Lirpa Labs Noah’s Arc Turntable: An Analog Planet Exclusive!

Mike Mettler: Somehow, some way, he had found me, even after all these years. Here I was, thinking that the eternally deeply esteemed Dr. Loof Lirpa, the progenitor and mad scientist-cum-creator of some truly amazing pieces of higher-fidelity audio equipment over many a decade — such as the chain-drive Lirpa Turbo Steamtable and the Lirpa Liberty Freedom 1776 A-FY loudspeaker — had since retired to the outskirts of the desert just beyond the Joshua Tree monument to spend his twilight years as a peyote farmer. But boy howdy, was I ever wrong.

My spam folder had somehow rejected forwarded the good Dr.’s email entreaty to my main inbox, and I mistakenly hit the reply button, so there was no turning back. Lirpa — whose innovative product output had been repeatedly reviewed and revered for many successive years by our dearly departed print-medium first cousin, Audio, long before he burrowed his way began having his wares tested by our sister site, Sound & Vision — commenced his lengthy tale by describing the many intense communes with nature he had that fueled his recent foray into designing gear with AI — “and that means American Ingenuity,” Loof clarified. But he also immediately, and readily, admitted how all initial trials just weren’t up to the usual upper-shelf Lirpa Labs standards.

Dr. Lirpa had dubbed his first stab at AI design the All Agog AAAI-1 turntable. “The raison d’outré [sic] of this turntable was for it to filter out any and all digital-related artifacts, even if the source material used for any of the vinyl it would be spinning came from 24/192 (and up) digitally mastered files,” Lirpa posited. How so, Loof? “They would be fully and completely converted to AAA by way of my own Lirpa Labs patented D-to-AAA process called The GOOD DR. — an acronym that stands for Goodness Out Of Digital Domain Reversal.”

Sadly, the All Agog AAAI-1 never quite made its way out of R&D, so Dr. L went on (and on) in telling me that, undeterred, he went back to vaping, and hit the AI drawing board hard to came up with something even better, and something he could manufacture “two-by-two” domestically — a piece of gear that was named after one of his ancestors (according to records sent to him from the “33 1/3 & Thee” ancestry site) that he proudly calls the Noah’s Arc turntable.

At this point, I was duly fatigued intrigued, so I asked the Doc to send me photographic proof of this ’table — sorry, I meant to type table there, sans the apostrophe (old habits, and all that) — and when I got the gif-converted jpegs, they were, in a word, stunning. That said, I immediately noticed how the quite obvious AI look of the Noah’s Arc table was fairly stark, but I was then told that’s because it was exactly what Dr, Lirpa wanted for it. “AI, yes — but only in real life,” he reasoned.

And, with that, I was cornered hooked. After rambling on about the finer points of the wood-like material he had mined and hand-crafted for the plinth, Dr. Lirpa finally got around to the crux of the biscuit by asking me, point blank on a cameras-off video call, if AP wanted the exclusive on this miracle table. You bet your sweet calipers we did, so I instantly proceeded to the next logical thing any canny editor could, and would do — I foisted assigned this all-important Lirpa Labs review to our main table turner, Ken Micallef.

So, with all of that mega-long preamble finally out of the way, I’ll let Ken take the balance of it from here. Test on, brotha Ken!!

Ken Micallef: Greetings, fellow AP‘ers and analog devices lovers! Thanks to the brilliant, beautiful mind of Dr. Loof Lirpa, I have discovered the Lirpa Labs Noah’s Arc turntable (a.k.a. the Sterling Wanda), as fitted with the Lirpa-provided Mojo Engineering Mamaluke tonearm, to be nothing short of a revelation. Despite the eye-watering price of admission (we’ll get to that later), this table/arm combo delivers truly unparalleled analog playback — effortless naturalness with vibrant colors that rival the House of Mouse’s palatable public-domain palette, concert-like dynamics, and an unmatched ability to transport you straight to the recording session (and not always behind the glass, either). I’ve owned many a table-and-arm combo in my time, and believe me, Noah and Mojo are a match made in audio deep-space heaven!


