KJ West One - Connoisseurs of Sound - Est. 1965
KJ West One - Connoisseurs of Sound - Est. 1965

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DG-1 Dynamic Groove Record Player

Vertere

Vertere Acoustics is best known for its extreme high-end designs loved by audiophiles worldwide. The Reference RG-1 Turntable and the Reference Tonearm compete on equal terms with the world’s best. The new DG-1 Dynamic Groove Record Player is designed for a less extreme customer: one who is driven by performance but needs almost Plug and Play setup. This customer – from Vertere’s research – wants ease of setup and use but not at the expense of future upgradeability.

To design a record player that will sell for £2850 (€3350) including cartridge when the brand’s existing designs can sell for £200k requires a back to fundamentals approach. Taking his existing ideas and reducing material quality and slackening tolerances would not be the Touraj way.

From the plinth to the arm and its bearings, everything has been redesigned and re-engineered, developing some of the basic principles of a record-playing system while completely rethinking others.

The result is an elegant turntable that looks like no other, but draws on the engineering of the reference models to deliver outstanding performance and ease of operation at a newly affordable price.

The motor is arguably the most important part of any turntable: it's the only source of energy for the signal generated by the cartridge and fed out to the amplifier, so quality and accuracy is vital. The DG-1 motor system is derived from that developed for the flagship RG-1 Reference Motor Drive: it uses the most advanced motor drive, delivering the best possible performance. The motor itself is a low voltage 24-pole precision synchronous design, individually tuned for the lowest noise and with an offboard power supply. It’s controlled by a microprocessor PCB, addressable during manufacture to ensure accuracy and programmable for future upgrades. A copper and stainless steel cover provides shielding from both inward and outward interference.

Drive to the platter is via a precision machined aluminium alloy pulley on the motor and a bespoke silicone rubber drive belt, with electronic speed change for ease of use. The platter itself is also precision machined alloy, to which is bonded a PETG record interface mat and, on the underside, a cork/neoprene/nitrile disk bonded to control platter resonance.

The platter fits onto a highly polished stainless steel spindle, that rides in a main bearing housing on a super precision tungsten carbide ball. The complete main bearing assembly is longterm lubricated for longevity and ease of use. This avoids normal repeated recharging of the bearing lubricant that is essential to avoid premature wear and damage. Another example of the simplification of this turntable to optimise performance.

The DG-1 arm is uniquely Vertere, and differs from established thinking in its use of a flat profile in place of the usual tube. Conventional arms use tubes for stiffness, but these can bring all kinds of problems with high Q resonances, and thus the need for critical damping – costly and complicated. The DG-1’s three-layer, non-resonant tonearm beam avoids these problems. In place of conventional tonearm cabling, a flexible PCB is sandwiched into the arm itself to carry signal from the cartridge to the output terminals. Completing the arm are a stainless steel counterweight and a tracking adjustment weight, giving a total solution that’s as simple and elegant as it is innovative. 

Many solutions have been sought over the years for precise bearings, but for the DG-1 Vertere has developed a very simple solution: twisted nylon threads (hundreds of 3 microns thick twined Nylon 6.6/6 strands) – one for movement in the horizontal plane, and two for the vertical axis. These threads have many advantages, not the least of which is simplicity: they exhibit none of the stiction – or initial resistance to movement – of conventional bearings, are super-light and noiseless, and the twist of the thread controls and damps the movement of the arm.

Like the tonearm, the DG-1 plinth is a sandwich construction, using non-resonant cast acrylic to form the main plinth and the sub-plinth for a clean and sophisticated look. This three-layer design incorporates the control button, the speed indicator and the user-selectable standby mood-lighting, as well as the silicon rubber isolation between the plinth and the platter assembly. The whole assembly sits on a steel chassis, chosen for optimal stability, housing the motor drive circuit and the motor all supported by three adjustable feet. The DG-1 comes complete with a non-resonant acrylic dust-cover, where its hinges are integrated into the plinth for a sleek and modern profile.

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