Turntable TT-3

The 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.

Drive System

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 both ways.

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.

Suspension

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.

Arm Support

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.

Materials

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.

Set-Up

It could hardly be simpler. Drop in arm with cartridge mounted and height preset, set tracking weight – and play music.

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Product Brief
Reference analogue source

Product Specification
Name:
TT-3
Motors:
3
Code:
ZU550-XX

Product Specification
None
Product Image