There‘s more to the story... all things equal, as an end customer, he may have gone a different route. Remember that the list price of the XD1 is half that of the K3…
In Fremer’s review of the XD1 he said it’s the best he’s ever heard. This was in 2020, with vacuum hold-down and the Ti arm (which was not the unit auditioned in this thread in 2019):
I've heard various XD1 iterations at shows and demos as Gomez refined his design. The earlier demos were underwhelming, especially considering the price. But one evening at Munich High End 2019, after hours, as I spun records that I'd shlepped halfway around the world for a crowd in the Marten Audio room, I said to myself, "That might be the best-sounding turntable I've ever heard!" … In my room at home, the fully finished XD1 whipped the Caliburn in every sonic way. Easily.
Vs. The K3 and AF0:
“The K3's "hit fast, hit hard, linger just long enough, and then get out of town" performance could not have been more different from the Air Force Zero's. That would come as neither a surprise nor a disappointment to either 'table's designers—although my time with Mr. Weiss leads me to believe he'll be disappointed that I didn't write that "the K3 blows the fat, sluggish, energy-retaining Air Force Zero out of the water."
I've heard my share of fat, sluggish, bulbous-sounding turntables and thin, lean, edgy, bass-deficient ones too. The sonic performance of these two super-'tables—and that of the SAT XD1, which sonically sits somewhere in between—isn't accidental. All three are purposeful and intentional in design and sonic outcome.
The K3 is brash and bold (which doesn't mean bright or mechanical), while the Air Force Zero is velvety and reserved (which doesn't mean timid or sluggish). I'd give the silent-backgrounds nod to the Zero (over every turntable I've yet heard) and the pristine, explosive transients nod to the K3.”
Seems like me like the XD1 is a veritable “bargain”, as it lists for half the price of the OMA K3 and AF0 and AF1P.
heard the XD1 and AF1 side by side and claimed the XD1 to be better (see above).
Fremer’s review of the K3 was positive, but not gushing… I didn’t read that he said ‘it’s the best I have heard’ - I recall he wrote that the XD1 splits the sonic difference between the AF0 and the K3, which could be desirable to most.
Finally, my take on the Technics components, which seem to come up now and then as a con. Like: ‘this is a $100k TT with the moto of a $10k Technics!‘Tthe fact that it’s (very limitedly) based on the Technics motor and controller is actually a big plus
in my book.
Motor design and control software is very R&D intensive. Getting motor control software right, especially for direct drive, is not trivial. It’s great that OMA spent 1000 hours on this, or whatever; but I’d rather have a massive company with decades of DD experience (Technics) program the motor. How likely is it that the bespoke motor in the K3 will be serviceable if Weiss shuts down OMA? With Technics at the core, you could probably get it serviced far into the future. I’d rather minimize the risk of having a $200k++ paperweight in the future!