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Thread: The American Sound Turntable- Beyond's Minimalist!

  1. #1
    [Industry Expert] ddk's Avatar
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    The American Sound Turntable- Beyond's Minimalist!

    Even among the best of the best turntables, there’s still be a distinguishable hierarchy. I don’t claim to have heard them all but many have passed through my hands and this small group is compiled after several decades of high end experience. In this group every player has the ability to completely disappear and present a natural, sophisticated experience of the recorded music, that’s why they’re Beyond the so called high and ultra high end for me where price has become the determining factor. At some point I came across the American Sound record player, a 550+lbs monolith designed by a minimalist. There’s nothing extra and/or non-functional here, not even paint. What finishing there is on the steel has a function and comes from the Japanese tooling industry, a hand finishing technique for grinding down and flat leveling machined steel surfaces. American Sound’s purity of design follows through to its sound, there’s nothing to attract or detract, simply music and of course Natural…

    Words are busy, pictures tell it better.


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    david
    Audio Industry Affiliate:Lamm, Ortofon, ZYX, Keith Monks, Audio Desk, Jensen Transformers, Pheonix Engineering.
    Specialty & Unique Offerings: Vintage horn speakers, Vintage and Modern Turntables, Analog Accessories.

    System 1: Horns+Tubes+Vinyl and digital too- Listening Room 1
    System 2: Horns+Tubes+Vinyl and digital too- Listening Room 2- Near field setup

  2. #2
    [Industry Expert] ddk's Avatar
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    I N E R T I A...



    Audio Industry Affiliate:Lamm, Ortofon, ZYX, Keith Monks, Audio Desk, Jensen Transformers, Pheonix Engineering.
    Specialty & Unique Offerings: Vintage horn speakers, Vintage and Modern Turntables, Analog Accessories.

    System 1: Horns+Tubes+Vinyl and digital too- Listening Room 1
    System 2: Horns+Tubes+Vinyl and digital too- Listening Room 2- Near field setup

  3. #3
    Addicted to Best! PeterA's Avatar
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    David, Thanks for posting this. I have a few questions. In the bottom photo of post #1, I see what looks like a round flywheel to the right of the platter, or on top in the photo. This is where the power supply is in the video, if that is indeed a power supply. In the video, what are you doing with the switch on that box? I see there is no belt, so I would think you could just spin the platter and inertia will keep it going for a long time. Does it have a brake, or do you slow it down with hand pressure?

    Also in that bottom photo, there is a black line around the bottom of the massive platter. Is that another belt from the flywheel?

    Is the belt stretchy or fixed like a tape drive or thread drive? Does the motor have enough torque to get the platter up to speed, or do you have to assist it by hand? Does the belt slip and only maintain speed once the platter is up to speed?
    My system link on WBF: http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showth...-Sublime-Sound
    Analog: SME 30/12, SME V-12, My Sonic Labs Signature Gold, AirTight Supreme, VDH Colibri Platinum, MINT LP protractor
    Electronics: Pass Labs XA160.5 amp, XP-20 preamp, XP-25 phono, Cables: Transparent REF XL MM2,
    Speakers: Magico Mini II, Essentials: Jim Smith RoomPlay, 3 Vibraplanes, Dedicated circuits

  4. #4
    [Industry Expert] ddk's Avatar
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    Hi Peter,

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    David, Thanks for posting this. I have a few questions. In the bottom photo of post #1, I see what looks like a round flywheel to the right of the platter, or on top in the photo. This is where the power supply is in the video, if that is indeed a power supply. In the video, what are you doing with the switch on that box? I see there is no belt, so I would think you could just spin the platter and inertia will keep it going for a long time. Does it have a brake, or do you slow it down with hand pressure?

    Also in that bottom photo, there is a black line around the bottom of the massive platter. Is that another belt from the flywheel?
    Its a Micro Seiki HS-80, I was testing it with the table when I took the photograph, I'm not using it any longer. The lower belt is connected to the flywheel.

    in the video the black box on the left is motor and the unit on the right is the pump. You're correct no belt connected, I was demonstrating the inertia of this heavy platter with a light push. No brake.

    [QUOTE=PeterA;330401]Is the belt stretchy or fixed like a tape d
    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    rive or thread drive? Does the motor have enough torque to get the platter up to speed, or do you have to assist it by hand? Does the belt slip and only maintain speed once the platter is up to speed?
    It's a fixed Kevlar belt, no stretch. The motor has enough torque to get the platter moving but the belt is loose so a little manual assistance speeds things up. The belt doesn't slip nor is it tight, the right tension is a matter of experience. Too loose and the sound becomes muddy and soft, also the soundstage will be ill defined. Too tight also hurts the sound, it becomes unnatural and dead
    Audio Industry Affiliate:Lamm, Ortofon, ZYX, Keith Monks, Audio Desk, Jensen Transformers, Pheonix Engineering.
    Specialty & Unique Offerings: Vintage horn speakers, Vintage and Modern Turntables, Analog Accessories.