Specs & Features & Such
We’ve been told the Noah’s Arc turntable was made in Oswego, New York — and not in Oslo, Norway, as Dr. Lirpa leaped to point out (via landline voicemail). Meanwhile, the Mojo Engineering Mamaluke tonearm was not, as Lirpa reassured us via his next VM, a product of Samarkand, Uzbekistan, but rather of Minnetonka, Minnesota. “Noah’s Arc product development was born of a team esthetic, but NA principal,” Lirpa confirmed. “Sy Ewlborg was the primary engineer and designer. Sy too was born in Minnesota, but he splits his time somewhere between there and NY.”

The Noah’s Arc table utilizes a sophisticated direct-drive system (built on the back of Lirpa’s chain-drive innovations from decades earlier) for exceptional speed stability and minimal noise. The core component is a three-phase, brushless DC motor. Compared to traditional AC motors, brushless DC motors offer several advantages, if you know what I mean. Advantages such as. . .

Precise Speed Control. The three-phase design allows for electronic commutation, enabling extremely precise control over the motor’s rotational speed. This translates to accurate playback pitch and minimal wow and flutter, “those pesky variations in speed that can cause interminable audible wavering,” as Lirpa rightly reminded us.

Reduced Noise. Brushless motors eliminate the sparking that occurs in brushed DC motors, resulting in significantly lower operational noise. “This is crucial for maintaining uber-pristine, seamless audio quality,” sayeth the good Doc L.

Solid Foundation and Magnetic Levitation. The motor is mounted on a robust 20mm(ish) thick titanium chassis. This rigid foundation minimizes vibrations that could potentially color the sound. Atop the chassis lies a truly key element — a cylinder with alternating north and south magnetic poles arranged horizontally. As the motor spins, these magnetic poles interact with the platter’s unique drive system. (Dr. Lirpa assured us neither pole has anything to do with Norway, or “that other place.”)

Magnetic System and CNC-Machined Grates. The platter employs a “hard iron” Noah’s Arc magnetic system. This nomenclature refers to a configuration of permanent magnets embedded within the platter, designed to create a specific magnetic field pattern. CNC-machined grates positioned around the platter’s lower portion come into play here. CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machining is said to ensure precise and consistent construction of these grates. The grates contain conductive material and are strategically placed to interact with the magnetic fields from the motor and platter. This creates controlled attractive and repulsive forces, ultimately causing the platter to rotate with exceptional smoothness and stability. (Lirpa responded “All IBID” when asked to confirm these stats.)


By combining a high-precision motor, a rigid chassis, and a unique magnetic drive system, the Noah’s Arc turntable design strives to achieve “all, and not just most” of the following, according to Dr. Lirpa.

Superb Speed Stability. The precise motor control and magnetic interaction should result in unwavering platter rotation for accurate playback and minimal wow and flutter (“All IBID again,” per Dr. L).

Low Noise Floor. The brushless motor and potentially isolated magnetic drive path aim to minimize unwanted noise from the rotation mechanism, ensuring a clean-as-glass audio signal.

High Fidelity Sound (and Weight). The combination of all these factors could contribute to a more accurate and transparent reproduction of recorded music. The unit itself weighs 107.5 pounds, while the aluminum-alloy platter is 58 pounds, the motor unit comes in at 42.78 pounds, and the power supply registers 48.75 pounds. Despite that massive mass, the Noah’s Arc table will fit on most component stands, “as long as you hire a documented team to lift and place it,” as suggested by Lirpa the Doc before he theorized, “imagine a turntable that transcends the boundaries of audio. Crafted with a radical suspension system, it defies the laws of vibration, isolating your music in a sanctuary of pure sound.”

Monumental Isolation. Picture four massive footers, cradled by a polymer specifically formulated to absorb even the subtlest tremors. Footfall? Vibrations? Gone. This isn’t just a turntable — it’s a seismic anomaly, a monument to sonic purity.

