My journey to Zero

TLi

Well-Known Member
May 27, 2016
287
534
198
My journey to TechDAS Air Force Zero was a long and winding one. It started in Hong Kong HiFi Show in August 2018.

I was using TechDAS Air Force One Premium at the time. The turntable had a tendency to overheat after playing a few hours. The platter would slowed down. I met Mr Nishikawa in the HiFi Show and told him my AF1P had a problem. He said he would exchange a new power supply to me. We had a family vacation trip to Tokyo in the coming month and I asked: "Can I take the power supply to Tokyo and change it to a new one?" He said okay.

In September, 2018, I visited the TechDAS, Stella Inc office in Tokyo. Mr Nishikawa showed me a technical drawing of Air Force Zero and said he was in the final phase of developing it. I was very impressed with his design but he hoped I could kept the drawing and ideas confidential before the official announcement. No problem, I could kept the secret.

In March, 2019, I attended the premiere launch event of Air Force Zero in Tokyo. It was amazing and I shared some photos in another thread. I actually attended four out of five international tour events of the Zero in 2019. The only one that I could not made it was the one in Audio Salon Santa Monica. In the Tokyo HiFi Show, November 2019, TechDAS said the Zero was officially ready and shipment would begin soon.

In January, 2020, I made an deposit in Hong Kong dealer to order the Zero. Since Mr Nishikawa wanted to install every Zero himself, I didn't want him to travel to Hong Kong just for the installation. A compromise was reached that I should get the Zero used in the coming Hong Kong HiFi Show in August, 2020. So he could setup the Zero for demonstration in the Show and after that install it in my place. That would save him one trip.

COVID-19 disrupted everything, The August Hong Kong HiFi Show was cancelled and travel ban had stopped the TechDAS team to come to Hong Kong. The plan at the time was to wait until the pandemic was over and they came to install it. Everyone knows the current situation. With no end in sight, I decided to ship the Zero to Hong Kong and tried to install it myself.

TechDAS has detailed videos showing various steps in the installation. The turntable arrived in six large boxes. The heaviest one was 135kg, total shipping weight was 455kg. I asked three long time audiophile friends to help with the installation. It was like a set of super large LEGO. One piece by one piece we put it together, took four of us over three hours to assemble the whole thing. Many thanks to my dedicated friends, without their hard work, it was not possible.

The most important thing is the sound. It is simply amazing. Although I had heard the Zero many times all over the world, it is nothing like having it in your system. The "WOW" is still there. Compared with Air Force One Premium which is a very good turntable on its own, the Zero wins by some margins. It is quieter, smoother and more resolution from top to bottom. My helpers were all experienced audiophiles, they came many time before to listen my AF1P, they all agreed the Zero was a lot better. I shall fine tune the tonearm and the turntable further in the coming weeks, it should sound even better, but now I am very happy that this journey has ended in a fruitful way.

Enclosed please find some before and after photographs.

C11V5706.jpg C11V5714.jpg C11V5707.jpg C11V5709.jpg
 

Lagonda

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Wow, amazing TT ! :)
 
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PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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Congratulations TLi. I think the turntable has a very different look on your pneumatic platform. It somehow looks more manageable to me. Do you have the air isolation engaged on the platform table? If so, have you tried it without the air?

As a fellow Pass Labs and Magico owner, I can imagine how wonderful your system must sound.
 
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Gregadd

WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
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I don't want o rain on your parade. I am puzzled how a $100k turntable could be mechanically inadequate? The solution to that is to purchase an even more expensive mode;.
Congratulations!
 
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Ron Resnick

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Jan 25, 2015
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Congratulations, TLi!
 
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Gregadd

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BTW are those Magico M2 in the picture?
 

Lagonda

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I don't want o rain on your parade. I am puzzled how a $100k turntable could be mechanically inadequate? The solution to that is to purchase an even more expensive mode;.
Congratulations!
Why settle for the very, very good ? When you can have/afford the absolute best ! :)
 
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Gregadd

WBF Founding Member
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Why settle for the very, very good ? When you can have/afford the absolute best ! :)
Well because the previous model was the absolute best.
 

matakana

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2020
283
132
50
59
UK
My journey to TechDAS Air Force Zero was a long and winding one. It started in Hong Kong HiFi Show in August 2018.

