Air Force One "Premium" is a Significant Upgrade, But it Comes at a Stiff Price

Nishikawasan explains the significant upgrades to his Air Force One turntable that resulted in a new "Premium" version costing approximately $40,000 more than the standard $100,000 Air Force One. (Shown with SAT tone arm).

You can imagine the translation issues involved as his Japanese description had to first be translated into German and then, thanks to Einstein Audio's Volker Bohlmeier, into English. This is a severely edited version of the event.

The upgrade includes a new compressor system including a new pump for the vacuum hold down system, as well as a new one for the air bearing platter. The motor control electronics are also new.

All are included in two hefty, machined chassis.

The standard Air Force One includes a bicycle pump for inflation the air suspension system. The "Premium" version includes an inflation method that uses the built in compressor as well as an LED system that helps insure a level plinth.

There are other upgrade options including a new optional titanium arm mount as well as the titanium platter that's an option for the standard Air Force One.

The sonic differences between the standard and titanium platters are major. If you own an Air Force One, I encourage you to spent the $12,500 for the titanium platter. If you've spent $100,000 already, an additional $12,500 shouldn't be a major expenditure. If enough people howl about this, I'll post the files and you can tell me! Titanium is extremely expensive and no one involved is "cleaning up" on this, they assure me.

Why such a big sonic difference? SAT tone arm designer Marc Gomez speculates it has more to do with the differences in eddy current production between titanium (low) and aluminum (higher) and how those currents affect the phono cartridge.

The price differential between the Air Force One and the Air Force One Premium is about $40,000 (could be a bit more or a bit less), bringing the cost of the Air Force One Premium to $140,000.

ravenacustic's picture

For all the videos Mike. Always fun to see the cutting edge.

Lazer's picture

But it seems like a bit of a cluster ....

Bob Levin's picture

Between this or a 3 bedroom house in the 'burbs, I'll take the turntable!
It looks a lot more fun than diy plumbing projects or mowing the lawn.

JJK1954's picture

I'm not an audiophile, but I cant understand paying $100,000 for a turntable! I have an $800.00 Technics, and its great! :-)