Dopo il Goldring ora introvabile troviamo l'alternativa sempre con splendide testine Goldring data dai M usic Hall che salgono ulteriormente di qualita' anche se a costi superiori.
Inoltre ritorna a costi ancora piu' abbordabili la storia DUAL (da 200 a 550 eu)
Ma volendo raggiungere i massimi livelli possibili a costi ancora terrestri visto la qualita' che un giradischi oggi sa fornire?
La scelta cade su un prodotto italiano, finalmente.
A parte Monrio purtroppo vedete che ci sono pochissimi prodotti italiani decisamente validi considerando i costi attentamente in relazione alla concorrenza mondiale.
Ecco quindi finalmente un secondo ottimo esempio:
Col loro giradischi tutto incluso,ovvero giradischi,braccio e testina Bobol e nel package è anche compresa la dust cover, che è di plx trasparente incollata a mano: si chiama Bellavista Boboli package.
Costo ,non basso ma decisamente buono per quello che da, 2400 euro.
The Bellavista is a Rigid belt driven turntable with a Very open sound, detailed and with a full body. Its 20mm thick platter is made of black polyvinyl and 9 gold plated weights to increase the peripheral weight (and so rotational stability). They also serve to dissipate vibrations. All the parts are made actually of machine worked aluminum, brass, bronze, stainless steel, all to improve sonic performances. The pulley, with one of the best available rotational stability, is fixed without screws (for better wow & flutter). In addition, it is made of Delryn which, compared to Teflon®, resists transmission of vibrations, and has a significantly lower slippage coefficient. The very innovative bearing/spindle system, much larger and longer than usual ones, has a threaded external diameter bearing for in axis fixing and a Teflon® screw on its bottom to actually enable one to, thusly, adjust the VTA (the VTA is also adjustable at the conventional tone arm level). In addition the Teflon® screw can be substitute from another one holed in its center for insertion of an optional air pump to render the spindle air suspended. The motor is placed in a sandwich of brass plates to avoid unwanted vibrations.
Una recensione significativa del modello Piccolo, inferiore a quello citato da me ma particolarmente interessante visto il raffronto usato per la prova:
Comparative Test: Linn LP12/Basik vs Piccolo/B5
This test covers the Linn Sondek LP12 which was under my service and
regulation at the time being, presently being used by a friend, the turntable with
the Basik LV V tonearm and the Bluenote Piccolo B-5 turntable. The stylus used
for the test was Denon DL103R and Boboli. During the test; Bluenote electronic
components, loudspeaker models with different types and price scales of Triangle
and Bluenote were utilized. As generally known, Linn Sondek turntables are a
must for the analog fans, they are well known for their unique sound color. This
turntable has the first generation Basik tonearm produced in Japan by the
company. Although this tonearm may be regarded as ‘simple’ by some experts,
my opinion is that it is a good one regarding its construction and the fact that it
has been optimized in comparison to the ones of the same era. Maybe, in a
sense this test has been a comparison between two elements; an turntable of a
legendary label and an entry product of a relatively new company. This time, as
modern subequipments such as special protractors and electronic scales were
used, the performance of the turntables had increased. From the 3000 LP archive
present at the store, the legendary Verve recordings were consecutively played.
Melodies spreading from unforgettable LP’s such as Sarah Vaughan, Louis-Ella
combination captured the listeners. Both Linn and Piccolo seriously showed
successful performances. But the weight of the stylus being 10-12 gr. created a
real disadvantage for the Basik arm of the Linn. At this point, B-5 arm exhibited
a real performance difference regarding the rich adjustment options and
construction facts. This difference was especially perceptible in detail and bass
control. Naturally, in this sense Piccolo outmanoeuvred the Linn combination in
both stage and corpus play. Here I must accentuate the effect of the stylus
choice that I always prefer on turntable arm. Basik arm optimally shows its real
performance with stylus between 4-8 gr. This test has been useful in
understanding the importance of choosing the arm in accordance with the stylus.