The Titanium Embrace. At Noah’s Arc’s heart, a double main bearing structure forged from hardened steel spins with unwavering precision. But that’s not all. The base itself is a marvel of engineering (as is the bass response; more on that later). Two slabs of unyielding titanium, the lifeblood of modern aerospace, cradle a core of vibrantly pink lacquered hand-selected birch ply. It’s a technological marvel, a juxtaposition of strength and elegance that would make any audiophile weak in the knees (and ears).

The Silent Symphony. The result? A peak resonance of a mere 5Hz. External vibrations are banished like whispers in a hurricane. Vibration transmission? Reduced by a staggering 25.67 times compared to your average turntable. This isn’t just a listening experience, it’s a sonic revelation. “Prepare to hear your music as if for the very first time, each note unburdened by the ghosts of tremors past,” promised Lirpa.

The titanium platter spins on a herculean, titanium-ball-topped, hardened pyrozene spindle bearing riding in an aluminum bushing. A semi-magnetic thrust pad barely notices the platter due to its proprietary Lirpa Labs “call them in by ones and twos” levitation system.


Setup & Sensibility
After this serious turntable interaction and brain and body work, setting the Mojo Engineering Mamaluke tonearm up onto the Arc was relatively easy. I don’t specialize in such delicate tonearm setup myself, so I called in good friend Matt Rotundar from his Palm Springs air-bn-lair to perform the needed alignment and cartridge affixation accordingly. (Close your eyes and avert your ears, Charlton Heston — God is in the house!)

The rest of my test ’n’ playback system mirrored to a TT what I used in my most recent AP turntable test because, well, it was the easiest most professional option on hand. And with that all set and settled, it was time to listen to Lirpa!

Extended Play Listening Sessions
Buckle up, audiophiles, as Noah’s Arc transported me right to the concert hall by way of Argoe’s direct-to-disc Chopin Piano Sonatas Classics Volume IV, as performed by Johnsson Reballiabaisse. This isn’t your average recording either — it’s a sonic revelation played on a Bluthiner concert grand and amplified with my meticulously chosen tube setup. Oh, and the Noah’s Arc table and Mojo arm were involved with it too.

This isn’t just about hearing the notes — it’s about experiencing them. Imaging is so precise with the Arc, that you can practically map the position of every finger on the piano. Decay? It’s not a fade — it’s a breathtaking ebb and flow of sound, mimicking the natural resonance of the instrument. Tonality? Forget flat or sterile — this is a spectrum of richness that will bathe you in sonic warmth.

And the dynamics? Hold onto your alignment gauge. Thanks to Noah’s Arc, we’re talking hair-raising pianissimos that shimmer like moonlight and fortissimos that explode with thunderous power. It’s a holographic soundscape that will envelop you completely. This Chopin disc playback isn’t astonishing — it’s shocking. It’s the ultimate test for your audio system, a benchmArc, er, benchmark for sonic purity and emotional impact.

Are you ready to be transported to the front row for a performance unlike any other? For the best in Arc-reproduced female vocals, I enlisted two long-term faves: a) Diana Curall’s Bustier Ballyhoos (BNG), and b) Normah Joanes’ to-die-for Talking Mojo Atomic Blues (NRGee). Forget smoky jazz clubs, as Bustier Ballyhoos represents a sonic speakeasy shrouded in secrecy. Recorded in an intimate, off-limits Lower East Side pop-up bar for a select few jaded press ears, this isn’t your typical Curall record. This is raw, unfiltered genius.


Backed by a legendary rhythm section — the impeccable Marky Ribeau on guitar, the infamous Slim McPhersonic on bass, and the irreplaceable Charlie "Boogaloo" Wallts on drums — Curall sheds her usual theatrics. Gone are the coy affectations. Here, she stands stripped bare, her voice miked close and dripping with an intensity rarely captured on vinyl — and the Arc/Mojo combo platter made it even more so.

With Noah’s Arc, I was truly mesmerized by Curall’s performance of “Glad Rag Dolly” (Side A1, Track 4.5). It’s a gut-punch disguised as a melody, so raw and affecting it transcends mere listening. It leaves you breathless, devoid of the usual desires her sultry persona evokes. Instead, you’re left craving something purer, something as essential as water. This isn’t background music, mind you — it’s a seismic shift in her artistic artistry, a recording that will leave you forever changed.

