Despite the launch of the compact disc more than four decades ago and the availability of downloads, people continue to enjoy analog records—LP’s. The alluring, and many say unmatched, sound quality, along with the tactile nature of vinyl and the huge catalog of affordable titles are drawing many back to LPs.
We carry many turntables including the Rega models, the industry’s affordable reference. For the very best LP playback, we recommend Clearaudio or Brinkmann. To experience the difference between the various turntable options, we have a system setup with multiple tables connected. We simply move the LP from table to table and you can hear the differences.
Whatever turntable you select, we’ll help you match the right phono cartridge and phono stage, and optimize overall alignment and setup, to make sure you’re getting the best performance from your treasured vinyl records. We optimize overall alignment and setup for every turntable that we sell. We use very sophisticated tools and software along with years of experience so we can maximize performance.
Let me tell you about some of the turntable manufactures we carry.
Have a look at the pictures and logos listed below and you will know that you can find many of the best brands in the world.
At Clearaudio they merge technology, workmanship, and design to make the best possible music reproduction. All development, design, and production remain firmly in the hands of a perfectly experienced and skilled team of specialists who never lose sight of that goal, and who uphold the Clearaudio philosophy and high quality standards.
From the tiniest part to the full audiophile “Gesamtkunstwerk” (a complete work of art that draws on many art forms), everything is meticulously made by hand—with maximum precision and plenty of passion. Precision-crafted mechanics and the use of components fine-tuned for density, mass and shape guarantee mechanical harmony and the absence of resonance when playing LP’s.
The ingredients are high-density multi-layered wood, titanium, stainless steel V2A, aluminum and specially developed high-performance plastics. Two parameters are of critical importance: maximum performance of music playback and technically effective design, as well as the aesthetic beauty of their creations.
The concept turntable is an excellent introduction to the Clearaudio line. Its modern styling and exceptional performance make this a turntable with tremendous value. We typically equip this ‘table with the Clearaudio Satisfy Kardan arm which provides a substantial upgrade to the regular Verify arm.
This turntable offers performance that truly gets you into the “audiophile” world.
The Performance DC is a complete package designed to open up the high-end listening experience to music lovers who simply seek the best in music reproduction. Excellent tracking properties and hyper-accurate speed synchronization ensure the ultimate listening pleasure.
The Innovation Compact turntable with its very efficient design is nothing less than an audiophile revelation. Thanks to optical speed control (OSC), speed stability values are obtained that lift this turntable into the global high-end class.
Perfectly matched materials meet patented Clearaudio technology. The 70mm-thick platter of the Innovation Compact consists of dynamically balanced polyoxymethylene (POM) and is powered by a high-torque DC motor with precision bearings, developed exclusively for Clearaudio.
The optimally designed chassis keeps resonances out of the audible range and guarantees maximum stability in a housing made of a massive panzerholz (bulletproof wood) and aluminum sandwich. Timeless design with quality built to last for decades. The option to mount a second tonearm makes it possible to play a rich variety of music from across the decades.
Cartridges play a critical role in that they trace the miniscule vibrations from the record grooves and turn them into electrical output. How it does that can be broadly described by type: moving magnet (MM) and moving coil (MC). Each type has advantages and disadvantages. MM cartridges are generally more affordable and track the grooves very well. MC cartridges are generally more detailed with “air” and “space” around instruments in the recording. We recently installed and Benz Micro Ruby ZL MC cartridge on a Brinkmann Bardo turntable. The results were stunning! Here are some of the main lines we are carrying.
Founded by original designer Ernst Benz in the 1980’s, Benz-Micro earned recognition throughout the world as one the top cartridge manufacturing companies. In 1994 Albert Lukaschek took over and carried on the tradition of making cartridges that are sweet and musically engaging. We have a Reference “S” of our Brinkman Bardo Performance turntable in the “Concert Hall” here at Pulsworks.
Lyra’s exquisite phono cartridges are the beautiful result of a collaboration between a remarkable trio: Jonathan Carr, the American conceptualizer and designer, Yoshinori Mishima, the Japanese master-craftsman whose watchful eye ensures state-of-the-art manufacturing and assembly, and Norwegian StigBjorge, the business head, who ties the enterprise together. All three share an intense passion for audio and are fanatical about creating and producing the most advanced possible phono cartridges. This Tokyo-based team not only lives on the frontier of design and manufacturing, they are constantly moving that frontier forward.
Lyra’s mission is to create long lasting products that combine original thinking, advanced engineering, and ideal materials application. Lyra’s cartridges are built 100% from the ground up in Japan, with the artisanal craftsmanship that Japan is revered for. The result is a family of transducers that extract an unprecedented level of revealed texture, transparency, and dynamic contrast from an analog music collection, ensuring maximum immersion and emotional involvement in the music.
With its special Japanese character and meaning, “華”, Hana moving coil cartridges deliver the most “Brilliant and Gorgeous” performance for vinyl music lovers and audiophiles. This HANA sound comes from superb design, engineering excellence, and decades of experience by Masao Okada, the cartridge design Master and his team.
