Turntable Overview and Design Philosophy

Introduction

Most experts agree that vinyl is still the world's most satisfying medium for the reproduction of music. It reigns supreme in terms of performance and quality - unlike CD, there seems to be no limit to the musical information that can be laid down on vinyl. In recent years, advances in record player design have caused the gulf between CD performance and vinyl to widen even further. Origin Live draws together many long-established principles of high end turntable design, along with advanced innovations, to reveal just how much the vinyl medium is capable of.
 
The recreation of an original musical performance involves capturing many factors. High among the priorities are dynamics, transient speed, definition and tonal accuracy. Definition and tonal accuracy are especially important for great imaging capability. This rare ability is one of the key factors that separate high performance decks from the mediocre.

Concepts in Design

Analysis of the Replay Mechanism
 
We cover the incredible levels of sensitivity and magnification of a record deck in the article "anatomy of a great deck" so if you have not seen this yet, then please do so now as it lays the foundation for the design architecture.

One of the points covered is that the slightest source of unwanted resonance in a turntable is also amplified around 8000 thousand times, impacting the musical performance with coloration and distortion. It is the successful elimination of this unwanted vibration that produces the huge differences between mediocre decks and star performers.

Overcoming the Challenges 

However a good design does not just eliminate resonance - it also holds the cartridge rock steady allowing the cantilever to generate a pure signal. Vibration is a highly complex area - the most important  parameters being:
 
Speed of energy transmission
Speed of energy absorption - resonance absorbs energy slowly whereas damping tends to be faster
Resonant frequency of the material (how does behave within the audio band?)
Controlling Vibration
 
In summary, our turntables overcome many of the problems arising from unwanted vibration in the following ways:
 
To reduce resonance, all components are carefully selected and optimised by using materials and profiles that are optimised to achieve this.
They reduce vibrational "noise" created by the motor through the use of a low cogging AC motor or DC motor (optional).
They exclude environmental vibration. This can be anything from originliker feedback (ground-borne and airborne) to underground pumps and road traffic. For example, the platter is decoupled from the sub-platter and the bearing house is decoupled from the plinth or sub-chassis.
Design of Components
 
What is the secret of the superb performance lurking within Origin Live decks? The answer lies in countless hours of research and development into the main variables governing sonic performance. Every design detail contributes to the sonic character of a deck. Meticulous attention has been paid to every design choice on our turntables. The key variables are:
 
Types of material used at each point in the structure.
Choice of which materials to interface together.
Dimensioning of materials.
Shape and form of components - solid, hollow, plate, flanged, tube, etc.
Method of attachment - bolting, gluing, welding, screwing, etc.
Decoupling methods - springs, spikes, elastic bands, rubber, foam, air cushion, etc.
Motor positioning and method of mounting.
These critical areas and many others have all been exhaustively tested to produce the outstanding performance of the Origin Live turntable range. The results are well documented in the many excellent reports we consistently receive from owners and reviewers.
 
Supporting the platter and arm
The turntables fulfil three ideals in supporting the platter and arm:
 
They provide a stable platform for platter and stylus to 'kick' against under force.
They 'earth' any unwanted vibration created by the stylus/record interface.
They isolate the platter and arm from environmental vibration and motor noise.
A sub-chassis of some form has been found to be beneficial to performance, as it provide additional isolation of the arm and platter from external vibration. This feature is included on the more advanced turntables in our range.

Theory of Energy Management

In principle a turntable is one of the simplest items of Hi-Fi equipment. However, from a technical point of view, understanding the principles governing performance is much more involved than first meets the eye.

Design of Components

From the above, it follows that the tiniest details all contribute to the overall sonic character of a turntable. In the Aurora, meticulous attention has been paid to every detail and design option. The key variables researched are listed below:
 
Types of material used at each point in the structure.
Choice of which materials to interface together.
Dimensioning of materials.
Shape and form of components: solid, hollow, plate, flanged, tube, etc.
Method of attachment: bolting, gluing, welding, screwing, etc.
Decoupling methods: springs, spikes, elastic bands, rubber, foam, air cushion, etc.
Motor positioning and method of mounting.
These critical areas and many others, have all been tested extremely thoroughly and result in the outstanding performance of the Aurora turntable. 

Hear For Yourself

These notes provide an introduction to the subject of turntable design. Why not discover for yourself the astonishing potential of the world's highest performing medium for the reproduction of music?

Address

Origin Live Ltd. Unit 5, 362B Spring Road Sholing, Southampton SO19 2PB, UK