Don't Fear the Sypder
The Audio Beat 01 December 2014 Full Review
Late November brought the resumption of the Spin Parties hosted by Analog Audio of Minnesota and co-sponsored by The Audio Beat. There was a special guest this time: Andrea Brinkmann of Germany's Brinkmann Audio, who was on hand to debut her firm's new Spyder turntable.
These informal get-togethers, held about three times a year, are literally about the music -- listening to it and understanding it better. Paul Blizel of Analog Audio (below) may be an audio dealer, but he's also an LP collector with an astute ear (and huge collection), and hearing his system, housed in a purpose- built ground- floor listening bunker, is always a treat.
The Spyder ($14,000) is a plinthless design that can accommodate up to four 9"-12" tonearms. Each 'arm can be mounted on its own independent sub-base, or "jig" in Brinkmann terminology, and up to four of these jigs can be attached to the turntable's base, which contains Brinkmann's trademark hydrostatic bearing and attachment points for the jigs. The base itself is as minimalist as is compatible with both resonance control and sound mechanical design. The straightforwardness and effectiveness of this modular approach were demonstrated by Andrea, and it took her only a few short minutes to install a second 10.5 'arm ($6300 each) on the resident Spyder, which carried a Lyra Kleos mono cartridge ($3500); the other had a Brinkmann Pi cartridge ($2700) mounted for stereo playback. This capability will render the newest Brinkmann 'table a boon to those who like to use multiple 'arm/cartridge combinations. Jigs are an additional $3000 each.
The Spyder is a belt-drive design, featuring a Sinus four-phase, twelve-pole motor and a 22-pound aluminum/crystal platter, and it is made to exactly the level of refinement and sophistication one expects from a German-made precision instrument. While it comes with a solid-state power supply, one can upgrade to the RoNt II tubed power supply ($4300). Flexibility is an integral part of the Spyder's DNA.
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