vinyl enthusiasts. The Bryston BLP-1 will become available through Bryston dealers beginning July, 2016 with an MSRP of $3995 including tonearm and custom Bryston power supply.
“Each feature of the BLP-1 represents an effort to deliver remarkably accurate vinyl playback by holding precise speed stability while minimizing resonances” says the company’s latest press release. The BLP-1’s 33 ⅓ / 45 RPM low speed / high torque motor is driven by a proprietary Bryston-designed and manufactured pulse width modulation (PWM) power supply called the BTP-1 (included with turntable). The 35mm thick Delrin® platter with integrated record mat is mated to a hardened carbon steel spindle and ultra-hard bronze modular bearing system polished to 0.02mm tolerance. The unique vented plinth is said to both eliminate platter turbulence and prevent unwanted vibrations from reaching the bearing. The seven-segment titanium tonearm features tungsten steel bearings and an arm tube integrated to the headshell. The Bryston BLP-1 also comes with a removable tonearm cable, adjustable brushed aluminum feet and a hinged high-mass dustcover to complete the package.
“As we set out to design the newest Bryston phono preamplifier models BMC and BMM, the wide bandwidth and low distortion of our new gain stages reminded us of how breathtaking and fresh high- resolution vinyl playback could be,” explained Bryston’s James Tanner. “With the BLP-1, we have created a turntable that represents premium performance to supplement our lineup. Going forward, it is our objective to identify an array of cartridges that will ideally match our turntable and phono stages (impedance, loading, capacitance, gain requirements etc.) to provide customers with the predictability of a plug-and-play solution if so desired. Of course, dealers and enthusiasts will also have the option to select their cartridge of choice independent of our recommendations,” stated Tanner.
In this months Views Of Stu, Stuart Smith takes us on a rambling personal journey through his relationship with vinyl. More »
The Audio Barn in Old Harlow, Essex got in touch with Hifi Pig to tell us about a great sounding event they have coming up on the 13th and 14th May. It’s a Clearaudio/Larsen open day but with a twist.
They’ll be featuring the Clearaudio Concept (Pictured) and Performance DC turntables through Naims SuperNait integrated amplifier, and then through Larsen 6 & 8 Loudspeakers and anyone attending on the Friday evening or Saturday will be entered into a free prize draw! The winner will be recipient of a Clearaudio Turntable Carekit Professional worth £120!
But it’s not all turntables and loudspeakers as on the Friday evening, Toby Webster of The Black Dog Wine Company in North Weald will be downstairs offering wine tastings. He has been working with small, often artisan-scale winemakers for over 30 years, and will have available to informally taste a selection of half a dozen or so delicious and original wines from his portfolio. Nice!
On the Friday evening the event opens at 4pm and will finish around 8pm (later if demand dictates) with the Clearaudio Concept, Naim SuperNait and Larsen 8 speakers being the main event, whilst on the Saturday the event kicks off with a presentation of the system previous system with Larsen 6 speakers by Sound Fowndations Chris Green followed by some tech chat and the opportunity for visitors to play their own vinyl on the system.
Clearaudio have been engaged in ongoing research into moving coil (MC) technology since 1978. Still, their design team found themselves facing quite a challenge when tasked with developing a brand new cartridge that would improve on the existing entry-level Concept MC, but without breaking a key price point, says the company’s latest press release.
Like the Concept MC, the Essence MC’s body is constructed from a high-density aluminium-magnesium alloy, which is then coated with a ceramic layer to minimize resonance.
Meanwhile, the boron cantilever, microline stylus and Clearaudio-patented moving coil generator with its hand-selected high-performance magnets have each been subjected to rigorous scrutiny in order to achieve tighter tolerances. The result they say is “improved dynamic performance, higher resolution and channel matching of better than 0.5 dB”.
