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Thread: Techdas Air Force 3 VS Clearaudio Master Innovation

  1. #1

    Techdas Air Force 3 VS Clearaudio Master Innovation

    Which would you get and why? I am toying with the idea of one of these two. Not sure what their relative strengths and weaknesses would be though.

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  2. #2
    [WBF Founding Member] Addicted to Best! JackD201's Avatar
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    I will not speak of sound quality because I am a dealer of one and the dealer of the other is a good friend. I will however speak of what I can think of other than that.

    No. of arms : draw. The TD may allow 4 but that fourth arm on any table, including the TD, is scary to use and an accident waiting to happen IMO
    Footprint: draw
    Rack Space: CA, it doesn't require a big control, pump box
    Ease of Use without disc flattening : draw.Both have speed select at the push of a button. Slight advantage to TD for having controls on front panel and more visible in low light conditions
    With disc flattening (vacuum vs ring). : TechDAS due to a press of a button vs mounting of periphery ring> TD VH leaves records flatter too.
    Ease of Set Up, Mechanical : TechDAS, minimal assembled required
    Ease of Set Up, electronic (speed calibration): TechDAS. due to belt tensioner system vs CA's special tool, a flashlight, your reading glasses, a strobe and test disc and a trip to the chiropractor (both optical, microprocessor controlled)
    Drive system: Air Bearing Belt vs Magnetic Drive: Draw (debatable but I can't be conclusive)
    Platter Damping: Vacuum Chamber vs Multi-Material CLD : TechDAS, can't think of another brand where you can tap on a playing record with little sound coming out of the speakers
    Scalability and Upgradability: CA
    Sexy factor: CA especially with the option for owner's name engraved

    All I can think of for now
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    Co-Founder and Managing Director PureSound PH - Exclusive Distributor (Philippines only) of Lamm, Von Schweikert Audio, CH Precision, Light Harmonic, Valvet, Townshend, Critical Mass Systems, EERA, KR Audio, Ambience SS, TechDAS, Master Built, Stromtank

  3. #3
    [Industry Expert] ddk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackD201 View Post
    I will not speak of sound quality because I am a dealer of one and the dealer of the other is a good friend. I will however speak of what I can think of other than that.
    No. of arms : draw
    I thought CA can have only two and know that AF-3 is good four arms.

    david
    Industry Representation: Lamm, Kharma OLS Speakers, Ortofon, ZYX, Keith Monks, Audio Desk, Jensen Transformer, Venta Airwasher
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  4. #4
    Italian distributor of techdas sold 3 AF3 and take back from customers One big Kuzma,One Brinkmann Balance and one Monaco GP
    I don't know if sound of AF3 is better or customers bought AF3 for his beauty or possibility to use 4 arms

  5. #5
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best! rockitman's Avatar
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    I own a CA Master innovation and the AF1. As good as the CA sounds, traditional hard bearing TT's cannot compete with the low rolling noise floor air bearings provide. I love vacuum hold-down so my records are dead flat during playback. Had the AF3 been out when I bought the Master Innovation, I would of opted for AF3.
    Christian

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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by JackD201 View Post
    I will not speak of sound quality because I am a dealer of one and the dealer of the other is a good friend. I will however speak of what I can think of other than that.

    No. of arms : draw. The TD may allow 4 but that fourth arm on any table, including the TD, is scary to use and an accident waiting to happen IMO
    Footprint: draw
    Rack Space: CA, it doesn't require a big control, pump box
    Ease of Use without disc flattening : draw.Both have speed select at the push of a button. Slight advantage to TD for having controls on front panel and more visible in low light conditions
    With disc flattening (vacuum vs ring). : TechDAS due to a press of a button vs mounting of periphery ring> TD VH leaves records flatter too.
    Ease of Set Up, Mechanical : TechDAS, minimal assembled required
    Ease of Set Up, electronic (speed calibration): TechDAS. due to belt tensioner system vs CA's special tool, a flashlight, your reading glasses, a strobe and test disc and a trip to the chiropractor (both optical, microprocessor controlled)
    Drive system: Air Bearing Belt vs Magnetic Drive: Draw (debatable but I can't be conclusive)
    Platter Damping: Vacuum Chamber vs Multi-Material CLD : TechDAS, can't think of another brand where you can tap on a playing record with little sound coming out of the speakers
    Scalability and Upgradability: CA
    Sexy factor: CA especially with the option for owner's name engraved

    All I can think of for now
    Thanks Jack. Great pros and cons list. At the end of the day I think both tables would sound great. Long term maintenance does concern me with pumps and the like although it seems as though the techdas one is pretty reliable. 3 arms on either table is more than enough and would necessitate me adding a phonostage or changing in my AR Ref 2. My main concern is whether the vacuum pump robs the table of its musicality or not. I guess this it's good to have this dilemma!

  7. #7
    [WBF Founding Member] Addicted to Best! JackD201's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    I thought CA can have only two and know that AF-3 is good four arms.

    david
    I thought the CA could do 3. I figured draw because front left mount was always tricky for me. I guess you are right though

    No. of arms: TechDAS
    Disclosure of Industry Participation

    Co-Founder and Managing Director PureSound PH - Exclusive Distributor (Philippines only) of Lamm, Von Schweikert Audio, CH Precision, Light Harmonic, Valvet, Townshend, Critical Mass Systems, EERA, KR Audio, Ambience SS, TechDAS, Master Built, Stromtank

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by rockitman View Post
    I own a CA Master innovation and the AF1. As good as the CA sounds, traditional hard bearing TT's cannot compete with the low rolling noise floor air bearings provide. I love vacuum hold-down so my records are dead flat during playback. Had the AF3 been out when I bought the Master Innovation, I would of opted for AF3.
    Thanks Christian. Good to know coming from someone with both brands to play with. One question, does the CA need a peripheral ring and/or clamp?

    Thanks

    Howie

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by JackD201 View Post
    I thought the CA could do 3. I figured draw because front left mount was always tricky for me. I guess you are right though

    No. of arms: TechDAS
    CA can do 3. AF3 can do 4.

  10. #10
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best! rockitman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howiebrou View Post
    Thanks Christian. Good to know coming from someone with both brands to play with. One question, does the CA need a peripheral ring and/or clamp?

    Thanks

    Howie
    The other thing with the Clearaudio...you need to buy the ACCU+ battery power supply for the TT to use instead of the stock wall wart plug. It makes the motor noticeably quieter and adds $2,300 to the price approx.
    Christian

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