Turntables

 
**** New developments  for 2018/19****

A new small thing that matters.....the iota Prima

 In addition to the existing Phase III iota turntables !


iota iota QT
iota  jot S-P
iota QT Ultra
iota QT Ultra SP


Our current  range of turntable products represent our third phase of product development, they offer an ascending level of engineering complexity, cost, and  performance.

Since the beginning of 1990's we have produced a number of turntable models bearing the name of QT. These have varied in design, materials, and the performance levels. The original QT designs were conventional in appearance, with hardwood plinths and solid top plate.  ** See About US **

Around 1999/2000 the QT Evolution range was launched with a hardwood support frame, aircraft grade aluminium tensioned side rails,  removable arm plates, and a granite base board.

The phase three range  are very different in both appearance and materials from the original, but the design goals remain the same, we aim to provide the maximum musical enjoyment from vinyl records with an accurate and honest portrayal of what was actually recorded.


For further  details and design principals see also page:-

                          




              iota Prima







Not some minor Demi-God, but our new turntable, its a design directly inspired by the spirit and objectives of our iota jot SP & iota QT turntables, so the iota Prima is imbued with similar design principals, but in a more elementary form, and also at a lower cost.

Constructed using a range of selected high quality materials including solid Beech hardwood,carbon fibre,brass, MDF, stainless steel, Acetal, ABS, and die cast aluminium.

The heavily damped motor / bearing module is supported on a chassis of “Birch ply” with a tough textured finish,the chassis is stiffened & cross braced with ultra strong aluminium strut profiles. This whole assembly is mounted on solid Beech hardwood feet, and these are fitted with height adjustable furniture protecting anti slip pads.

This turntable construction is designed to minimises the storage & transmission of vibration, while not compromising structural integrity. This free standing turntable design while occupying the minimum of space is still able to offer a big performance. Resulting in a turntable that is both easy to setup and site, without physically dominating your listening space.

The iota Prima can be supplied either with our dedicated Satori Prima tonearm, or for use with other manufacturers arms.

To accommodate this we supply a standard arm board for use with any regular “Rega geometry” arm. Alternative arm boards for other types of tonearms are available; and to cater for different lengths and geometry the arm board is mounted on “Tee” slots, allowing for the correct positioning of any type of tonearm.

The arm boards are a composite construction using carbon fibre & Birch Ply, supported on solid Beech hardwood,& stainless steel spacers and fixings.

We supply the iota Prima with our outboard iota MFP1 mains filter power supply, with 33 to 45 rpm speed change simply by moving the belt on the stepped pulley. Or alternatively by upgrading and substituting the MFP1 for the iota T/T – 2 speed psu, this unit offers direct digital synthesis speed control, with the convenience of speed change at the flick of a switch.

To further enhance the control and damping of vibration within the vinyl record, the high density MDF Prima platter is faced with a bonded mat of cork/ Nitrile composite and around the circumference of the platter with a ribbed vibration control band.



















The turntable bearing consists of a brass sleeve mounted in a substantial Acetal outer bush,with a polished stainless steel bearing shaft that runs on a grade 5 Silicon Nitride (Si3N4) ceramic ball, this is in contact with a thrust pad made from the ultra high performance PEEK polymer (Polyether ether ketone). The bearing assembly is lubricated with a high performance fully synthetic oil that ensures a long noise free life for the bearing.

All of these materials are selected to ensure the quietest and most reliable bearing. However as the sub platter forms the link between the motor to the platter, and therefore to the vinyl record, consequently it is essential that the sub platter is constructed from materials that are as inert as possible to minimise the transmission of vibration.

To achieve this and to further isolate the vinyl record within the playback system the sub platter hub is constructed from ABS, with bonded carbon fibre,and polymer damping materials,with a record spindle boss in brass.

  







                   iota jot S-P












The starting point for this product was the aim to develop a turntable that despite its diminutive stature must still to be capable of producing excellent performance.

The iota jot S-P represents a distillation of all our basic design principles that we have adopted in our other phase three products, and still using the same modular design principles, simply in a smaller package.

The modular design has each separate section using ultra rigid pressure die cast aluminium modules to enclose the key components of the unit. The tonearm and motor occupy a module that has the tonearm at one end (using the same mounting geometry & fixing size as any standard Rega pattern arm), and at the other a damped and decoupled structure encapsulates the high quality AC motor .

The Arm /Motor module is semi decoupled from the Bearing module to further reduce the transmission of unwanted motor energy.

This second semi-decoupled module, contains the two part turntable bearing assembly, consisting of a bronze inner sleeve surrounded by a large diameter outer sleeve, this second sleeve ensures structural integrity, as well as applying damping, which is enhanced by an external top decoupling gasket, there by separating the bronze bearing from the module, this whole bearing assembly is securely mounted, and finally completely “potted” with various damping materials and sealed into the bearing module.

