Flexson, specialist in accessories for SONOS, has launched VinylPlay – a turntable for the digital vinyl_Playmusic age. With vinyl sales growing as fast as music streaming, VinylPlay gives music fans a best-of-both-worlds solution: a record player that’s easy to use and can be simply integrated into a modern streaming system.

Key features of VinylPlay – a fresh spin for SONOS:
• Play, archive and stream your records
• Looks good; sounds great
• Set up in seconds; enjoy music in minutes
• Just add powered speakers for instant music system
• Pair with SONOS to stream records around your house
• Make back-up, digital copies of records
• Made in the UK
• Sleek monochrome styling; protective lid
• Plays singles and albums; 33 & 45rpm speeds

“Until now, digital turntables have either been cheap ‘USB’ decks that sound poor and can ruin your records, or ‘audiophile’ turntables that are typically pricey, fiddly to set up and look out of place in a modern home,” says David Cain, Flexson sales and marketing manager. “We set out to design something better: a digital, SONOS-friendly turntable that offers superb sound quality, but is easy to use and easy on the eye,” he adds.

VinylPlay allows users to easily enjoy vinyl alongside other music formats. Its integrated analogue-to-digital converter makes it simple to connect up to a wide range of modern music systems, from active/powered speakers to hi-fi/AV systems and SONOS (straight into a SONOS PLAY:5 speaker, or via SONOS CONNECT). You can also connect it to a computer to archive digital copies of your precious records.

Suggested UK retail pricing is £329; Euro SRP is €449. US $ pricing is TBC.

 

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VPI Industries have announced the introduction of the Nomad vinyl playback system.nomadtv-1

The Nomad is comprised of a 10-inch aluminum tonearm, and 20-pound plinth and platter assembly borrowed from VPI’s Traveler turntable, a pair of Grado headphones and a pre-installed Ortofon 2M Red phono cartridge.The Nomad also has an onboard phono pre-amplifier and headphone amplifier which VPI say are designed to maximize both the sound quality and modular design of the upgradeable system.

Designed to work with existing systems that might not otherwise have a turntable and phono pre-amplifier, The Nomad is designed for people whose primary system is a home theater A/V receiver, sound bar or a tabletop wireless system with a pair of analog inputs.

Mat Weisfeld, President of VPI Industries noted:  “The Nomad is a direct response to the double-digit sales growth over the past five years of new vinyl in both the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. The tonearm takes advantage of the technology in our award-winning Traveler turntable and its gimbaled tonearm.”

“The Nomad is a radical departure for VPI — even with the success of our entry-level Traveler turntable that opened our eyes to the demand for affordable high-end turntables among the 25-35 year-old demographic. The explosive growth of personal audio and the growing demand among consumers for premium headphones, convinced us that there was a need for a portable high-quality entry-level analog playback system that could work easily in college dorms, apartments, offices, and even vacation homes.”

The Nomad Vinyl Playback System will be available for sale in Q1 2014  and with a MSRP: $995.00

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Surrey based Audio Reference got in touch with Hifi Pig to let us know they will now be representing and distributing Grand_Referenz_MørchAmazon Audio turntables and Mørch tonearms in the UK.

Frankfurt-based Amazon Audio offers five turntable models including the entry level Amazon 2 with the range moving up through the Amazon 1, Referenz and Grand Referenz to the flagship First Choice turntable first introduced at the Munich High-End Show.

Mørch tonearms come in 4 effective masses, 9 or 12 inches, and with 2 types of headshell and all tonearm parameters are adjustable.

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Clearaudio’s recently appointed UK distributor Sound Fowndations is pleased to announce the release of the new Performance_DC_blackPerformance DC turntable. 

The Performance DC integrates a high-torque, smooth and quiet DC motor into the chassis.The motor is similar to that used in Clearaudio’s high-end Ovation and Innovation series turntables and is said to provide great speed stability and ease-of use with start, stop and speed selection controlled by the touch of one of four illuminated buttons situated on the plinth.

The main chassis consists of a sandwich of aluminium / highly compressed wood fibre / aluminium – designed to effectively deaden resonances with the turntable.

A new 40mm thick black POM platter provides the mechanical interface with the record and rests on Clearaudio’s patented ceramic magnetic bearing (CMB) which, by using a magnetic field to effectively float the bearing on air, reduces friction, wear and noise by avoiding any point of load.

The turntable can be complimented with Clearaudio’s Clarify tonearm which features a woven carbon fibre arm tube and a magnetic bearing which eliminates bearing noise entirely. The Clarify tonearm is fully adjustable providing fine-tuning of VTA, azimuth, magnetically applied anti-skating as well as accurate setting of the cartridge tracking weight by virtue of its micrometer-style counterweight adjustment.

