Best Record Player Design Philosophy
Introduction to Best Record Player design
Most experts agree the best record player will provide the most satisfying music. The record player still reigns supreme in terms of performance and quality. Unlike CD there seems to be no limitation on the musical information it can extract. In recent years, advances in the best record player designs 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 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 Best Record Player Mechanism
We cover the incredible levels of sensitivity and magnification of a record deck in the article “what makes a better turntable” so if you have not seen this yet, then please do so now as it lays the foundation for design architecture.
One of the points covered is that the slightest source of unwanted resonance in a turntable is 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?)
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
A Record Player should fulfil three ideals in supporting the platter and arm:
- It provides a stable platform for platter and stylus to ‘kick’ against under force.
- It ‘earths’ any unwanted vibration created by the stylus/record interface.
- It isolates the platter and arm from environmental vibration and motor noise.
A sub-chassis has been found to be beneficial to performance, as it provides additional isolation of the arm and platter from external vibration. This feature is included on our record player.
Theory of Energy Management
In principle a Record Player is one of the simplest items of Hi-Fi equipment. However, as you now know, understanding the principles governing performance is much more involved than first meets the eye.
These critical areas and many others, have all been tested extremely thoroughly and result in the outstanding performance of our record player models.
Hear For Yourself
These notes provide an introduction to the subject of a best record player design. Why not discover for yourself the astonishing potential of the world’s highest performing medium for the reproduction of music?