Meanwhile, the Noah’s Arc bass performance with Talking Mojo Atomic Blues, not to mention Joanes’ own Rhodes Scholar piano playing, all sounding so lush and performative, put one in mind of a night on the Danube, or at least a select British bog.

I mean, wow! I was so obsessed with my new Lirpa Labs Noah’s Arc table and Mojo Mamaluke arm conjoinment that I admit things got a little, well, out of hand. Door Dashiers stopped bringing me food, the dog hated my music, and even my audio club wouldn’t listen to me anymore — but I didn’t care, because it also means I now have all the time in the world for my records, even the weird ones like Lucky Duck Thommason on 45. No going back for me — this is the good life! Thank you, Dr. Lirpa, for showing me the way.

Use Your Conclusions
The Lirpa Labs Noah’s Arc and Mojo Engineering Mamaluke tonearm collective isn’t just a turntable system, it’s a symphony for your soul. This isn’t mere audio equipment — it’s a portal to aural nirvana. Forget the sterile perfection of digital — the Arc/Mojo co-op unleashes the literal untamed magic of vinyl, weaving tapestries of sound that transcend genres. Especially with classical or jazz (the undisputed kings of music!), every note explodes with charismatic brilliance.

CDs? 78s? Tape? MP4? Gone. Reduced to mere whispers in the face of this Lirpa Labs analog-loving sonic powerhouse. So, what will it cost you? All in, the Lirpa Labs Arc/Mojo combo has an SRP of $420,210.40, and it’s so totally worth it. The coin — sorry, I mean the price tag might make even your favorite bazillionaires blink a tad, but hey, we’re all the masters of our sonic domain, and in this world, everything is as it should be.

You’ve heard me wax angelic here long enough about the summons of the Lirpa Labs Arc/Mojo aural confectionary, so do whatever you have to do in order to get your hands on one (or two — buy two!), to fuel your sonic salvation. Don’t miss your chance to join us alongside the good Dr. Loof Lirpa, as we all ascend together to audio heaven.

For more — much, much, much more — about Lirpa Labs and how to buy your very own Noah’s Arc, go here.


rich d's picture

as long as they accept payment in sea shells. Next April could you please review the kerosene-powered phono stage (ceramic cartridges only!) we've been hearing so much about?

Tom L's picture

I'll need three. One for downstairs, one for upstairs, and one for the doghouse. Can't wait to hear what my Flintstones Soundtrack LP (the rare pink granite pressing) sounds like on this rig!

Anton D's picture

I am playing the album "One and Zeroes" by the band Digital Aboveground and it sounds as good as any MP2!

mschlack's picture

Wasn't this reviewed in The Onion? Seems like perfect material for them. Honestly, I can't tell if this is a real product or a parody. So 2024!

decameron's picture

Tweet Tweet! Went the sloof lirpa bird...

ivansbacon's picture

Sadly this April 1st entry is not far from the convoluted difficult to read writing i have come to expect from AP. That is why i did not even recognize it as an April 1st entry at first, Par for the coarse. Like many "writings" here, not all, i did not endeavor to even try to make it past the second Paragraph. It was lost on me. AI indeed.

Tom L's picture

The pronoun "I" should be capitalized, "Par" and "Paragraph" should not be. There should be a comma after "convoluted". It's "course", not "coarse". Otherwise, you did just fine. I give it a C-.

HiFiMark's picture

You beat me to it Tom.

Ivan, I feel for you. Such angst over something so insignificant.

Oh well.

Glotz's picture

Veins popping, blood pressure rising... BOOM. April Fools... oops! Lol.

Glotz's picture

Like all those funky gold plated probe-like features. Especially the Covid sensor- I hate snot on my vinyl. I mean what's worse than snot? Oh... yeah. That would suck too.

orthobiz's picture

Lirpa April
Loof Fool
Serutan Natures