Completing the package is the Clearaudio Virtuoso v2 MM cartridge.

Partnered with Clearaudio’s Clarify carbon tonearm and Virtuoso V2 MM cartridge, the Performance DC offers a complete solution to the audiophile.

 

 

Price is £2495

 

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Goldnote is an Italian High-End audio manufacturer based in Florence, Italy. They have announced their latest Goldnote_Bellagio_turntableturntable, the Bellagio Conquest and at €48 000 it’s set to turn a few heads.

The Bellagio is a high mass (165Kilos) floorstanding turntable with a 270mm platter spindle and a fully adjustable high torque motor. The spindle is made from carbon steel whist the turntable’s bearing is made of polished bronze with tolerances of 1/100mm. The torque of the motor can be adjusted which Goldnote say can change the musical character of the turntable – all this can be done by the remote control unit.

To maximise stiffness and resonance feedback the Bellagio uses thirteen curved plinths which are interfaced with titanium spacers and joined to each other with solid block aluminium uprights.

 

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McIntosh Laboratory has launched their new MT5 turntable. Crafted using the knowledge gained from the MT5+Low+Anglecompany’s flagship MT10 turntable, the new MT5 sets out to offer an alternative vinyl playback system at a significantly lower price to the MT10.

The new MT5 is supplied factory-adjusted: tracking force, anti-skate, cartridge overhang and arm height are all preset so set up should be a doddle. The MT5 comes complete with a high-mass platter and motor drive assembly, tonearm, and a high-output Sumiko Blue Point 2 (BP2) moving coil cartridge, which is also compatible with moving magnet inputs.

The MT5 features a magnetically suspended silicone-acrylic platter, supported by a precise belt-drive motor. Gracing the MT5 is a highly rigid, custom-designed Dural-Aluminium tone arm which McIntosh say “tracks vinyl with minimum friction using magnetic anti-skate and horizontal tone arm bearings”. 

The three playback speeds include 33 rpm, 45 rpm and 78 rpm, all with a separate trim adjustment. 

The MT5 sells for £7,495 and is available now.

 

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Hifi Pig thought this was an interesting audiophile item on the business start-up funding site Kickstarter. It’s for a fullyThe Orbit manual, belt-drive turntable called The Orbit which the people behind the project say is a turntable of “engineering and playback quality never before seen at the entry-level”.

The turntable doesn’t have any gimmicks with the company prioritising the ability for it to play music.

Interestingly the tonearm fitted to The Orbit forgoes gimbal bearings and uses a“unipivot-style” tonearm which comes factory fitted with an Ortofon moving magnet cartridge.

The Motor on The Orbit is a 24V AC synchronous model which is decoupled from the plinth by a “unique rubber suspension system”. The platter rides upon an inverted main bearing that has been optimized for the platter’s centre of gravity and the plinth uses CNC cut MDF which is supported on SBR rubber feet.

A pledge of $150 got you the basic turntable whilst a pledge of $250 secured the turntable in Kickstarter green with an upgraded acrylic platter. For those who pledged $500 there was the funky looking Orbit Renaissance which had been hand painted by the company’s resident artist.

It’s clearly been a huge success for U-Turn Audio, the company behind the project, as their $60 000 target has attracted 1133 backers and raised $233 940.Sadly the project now appears to be closed.

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Origin Live have announce the upgrade of their MK 2 turntables to MK3 after over 5 years. The new turntables look OLpretty much the same as the old ones but have “significant performance improvements”.

Improved features over previous MK2 models are:

New type of Acrylic platter material with reduced internal stresses.
Increased thickness of platter due to changes in overall design.
New Bearing hub designed for faster energy transmission.
Lower friction bearing.
Increased size of plinth for improved aesthetics and stability.
Improved power supply.
New belt Material now hand made.
Quieter motor from additional pod damping.
The Aurora MK3 now includes the upgrade platter mat.

Aurora MK3  £999
Calypso MK3 £1690
Resolution MK3 £2570
Sovereign MK3 £4770

It is not possible to upgrade MK1 or MK2 decks to the new specification as so many parts have changed.

 

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The Proscenium Black Diamond V follows on from Walker’s previous incarnation of the PBD turntable and features Walkerimprovements to the air supply, record clamp and motor base assembly. In addition, a specially-treated, fine-grained crystalline material, that “reduces static build-up and cancels the effect of virtually all EMI, RFI and microwaves”, is employed at strategic locations in the turntable’s operation.

The PBD V turntable is said to be friction-free due to the air-bearing arm and platter, resonance-free due to its adjustable air suspension and electrical-noise-free due to the use of the crystalline material mentioned above.