Following the jazz session, especially the progressive rock LP’s of the 70’s and
the heavy metal examples chosen from my archive were vocalized as required by
the Piccolo combination. Here I must admit that my guitar tonality fixation
resulting from my guitar playing was also more than satisfied
La Boboli MC:
The Boboli Signature is a high output MC cartridge with the body machined from a single piece of aluminium and an internal dampening “shirt” made of a special polymeric material called Sustarin®. Its 1.8mV output level, is enough to be driven by most MM Phono Preamplifiers. The Stylus of the Boboli Signature is made of special Magnesium alloy to avoid vibrations; its lightness provides very good tracking ability. The coils are hand wired and they use the best Oxygen Free Copper available on the market. The suspension is made of a special polymer to guarantee full satisfaction over a long period of time.
Features: MC high output cartridge (can be driven even by MM phono stages): 1,8mV FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 20-40.000Hz IMPEDENCE: 47Kohm. COMPLIANCE: 8CUs. CHANNEL SEPARATION: over 28db WEIGHT: 11g. SUGGESTED TRACKING WEIGHT: 1,2g +/- 0,2g CANTILEVER:2 pieces conical special Magnesium alloy DIAMOND: Micro Elliptical Shape®. BODY: Finely machined aluminium dampened with Sustarin®
A customer review:
Does it work? Did it meet my expectations? More than! It has the best of both the Benz and the OC9, then throws it's own in to the sound. Even though it's not fully run in, or so I presume as it seems to get better with each play, initial impressions are a well controlled bass without being bloated, a damn fine treble and a mid range and imaging far beyond anything else I've experienced down the years. Imaging to me is so important. It is the first time I've actually felt a plectrum hit the strings never mind just hear it (except when I play of course) and with a sense of space the size of the universe it has stepped outside of my expectations. To anyone in the market for a reasonable cartridge I really would urge to try audition a Blue Note product if possible. Otherwise why not throw caution to the wind, sit back and be amazed. I did, and I am.
A second customer opinion:
what lead you to / why did you choose the Bellagio?what did you compare it to?
My first turntable, as an adolescent, was a gravel Garrard. I progressed through Thorens to Linn before turning into the sealed cul-de-sac of CD. After a decade of wondering why I was listening to less and less music I heard a red-carpet Goldmund (at a dealer) and promptly reversed out of the dead end, purchasing a cobblestone Revolver fitted with an upper model dynavector. It was no Goldmund but it let me go places when listening. On to the suburban crescent of the Rega 25, which took me nowhere, then a second right turn to Linn. But it wasn't where I wanted to be. So I auditioned Clearaudio, then Bluenote: both the equivalent of Parisian avenues. You know where I ended up.
Quale pre phono ai massimi livelli?
Some tests of specifications
The manufacturer's performance specifications for the Bellavista are as follows: wow and flutter, 0.03%; rumble, -78 dB; speed, 33.3 or 45 rpm + or - 0.1%; all very good. The first thing I did after setting up, following the direction of the distributor, Adam Dragon at Hy End, was to let the piece run continuously for eight hour stretches, three days in a row, to "polish in."
Then I placed the 12" Villa® stroboscope on the table and checked it against 60 Hz light. It was highly stable. I wanted to check it with an LP record and tonearm dragging. I was able to do it with a smaller old strobe I found amongst an old collection of odds 'n ends, marked "Dual, Made In Germany, 60c/s." In use, the strobe bars were very stable. There was a very slow drift, and virtually no bumps, or surges. The platter got up to speed quickly and stayed there. To get the bars to reverse, I had to press my thumb upward on the underside of the turntable with some force. I wasn't sure how it performed with the additional friction of playing an LP record. But when I put a black disc on, next the Dual 4 5/8" strobe on top of that, and next the tonearm and cartridge tracking at 2 grams, there was no change discernable to the naked eye. The current came through my astonishing Monster Automatic Voltage Stabilizer (AVS2000), which supplied a consistent 120 volts (more on that soon).
I'm relatively certain, without fancy measuring devices, the table's rotational speed is pretty damn close to being within the manufacturer's stated specification of 0.01%. LP recordings of which I have a duplicate CD sound very similar as to pitch, and elapsed playing time is as specified on the labels and liner notes. This is the only "hard data" I have. A thirty minute movement (30:00) of a Mahler Symphony would take exactly 29:42 if the machine were 1% fast. It doesn't. The B side of my Mahler's Fourth Symphony (Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, André Previn conductor, Elly Ameling soloist, EMI SZ-37576) is reported to take 30:30 to play. It timed out at 30:34 (that's four seconds slow out of 1834 seconds) on the Bellavista, when I measured it with my best timepiece. That could be due to human error, or the imprecision of lead-in grooves. Molehill or mountain?