The Essence MC will partner with almost any MC phonostage at a price that won’t break the bank. Its angular body shape with centre line at the front makes it easy to align, while threaded holes mean that you don’t have to fiddle with screws and nuts. It comes with a full cover stylus guard.
|Construction||Aluminum-magnesium alloy with ceramic surface layer;
microline stylus; boron cantilever; OFC copper coils
|Frequency response||20 Hz – 40 kHz|
|Output voltage||0.4 mV at 5 cm/s|
|Recommended tracking force||2.0 g (+/- 0.2 g)|
|Channel separation||> 32 dB|
|Channel difference (balance)||< 0.3 dB|
|Cartridge impedance||11 Ω|
|Total weight||8.0 g|
|Warranty||2 years (provided warranty card completed and returned to Clearaudio within specified timescale)|
The Clearaudio Essence MC is available now priced at £795 (including VAT).
Unfortunately we were unable to make the Stylus Show which showcased all that is vinyl but Hifi Pig reader Grant Birch was kind enough to take a few pics on our behalf. Thanks to Grant and we hope to be there next year for what many are saying was a great Hifi show. More »
Ok, so we ran a news item today about the €895 Atmo Sfera turntable which has no platter so to speak and we came across another unusual turntable design, this time in the form of the $399 Gramovox that plays records vertically…and has built in speakers.
The Gramavox plays 33s and 45s and has RCA outs so you can play it through a conventional hifi set up.
It is a belt drive design that has an acrylic platter and comes complete with tonearm and a AT95E so it plays out the box with no set up.
- MDF construction
- Fully-adjustable Carbon-Fiber Tone-Arm w/ dynamically set tracking force
- AT95E Audio-Technica Dual Magnet Cartridge with Elliptical Diamond Stylus
- 2″ Neodymium Full-Range Stereo Speakers
- Built in phono stage with RIAA equalization curve
- Onboard 2x15W Stereo Audio Amplifier, Tripath TA2024 Class-D / Class-T architecture
- Manual Belt-Drive System (33 ⅓ or 45 RPM)
- A/C Synchronous motor
- Low resonance, high mass, acrylic Plinth and Platter
- RCA Line Out
- Headphone Jack
- Universal AC to DC power supply compatible with US standard 60 Hz, 110/120 VAC or European standard 50 Hz, 220/240 VAC (Snap-in power plugs are included for operation in countries around the world)
- 17″ Wide x 10″ Deep x 16″ Tall
- 14 lbs.
- Vibration Damping Feet
Audio Deva have a Kickstarter campaign for their €895 Atmo Sfera turntable (complete with arm and cartridge)… but the Atmo Sfera is no ordinary turntable because it doesn’t have the platter that would seem like a pretty essential part of any vinyl spinner.
Audio Deva claim that the classic turntable has drawbacks inherent in its design citing “heavy weight, size, playing mechanism and vulnerability to vibration” as issues and claim their design eliminates the problems associated with conventional turntables.
- Platterless design, a unique design where the record spins in air
- Belt-Driven, Two speed (33/45 RPM) turntable
- Small, low torque bipolar motor, driven by a synthesized, sinusoidal wave
- Microprocessor controlled operation
- Bluetooth® stereo connectivity with embedded RIAA phono preamplifier
- Carbon fiber, static balanced Tonearm
- Effective arm length: 228 mm – Arm overhang: 15 mm
- Pre fitted Audio Technica AT 95 E MM Cartridge
- Low resonance, CNC machined, Anticorodal Aluminium plinth
- CNC machined Ergal Shaft
- Vibration damping feet
- No setup required with the fitted cartridge
- Dimension (base only): 12″ x 11″ x 4″ or 31 cm x 28 cm x 10 cm
- Weight: 6.5 lbs. or 2.8 Kg
- Universal Power supply: 110-240 V / 50Hz / 60Hz
Russ Andrews is introducing a dedicated turntable RCA phono cable.
With the huge resurgence in turntables witnessed over the past couple of years and the monumental rise in sales of vinyl, “Russ Andrews has developed the TT-1 cable to help this new wave of vinyl enthusiasts get the best out of their turntables” says the company’s recent press release.
TT-1 is a fully shielded design, derived from the Kimber Kable flagship Select range and uses high-purity copper coax geometry and a multi-stranded core.
