Visit High End Munich 2018 Day 3 With AnalogPlanet

This year it took the full four days of High End Munich to cover all of the new analog gear. Even then some might have been missed. Clearly the move is to vinyl and streaming audio. Turntables were playing throughout the show's demo rooms and more were on display in the ground floor halls. Digital die-hards couldn't escape the sound and so were confronted by the reality that today's vinyl playback sounds amazing.

Here's day 3's coverage:

foxhall's picture

Mag-Lev seems extremely promising. Instead of spending so effort on eliminating mechanical issues, this seems SO logical.

Wimbo's picture

Seems to me to be getting a lot more expensive and overly complicated.
Not like back in the 80's. I'm getting to old for this.
Will stick with my SOTA Nova and just watch.

Toptip's picture

Of all the turntables here, which look like the same old hokum except on steroids (in size, weight and $s) the only one that breaks with the mold is this maglev. Yet Fremer dismisses with a bored "...whatever."

I would actually have been interested in knowing a few details:

-- Does the platter "land" on the turntable when it is turned off?
-- How does it not oscillate -- side to side and up and down?
-- With such a strong magnetic field keeping the platter up, how is the cartridge not affected?

Anton D's picture

-- Does the platter "land" on the turntable when it is turned off?

Yes, some posts come up to meet the platter.

-- How does it not oscillate -- side to side and up and down?

I think it will oscillate like a MF, and I don't mean Mike Fremer! ;-D

I have seen some videos and it oscillates like crazy until things settle in. It had some cartridge issues and, I think, will require that Ortofon cartridge, the OM 5 e because it is a lighter weight high compliance unit that might be more forgiving of oscillation? Buyers were told not to change cartridges.

-- With such a strong magnetic field keeping the platter up, how is the cartridge not affected?

Great question. part of the answer is "Ask Continuum or Thorens."

The Continuum has a big ass platter that's magnetically suspended and some vintage Thorens platter are magnetic in and of themselves. perhaps not a big issue if the magnetic field is fixed and constant?


How far into the video is the Mag Lev?

"Whatever" is a bit of a melancholy answer, to me...just in terms of the analog ennui involved in saying that. No offense to anyone!

Toptip's picture

It is between minutes 25 and 26. Have a listen, it is dismissive, the way hifi editors are, of linear tracking arms, reel-to-reel tape, in fact anything that are not plain old turntables in the emperor’s — expensive — new clothes.

But possibly the “maglev” turntable, like most things maglev, deserves a snide disregard — maglev trains spend a ton of energy to fight negligible bearing friction while doing nothing about air resistance. Similarly whatever little noise a mechanical bearing may introduce is drowned out in the comparative “roar” of groove noise.

Thanks for all the other clarifications.

gbougard's picture

Hi Michael

have you seen any new bluetooth/wireless audio receivers that raise the bar to near audiophile levels?

volvic's picture

Been in this hobby for close to 35 years, one thing I remember from then is that the platter, bearing and tonearm must all be as rigid as possible, for the most extraction of music from the vinyl groove. How a floating platter does that is beyond me, but hey I have an open mind.

Anton D's picture

"Continuum has devised a way to accomplish levitation without the mechanical contact used in some other designs to prevent the opposing plates from literally flying apart. A horizontal air stabilizer (a sort of rectangular inner tube) arranged along the perimeter of the magnetic sandwich isolates it from the aluminum frame.

With the turntable in place, the top shelf almost touches the top of the aluminum frame. This is deliberate. According to Doehmann, he chose magnetic levitation over active air because air grows stiffer the more it is compressed, causing the resonant frequency to increase—the opposite of the desired effect. With magnetic levitation, the closer the field is to collapsing, the lower the resonant frequency..."

It seems Mag Lev is doing the same thing, only at such a distance as to render the magnetic field perhaps too weak to lock in the desired parameters that Continuum achieved. ;-D Whatever.

But, the Mag Lev does away with any spindle/bearing induced noise.

I will try to film mine when it comes. I worry that even the act of placing the needle on the record will start things oscillating.

When Mag Lev offers a $100K version it will gain instant credibility!

volvic's picture

I think a rotating platter might be a different animal. Like I said I am open to anything, just have some initial doubts. Let us know when the video is up.

Anton D's picture

Revolving while suspended that high in the air...imagine what a record warp could get started!

But, truly zero rumble. :-D

Even acoustic feedback could get that thing wobbling.

Hope I get it soon.