A scandal in Bohemia? "Don't tell Cesaré!"
I don't know if you know, but we audiophiles may be in the middle of a scandal, or a tempest in a teapot, or a molehill made into a mountain, regarding speed of turntables. If you've been reading Stereophile lately—Michael Fremer's survey of six moderately priced turntables these last two issues, to be precise—you would have found at least one article (Feb. ‘03) where Fremer discusses how some turntables (SOTA Comet II, and Rega P3) that he measured with some rigor each showed a speed variation of 1% plus. That means a slight increase in speed from 33.3 rpm to 33.63 rpm, and that correlates with a subtle change in timbre—if not a large enough gain to produce a gross change in pitch. Fremer reported his test record's 1000 Hz tone actually measured 1011 Hz when played on these turntables. "Things sound snappy and lively, but a bit crisp: heavy on transients, light on harmonics. Images are forward on the stage, with a bit of etch added to cymbals and female vocals." On some tracks the music can become "slightly aggressive," he observed.
Fremer quotes others who speculate the designers may have deliberately voiced their turntables with this subtle speed increase. His exact words were, "I'm not happy about the 1% speed error; if it's deliberate, it's a cynical move—like lifting the top end of a loudspeaker to make it jump out from the crowd." He stops short of saying anything actionable beyond he's not sure "if this represents mere sample-to-sample variation or if it's a plot to give these 'tables a snappy delivery, as some who shall remain nameless have charged." (My emphasis.) This seems to me to be like a "non-denial, denial" in political geek-speak. He takes the higher moral ground by repeating the allegation, and the lower moral ground by withholding the name of the "alligator." Then again, I am doing the same. But, I don't take the higher moral ground, and I don't know the identity of the "alleger."
I am willing to give the SOTA and Rega designers a little more slack, a more charitable interpretation. Suppose, for example, the designers measured all the friction points in the system, including stylus drag on the record, and counting on lazy louts like us to fail to perform routine maintenance, like lubrication. And suppose they assumed that all those factors might contribute to an error of about -1%. If they wanted to pre-empt such error, well, they just might build in a little preventive maintenance, and run 1% fast. That might be playing fast and lose with the specifications, but in today's world it might be justified on the "need to know" basis. "What the public doesn't know won't hurt them." At least they might be seen as doing a bad thing for a good reason.
Or, suppose, for another example, using all the research methods at hand they chose certain resonant-manageable materials for the plinth, platter, and pulley of their turntable (to make a price point) but found the table sounded a bit dull and soggy as a consequence. Wouldn't it be within their job description to try to overcome soggy sound by other means within their pharmacopoeia? I think tweaking the speed might be no more "evil" than Niccolo Paganini's tuning his violin up a tone for greater brilliance, which he reportedly did. Again, they might be doing a "questionable" act for a reason that serves the music. They'd be within the spirit, if not the letter of the law. I'd be willing to forgive either of the above cases. Though, in retrospect, it would have eliminated vagary of motive if SOTA and Rega would have explained such in the owner's manual.
For a final example; suppose they had ordered pulleys from a (possibly off-shore) supplier and found one batch that (inexplicably) sounded better, because the machinists had made the pulleys (unbeknownst to anyone) fast by virtue of a 1% error, but no one along the line had bothered to check the speed accuracy, as Fremer himself admits he had sometimes failed to do in the past while preparing reviews. Such failure might be seen as a failure due to slippage within the system (the mistaken assumption that everyone else is doing his job accurately), rather than of some sort of cynical manipulation, or "plot" (to use Fremer's word), to lure the would-be purchaser. I'd prefer to think of it as a normal futzup, because if not a futzup, then we might as well throw all manufacturers' published specs out the window. Possibly I'm naive, but I don't think manufacturers would purposively fudge their test data, when, as Fremer's rigor demonstrates, they could be so easily discovered.
