TT Three Reference incorporates what we consider to be the ultimate
solutions to most of the solvable problems in vinyl replay. It has
three speed settings, 33, 45 and, unusually for a turntable in this
price range, 78 RPM. All speed settings have adjustment, the 78 setting
over a range from about 60 to over 120 RPM in order to play the many
older 78s that were not cut at a true 78 RPM.
The TT-Three Reference comes as standard with a single tone arm
support. To facilitate the use of multiple cartridges it can be ordered
with two or even three tone arm supports.
Audio Note does not share other manufacturers’ enthusiasms for high
mass turntables. Very heavy, dense platters may be cheap to manufacture
and look impressive, but in our view they all to a greater or lesser
degree (depending on material choices) store and reflect energy which
results in less than optimal playback.
The use of high mass platters has become popular for three reasons:
1. It has high rotational energy, due to its mass.
2. It therefore allows the use of an inexpensive motor and drive system
3. It looks physically impressive, but has several sonic problems because,
High mass has long and slow mechanical resonance recovery, the higher
the mass the slower the recovery time, this allows the energy from the
replay to stay immediately below the record being played for long
enough to influence and mix in with the part of the groove being
tracked at any point in time and as the record is played from the first
track this influence increases as more energy is stored and reflected
In stark contrast the TT-Three Reference platter is light, highly inert
and made from Lexan (bullet proof glass or polycarbonate) which has
virtually no reflective or resonant storage problems, it weighs less
than 900 grams and therefore has ultrafast recovery time, add to that
the fact that polycarbonate has one of the highest energy absorption
coefficients known to Man and you will see why this is the only proper
solution combined with a strong drive system.
So instead of the rotational mass choice of all the popular and
expensive high end turntables in the TT Three Reference the rotational
energy is produced in the drive system where it can do no sonic harm.
To achieve this the TT Three turntable uses three large and very
powerful AC motors, each pulling with more than one BHP for a
platter-mass inertia equivalent of more than a half a ton, but without
the drawbacks of a high mass platter. The motors draw so much power
that each motor has its own outboard power supply. The speed of the
motors is digitally frequency locked by a master control unit.
A rubber belt drives the platter on the outside of the platter which
makes changing belt and pulleys (for 78 RPM) a simple and easy matter.
Most suspended turntables require the platter to be removed and they
often shed the belt when the motor(s) are started.
Keeping faith with our established design principles and in common with
the other Audio Note turntables, the TT-Three Reference are a three
point suspended design. Unlike other systems it is centred at the
bearing, which is also the epicentre of the motors' inertia. This
completely avoids the most common problem in suspended turntables where
the motors and suspension are misaligned and as a result generate a
resonance as the platter moves between the centre of the motor and the
centre of the suspension.
A properly dimensioned three point suspension is a natural 18dB per
octave third order mechanical filter. The resonant frequency of the
TT-Three Reference is set at 2.4 Hz; so low that it makes the turntable
virtually impervious to outside interference with a minus 55dB immunity
at below 20Hz.
To further enhance stability, as well as ensure the simplest set-up,
the sub-chassis has three wings. One locates the arm in the
conventional position on the far right, while the other two hold mass
balancing weights – each an exact weight equivalent of an arm +
cartridge mass. Each suspension spring is therefore loaded equally,
removing the need ever to adjust the suspension.
The TT-Three Reference can be ordered to accommodate one, two or three
tone arms of two types only: the Audio Note™ ARM Three and the Audio
Note™ AN-1s. We consider most other tone arms unsuitable because they
are not designed in a way that leads energy away from the cartridge,
down the arm tube through the bearings and arm pillar into the
sub-chassis, to be dissipated there.
The main frame and suspended system on the TT-Three Reference is
machined from aircraft grade aluminium, the most ductile and therefore
naturally inert aluminium available, making it perfect for dealing with
the wideband energy generated by the stylus tracking the groove and the
speakers energising the playback environment. The base of the turntable
can be ordered in finishes to match most Audio Note™ loudspeakers.
It could hardly be simpler. Drop in arm with cartridge mounted and height preset, set tracking weight – and play music.
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