Turntable design has historically focused on constant speed, reducing noise from motors and bearings and visual appearance.
Today these issues are resolved with basic quality engineering and any company not achieving a high standard shouldn't be in business.
But if all turntables have the same high specifications, why is it that they can sound so different from each other.
The answer is Vibration, bad vibration to be precise and how the turntable deals with this and its final effect on the pickup cartridge.
When you play a record, the stylus inadvertently produces bad vibration which you can hear with your ear near the cartridge.
So much vibration the whole record vibrates and moves. This movement is detected by the cartridge and either distorts or masks the music.
Many brands propose different remedies, including acrylic plastic platters or various felt or rubber mats.
Acrylic platters try impedance matching, hoping the vibration transfers and dissipates but this never happens due to material differences and reflections, keeping the vibration within the record. Mats in contrast either damp in a non-linear manner or allow the record to vibrate uncontrolled.
In all scenarios as the record vibrates and the sensitive cartridge reads this movement, the sound you hear is distorted and coloured.
AVID offers a unique solution to this problem by mechanically grounding the record to the centre spindle.
Rejecting compromise, research into polymer engineering and clamping evolved our unique "energy transmission" system.
The aim; record stability and freedom of vibration at the stylus.
Using our unique bonded polymer surface for the mat, which is designed to reflect angular energy and decelerate vertical energy, the record is clamped uniquely, directly to the main bearing, which is raised at the centre. The act of clamping makes the record more rigid, aiding its energy transmission properties. Flattening the record to the polymer surface provides a stable groove to be traced.
With the record coupled to the spindle, vibration created by the stylus enters the main bearing, designed to pass energy to the subchassis one-way, much like an electrical diode. Our unique bearing is inverted for several reasons; crucially the point of contact is only 4mm from the record aiding rapid energy transfer. A high centre of gravity to give stability and reduced noise. The point contact, made from a sapphire cup jewel and tungsten carbide ball rotates concentrically. Commonly used bearings running on flat plates allow lateral platter movement causing loss of information and rumble noise. The supporting shaft is 16mm diameter through hardened stainless steel, tapered to the top, preventing standing waves and creates the diode effect.
The result; the record itself with a lower noise floor allowing focused sound, pinpoint sound-staging and more realistic sound.
And you can prove it to yourself very easily. A blank groove on a record should be just that; blank, no sound, totally quite.
Play a blank groove on an AVID and the noise floor is much lower, so you'll hear your music with better clarity, less distortion and more realism.
Any relative movement between the tonearm and platter results in lost information.
Our unique one piece complex aluminium casting forms the subchassis, rigidly coupling the platter and tonearm together.
Assuming that infinite rigidity is impossible this design puts strength where its required and uses weakness to dissipate energy rapidly.
Isolating the workings of the turntable from external disturbances we have a unique frequency adjustable suspension system on most of our designs.
The motor drive is essential to maintain speed stability and sound quality and here AVID employs very powerful motors with state-of-the-art DSP calibrated power supplies, designed to eliminate vibration and noise which might affect the final performance.
With all our designs we look for improvements were it's possible. The lack of changes over the years, especially in comparison to other designs, clearly shows we spent the time doing it right first time. Any of our retailers will gladly show you how our turntables simply sound better.