The turntable chassis is supported by three parabolic shaped feet, one at the front of the bearing module on an extended outrigger, that is constructed from carbon fibre and stainless steel, this additional length of the outrigger aids the stability of the whole turntable structure.




















The most unconventional aspect of our iota jot S-P   design is that it is supplied with our new Paradox Spindle Platter. This is a development of our original peripheral weight Spindle Platter used on our flagship product The iota QT Ultra.

The iota S-P design uses a combination of a central hub & outer support spindles that we machine from solid extruded Polyoxymethylene (POM) also known as Acetal or Delrin. We use this material for many parts of the turntable and tonearm as it offers so many advantages over other materials. The arms of the spindles are made from a combination of carbon fibre and 316 stainless steel.

When vinyl records are supported on different types of platter materials, in each case this will result in a sound with a different tonal balance. We believe the aim of a true Hi Fidelity product should be to resolve what was actually pressed into the vinyl record and nothing else.

As such the role of the platter should be to adequately support the vinyl record to enable the stylus to properly “read” the groove, but beyond that the platter and the material its made from should actually influence the sound as little as possible, neither adding or subtracting to the tonal balance. In this respect unfortunately no material can be seen as totally neutral , however by minimising the material as much as is practically possible, the resulting diminished area of contact should consequently reduce the overall tonal modulating effect of the platter.

While it is entirely possible to use the Paradox Spindle Platter without a mat of any sort, in most cases we consider the best results are produced when used with an interface mat, and our standard natural cork mat is supplied for this purpose. We believe this ensures that vinyl reproduction is presented in a tonally neutral way, and for those customers concerned with even the remote chance of damaging their vinyl, the cork mat prevents even that remote possibility.

We use the mat  in combination with the iota V-R-S vinyl record stabiliser, this additional mass when combined with the mass of the spindle platter ensures rotational speed stability, plus even contact with the mat & the central hub and the spindle supports, this can also help with moderately warped records The constrained layer damping of pure carbon fibre on the face of the VRS applies a degree of damping.

All our turntables are supplied as standard with our  iota MFP 1 mains filter power supply, with the option of  upgrading to our alternative, simply plug and play, two speed, direct digital synthesis power supply!  For full deatils See ***Power supplies***







        iota QT  (ph3)











The iota QT (Ph3) is much more than simply a scaled up  version of the iota jot, in fact it includes many of the design aspects of our flagship model.

 It is a full size free standing turntable, with an L shaped structure; in standard form it is also supplied with a base board. To form the "L" shape of the turntable it uses large super ridged, extruded aluminium support rails of a similar design to that used in some of our other models. The tonearm is mounted on an arm board that is cantilevered from the back support rail, and its position is fully adjustable to allow for alternative arm geometry and  tonearm length.

This turntable has been developed over a number of years using design principles from other products both in our current and previous model ranges as a basis for this development. Consequently many of the materials and techniques have been selected & further tuned and defined to produce these items.

The iota QT  (Ph3) turntable with its super ridged, extruded aluminium support rails form the structure of the turntable,and the supplied base board is constructed from either MDF in a painted finish , or solid 27mm Beech hardwood Block board, with radius edges and corners, finished in a durable finish. The support feet that are fitted to the base board are adjustable for levelling and the metal chassis is spike mounted & decoupled from the baseboards. The iota  (Ph3) uses the MLM multi laminated material platter. 

External Turntable power supplies.

The illustrated iota T/T-2 speed turntable power supply is based upon a design that has been available & in service for many years, the original commercially available versions of this power supply were sold at the beginning of 1997, the prototypes having been developed by us and used for some years before that (1992)!








    iota QT Ultra







How is the Ultra specification different from  QT turntable?

The QT Ultra builds upon the same essential elements used in the Phase 3 iota QT, in that it is constructed from the same style of exceptionally strong anodised extruded aluminium sections, however rather than being configured simply as an open frame “L” shape it is formed as a closed and massively double braced “H” where each side of the main bearing and motor module are attached to cross rails, and a front rail is added to form the “H”, this front rail is then also further braced by die cast aluminium 90 degree corner braces.

In addition to these changes to the chassis, the arm board that is still cantilevered from the rear rail as before, but is also firmly braced and attached by dual supports to the front rail chassis members of the frame that form the “H”. Despite this additional bracing the arm board is still able to be adjusted in position to allow tonearms of different effective lengths to be accommodated.

The other significant difference is that the turntable is resiliently mounted upon a baseboard, that is in turn fitted with height adjustable feet of similar construction to the
other QT designs.










     iota QT Ultra-SP









The Spindle Platter & more!