Fitted with Kimber’s UltraPlate™ Phono plugs, the TT-1 is also available with optional burn in, DCT (deep cryogenic treatment), Super Burn In and with the company’s MiniZap technology incorporated into the cable.
Many modern turntables no longer require a dedicated ground connection, but for those that do, Russ Andrews is including a separate 2.5mm2 grounding wire fitted with 4mm spade terminals with the TT-1, making it suitable for use with a vast range of turntables.
Peter Bevir, head of product development, says, “No one can have missed the vinyl revival, it’s the story on the lips of so many and is blazoned across social media on a daily basis. The figures for vinyl album sales from the bpi and turntable sales from GfK show just how popular this, arguably purest, form of music reproduction is. So we thought, ‘with so many people enjoying what vinyl has to offer why not help them get the most out of their collections and new turntables?’ ” He continues, “The TT-1 is a cost effective means of connecting a turntable to a phono-stage – or direct to an amplifier if either unit has a built in phono-stage – that really allows the music to shine and highlight just why vinyl is such a good medium for musical enjoyment.”
TT-1 is available direct from Russ Andrews at £104 for a 0.5m pair.
BBC News has reported that Sainsbury’s have now decided to jump on the vinyl bandwagon and are to start flogging the black stuff in their supermarkets. On a recent visit to England I also noticed that Tesco are doing likewise, though given that the paltry number of discs was in a display in a corner and positioned so you could only access one side of the display, I didn’t get the impression that that particular store’s heart was really in it. So, is this good news for vinyl fans or not?
Now don’t get me wrong, we at Hifi Pig love the idea that vinyl is making a bit of a resurgence and I really do love to play my music on vinyl. It’s great to see younger people embracing the actual purchasing of music rather than turning to illegal downloads and the like. It’s also great to see that hifi manufacturers are being able to profit from this with the making of new, and often budget orientated turntables.
But what kind of albums are these non-specialist outlets going to be peddling? From my limited experience in the Tesco store I mentioned it’s going to be the classics…David Bowie (I bought a copy of Ziggy Stardust actually), Fleetwood Mac, ACDC… you get the picture. Now this is great for those of us looking to refresh our tired old record stock, but what about the new bands’ material?
I suppose the supermarkets know their markets well enough, but I can’t help thinking that I’d be much happier if they were stocking a wider variety of music. That said, if the big chains are highlighting that the format is out there and available, perhaps it will tempt even more to buy into the format and then finally seek out more exotic records in their independent record shops.
Record Store Day takes place in 16th April 2016.
As the vinyl revival continues to accelerate, record collectors are realising the importance of keeping their beloved collections clean and pristine. Playing records contaminated with dust, dirt, fingerprints and other undesirables will not only negatively affect the sound quality but can also cause damage to both record and stylus. And it’s not just second-hand vinyl that needs a good clean: chemical residues on newly-pressed records equally need taking care of.
Clearaudio’s ‘Matrix’ record cleaners have long been renowned for their gentle yet highly effective vacuum cleaning capabilities. Now, the latest edition to the Matrix series combines this same double-sided vacuum cleaning technology with a new sonic component. The effect is twofold: sonic vibrations loosen embedded groove dirt, which the vacuum element then sucks away. “The Double Matrix Professional Sonic is our best solution yet,” say Clearaudio. It is also extremely quiet to operate and sports a host of helpful features.
Clearaudio Double Matrix Professional Sonic: key features
- Integrated sonic and vacuum cleaning elements deliver deep yet gentle cleaning of pressing residues and persistent dirt deep within the record groove.
- Cleans LPs, EPs and singles: adaptive cleaning brushes automatically adjust to different record diameters and thicknesses.
- Double-sided, hence cleans both sides of a record simultaneously.
- Bi-directional rotation allows records to be cleaned in either, or both, directions for enhanced cleaning performance.
- Automatic and manual functions allow you to operate the whole cleaning process at the touch of a single button, or to custom select your own cleaning parameters via a user-friendly operating panel.
- Variable speed options.
- A fully automated ‘super clean’ mode tackles records in need of an extra thorough clean.
