© Gernot Walter

Going round

The turnta­bles from Audio Note are the ulti­mate in the hifi market. TT3, the latest model, uses three motors to drive the platter and ensure a premium sound expe­ri­ence.


TT3 is the latest piece of equip­ment from Audio Note. The company calls it an entry-level turntable – but its price is compa­rable to an entry-level model from Aston Martin. The turntable’s price is justi­fied by more than the sound quality typical of the manu­fac­turer. People who own old vinyl trea­sures that play at 78 rpm can play them on the TT3, which is unusual for audio equip­ment in this price class. Of course the TT3 can also play today’s more common modes: 33 rpm and 45 rpm. Many albums or singles were not pressed to perfec­tion in the past (a common problem) and do not rotate smoothly, but sound lovers do not have to despair. They can infi­nitely adjust the TT3 within the 60-120 rpm range.


Audio Note’s TT3 features a light­weight, trans­parent platter. Normally, plat­ters are thick and heavy because this variant is easier to produce and has good rota­tion prop­er­ties. Once rotating, they don’t need much power to keep them in motion. But thick plat­ters have sound prop­er­ties that drive the experts crazy. The thick mate­rial of heavy plat­ters saves rota­tion energy so well that it is emitted in the form of sound waves when a record is playing. Sound waves that are lethal for good sound. Audio Note plat­ters are made from ultra-light­weight poly­car­bon­ates that do not generate any inter­fer­ence what­so­ever. The rota­tion energy stays where it belongs: below the platter, right in the drive(s).


Audio­philes and other fans of premium sound are aware of the name Audio Note – you can tell by their reac­tions upon hearing it. They range from a nod to genuine tears of joy. One of the elite members of the audio world, the British hifi manu­fac­turer has a host of loyal fans. This is primarily due to the acute hearing of Peter Qvortrup, who founded the company in the 1990s. He releases all prod­ucts person­ally in his sanc­tuary in Brighton before their market launches. His personal atten­tion pays off: Audio Note has around 40 employees and gener­ates an annual turnover of five million euros.


Three compact motors drive the TT3’s platter when a record has to rotate beneath the needle. Their combined power is required to keep the 900-gram platter at a constant speed. Due to their low noise emis­sion, Audio Note decided to use Vari­o­Drive-series drives from ebm-papst. They also feature high effi­ciency, compact dimen­sions, and infi­nite adjusta­bility.

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