Reference level turntables command a hefty price. People may roll their eyes at some of the six-figure turntables available right now but there is a customer for them. Some of the top high-end shops in Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, London, and Berlin sell them on a regular basis to customers spending between $250,000 – $1,000,000 on a hi-fi system. Germany’s Clearaudio have been selling some of the best turntables in the world for a few decades and the new Clearaudio Reference Jubilee turntable is a gorgeous looking new design that has us salivating a bit.
This 50-pound combination of wood, aluminum, and carbon fiber is a worthy competitor to the best turntables from VPI and SME and we suspect it doesn’t surrender an inch sonically to any table below $30,000. The Clearaudio factory is a marvel of automation and engineering technology and it’s likely this table took many years to develop.
Build quality and reliability will be superb if past Clearaudio tables are anything to use as a benchmark.
The new Clearaudio Reference Jubilee turntable marries the best of Clearaudio’s past, present and future to usher in a new era of analogue precision. It delivers lifelong synchronized rotational speed, astonishingly low levels of both resonance and friction, and a breathtaking moment of torque.
Its 6 cm-thick main platter is constructed from highly damped polyoxymethylene (POM) and, as you might expect with any Clearaudio turntable, the platter rotates on a special variation of the brand’s own patented ceramic magnetic bearing (CMB). The motor housing is elaborately decoupled from the chassis by an elaborate network of rubber ‘tightropes’.
While Clearaudio has earned a considerable reputation for innovation in all things analogue, here the design team has expertly married digital and analogue technology to achieve a new level of precision and consistency of rotational speed. A 12-bit DAC generates the drive motor’s voltage; the DAC has exceptionally high resolution and zero fluctuations or ‘drift’ in response to either time or temperature.
What’s more, it has been cleverly designed to work in tandem with Clearaudio’s optical speed control system. Every three seconds, an optical sensor takes a reading of the 8.5kg stainless steel sub-platter’s rotational speed and delivers that reading to a control unit; the control unit then immediately regulates the slightest deviations by adjusting the motor’s voltage via an operational amplifier.
The Reference Jubilee’s brand-new air-core (non-magnetic) 24-volt DC motor, which runs unbelievably quietly, ensures that the listener remains blissfully unaware of the whole process.
For more information: Clearaudio Reference Jubilee Turntable System
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