A excessive finish turntable based mostly on a considerate and intriguing design, Paul Rigby evaluations the Avid Acutus SP turntable
My expertise of the Acutus started earlier than it was upgraded by Avid to the SP standing which included the extra of a second belt – sure, this can be a belt-driven turntable. Having been moderately sluggish in catching up with the enhancements, I assumed I’d take a look at the turntable afresh now that I’ve heard that improve. My assessment pattern contains a SME becoming and a SME IV tonearm. This can be a recognised package deal from Avid, one which its distributors are completely happy to current to potential clients and so I’ll reserve my feedback on the turntable and the package deal as an entire. There’s a cause for that however I’ll get to that time afterward.
This can be a huge deck, it’s imposing and weighty. In reality, it weighs a complete of 28.5kg with the platter by itself fetching 10kg. I do know many turntables on the market whose complete weight totals half the load of the Acutus’ platter! Spanning 460 x 400 x 210mm, the Acutus stands tall with grand suspension pillars giving it an virtually Romanesque architectural look.
The Acutus actually began Avid on its method as a hi-fi firm. Founder, Conrad Mas needed to create the perfect turntable he might at the moment. From this place of excellence, the Acutus has been the inspiration for a variety of decrease value designs which have all stemmed from the Acutus ‘mother’, because it the place. Therefore, the Acutus has turn out to be a supply for a number of different sources that retain their household hyperlinks.
Avid has by no means favored massy platter designs like these from Clearaudio as a result of it says that the saved vibrations will, finally, mirror again as much as the document and arm whereas the Linn-type strategy outcomes, says Avid, in an excessive amount of vibration within the plinth. Avid has all the time tried to empty noise from its designs.
One precept technique of doing that’s the W-shaped decrease subchassis which, by its very form, acts as a drain level. The frontal a part of the deck plus the motor are different escape areas for noise. Mas, as a designer, sees the selection of arm for his turntable as necessary. Inflexible bearing designs are preferable. Therefore, it is best to keep away from unipivots if you wish to purchase an Acutus.
The turntable is split into three elements. The ridged base accommodates the suspension columns and, in itself, is a damping level. Even the aluminium pores and skin does a job by eradicating excessive frequency noise (which is why the aluminium model is sonically superior to the brand new ‘Dark’ model at present on supply from Avid). Three ft might be rotated for levelling whereas a tiny, built-in, bubble degree aids visible adjustment.
The subsequent layer above that holds the W-shaped sub-chassis and the tonearm too. In my case, that was a provided SME IV. Three ft from this sub-chassis simply slips into the decrease suspension columns beneath and are held in place with robust rubber bands, permitting the sub-chassis to bounce gently on the decrease base’s springs.
The inverted chrome steel bearing with a Tungstern carbide/Sapphire thrust level is positioned on prime of the sub-chassis. The Platter is positioned upon that.
The isolation efficiency is sort of excellent which reduces the necessity to discover a good shelf for the Acutus. That stated, I might encourage you to take action – why probability it?
If you put a document on the platter, you’ll discover that it’ll wobble a bit of bit as a result of the centre of the report rests upon a barely raised brass space. Avid provides you with a two-stage threaded clamp. As soon as the report is in place, you screw the higher a part of the clamp into place. As soon as tight, you then screw the decrease ring of the identical clamp. This eases the report flat onto the platter’s bonded polymer floor creating an entire reference to the floor. In impact, the document turns into ‘as one’ with the platter floor.
The platter is rotated by a strong motor that’s hidden beneath the platter. So attaching the belts across the motor’s pulley and the underside of the platter is a finicky job. You’re given a useful little device to help. The system works positive after a little bit of follow however it’s not my favorite a part of the set up.
A separate energy provide holds the facility button and 2-speed selector.
I started the exams with an unique copy of Jan Akkerman’s Can’t Stand Noise (CBS) from 1983 and the instrumental monitor Piétons. Akkerman’s electrical guitar is distinctly noodly on this monitor and appears to plug right into a Chet Atkins type alongside the best way. The music is little jazzy rock with a simple swing to it. You’ll additionally hear organ, bass and percussion plus secondary percussive backing.