I was using TechDAS Air Force One Premium at the time. The turntable had a tendency to overheat after playing a few hours. The platter would slowed down. I met Mr Nishikawa in the HiFi Show and told him my AF1P had a problem. He said he would exchange a new power supply to me. We had a family vacation trip to Tokyo in the coming month and I asked: "Can I take the power supply to Tokyo and change it to a new one?" He said okay.

In September, 2018, I visited the TechDAS, Stella Inc office in Tokyo. Mr Nishikawa showed me a technical drawing of Air Force Zero and said he was in the final phase of developing it. I was very impressed with his design but he hoped I could kept the drawing and ideas confidential before the official announcement. No problem, I could kept the secret.

In March, 2019, I attended the premiere launch event of Air Force Zero in Tokyo. It was amazing and I shared some photos in another thread. I actually attended four out of five international tour events of the Zero in 2019. The only one that I could not made it was the one in Audio Salon Santa Monica. In the Tokyo HiFi Show, November 2019, TechDAS said the Zero was officially ready and shipment would begin soon.

In January, 2020, I made an deposit in Hong Kong dealer to order the Zero. Since Mr Nishikawa wanted to install every Zero himself, I didn't want him to travel to Hong Kong just for the installation. A compromise was reached that I should get the Zero used in the coming Hong Kong HiFi Show in August, 2020. So he could setup the Zero for demonstration in the Show and after that install it in my place. That would save him one trip.

COVID-19 disrupted everything, The August Hong Kong HiFi Show was cancelled and travel ban had stopped the TechDAS team to come to Hong Kong. The plan at the time was to wait until the pandemic was over and they came to install it. Everyone knows the current situation. With no end in sight, I decided to ship the Zero to Hong Kong and tried to install it myself.

TechDAS has detailed videos showing various steps in the installation. The turntable arrived in six large boxes. The heaviest one was 135kg, total shipping weight was 455kg. I asked three long time audiophile friends to help with the installation. It was like a set of super large LEGO. One piece by one piece we put it together, took four of us over three hours to assemble the whole thing. Many thanks to my dedicated friends, without their hard work, it was not possible.

The most important thing is the sound. It is simply amazing. Although I had heard the Zero many times all over the world, it is nothing like having it in your system. The "WOW" is still there. Compared with Air Force One Premium which is a very good turntable on its own, the Zero wins by some margins. It is quieter, smoother and more resolution from top to bottom. My helpers were all experienced audiophiles, they came many time before to listen my AF1P, they all agreed the Zero was a lot better. I shall fine tune the tonearm and the turntable further in the coming weeks, it should sound even better, but now I am very happy that this journey has ended in a fruitful way.

Enclosed please find some before and after photographs.

View attachment 76145 View attachment 76146 View attachment 76147 View attachment 76148

Congratulations, It sits very nicely, The ‘best of the best’.
 
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Lagonda

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Feb 4, 2014
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Gregadd

WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
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550
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Why settle for the very, very good ? When you can have/afford the absolute best ! :)
ok difficult to argue with that. I anxiously await the /-1/. ;)
 
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advanced101

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May 3, 2017
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I'm with Peter, it somehow looks "manageable" in your setup. Congratulations!
 
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TLi

Well-Known Member
May 27, 2016
287
534
198
Congratulations TLi. I think the turntable has a very different look on your pneumatic platform. It somehow looks more manageable to me. Do you have the air isolation engaged on the platform table? If so, have you tried it without the air?

As a fellow Pass Labs and Magico owner, I can imagine how wonderful your system must sound.
The table is a laboratory grade active isolation desk, usually used to support scanning EM microscope. It was designed and custom made to Zero size by the local dealer of Herzan. The scientific officer has tested the vibration pattern of the table. He said even with the music playing loud, the table top still remain as stable as it was placed in a deep mountain cave.

The difference with and without the active isolation switched on is very obvious. Better isolation is better sound.
 

TLi

Well-Known Member
May 27, 2016
287
534
198
I don't want o rain on your parade. I am puzzled how a $100k turntable could be mechanically inadequate? The solution to that is to purchase an even more expensive mode;.
Congratulations!
The heating problem of AF1P has been discussed in other threads and is not the subject here. I can briefly sum up like this.