There are two different versions of the QT Ultra one uses a baseboard manufactured from high quality birch  plywood, and on this version is also the MLM platter. Whilst the SP version has a 10kg diamond polished granite baseboard as well as our Spindle Platter, and a number of other options, including upgraded PSU & bearing, and many custom finish options....

The Spindle Platter was developed as an alternative platter design, and as such is substituted for the MLM platter. The Spindle Platter is made up from 126 individual components,  including eight centrifugal high mass weights in polished 316 stainless steel fitted onto eight internally damped 12mm polished support arms. The mass weights are fitted with silicon rubber outer “O”rings.

The central hub sits on top of a mass loaded and damped sub platter. Manufactured in aircraft grade aluminium and stainless steel, this has the central 100mm filled with a combination of constrained layer damping materials and is faced with sealed cork. The centre spindle fitted to the main bearing is machined from 20mm  gunmetal. This platter and its extra long gunmetal spindle allows the user to experiment with a variety of different platter mats.

The Spindle Platter was developed to extend further our ideas of reducing the impact of platter colourations & the negative affects on the playback of vinyl. This Spindle Platter and its  126 individual components include a combination of highly polished stainless steel (type 316) high mass peripheral weights, and aluminium alloy components as well as natural cork, Acetal turned components and advanced polymer resin bonding agents.

Our aim was to create a structure that offers high rotational mass, but to position the majority of the mass at its extreme outer edge, therefore to gain the maximum benefit of centrifugal force. In addition whilst the structure is designed so that it supports the vinyl record where it is most required, at its outer edge, but also at the centre around the turntable bearing spindle. The result is this configuration also helps to control any influence or noise from the turntable main bearing.























The addition of a effective vinyl record stabiliser (VRS)  then holds the vinyl flat to this damped area at the centre of the Spindle Platter. However the area of the vinyl that contains the groove from which all the musical information is extracted will be devoid of any platter reflections or interactions. The interface mat is left to do its job, and nothing else, and again as its not fixed, alternatives can be exchanged to the preferences of the owner if desired.

The design uses the high mass peripheral weights mounted at the extreme end of turned and damped support spindles, each weight is effectively decoupled as much as possible from its support mount, and wrapped around the weights are damping rings that are the only outer edge contact with the natural cork interface mat. The position of the eight high mass weights allows the full positive affect of centrifugal force to be applied to the Spindle Platter; this helps to maintain rotational speed stability, whilst at the same time reducing to a minimum the deleterious effects that would have resulted had we simply applied mass uniformly to the whole platter. The eight separate weight/supports ensure the vinyl is not allowed to deflect at its edge whilst the central record label area has total support and damping applied to the gunmetal centre spindle, this is further enhanced by the use of a suitable record clamp.

The iota QT Ultra and the Spindle Platter were also part of our development programme to produce our own  unique Satori Tonearm . This uses bearing and support techniques as well as materials not previously applied or used in other tonearm designs, so we believe a new and fresh approach to a set of very old and familiar problems?
 iota V-R-S vinyl record stabiliser.


 iota V-R-S & V-R-S-2 vinyl record stabilisers.

We developed the iota V-R-S & the new iota V-R-S-2 vinyl record stabilisers, these are CNC machined from billet 304 stainless steel, & 6082 aluminium respectively, and are the correct size to fit onto the recessed area of the label of a vinyl LP record.

For ease of handling the top of the stabiliser has a “stadium” shaped handle, faced with our logo. On the underside of the stabiliser it is faced with damping material and a constrained layer of carbon fibre.

The original iota V-R-S with its high mass stainless steel has excellent performance & damping characteristics, however we have now developed the iota V-R-S-2 offering a lower mass and using a different material as an alternative that can also be used on all other manufactures turntables.

The original iota V-R-S stabiliser with a mass of 800 grams (1lb.12oz) does not apply an excessive bearing load to any of our turntable designs. However we are aware that some other turntables may not have a bearing that is designed to carry the additional mass, therefore now with the alternative iota V-R-S-2 at just 240 grams ( 8.466 oz) all turntables, even suspended turnable designs may now use the V-R-S-2 without any issues or even the need to adjust the suspension to support the stabiliser.

The combination of the mass of the material and the damping effect of the constrained layer of carbon fibre act upon vibrations within the vinyl record, both from the action of the styli on the record surface as well as any structural noise derived from the turntable, the stabilisers also ensure the LP record has even contact with the platter, if that is a flat disc platter or one of our spindle platter designs.

See also the  VRS-Vinyl Record Stabiliser page.


Constrained-layer damping is a mechanical engineering technique for suppression of vibration. Typically a viscoelastic or other damping material, is sandwiched between two sheets of stiff materials that lack sufficient damping by themselves. ….......... Wikipedia