Vinyl is the music format that simply will not go away. And we’re very glad of that truth. However what good is loving vinyl with out a having an honest turntable to play it on?
As we have a good time British Hi-Fi Week, we have taken a visit down reminiscence lane to admire a few of the finest report gamers from British audio corporations to have handed by our check rooms.
We have been reviewing audio gear for the final 44 years, so whereas some corporations are nonetheless going robust, others are sadly not with us. Regardless, all of those report gamers are sensible examples of British audio engineering that properly and actually stand the check of time.
Linn LP12 (1973)
And we’re beginning with among the best, bar none. Linn’s LP12 turntable was first launched in 1972 and instantly proved well-liked with audiophiles. The vary of appropriate arms and cartridges the corporate made meant protecting this vinyl participant up-to-date was satisfyingly simple. Nearly each side of the design has been revised through the years, and whereas the early breed of the LP12s had a spherical and wealthy stability, trendy incarnations have moved in direction of a extra impartial, even-handed sound. All of them have been agency What Hello-Fi? favourites.
Rega Planar 3 (1978)
Since its introduction in 1978, the Rega Planar 3 has been a go-to turntable (and its newest incarnation stalked off with a What Hello-Fi? award in 2019 – after which retained it for 2020). A decent mid-market report participant, the Planar Three stays an easy-going, low-cost piece of equipment that continues to maintain our vinyl spinning – and for the reason that firm retains refining the product, we think about it will keep that approach for some time but.
Michell Gyrodec (1982)
In 1982 the Gyrodec was a mixture of nice sound high quality and creative design. Deliver the clock updated and this participant continues to be out there – it is a testomony to its high quality that it is basically the identical machine.
When it is up and working it sounds detailed, expressive and swish, able to put down different merchandise costing loads extra. It is not plug-and-play – some meeting is required – however the directions are clear, and there is a logic to its design meaning it will be spinning your discs very quickly. And when it’s spinning, there’s nothing that appears fairly prefer it.
Ariston Q-Deck (1990)
Ariston maybe grew to become finest identified for the patent case, Ariston vs. Linn, over the thorny concern of the similarities between the Linn LP12 and the Ariston RD11. The patent was opposed nevertheless it led to the 2 corporations placing out anew on their very own. Each turned out a succession of fantastic report gamers, with Linn in fact nonetheless going robust to at the present time. We had been followers of the Ariston RD40, RD80 and this, the inexpensive Q-Deck, as featured on this April 1990 round-up.
Systemdek IIX (1990)
The Systemdek IIX grew to become our Product of the Yr in 1990, and it held that place for the following two years. It’s rightly regarded by many as one of many most interesting turntables ever produced – and absolutely the best to return out of Troon, Scotland. The report participant’s sound high quality rose properly above that of its closest rivals – timing was assured and music sounded tuneful and easy-flowing – because of a collection of revolutionary design options, equivalent to a three-point sprung chassis.
Pink Triangle Tarantella (1997)
The primary time we heard this turntable, we awarded it a dismal two stars. We had been unable to get vinyl turning steadily at 33rpm which, we’re certain you will agree, is a little bit of a drawback in terms of enjoying LPs. However Pink Triangle introduced the deck again to us with all issues solved – and we had been thrilled to listen to the Tarantella’s open sound and refreshingly clear dynamics. Though the Pink Triangle firm closed in 2003, there is not any doubt the London producer’s legacy lives on.
Wilson Benesch Full Circle (2001)
Wilson Benesch was based in 1989 in Sheffield and set itself other than the group through the use of carbon fibre. The Full Circle was the “pinnacle of the corporate’s artwork”, as we referred to it on this 2001 piece, and used the corporate’s carbon fibre suspension method. The sonic outcome was a exact, spacious sound full with a clean treble and full bass.
Vertere DG-1 Dynamic Groove (2019)
This £2750 ‘plug and play’ deck acquired its debut on the Excessive Finish 2019 present in Munich. Previous to that, the corporate’s turntable vary had sometimes targeted on the high-end of the market, with flagship deck/arm combos retailing for premium automotive cash.
The considerably cheaper price level right here meant that the corporate couldn’t simply re-use the engineering options in its current merchandise and discover the associated fee financial savings the place wanted. As an alternative, Vertere took a recent ground-up design strategy to realize what it thought had been the perfect options for the worth. Regardless of the DG-1’s extrovert design, it’s the arm that basically grabbed our consideration. Reasonably than utilizing a standard cylindrical arm tube (which supplies rigidity however can be vulnerable to resonances) the DG-1’s arm is fabricated from a flat, triple-layered, aluminium alloy/polymer sandwich. Its bearings are uncommon too, discarding conventional metallic designs for twisted nylon threads. Even the wiring is unconventional, utilizing a gold-plated versatile PCB quite than normal cables.
Did it work out? You might say that. Upon handing the DG-1 a What Hello-Fi? 2020 award, we concluded, “This Vertere is now the one to beat at this stage”.
Roksan Xerxes 20 (2006)
It’s best to by no means choose a e-book by its cowl, and the identical could be stated for turntables. The Roksan Xerxes 20 appears to be your standard, run-of-the-mill wooden-box turntable, however it’s filled with intelligent engineering.
A motor that activates its axis to compensate for torque fluctuations, a bearing designed to minimise noise, and rubber suspension tuned to dampen particular frequencies are simply a few of the little tips Roksan’s engineers constructed into this participant. They usually labored. The Xerxes 20 acquired all of the necessities proper – it is a participant with first-class dynamics, and distinctive timing and rhythm.
Rega Planar 8 (2019)
We end our checklist with yet one more glorious Rega Analysis turntable. The Essex specialist has been delivering five-star merchandise since its inception in 1973, and helped just a few different manufacturers with tonearms and report gamers alongside the way in which. Up to date variations of its traditional Planar 1, 2, 3 (see above), 6… we might go on… have continued an arguably unmatched dynasty of nice decks.
However we love the newest Rega Planar Eight for doing one thing just a little completely different and nonetheless delivering top-quality efficiency. There is a new primary bearing meeting, a brand new three-piece platter, a brand new tonearm, and a brand new look that’s like nothing else round. The sound? Gorgeous and maybe unrivalled.