Hi Fi News 01 December 2014 Full Review
Sporting a unique modular design that accommodates multiple tonearms, a tube-based PSU for the motor and novel heated bearing, this super deck is far from run of the mill.
Does the world really need another high-end turntable? That’s the question Brinkmann’s Spyder has to answer, because there’s already a surfeit of fancy vinyl disc spinners sitting pretty in this high value market. This deck needs to be special in some way then, and so it proved. Costing £9795 in basic form, it’s one of two belt-driven decks in the German company’s range of hi-fi separates, sitting alongside the Balance 2 [HFN Jul ’14]. Brinkmann also makes the Bardo and Oasis direct-drive turntables, which themselves are interesting and innovative things.
The Spyder is most assuredly not from the traditional ‘Thorens TD150 school’ of turntable design. True, its platter is spun by a rubber belt, but that’s about all it has in common. First, it has a modular construction that accommodates up to four tonearms of up to 12in length by virtue of specially designed, bolt-on arm ‘pods’. Our deck came configured for the £3895 Brinkmann 10.5 tonearm, but it should be pointed out that, with more than two arms fitted, the Spyder would be pretty crowded, making it hard to use.
Another fascination is its novel heated bearing. Brinkmann says that in order to smoothly rotate the heavy platter, the bearing has to have minimal play. With such fine tolerances, the different coefficients of expansion of the materials used becomes an issue. This is why the bearing is heated electronically to ensure that it is largely immune to a changing ambient temperature.
Brinkmann’s so-called ‘Sinus’ motor is supplied, which is designed to reduce cogging. The arrangement of the driving coils and the neodymium magnets in combination with the drive circuit delivers 12 pulses per revolution, and these power what is effectively a 500g flywheel, giving a smooth feed to the platter. This motor can be aspirated by Brinkmann’s optional RöNT II vacuum tube power supply [see PM’s boxout, p39], again supplied here and costing £2995. Hence the Spyder, as tested, adds up to a cool £16,685.
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