 

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In early December we announced news that Avid Hifi were to launch a new turntable  – the INGENIUM. Today they have 27aconfirmed the launch of the range of turntables which become their new entry-level product.

Ingenium shares the design philosophy of Avid’s more expensive designs, has “true engineered audiophile quality, utilises key elements of the Diva II and has an exposed minimal design that achieves new standards of style and excellence.”

Avid’s unique sapphire bearing and platter has been retained from the Diva II, with the option of using the company’s unique clamping system, which channels unwanted vibrations away from both the record and platter. The main chassis to which the bearing and arm are rigidly coupled is machined from two and a half inch solid aluminum and allows them to offer different arm fitting options to suit customer’s demands.

Ingenium’s basic package comes complete with a carbon fibre tonearm. Optional models offer standard 9″ SME fitting, 12″ SME fitting and also twin arm options. Other combinations and arm fitting are available upon request. Avid Hifi have employed the same optimised elastomer used in the Diva II giving “excellent mechanical isolation of the playing surface” and using a powerful mains powered motor giving stability and “the huge dynamic sound that is instantly recognisable as Avid.”

The INGENIUM is available now with a UK retail price starting from £800.00

 

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Avid Hifi, the UK based high-end hifi manufacturer have announced plans to launch an entry level turntable which will beavid known as the Ingenium.

Full details are scant at the moment but the Ingenium turntable is expected to be available for around half the cost of their Diva II -so around £800.

A solid alluminium bar forms the main chassis allowing for 9″, 12″ or even two tonearm options. A base model will include the Project carbon arm along with 9″ and 12″ SME options. The platter will come straight from the Diva II as will the the sapphire bearing and the sorthobane isolation feet.

It looks an impressive bit of kit and will be available for order very soon.

 

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Audio Suspension based in Brighton, UK are the latest company to launch contemporary hi-fi support systems, but they are taking a different approach to others we have recently run news items about. Audio Suspension have launched a wall-mount shelf, the ASU-100. The system has been designed to provide isolation from unwanted resonance, whilst offering a highly attractive platform to support turntables and other sensitive hi-fi products.

The ASU-100 is hand-made in Sussex and is the first product in a new line from Audio Suspension, is built from  20mm acrylic, will support up to 25Kg depending on fixings and is suitable for equipment up to 470mm x 420mm.

The ASU-100 is securely anchored to internal walls using two polished-chrome shelf supports faced with silicone-rubber to help damping at the connection point. Two front-mounted 1.5mm steel-wire cables offer further support and scope for leveling, and are secured by polished-chrome Posi-Lock supports.

Price is £250

 

 

Austrian manufacturer Pro-Ject Audio have announced that they have received “Best Product 2012 – 2013 ‘Turntable’” EISA award for their Debut Carbon turntable.

The Debut Carbon combines traditional technologies with modern materials and modern design at a low price.

It is available in different colours and various equipment levels from € 299.00. The USB Phono version is equipped with a phono-stage with USB port, which allows the digitalisation of vinyl directly on a computer.

Pro-Ject Audio Systems was founded by Heinz Lichtenegger 1990 in Vienna, with the idea that analogue playback is the most cost-effective way to listen to music of audiophile quality. Their products are exported in close to 80 countries worldwide and produce more than 15 different models.

Technical Spec’ for the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon

  • 8.6″ one-piece carbon fibre tonearm.
  • Sorbothane-damped counterweight.
  • Two isolation ‘feet’ made from sorbothane, used to decouple the motor from the plinth.
  • 12″ platter.
  • Junction box installed, allowing for the easy upgrade of turntable interconnects.
  • New power supply.
  • Ortofon 2m Red pre-installed.

 

PTP is a Netherlands based manufacturer owned by Peter Reinders.

PTP Audio’s new Solid9 and Solid12 turntables bring the idler drive renaissance to a wider market.
“PTP Audio knows idlers can sound fantastic, but at the same time we also know about the disadvantages a 40 year old machine can have. Our solution is truly unique: We take the drive system from a vintage Lenco, restore it to its former glory, and combine it with the best modern technology has to offer. All Solid9 and Solid12 turntables are made to order, available in a wide range of colours and assembled by hand.”

We hope to review one of their turntables very soon.

 

Despite the title of the press release reminding me of a particular Not the Nine o’Colock news sketch, this new turntable really caught Hifi Pig’s eye. The beast in question is from Hartvig Audio and they have launched “a new high-end gramophone”  handcrafted in Denmark and which will get its will get its first outing at the High End show in May at Munich 2012.  Hartvig say the new turntable will bring “recorded music alive – it is pure sound with soul.”

After many years of passion for hi-fi, Danish Soeren Hartvig set his heart on building a first quality turntable. “I dreamed about a turntable which would bring recorded music alive in my own living room.” More »

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