- A Clearaudio ‘Seal’ record clamp holds the record firmly in place during cleaning and protects the record label from fluid damage.
- A convenient LED light indicates the level in the internal cleaning fluid reservoir.
- Extremely quiet to operate: the chassis is lined with acoustic damping pads to keep operational noise to a minimum.
|Power consumption||Max. consumption: 400 Watt
Power during suction: 400 Watt
Off-mode: 0 Watt
|Weight||Approx. 16 kg|
|Dimensions (inches)||Approx. 16.14 (w) x 15.16 (d) x 10.87 (h) without dustcover
Approx. 16.14 (w) x 15.16 (d) x 11.42 (h) with dustcover
|Dimensions (mm)||Approx. 410 (w) x 385 (d) x 276 (h) without dustcover
Approx. 410 (w) x 385 (d) x 290 (h) with dustcover
|Warranty||3 years (provided the manufacturer’s guarantee card is completed and returned to Clearaudio within 2 weeks)|
The Clearaudio Double Matrix Professional Sonic is available now priced at £3,250 (including VAT).
Roksan Audio’s Radius turntable (review) has been updated and released as the Radius 7.
Roksan Audio are acknowledged around the world as pioneers of analogue technology, with over thirty years of experience and success in the market, starting with their iconic Xerxes record player (see the review of the latest Xerxes incarnation).
The Radius 7’s Perspex construction boasts the same innovative, decoupled dual-layer plinth design but in a new precision-machined ‘glass-effect’ finish. The same striking shape of the plinth layers remains, but as with previous Radius designs this is not only to help the look, but also to control resonance and reduce effective mass.
The decoupled drive motor employed in the Radius 7 is a completely new design, engineered from scratch using trickle-down technology from Roksan Audio’s flagship speed control for the Xerxes record player, the RPM. It’s an exceptionally precise device, featuring a very high accuracy, temperature-compensated crystal speed control system, which maintains pitch-perfect speed stability for both 33 and 45rpm, irrespective of voltage variations. The added benefit to this new system is manifest in the new aluminium alloy pulley, which utilises a single rung; as the Radius 7 is capable of automatic speed changing. To add further visual appeal, a bright yet un-intrusive LED is built-in underneath the motor assembly and illuminates either blue (33rpm) or red (45rpm) to show the current platter speed.
The Radius 7 has the same acrylic platter as the Radius 5.2. The platter rotates on a precision- machined hardened steel bearing ball that sits within a brass housing that contains Roksan’s LX-7 bearing oil, with ultra-low friction properties for reduced resonance.
In the UK, the Radius 7 is supplied as standard with the Roksan Nima tonearm. The Nima is a low-friction, uni-pivot design. The Nima is carefully assembled by hand and boasts the same internal wiring as Roksan’s previous flagship tonearm, the Artemiz.
The Radius 7 will be available in the UK from March 2016.
Main Bearing Spindle:Precision-machined stainless steel
Main Bearing Housing:Precision-machined solid brass
Main Bearing Ball:Precision case hardened steel
Pulley:Precision-machined aluminium alloy
Motor:Custom-made 24 pole synchronous
Speeds:33.3 & 45 rpm
Power: 90-240V / 50-60 Hz
Rumble: < -75dB
Wow & Flutter: < 0.04%
Dimension (W x D x H):400 x 350 x 150mm
Bearing:Stainless Steel Unipivot
Bearing Yoke: Acrylic
Arm Tube:Aluminium Alloy
Headshell Offset Angle: 22.9°
Effective Mass: 10g
Mounting Hole Diameter: 23mm
Recommended Cartridge Weight: 5 – 12g
Recommended Tracking Weight: 1.5 – 3.5g
Janine Elliot takes a listen to Roksan’s latest version of the iconic Xerxes, this time in its 20Plus guise and with the Caspian RPM Speed Control and innovative Pug tonearm. Price for this package is £5825 More »
Vertere and KJ West One bring you an evening of vinyl delight with special guest, Miles Showell of Abbey Road Studios.
