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Vinyl records on the Air Force One

Dale Davies |
No matter is there already a turntable in your high-end audio devices collection, you should take a look at the Air Force One by TechDAS. It is, without exaggeration, one of the best turntables around, a perfect device for your analog vinyl records.

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A core feature of the Air Force One is the uniquely designed platter featuring an air-bearing main platter and an upper sub-platter with an optional vacuum hold-down. The Main Platter is fabricated of 19kg of non-magnetic stainless steel. The material is first heat treated to increase hardness and then machine-cut in a low-speed high-precision lathe to ensure a top surface with zero magnetism. The bottom surface is then mirror polished in order to ensure perfectly smooth air stream for the large air-floatation bearing.

The Main Platter also incorporates an air-chamber of 1.1 liters. As part of the vacuum hold-down system, this large cubic volume of air brings a damping effect that prevents resonance forming between the upper sub-platter and the main platter. The end results: Amazing quietness. The main platter is topped with an interchangeable upper sub-platter in a choice of materials. In addition to the choice of materials, two different types of upper platter can be chosen: With vacuum hold-down or non-vacuum hold-down.

The vacuum hold-down function is especially effective for the playback of warped discs. The vacuum feature minimizes resonance of the disc against the upper platter, and low-frequency oscillations caused by warped discs.

The motor unit is separate from the main chassis. In order to have the necessary stability to drive the heavy platter, a huge AC synchronous motor driven by a speed adjustable amplifier is installed in the motor chassis. With a platter as heavy as maximum 30kg, maximum torque is generated until the platter reaches a steady speed and the speed locked. The role of driving motor after initial start-up is just to maintain a steady speed and hence only minimum torque is required. This realizes amazing quietness and still maintains absolute speed accuracy.

The turntable chassis is assembled as a three-part sandwich and weights 43kg in total. The three different aluminum layers forms a constrained-layer damping structure to eliminate ringing or resonancethat may occur with a homogenous metal chassis. A5052 pure aluminum was used for tremendous strength in the base. The material also allows for a luxurious silky smooth finish. An even stronger material, A7075 super duralumin, is used for the middle chassis. The material gives this part a mechanical strength that no conventional analog record player could have.

Up to two tonearms can be mounted on the Air Force One: a regular (9-inch or 10-inch) one at the right side is the standard specification; a second arm can be specified with an extra tone arm base at the rear left. A soft-and-hard combination of 12mm wood (Ebony) and A7075 super duralumin provides tremendous stiffness as well as a strong connection to the main chassis to minimize phase shift that can potentially be caused by vibrations. Every vibration mode has been analyzed in the design of the Air Force One to attain a quietness no conventional product could ever offer.

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