A Serious Turntable Sports Wood (Bamboo Actually)

Covering all the new analog gear at RMAF was more than enough to deal with but luckily in the hotel gym I began a conversation with Mike Johnson Director of Sales America/Canada for Pendalumic headphones and I promised to check them out in the CANJAM headphone area.

The $199 headphones designed by Chunbeng Quek who designs the $500 and under headphones for Sennheiser. Mr. Quek, who has his own design firm with offices in Singapore and Norway, is a part owner of Pendalumic. These headphones sounded very good especially given the price, though I don't claim to be an expert in this field. I have custom molded Westone in-ear phones that I really like but that's another story.

The story here is that while walking around afterwards I ran into Avatar Acoustics' Darren Censullo (Avatar distributes the insanely great iFi line) at a table on which was this wood+bamboo turntable from Tri-Art Audio made in Canada. It has a serious 3 phase AC motor, a nicely machined aluminum sub-platter and wooden platter and what appears to be a decent wooden tonearm. Price is around $1500. Needs to be reviewed!

weirdo12's picture

From Tri-Art in Kingston, Ontario:


Toptip's picture

Based on the above website, more of a novelty. Fit for a Flintstone episode.

Spin's picture

What makes you say it's a novelty? I've heard some really great things about this table and the sound it is able to achieve. It has a great price point too...

Toptip's picture

Well, take a look at their tonearm. It looks like a prop or a science fair project, the cue arm appears to be fashioned from a pants hanger, the whole thing is crudely put together. The loudspeaker specs and description do not make much sense. Their electronics have the look of generic products housed in bamboo enclosures. It may all sound good but the fit and finish do not convey much confidence!

Spin's picture

Have you seen the set-up video (recently added to Youtube)?

It is lengthy but demonstrates the quality and care put into their products. Hand-made, yes. "Crudely put together"... I'm not so sure I'm seeing it.


oregonpapa's picture

Check out the old Grado tone arm.


Sandy's picture

Just to clarify: Bamboo isn't wood, it's a grass.

You are probably familiar with bamboo if you skied back in the Fifties or if you are a fly-fisherman, as Tonkin cane was used for ski poles and, split into strips and glued together, for flyrods, as well as other fishing rods. Split-bamboo rods replaced wooden rods in the late 19th century.

Until graphite later replaced glued and split-bamboo in flyrods rods in the 1970s, bamboo rods were considered the ultimate, and you'll still pay upwards of $3,000 for a great vintage cane rod today.

What made cane so great was its characteristic feel and light weight, as well as its tremendous power -- in flyfishing, you're throwing a shaped, heavy line with tapered leader and feathers tied to a hook, and bamboo can sensitively control the cast in a way nothing else found in nature can.

How it does this: Split-bamboo has the ability to control vibrations induced by your casting arm and the "wave" action of the line as it unrolls from the tip of the rod.

I suspect that this ability to control vibrations is what suggested glued strips of bamboo as a natural material in this application. After all, that's what graphite's used for in tonearms for, isn't it?

MonetsChemist's picture

It appears to me that the amp and cd player "cases" actually form a rack that self-assembles with I guess the turntable on top.

Kudos to the design team, be interesting to hear how it all sounds.