Facts will be illuminated, Myths will be exposed and track upon track of pure music will be laid down for you. Presenting and demonstrating some of the world’s greatest music ever cut on vinyl plus explanation of Miles’s ½ speed mastering and its musical advantages.
The main system on the night will consist of:
Vertere Reference Tonearm & RG-1 & Record Player
FM Acoustics FM-122 MkII Phono Linearizer
Naim Audio Statement Pre and Mono Power Amplification
All connected by Vertere Absolute Reference Pulse-HB Cable system
A second system will also be setup featuring the Vertere MG-1/SG-1 Record Player/Tonearm combination.
Touraj Moghaddam of Vertere and Mile Showell of Abbey Road Studios will conduct the presentation and the demonstrations.
Special Test Pressings, Acetates plus new and old production records will be used to explain and reveal the different mastering and cutting techniques used.
A true insight into the world of recorded music and vinyl playback – looking at its past and its future.
At KJ West One, 4th March 2016, 17:00 – 22:00 +
Last month Hifi Pig announced the arrival of the new VC-S Record Cleaning Machine from Pro-ject and today Henely Designs, the UK distributor for Pro-Ject, got in touch to let us know the device is now in the UK.
The UK price for the VC-S will be just £299 making it pretty competitive for anyone looking to safeguard their vinyl collection and cartridge. The company have also released a set up video to explain the RCM in use.
Expect a review from Hifi Pig shortly.
The Pro-Ject Essential II Demon is the latest collaboration between Pro-Ject Audio Systems and the famous Austrian DJ and producer Parov Stelar.
The company says that Parov Stelar and Pro-Ject Audio Systems share the love and passion for music and so moved to cooperate in creating a third special turntable, that shows “Parov Stelar design”.
Get the whole story at GadgetyNews.com
Graham Slee has just released a new flagship phono stage (we’ve been using their Elevator EXP MC Step-up Amplifier and Reflex XM phono stage to excellent effect for some time). Called the Accession, it’s a moving magnet sensitivity device with a new take on equalisation and many useful features for the serious vinyl enthusiast.
Firstly it doesn’t do RIAA equalisation like any other phono stage – it does it quite differently. It recognises that magnetic cartridges have what’s called a constant velocity output. In other words their output isn’t flat like most people think – it rises at 6db per octave – and so the cartridge plays its own frequency response as well as playing the record’s frequency response.
The Accession does the RIAA EQ by first equalising the cartridge, then equalising the record, which makes sense seeing these two things came about at different times. Part of the EQ is being caused at the very moment the record is in play (by the cartridge). The other part of the EQ happened at the cutting lathe (many years before??).
Over 99% of phono stages work by equalising the combination of both curves as if the record was recorded with that. No matter how it’s achieved it leads to some interaction of filter slopes requiring “empirical tuning”. With the Accession there is no interaction – calculated values result in the correct response.
It also means that the records own EQ can be switched off using its “Flat/CA” switch to give a constant amplitude response, and so the user can use software EQ reconstruction when digitising via a digital to analogue converter. It also means that acoustic records will be reproduced as flat as they were cut.
Not only that, but as well as having RIAA record equalisation, it also has two other EQ settings: “British” for FFRR LPs and EPs; and “American” for NAB equalised records – great for older mono vinyls. Two front panel switches provide these functions and a third front panel switch selects stereo or mono (left-right sum).
Volume Control & Two Outputs
There are two outputs, one which is fixed level and the other which is via the Accession’s volume (or level) control.
This gives the user the ability to record or digitise (via an ADC) from one output whilst listening on the other. The volume control can be used to set just the right level for an ADC to prevent clipping, or to adjust the signal on quiet records.
But its other use could be for a frugal vinyl only system where the Accession will oblige by driving a power amp straight from its volume controlled output. The fixed level output can be used to supply a headphone amplifier. Graham Slee HiFi System Components can also supply suitable power amps: the Proprius monoblocks; and has a choice of headphone amplifiers.
But this isn’t all. Four capacitive load settings allow for fine tuning so you can extract the best quality sound from your cartridge.