I used AF1 before upgraded to AF1P. The two likes similar but in fact most components have different. The power supply and pump chassis of AF1 has heat sink on both sides. The power supply/pump unit in AF1P is a smooth box. The heat sink for the motor drive is inside this sealed box. After playing for a few hours, the air inside the power supply box becomes fairly hot. This air is pumped to the platter base to float the platter. Hot air has less pressure. The platter is not floated proper so it slows down.

It only happens in summer and when you play for a long time. The simple solution is to open the top lid a little and get the heat out.

Please don't have the impression that I was sold a higher model because the current one has a problem.
 

amadeus

VIP/Donor
Jan 13, 2018
247
229
215
My journey to TechDAS Air Force Zero was a long and winding one. It started in Hong Kong HiFi Show in August 2018.

I was using TechDAS Air Force One Premium at the time. The turntable had a tendency to overheat after playing a few hours. The platter would slowed down. I met Mr Nishikawa in the HiFi Show and told him my AF1P had a problem. He said he would exchange a new power supply to me. We had a family vacation trip to Tokyo in the coming month and I asked: "Can I take the power supply to Tokyo and change it to a new one?" He said okay.

In September, 2018, I visited the TechDAS, Stella Inc office in Tokyo. Mr Nishikawa showed me a technical drawing of Air Force Zero and said he was in the final phase of developing it. I was very impressed with his design but he hoped I could kept the drawing and ideas confidential before the official announcement. No problem, I could kept the secret.

In March, 2019, I attended the premiere launch event of Air Force Zero in Tokyo. It was amazing and I shared some photos in another thread. I actually attended four out of five international tour events of the Zero in 2019. The only one that I could not made it was the one in Audio Salon Santa Monica. In the Tokyo HiFi Show, November 2019, TechDAS said the Zero was officially ready and shipment would begin soon.

In January, 2020, I made an deposit in Hong Kong dealer to order the Zero. Since Mr Nishikawa wanted to install every Zero himself, I didn't want him to travel to Hong Kong just for the installation. A compromise was reached that I should get the Zero used in the coming Hong Kong HiFi Show in August, 2020. So he could setup the Zero for demonstration in the Show and after that install it in my place. That would save him one trip.

COVID-19 disrupted everything, The August Hong Kong HiFi Show was cancelled and travel ban had stopped the TechDAS team to come to Hong Kong. The plan at the time was to wait until the pandemic was over and they came to install it. Everyone knows the current situation. With no end in sight, I decided to ship the Zero to Hong Kong and tried to install it myself.

TechDAS has detailed videos showing various steps in the installation. The turntable arrived in six large boxes. The heaviest one was 135kg, total shipping weight was 455kg. I asked three long time audiophile friends to help with the installation. It was like a set of super large LEGO. One piece by one piece we put it together, took four of us over three hours to assemble the whole thing. Many thanks to my dedicated friends, without their hard work, it was not possible.

The most important thing is the sound. It is simply amazing. Although I had heard the Zero many times all over the world, it is nothing like having it in your system. The "WOW" is still there. Compared with Air Force One Premium which is a very good turntable on its own, the Zero wins by some margins. It is quieter, smoother and more resolution from top to bottom. My helpers were all experienced audiophiles, they came many time before to listen my AF1P, they all agreed the Zero was a lot better. I shall fine tune the tonearm and the turntable further in the coming weeks, it should sound even better, but now I am very happy that this journey has ended in a fruitful way.

Enclosed please find some before and after photographs.

View attachment 76145 View attachment 76146 View attachment 76147 View attachment 76148
Congratulation you have something very very special i have heard this table at Munich and even in show circumstances it was to me clearly superior table to others... I see you have a Sat arm on it and not a Graham Elite which seems to be the perfect match whit this arm...?
 
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Gregadd

WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
8,496
777
550
Metro DC
Good observation. My speakers are Magico M6 and it has similar look from the side, but M2 is considerably smaller.
An embarrassment of riches. Did you know the M-9...never mind?
 
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Gregadd

WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
8,496
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550
Metro DC
^^^[text omitted}
Please don't have the impression that I was sold a higher model because the current one has a problem.
Ok
 

Geddy

Member
May 12, 2020
3
0
6
Congratulasions with probably the most seriously engineered turntable ever!

Curious what the three black Techdas boxes on top of each other are?
 

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