Poles Apart: 12 or 24
How does this relate to the Bellavista? To cast a little light on the dark corners here, I am obliged to mention one of the 'tables in Fremer's survey uses a 24-pole AC Synchronous motor (the SOTA Comet II), while two Pro-Ject ‘tables use a"wall-wart-powered AC motor suspended by an elastomer band" (RM-4 and Perspective models), Notingham Analogue Horizon 'table has a motor that must be manually assisted in order to get the table into motion, and two unspecified motors are found in the Rega P3 and Pro-Ject RM-9.
The Bellavista uses a 24-pole AC Synchronous motor. The beauty of this motor, (what used to be called the hysteresis motor), is the RPM setting is dependent on the cycles of the AC current fed to it. That is to say, as long as the current alternates at 60 Hz the motor speed is constant. Even if there is a significant drop in line voltage, a good AC Synchronous motor turns at its designed constant speed (say, 600 rpm). Twenty-four poles spread the current peaks out to double the frequency per unit time delivered by the often used 12-pole AC Synchronous motor. Compared to the 12-pole motor, the 24-four pole motor develops less torque, hence less noise as well. So the 24-pole AC synchronous motor stays on speed even when voltage drops, smooths out the delivery of the torque, and is noticeably less noisy than its 12-pole counterpart.
According to Maurizio Aterini, the design engineer of the Bluenote line, his motor is manufactured by:
ART.M5260 ModifiedPower: 0.83 watt
Torque: 1.6 Ncm
Switch on/off Life: no limit
Life: 3 years continuous work guaranteed
Spindle:3x8mm 0.05mm rectified
Large Bearing: Makrolon (same family of Teflon®) + Bronze
Small Bearing: Bronze (automatic lubricating at the bottom of the spindle well to guarantee high precision and long life)
Working Temperature: -10° Celsius +80° Celsius
Dimension: 50x30 mm
Weight: 180 Grams
I don't know too many engineers who are so confident of their decisions they would let such information out of the office. What I take it Maurizio is saying is: "Here are my motor's specs. See for yourself." The relative quiet running of this particular motor allows it to be mounted on the same plinth as the turntable platter itself, because not only is the polished acrylic plinth more beautiful than painted MDF, it has better vibrational characteristics as well. Again, according to Maurizio, it is much more neutral sounding because acrylic is harder and can dissipate vibrations, while MDF has a higher Q (it stores and later releases energy) and adds a characteristic sound smearing in the same application.
MDF or Black Plexiglass
Again, using the wonders of modern Email, Maurizio has sent me some specs on various materials. See for yourselves:
Specific Gravity: 0.7
Specific Gravity: 1.19
Hardness: M-88 vertical, M-25 horizontal
Tension Coefficient/Rupture: 100Kk/cm2
Tension Coefficient/Rupture: 750Kk/cm2
Tension Coefficient/Elasticity: 4500Kg/cm2
Tension Coefficient/Elasticity: 2950Kg/cm2
Bending Coefficient/Rupture: 0.9kg/cm2
Bending Coefficient/Rupture: 1.6Kg/cm2
Bending Coefficient/Elasticity: 29500Kg/cm2
This comparison reveals to me that Black Acrylic has various physical attributes (harder, stiffer, doesn't bend or sag) that make it a better material if what you want is low Q (energy storage), hence more neutral sound, at the source of your LP front end. Without sounding like a hometown fan, I've never been to Florence, I'd say whenever the choice has been between a price point and performance, Maurizio has been uncompromising. This seems to be the case throughout the design, and up the line into the more expensive of his turntables. With each choice, Maurizio has gone for the better sounding: 24 pole motor; plexiglass plinth; (denser, stronger, more neutral polyvinyl) platter; (automatically self-lubricating) bearings that are longer than ususal (to eliminate wobble that gives wow and flutter); (quieter than aluminum, better coefficient of friction Delryn) pulley; (better coefficient of friction, ceramic injected for better traction) belt; etc. etc. Then he offers to us an outsized stroboscope (at least twice as easy to notice variations in speed), as if to say, "Check it out. See how good we can do."
How good does the Bellavista turntable get? Surprisingly good. Remarkably good. He has said to me in an email: "Our 24 pole AC Synchronous motor produces 600 rpm with more accuracy than the Rega or Clearaudio that have 12 pole 300 rpm motors, basically because of the closer position of the poles." Ya gotta love this guy's moxie. "I do not think our stuff is 'special.' I simply think that we designed well what other manufacturers did not. All our designs ... have been trying to follow the best sonic performance through balanced research and manufacturing."
