My journey to Zero

TLi

Well-Known Member
May 27, 2016
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Congratulasions with probably the most seriously engineered turntable ever!

Curious what the three black Techdas boxes on top of each other are?
Those are pumps for platter float, vacuum suction and motor power supply/ air pump.
 
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Gregadd

WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
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Metro DC
As l said before. Has anybody tried an air bearing tonearm with this table? No offense intended Bob.
 
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CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
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MF's review eventually :


:cool:
 

Lagonda

VIP/Donor
Feb 4, 2014
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This particular AC synchronous Pabst motor was never used in a Revox machine like Fremer claims, until 1967 the Revox G36 uses a different Pabst motor, from 1967 they start using a asychronous servo controlled motor in the A77 and forward. The motors used in the Zero are from 1977, probably the last batch made, i have one from 1969. :) His speed measurements are not very impressive either, i get better stability with the unmodified motor. Probably his crude measurement tools, he needs a RoadRunner.
 
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Addicted to hifi

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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 looks stunning.
 

dcathro

Well-Known Member
Sep 16, 2016
328
329
168
Melbourne, Australia
Yes, congratulations - can't help but feel a little envious:).

Would love to see some pics from the listening position.
 

dcathro

Well-Known Member
Sep 16, 2016
328
329
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Melbourne, Australia
What’s the weight of the platter I wonder.
According to MF's review, 225 lb as standard, or optionally 262 lb (special top plate).

Saves getting a home gym!
 
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dcathro

Well-Known Member
Sep 16, 2016
328
329
168
Melbourne, Australia
The power amp has been changed to Constellation Hercules II mono block.

Thank you. Looks a great system. Are you happy with the sound?
 

CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
2,637
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Hong Kong
Big thanks to TLi for treating Ackcheng and I a most enjoyable Saturday afternoon yesterday!

Ackcheng auditioning TLi's system :
:D
IMG_20211121_084202.jpg

The highlight must be TLi's Air Force Zero!
IMG_20211120_162956.jpg

Thomas must be one of the most itchy friends of mine! Recently he acquired the new DS Audio flagship DreamMaster cartridge combo and so had Ackcheng.
Unluckily the DreamMaster got some issues and was sent back to Japan for checking & repair. The HK dealer lent the previous top model to TLi for the time being. It worked with the phono equalizer of DreamMaster very well.
IMG_20211121_002847.jpg

The SAT tonearm is impeccable, as always.
IMG_20211121_002516.jpg

The 2nd tonearm on AF Zero is the Phantom Elite.
We did a comparison of Koetsu Stone Tigerwood Diamond vs Lyra Atlas SL Lambda vs Etsuro Gold.
Comparison could be done easily because TLI installed them on diff Elite tonearm wands.
IMG_20211121_084033.jpg

The Lyra Atlas SL Lambda was very very good, but I liked the Etsuro Gold even more!
IMG_20211121_002552.jpg

Ackcheng had to leave the gathering early because he had another engagement.
What a pity! He missed another highlight of the day.
TLi shared with me his vintage Martell Cognac Extra, accompanied with dark chocolate.
It was as enjoyable as the music!
:cool:
IMG_20211121_002722.jpg
 
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Addicted to hifi

VIP/Donor
Sep 8, 2020
4,615
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Australia
Big thanks to TLi for treating Ackcheng and I a most enjoyable Saturday afternoon yesterday!

Ackcheng auditioning TLi's system :
:D
View attachment 85023

The highlight must be TLi's Air Force Zero!
View attachment 85024

Thomas must be one of the most itchy friends of mine! Recently he acquired the new DS Audio flagship DreamMaster cartridge combo and so had Ackcheng.
Unluckily the DreamMaster got some issues and was sent back to Japan for checking & repair. The HK dealer lent the previous top model to TLi for the time being. It worked with the phono equalizer of DreamMaster very well.
View attachment 85025

The SAT tonearm is impeccable, as always.
View attachment 85027

The 2nd tonearm on AF Zero is the Phantom Elite.
We did a comparison of Koetsu Stone Tigerwood Diamond vs Lyra Atlas SL Lambda vs Etsuro Gold.
Comparison could be done easily because TLI installed them on diff Elite tonearm wands.
View attachment 85029

The Lyra Atlas SL Lambda was very very good, but I liked the Etsuro Gold even more!
View attachment 85028

Ackcheng had to leave the gathering early because he had another engagement.
What a pity! He missed another highlight of the day.
TLi shared with me his vintage Martell Cognac Extra, accompanied with dark chocolate.
It was as enjoyable as the music!
:cool:
View attachment 85030
Your lucky to hear such an amazing system.
 

dcathro

Well-Known Member
Sep 16, 2016
328
329
168
Melbourne, Australia
Big thanks to TLi for treating Ackcheng and I a most enjoyable Saturday afternoon yesterday!

Ackcheng auditioning TLi's system :
:D
View attachment 85023

The highlight must be TLi's Air Force Zero!
View attachment 85024

Thomas must be one of the most itchy friends of mine! Recently he acquired the new DS Audio flagship DreamMaster cartridge combo and so had Ackcheng.
Unluckily the DreamMaster got some issues and was sent back to Japan for checking & repair. The HK dealer lent the previous top model to TLi for the time being. It worked with the phono equalizer of DreamMaster very well.
View attachment 85025

The SAT tonearm is impeccable, as always.
View attachment 85027

The 2nd tonearm on AF Zero is the Phantom Elite.
We did a comparison of Koetsu Stone Tigerwood Diamond vs Lyra Atlas SL Lambda vs Etsuro Gold.
Comparison could be done easily because TLI installed them on diff Elite tonearm wands.
View attachment 85029

The Lyra Atlas SL Lambda was very very good, but I liked the Etsuro Gold even more!
View attachment 85028

Ackcheng had to leave the gathering early because he had another engagement.
What a pity! He missed another highlight of the day.
TLi shared with me his vintage Martell Cognac Extra, accompanied with dark chocolate.
It was as enjoyable as the music!
:cool:
View attachment 85030

Thanks for posting!
 

amadeus

VIP/Donor
Jan 13, 2018
247
229
215
Big thanks to TLi for treating Ackcheng and I a most enjoyable Saturday afternoon yesterday!

Ackcheng auditioning TLi's system :
:D
View attachment 85023

The highlight must be TLi's Air Force Zero!
View attachment 85024

Thomas must be one of the most itchy friends of mine! Recently he acquired the new DS Audio flagship DreamMaster cartridge combo and so had Ackcheng.
Unluckily the DreamMaster got some issues and was sent back to Japan for checking & repair. The HK dealer lent the previous top model to TLi for the time being. It worked with the phono equalizer of DreamMaster very well.
View attachment 85025

The SAT tonearm is impeccable, as always.
View attachment 85027

The 2nd tonearm on AF Zero is the Phantom Elite.
We did a comparison of Koetsu Stone Tigerwood Diamond vs Lyra Atlas SL Lambda vs Etsuro Gold.
Comparison could be done easily because TLI installed them on diff Elite tonearm wands.
View attachment 85029

The Lyra Atlas SL Lambda was very very good, but I liked the Etsuro Gold even more!
View attachment 85028

Ackcheng had to leave the gathering early because he had another engagement.
What a pity! He missed another highlight of the day.
TLi shared with me his vintage Martell Cognac Extra, accompanied with dark chocolate.
It was as enjoyable as the music!
:cool:
View attachment 85030
Great great setup!

Can you tell us how the DS Audio Cart compares to Atlas Lambda and Etsuro Gold?

Thanks
 

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