Firstly, I used to be impressed by the bass from the Acutus. It’s not simply the solidity – though the decrease frequencies are very agency and massy in nature – or the character of the transients that are lean and quick, protecting the music shifting at a tempo however the character facet of the presentation, it provides percussion a rhythmic, naturalistic circulate.
The noise degree from the Acutus can also be very low which signifies that nice particulars have an amazing probability to emerge from the soundstage. Even tiny errors inside the track are observed by the ear. Originally of this track are three virtually subliminal rings. As if somebody has by chance knocked towards one thing. However the recording is so busy they’re simply missed. The Acutus picked them up and others prefer it. Its eye for element is sort of beautiful.
The higher mids and treble maintain most of that element which flows very simply which signifies that the organ, lurking to the rear of the broad soundstage can simply be masked by the dominant devices out entrance. The Acutus hates to go away any instrument alone although which signifies that right here, the organ can simply be tracked by the ear whereas providing a wealth of informative element as well.
One of many fascinating factors throughout Richie Havens’ One thing Else Once more on Verve and the monitor, From the Jail was not a lot the midrange response from the plucking of the strings, which was wonderful have little question about that, however the after results of the motion. The metallic ringing after results provided a mix of energy but in addition delicacy because the sound decayed and the reverb petered out.
Once more, the low noise facet of the Acutus’ design allowed the ear to listen to extra from this turntable. On the Dylan cowl, Maggie’s Farm, I heard – for the primary time – a very muddy line clarified inside the lyric. I might lastly inform what he was speaking about. It was a case of, “Oh that’s what he’s saying!” The aid was palpable, let me inform you. Therefore, the readability of the Acutus is great. That sense of data, even usually hard-to-track info, hitting you from all angles retains the ear busy throughout a typical track. There’s a lot to note that you simply’ll be assimilating a brand new monitor over a number of performs.
Enjoying Queen’s Within the Lap of the Gods from the EMI LP, Sheer Coronary heart Assault I used to be impressed by the dynamic power from the percussion but in addition the contrasting and open nature of the backing piano. The expansive facet of the piano with its personal reverb tail added a richness to the sound as an entire. Extra, the subsequent monitor Stone Chilly Loopy is a full-on, heavy rock outing however I used to be impressed how the ear might simply monitor the cymbals faucets all through. Instrumental separation was of a top quality right here. As was the 3D impact from the central stereo picture.
ARM IN ARM
There’s one level of observe right here. Chances are you’ll discover the Acutus on the market with a Professional-Ject 9 CC Carbon. You’ll usually pay round £600 for it. Don’t go there. Reject the supply. Actually, simply don’t. The arm is ok however the Acutus is simply too good for it.
And I’ve to ask, what on earth is Avid doing instructing its distributors to advocate such an arm with a deck just like the Acutus? A pleasant arm, as I say, however one which’s undeserving to kiss the ft of the Acutus and one which’s bundled with it’s £1,650 Ingenium?
You’ll be able to say the identical concerning the SME IV. Nearly as good as this arm is, I realise its legendary standing and it carried out very properly through the check, it’s the weak level of the turntable. It’s an excellent begin, which is why I used it for this check however, finally, you want to goal larger with this turntable. The SME drags on the Acutus.
A brand new arm is your subsequent improve after shopping for the Acutus. A £5k Origin Reside Enterprise, for instance or one thing of a fair greater high quality will actually get probably the most from the turntable design. After that? You’re taking a look at an improve to the Avid Reference…however that’s one other story and one other evaluation.
The Avid Acutus SP is a considerate, progressive and incisive design. Simply roam your eyes over the chassis and also you’ll solely discover options right here aimed toward enhancing sound high quality. There’s no faff, no filigree and no wastage. You’ll be able to see the place you’ve spent your cash and, extra importantly, you possibly can hear it too. I’ve not often skilled a turntable that flows so nicely in design and sound phrases.
AVID ACUTUS TURNTABLE
Web site: www.avidhifi.co.uk
Tel: 01480 869 900
GOOD: construct high quality, general design, agency bass, readability, element, low noise
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All vinyl was cleaned utilizing an Audio Desk’s Ultrasonic Professional Vinyl Cleaner