    System 1: Horns+Tubes+Vinyl and digital too- Listening Room 1
    System 2: Horns+Tubes+Vinyl and digital too- Listening Room 2- Near field setup

  5. #5
    Member Addicted to Best! NorthStar's Avatar
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    ...And I love the tune playing in the background (exquisite piano solo) ♪
    All the Very Best, - Bob --------- "And it stoned me to my soul" - Van Morrison --------- AudiophileAudition

  6. #6
    Thanks David for the great info & photos!

    I notice that the Air Force Three looks a bit like the AS turntable, although the latter is made of stainless steel, bigger/thicker and heavier.

    ARC 40 Anniv preamp, MC2 S1400 monoblocks, Magico S5 speaker, CAS with MSB Platinum IV Plus dac, MSB UMT Plus & Signature Transport Powerbase, Furman isolation transformer.

  7. #7
    Addicted to Best! PeterA's Avatar
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    Thanks David. That AS table sure looks serious. I love the very straight forward design with every element taken to the extreme with excellent execution. I had forgotten about the pump. Of course you had to turn that on to free the platter to spin.

    There is a video on the net showing a worker at the SME factory spinning the platter of an SME Model 30. It is not nearly as massive as you platter, but it goes on spinning long after the camera cuts away. Precision machining is a big part of it too, I would imagine.

    I like the idea of the fixed Kevlar belt. That makes a lot of sense for such a massive platter. A stretchy belt would not last long.

    There is a German designer who discussed developing a turntable similar to your AS. It was an air bearing of some type, a massive 150+ lbs platter. It was to use an idler to get the platter to speed and then disengage while a thread drive with slippage kept the platter running at proper speed. I think the theory is that it only brings it back to speed but then slips so it can's slow the platter down and therefore speed correction is extremely gradual and not jerky when the controller hunts for the correct speed. (Just my speculation)

    I can't remember the name or if he ever built the table. I think he was going to make six in total for his friends so that there would be some economy of scale for the machining. Wildly expensive as I recall. He is the designer of the Axiom tonearm and various other analog accessories. I think called Acoustical Systems in Germany.
    Last edited by PeterA; 07-24-2015 at 07:52 AM.
    My system link on WBF: http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showth...-Sublime-Sound
    Analog: SME 30/12, SME V-12, My Sonic Labs Signature Gold, AirTight Supreme, VDH Colibri Platinum, MINT LP protractor
    Electronics: Pass Labs XA160.5 amp, XP-20 preamp, XP-25 phono, Cables: Transparent REF XL MM2,
    Speakers: Magico Mini II, Essentials: Jim Smith RoomPlay, 3 Vibraplanes, Dedicated circuits

  8. #8
    Senior Member pcosta's Avatar
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    David

    When were the AS tables made. Are the two you have exactly the same?
    Any more interesting details you could share that separate these tables from others physically. What would one of these cost back then and how did you find yours.

    Paul

  9. #9
    Senior Member ALF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    Thanks David. That AS table sure looks serious. I love the very straight forward design with every element taken to the extreme. I had forgotten about the pump. Of course you had to turn that on to free the platter to spin.

    There is a video on the net showing a worker at the SME factory spinning the platter of an SME Model 30. It is not nearly as massive as you platter, but it goes on spinning long after the camera cuts away. Precision machining is a big part of it too, I would imagine.

    I like the idea of the fixed Kevlar belt. That makes a lot of sense for such a massive platter.

    There is a German designer who discussed developing a turntable similar to your AS. It was an air bearing of some type, a massive 150+ lbs platter. It was to use an idler to get the platter to speed and then disengage while a thread drive with slippage kept the platter running at proper speed. I can't remember the name or if he ever built the table. I think he was going to make six in total for his friends. Wildly expensive as I recall. He is the designer of the Axiom tonearm.
    Hi PeterA,

    That one, the German, he never built the turntable you are mentioning...it was a fantasy; however, it appears that he collected several $10s of thousands of hopeful deposits. Status- the fantasy, some friends, and the deposits disappeared.

  10. #10
    VIP/Donor [VIP/Donor] microstrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    (...) There is a German designer who discussed developing a turntable similar to your AS. It was an air bearing of some type, a massive 150+ lbs platter. It was to use an idler to get the platter to speed and then disengage while a thread drive with slippage kept the platter running at proper speed. I can't remember the name or if he ever built the table. I think he was going to make six in total for his friends. Wildly expensive as I recall. He is the designer of the Axiom tonearm.
    Are you referring to the Brakemeier Laufwerk Apolyt? Unfortunately I can not understand german. http://www.knipschild.net/Brakemeier/apolyt.htm

    I remember I got an Oracle Premier mk3 from someone in Germany who had such beautiful machine.
    Under construction around a pair of Wilson XLF's, a DCS Vivaldi 2.0 stack and an ARC REF40.

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