Un filmato YouTube.
Sotto il giradischi modello "Piccolo"
Gira piu' economici:
Giradischi DUAL da 200 a 750 eu
Giradischi Music Hall da 500 a 2000 eu
Prendendo il Piccolo solo base,aggiungendo il braccio b5 e una testina goldring da75 euro:totale 1400 euro.
The B - 5 sound is open, very well controlled and powerful especially on the medium-bass and extremme bass range of frequencies. It is a medium mass light aluminium alloy Bearing Pivoted Tonearm with the same length and the shaft diameter of REGA. It is provided of one standard 2 position manual lift able to easily turn up the arm tube. It has the stainless steel arm rest on the same lift's board. There is not the possibility to adjust the anti-skate force but it can be adjusted the virtual azimuth one moving its out of axis holed counterweight.
Technical details: - On Bearing pivoted tonearm total length 265mm - Length Shell/Pivot: 233mm (standard Rega) - Pivot: Black Anodized Aluminium - Shaft: 23mm (standard Rega) - Mass: medium - VTA: adjustable on Shaft - Lift: manual 2 position with arm rest on the same board - Anti Skating: not available - internal cables: awg36 Hyper Litz shielded - external cables: tasker® shielded g pivoted tonearm total length 265mm - Length Shell/Pivot: 233mm (standard Rega) - Pivot: Black Anodized Aluminium - Shaft: 23mm (standard Rega) - Mass: medium - VTA: adjustable on Shaft - Lift: manual 2 position with arm rest on the same board - Anti Skating: not available - internal cables: awg36 Hyper Litz shielded - external cables: tasker® shielded
The first five minutes with any component sometimes gives an immediate impression that dominates a review no matter how long I listen subsequently, the Roksan Xerxes being a case in point. With the Bluenote no such revelatory experience was forthcoming because from the off it provided an even-handed and well balanced performance so that it slotted in nicely with the system without grabbing me by the throat. That said I quickly came to the conclusion that here we have a 'super Gyro' sound.
Let me explain. My previous turntable was a MK III Gyro (AC power supply). It had replaced an old LP12 with the result that heard a lighter more open and detailed performance, bubbly, fresh and alive. The downside was a certain lack of weight and authority and of course I missed the LP12's timing - but I was happy.
When I swapped to my Orbe I was expecting a 'Super Gyro', what I got was an altogether different beast, much darker and more powerful, with far better focus - it made the Gyro sound artificial and blurred. But the downside was sometimes a heaviness to proceedings, a slight loss of the 'air' that the Gyro produced.
With the Bluenote I found the presentation I had expected from the Orbe. Compared to my memory of the Gyro the whole thing much tighter and controlled, but retaining the air and clarity. The bass performance wasn't as pronounced as the Orbe but certainly didn't lack depth, going as deep as any disc allows (playing with a REL Stentor sub confirmed this). The upper bass was drier and a little tighter and the whole frequency range notably well balanced, and I guess balanced is the relevant phrase here. All records did well, the deck showing no great favouritism towards rock or soul or jazz or classical.
I primi cinque minunti con un componente a volte forniscono un'impressione che domina un'intera recensione, indipendentemente da quanto tempo si resti ad ascoltare quell'apparecchio, come mi è successo con il Roksan Xerxes. Con il Bluenote non c'è stata nessuna di queste esperienze rivelatrici: sin dall'inizio ha offerto una prestazione così ben condotta e ben bilanciata, che si è inserito alla perfezione nell'impianto senza azzannarmi alla gola. Ciò detto, sono rapidamente giunto alla conclusione che ci troviamo di fronte ad un suono da "Super Gyro".
Mi spiego. Il mio precedente giradischi era un Gyro MK III (alimentatore in corrente alternata). Questo aveva sostituito un vecchio LP12 con il risultato di una prestazione lievemente più aperta e dettagliata, frizzante, fresca e vivida. Gli svantaggi erano una certa perdita di peso ed autorità e, naturalmente, mi mancava il senso del tempo dello LP12, ma ero comunque soddisfatto.
