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AVID Acutus

AVID Acutus Classic

The AVID Acutus Classic turntable uses a very powerful motor with sophisticated DSP power supply to precisely drive the large platter. The locking clamp and vibration control measures are also key to its highest level sound quality.

AVIDHIFI's Approach to Product Development

AVID has always followed a top down approach to product development and design elements from the flagship Acutus are trickled down even into the affordable Ingenium turntable.

To answer the question "how do you build a better turntable?", Conrad Mas, owner of AVID HiFi, sought out experts dealing with fundamental aspects of vibration and resonance in related industries and then applied this knowledge to turntable design. Turntables are one of the most visually fascinating HiFi products but in order to get the most out of the record groove the designer has to get to grips with some important fundamentals.

Spinning the Record - The Drive Mechanism

AVIDHIFI choose belt drive over idler wheel or direct drive alternatives not just for maintaining a constant unvarying accurate speed, but also to isolate the record from the vibrations and noise of the motor. There is simply greater freedom and more options with belt drive in matching the power of the motor and platter mass, with the size and quality of the main bearing. In direct drive the drive shaft of the motor itself supports the platter and it is a great challenge to prevent motor noise being transferred into the platter and be picked up by the cartridge.

A hand built 24v 140 mN.m motor used in the AVID Acutus has great capacity to do the work of rotating the platter from stationary, and once up to speed, mainainting the correct speed with great precision. the correct than those typically used in turntables at this price level. The combination of the precision 10 Kg aluminum platter of the AVID Acutus, the high torque motor, and specialized dual belts minimizes slippage and braking torque on the platter from heavilly modulated grooves that put considerable pressure on the stylus.

Flywheels work by using their 'moment of inertia' to resist changes in rotational speed and this concept is often mentioned in turntable design. However the rotational energy stored is proportional to the square of the rotational speed and the mass. In typical engineering applications the flywheel rpm is in the order of thousands (Volvo has explored a 60,000 rpm flywheel in experimental energy saving automobile technologies). Even with a very high mass platter, the stored energy is limited when the rotational speed is only 33/45 rpm A slowly spinning top or gyroscope falls over once it slows down enough. The controlling force of a high torque motor is an important aspect of speed stability.

Controlling the Motor - The Motor Power Supply

AVIDHIFI has five different power supply units to cover their range of turntables. These are not simple speed contollers for the convenience of not having to manually move a belt. The power supply used for the AVID Acutus (and AVID Sequel) - is a sophisticated Digital Signal Processing sinusoidal generator fed to a high current amplifier - providing a pure 50Hz regenerated sine wave free from mains borne waveform spikes and distortions that would otherwise cause moment by moment speed variations in the motor despite the flywheel effect of the platter. The separate power supply is individually hand calibrated to match the motor and the power supply, motor, and the turntable are serial number matched. Calibration takes place over the a run-in period of several days. These power supplies are of equal quality to AVID's amplifiers.

Supporting the Record - The Platter and Bearing

The AVID Acutus turntable uses a very high precision inverted sapphire bearing. The spindle the record hole goes over is threaded to accomodate a two-stage screw-down clamp. By clamping the record to the platter unwanted movement of the record itself, which may arise from slippage, resonances from the tracking of the stylus, or even air borne room vibrations, are a coupled to the platter and drained into the massive bearing. Specific metals are used to minimize mechanical impedance maximize this effect. Sonically there is more focus with more precise imaging within the soundstage. Many record pucks are simple weights that drop over the spindle but can not use the spindle to drain the record surface resonances.

The Acutus platter is beautifully finished in Chrome and the mat, that is made of a special proprietory material, actually costs more than the platter used in the Sequel turntable.

Isolating the Turntable from the Environment - The Chassis and Supporting Feet

The AVID Acutus's black background and very high signal extraction ability is the result of the resonance management provided by the platter, bearing, drive belts, all combined with the fundamental foundation of the feet with 2.5 Hz resonant frequency isolation from the environment and record warp harmonics. The Chassis is designed with energy transference in mind and even the Chrome finish used has a beneficial sonic effect.

The AVID Acutus certainly makes a visual statement but it is not so large as to require an unusally large supporting HiFi stand

kemela commentary

The AVID Acutus is an eye catching statement turntable that was so well designed in the first place that it has not needed many changes over the years. Performance is improved in the Reference and Mono reference models up from the Acutus Classic but this is all made with upgrades to the power supply for the motor.

It's a good size - not too massive - and can be supported on many equipment stands. Operation is straight forward and very little maintenance is required.
Because you can take your pick of tonearms and cartridges, you can upgrade the tonearm and cartridge over time to make ownership more affordable and you can also upgrade to the Reference models.

Expensive yes, but there are many far more exotic record players out there that may not improve much on the supperb job that the Acutus does.
Interested? Schedule your demo at kemela today!

U.S Retail Price: $20,295 (2021 price list) Dust cover sold separately


AVID Acutus loudspeakers
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