From the grassroots beginnings of being hand-built on a kitchen table in 1953 to still being hand-built by the Grado family in Brooklyn today, these are what started it all. Ranging from entry-level to gold, sapphire, and diamond nestled inside cocobolo wood, your turntable is only as good as your cartridge.
The easiest way to enter the analog world is with the Prestige Series 3cartridges. These entry-level cartridges punch above their weight class.
Vinyl record playback is an exceedingly delicate and massively complex undertaking. The undulations in the record’s groove are so miniscule that even loud music passages produce less than a millivolt of signal. Most importantly, in addition to producing only tiny amounts of voltage, tracing these grooves produces all sorts of unwanted vibrations. These vibrations add a layer of noise over the already miniscule and fragile signal. As good as the cartridge is at tracing groove undulations (more or less accurately), it unfortunately also tends to convert all sorts of other external influencers such as motor and bearing noise into electrical voltage as well. As records are cut at precisely 33 1/3 revolutions per minute, they therefore must also be played back at exactly the same speed; otherwise pitch will be off. This explains the most important requirements for proper playback:
- Accurate and consistent speed.
- Gentle groove tracing.
- High level of immunity from external and internal vibrations.
- Ultimate quietness and low friction of platter and tonearm bearings.
All is easier said than done precisely because the groove’s undulations are so miniscule in size. With Brinkmann, each and every component is optimized to work in synergy, and so the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
This picture shows the standard model Bardo with the magnetic motor drive. The tonearm base of the Bardo can be rotated and fixed without play to allow a simple and precise tonearm adjustment for all tonearms between 9” and 12”. Brinkmann will drill the base according to the tonearm that the you may choose.
The output termination is mounted on the back of the turntable and can be equipped with RCA or XLR jacks. It is also possible to install tonearms with DIN connectors or fixed cables.
The two possible speeds, 33 1/3 and 45 rpm, are selectable by a switch at the front of the turntable and can be fine adjusted via two screwdriver holes that are located next to the switch.
The Bardo has a magnetic direct drive motor that was developed by Helmut Brinkmann and is produced right in their factory. There is only one bearing for the motor and the platter. A circular magnet is mounted into the bearing of the platter and is concentrically driven into rotation via coils on the circuit board under the magnet. An electronic circuit drives the coils via two magnetically sensitive resistors that react to the magnetic fields into a highly constant and slow circular movement.
Many direct drive turntables were built for studios and radio stations where it was necessary to have very quick start-up times of less than a second which was achieved with high torque motors that speed up and stop the motor very rapidly. This caused heavy cogging effects accompanied by high wow & flutter numbers.
To avoid this, Brinkmann developed a proprietary motor control that transfers just enough energy to the motor for it to remain at constant speed. The motor’s stator consists of four specially designed field coils, which are mounted concentrically with high precision around the platter bearing. Based on listening sessions, they decided to forgo the typical 90-degree mounting angle in favor of a non-standard 22.5-degree alignment, which, due to the magnetic fields overlapping, further reduced cogging. The motor’s rotor also acts as the sub-platter and carries a magnetic ring with eight poles on its underside. Inside the motor, the rpm of a speedometer disc is measured and turned into variable voltage that is fed into a control circuit where the rpm is compared to the reference voltage that is adjustable via the trim pots. The motor circuit is kept under current all the time, just the speed is switched to zero, 33, or 45. In this way, the bearing is kept warm by the quiescent current of the motor drive.
For those who are interested, there is more information about the magnetic direct drive motor for the Oasis and Bardo turntables in a white paper about the Oasis. https://www.brinkmann-audio.de/inhalt/en/whitepaper/oasis.pdf
The RöNt II tubed power supply is the ideal completion for the Bardo.
Rega is pragmatic. Nothing makes it into a Rega design if it does not have a functional reason to be there. If it adds complexity or cost without adding performance, it is unlikely to make it into the final product.
Call it idiosyncratic, but they view a HiFi component as a tool to listen to music. It may mean that some new cool feature is absent or that it isn’t the first to market. What it does mean is that you get the best possible device doing exactly what you need.
You can easily see a high level of cleverness to Rega designs. By sharing technologies, parts, and manufacturing techniques across multiple models, they are capable of keeping to the mission of “sensibly priced” components. This is an area where simplicity really does work for you. Sharing most non-essential parts (think knobs and buttons) and some essential parts (think arm castings and transports), Rega can build in a level performance for their basic product that is a direct result of trickle-down engineering.
When a product is built by hand, it’s built with great care, skill, and love. Every component in a Rega product has a purpose and is manufactured by Rega or from a manufacturer near the Rega facility. From its manufacturing warehouse facility in South East England, Rega currently hand assembles more than 40 different products! Nothing cookie-cutter at this facility as each assembly line has its own story to tell.
Rega views manufacturing in a fundamentally different way than your average company. They view assembly as an art form, and parts are simply the materials from which art is created. To its skilled employees, it’s so much more than bolting and wiring together boxes. It’s knowing there is a better way. Machines can’t feel or touch to discern the weight or texture of each item; humans can. A machine is not committed to building the best tonearm, turntable, or whatever – a real person is. So, as you unpack your Rega product, it’s important to understand that it is unique, and that a person conscientiously selected each piece to make it the very best.