Quando sono passato al mio Orbe mi aspettavo un "Super Gyro", ma ciò che ottenni fu proprio un altro apparecchio, molto più scuro e potente, con una focalizzazione molto migliore: faceva suonare il Gyro artificioso e scomposto. Ma gli svantaggi erano talvolta una pesantezza nel procedere, una lieve perdita dell'"aria" che il Gyro produceva.
Col Bluenote ho trovato quella presentazione che all'epoca mi attendevo dall'Orbe. Un raffronto a memoria col mio vecchio Gyro vede una situazione nel complesso ora più tenuita e controllata, ma con la stessa ariosità e chiarezza. La prestazione del basso non è così prounciata come con l'Orbe, ma certamente non si perde nulla in termini di profondità, poichè il Bluenote scende sin dove i dischi possono (l'inserimento di un sub REL Stentor me lo conferma). Il basso superiore è più asciutto ed un po' più serrato, e l'intera gamma di frequenze notevolmente ben equilibrata, e mi sa che equilibiro è la parola-chiave qui. Tutti i dischi sono andati bene, ed il piatto non ha mostrato particolari preferenze per il rock, il soul, il jazz, o la classica.
Signature version with Borromeo arm makes a 'beautiful view'.
From Italy comes this distinctive record deck, a fixed-plinth design using materials that have been thoughtfully selected for the best performance.
The plinth comprises of two layers of 20mm acrylic held apart by six gold-plated brass pillars, with the motor sited on the lower deck, and the main bearing housing for the platter on the top deck. The motor is a synchronous AC unit, a little larger than the Airpax types which are seen on many British turntables, and this is hard mounted in the usual rear-left corner, with the power switch handily situated between the two plinth "decks" at the front left.
The platter is fro the Mitchell/Transcriptors school of spinning, using suspended counterweights - in this case nine of them - under a polyvinyl composite platter. This is driven around its circumference by a round section rubber belt from one of two motor pulleys. These two pulleys are supplied as an end-user option for the user: the preferred choice is the one made of Delrin, a white nylon-like plastic that's a tight push fit over the motor spindle. The alternative is a skeletal aluminium pulley, whose advantage over the Delrin component is the possibility of some fine speed adjustment through its expandable diameter, set by an internal screw that flares the pulley as it's turned in.
Having tried the Delrin version first, which was a very tight and difficult fit, I wasn't inclined to try to wrestle it off again to substitute the grub-screw fit metal pulley. Speed tests with a quartz locked strobe showed that the platter speed was only 0.1% fast without load, which is closer to being on-speed than many non-adjustable decks.
Underneath, the deck sits on three machined aluminium feet with needle-sharp points in their centre. A fixed mains lead completes the package.
Bluenote offers four turntables in the Villa range, starting with the standard Bellavista, then the Signature version with its double plinth (seen here), followed by more ambitious Belvedere and Bellagio models which employ forms of spring suspension. To match these decks, or any other that can use a standard Rega fixing hole for that matter, Bellavista also has a range of three matching Villa tonearms, the Borghese, Borromeo and Bellaria.
These are all original uni-pivot designs, with the Borromeo [tested here] featuring an alloy arm tube and large brass bell-shaped bearing housing with bronze lining. The counterweight is low slung to lower the system's centre or gravity, and the cartridge is azimuth adjusted here by screwing up the counterweight's dangling screw to the left or right of plumb, forcing the arm tube to sit axially in the correct orientation.
A fully working lift/lower mechanism is included, and this worked well for precise needle positioning. Internally the Borromeo uses very fine Hyperlitz six-nines OFC wire, and a DIN termination on the arm pillar mates with a custom-made silver and Teflon external cable. Like Rega, Bluenote has opted to use one channel's ground wire as the tonearm's overall earth, forsaking the usual additional ground wire. Anti-skate is set using a simple weight and thread principle, although its execution left a little to be desired as the fine Nylon thread was inclined to slip from its unsuitable anchor point.
The designer and the UK distributor suggest using the arm without bias compensation.