Combine the Accession with Graham Slee’s Elevator EXP step up amplifier and all of its features are available to moving coil cartridges. The Accession is only supplied with Graham Slee’s best power supply, the PSU1, so it automatically performs to the maximum.
The Accession costs £800 and is available with either black or silver casing from Graham Slee whose ads you will find on this site.
|Input and output connectors||360° shielded RCA/phono sockets, hard gold plated|
|Input sensitivity range||1.6mV to 7.2mV (recommended)|
|Output range (for above inputs)||190mV to 857mV|
|Maximum input||35mV rms|
|Maximum output||5.2V rms|
|Gain||41.5dB (119) at 1kHz|
|Input impedance||47k Ohms plus: 100pF / 220pf / 320pf / out|
|Output impedance (driving impedance)||750 Ohm fixed / 470 Ohm variable (will drive 10k Ohms and above)|
|Noise at output||-66dB Quasi-peak 20Hz to 20kHz|
|Distortion||typically 0.01% 20Hz to 20kHz|
|RIAA accuracy||± 0.3dB|
|Frequency response||<20Hz – 45kHz (-3dB corrected to RIAA)|
|Power supply||remotely powered using PSU1 linear power supply|
|Size (approx.)||W: 107 x H: 50 x D: 195 (mm) inc. jacks|
Pro-Ject Audio Systems announces the release of a new, extremely powerful, wet record cleaning machine that removes dirt and dust from your valuable vinyl.
Pro-Ject say that the new record cleaning machine is super powerful and cleans a record in 1 to 2 rotations with the best results come from 1 turn forward, 1 turn backward. It turns the record very fast (2 seconds per rotation) “about 3 times faster than other cleaning machines do”.
- A robust easy-to-use metal arm with mechanically stable fixing that doesn´t use springs.
- A new type of clamp protects the record label from the cleaning fluid and avoids damage of the label. Because the record does not touch the platter, it will not have direct contact with dirty surfaces.
- A big container (2.5 litre) for used fluid which shows fill capacity and guarantees no spillage of used cleaning fluid. Discharging used fluid is extremely easy.
- Newly developed vinyl cleaning concentrate ´Wash it´ for vinyl and ´Wash it 78´ for shellac records.´ Note: ´Wash it´ is optimised for cleaning standard vinyl records. It is not usable with 78 rpm shellacs. For shellacs, Pro-Ject offer the optional special fluid ´Wash it 78´.
Conventional cleaning machines consist of the rotational platter (we do not have one) and vacuum arm with a vacuum cleaner motor. The record can rotate very fast in both directions. Cleaning liquid is applied to the record and consequently spread out by brush. Then the cleaning liquid with all the dissolved impurities is evacuated by the vacuum arm. The vacuum arm is connected to an air/water separator tank. This tank protects the vacuum cleaner motor against the residue of the cleaning liquid and dry air is blown out. The vacuum arm is equipped with two brushes which are self adhesively stacked beside the groove in the vacuum arm. When vacuum suction is applied, the record attaches to these brushes.
Vinyl Cleaner VC-S SRP € 449 (includes accessory kit)
Korean company Nasotec Corporation recently got in touch with Hifi Pig to introduce us to their Swing Headshell that looks pretty interesting for all you vinylistas.
This ‘Swing Headshell’ has a very soft and flexible joint designed to make your cartridge always align with the tangent of the groove circle. The joint precisely machined joint has small miniature bearing inside making the “swing” of the headshell very smooth and sensitive which Nasotec say will ensure the stylus keeps delicate and unbiased groove tracking.
Nasotec say that the Swing Headshell will reduce tracking angle error when installed properly and should give a better sound quality than fixed headshells.
The company also claims that most of the vibration from the cartridge will be dissipated at the joint and should reduce arm resonances.
In effect Nasotec say that the Swing Headshell acts almost as if it were another, and very short, tonearm and will offer up a more stable stereo image than fixed headshell cartridges.
The company y also say that adding the Swing Headshell to your arm will extend the life of your stylus.
The Swing Headshell is available in three different styles to suit different tonearm and cartridge set ups and costs from $295 to $335.
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. More »