Last week’s Stu’s Views blathered on about how much a pain in the fundament vinyl records can be to the avid collector, and the response to it was really phenomenal – we got messages from all over the world and the article prompted one chap in South Africa to put pen to paper (actually, fingers to keyboard) and share his lifelong love affair with records going right back to the days of shellac 78s. Obviously, I’m FAR too short of tooth to remember those kinds of things. More »

Following the launch of their premium Bluetooth turntable last year, Elipson has announced the introduction of its new flagship deck, The Omega Carbon Black. Based on the Omega 100, this new Carbon Black version features a number of enhancements. More »

Pro-Ject make a huge range of turntables to suit pretty much all pockets. Today Ian Ringstead takes a listen to the £1400 Pro-ject 6 Perspex SB Turntable Package. More »

Keith Monks Audio is celebrating the record UK sales of vinyl with the launch of two new Record Cleaning machines – the new discOvery Redux and the new discOvery microLight. More »

Goldring is starting to ship its new E Series Moving Magnet cartridges which, they say, are “a range of high performance, premium quality, British designed products for the resurgent turntable market”. More »

Good friend of Hifi Pig, Mat Weisfeld, of VPI got in touch to tell us about their new, entry level turntable, the Cliffwood: “For 40 years we have built turntables in American and kept it in the VPI family.  For almost 30 of those years we have built our turntables in Cliffwood, New Jersey”. More »

The AudioWorks will be exhibiting at the North West Audio Show, showcasing a system never before seen in the UK. More »

AVID Hifi, the UK based high end hifi manufacturer, unveiled their new tonearms at High End Munich 2017. This is their next step towards “a complete AVID system”. More »

Gold Note are a well known for their very high end products but here Janine Elliot takes a listen to their €195 and €350 moving magnet cartridges. More »

Hifi Pig Advertising Promotion

Hifi Pig brings you a series of promotional articles about our Great British Brands exhibiting at High End Munich 2017. We let them tell you all about their philosophy and products.

Munich 2017 – the reveal. This Munich sees Funk at its most ambitious. There, not just one but two new arms will be on show. More »

Black Rhodium used the 2017 Stylus show in Manchester to launch the two new high end Tone Arm cables. These join the Stylus and Stylus VS-2 Tone Arm cables to enable Black Rhodium to offer a choice of Tone Arm DIN terminated cables to high end turntable users. 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.
More »

roksponsmallPro-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…”project_classic_turntable_munich

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.PJ-Phono-TheClassic-Eucalyptus-Silver-Cover (1)s

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.

A variety of counterweights will be available for The Classic, supporting cartridges up to 25g. The Classic Tonearm will also be available for sale separately in the future.PJ-Phono-TheClassic-Eucalyptus-Silvers

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.

SRP £799.00
The Pro-Ject Classic will be available in the UK from June 2016.

Technical Information
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
Overhang: 18mm
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)

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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.  Alice Cooper MT5

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 for more information.


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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.Clearaudio Statement v2 - 1

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.

Technical specifications

ConstructionStainless steel, aluminium, acrylic and bullet-proof wood
Speed ranges33⅓, 45 & 78 rpm
Drive unitNon-contact magnetic drive system
BearingClearaudio patented magnetic bearing technology
Platter98 mm / 3.86 inch main platter
Speed accuracy (measured)Less than ± 0.03% variation
Power consumptionMax. consumption: 19 Watt

Consumption in operation: 8 Watt

Off-mode (main switch in ‘0’ position): 0 Watt

Total weightApprox. 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

Warranty10 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.hana.all4 carts (1)

“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.”

Read the full review here. 


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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.

Based on the same “teardrop” chassis as its predecessor, the RPM 9.2 Evolution, but boasts similar improvements to the range’s flagship. PJ-Phono-RPM9Carbon

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.

SRP £1,500.00

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.PJ-Phono-RPM10Carbon

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.

SRP £2,300.00

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*


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Pro-Ject are set to take their own traditional design, and completely revolutionise it to accommodate the ever-growing number of vinyl listeners.Project_digital_turntable

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.

SRP £309.00

The Pro-Ject Essential II DIGITAL will be available in the UK from June 2015.


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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 fitbearings 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.”

Read the full story here.


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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 Timestep SME 10-D front (1)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


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