This turntable and I got off to bad start. It arrived in its shipping box, ready for assembly, with the Boromeo tonearm in a separate package. After unpacking and construction it was obvious that the deck was wowing badly, a fault traced to the platter weights actually fouling the top surface of the acrylic plinth. This had to be corrected by an adjustment to the main bearing on the underside of the deck, raising the platter by a few millimetres. While easily rectified the severity of this setup fault is not to be expected on a deck at this price, and should have been spotted by the manufacturer or distributor.
With the machinery now running smoothly, listening began in earnest. It didn't take too long to realise that the Bluenote Bellavista with Borromeo tonearm is a very special combination. Most listening was done with a Sumiko Pear m-c cartridge, Trichord Delphini phono stage, Chord CPA 3200/SPM 1200C amplifiers and B&W N802 speakers, and this system provided many, many hours of transported listening. From 1970's prog rock to jazz trio to electronica to Russian orchestral, the Bellavista-led system showed an uncommon blend of technical excellence and unforced musicality.
In more specific terms the turntable, and arm were highly dynamic and energetic, able to whip up the excitement from the groove where required, and providing real transient punch and weight. There was a rare ability to pull a track apart for inspection if desired, or you could let the complete work just flow over you. Timing was this deck's strong point, which I believe was a major contributory factor to its relaxed, addictive ability to get on and play tunes.
As a long-term listening companion this turntable combination has few equals in my experience, a comment referenced by the very easy, guileless top end tone of the deck. The absence of haziness in the upper registers certainly aided the hear-through sense of natural rendering, where you could relax your ears and sensibilities, safe that your chosen cartridge wasn't about to be fazed by an upcoming challenging passage, or a stridency that would make you unconsciously wince. Bass had variously the heavy slam of stop-start impact, or easy velvet profundity, dictated only by the record content rather than the moves of the record deck.
Side-to-side imaging was first class, as the Signature/Borromeo allowed the pinpointing of any image, seemingly in any given register. The depth of stage was highly commendable, as front-to-back layers were obviously discernable without undue concentration. Smear-free is another way of expressing the deck's spatial-and temporal-reproduction.
Surface noise level and its quality are more often attributed to the cartridge and stylus profile, but in this instance the deck appeared to subdue background noise and warp to lower levels too, allowing more music to rise form a blacker groove.
Listening to this turntable allowed me to revise my opinion of Italian hi-fi, which in my experience all to often tended to be, aesthetically-speaking ostentatious and showy; and in sound terms, generally finely detailed and beautifully toned, but ultimately lacking in drive and musicality. The tonal colour and air were alright with this Bluenote turntable, only allied with a commitment to a smooth pace and rhythm that I would expect from a Naim'd LP12-Armageddon, Aro et al .The looks are still a little too gilded for my taste, but with my eyes closed this turntable represents one of the most musically addictive record players I've had the pleasure of hearing.
Material science is a factor in any hi-fi product design, and the turn table is probably the most pointed example of what happens when you get it right - or wrong. Choice of platter material, for example, can be critical, with most designers now erring for a material that more closely matches the mechanical impedance of the vinyl record itself-hence Bluenote's choice of a polyvinyl polymer here. The Delrin plastic motor pulley is said to resist vibration transmission better than Teflon and has a lower slippage coefficient. Teflon has been applied elsewhere, though, in the bronze main bearing bottom, and this is adjustable from the bottom to allow, say the makers, VTA adjustments to be made here if required! For a virtually frictionless pivot, Bluenote suggests removing the Teflon bearing plug and using an optional air pump to suspend the platter spindle on air. Meanwhile the plinths are made from acrylic, a good self damping material. The rounding off of the corners is said to reduce external and motor vibrations. The motor is a 24-pole AC synchronous unit, made in Italy, using bronze and Makrolon bearings. Mounted on a sandwich of brass plates to contain vibration, it runs very quietly, both mechanically and acoustically.
Distinctive gloss black and gold finish
Uni-pivot tonearm with bespoke components
Michell-esque carousel platter
A Boboli opinion:
You may want to take a look at the Italian Bluenote Boboli MK II. Several places sell it online. A lot of people think it's the best cartridge you can get for under $1000. It's a big cartridge and weighs 12 gms, so your tonearm has to have the proper VTA for it. Try it at 1.6 grams tracking force and I find that it's deep bass, accurate mid range and fantastic imaging simply beats the competition, particularly the Micro Benz ACE.