Question Of Balance
The Absolute Sound 01 February 2012 Full Review
In the fast-paced, technologically driven world of hifi, it is the rare product indeed that defies obsolescence. It is even more uncommon and more impressive when a product can continue to evolve and improve for decades. After 35 years of continuous refinement, the Brinkmann Balance is just such a product. Thanks to the validity of its original design principles on the one hand and the ability of its inventor to relentlessly innovate on the other, the Brinkmann Balance is at once both "Classic" and "Avant Garde".
The story of the Balance begins with Helmut Brinkmann’s design philosophy which is, in a word, simplicity. Every aspect of the Balance’s design and that of all Brinkmann products has been distilled to its essence, which enables these components to achieve "Classic" status. It also means that Brinkmann turntables are uniquely simple and hassle-free to set-up; what’s more, the set-up remains stable over time, obviating the need for periodic tuning or readjustment.
Given the iconic status of the Balance, as well as the numerous innovations and enhancements that have attended its long history, Brinkmann Audio has authored this short history of the Balance.
Helmut Brinkmann’s first turntable, named "Konstant", debuted in 1980. Designed for "Audiolabor", Helmut’s original company, the ‘table had a heavy platter, a suspension system and versatile tonearm bases that mounted on steel rods. The tonearm bases on the Konstant lacked ultimate rigidity but the arm mounting flexibility was a very popular feature; as a result, an evolution of this concept has found a revival in Brinkmann’s new Spyder. Theoretical models coupled with manufacturing experience proved that the combination of a heavy platter and suspension wasn’t ideal because once the suspension is set into motion, it tends to remain in motion. The high mass platter was considered essential because it gave volume, weight and energy to the sound, so a "Suspensionless" solution was required.
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